Finches can only lay one egg per day, usually in the morning. They usually produce three to six of them per brood, though there can be as few as one and as many as nine.
Diamond Firetail and Scarlet Finch together on a perch - no danger of eggs here!
Finch Eggs Not Hatching
There can be several possible reasons that your finches eggs are not hatching:
- Hens sometimes lay eggs even when there are no males around to fertilize them.
- A pair of young finches may be unsuccessful in their first mating attempts, but the female will still lay her unfertilized eggs.
- Single eggs in a clutch may fail to hatch simply due to the fact that the chick doesn’t develop properly, or because the egg somehow avoided fertilization.
- The hen may neglect her eggs and fail to raise them properly, this is most common in young hens with their first batch of eggs.
- The egg could’ve simply fallen on the floor, either from a perch or over the side of the nest. If this happens, the egg will be “scrambled” and the chick won’t hatch.
- The male bird could be infertile.
- If your birds are living in cramped conditions, the stress from overcrowding could be the reason. This is most common in aviaries and birdhouses.
- If the eggs fail to hatch due to soft shells, it’s a sign that the hen didn’t have enough calcium in her diet prior to laying the eggs. Cuttlefish bones or a mineral block are a good source of calcium.
Candling Bird Eggs
You should only ever do this if you have young parent birds, or if the egg has been rejected by the hen. To candle an egg you must shine a bright torch on it. You can do this when the hen is absent. Make sure not to move the eggs about unless you really don't have a good view of them. If handling the eggs, be sure to always wear gloves, a hen will reject the egg if she smells your scent on it.
The light from the torch will allow you to see the interior of the egg. Any red veins showing through indicate a healthy egg. If the egg is well developed you’ll be able to see a faint outline of the chick inside. If all you can see is an outline without any red veins, the egg won’t hatch.
This Diamond Firetail is considering some nest DIY
The hen will usually begin incubation after the 3rd or 4th egg has been laid (keep in mind that some species will only begin incubation after all the eggs have been laid). The pair will take it in turns to sit on the nest, the female takes night duty and the male will sit during the day. The eggs will hatch after around 12-16 days, though this can vary from species to species. They will periodically turn the eggs, and will keep the humidity levels up by taking a quick bath and then resettling back on the nest with warm, damp feathers.