Do you know what a finch is? It is a small Australian bird. People love to keep it as a pet in their houses because of its fun and quirky personality. Finches are easy to take care of and breeding them is not difficult. There are different types of finches and the easiest to breed successfully are the Society and the Zebra finches. These finches have a maternal instinct especially the Zebra finch. It can bring up the young ones of other finches like the rare Australian Grass finch.
Many species of the finch have varied physical appearances depending on their gender whereas; a few of the species have similar features. However, a male finch can only be distinguished through its behavior or song. But for the Zebra finch there are different characteristics which distinguish their gender. Mutations may cause some color alteration and varied characters in the Zebra Finch. However, some of the features remain unchanged. The male Zebra finch has a distinguished feature of orange patches on its cheek and a black and white striped throat. Also on the breast there is a Black bar and white spots in a chestnut colored flank. The female Zebra finch does not have the above characters but are pale in the areas mentioned for the male Zebra finch. The male has a beak which is bright red in color and it is orange for the females. Juveniles have a black beak and the rest resembles that of the female Zebra finch. When they are about 90 days old the beak and the colors are matured.
The arrival of spring is the beginning of the breeding season. In order to successfully breed, each species of finch needs a suitable environment unique to itself. Few of the species can breed in an isolated breeding box. However, others need the company of other birds in a large area. A pair of Zebra finches who are compatible with each other will breed in any kind of atmosphere. In addition, the Zebra finch couple is good at parenting and does not have problems while breeding. The responsibility to raise the young is shared by both male and female. In fact the male weaves the nest for the eggs. If you want to see it weave in your cage, you may supply him with grasses, feathers or the readymade material that is available commercially. Most pet supply stores will be able to help you with finch nesting materials. You will want to remove the excess material from the cage after the female lays her eggs. Otherwise, the male finch will cover the eggs to make alterations in his nest building.
The average clutch size of the female Zebra finch is four to five eggs. The hen will lay one egg per day for four to five days. There are some species of finches which lay only two eggs whereas there are others that will lay up to ten eggs. The hen stays at her nest most of the time after she has laid the eggs but the male finch gives her company and helps her to take breaks for food and exercise. The eggs take twelve to eighteen days to hatch after they have been laid.
We know that every new parent needs an unlimited access to calcium. The demand for Calcium is very high when the babies are in the nest. The calcium for the finch parents can be provided through cuttlebone and high protein diet. When the chicks are 18 days old the feathers start growing and they leave the nest. And when they are one month old they eat their food on their own and can be left independently. At that time the young