Monday, March 26, 2012

Raising Lady Gouldian Finches

Mr. & Mrs. Lady Gouldian Finch

I take for granted how much I've learned about parakeets, especially Bourkes, Splendids and Budgies. Even some of the smaller finches have lived in our home. Gouldians, however, are a new treat and I realize how little I know about them. Thankfully, it's readers like you who fill in the gaps for me.

Three eggs so far.
This pair of Lady Gouldian finches obviously wanted a nest box, but I resisted since they aren't fully colored yet. However, the hen laid an egg on the floor of their cage last Thursday. So, a nest box went up right away. We didn't have nesting material for finches, but the little male diligently kept tearing newspaper up from the floor of their cage. I removed shredded paper from the paper shredder and gave it to them until I can get to town and pick up something better. It's been fun watching him transfer the slips of paper to their nest box.

Su Yin kindly shared the following information on Gouldians. Thank you Su!  
Male entering nest. Hen in front.
"Sometimes when these guys are ready, they are ready. I would just make sure the hen gets plenty of calcium and vitamin D supplements and give them a bit more protein with eggfood since she's laying. No need to increase too much until chicks are hatched, but if they are still actively molting, then I usually give them plenty of protein supplement. If they haven't been molting, it's possible they are stuck in molt - sometimes stress such as moving to a new home when they are still juveniles can lead to stuck in molt, but they should molt out next year.

[For nesting material] "I usually use dried soft hay/grass - orchard grass is fine, burmuda grass if good, coconut fiber is fine. I suppose shredded newspaper will work. Basically you just want to make sure the nest is cup shaped with a nice bottom so the eggs don't roll around too much and don't get broken on a hard bottom.

"You usually won't catch gouldians mating outside the nest box, so your eggs may very well be fertile - the hens usually sit overnight with the male taking turns during the day. Most pairs won't really sit tight until at least the 3rd egg has been laid though some start earlier and some later. I usually monitor to make sure if the male starts sitting during the day that the hen stays in the nestbox at night. sometimes the male gets over eager and starts sitting during the day while the hen hasn't started yet - this will kill the embryos. If this happens, you can take the real eggs out and put in fake eggs and then replace after both birds sit tightly. About 1 week after both birds start to sit tight, I would candle the eggs to see if they are fertile. Otherwise I tend to leave them alone until hatching time to make sure the babies are fed. Young gouldian couples sometimes can take a couple tries to get things right, but some are good parents to start."

Good luck with them,

They've both been going in and out of this nest box.
Sometimes together, and sometimes one at a time.
Thank you! I will keep all of you posted on their progress.  Peace & Blessings.

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