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Gouldian-finches-photos It is not difficult to download and keep Gouldians, but they do have some very specific needs if you want them to live long, happy, healthy lives . It is my hope that this site, guide book and my free monthly ezine, full of tips will enhance your experiences while living with the Lady Gouldian Finch. About this book. A Guide to Gouldian Finches covers all requirements to successfully breed and maintain Gouldian Finches including concise information on.
For aviary Gouldians, the start of the moult may be delayed by one or two months in temperate regions with colder climates and winter rainfall patterns. The moult in these regions usually ends by late February. Consequently these Gouldians will start breeding in autumn rather than summer. For those breeding coloured Gouldians in these colder climates, artificial heating must be provided so that breeding can continue into winter.
The moult regrowth of new feathers places an enormous drain on the birds' resources. A diet rich in energy and protein should be supplied daily to the birds until the moult is complete see Nutritional Aspects of Breeding.
At this time their resistance to disease becomes very low and everything possible must be done to reduce stress and overcrowding. Sickness and death of weak Mutation juveniles should be expected during the moult. Hygiene is especially important during the moult so that food and water containers need to be cleaned at all times and situated away from perches.
Juvenile Moult Patterns In Nature, juvenile birds start to moult from August and are usually completely coloured by October. The juvenile Gouldian plumage is replaced in a progressive manner gradually revealing the adult colours.
The feathers of the abdomen are the first to be replaced followed by those in the rump area. The breast patch begins to moult at about the same time as the head. The head and back feathers and end flights are the last to be renewed. Birds bred late in the season will not always moult completely and they get 'stuck-in-the-moult' for the remainder of the year, however, these birds will moult successfully the following season.
A health set back due to disease, overcrowding or lack of hygiene may also cause a bird to get 'stuck-in-the moult'. The moult pattern of old birds and especially late-bred juveniles can be used to calculate the most appropriate and productive time to start breeding Gouldians for any particular geographic and climatic location.
Adult birds should be allowed to replace their feathers once a year during spring by preventing breeding during this time. Untidy adult plumage may occur when Gouldians breed during spring a time when they should be allowed to moult or when aviary conditions or illness prevent them from completing the spring moult. Youngsters bred at the correct time of the year complete their juvenile moult at the same time as adult Gouldians. Ragged juvenile plumage is a feature common to "late-breds" when nutrition is lacking or when disease is present.
By missing the annual spring moult pattern these "late breds" carry the dull coloured plumage of immature birds until the following spring moult. They may retain the immature plumage for up to fourteen months, depending upon the time that they are bred.
Genetically weak "late-breds" are particularly susceptible to illness and death during fluctuating cold temperatures of winter whereas genetically strong "late-breds" develop normally and may even breed with immature plumage. Even so, these stronger birds are susceptible to breeding failure and disease because it requires a great deal more effort to brood eggs and young with poorly insulated juvenile plumage. Youngsters bred between February and August will usually retain their juvenile plumage until spring, after which time they will moult into adult plumage and join the same cycle as fully matured birds.
Birds fledged as late as July and early August should moult during spring unless they are weak or unhealthy and attain their adult plumage by the first month of summer December in Australia. Relationship between moult and breeding Understanding the relationship between the juvenile and spring moult pattern should help the enthusiast determine the very best time to start breeding Gouldians, especially the fragile coloured mutations.
The appearance of a few feathers on the aviary floor in August or September marks the beginning of the spring moult and the presence of pin-feathers on the head heralds its closure and the imminent start of breeding. The time Gouldians are allowed to start breeding plays an important part of their success during that breeding season. December, the first month of summer, is an ideal time to look for signs of breeding condition and to determine when it is best to start breeding.
In the wild, it is commonly reported that breeding commences at the beginning of summer mid-December or January and may continue until the end of winter. Local knowledge supports the view that a June fledging of Gouldians across their natural range sees the end of breeding in Nature.
To avoid breeding problems in Mutation Gouldians they should follow exactly the same breeding pattern as wild Gouldians. Breeding should start as they come into breeding condition in summer and end when the last fledglings leave the nest in June. Mutations should not be allowed to breed during winter irrespective of whether they are housed inside even with artificial heating or outdoors.
Normals kept as single colonies in outdoors aviaries may continue to breed during winter but only in regions with mild winters.
Breeding must also be suspended during spring to allow Gouldians to complete their annual moult. Consequently, the nutritional regime of both programmes is identical resulting in a feeding routine that remains the same for 9 months of the year i. Some indoor breeders prefer to place their birds on an austere diet for one month during the last month of spring November Southern hemisphere or May in Northern hemisphere prior to start of breeding, as their birds tend to become overweight during the moult when provided with this programme.
In my opinion, for outdoor aviaries where there is a lot of space to stimulate energetic flight this type of austere diet is of no benefit. Disease Prevention During Moult For ongoing health during the moult results it is necessary to treat for airsac mites on a more regular basis than outlined for the Breeding Programme.
Follow same treatment routine against lice, mites, worms and coccidiosis as in the breeding season, as the weather conditions during this time favour these conditions.
It provides blue series Gouldians with all their nutritional needs and incorporates ongoing treatments that prevent airsac mites, lice, red mites, tapeworms and coccidiosis in his breeding pairs and their young.
Introduction Outbreaks of disease are more prevalent when an aviary is overcrowded with young birds, as under these circumstances Gouldian finches are very susceptible to illness. The breeding programme should protect the genetically strong juveniles from the effects of overcrowding as it provides them with the means to remain healthy and strong, however, overcrowding does not provide a favourable environment for the enduring health of young birds.
The protection offered by the medicines described in the young bird programmes are designed to nurture and stimulate natural immunity throughout this difficult developmental age. The Adolescent Programme is similar to the Breeding Programme, protecting young Gouldian finches from the stress they experience from of hormonal fluctuations. The Adolescent Programme aims to strengthen the level of natural resistance and accelerates the juvenile moult and onset of maturity.
It is a programme designed especially for mutation Gouldian breeding systems where the adolescents are removed from the breeding cages into separated young bird aviaries. Information on Juvenile Health The juvenile or adolescent period spans a four to six month period. The beginning of the this developmental period is marked by the disappearance of the glow beads on each side of the mouth at between 6 and 8 weeks of age.
The end of adolescent period coincides with the attainment of adult plumage. Adolescents are easily recognised in the wild by their dull "green" plumage. They remain "green" until August after which time they start to "colour up" as they grow adult plumage.
The moult in wild Gouldian finches is usually complete before the end of December. This is often achieved within 6 weeks when a spring flush of grasses follows good summer and autumn rains.
Adolescence is the most critical age for the continuing health of Gouldian finches.
To remain healthy they must be provided with special care and then given an opportunity in spring to start and complete their juvenile moult. When breeding is extended beyond June 1st the Gouldian offspring are not given an opportunity to mature before the next breeding season and are more likely to experience illness and death.
About this book A Guide to Gouldian Finches covers all requirements to successfully breed and maintain Gouldian Finches including concise information on health, nutrition and colour mutations. Current promotions.
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Ecology and Conservation of Forest Birds. Effects of Climate Change on Birds. Statistics for Ornithologists. A Guide to Rosellas and their Mutations. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other: Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. This complete revision features concise information on Gouldian Finches in the wild and in captivity, including housing, nutrition, breeding, mutations, color breeding, health, and disease.
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