Today I got 12 new finches (none of which were zebras I'm afraid). We have had 2 bicheno (owl) finches since December and although they built a lovely nest and spent a lot of time in it, they never laid an egg which got me wondering if they were both male. Last weekend when talking to a breeder of bichenos he said to sex them put them in separate cages so they cannot see each other but can hear each other. Males will start to sing very quickly. We caught them up and took them down to the house to watch and listen - the budgies in the bird house drown out finch singing! Within a couple of minutes both birds were singing their hearts out. Our assumption was right - both males! Today we went and got 2 hens (we hope). We also bought 5 pairs of bengalese to use as fosters after a week when my best hen and her mate hatched 5 eggs which they did not feed so they all died.
The other finches we bought today were another pair of gouldians as the 2 we have don't seem to like each other! The new ones have settled in well and the new cock seems to prefer the original hen and the original cock seems to prefer the new hen so maybe in the future we will manage to breed some of our own.
When checking my nest boxes today my best penguin cock was dead in the box with his 3 chicks. Mum appears distracted looking for him and does not appear to be feeding the chicks who a 3 weeks old and have just left the nest box. If she doesn't feed them would I get away with sneaking the chicks into other nests of chicks? Hopefully overnight she will understand she is now a single mum. Fingers crossed.