Letter 3: Countless eggs!

Problem Hello, my name is Vanessa.

About 4 months ago I recieved a male and a female finch. They are so adorable ... even though they wake me up at 6 in the morning. About a month and a half after I got them I found four eggs in the nest. I was so happy when one hatched and then another. It was a shame that both died as well as the other two eggs. I figured it was just a fluke and it really would happen that all of the eggs would die the next time. Little did I know, the next time was around 3 to 4 weeks later. This time two hatched out of the four laid and one lived. The one is now around a month old and is doing well. I looked in the nest yesterday as I do to check on the baby and I found another batch of eggs. It is ok for my birds to keep laying eggs? If not what do I do? I feel like it is a birdy sex factory ....!

Thanks for your help! Thanks again,
Vanessa


Comment Hello Vanessa ...?,
I don't think it was a fluke, I think it was just nature. If you have read my book or the pages of my website (e.g. "Rescue the new born") you know two things:

  5 plastic eggs for Zebra Finches
  5 plastic eggs: artificial Zebra Finch clutch
  1. Overly young pairs often have problems producing the usual number of eggs and raising their young properly, i. e. their inborn natural behaviour has not yet matured fully – they simply do not know what to do with what suddenly crawls out of the eggs. The second attempt at producing offspring only a few weeks later usually proves successful.
  2. A cage or aviary can indeed look like a sex factory because there Zebra Finches find those ideal conditions for breeding the whole year round which they only find two, three or four times a year in the arid and harsh Australian outback – which doesn't mean they wouldn't swap their cage for a large bird room or outdoor aviary or total freedom in Australia if they had the choice; birds like to fly, you know, that's their natural way of moving.
        Laying eggs too often can indeed harm a female Zebra Finch's health. To prevent too many eggs, do not take away the eggs or nest or nesting material; just replace the birds' eggs by a set of artificial (ceramic or plastic) eggs of the same size and colour (white) from a good pet shop as soon as the clutch is complete (= 5 eggs). Sitting on these eggs and brooding is less energy-consuming than producing eggs and building new nests.

Yours,
Hans-Jürgen Martin


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