2 week old chicks and new eggs

by Mike Love
(Charlotte, NC)

I had 2 new chicks hatch 2 weeks ago. They are very healthy and have good parents. The hen has started laying again with them still in the nest. There are 4 eggs as of this morning. She usually lays 6. What should I do about the new eggs?


Hi Mike,

I have never had that happen, so I cannot tell you from experience. I think you have a couple of choices to make. If you have society finches set up to be foster parents, you could wait until the new clutch was completed and then foster the eggs to the societies. If you don't already have a foster pair there is still enough time to get them and set them up with a nest box to do the fostering. I count the day that the first egg is laid as one and estimate that chicks will hatch 21 days later because I prefer not to disturb the nest again while the hen continues to finish laying her eggs. Another way of counting is to start on the day that the clutch is completed. This is the start of the serious brooding and is more frequently used as the start of the count down to hatching. If this is day one, hatching will be expected to occur in 15-16 days.

Another option, and what I think I would do, would be to do nothing until an obvious problem presents itself. There may not be a problem at all. I have found that when there are only one or two eggs in the nest, that a lot of Gouldian parents will choose to abandon those and start over laying again. Your birds didn't abandon their first two eggs. In another week the chicks you have will be contemplating fledging and soon after that, eating on their own. Hopefully these two milestones will take place before the new eggs hatch. Gouldian chicks seem to treat each other gently, so while it's possible that the older two chicks might break some of the new eggs, I doubt that they will. After the two chicks are able to leave the nest, watch the cock. He might develop some parental aggression and attempt to keep the fledglings from returning to the nest box. Separate the two juveniles as soon as you see that they are no longer being fed by their parents.

Best of Luck to your extra good parent birds and you, Jeanie

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May 23, 2015
Good post
by: Scarlett Pagac

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Thank you so much Scarlett. I have been overwhelmed with Gouldian questions and have been unable to keep up. I hope that will change. I don't know much about the computer so it is hard for me to know how I could help you. Sorry I don't know more. Jeanie

May 23, 2011
Chicks out of the nest
by: Anonymous

Here is the latest update. At 21 days, the chicks left the nest. There were five eggs in the nest at the time. The parents never went back to the nest when the chicks left. I took the nest out of the cage today, day 23, and I'm going to disgard the eggs.

My breeding pair are being good parents. Both chicks are doing well. I've had them in my hand and they seem very healthy. One is more shy than the other. I think he is a male and the other is more outgoing. Probably a female. I't will be fun to see their colors and genders.

Sorry for the delay in responding and posting your comments. Computers are a bit much for me. Great news about the parents being so devoted and the chicks doing so well.
Thanks for the update, Jeanie

May 18, 2011
Another day, another egg
by: Mike

Thanks for your insight. I now have 5 eggs in the nest. I think I like your sugestion of wait and see. This is the first time eggs have hatched for the birds and for me. So we are all new at this, but I trust Mother Nature and I trust the parents. They have been doing a wonderful job with the current two chicks.

So we wait and see!

Hope it all continues to go well. Thanks for the response. Jeanie


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