Breeding zebra finches first requires that a pair meet the health, nesting and nutritional requirements for breeding. The birds should be free from physical defects and be at least one year old. An overall health check by a licensed veterinarian is recommended before breeding zebra finches. The minimum recommended cage size for a breeding pair of zebra finches is 24 x 24 x 24 inches.
Larger cages than the recommended minimum size may improve the chances of breeding and the overall health of the finches. Zebra finches require a nesting area, such as a wooden 8 x 8 x 8-inch nesting box or a woven nest.
Breeding zebra finches do well on a diet of high-quality finch pellet and seed mix that can be occasionally supplemented with tiny slices of vegetables, fruits, eggs and other fresh, bird-safe foods. The breeding pair may benefit from an avian calcium supplement to support the female during the egg-making process and prevent egg-binding. A single clutch for a healthy female zebra finch can be up to eight eggs but is more frequently between three to six eggs. The hen may lay a single egg each day. Incubation begins after the last egg is laid. Zebra finch eggs begin to hatch about 12 to 15 days after incubation, and they can be considered infertile if they have not hatched within 20 days.