Tag Archives: finches

Members of ANY Avicultural Organization ~ Get Your TWFA Offspring for FREE!

free aviculture

When I tell people that I give most of my offspring away for free, they tend to look at me with a cocked head and a furrowed brow. I then explain to them that if/when I do charge people, the profits only go right back into the care of my flock. I spend on average $250-$350 every other month or so not including the medications I keep fresh on hand. When it comes down to it I could really care less if someone is willing to pay $75 for a rarer mutation. The reason I have prices in the first place is to dictate rarity and difficulty to breed. Otherwise I’d have 50 people waiting for Penguins alone at any given time! Can you imagine! They breed only 1-2 times a year, I’d have people waiting for decades. The prices also help deter people who request 100 pairs at a time so they can flip them for a profit.

That being said, in an attempt to help bolster the numbers of our various avian organizations and local clubs I will be giving away any of my offspring for free to any hobbyists who have joined. This can be a national organization devoted to aviculture (breeding birds) like the AFA or ASA, a local hobbyist club like the CCBA, or the NFSS which I always highly recommend. It MUST be an organization that supports aviculture specifically. If you’re a member in good standing (meaning you haven’t been kicked out and have paid all of your dues) then you’re welcome to whatever I have available or will have available soon. Please keep in mind that I do keep a regular waiting list in between clutches and this means those people on that list do have first pick. But other than that I don’t care about the rarity of the mutation or if it’s a specific marking I only see in 3 offspring per year (like my BF males), you can have it if you’re supporting an avicultural organization of any kind.

This is a small bit of help, but I do hope it makes even a tiny difference in the avian community! I know there are some of you out there who have “thought about” joining but haven’t gotten around to it – I used to be the same way! I personally didn’t want to join until I had some experience under my belt so I didn’t sound like an idiot. That was a waste of my time and I should have joined the day I bought my first pair of finches. There are so many helpful and wonderful people in these organizations who are EAGER to help us newbies and set us in the right direction. They have been raising finches for decades and nothing phases them. They don’t judge either, so if you’ve lost a bird or two due to some kind of accident, don’t feel as if that will outcast you. Once you’ve lost dozens over the span of decades something like that doesn’t phase them. So JOIN your local club! It’s probably only something like $20 a year as it is with the CCBA, and you can even attend an event or meeting to join and get started. And don’t forget the AFA is only $40 for one year, the NFSS is $30 per year. NO EXCUSES! Get out there and join now and I’ll send you free TWFA offspring!

New House, New Bird Room, New Finches!

Casper (right) ~ A handsome new addition to the aviary. He is a BH YB PB Gouldian Finch. (TWFA 2014)

Well after a hellacious time with our previous landlord, I’m finally free in a bigger, more beautiful new house! Everything happens for a reason, and after an incredibly negative experience my main goal for the new house was to find a better landlord (and house) altogether which I definitely accomplished. If you’d like to see photos of the new house, visit my Facebook page or add my personal profile here. I won’t be posting specific bird room photos on my public site any more for security reasons. I just couldn’t help myself last time!

I’m absolutely in love with this new house! With very kind landlords to boot, it just makes the whole ordeal perfect. There’s also lots of space and windows, much more so than in the last house. This also means that my Zebra Finch pairs are getting back into their breeding groove, some immediately and some are still getting used to the change. The Gouldians will have to wait until I build them their nest boxes in the next week or two. Continue reading

Off-Season Breeding & Penguin Update~

If you’ve been following the TWFA updates for this past season, then you’ve heard me gripe about my finickiest new mutation, my pairs of Penguin Zebra Finches.

What exactly makes them finicky? To start, on average they lay 1-2 eggs per clutch and will lay about 1-2 times per breeding season. They’re fragile breeders, finicky eaters and also more susceptible to illness which means it’s a good idea to keep them fat, exercised and on a consistent, balanced diet. Did I mention that they’re a challenge which I am crazy enough to enjoy? The babies they’ve produced this year have been some of the cutest and quickest to be adopted. 

It has definitely been a journey to bring them all into prime breeding condition to say the least! Both Penguin pairs have been thoroughly rested since their last clutch of babies, and have been moved to the aviary’s year-round breeding cycle. This schedule is reserved for pairs that lay 1-2 clutches each year and take breaks of up to 6 months in between.

After some nest changes and settling into the new house with a new view of the outdoors, I have returned home from a week of absence to find 5 freshly laid eggs in a newly built nest made of natural organic materials as well as pieces of their fresh millet branches. Always a happy find here in the aviary! The other Penguins are still deciding between a nest box and a cup-style, still carrying supplies here and there without any real building going on.

A slower than usual process
All of my Penguins get more natural light and less synthetic so they are not overstressed or overstimulated during their light breeding schedule. They also receive their high protein foods after they begin laying which assists them during the parenting process. I’ve also been introducing multiple nest options since these pairs are new to the aviary and to breeding so as anyone can guess, some nests are favored over others. All of these precautions do make for a slower breeding process but that is their “flow” which is always the goal here, to find their favorite environment and to replicate it in the most natural way for the rest of their lives. Continue reading

New Article ~ Incubators & Hand-feeding

When to Hand-raise & When to Leave Them Be

As the Lafeber’s formula label reads, “Hand-feeding pet birds requires love, patience, and proper nutrition.” The way to successfully raise Finches by hand is to devote as much time as possible to the endeavor to both increasing your survival rate through multiple feedings and to socializing and hand-training your babies. This ensures their health and development as well as their ability to bond well with you and other human beings in the future.

