will the male feed 2 day old babies if the female hen dies

by Brenda
(wisconsin)

my cat got in my room and clawed up the female hen. her babies just hatched. except three eggs. I can see about 5 babies mouths open. I have seen the male go in the nest but not sure if he is feeding them. the female has been drinking water and has been eating some, but her feathers are messed up, and not sure if she will live or not. she hasn't gone near her nest at all. if she dies will he take care of the babies ? or should I remove them? I also have seen him go into an empty nest as if he is thinking of starting another nest. the babies I am guessing are 1 -2 days old. he goes in the nest for a very short while. but doesnt keep them warm. peeks in and then leaves.


Hi Brenda,

In the best of circumstances a male can and will take care of the baby chicks, but not always. If you don't already have it, I would get one of the ceramic heat bulbs that scew into an aluminum shop light, (with a ceramic socket), and hang it near or on the side of the cage nearest the nest. Of all the finches, Gouldians need the most heat. I think if they are kept warm it could increase their chances and I hope that will be an attraction for the male to stay in the nest longer. The extra heat will allow the birds to slow their metabolism and hopefully the male will not have to use so much of his own energy generating his own heat and he won't have to work so hard caring for the chicks also. He might be able to do the job. Another option would be for you to hand feed the chicks, personally I have not had much luck doing that. Lots of others tell me it's easy, but I found that very hard to do. I think the best chance you have would be to borrow or buy a few society finches and just put them in the same cage, fostering might work.
Wish I had more suggestions, but yours is a tough situation that you may want to just wait and see what nature dictates. Best Wishes, Jeanie

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