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New finch baby --- need advice!


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juli28428

Carolina Beach, NC
Posts: 21
Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:01 am   Post subject: New finch baby --- need advice!


I don't have flower pics to share but I do have some news I wanted to share with someone and hopefully get some advice. I'm not even sure where to post this but hopefully someone who knows more than me will read it anyway.

I have a new finch baby! This is the first for Tillie and Millie (the "team") and I'm not real sure what to do to help them out. It's about three days old so it's still in the nest but when I shine a flashlight, I can see it wiggle (the parents usually hide it by pulling the nesting material over it). The mom had three eggs but I think there is only one baby.

Questions: Are seeds that I give the parents enough at this point to feed the baby? They don't seem to be feeding it, or I haven't seen them when they do. When is it coming out of the nest? The cage is about 2 feet tall and the nest is at the top corner, is the baby going to be okay when it does come out because it has a long drop?

Thanks for any help!




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lexxivexx

The Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posts: 266
Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 10:06 am   


Many people, especially misinformed employees at the pet store, will tell you that seed is enough, but this is not true. Finches need a variety of food, as do most birds. Seed should be the basis of their diet, but it won't provide enough nutrients. Lettuce, sliced grapes, bugs, even hard-boiled eggs are great snacks for Finches. This is important throughout their lives.
It's also very important that your birds aren't disturbed. First-time-parent finches are stressed very easily and probably won't feed their chick in front of you. The best thing you can do is leave them alone, don't constantly check the nest, and put them in a quiet room away from everyone. If you don't have a secluded room, try a closet.
Even so, they might discard their chick by starving it or throwing it from it's nest. This is called chick tossing or nest abandonment, and it isn't always preventable.

I hope this helps, I know it's a lot to swallow (pun intended, lol). Finches are fantastic pets to have, but their's a lot of misconceptions about them. I learned that the very hard way. What breed are yours? Let me know if you have any more questions, and I'll be glad to answer!

-Lexxi

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juli28428

Carolina Beach, NC
Posts: 21
Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:17 pm   


Thank you lexxivexx, that helped a lot! I'll go to the link you suggested for the article. The parents have had a multitude of seeds -- different varieties --- treats, oyster shell, etc. and I do give them a sliced apple every other day and I have just put a piece of lettuce in their cage. I'm on my way to boil an egg but not sure how to feed that.

Of course, they are sitting right in the den so I can observe them constantly! Our house is quiet as there is just me and my husband and I cover them at night with a black sheet but I think I'll move them to the bedroom.

Thanks again, so much, for your help.

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juli28428

Carolina Beach, NC
Posts: 21
Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:36 pm   


Sorry, forgot to answer your question --they are Zebra finches. And --- the mom doesn't want anything to do with the lettuce or sliced grapes, however, dad just came out of the nest and he usually quides her when something new is going on.

I got a fairly decent look at the baby ---couldn't resist shining the flashlight in their one more time --- he's not real handsome, sorta looks like a brown tree frog with a few feathers.

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desertflower

Oklahoma
Posts: 208
Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 5:22 pm   


Hi Juli, Lexxi gave you excellent advice. You could also cover just the back part of the cage where the nest is to give them some seclusion. As far as the boiled egg goes, just chop it up in very small peices.

They are probably feeding it if they are still going into the nest. I didn't realize Finches were stressed so easily(Thanks for that info Lexxi) I have birds but not finches and my birds don't care what I do with their babies. I have even taken babies away from "feather pickers" and given them to other nests with no prob's. Keep us updated and best of luck.

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juli28428

Carolina Beach, NC
Posts: 21
Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 5:36 pm   


Hi,
Thanks! After the eggs were laid, I moved the cage so the back would be facing the wall instead of looking outside the window.

I wasn't sure what to do with those boiled eggs! They played with the lettuce (I didn't shred it?), messed with the grapes, and as usual, ate their apple. I also keep liquid vitamins in their drinking water.

They are funny taking baths at least once a day in their bath tub. You can tell, I've never had birds before.

Now that I know about the eggs, I'm off to the kitchen.

Thanks again!

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lexxivexx

The Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posts: 266
Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 8:17 pm   


Finches are excellent birds to start with and Zebras are just do darn cute! That's really good you're feeding them the liquid vitamins in their water. Both Millie and Tillie will feed the new baby, so if one of them in eating in front of you, everything is fine. Millie is probably just nervous, like new mommies are, and eats when she knows her hubby isn't too distracted to watch the baby.
Also, I did a little research and a few sites say not to feed finches lettuce. Even though others encouraged it, I'd scratch that advice to stay on the safe side. I know many animals can become very sick from lettuce, and it seems that Zebra finches are on the list. I'm one of those over-cautious pet lovers, can you tell?
Do you plan to keep the chicks, or give them to someone else? At 5-6 weeks, once they have started eating on their own and looking like adults, they need their own cage.
Oh, I miss finches so much! If my cats weren't so naughty and crafty, I'd have another pair.

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