First, I must say it to the point where it’s ingrained in every reader’s mind ~ you should never remove baby Finches or any other baby animal from their parents’ care. Period. It’s not only traumatic for the baby (especially after the imprinting process has begun) but it is just as traumatic for the parents. Pairs who regularly have their babies removed, picked up by human hands, or peeked at will often times stop laying altogether or start to toss/abandon their young. If your goal is to provide your birds with the best care possible, then it is vital to allow them to complete the parenting process as they are naturally inclined to (this includes the weaning process). The only time I will remove eggs or babies is if they have been abandoned or neglected, and that is the only time I would recommend “stepping in” to save the lives of the offspring. That is the responsibility of every breeder. Continue reading

Insightful Finch Course from The Finch Center

I recently came across The Finch Center ~ a website owned by Jennie Samuel who is the author of “The Easy Approach to Finch Care.” This site was immediately bookmarked and added to the Resource section of my links page.

I am ashamed to admit this book is still on my ‘to read’ list after I finish soaking up the knowledge inside “Clinical Avian Medicine” which is proving to be quite a feat given my current load. Her book is a wonderful resource that many other Finch breeders recommend and I can’t wait to read it for myself.

Jennie’s website is full of incredibly insightful information, and her Finch Course is no exception. Any hobbyist can apply for free and receive tutorials and articles via email with an easy to use sign up form.

I have really enjoyed her messages thus far and always look forward to the next. Her words will not only stimulate your Finch knowledge but also gives you a number of reliable suggestions that may have even the advanced hobbyists re-thinking aspects of their husbandry.

New Article ~ “How to Breed Zebra Finches”

Bronson (Fawn OB BB) foraging for seed and feeding his fledgling offspring. TWFA 2013

One great thing about having a WordPress site is that I am able to keep track of how all of my new fans and visitors are arriving here @ TWFA. One of the most-used search phrases is: “How to breed Zebra Finches.”

Previously, I’ve talked about whether or not it’s okay to breed Zebra Finches. I came to the conclusion that if a serious and experienced hobbyist (of any level) has spent the proper amount of time and resources preparing themselves for the huge commitment of breeding then it is an enjoyable experience that will give back to the Finch community in the end through providing quality stock and improving the species. If you have fully committed yourself properly to breeding then welcome to the world of raising Finches! Continue reading

Happy Easter! ~ Baby Updates

Happy Easter Finch lovers! I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful day ~ painting eggs, dressing up in Spring colors or just spending time with loved ones.

I had a nice little surprise in one of the nest boxes I checked today – 3 of 6 eggs hatched from the “lazy incubator” pair. Mom is usually more interested in what is going on in the aviary rather than her nest box but for this clutch she was very attentive so I left them with her. I’m so glad I did!

  

Continue reading

Hatchlings are almost ready to become fledgelings!

The first clutch of the season has been an eventful one of course! Still not sure how they will look exactly but I know they will be beautiful. 🙂

Today I saw 4 very well fed babies poking their heads out of their nest as they gather their courage to fledge. Parents Bella & Bronson (BC CFW & Fawn OB BB) are starting to lure them out with low chirps as they try to encourage them to venture out of their cozy home. It’s a happy surprise to see all 4 of their eggs hatched and were tended to so well.  Continue reading

The first 2013 Hatchlings!

Left: Baby butt! Middle: A full crop means great parents. Right: Little hatchlings just waking up.

Left: Baby butt! Middle: A full crop means great parents. Right: Little hatchlings just waking up.

To my surprise and joy this morning, three very loud beggars were squeaking for food, one so loud it overshadowed some of the CFW males’ songs. Everyone in their flight cages craned their necks to try to see the first babies of the season.

They belong to Bronson & Bella (Fawn OB BB & BC CFW), my colony-raised and newer lovelies. It’s been quite the journey bringing these newer pairs into breeding condition, and I’m glad the day is finally here for their first fertile eggs to hatch. I’ll be able to tell in the next few days which will be white and which will be.. otherwise! This is a mixed clutch so the colors will be diverse. I’m excited to see how they will turn out!

Continue reading

Local Breeder Review ~ Patty’s Finches & Canaries

Breeder Reviews by Chelsea @ LPBA
Often times I will get messages from people asking me where they can find a bird that I don’t have or a mutation I don’t have readily available. I am happy to pass along those people to the best possible options for them based on my experiences with breeders. In the Breeder Review section is where you can read about all of my experiences as a buyer and recommendations to help you in your search to adopt the healthiest and highest of quality feathered friend. All reviews are assigned a general rating with 4 being the highest.

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Patty’s Finches & Canaries – Silverdale, Wa.
Purchased: CFW, White
Also Available: Canaries & BC males
Pecking?: No
Bird Health/Quality: Fine
Current Status: Breeding only Canaries now

My Review: I found Patty on Craigslist when I first came to the area. After she contacted me to purchase hens I had to sample her services for myself. I was quite a bit wary about her breeding program at first but came to find she is a kind person and a member of the local Cascade Canary Breeder’s Association. She is no longer breeding Zebra Finches but she is still breeding Canaries.

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