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About this blog

Well, I got my first 6 finches at Stafford in October - just before my birthday - I didn't know that I wanted to take up bird keeping as a hobby but there it was - my birthday present! My partner used to keep budgies but gave them up when he got divorced but wanted to get back into the hobby. His thoughts - if he has budgies and I have finches I can clean out his cages when I do mine (a typical man!). So there I was, the proud owner of 2 cock and 4 hen zebra finches.

I spent the next few weeks looking up genetics, colour variations, diet, breeding advice and anything else I could read - if anyone had told me a year ago - even 2 months ago - that my spare time would be spent googling finch information I would not have believed them!

I joined the Zebra Finch Society and have ordered my rings for birds born next year so am carefully keeping males and females separate until December - I don't want any accidents! (I am a family planning nurse - I am fully aware that accidents happen!!)

Today we trekked up North and acquired another 10 cocks and 10 hens, I'm not sure that we meant to end up with that many................

I'm now studying the birds I have for colours, shape etc to make sure that I make up the best possible pairs. I bought a set of 8 breeding cages so will just put down 8 pairs at first - but which ones........ I'm very excited to see what comes out!

My partner will be building me an outdoor aviary ready for the spring, I am very excited to see it al come together. We are imminently going to move house (solicitors permitting) and so the new bird room has been made and dismantled in kit form so it can be reassembled in a few hours - very exciting.

I tried to upload some pictures but my compute crashed! Maybe another day.........

 

 

 

Entries in this blog

 

expanding outlook

This bird keeping hobby is taking over! Today we went to a bird sale and came back with a pair of Bicheno (owl) finches and a pair of firetails. Both beautiful birds, this is for our aviary scheduled to be up and running this spring, oh, and I managed to acquire 6 more zebras - not quite sure how ;-) The pair of finches I put down as I left for holiday had one egg (from 5) hatch yesterday - no others have hatched so I'm thinking they may be no good - well, one baby, 2 parents, it should be well looked after!

Penny W

Penny W

 

nice surprises

Got back from holiday today. My ZFS rings had arrived - and so had several chicks! I ordered my rings when I had just 2 cocks and 4 hens, so thought 20 rings would be plenty for my first year - how wrong can a person be?? I now have 22 chicks - from 5 pairs (9 pairs were put down). 2 of the chicks are too big for 2016 ZFS rings but the remaining 20 were all rung tonight! Now to order more as I have another pair sitting! My CFWs are very prolific. My light backs did not seem to know what to do with their chicks and threw them out of the nest, maybe they were too young? - I will give them a break and maybe try again later, maybe split the pairs and see if they look after chicks better with a different partner. We have spent a happy 2 hours in the bird house, there are a few budgie chicks too. Lets face it, who wants to unpack / do the laundry after a holiday?? Back to work tomorrow

Penny W

Penny W

 

My first babies

I'm on holiday, left my birds with my stepson. Today he sent me a picture of my first 2 babies with their parents, fledged and doing well. Very pleased with them. My partner thinks probably clock birds, how long before this is obvious?

Penny W

Penny W

 

update

It's been a few days since I updated my blog so here we go. My 2 remaining chicks are looking healthy, beginning to feather up but not sure what colour yet!. Of my other 8 pairs down, 7 have eggs, the smallest clutch being 3, the largest 7 (obviously didn't know when to stop!) Yesterday, after a bit of carpentry by my partner we acquired another breeding cage, we put our best normal hen in and the couldn't decide which was the best cock to go with her. We made our decision and put them together, she was most definitely NOT interested, so we tried our second choice cock - they were all over each other (literally) in a matter of minutes - there are obviously personality traits in finches to be taken into consideration. They now spend almost every minute of the day in the nesting box out of view! (what husseys!!). So we will wait and see! Of the pairs I put down earlier this month, most of them got down to business straight away so I'm concerned they will hatch their chicks too early for my zfs rings - and I thought I had waited long enough to pair them! Oh well, what will be will be!

