Tag Archives: zebra finch

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

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3 Fawn Male Zebra Finches Available Now

by Marie

My Finch journey started out when I adopted my first pair of young Zebra Finches from Chelsea @ TWFA. I chose two unrelated Fawn OB BB birds so they would go on to breed later.

My birds were really active, singing and happy when I brought them home. The little hen’s beak turned orange just like Chelsea said it would. The little male tickled me with all the crowing he did and the little hen chimed right in. He has a cute little song. Continue reading

Sudden Finch Death ~ A Surprisingly Common Issue

A puffed/fluffed up juvenile Zebra Finch. This type of body language does not appear to indicate illness or injury. (Click for more info/credit)

We’ve all had that moment when we enter our bird rooms to find a sick Finch. Or even worse, that moment when you’ve been treating a sickie for days but when you go to check on them once more, they’ve taken a sudden turn for the worse or are on the bottom of the cage – already gone. Sudden death is so common that a large percentage of visitors arrive here looking for answers after such an event. This article will provide them with that information in the hopes of steering hobbyists in the right direction for the future.

While it’s a natural reaction for those of us hobbyists who haven’t experienced this (even after years of bird keeping) to be judgemental, the fact of the matter is that it is literally going to happen at least once in your flock if you keep more than just a few pairs. Issues are far less likely to arise if you have 3 pairs, but if you have 8-10 or more, the chances for variables like illness are much greater. Continue reading

The Fresh Food & Vitamin Program ~ Does it work in pieces?

Ioford multivitamin supplement from LG (ladygouldian.com).

Ioford multivitamin supplement from LG (ladygouldian.com).

If you’ve browsed the pages of TWFA then you’ve read over many recommendations and articles pertaining to fresh organic foods as well as the Avian Veterinarian Dr. Rob Marshall’s vitamin supplement program. I’ve always been told by vendors and hobbyists that these foods don’t need to be used all at once – it’s okay to simply use bits and pieces.

I was fairly skeptical of this method and thought that even with the fresh organic foods, the vitamin programs needed to be used as a whole. However I relayed the vendor and hobbyist recommendations that even separate elements of the nutrients are better than none at all.

Because this topic was brought up by multiple adopters at the end of the 2012 & beginning of 2013 seasons I decided to try it on behalf of our fans and visitors as well who come to this site for care advice. Their Finches rely on this advice to be correct after all! So in order to make a proper recommendation I needed to try this method with my own flock to really put it to the test. Continue reading

Days 3 & 11 ~ Bird Quote & What makes me :)

This post is part of my participation in the 31 Day Bird Blogging Challenge @ Students & Birds. Join me & participate in your own way through forum posts, Facebook notes/posts, Pinterest pins, etc!

Day 3 ~ Your favorite bird-related quote.

“Know birds, know life ~ no birds, no life.” -Unknown

I love this quote! It is really so perfect for keeping birds. Especially for breeders. We get to see the small nuances and miracles of life that others may miss from courting and mating to egg laying and hatching – all of the wonderful parts of new life being born. It definitely gives you a different perspective on things and your ability to care for animals. And hand-raising is an incredible life experience. You’re literally saving the lives of baby birds at that point. It kind of goes unsaid that animals who truly love you unconditionally and depend on you for their existence touch your heart in inexplicably huge ways, changing you forever.  Continue reading

UPDATE ~ Adopted! :)

This is a courtesy Community listing for a new TWFA fan and not in any way related to our pairs or offspring. The author has been screened and found to be a wonderfully dedicated new Finch Momma. Please email her if you would like to adopt her juveniles at the point of contact she has listed below. I am still breeding through a waiting list at this point in the season but her offspring are ready to go to their new home immediately. You can request your own listing by contacting me at my email.

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2 Rescued, Related Pairs ~ Available Now

By Terri

I recently acquired a pair of Zebra Finches and four babies, a lady was selling them all and the cage for $25 so I bought them mainly to get them out of the deplorable state they were in. They look very healthy amazing enough, but the cage looked like it had never been cleaned.

Long story short, I brought them home. They are eating well and I have been giving them a better diet than they had , starting slow , I don’t want to tax their  systems. The babies are feeding themselves now with only a little feeding from Mom and Dad, They are good parents even herding them into the nest when it is time to go down for the evening. I would really like to find good homes for the little one’s. Continue reading

Days 18 & 7 ~ Survival Tips & Flock Annoyances

This post is part of my participation in the 31 Day Bird Blogging Challenge @ Students & Birds. Join me & participate in your own way through forum posts, Facebook notes/posts, Pinterest pins, etc!

Day 18 – Your best Finch survival tip.

I have 2 main survival tips when it comes to raising & breeding Finches. The first is to make things fun. Whether this is challenging yourself to keep a rare species or mutation of Finch, blogging or posting on the forum about your birds, working towards upgrading your setups or adding an aviary, or raising your own babies by hand, each hobbyist has to make it theirs in order to truly enjoy it sometimes. This is also helpful to remember on those not-so-easy days when you may be less inclined to spend time with your birds, either due to a recent event or a growing lack of interest. When it isn’t fun for you, it isn’t fun for your flock so challenge yourself to do something new! 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

1 Month Bird Blogging Challenge & New Resources

(An updated photo of the brooder babies)

(An updated photo of the brooder babies)

Brooder Babies
3 More babies are in the brooder at the moment! They’re over the 1 week hump now & are almost finished feathering out into some beautiful colors ~ 2 Phaeo & 1 Fawn. They’ll be moving out of the brooder & into a cage soon. Even in the Summer months, my babies love the R-Com. They look like small dinosaurs at this stage of their lives, walking around on top of the nesting materials & stretching their wings. They spend some time each day being active & even clumsily pecking at the new materials in the brooder. They enjoy being pet as you see (right) & human interaction/other forms of affection.

Our other 2 hand-tame Phaeos are nearing their first molt and don’t seem to mind sharing a little hand space with their new “siblings” from the brooder. They hop around the bird room from cage to cage socializing with their favorite pairs during their daily free-fly time and are starting to reluctantly taste their Tonic Seed & Spray Millet. They’re still dependent on hand feedings and it will be a slow process to wean them. I’m really enjoying their company in the mean time.~

31 Day Bird Blogging Challenge
As things shut down here this month and we continue to decorate/construct in preparation for our photo shoot, I will be participating in Students & Birds‘ current Blogging Challenge (I talk more about their awesome blog below). What a fantastic idea for us avian enthusiast authors! 🙂 This will give me a chance to write more about the aviary in a creative way while keeping everyone entertained through our dust. I won’t be writing every day as the challenge implies, but I will be covering all of the 31 topics before the end of the season. 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.

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