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Keeping baby finches alive

fluff86

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My finches have laid more eggs and this time I want to make sure that the babies live because on my first attempt I lost all the babies because the parents stopped looking after them and chucked them out of the nest. I don't want this to happen again.

I want to know if there is any specific food I need to be feeding the finches while they are rearing there young?

So far I have been feeding crushed boiled egg with the shell, dried mill worms, they always get there regular seed mix regardless and I make sure there is always a supply of freash seed in the aviary everyday and of course fresh water. I was giving them some greens at one point but it always goes to waste they never touch it so I stopped putting it in for them.

I'm going to try a new mix including some leafy greens which will be mixed in with other things to hopefully entice them to eat some leafy greens.

The mix I am planning will have the following...

Cooked Brown Rice. I will cook up a batch of this and freeze it and use what I need for each day.

Boiled Egg with the shell.

Porridge Oats

Some leafy greens such as spinach, wild rocket

Meal Worms


I will mix it all in food processor and give it to them that way.

Would this be enough?

What would people recommend?
 

Zara

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fluff86

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I'll take spinach off the list.

I can hear babies chirping in one of the nest boxes already. I don't want to get my hopes up too much tho.
 

jh81

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What finches are they?

generally, Eggfood, a good quality seedmix and greens should be enough. I would be careful with the worms. In the world of softbills (especially those that eat insects) its common knowledge that too much insects may make the parents throw out their young (or abandon them) and start anew. Since most finches are seed eaters, they wouldn’t need any insects at all.
 

jh81

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I wouldn’t mix up anything anyway. Give everything in its natural form. Zebrafinches are really easy birds to keep and procreate, they need nothing special. I know people who breed Zebrafinches on nothing more then a seed diet. Personally i think they do better on a diet of eggfood, seed and the ocasional green/fruit but they definatly do not need any insects. Thats most likely whey they left their young.
 

fluff86

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I wouldn’t mix up anything anyway. Give everything in its natural form. Zebrafinches are really easy birds to keep and procreate, they need nothing special. I know people who breed Zebrafinches on nothing more then a seed diet. Personally i think they do better on a diet of eggfood, seed and the ocasional green/fruit but they definatly do not need any insects. Thats most likely whey they left their young.
Thanks for the info. I'm new to Zebra finches. I was worried that the parents wouldn't be able to feed the chicks on just seeds. I lost the first lot of babies they had. I want to make sure I do my best so the same thing doesn't happen again.

I'll lay off the meal worms, its mostly the Canaries that eat them. I'll stick to seed and egg food.
 

finchly

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No fruit, just the mentioned items. I give finches the commercial dry egg food as soon as they have babies, or else boiled egg mixed with dry bread crumbs. If you do the commercial stuff you can leave it in the cage all the time. That way there’s always plenty to feed the babies.
Also, I’m a believer in a whole food, diverse diet so I would keep up the greens (not so much spinach) as well as sweet potato, ground nuts, shredded broccoli etc. BUT as Jan mentioned, zebra finches are pretty hardy without any special foods.
 

fluff86

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Thanks for the info I'll add those extra things to my list, the dry commercial egg food sounds ideal. Even if these finches don't necessarily need special foods I want to maximize my chances of successful breeding. They have laid a lot more eggs this morning. I can see at least 9 all together that are visible and I may have more in the nest boxes but I don't want to interfere in any way so I wont be checking the nest boxes I know that people do but I don't want to take any chances. I have a feeling that finding dry egg food might prove difficult but the rest I can certainly get like sweet potato, ground nuts, shredded broccoli, bread crumbs. I have plenty of boiled eggs as well in the fridge.
 

fluff86

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Eventually I would like to move on to breeding some of the more exotic finches like the Gouldian Finch.
 

jh81

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I think bird breeding is much fun, and with the rate of birds that go extinct we may need to do a whole lot more bird breeding soon. You’ll always have the risk of losing young birds, just like not all baby humans grow up to be adult, its part of life. The most important is to keep your head calm and clear, that way you can manage everything :) you’ll do fine!
 

fluff86

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I think bird breeding is much fun, and with the rate of birds that go extinct we may need to do a whole lot more bird breeding soon. You’ll always have the risk of losing young birds, just like not all baby humans grow up to be adult, its part of life. The most important is to keep your head calm and clear, that way you can manage everything :) you’ll do fine!
I would love to breed some of the UK's wild species but unfortunately its illegal to keep UK native species with the exception of pigeons so long as they were not captured and only bred in capitivty with a ring on there foot to ID them. Many of our wild birds have disappeared due to landscaping new buildings etc. I remember a time where I could watch the starlings and sparrows everywhere and there were so many of them you could watch flocks of them making patterns in the sky but sadly they are not so common anymore or at least in this part of the UK.

The UK now has lots of wild ringneck parakeets flying about increasing in numbers each year although they were not native to the UK. They are so common now you'll see them in the city. I see them often in the trees outside my window. There are parks here in London where you can have them land on you while feeding them but sadly the UK wants to reduce the number of them because they are considered as an invasive pest. Personally I don't see what harm they are doing and I've often wondered that maybe one day I might find one that needs to be rescued like some baby ones or something. I know they make good pets but at the same they'll probably squawk the house down.

I love all kinds of birds including pigeons and crows, ravens. You can teach a raven to talk or even a magpie like a parrot would.
 
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jh81

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In e Netherlands we can breed all kinds of wild birds, so long as they are having the correct rings. We have a large flock of ringneck parakeets as well, i am amazed at how well they adapt :) the problem with pidgeons is, if you have two, you soon have 200. But like you said, most wildlife is disapearing rather quickly, so we shouldn’t complain about the pidgeons.
 

fluff86

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I have some sad news... although there still may be time. Its looking unlikely I'll be getting any chicks this is because another two of my finches has become ill one infested with parasites and the another sleeping with his head tucked behind him.

I don't know how fast S76 will work or whether I'll be able to save the poorly finch but I might get time to save the others if one is infested then they all have it. S76 is my only hope at this point. I did buy some Johnson's bird mite spray but it looks a bit iffy and I don't know if I really want to be using that on my birds so S76 the only solution.
 
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fluff86

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I have no idea on what parasites they are, all I know is something has been irritating them itch excessively and causing them to fall ill. I have since found some solutions to eliminate the problem which should hopefully get rid of any external parasites they have on them or in there nest boxes along with some meds to help them. It may even have something to do with the temperatures getting a bit low. I'm hoping I have the problem in hand now and I have ordered some S76 and diatomaceous earth.

Air quality could be another factor.
 
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fluff86

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Sad news once again. Two more finches dead plus another chick dead. 3 more finches have become ill. They are dropping like flies. I feel like there is nothing I can do. I'm still waiting for my s76 but I'll doubt I'll have any left to save if or when it arrives.
 

finchly

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I am so sorry. This is terrible news. Could you take one body to a vet for a necropsy? To do that, you put the body in a bag in the refrigerator (not freezer).

I feel there’s something else going on.

again- so sorry. I’ve been through this and it’s a helpless feeling.:(
 
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