Gouldian finches clutch

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Fahadmajeed
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19 May 2019, 07:08

Hi folks,

I have a problem with my gouldian pairs. For breeding pairs, first 1 or two clutches are fertile and they successfully rear chicks.
After that, every couple seems to lay infertile eggs repeatedly. Even when i give break of a month or two.
All parents are healthy and males are singing and dancing and hens are in nice breeding conditions too.

I provide verselle laga prestige diet for gouldians, egg food and eggs, calcium grit and charcoal too. Could diet be an issue?
Good thing is no finch gets sick.

Tried sprouted seeds but my birds don't eat them... neither seeding grass seeds
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Rod_L
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19 May 2019, 13:58

Did you put a group of finches together and let them pick their own partners, or did you buy 2 birds and put them together hoping they would breed?
Birds prefer to pick their own partners and if they were forced together, they might not be happy with their current partners. It's preferable to keep the birds in a group and let them choose their own partners.

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I would use a finch seed mix and a blue ribbon canary mix as the basic seed diet. You can add the other foods too. The more variety, the better.

I would also add a vitamin/ mineral supplement to their water every day.

You can add some cod liver oil to dry seed and sprinkle vitamin/ mineral powder over it. Do this a couple of times a week if you won't want to add vitamins to their water. You can do the seed with cod liver oil without vitamins.

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All Australian finches (including Gouldian finches) are called grass finches and need plant matter in their diet. This includes green grass seeds. You can grow finch seed in containers and just before the seed heads start to ripen (go yellow), you can put them in the cage/ aviary with the birds. Offer them fruits and veges too. Make sure they are free of chemicals and remove uneaten food each day.

The following link has info about growing grass seeds for birds.
viewtopic.php?f=84&t=21732&p=188305#p188305

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Do you buy the egg biscuit mix or make your own?
Making your own will usually improve results. Hard boil an egg. While it's boiling put a cup of cornflakes into a plastic or paper bag and crush them with a rolling pin. When the egg has boiled, remove the shell and crush it up. Crush the egg up too and mix it with the cornflakes. Put it in a shallow bowl or on a plate and give to the birds. Remove uneaten food at night and make new mix each day.

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Does your calcium grit have minerals in it?

I normally use cuttlefish skeleton (cuttlebone) and have a bowl of mineral grit. They eat the fine grit and it helps them grind up the seeds. They pick at the cuttlebone for calcium.

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You are from Finland and lighting and temperature could be a factor.

These birds come from a warm climate and breed when it's warm. Even locally bred birds will have this programmed into them. If the temperature cools down a few degrees it can stop them going to nest, or the eggs can get too cold and the embryos die.
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finchbreeder
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19 May 2019, 14:27

Rod has covered things pretty well. With my Gouldians they will always go for seeding grasses/shoots when they have chicks. So stick with it. Even if only the young eat this, it will mean they become used to it and feed their young on it when their turn comes. Your location and their natural tendancy to breed at a predetermined time could well be the main problem. I persume you are breeding indoors with lighting and heating? If so you need to make this alter to simulate changing seasons. Are you breeding them in seperate pairs in seperate cages? Or in an avairy where they share and get to choose their own nests and partners? If so do you have more nests than hens? Good luck.
LML
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BrettB
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19 May 2019, 14:28

If their fertility is declining with time then it does sound dietary.
Vit D would be my guess, are you supplementing this ?
Have never known finches to not take half ripe seeds, but have no idea what half ripe seeds you have access to in Finland.

Cheers
Brett
"We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are ." Anais Nin
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Fahadmajeed
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19 May 2019, 22:05

Thanks Rod and finchbreeder and Brett,
For such comprehensive replies.

Being in Finland is a problem of course. I can only breed indoors.
I had canaries too so I used to imitate nature using automatic light timers and heaters. As their breeding condition is triggered by light.
Doing same for goulds now.
I also give cod liver oil spraying it on dry seeds twice a week.
Arrangement is like this.
Unpaired birds are in a big cage where they can fly easily.
Pairs are in separate breeding cages.
Most of the pairs bonded themselves in the big cage and then I separated them.
But others I bought them as pairs already and they were happy together.
Vitamin D, I do provide them in water.
I will do what you guys suggested,
Green seeding grass will be offered more often now.
Could small breeding cages be a problem? Like 2,5 feet long, 1,5 feet tall and 1,5 feet deep?
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Rod_L
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20 May 2019, 04:58

If the birds are breeding and producing the first clutch in small cages then it should be ok. However, I always kept mine in a big aviary (14 x 2 x 2 meters) and only used small cages for hospital or quarantine purposes.

Are the babies still in the cage when the parents go to nest the second time?
If yes, then overcrowding could be the problem.

When the birds are paired off, do they spend their entire lives in the small cages, or do they get put into a bigger flight when not breeding?
Realistically, you want to put them in a large flight when they aren't breeding. This will give them a chance to socialise and interact with other birds and get much needed exercise.

Lack of exercise could also be a contributing factor. If you had longer cages (4ft+ long), it would give them more room to fly and might help with overcrowding if the young are still in with the parents. In the wild these birds fly kilometers every day just to find food and water, and if they don't get enough exercise, they can become unfit and this will reduce the chance of them breeding successfully.
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Fahadmajeed
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20 May 2019, 18:26

Chicks which start eating are separated immediately.
But you are right. Not all pairs get a chance to fly around in big cage. That I also think could be the problem.

When pairs are separated, they are in breeding cages and just not with their mates.

I think that is the problem. Lack of exercise. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.
Wonderful advice!
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Rod_L
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21 May 2019, 00:15

You shouldn't be separating the chicks until they have been out of the nest for at least 1 month. The young birds need to learn about things and they do that by watching their parents. If you separate them too soon, they don't get to learn anything and have problems with their own young when they eventually breed.

With most Australian grass finches, you try to keep the babies with the adults until their beaks have coloured up and have no more black on the beak. Not quite as easy to do with Gouldians, but they should be kept with the parents for at least 1 month and preferably 2 months after they leave the nest.

Removing the young birds too early might be a factor in them not eating green grass seeds. If the young birds haven't seen the adults eat it, the young won't eat it. An easy way to get birds to eat new foods, is to have a couple of Zebra finches or another finch that eats anything, and keep them together with the young birds. The young see the other birds eating the grass seeds and new foods and eventually try it.
death to all cats & ants
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Fahadmajeed
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21 May 2019, 20:41

Thanks Rod_L,

I will follow your advice. I wish to live in Australia just for finches :D
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Rod_L
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22 May 2019, 03:34

Fahadmajeed wrote:
21 May 2019, 20:41
I wish to live in Australia just for finches :D
We have lots of parrots too :)

and killer sunlight, annoying flies, snakes, chocodiles, drop bears, killer kangaroos, spiders, box jellyfish and a bunch of other nasty creepy crawlies. see following links :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdihHnaOQsk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yc9LfbDmsv8
death to all cats & ants

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