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Gouldian Finch, Finch and Small Bird Health Care - Nutrition, Breeding, Molting, Pest & Parasite Control
By Gary & Barbara Solomon,
Frisky Finches - Copyright 2006
If you keep the bugs, parasites, protozoan infections and most
importantly "nutrition" all in check, your Gouldians and all birds in
captivity will be happy, healthy, feel good and breed. Birds are allot like
people when it comes to breeding. If your sick with the flu, have a bad case
of food poisoning just not feeling very well there is not going to be any
hanky panky going on... Birds are the same...
If they are lacking nutrition in their body due to having an intestinal
infection caused by bacteria ("usually with dirt floors or feeding wet
foods") or a parasite like worms or canker causing them not to feel well or
if they are being attacked by bugs, they are not going to be able to focus
on breeding. If you get all these things in balance on a regular schedule
the birds will quit dyeing and breed like mice. Like people occasionally you
will run across some birds that just are not attracted to each other, switch
their mate or sell them if you want to breed Gouldians...
Feather loss in Gouldians is usually because of a lack of nutrition in
their diet or the vitamins and minerals to maintain healthy plumage. Seldom
is it a lack of iodine in their system or bugs. Canker can contribute and I
will explain that below. Seed alone is not enough for Gouldians in
captivity, it is all grown on heavily farmed land these days and it has very
little nutritional content. Gouldians need a verity of additional
nutritional supplements added to their daily diet in captivity. When low
nutrition occurs the feathers are the first to go like the leaves on a
thirsty bush or tree. If Gouldians start to look scruffy before the year is
up you need to increase the vitamin supplements in their diet so they have
what is needed in their bodies to replace the lost feathers. You need to add
a little more vitamins, Calcivet and Multivet to their diet to force them
into growing back the lost feathers.
Basically here is what we use and how it's used...
DAILY USE: You can use the Frisky Finches Feather Glow at a rate of 2 tablespoons per gallon 4 days a week or use 1 tablespoon per gallon along with the Vetafarm Calcivet at the same dose rate (1 tablespoon per gallon) as their only source of water every day. I recommend adding the Vetafarm Multivet to this cocktail at a dose rate of 1 teaspoon per gallon for daily year round feather health.
You should also treat your birds at least once a year with Scatt or Ivomec to be sure they don’t have any pests. Lice, mites and other unwanted bugs can also contribute to feather loss. If your birds in the middle of breeding, wait till they are done unless you suspect they have a bug problem. It’s best to treat them with Scatt or Ivomec 2 to 3 months before breeding if possible. There is some speculation Ivomec may cause temporary sterility therefore it could delay successful breeding. This is why I recommend using Ivomec 2 to 3 months prior to breeding and use the Scatt during breeding if possible.
PREPARATION FOR BREEDING, MOLTING, FORCE FEATHER GROWTH ON BALDING
BIRDS: To grow To grow their feathers back I would use 2 tablespoons per gallon of the Frisky Finches Feather Glow and 2 tablespoons per gallon of a liq calcium “recommend using Vetafarm Calcivet” plus 2 tablespoons per gal the Vetafarm Multivet all mixed into one cocktail. Supply this to your birds as their only source of water for 3 to 4 weeks straight, then cut everything back to 1 tablespoon per gal as the only source of water for another 6 weeks as needed until they are done molting or feathering up. Then go back to using the daily cocktail 7 days weekly.
If breeding use 2 tablespoons of the liq calcium with the Frisky Finches Feather Glow for a minimum of 30 days prior to pairing your birds and before the hens start to lay eggs, (to avoid egg binding) then put your birds together for breeding or if already together, give them the nest boxes after 30 days and reduce the liq calcium to 1 tablespoon per gal with the Frisky Finches Feather Glow while breeding. You can still give them the Vetafarm Multivet at 1 teaspoon per gallon year round. It has amino acids, minerals and other ingredients to help keep the birds feathers remain healthy year round. It is a wonderful product!
All of the products in the concentrate form are good for years. Use them until they are gone! Once diluted into a cocktail and mixed together you should keep the supplement solutions refrigerated and after about 2 weeks if there is any left, dump it and make a new cocktail. If using the 23% gluconate rather than the Calcivet be sure to keep the concentrate cold or it will grow mold and you will have to toss it all out. The Vetafarm Calcivet has a stronger persentage of calcium content and is a better formula of calcium for the birds body to absorb, it also has vitamin D to further help the birds body absorb the calcium.
You should also treat your birds with Ronivet prior to molting or breeding and treat them about once every 6 to 8 weeks when not breeding. During breeding you should use Ronivet about every 4 to 5 weeks. This is to clear up any inflammation in the intestines so your birds can absorb the nutrients in their diet better. Canker inflames the intestines and prevents them from working properly and it can contribute to feather loss, poor breeding behavior, egg binding and a host of other problems that can occur with a weakened bird. Canker can eventually kill your birds, more so when breeding, molting or in stressful conditions such as transporting. Canker will dramatically reduce your baby bird mortality rate. The Ronivet can be mixed into a cocktail with all our Frisky Finches liquid supplements at a rate of 1 TEA-SPOON per gallon of fresh water. Under normal conditions treatment for 5 to 7 days is recommended. Do not exceed 14 days. TO MIX WITH FORCED FEATHER GROWTH COCKTAIL ADD RONIVET 12% FOR 14 DAYS, then continue using the forced feather growth cocktail (without the Ronivet) for an additional 1 to 2 weeks till pin feathers appear and start growing. Then return to the daily cocktail formula. If treating your birds while breeding the Ronivet will not hurt your birds hatchlings or young birds that have fledged the nest. In fact it will likely help keep them from dieing if they have canker. There is info on my site about how to identify this infection by your birds droppings to help you recognize if they need to be treated. If your mixing Ronivet in your supplement cocktail you should always keep it refrigerated and mix a fresh cocktail after 7 days.
http://www.friskyfinches.com/cankerinfections.htm - An article I wrote
about Canker in Gouldians. I believe this contributes to the Gouldian
finches inability to absorb enough calcium into their diets, and other
necessary nutrients and supplements.
There are 5 basic liquid supplements that I use which you can give your
birds to feather them back up, prepare them for breeding and keep them
http://www.friskyfinches.com/frisky_finches_feather_glow.htm - Use
year round... and
if you like using a powder
http://www.friskyfinches.com/multivet.htm - Great
stuff and should be used year round... Not just for molting...
http://www.friskyfinches.com/vetafarm%20calcivet.htm - Use year
round... Not just for molting and breeding...
http://www.friskyfinches.com/ivomec_plus.htm or - One or the other,
you do not need both...
- For breeding season we highly recommend using Frisky Finches
Breeding and Stress Aid in your cocktail mixture.
Please call us if you have any questions... Thank you!
article is copyrighted 2006 for Frisky Finches and is not meant to be reprinted,
replicated, or republished without our expressed written permission.
author of this website is not a licensed veterinarian. The information and
advise contained within is only offered as a basic introduction to the
Gouldian Finch and comes from over 10 years personal experience
breeding this species. Our success is also attributed to 30
years of accumulated avian knowledge breeding various other bird
species, veterinary advise, research and discussions with other professional
you for visiting our website. We hope you will find it informative
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