Juvie Gouldians

Need some general finch keeping help? Ask your questions here.
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Talven
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21 Jul 2019, 11:37

So I decided on getting some Gouldians for my aviary. I found someone local selling juvies at a really good price so I jumped at the chance. None of them have coloured yet. What I was wondering was what you feed your Gouldians to help with colouring/moulting?

I read on one forum that egg and biscuit with minced apple is good as well as a supplement called Feather Fast https://www.morningbirdproducts.com/col ... rd-formula but as it's American it's kind of hard to find here in Australia.

Apologies if it's already posted somewhere. I only had a few moments free with the grandchild underfoot to post this.
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Rod_L
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21 Jul 2019, 13:07

Young Gouldians colour up after a period of time. Warm weather helps, but a varied diet won't help them colour up any faster. However, a varied diet is necessary to help with proper development.

All Australian finches, which includes Gouldians, need plenty of plant matter in their diet. You can feed them green grass seeds, spinach, silverbeet, lettuce, cabbage, apple, rockmelon and most other fruits. They don't normally touch citrus so don't bother with oranges or mandarins. Make sure fruits and veges are free of chemicals like pesticides and herbicides. Always wash everything you put in the cage.

If you collect green grass seeds in winter and spring, make sure they are free of chemicals like herbicide. Councils regularly spray them and if the birds eat contaminated grasses, they will die. You can grow your own grass seeds, see following link. You can also soak and sprout finch seed and feed that each day. You soaked 1/2 cup of finch seed in some tap water for 12-24 hours. Then pour the seed into a sieve and rinse under the tap. Drain the water off and put the seed in a plastic bag and seal it up. Leave the seed somewhere warm and wait for little roots to grow out of the seed. Then rinse it again and put it in the cage for the birds.
viewtopic.php?f=84&t=21732&p=188305#p188305

You can make your own egg biscuit mix. Hard boil an egg for 10 minutes. While the egg is boiling, put 1 cup of cornflakes into a paper or plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush them into little bits. After the egg is boiled, remove the shell and crush it up. Put the boiled egg into a bowl and use a fork to mush it up. Mix the cornflakes into the egg and give that to the birds. You can put the boiled egg shell in the cage too or chuck it on the garden.

Your birds should get clean dechlorinated water every day. You can boil some tap water and let it cool down to remove the chlorine, or you can leave a bucket of water out in the sun for a day and the chlorine will come out. Bottled water is fine to use.

The birds should have mineral grit, cuttlebone, egg biscuit, green seeds or plant matter, and clean water every day. The mineral grit and cuttlebone can be replaced once a month or sooner if it gets contaminated with bird poop. Egg biscuit, green feed and water need to be replaced every day.

It's a good idea to add a vitamin mineral supplement to the bird seed or drinking water. Use a powder supplement and check the expiry date on the packaging before you buy it.

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Make sure there are no cold drafts blowing into the cage/ aviary because it will knock the birds about and possibly kill them. Gouldians sleep in the open and if the top of the aviary is not covered with something water proof, they will sleep in the rain and get sick very quickly. Make sure you have something over the top of the cage to stop rain getting onto the birds.
death to all cats & ants
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ShaneGowland
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21 Jul 2019, 13:13

You just have to be patient. They'll start colouring up in October as the weather warms up.

Even if you could accelerate the moult; making a species with no down feathers shed their feathers in the middle of winter is a bad idea.
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Talven
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21 Jul 2019, 15:02

I'm not looking for a way to speed it up. Sorry if I gave that impression. I was just looking for what to give them to make it easier on them. I already sprout seed for my parrots as well as give fresh fruit and veg. Water has a multivitamin and a calcium supplement added. A mineral block is available in the aviary as well as shell grit for the quail. Just need to add cuttlebone.

Thanks for the advice. Much appreciated.
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BrettB
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21 Jul 2019, 16:05

As already mentioned, unlike many other birds, Gouldians color up depending on the seasons and not their age.
Here in Perth, they are usually finished by early December, but they start the process many months earlier.
Rod has covered all their requirements, but my birds will not eat any greens or fruit and veg.
Green seed and sprouted seed make up most of the supplements I use.

Although this advice is a little late, I really caution against buying uncolored Gouldians in the colder months. They have a nasty habit of dropping dead with out warning.

Cheers
Brett
"We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are ." Anais Nin
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ShaneGowland
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21 Jul 2019, 17:24

BrettB wrote:
21 Jul 2019, 16:05
Although this advice is a little late, I really caution against buying uncolored Gouldians in the colder months. They have a nasty habit of dropping dead with out warning.
This is good advice. A certain percentage of young Gouldians just don't make it to adulthood, regardless of how well they're cared for.
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finchbreeder
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21 Jul 2019, 19:35

I will never buy a bird that is less than 1/2 coloured, there are enough around not to take the risk. I find that if you give greens to the finches when they first hatch and then on while they mature they will pick up the idea of eating these greens. If you really want to know what sexs they are remove 1 feather from the breast. It will regrow ahead of the normal moult without stressing the bird. I don't bother, but know people who do.
LML
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Talven
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21 Jul 2019, 20:00

Ah well I'll know better next time I buy Gouldians. I did get more than I wanted with the idea I might lose some. New to keeping finches so I expect to make mistakes that could potentially lead to deaths. If I didn't lose any I was going to sell on the excess once they had coloured.
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Rod_L
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22 Jul 2019, 03:53

Besides cats, rodents and ants, the biggest killer of young birds and birds in general, is cold wet conditions. Birds can usually tolerate cold weather but if there is a cold draft blowing over them, they lose body heat very quickly and die during the night. If they get wet and there is a cold draft, they can die in 30 minutes.

Keep them dry and out of draughts in winter, and they should survive to spring and summer. :)
death to all cats & ants
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Talven
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23 Jul 2019, 08:36

Cats and rodents aren't too much of an issue thanks to my dogs. Ants are going to be a problem but I'll work out something for them. The real issue for me is at the end of the day no matter how well positioned the aviary or how well designed to give shelter there's nothing I can do to stop the birds from putting themselves in harms way.

The other night it wasn't too cold or windy and they all roosted in the most sheltered place in the aviary. On the shelf behind the wind break under cover. I was pretty happy that they had worked out it was good shelter. Last night the weather changed and the wind picked up creating a lovely eddy in my yard. Wind was coming from the north but was hitting the aviary from every direction thanks to the eddy. So instead of roosting in the sheltered area they decided to roost on the lowest branch as close to the mesh of the aviary as possible. This put them in the direct path of the wind.

Still thanks everyone for the advice. Hopefully everything will go well even with the birds putting themselves in harms way.
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