Hand-feeding Estrildid Finches

Stash Buckley, Carol Anne Calvin

Abstract


Before we get into the serious task of hand-feeding Estrildid Finches, it must be stated here that this is not a procedure we recommend for the acquisition of a pet finch to sit on your finger, or as a novelty approach to finch-breeding, but as a serious, last resort effort to propagate birds which would otherwise be lost. As with most other endeavors in life, having the right tools for the right job is very important, and we will list them here.

l. An incubator/brooder. This may seem a simple task, but make sure you get one that is well-designed for finches. For example, a dry air environment which would properly hatch a Kulikoro Firefinch or a Violeteared Waxbill, would most likely prove disastrous for such moisture- loving species as Black-capped Waxbills and Peale's Parrot Finches, as we regrettably discovered. If you are experiencing an unusually large number of embryos dying in the shell, it may not be the fault of your Societies, but rather due to the atmospheric conditions of the foster parents' environment. It is for this reason we have two separate bird room climates: a hot, dry grassland room, which is wonderful for such species as Pictorella and Painted Finches, and a cooler, tropical bird room which is suitable tor such birds as Crimson Finches and appropriate Mannikins. These eggs are fostered to Society Finches which are kept in the same environment as the parents, thereby providing the proper conditions for incubating and hatching. Therefore, make sure you get a unit that will cover the full spectrum of your finch needs. We use the Animal Intensive Care Unit manufactured by Animal Care Products. It includes an air filter, humidity control tray, and thermostatically-controlled heater. We found it superb...

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