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They are kept world-wide as pets and as research animals. They are well regarded for their readiness to take in the eggs of other species and to act as foster parents,. However as almost exclusively seed eaters, breeders are cautioned that they cannot foster chicks that require insects or large amounts of non-seed foods.
They lay 5-7 eggs, which take about 18 days to hatch. Both parents incubate. The young fledge (leave the nest) when about 20 days old. They are so willing to breed that if an opposite sex partner is not available they will nest with a bird of the same sex. As there is no sexual dimorphism, most breeders recognize this only when there are too many (over 10) or too few (0) eggs produced by a "pair".
Society finches come in many colors, and some variety of feather forms (e.g. crested varieties).