Zebra finches are common finch of central Australia. They are the most popular finch because of its availability and price. Zebra finches are in captive for more than 100 years. Zebra finch breeding happen readily and it’s a good bird for newbie’s. These finches are called as Zebra finch because of the stripes across their neck.
They are easy to maintain and care for when comparing to other birds out there in market.
Zebra Finch Breeding
Zebra finches are pleasant to watch as they build their nest and raise their chicks. The song and dance of male finch for mating will be funny to watch and also indicates that they are happy and ready to breed. To attract the hen a male finch sings and jumps/Bounces on the perch and soon hop on the hen. If the hen is willing to mate then the mating may take place. Mating takes place in few seconds and happen repeatedly.
Some people do zebra finch breeding as a business. Yes, you can earn thousands breeding zebra finch if you have above 50 pairs. The chicks are sold to pet shops for a good amount of price. It’s also a business and source of income. I request you not to breed zebra finches if money is only your motive.
why zebra finch – Zebra finch breeding
- Many people consider zebra finch because of its price and availability.
- Its very easy to take care and maintain Zebra finch.
- Zebra finch breeding happens freely in captivity on any condition (Good nutrition must be provided).
- All they need is a Nest box (Paint box, pot or a pipe) and nesting material (coconut fiber).
- They will be ready to breed at 4 to 5 months of age.
Cage setup – zebra finch breeding
The birds must feel the cage comfortable. Larger the cage you provide better the breeding will be. When chicks of a clutch fledge, there could be up-to 10 birds including 2 parents in a cage. The nest box that is used that is inside or outside the cage makes a difference on the size of the cage.
Size i use to breed (Recommended) : Width = 1.5 feet, Height = 1.25 feet and Length = 1.25 feet (18x15x15 inches) with nesting box placed inside the cage.
Flight cage : Minimum size of a flight cage is 4 feet tall x 4 feet wide and 3 feet longer and it can contain more than a single pair. I use this cage size to keep chick until breeding stage.
- Cages must be kept in a place with less people or pet interaction and a permanent place.
- Cage must be kept in a place where natural lighting is available.
- Don’t keep cages in open place that may be prone to attack’s by kestrel or some predators. (Kestrel eat finches – This happened to me, i lost nearly 3 finches)
- Keep cages in a place where there will be less heat / cooling.
- Cage should not be moved after nesting process. (Mating may take longer if disturbed)
Nesting – Zebra finch breeding
What i use as nest box?
I used Paint Box, Pipes, Pots and Plastic basket and result was good in pot and paint box.
What nesting material i use?
I use processed coconut fiber(Processed to manufacture rope’s) as nesting material and it works perfectly.
Breeding zebra finches – Zebra finch breeding
Rules to have better breeding pair’s – Zebra finch breeding
Only 1 pair of finches must be placed in per cage.
However Nesting box and Nesting material must be provided.
Afterward Nest must be placed high inside the cage.
Zebra finches prefer nest box that is enclosed with only one entry for them.
Cage must be cleaned At the same time the nesting material must be changed after each clutch.
Each cage must contain a cuttle fish bone which provides calcium.
Feeding – zebra finch Breeding
Zebra finches must be in shape to do all the work of rising chicks. They must be provided with better nutrition. Zebra finches love millet seeds. I feed them with a special seed mix that i make my self. The seeds that are provided by many people are
- Fox tail Millet (Tamil Name : Thinai)
- Barnyard Millet (Tamil Name : Kuthiraivali)
- Little Millet (Tamil Name : Saamai)
Get to know the special seed mix i provide my finches with and keep your birds healthy. Download the PDF by clicking on the image or the link below the image.
These are a part of seeds i provide my finches. There are many seed mix available in stores out there and you can choose between them.
Nutrition Supplement – Zebra finch breeding
Finches in the wild eat many variety of food so they get the essential nutrition. We must provide them with the nutrition as they are in captivity.
- Cuttle bone (Source of calcium)
- Vimeral (Vitamin supplement syrup) – Usage : Twice a month in water, 1 drop per pair of finches whereas 5 ml for 10 liters of water. (Don’t mix with any other medicine)
- Tetracycline (Immune) – Usage : Twice a month (Dont use with vimeral) , 1 pinch of powder for 10 Liters of water if you buy as capsule or powder (If liquid use 5 ml).
- B Complex (Zenith Vitamin B-Complex – 100 Capsules) – Usage : Twice a month mixed with tetracycline (Dont use with vimeral) , 1 pinch of powder for 10 Liters of water if you buy as capsule or powder (If liquid use 5 ml).
Vimeral, tetracycline and b complex are the major medication’s for finches. Finches fall ill only if they don’t get correct nutrition. When we provide them the correct nutrition in correct routine they wont fall ill. (Note : This was my personal experience).
A small contribution by Mr.Mark Little via Facebook on Nesting materials. I think all you guys should know about it.