Having paired up in early December we went on our Christmas sunshine holiday leaving the birds in the charge of my stepson. When we left I had 21 fertile zebra eggs, I also had a nest of Hecks eggs and my star finches had just started to lay. I awaited my return from holiday - and my ZFS rings - with anticipation. We got back on Thursday afternoon and, after a much needed cuppa headed out to the bird house to see what was going on. There had been quite a lot of clear eggs and chicks not being fed but I had 9 zebra chicks, one nest of 4, one of 2 and 3 singletons. They were getting quite big so I was glad to see my rings arrive on Friday - 8 chicks were rung then and the 9th was big enough today. As well as zebra chicks I had 1 Hecks chick and 5 good star finch eggs.
I spent the weekend doing a good clean up of the flights etc as my stepson does food and water but isn't so hot on the mucking out! I don't clean out breeding cages while birds are sitting so didn't go near my star finches but something appeared to have disturbed them as all the time I was in there they were staying out of the nest box. By the evening the eggs were quite cool so I decided to swap them with a nest of clear zebra eggs. By the next morning the zebra eggs with the star finches were stone cold indicating that the stars were still not sitting, the star eggs were lovely and warm. Yesterday afternoon one of the star finches hatched, the question was, will the zebras feed it?? By this morning it was dead and another had hatched, by tonight another had hatched and the one that hatched overnight was still alive - were they feeding it?? I guess tomorrow morning will tell.
I now have some fertile gouldian eggs and 2 more nests of Hecks eggs, my silver bills have also laid but I think their eggs are clear. I'm looking forward to seeing how I do with the other finches, although they seem to give more challenges than zebras.
I bred some Bengalese at the end of last year so next winter breading season I will put down some pairs as possible fosters although I would like birds to be parent reared if possible.
Time will tell.