Okay, Brian. I'll break it down for you.
> Is it okay to keep a bunch of pairs in an aviary
> and will they still breed?
It is okay as long as you have an equal amount of females and
males so they may pair off themselves if they fly freely. If
you keep them in cages, Sociaty finches will help each other
with their young, Zebras are a little more unsocail when they
start breeding. If you keep them in flight cages, the bigger
the better per pair.
> How many times a year do they lay eggs?
Finches are pretty prolific breeders depending on the
species. Some have spicific times in the year, others when
they feel like it as long as there is natural light (or full
spectum lighting), there is a plentiful food source (you) and
the temperature is not below 60 degrees ferenheit or above
90. If you are uncomfortable in some temperatures, they are
Not only this, some species may lay eggs before all the
chicks are out of the nest. You may want to keep an eye on
them and remove nests at least every 2 clutches or every
other clutch so they do not over-exert themselves. It's not
the egg laying that takes it out of them- it is the feeding.
Parent birds sometimes will hardly eat while they are feeding
their young, no matter how good of a diet you give them.
> How long do they take to wean?
Genrally, a clutch of 3 will wean off in about three weeks.
The more chicks in the nest, the longer it will take, but not
more then four and a half to 5 weeks.
> How many eggs do they normally lay at a time?
The female can lay one or she can lay up to seven. The more
eggs there are, the more you as the breeder need to make sure
she has a plentiful calcium source. Keep cuttlebones
available at all times, feed them boiled eggs with the
eggshells crushed or ask your vet on liquid calcium. I had it
where I had a pair of finches and the father ate the eggs due
to the lack of calcium. The eggshell is a pure nutrient in a
way, so this may be a good thing to give them every once in a
Disclaimer: I would suggest going to the library or a
bookstore and purchasing books on this for further reading. I
may have left some information out, or perhaps giving you
information that only works for my perticular birds. All
aviaries and birds are different, but it may be a good idea
to check and experiment with some other ideas.