New Gouldian all of a sudden died.

Is your finch sick or not well? Find out why.
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Brisbane_Finches_333
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Did you buy them uncoloured (still pale green from juvenile plumage)? That will always end in disaster. Also, it might be worms by the sound of it, he may have been too weak to fly when he "let you touch him". Also, you should've quarantined them before letting them into the new aviary. 2-3 weeks in a smaller cage to minimalise disease.
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matcho
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Just a thought. Why should we resurrect a post from 9 years ago. A new thread would be a better option.
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Rod_L
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matcho wrote: 11 Mar 2020, 20:14 Just a thought. Why should we resurrect a post from 9 years ago. A new thread would be a better option.
It happens on most forums. New members looking for information about a particular subject and post in it. It's nothing to worry about.

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Sam Fahey wrote: 11 Mar 2020, 17:42 I bought 2 Gouldian finches from Oliver’s Pets and Plants in Adelaide, South Australia. They died within days all of a sudden. One looked healthy the day before and the other just looked tired and had his feathers fluffed out. I was a bit worried about him so I walked up to him and he let me touch his feathers. He looked like he couldn’t fly properly in the last day. The next morning I walked into the avairy and the two Gouldians were laying next to each other ,within cm, dead. Wondering why this is and if it is contagious. Thanks in advance.
Fluffed up feathers is a clear sign the bird is unwell. All birds do this when they feel sick. It can be from a cold or virus, or a bacterial infection. It's not normally worms.

Other symptoms of a sick bird include the bird's tail pulsing/ moving up and down a little bit when they are sitting on a perch. They can have runny eyes, a discharge from the sinuses, a cough or sneeze, they wheeze when breathing or have trouble breathing.

The best treatment for any sick bird is warmth (30-36C) and humidity. At the very least you put the birds in a warm part of the house and keep all draughts off them. Cold air blowing over birds can kill them very quickly. They need a humid environment when sick otherwise they can dehydrate and go blind, then they die. Having a couple of shallow containers of water in the hospital cage with them is sufficient to keep the conditions humid.

Once you have put the birds in a warm humid environment, you find a bird vet and take them there.

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If you put the birds outdoors in an aviary, cats can spook them at night and the birds panic and fly head first into the wire. They crack their skulls and die from a massive blood clot in the brain. The birds are usually found dead on the floor of the aviary in the morning and have no visible signs of disease or injury unless you pluck the feathers from the top of their head.

Try to put new birds outdoors in aviaries in the morning so they have the day to look around and find perches and get use to their surroundings.

Have a night light near the aviary for the first few weeks so if cats scare the birds, the birds can see perches and wire and hopefully not kill themselves panic flying in the dark.

Have some soft branches on the ends of the aviary so if the birds do panic fly, they hopefully hit the soft branches and land there and don't bust their heads open.

Cover the entire roof of the aviary with something solid so cold air and cats can't get to the birds sitting out in the open. Gouldian finches are notorious for sleeping in the open even when it's raining and lots of them die from it in winter. Having a complete cover on the roof of the aviary will prevent this.

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I doubt the problem is contagious and it's more likely the birds had been kept indoors for a long period of time before you got them. Then they either got startled during the night or got cold during the night and got sick from the cold air.

If you get any more birds, try to quarantine them indoors for a couple of weeks. This gives them a chance to recover from the stress of being caught and moved to your house. You can also monitor them for diseases and listen to their breathing. Gouldian finches are susceptible to air sac mites, which also affect canaries. If you listen closely to infected birds you can hear them making a wheezing noise when they breath. This is easily treated with Ivermectin, which is available from any vet.

Ivermectin also treats internal and external parasites like worms and lice. I treat all new birds with it while they are in quarantine and that prevents the parasites from getting into the main aviary.

After 2-4 (preferably 4) weeks in quarantine, you can put the birds out in the aviary. However, if the weather has cooled down (in late autumn or winter), then be very careful about putting the birds outside. If the birds have been indoors in a warm environment and it is cold outside, keep the birds indoors until the following spring when the weather has warmed up and there are no cold nights. Then put the birds out in the aviary.

If you take birds from a warm environment and put them out into a cold environment, they usually get sick and die within a couple of days, due to the cold air.

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You should also watch how people catch the birds when you are buying them. Some people are good and quickly catch the bird in a large loose hanging net. Other people chase the birds around the cage and this can stress or kill the bird. If the shop assistant is having trouble catching the bird and they have spent a couple of minutes chasing the birds around, tell them not to bother and you will come back another day. I have seen birds stress out and die on the way home because they were chased around the aviary for too long before being caught.

A person who is good at catching the birds can literally walk into the aviary and catch the bird in seconds. If they miss the bird the first time they normally get it the second time.

People that are good at catching birds will be calm and not wave their arms about and most of the birds will sit on the perches until some of them are directed away from the perches by the person doing the catching. Basically the shop assistant should walk into the aviary and you point out the bird you want. They move one hand or the net towards the bird and it should fly, they move the net and the bird is caught and put into a small cardboard box that has holes in. It should be that quick to minimise stress on the bird.

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Try to avoid buying birds in really hot or cold weather. If you have to get birds in hot weather, put them on the floor of the car and have the air conditioner running in the car. If you don't have an air conditioner, either buy the birds first thing in the morning or wait until the weather is cooler.

In really cold weather, keep the birds out of cold draughts on the way home. Do not have them next to the heater outlet in the car because you can cook them. In winter I normally put them on the front passenger seat. In summer I put them on the floor on the front passenger side of the vehicle.

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Some shops will replace birds if they die within a day or two of you getting them. But you have to contact them straight away and take the body in for them to look at. Even if they don't replace the bird, some shops will do a necropsy (animal autopsy) on the birds to find out why it died. This is free and can sometimes shed light on what happened.
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Sam Fahey
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Thank you Rod_L. I will do all of this next time I buy a bird. Thanks again
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finchbreeder
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Sometimes the birds are used to a completly different environment, and the change is too great for them. All purchases are a risk, but if able to observe where they come from and be able to partially duplicate this, then gradually change the sucess is greater. e.g. I bought a few hens a couple of years back that had been hatched and raised in cages in an anex. Did not put them straight into medium size outdoor avairies. Put them firstly into a large holding cage and quarantines and observed. Then let them into the avairy midmorning with plenty of time to find everything. Still no guarantee that a hawk or cat will not give them a night fright and have them bash their brains out. But we do what we can. One of these girls is parent of most of last years chicks.
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