Chick Tossing

by Gary
(Durham, England)

Hi Jean,

have you ever had any success rehabilitating parents who toss chicks. Seems to me that it is the males that are responsible, I'm thinking of swaping the males out for some spare males who for now have just been watching from a far.

Any comments whould be much appreciated.


Hi Gary,

My birds never let me catch them tossing out chicks, so I was never sure which parent was the culprit. No, I have never had a pair that was rehabilitated as you say. Once I saw they were tossers, I either fostered future eggs to my few societies or I would split up the pair and let them both try again with new partners. I wish I had paid more attention to the results of the new pairings to know if each bird was able to become a better parent. If you do switch out your male, I'd love to know what happens.

Thanks for your question, Jeanie

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Jul 28, 2013
Chick Tossing
by: Gary

Hi Jean/Viki,

Thanks for taking the time to respond to what can be a very frustrating problem. One of my Hens accepted another Cock (a rather handsome YH Normal, really big bird too, he was just a little young when I paired my birds. I gave him a chance as he and another spare male raised 4 Spice Finch chicks)
the other didn't. The young Cock raised 2 rounds of his own 4 and 6 chicks. I leave all my birds with their parents at least until they see their parents feeding the next round of chicks, hoping they get the idea. I have heard chick tossing can result when the Cock birds realises that mating is over once the chicks hatch. I may try designing my own nest box next year, what Viki says makes perfect sense to me. Check out my website at Gouldian Finch Breeders of the UK.

Thanks again,


Eager to check out your website. I wouldn't know how to prove it, (about the tossing males preferring sex to parenting), but I too have wondered about that possibility.

Thanks for your comments, Jeanie

Jul 24, 2013
males that toss chicks
by: Anonymous

I had a young male and also an older male that would toss chicks out of the nest. One had a bamboo nest and the other a box nest. I came upon a website that sold European finch boxes. They have a hole that the birds enter and are on a ledge and then they jump down into the main part of the box. I used the box on both sets of Gouldians and it seems they can't toss the chicks out of these boxes. The young male and his mate raised 5 babies and the other set 2 so I am sold on these boxes for pairs that toss their babies.


Thank you Vicki!!!! I look forward to finding the nest boxes you wrote about and am very hopeful that they will make a difference with a pair of mine who's chicks have had to be fostered.


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