Gouldian Finch

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Post  FinchG on Sat Oct 30, 2010 9:21 am

Gouldian Finches by Matthew M. Vriends & A Guide to Gouldian Finches by John Summut and Rob Marshall

Diet: A good Gouldian diet consisit of mixed millets, small cereal seed, canary grass seeds, and niger seed. Fresh water, cuttlebone, grit and charcoal should be supplied at all times. Lettuce, Spinach, Chickweed, Spray Millet, Eggfood, Brocolli tops and Carrot tops can also be offered on a regular basis. Live food can be offered but is not nessacary.

General Care: These birds require routine nail trimming. Provide bath water daily. Heat lights can be added to add warmth.

Compatibility: Gouldians can be kept together in same species aviaires, mixed-species aviaries or as single pairs. Be careful not to put them with other species that might be agressive towards them. There can be slight agression at times between hen & male. Normaly this occurs when a hen wants to be relieved from the nest. She will flog after the male until he goes into the nest.

Housing: Many Gouldians are house in individual box breeding cages much like Canaries. However, they will thrive in a large planted aviary with plenty of room to fly, sing and socialize. Winter heating should be provided. The best temperature to maintain is around 75-85 degrees as Gouldians do not do well in cold temperatures. They can tolerate low temperatures of 50 degrees if natualy aclimatized to it over a period of time but if they are suddenly removed for warmer temps and placed into cold climate they can become ill. If you intend to breed you would do better with an idividual pair set up as less dominant Gouldians seem to get easily distracted from breeding in colony settings. I would suggest a minimum breeding cage space of 24 inches long x 18 inches high x 18 inches wide with a 1/2 inch bar spacing if you use wire cages. Do not house them in round cages. We breed our Gouldians in tier-style box cages. They seem to enjoy the privacy of solid wall box breeder cages. All our young weaned Gouldians are placed in a 4ft. long x 3 ft. wide x 3 ft. tall flight cage to color up and exercise untill paired up the following year. Our pairs are also placed in large flights during summer to rest from breeding and molt.

Song: The male Gouldian Finch has a very soft song. He will puff out his feathers and stand tall while he quickly hops up and down singing. They will sing to hens and other males. The hens do not sing but do make calls (wee-eet) or warning sounds.



Breeding: Some people feel Gouldians are not very good parents and foster there eggs out to Societies. On the other hand, I feel Gouldians can make fine parents and fostering seems to be more of a production method. I can't say we haven't had males toss babies out of the nest before but at the same time we have Gouldian pairs that can raise six babies just fine. If the occasion arises when fostering must be done I prefer to use other gouldian pairs if possible. At this point, I can not say Gouldians fostered to Societies are any less vigle than parent raised Gouldians as we have used both as breeders. I will say birds which have had previous breeding attempts that failed can become perfect parents with practice. The problem is most people don't want to sacrifice $75.00 and up babys for practice. We do have some very determined mature hens which make excellent parents no matter which male they are mated with.

Gouldians do not seem to be too picky about nesting sites. We have used finch boxes, gourds, canary nest and large covered wicker baskets. Gourds and large coverd wicker baskets seem to work the best. Babys seem to fledge to soon using canary nest. We have gourds and finch nest boxes in our Gouldian breeding cages and most pair prefer to nest in the gourds. They lay 3-7 eggs normally one every other day. Some pairs start incubating after the third egg is laid others wait untill the entire clutch of eggs is laid. The hen does most of the incubating with the male sitting next to her or guarding the nest. The male does relive the hen although at times she has to call him to the nest or flog him in. Eggs hatch after 14 days of incubation and young Gouldians can take 2-3 weeks before they fledge. After leaving the nest it can take another 2-3 weeks before they are weaned and independent. Juvenile Gouldians normaly take 3 months to color up although I have seen one or two take up to 7 months.

GOULDIAN COLOR CODE CHART

Head Color Breast
RH = Red Head
BH = Black Head
OH = Orange Head

Chest Color
PB=Purple Breast
WB=White Breast
LB=Lilac Breast

Back Color
NB=Normal Back
YB=Yellow Back
DB=Dilute Back
BB=Blue Back
DBB=Dilute Blue Back
SB=Silver Back
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Post  FinchG on Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:26 am

I bought 4 Gouldians last month and they all get along with the societies and orange cheeked waxbills. They don't seem any harder to raise than societies and they all eat the same food.
I will probably add the powder kelp that they seem to need, or if they start losing feathers this is what would be missing in their diet, but so far so good.

gouldian1


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Post  Cando on Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:48 pm

I have been breeding gouldians seriously for a few years now. I have tried all of the methods except for the fostering their eggs to societies. I have never found that to be necessary as gouldians make excellent parents.
The key to good parenting is having birds in prime breeding condition, mature birds, and proper diet, housing and nest box.
With same species colony breeding it was impossible to track lineage due to the birds not being monogamous. With different species the possibility of hybrids discouraged me, especially with the parrot finches that I also breed.
So I cage breed pairs when they are in perfect hormonal cycle to reproduce. They make great reliable parents and record keeping is accurate!
I then seperate the sexes after breeding to the larger flights and aviaries. Here they get great excercise and recouperate without the harassment of the opposite sex driving the hormones into overload.
After they molt, I usually will re-pair the same mates the following breeding season.
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Post  FinchG on Sat Oct 15, 2011 4:03 pm

Thank you Cando for the reply and Welcome, I am so glad to have someone to answer some of my questions and also to learn from.
Right now I have both pairs in a large flight cage and my one female is still in molt, I also have 4 societies in there. I have baskets in there with flowers covering the tops and last week I have seen them building nests and it looks like both pairs are sitting. One pair had eggs last month but didn't incubate so I hope this time it works. I know that the female that isn't thru her first molt should not be breeding and I got her in June and she is still not any further than the day I brought her home. Also my red head male is the boss of the cage and seems to chase everyone else away when he is eating or just on a perch, I was going to seperate him but now I think he is guarding his nest and I don't want to move him.


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Post  Cando on Mon Oct 17, 2011 1:55 pm

It is usually best not to breed until the birds complete the molt. It takes a lot of energy to feed babies and produce feathers. Make sure she has really good nutrition. I wish you the best with your group. I have always had societies try and take nest over...maybe the red head male will keep them at a distance. Many time a dominant male will chase everyone around trying to establish his own (and mates) territory. Watch that the other birds are not too stressed or not able to eat... you may have to move them. When the hormones rage with breeding the gouldians can get a bit nasty. That is why colony breeding never worked out for me.
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Post  FinchG on Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:06 pm

this is my first time having Gouldians so I appreciate all your advice. Both pairs are sitting tight which they were not doing before so now I am afraid to move them. The red head male has been sitting with the female in the nest most of the time now and only stays out at night. They are nesting in a basket which I cut the handles off and put flowers over the top and now I can't hardley see in unless there out and I move the flowers enough to see, today I did see 6 eggs in Red's nest.


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Post  Cando on Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:11 pm

Congrats on the eggs!!!! No don't move them. I meant move any that may be getting too stressed by your rowdy red head..if he gets too mean, like attacking eyes...
You can always add an extra seed cup so that he can't chase everyone away from it. Where are the societies? Do they have a nest?
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Post  FinchG on Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:18 pm

I have 4 societies in their and they have their own nest. I left them in, in case the Gouldians don't take care of their babies. The red head chases everyone off their perch when he is out and he doesn't want anyone to eat when he is eating. I have a hanging feeder and 2 cups for the seed but I do watch when he is out to make sure he doesn't hurt anyone.


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