Seeking advice for sick gouldian finch

Is your finch sick or not well? Find out why.
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Rod_L
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Joined: 05 Mar 2018, 15:30
Location: Mandurah WA

Do you use any chemicals on the perches?

Is the aviary new, less than 6 months old?
If yes, it might be zinc poisoning from the bird chewing on the wire. Galvanised wire has zinc and other things on it and it takes a good 6 months of being exposed to the elements (rain, wind and sun) for the residue to come off.

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Peas are not poisonous to birds.

Your bird might be the only bird eating a particular plant next to or inside the aviary. This could explain why it is the only one affected.

Check the aviary for spiders, ants and other insects that might bite the bird at night when it's asleep.

If the problem happens again, you might want to get the bird checked by a specialist bird vet to rule out viruses and other health issues.
death to all cats & ants
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Grautier
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Location: Spain

Thanks Rod for the extense answer.

- no chemicals, neither in the aviary nor in the surrounding garden
- the aviary was finished this May.
- the aviary is full of ants, spiders and other critters, able to escape the voracious beaks of the quails. The nests are - as far as I can tell - ant-free. The local species of ants are tiny and friendly. The plumheaded finches even eat them. The double barred does, too.

I have thought of poisoning, too. But I can't imagine how. There are in fact plenty of plants, but I've never seen any of the birds nippling but one australian orchid (Dendr. species, so no flowers for me this year), and they all have participated at the feast with no consecuences. The only green they regularly accept are grasses with green seeds. Other greens I have to hide and mix in the soft egg mixture.
In any case, he is alone now, in the inside, and seems happy. Its me who would prefer to have him in company, in the big aviary. But as it is raining now, and in the end most of the floor will be damp or wet, that is no good place for a pedestrian bird. It dies dry up fairly quick when the sun shines but I think it is better to have him in a safe place. Until all is dried up. As it goes without panic to catch him when he loses strengh, I'll return him eventually and look how it works.
I could try and catch the female to keep him company, but she is happy in the aviary and the quarantine cage is just a little cage.
I just take it as it is now. He is frail and needs more protection and warmth.
Btw, the veterinarians over here have no expertise with exotic finches.
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finchbreeder
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Location: Midwest of West. Aust. Coast
Location: Midwest of West.Aust.Coast

The only green they regularly accept are grasses with green seeds.
These tend to be the best for finches, so they are smart enough to know this. Hope he keeps well.
LML
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Rod_L
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Whilst most grass finches do prefer to take only green grass seeds, mine would eat just about anything. They learnt from canaries, small parrots and weeros that were in the aviaries with them. Not all my birds ate everything offered to them, but for Australian finches they learnt to take and enjoyed things like thistle (a garden weed), oranges, apples, peaches and various dark green leafy vegetables. They also loved my egg biscuit mix.

Most animals learn from watching other members of their group or family, this includes birds, fish, dogs and most other mammals.

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For the OP.

Watch the ants and quails. I have lost female quails that were sitting on eggs when ants swarmed all over them and literally ate the birds alive. Female quails are usually very broody and don't like leaving their eggs. If ants attack the birds, they can kill them.
death to all cats & ants
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Frankie finch
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Interested to hear how this goes, as I have a male sounds the same.
Feathers perfect, vent clean, eyes clear.
He was flying “heavy” and slower to fly away when I entered the aviary.
He has been kept in a smaller cage with the best of everything, thinking he just needed fattening.
It’s been several months now and no change.
He’s only 1.5yrs old.

I assume like all animals, there are some that for no known reason, ‘just fail to thrive’ ?
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finchbreeder
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In all things there are the weak and the strong. It is in the genetics in my opinion. But even "good" bloodlines will not always guarantee no weak ones, as sometimes a minor infection at a vulnerbale time undoes all those good genes.
LML
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Grautier
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Yesterday, no wind and sunny, I let him jump into the aviary. He wasn't even able to land properly. He crashed, was joined by the other birds and they started feeding on the floor. Eventually all but him returned to the twigs and branches. He tried hard, but couldn't fly more than 30cm. Wings opened, dropping, with little spasms. It is painful to watch, though the bird does not show signs of pain when I catch and handle him.To me it looks like some nervous system failure. Special vitamin issue? In the evening I took him back to the cage, inside.
Today, as sunny as yesterday, I'll place his cage into the aviary without letting him out. So he has company. I'll watch if it works properly.
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Rod_L
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Are you adding a vitamin supplement to their food or water?
If not, get a dry powder bird vitamin supplement and use it every day. You can add it to water or to their seed. I used to mix a bit of cod liver oil with some dry seed, then sprinkle some powder vitamin supplement over the seed. The vitamin powder stuck to the oil and the birds got vitamins and cod liver oil when chewing on the seeds. I did this 3 times a week.

If the bird is having problems, then give it vitamins every day for a month and see if it helps.

Other than that I would suggest tracking down a bird vet online and seeing if they can offer any suggestions.
death to all cats & ants
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Grautier
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Ok, couldn't get powder, but got liquid vit suplement. He gets it into his drinking water. As long as he is in the cage, this works. In the aviary it won't. I'll tell if it works.
Today he is happy, as we all are, there is much sun despite wind and rain warning in the meteo services ...!
Btw, many thanks to all the good advice. I wished I could upload pics, but this mobile does not allow reformatting (or I am to silly).
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Rod_L
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If you use a liquid vitamin supplement, keep it cool and out of the light so it lasts longer. Heat and light cause most vitamins to break down quickly. You should also check the expiry date and make sure the place you buy it from keeps the item cool and in a dark place.

Hopefully he gets better and can get back to normal in a few months :)
death to all cats & ants
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