The hen and cock will both feed the chicks, regurgitating food for them. Feeding doesn’t start until a chick is two days old, at which point the nutrition provided by the yolk sac runs out. Fledglings’ eyes open after six days; and after the youngest of them has reached ten days old, the hen will incubate at night only, as the chicks are by now robust enough to survive in the nest without being sat on during the day. They will be sprouting their first adult pin feathers at this point too. They fledge between 14 and 20 days (depending on the species), but are still reliant on their parents for food at this stage.
Canary fledglings - 10 days old and constantly hungry!
Depending on the species, weaning - independence from the parent birds - occurs between four and six weeks. The chicks will beg for food as they perch, and eventually their parents will stop responding. The young soon learn where the food is by watching their cage-mates, and their begging behaviour – open beak, fluttering wings – ends. If the chicks are slow in getting the message their parents may resort to chasing them away. An adult cock bird, in particular, will soon come to view his male offspring as potential rivals.
When the full quota of chicks is feeding and drinking without parental assistance, the young birds need to be placed in their own cage, away from mum and dad. In a larger aviary setup, they will all find their own space without you intervening.
Most finch chicks only spend about two weeks in the nest before fledging
Second Clutch of Eggs
Left alone, pet finches will often try to breed several times in a year. In the interests of their health – egg-laying and chick rearing is a physically taxing process, especially for the hen – no pair should be laying eggs more than three times in any one season. Two clutches is plenty.