Letter 16: A lonely heart

Problem I got two zebra finches in October. They recently had five eggs that hatched. My male adult died last week. I just found him dead in the cage on his back.... The mother was needless to say, very distraught and ignored the babies for almost 24 hours. She did begin feeding them again, however, they have died one by one. My question is – how soon should I get a new male? What are the chances of them not getting along?

Any help and advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

Suzanne J. Rzicznek
Marketing Manager

Comment Suzanne, I wonder why your male Zebra Finch died so suddenly, but I know that in most cases the reasons can't be found.

If the babies's demise was caused by their father's death there must have been a strong bond between the two partners. Nevertheless I think you should not hesitate to buy another male as soon as possible – these birds do not like loneliness.

Although your female is certainly longing for company of the same species, please don't take risks and put the new bird into another cage for a few days – or, preferably, the "old" female into the new cage and the new arrival into the old cage – to allow them to slowly get used to each other. (This usually avoids dominace of the "old" bird over the new bird.)

I hope this will help. Yours,
Hans-Jürgen Martin

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