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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

 

10 months on

I haven't updated this for nearly 10 months - very lax of me! I still have my zebs - rather a lot in fact (to think that 4 years ago I had none). I bred some late last year as well as this year so have about 100 youngsters - 60 of which have this years rings. I know I need to shift some but I never know who needs to go, maybe I'll wait until they are a bit older?! I have tried some new mutations this year with some creams and one grey cheek cock and one fawn cheek hen. So far the fawn cheek hen

Penny W

Penny W

 

Confused dot com!

So, trying to sort out some birds to show, some to keep for next years breeding and some to go. Now getting confused! What is the difference between a lightback and a silver?, a fawn and a cream?. I have pied penguins - are they showable? as pied or penguins?? Why do my normal hens have darker bellies than the cocks? I will have to take them out so I can compare them with other peoples birds.  My timors have not done well this year, I rang one chick before we went on holiday but it died bef

Penny W

Penny W

 

zebra finch breeding almost done for 2018

I'm winding down my this years breeding - I've rung about 100 - plenty (too many??)  Now for the hard part - I'm determined to show this year so need to sort out a show team - and keep back a breeding team for next year, then try and sell the surplus. I'm pleased with what I have bred so far - apart from the odd pied who has appeared this year - my biggest surprise was a lightback pied from 2 normals!! I have at last bred - and rung one Timor, my Australians have bred, and not raised, sever

Penny W

Penny W

 

Yes, I'm still here

it's  been a while, probably 6 months since I updated my blog so I thought I ought to write something! I'm currently concentrating on breeding my zebras, the aim is to finish breeding them by the end of April rather than carrying on until October like last year. I paired up early December and went away over Christmas and new year with about 15 pairs down. When I got back from holiday I found I had several pairs sitting on clear eggs. 4 pairs had chicks, 3 lots of 3 and a singleton. One of t

Penny W

Penny W

 

0-170 in less than 2 years!

If anyone had mentioned bird keeping to me 2 years ago I would have been surprised, it was not something I had ever considered. However, my partner had previously kept budgies and had a hankering to get back into the hobby. He took a sly approach by taking me to Stafford in October 2015 and buying me half a dozen zebra finches for my birthday the following week! - a cunning ploy! Anyway I embraced the hobby but never really thought that I would get too involved. I remember Emmy commenting o

Penny W

Penny W

 

Surprises - nice and not so nice

Well, I have now actually bred a reasonable number of hen zebras. Unfortunately so far I have no normal hens, so my about 20 normal cocks will have no part in my show team for current year bred birds (if I decide to show at all). I have lots of lightback hens, and one lightback cock, several fawn hens and only one fawn cock. The only variety I have pairs of are penguins - I have lots of them!. My best, most prolific pair from last year have not repeated their success this year. The first round -

Penny W

Penny W

 

It's been a while...

I have been very slow to update this blog - not found time to visit the site for a while. My breeding seems to be improving - I have actually bred some hens now!! (Still have an excess of cocks though). I have rung my first round of Timors too - there were 4 originally but I am left with 2, I have another nest of Timor chicks a few days old and a nest of Timor eggs too. With my zebras I am doing well with Penguins, I have a few fawn penguin hens so I'm tryong to work out how to get a fawn p

Penny W

Penny W

 

too many cocks spoil the show team!

I have bred some lovely zebras this year, the problem is only 2 of them are hens! The 2 hens are fawns, the cocks are normal and penguin so it looks like I won't have any current year pairs to show. I've just put some more pairs down so fingers crossed ....... I have had a frustrating time with some of my other finches too. I have one pair of Hecks who have had 2 rounds, each round they have fed the babies until they have feathers, then they stop feeding them and the babies die. They curren

Penny W

Penny W

 

Stafford

Steve and I booked a table for todays Stafford sale, Steve had some budgies to shift, I sorted out some Zebs to go. I put pics of them on one of the Facebook finch sites and sold all but one pair before today! I found another pair of Zebs and decided to shift 3 of my Timor pairs - as my other 2 pairs now have eggs. I also had some spare Bengalese to go. I had also pre-sold 2 hecks grassfinches but the buyer didn't show - isn't that annoying? We travelled up yesterday afternoon and stayed in

Penny W

Penny W

 

3 weeks later

I spoke too soon saying I was having a good run on chicks, I had rung 9 zebra chicks when my ZFS rings arrived, 3 have since died and other nests which have hatched have not been fed, or have been thrown out of the nest, I do have one nest with 2 chicks, one I rung last week as he was plenty big enough, the other obviously is not getting enough food - enough to keep alive but not enough to grow - it is tiny, I'm not sure if it will survive. My other finches are doing slightly better - the 4 goul

Penny W

Penny W

 

Exciting times

I seem to be having a good run on chicks at the moment, I have a nest of zebras starting to hatch today, I now have 4 Hecks chicks and best of all, my nest of gouldian eggs started hatching today, I know that gouldians are not renowned for being good parents so I hope they will raise their young. I have some Bengalese, but none ready to use as foster parents yet, I spent a long time yesterday trying to sex my Bengalese - but gave up! The star finches have started laying again, I hope they see it

Penny W

Penny W

 

