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Re: Not so good parents

Posted by Michael L on 8/12/05
(3) Comments

    On 8/12/05, KC wrote:
    > I have several pairs of zebra finches, all of them
    > breeding. I have two pairs that hatched their eggs and
    > know how to feed their babies. I have two pairs that can
    > hatch their eggs but don't feed the babies. They all
    > died. This is the second time around and they did the
    > same thing. Then I have another pair that hatched their
    > first clutch of 3 babies. They feed the babies but keep
    > throwing one of them out. I have to keep putting the baby
    > back. I think that they just want two babies and not
    > three. Should I just forget about breeding the ones that
    > don't know how to feed? What about the one that keeps
    > tossing a baby? I could try fostering but I am worried
    > that it would be too much for the good parents. Also I
    > don't want to interupt them and make them not take care of
    > their babies also. Just wondering if anyone has some
    > advice. Thanks

    Tee first thing I would suggest is to have each pair in their
    own cage and not in any kind of communal flight.
    Some pairs do not take well to raising a family with other
    pairs that are near or have acess to their nests.
    I don't know if this is your case, but I'm starting with that
    to get the biggest factor out of the way.

    Zebras, especially young pairs, often times will toss from
    inexperience. This usually corrects itself in time.

    They also need egg food to feed their young. Lack of food
    can be another reason for tossing if they feel that they
    cannot adequately raise young to maturity.

    Experiment with nests. Pesonally, I never cared for the
    basket-type nest and favored the wooden or plastic nest box.
    They are roomier and the parents have more space and are less
    apt to toss chicks or have a chick fall out accidently.

    Also, Zebras become accustomed to what they know. If you do
    nest box inspections every day, then do it every day so that
    the parents are used to you looking and checking. You can't
    abstain from this and then start to look towards the end of
    incubation or after hatch and have the parents not become

    It's hard to see dead chicks. But rare is the pair that does
    not go on to become good parents. Give them time and their
    personal space.

    Michael L