How to Hand Feed Baby Zebra Finches

Hatchling Zebras are around an inch in length when they hatch and they have a color of pink with a few white downy feathers. Approximately three days old they will begin making an audible noise that is something like an “ff ff’ sound. It’s a very faint sound and some people don’t always hear it till day four or five. The Baby Zebra Finches will make a little more noise after each passing day. And if for some reason the parents refuse to feed the chicks they will die at day three when yolk sac is all used up. Some inexperienced Zebra parents don’t care for their babies properly after they hatch. The pair must be allowed to rest for some period, then try again.

feeding baby zebra finches

Feeding Baby Zebra Finches is a Tricky Job but the Rewards Are Worth it.

For the committed bird owner and aficionado, successfully hand-rearing a baby zebra finch is very rewarding. Baby zebra finches, with their impressive black and white pattern, are recognized for their soft, melodic song and beauty. These birds grow only to be 4 inches tall and start life extremely fragile and small. Sometimes, when a baby bird has fallen from the nest or been rejected by its mother, a baby zebra finch will need to be hand-fed to live.

Hand-feeding a baby finch is hard, the bird owner can employ caution and perseverance in order to achieve the ultimate goal of a healthy and weaned zebra finch.

Things You’ll Need:

1. Water
2. Water bowl
3. Tube water dispenser
4. Electrolyte formula — pedialyte
5. Ω-cc Tuberculin syringe (needle removed)
6. Baby-bird food
7. Toothpicks
8. Pipette
9. Adult pellet food
10. Juice


Supply fresh water everyday to ensure bird droppings do not soil the water bowl. If the water can’t be changed on a daily basis, a tube water dispenser can be bought from any pet store as an alternative solution.

For the first feeding, fill a Ω-cc Tuberculin syringe with an electrolyte formula. Put the tip of the syringe at the bird’s beak until its beak opens. Allow just small amounts of the electrolyte formula to drop into the bird’s mouth. Feed the electrolyte formula every two hours for three feedings.

Mix hand-rearing baby-bird food with electrolyte until the mixture reaches a very thin consistency.

Dip a toothpick into the prepared mixture and place it at the finch’s mouth, permitting the thinned food mixture to enter the bird’s mouth.

Observe as the formula mixture fill the bird’s crop, which is the food storage sack on the side of its neck, until it’s full. It is advisable that the owners of baby zebra finches repeat this process each time the crop is emptied, every hour for the first three days.

Mix the electrolyte formula and the baby bird food powder into a thicker mixture beginning on the fourth day. With the use of a pipette, continue to provide mixture to the bird until its crop is filled. The baby finch will need to be fed about every 1 1/2 hours as its crop empties.

Combine the mixture to the consistency of pudding beginning on the eighth day. Give this to the bird every two to three hours.

Provide little amounts of adult pellet food that has been moistened with juice once the bird has began growing feathers.


  1. hi, my name is alexis. my birds just had a baby zebra finch and they threw him out. he’s in good shape and doesn’t seem hurt or anything. i can tell he is 3 days old from the ‘ff’ chirping sound. i have the pedialyte formula and instead of using the tuberculin syringe we cleaned out a colored dye dropper. is that good? does it give him enough pedialyte? we just found him today. he was cold in the clean rags we put him in. is there something we can use and buy that’s safe and will keep him warm.