No eggs were harmed in the production of these finches, . . .

Young Zebra Finches with the father

Here are four young Zebra Finches with their father. The young were raised on a nestling that did not contain eggs or any other animal protein.

. . . except for the ones they hatched from, of course!

Back in the first week of December, I was given 2 pair of Zebra Finches. The original owner was having problems with their home heating and was concerned that the cold could kill the birds. As there quite clearly was an alpha pair, I moved the low couple on the pecking order to another cage. There were eggs in a nest when I got the birds. With all the commotion — and as it was the season for few hours of daylight — I didn’t have much hope for the eggs hatching.

Some weeks later, the parents started to eat a lot more food. This was particularly true for the soft food, that they previously had ignored. Looking in the nest, I saw a number of already fully feathered baby Zebra Finches.

The fresh food is based on bread crumbs mixed with fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains, the protein provided by beans, tofu or tempeh. No eggs or any other animal products are used.

It takes a number of generations to show that a diet gives good nutrition. But these four happy and healthy little guys demonstrate that Zebra Finches can raise young on a vegan diet.

Preparing chicken eggs for nestling food is time-consuming. Plus, there are the risks of spoilage and the transmission of disease. If chicken eggs are unnecessary, there’s no reason to rely on them as a protein source.