New Year, new chicks

Having paired up in early December we went on our Christmas sunshine holiday leaving the birds in the charge of my stepson. When we left I had 21 fertile zebra eggs, I also had a nest of Hecks eggs and my star finches had just started to lay. I awaited my return from holiday - and my ZFS rings - with anticipation. We got back on Thursday afternoon and, after a much needed cuppa headed out to the bird house to see what was going on. There had been quite a lot of clear eggs and chicks not being fe

Penny W

Penny W

 

Thinking about next year

Well, I paid my subs for the ZFS again and have ordered my rings ready for January, so now it's time to think about who will produce my youngsters! I spent last week sorting out all my stock, I have a few youngsters that were born in July, August and September so I returned them to their respective flights. I then sorted the cocks and hens into 'mine' and those bought in. This weekend I sorted out all my breeding cages while observing my birds to decide who should pair with who (referencing

Penny W

Penny W

 

Show time

I decided I ought to take my birds to a show, to see how they compare so entered a few pairs into the ZFS show in Barry last month. I didn't win anything but my normal were placed in a large class which was nice for me. My lightbacks were my best pair in my eyes - but there were only 2 in that class so coming second didn't really tell me whether they are good or not (the pair that came first went on to win one of the top prizes). This weekend it was our local bird club show so Steve and I e

Penny W

Penny W

 

All change!

I keep my hen and cock zebras in separate flights. So far it is has been the hens, and the foreigns having access to the outside flight. Today it was time for a swap. the flight cages are designed so this swap can be done without having to catch all the birds so it was just a case of encouraging the hens into one long flight cage and the cocks into another then opening different doors and voila - their accommodation is swapped over. It didn't take the cocks long to realise they could go out into

Penny W

Penny W

 

12 new finches, but some losses too

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 t

Penny W

Penny W

 

I'm a Granny (sort of)

12 months ago I had no idea that I would own any birds, in fact if anyone had told me I wouldn't have believed them! BUT, in October I got my first birds. I was impatient to pair up and put one pair down too early to use 2016 ZFS rings. The net result was 2 chicks, only one of those survived. I put a split ring on him so I knew which one he was. Anyway, I paired him up a few weeks ago, result 6 fertile eggs, 2 hatched yesterday and one today (but that baby was dead and the parents through it out

Penny W

Penny W

 

bird room finished!

We moved into our house 6 months ago and have worked hard since then. We have hardly touched the house but the garden and bird house have had a lot of tie and effort spent on them. Before we moved we were planning on a bird house approx. 8x6'. When we first moved we had to set the birds up in the garage - far from ideal but they were OK. Before we got around to building out smallish bird house we saw a shed being sold off which was perfect, just a bit bigger - well, a lot bigger to be precise -

Penny W

Penny W

 

update

When I started my blog I had half a dozen finches (late last year). Emmy commented that 6 often turns into many more, well yesterday I had a count up - 84 plus 6 tiny chicks and several eggs being incubated! Hmm, time for a bit of a sort out methinks! Our new bird house and aviary is taking shape in the garden, can't wait until it is up and running, we might need a bigger one before we move in if I'm not careful!  

Penny W

Penny W

 

my growing babies

Bearing in mind that 6 months ago I would never have believed that I would own zebra finches I am really please with the way my babies are colouring up, hopefully I can upload some pictures

Penny W

Penny W

 

update

it's been a while since I updated my blog. I'm winding down on breeding now as we are away at the end of April and I don't want to have to ask the neighbour to have to check nest boxes. It's giving me a chance to take stock and work out what I have and what I want to keep. We seem to have ended up with an abundance of cages (a lot of which are flat packed in the loft at present) Last weekend, when it was the Stafford Sale we had arranged to buy a load of cages from a guy who was giving up t

Penny W

Penny W

 

experimenting with mutations

I may be new to this game but I am trying to get on top of different mutations, I like the penguins, and have a pair, but they are both quite small so I have paired them with better sized birds with the view to next year crossing the babies and getting some bigger penguins (well, that is the plan). Last weekend I managed to acquire a large penguin cock and have paired him up - but so far, no eggs - we'll see. I also have several split black cheek chicks - with the intention of breeding some of m

Penny W

Penny W

 

Flu! (human, not bird!)

Having moved house my body decided that the stresses involved in house moving were too much and my body has gone into meltdown. For the past week I have been almost bedridden with high fevers and feeling rubbish, when I have a window of feeling slightly better I pop out to the birds, check a few cages, then collapse back into my bed - it's rubbish! Steve has been working hard - at his job, then DIY around the new house and keeping on top of the birds, I just hope he doesn't catch this bug off me

Penny W

Penny W

 

moving house

Well, last week saw us moving house. No mean feat with a shed full of birds! Fortunately we were able to get access to the garage the night before the official moving date so we moved the birds then. That night I had a dream that one of the cages of budgies had managed to escape.  My partner went to the  new house with a van load of stuff,  opened the garage door - and out flew a budgie! My dream had been true! The rest of the birds had survived the move and we even had 2 finches and 1 budgie ha

Penny W

Penny W

 

fledglings

My first proper round of babies are beginning to leave the nest now. The chick in the picture is pure white (smudge from camera lens over left eye!) - no tear mark - parents are both CFW (Shame my camera has a black mark in the centre of the lens!)  

Penny W

Penny W

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