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Okay Judy, thanks for the extra information. it sounds like you are doing a better than average job with their diet. Good for you and for them. Too many folks think birds can live on nothing but seeds. As for determining gender, male zebra finches have orange cheek patches, black breast bars, brown and white flanks, and a deep red beak color. The females have no breast bars and their beak will be a more subdued color than the male. I'm going to give you a link that will show you a picture of a pair, sitting side by side for easy comparison.Click here: The Finch Niche - Species Showcase - The Zebra Finch Spice Finches are not so easy. There is no discernable difference in the sexes but only the male will sing. Here is some more information about them. Click here: Spice Finches - Species Fact Sheet -FinchInfo.com- As for the possibility of fighting, that can't be ruled out if you have two of the same gender, especially if they are males with no females. My suggestion would be to get one more of each and keep the types in separate cages. They are much too flock oriented to remain alone. They need to be with others of their kind. As for other causes for the feather situation, if this is self plucking that is going on, there are usually only two basic reasons for it with any type of bird or parrot. One is a health issue, the other is behavioral. Behavioral plucking is usually only seen with the parrots who are bored, are not getting the kind of human interaction they must have, and/or a neglectful or abusive situation. That's not likely with a Finch. They aren't hands on birds and they don't crave human interaction beyond proper care. Of course I can only surmise but in your situation, my best guess would be frustration and not having other's of her/his kind to live with. Low humidity leading to dry skin and feathers is another possibility. You can try raising the humidity levels in their room. That's an easy one as you can just sit a couple pans of water near or on, your heat vents. You can also try misting them with luke warm water. If you do that, only spray from above and let it drift down on them. Never spray directly on a bird. If you have, or can get an Aloe plant, you can cut off an arm, split it open and mix the juice with the bath water. That is great for their skin and feather condition and if they ingest some while preening, so much the better. Here is a bit more information on the benefits of aloe. Just make sure it's 100% aloe and not an over the counter product that contains aloe. Click here: Aloe: Parrot Pharmacy In A Leaf If getting them each a companion, adjusting the humidity and/or giving them the opportunity to bathe does not change anything, you are going to have to assume there is a health issue and they (or at least the one) will need to be seen by a qualified Avian vet. I hope this will be helpful but if you have more questions, just let me know. Patricia