Talk Cockatiels Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I finally got a male finch a while back. His name is Edward, and I was lucky enough that he decided to choose Elinor as his mate! So it works out just like the book characters they're named for. They successfully hatched two babies 4 weeks ago. There would have been more, but Marianne and Margaret both laid eggs as well and they don't have mates, so only like 3 at most of the 8 eggs were fertilized.

One of the babies died the day before yesterday. I'm not sure exactly what happened. They were both looking good, and then I noticed the younger one was sleeping on the bottom of the cage. I couldn't see anything wrong with it, like a physical injury, but it was acting off. I put it back in the nest since there wasn't anything I could do for it (they aren't weaned yet and I don't have any handfeeding formula), and it was gone by morning. Now I'm just super paranoid with the remaining baby that something's going to happen to it. It's my first time having baby birds around (other than chickens and quail, but they don't have the same behavior), so I'm not sure what is normal and what is a warning sign of something bad.

As I'm sitting here, the baby is checking out the bowl of food, though, so I don't think I have anything to worry about. Slow down, baby! You're not supposed to be weaned for another 2 weeks or so!

The four adults have been the best parents ever, doing everything very carefully and making sure the baby gets as much food as it wants. Marianne and Margaret have actually stepped up to the plate more than Edward or Elinor have! Edward preferred to sit outside the nest when the eggs were being sat on, just to keep an eye on things. He now feeds the baby all the time.

I'm hoping that the baby is a male, because every unmated female I add in is just going to lower the number of fertilized eggs being incubated and I'm not sure if I would be able to sell it, since there's only one and I'll probably get way too attached to it.

Sorry about making this such a long post! I get started talking about my birds and there's no stopping me!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
It's quite unusual that your male only mates one hen. I used to keep a large colony of societies, and they were not monogamous in regards to mating. Females would stray and males would court anything that moved, including other finch species. In time, you will probably see your male mate the other females. Societies are the rare finch that will breed in groups; I once had seven parent raise a clutch of fifteen chicks to fledging in two nests. Everyone took part.

In regards to the dead baby, it is sad, but it occasionally happens and it can be hard to pinpoint why. In cases of sudden death at a young age, heart problems that cannot be prevented are usually to blame. I have never lost a baby, but I had a juvenile about 5 months of age pass suddenly once and attributed it to this.

4 weeks of age is very normal for a chick to start feeding itself. Within three weeks, it should be weaned entirely, though societies sometimes feed their chicks much longer than the chicks require, sometimes periodically even for a few months after fledging. They're very maternal. Chicks will also feed their younger siblings, even if only a few weeks age difference separates them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
So far he hasn't shown any interest in the other hens, so we'll just have to see. They're starting to fill their nest up with grass again, so they might try to start a new clutch. They had 9 eggs total the last time, but one was laid on the floor of the cage and broke. The other 6 eggs were unfertilized, since they threw them out of the nest after the babies were a couple of weeks old, where they then broke with nothing inside.
It would be really nice if Edward would mate with the other two hens, because I wouldn't have to add any more birds to the cage. I read that incubating doesn't work as well if you have more than four birds in one nest. It also is a shame for them to be sitting on so many eggs if only a couple of them are going to hatch.

Do you know how the genetics work with Society Finches? From what I've seen online, the Chocolate color is dominant over Fawn, but I've seen videos where the parents are a Chocolate and a Fawn and their babies have been all sorts of different shades. Fawn, Chocolate, a sort of diluted Fawn, etc. Edward is also crested, which I read is dominant, but both babies were born with smooth heads.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
Chocolate is dominant to fawn, but if you have a male chocolate society finch bought from a store, he almost always carries fawn genes and if paired to a fawn female will produce some babies of both colors. I also found pairing fawns and chocolates produced some birds of an intermediate color, like a darker fawn, and still don't understand how the genes for that work out.

Crested is a half dominant trait. A crested male paired to a smooth headed hen (or reversed) will produce about half crested babies and half normal babies. I have a crested male and a smooth head male now and they are my only societies these days. The crested is the son of the smooth headed - his mother was crested.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Ok, that makes sense! Thanks for the help! In the video I saw with the babies all different colors, the male was fawn pied, and the female was pied, which is actually the same as I have. so I'm not sure if the same genetics apply there. The baby finch I have now kind of reminds me of a s'more. It's pretty dark brown on most of it's body, with white wings and a very symmetrical brown and white tail, but it has a really pretty lighter gold-brown on its chest.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top