When are Finch Eggs Viable? Are they “real” Chicks?

I just had this question about Finch Eggs and viability come up during my “Ask Finchly” time. Someone wanted  to get some finches (actually not Gouldians, but that’s okay). He didn’t know for sure whether they were male and female; in this particular species, it’s really difficult to tell.

“When are the eggs viable?” he asked. “Are there live chicks in them immediately? I don’t want to raise babies.”

I don’t blame him a bit, as finch populations can explode quickly. If you aren’t ready you can be totally overwhelmed. I mean, what will you do with 40 more birds???

So the answer is…… the eggs are not viable until somebody sits on them. Truly. With Finch Eggs, the birds have to “sit tight” meaning they sit continuously (one or the other, with very short breaks in between) for 3 days. On that 3rd day, if you were to candle the egg, you could see some blood vessels in it.

How to Keep Finch Eggs from Hatching

Finch Eggs can be safely boiled, shaken, or removed (and traded for dummy eggs) during the first couple of days. After that, use your judgment. I personally have no problem tossing eggs if there isn’t room in my breeding program (or my cages), if a parent bird is sick or too worn out from a previous clutch, etc. My motto is “take care of who was here first” (the parent birds) and also “don’t get shown on the front page of the news as a hoarder”.

Get dummy eggs   

Nice egg candling tool

A new cage, for all those birds you’re going to have