Hen sleeps all day, vet gave her clean bill of health.

Is your finch sick or not well? Find out why.
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lancerguy
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Long story: I have a Gouldian hen, she is ~4 years old since I got her. I got her from a place online so unfortunately I am not 110% certain of her age :\

She lives in an indoor aviary with other gouldian finches, a forbes finch, and a crested canary. I am not in Australia but I always read here first when I need help with my Gouldians.

She sleeps ALL the time with her head tucked in. This did not start suddenly like today, or this week, or this month. She has always been my 'sleepy susan' but over the past several months and since the last time she had coccidia, she has slept most of the day ever since.

We have fought coccidia 2 times in the aviary over the past 2 years. Humidity is tightly controlled and the aviary stays very clean. We have had the vet over to inspect our aviary for causes. She suspects the forbes finch is a carrier of coccidia and she sheds the oocytes under stress so we have removed her from the aviary just to be sure.

Anyway, we took the hen to the vet and had them run some labs as well as gram positive and gram negative stains on her fecal sample. I got the results back and they do not detect any bacteria that is 'outside of the normal amount'. Her potassium and other vitamins look good. Her fecal samples visually look good and tight to me when compared to our other birds. They are, however, inconsistent because she sleeps a lot instead of eating at a normal pace.

She is not losing weight. We measured her 2 weeks ago at 20.9 grams and again today at 21.8 grams.

We use Dr Rob Marshall's supplements for our birds, the ingredients tend to line up with other products by Nekton and Morning Bird, so I think they are OK. We have them on a pellet / seed mix with plenty of crushed eggshell and millet provided as well.

Does anyone have any suggestions about what to check next? We've been giving her some Quik Gel (Like Thrive, an ER formula) every few days as needed which definitely seems to improve her sleepiness but it does not last that long.
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finchbreeder
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Are you feeding them greens?
LML
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lancerguy
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No I have not been feeding them greens, you think they need them?
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finchbreeder
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As they are grassfinches and green seeding grasses are their natural food. Yes. My mother raises her Blue Gouldians without any form of artificial vitamins and minerals but with copious amounts of fresh green seeding grasses. The dominant pair raised 19 chicks last season. The young Blues from that lot are just starting to go to nest now.
LML
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BrettB
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Hello Lancerguy,

That behaviour does sound abnormal to me, Gouldians are not the most active of finches but prolonged periods of having their head tucked in is not usual. It is clearly a chronic condition, given that it has gone on for months and yet she is still alive and not losing weight.
The vet would appear to have ruled out any readily treatable infections.
Unfortunately there are a plethora of other possible causes, almost universally untreatable, that may explain her condition.

My advice would be to focus on what you can change and nutrition, as finchbreeder suggested, is such an area.
I doubt it will make much difference, but you can not go wrong with a broad based diet and clean water (which you are providing)
Green feed has a lot of micronutrients, if she will consume it. My Gouldians rarely take much
Half ripe seeds and soaked seed , which my Gouldians love, are alternatives to ensure adequate nutrition.
If they are indoors they need some additional Vit D

At 4+ years she is in the twilight of her life. She is clearly a pampered finch, wild Gouldians rarely live that long.
Feel comfortable that you have done as much as is reasonable
My advice would be to continue your excellent care and enjoy having your "sleepy susan"

Cheers
Brett
"We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are ." Anais Nin
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sskmaestro
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lancerguy wrote: 12 Apr 2023, 05:10 Long story: I have a Gouldian hen, she is ~4 years old since I got her. I got her from a place online so unfortunately I am not 110% certain of her age :\

She lives in an indoor aviary with other gouldian finches, a forbes finch, and a crested canary. I am not in Australia but I always read here first when I need help with my Gouldians.

She sleeps ALL the time with her head tucked in. This did not start suddenly like today, or this week, or this month. She has always been my 'sleepy susan' but over the past several months and since the last time she had coccidia, she has slept most of the day ever since.

We have fought coccidia 2 times in the aviary over the past 2 years. Humidity is tightly controlled and the aviary stays very clean. We have had the vet over to inspect our aviary for causes. She suspects the forbes finch is a carrier of coccidia and she sheds the oocytes under stress so we have removed her from the aviary just to be sure.

Anyway, we took the hen to the vet and had them run some labs as well as gram positive and gram negative stains on her fecal sample. I got the results back and they do not detect any bacteria that is 'outside of the normal amount'. Her potassium and other vitamins look good. Her fecal samples visually look good and tight to me when compared to our other birds. They are, however, inconsistent because she sleeps a lot instead of eating at a normal pace.

She is not losing weight. We measured her 2 weeks ago at 20.9 grams and again today at 21.8 grams.

We use Dr Rob Marshall's supplements for our birds, the ingredients tend to line up with other products by Nekton and Morning Bird, so I think they are OK. We have them on a pellet / seed mix with plenty of crushed eggshell and millet provided as well.

Does anyone have any suggestions about what to check next? We've been giving her some Quik Gel (Like Thrive, an ER formula) every few days as needed which definitely seems to improve her sleepiness but it does not last that long.
Sounds not normal, what are you feeding her besides regular finch seed mix, pellets etc?

The greens from groceries in US will potentially carry some bacteria.

I faced similar issue few years ago, finally figured out that the tap water i use has lot of nitrates and started using RO water. Since then i dont have any issues.
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finchbreeder
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Location: Midwest of West. Aust. Coast
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The best greens for any finch is the type you grow in your own garden or window box. Sowing some of their bird seed in pots is good if you do not have room for anything more.
Worth knowing about the water, as that can vary considerably from place to place.
LML
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