|Zebra finch female (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
When to Start
The best time to start breeding your finches is when they are about 8 months old. There are finches that are highly dimorphic, which means one can easily distinguish their gender by simply checking out their colors. An example of this would be the Zebra finches. Society finches, on the other hand, can be a bit challenging in this department because they don't have color patterns that tell whether they are male or female. One technique in determining the gender of the finches is by placing at least four of them in a cage and watching which birds get attracted to whom. Once spotted, you can place them in a separate cage so you can start breeding finches.
Prepping the Cage
The cage should get ample sunlight at least 14 hours a day. You can use a bulb or lamp as complement lighting, if necessary. The cage should be large enough to create a comfortable space for the parents to breed. Hang a basket in the cage that would serve as a place for the eggs to hatch. Putting together the nest requires skill. The nest should have lining material which you can get from pet stores. In most cases, the male finches arrange the lining materials themselves. For the nesting, you can use shredded burlap as well as dry straws. The nest is important when breeding finches and you should prepare the right materials ahead of time.
Checking for Eggs
Use a flashlight when monitoring the nest for hatchlings. When you notice the parents flying in and out of the basket, it is more likely a sign that there are already eggs poised to hatch. The female finch lays one egg per day until she completes the brood of up to 8 eggs. Then she will begin sitting on the eggs with the male on a standby and ready to substitute when the female leaves and looks for something to eat. This is a sensitive stage in breeding finches that requires constant monitoring to ensure that everything goes smoothly.