Breeding the King of all Finches







Of all the Finches here in England the Hawfinch is the largest and most difficult to breed, most people that have reared these birds generally hand rear them from as young as 4 days.

(see my hand rearing page click here)

The pictures on this page were parent reared to achieve this the hen bird must be dominant over the cock, If the cock is the dominant bird of the pair he will usually damage the eggs or the hen when he is in breeding condition.

It is important to remove the cock from the aviary as he will cause trouble but with any pair of birds there are no rules and each pair must be treated  individually, this cock was the perfect father and helped rear 4 young in the first round.

 5 young hatched 1 died as it was much smaller due to the hen sitting from the first egg she laid every 2 days so the youngest was 8 days younger than the largest, at this time the hen is sitting her second clutch and the cock is rearing the youngsters they are  20 days old in the pictures and starting to peck around the aviary.

Second round 4 were chipped 2 are being parent reared and 2 much smaller chicks were hand reared to give them a chance, see picture bottom of this page.

This pair were fed on Mealworms and waxmoth pupae sprinkled with calcium, normal hard seed mix, Soaked pigeon tonic and Softfood (see softfood page for details of the mix) no other food was taken I tried all types of fruit and greenfood but very little was eaten other than the broccoli and carrot that is mixed with my softfood

The aviary size was one of my 6ft x 3ft pens that can be seen on the aviary page of this website.

Always remember when repairing these birds that they may kill young cocks that are still being reared by the hen.

Mother "Robbie"

3 of the youngsters at 22 days

See the video of my Hawfinches being reared

Cocks may kill young cocks so be careful,

treat each pair differently,

 no 2 pairs of any species are ever the same.

Young Birds  removed from parents at 26 days it is Important to get the young away as soon as possible as the cock may start to attack or even kill them

Young were placed in a 6ft x 2ft x 2ft cage in my shed so I could steady them and give them more attention and monitor there feeding, and vitamins

2 young hens at 7 weeks old just about to start there first moult

Left: Hen watching me closely

Right: Hen removing foetal sack after feeding youngsters

Pair one: 2nd round youngsters being fed by the hen

Pair 3: This Cock had to be moved after mating as he always destroys the nest and eggs once the 3rd egg was laid, but he gets on very well with his hen and never hurt her, every pair are different so treat them individually.

Left: Sometimes it is necessary to hand rear this species this can be done easily when chicks are 4 days old See Hand feeding Page

Click Here


Above Right:

Pair 2 Hen sitting cock knocked this bird around badly so he was removed after 1st egg was laid, and only ever left with her for a few hours per day under supervision

Left: This Hen is silly tame she was hand reared, some people say that hand reared birds will not breed as they say they that they think they are human and will never pair with there own breed, she Chipped 9 Young in 2 rounds so far and reared 4 in the first round, the second round were taken for hand rearing so she could have a 3rd round if this round is successful these will also be taken for hand rearing. also this cock was never removed as the hen was the boss he never caused her any problems.


Pair2 Hen building