Friday, September 7, 2012

Lady Gouldian Finch Babies, Two Hatched!

About eight hours after the first Lady Gouldian finch egg hatched in our homemade incubator, the second one did too. Exciting! 

Second baby exiting his shell.

With Bourkes I typically leave the baby birds with their parents until they are about three weeks old. This time, however, these eggs were abandoned by the Lady Gouldian pair. They'd raised two clutches of eleven babies. However, with the third they lost interest. All they wanted to do was nest build, cover up their eggs laying new clutches on top of old, breed, and sleep outside the nest, never brooding.

I decided to replace the pine shavings with shredded paper.
I also have several soft pieces of flannel to cradle them in.
The eggs on the left aren't likely to hatch, they are clear.
The one egg that is fertile and laid later, is with the babies.
After tossing out over a dozen cold Lady Gouldian eggs, I retrieved the last five she laid and removed the nest box. She laid four more on the floor of the cage before she quit laying. With advice from Gouldian breeder, Su Yin, I removed all egg food and millet from the cage too. She said that good food stimulates Gouldian breeding. So, the pair now have only finch seed; although I left the cuttlebone and mineral block in place.
Of the first five eggs, which were transferred to the incubator, two hatched today. A third is fertile and should hatch early next week. It was laid on the floor of the cage and went into the incubator later than the others.
Feeding these little ones is labor intensive. I've been advised to feed them every hour for the first two days, and four times during the night. I'm tired of making new formula and feeding them every hour! But, I'm grateful the eggs hatched and hopeful that they will survive and grow to become sweet, tame pets. As they mature the feedings will be less frequent.
Meanwhile, my Bourkes will be three weeks old this weekend, so I expect to remove them and start handfeeding the five. I'll post about them soon.
Larger birds are much easier to hand feed. These itty, bitty, little baby finches are a challenge! Funny, because I considered hand feeding some from the parent's clutches and decided not to because they were so small. At three weeks they were not as small as these are, tiny hatchlings. Smile.

I feel very fortunate and very blessed.

Peace and Blessings.


neversink7 said...

Gouldian finches have very big mouths and their crops will quickly expand as well, so of finches, they are actually one of the easiest ones to hand feed. If you can find small 1cc syringes, that's actually easy to use to feed them, but little pipets can be used as well. They will soon to suck on your feeding tool. I actually find them easier to feed than the hookbills. I wouldn't worry too much about getting up at night to feed. Even for the first days, if you can stay up later and do a pretty good full last feeding, leaving them overnight to feed the next AM is usually fine - I'd say 6 hours in between is fine even day one. I've started handfeeding gouldians and other finches from day one and do NOT get up 4 times a night to feed them. During the day depending on how fast their crops empty, every 1-2 hours to start is fine. If they are well fed during the day, they will last longer at night w/o feeding. Good luck. Here are some youtube videos of examples of handfeeding gouldians:,

Anonymous said...

What a dedicated mom you are! Now I understand better why breeders use Society finches as foster parents.