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 - 2 chicks, both thrown from nest, second round 3 chicks, 2 thrown from nest and 3rd removed and fostered with the lightbacks, 3rd and final round, just 2 chicks again, all was going well for 4 days then today one dead chick - empty crop so I have removed the other chick and put in a box with some similar age normal.
My other finches are doing well, I have now bred 11 gouldians, about 15 hecks, and eventually some Timors. This week I had a nest of cherry finches fledge, and yesterday we spotted 2 young chicks that we were not sure of. I wasn't aware of any other nests. After close watching we realised that the star finches were shadowing these young chicks and feeding them, I hadn't realised they even had eggs! Also this week we have had a nest of diamond firetails hatch - not counting my chickens (or firetails) yet, I've never had a firertail fledge before!
The chick that was brought up by the silverbills that I mentioned in my last entry has a bib like a hecks but its beak has never gone orange but has stayed grey. Maybe it is a hybrid? One of the silverbills has died (never knew which was the hen and which was the cock).their adoptive chick is devoted to the remaining silverbill and follows it around everywhere, it is very sweet to see!