Penny W

Penny W

 

good news, and bad, and more good news

Well, three of the four eggs hatched but yesterday one of the chicks was dead in the nest, it was well fed but appeared to have been flattened by the parents :-( The last egg is still in the nest - should I remove it or wait until the parents throw it out?? Of my other pairs I now have 6 pairs with eggs 27 eggs so far! Our candling torch has arrived and it appears that most of the eggs are fertile, maybe I should have ordered more than 20 ZFS rings!! My finches are definitely doing better than my partners budgies - of 10 pairs he put down only 4 have started laying    

Penny W

Penny W

 

Stranger in the camp

I was sold a bird last week and told it was a white, black faced cock. I didn't really want it, but it came as half of a pair, the hen being a normal which is what I was looking for. I'm not convinced it is a cock - to the extent that I have put him/her in my cage of hens and he/she is not creating havoc! I posted a picture on some facebook pages and the general consensus is that it is a hen, possibly grey cheek cfw. Anyone else got any good ideas?

Penny W

Penny W

 

and there are more....

I started my zebra collection with 6 -  this has now increased to 38 (I think - but they don't sit still!). Every time we go out we seem to acquire a few more! Last week I paired my best birds and now have 5 boxes with eggs! Tho original pair that I put together laid their first egg 2 weeks ago - I was worried as they didn't seem to want to incubate, however once there were 4 eggs they incubated and today, less than 2 weeks after the last egg I have a chick! I thought it took longer but there is a live chick being fed by the parents. Just waiting to see if the other 3 eggs are good. I have ordered a special torch for checking the eggs but it has not arrived yet - the birds have beaten technology! I'll be interested to see what chicks I get from my first pairing - black cheek he with normal cock. Bit early to tell just a few hours after hatching!! My partner has now paired his budgies too so we are setting up a busy maternity unit! Life is going to be busy in the next few weeks.

Penny W

Penny W

 

Not a great day

Today I attended the funeral of a 48 year old work colleague, a distressing time. So nice to get home and spend some time with the birds. Very therapeutic cleaning cages, replacing seed and water etc. (I never would have believed this 3 months ago!) My 'couple' are still busy incubating their 4 eggs - they stopped laying 2 days ago so I'm expecting news in about a fortnight (I think)  

Penny W

Penny W

 

And then there were 4!

There are now 4 eggs and one or both of the finches is in the nest box at all times. Fingers crossed that the eggs are fertile. Time will tell. We are off to the Welsh National Show this weekend, just to see what is out there. This finch hobby is a bit addictive!  

Penny W

Penny W

 

There is an egg!

Well, today there was an egg in the nest box - but neither finch was in there and it felt quite chilled - is this normal?? Should they not be making an effort to keep the egg warm?? Or do they not incubate until they have laid the whole clutch??

Penny W

Penny W

 

One week later

Last week we looked at possible pairings for the finches, think we have made the right decision - but plenty of time to change our minds - have moved them into different cages - double breeding cages, currently got 2 hens in one side and 2 cocks in the other with a solid divider between. Mind you, today I found one of the cocks peeking around the end of the divider to see the hens - and one of the hens flirting back! I don't want them breeding quite yet as I want to use my 2016 zfs rings when I get them in January. We have put one pair together (because I'm inpatient) and we want to see what we get crossing our black cheek hen with a normal grey cock. Nice nest built - nothing in it yet though! I'll keep checking......

Penny W

Penny W

 

a newbies view

About this blog Well, I got my first 6 finches at Stafford in October - just before my birthday - I didn't know that I wanted to take up bird keeping as a hobby but there it was - my birthday present! My partner used to keep budgies but gave them up when he got divorced but wanted to get back into the hobby. His thoughts - if he has budgies and I have finches I can clean out his cages when I do mine (a typical man!). So there I was, the proud owner of 2 cock and 4 hen zebra finches. I spent the next few weeks looking up genetics, colour variations, diet, breeding advice and anything else I could read - if anyone had told me a year ago - even 2 months ago - that my spare time would be spent googling finch information I would not have believed them! I joined the Zebra Finch Society and have ordered my rings for birds born next year so am carefully keeping males and females separate until December - I don't want any accidents! (I am a family planning nurse - I am fully aware that accidents happen!!) Today we trekked up North and acquired another 10 cocks and 10 hens, I'm not sure that we meant to end up with that many................ I'm now studying the birds I have for colours, shape etc to make sure that I make up the best possible pairs. I bought a set of 8 breeding cages so will just put down 8 pairs at first - but which ones........ I'm very excited to see what comes out! My partner will be building me an outdoor aviary ready for the spring, I am very excited to see it al come together. We are imminently going to move house (solicitors permitting) and so the new bird room has been made and dismantled in kit form so it can be reassembled in a few hours - very exciting. I tried to upload some pictures but my compute crashed! Maybe another day.........

Penny W

Penny W

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