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LGF Health Tip
LGF Article by Jean Ferguson
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Lady Gouldian Finch 14 Health Care Tips

The information contained in my free E-zines is intended to add to the knowledge and pleasure that you will have while keeping these intelligent gorgeous Lady Gouldian finches happy and well. My promise to you and the goal of this web site is to continue accumulating and publishing current accurate information and ideas to improve the well being of Lady Gouldian finches.

Owning Lady Gouldian finches requires some knowledge and planning, but is not mystical or difficult in any way. It just requires obtaining complete and correct information, before you actually begin if possible. If this ezine and site can provide just one piece of information that helps you and your birds, I will have accomplished my mission.

These colorful little guys do have some specific needs that most other pet birds do not.

Many times information will vary from breeder to breeder leaving you perplexed and uncertain. Not a lot of accurate published information is readily available. Lady Gouldians do have some specific needs that are different from the care requirements for many other caged birds.

My e-zines will address issues of common concern such as what are the dietary needs for breeding and molting, how to recognize problems when pairing your finches for breeding, what to do if the newborn chicks get thrown out of the nest. What can be done to assist your birds if there is a problem and there is no avian veterinarian available.

I am not a veterinarian. My web site, news letters, tips and book do not dispense medical information. I write about my own experiences. Sometimes bad things happen. When that involves our Lady Gouldians, we want always to be as well prepared as possible to do the best we can. Not everyone has an avian veterinarian with Gouldian finch expertise available to them.

Not every bird keeper has access to experienced Gouldian breeders who will selflessly give their time to help when needed. I do not presume to give advice or to replace information from a veterinarian. Should your bird need help, find a vet!!!

Lady Gouldian Finch Health Care Tip #11

Under the heading of diet, unlike a lot of other types of birds, Lady Gouldians do not need and should not be given gravel, grit or sand.

They will need sterilized egg shells or broken bits of oyster shells with or without added minerals to provide the calcium needed.

Since Gouldians are apart of the group of birds who remove the outer husks of their seed before swallowing them. They do not need gravel or sand to pulverize their food for digestion.

It is a fact that offering gravel or sand can be harmful as either one could lead to a digestive tract blockage if eaten.

Showing Lady Gouldians

A Bird Show is an enormously exciting and educational experience. It provides a great opportunity to meet other exhibitors and breeders. Spectators seated in front of the judges’ bench will thoroughly enjoy watching the judges and listening to their remarks.

Often the judges will answer questions and comment about the birds. They will explain why one bird is selected above another bird.

Even if you are not a finch owner yet, going to a show is an ideal way to learn what to look for when you do purchase a pair of Lady Gouldians. You will be able to start right at the beginning with quality stock.

In the United States, the National Finch and Softbill,* Society, (NFSS), a non-profit hobbyist group, is dedicated to promoting the welfare and enjoyment of and for captive-bred finches and softbills worldwide.

Currently there are over 650 individual members of this group representing almost every U.S. state, Puerto Rico, Canada, England, Spain and Australia. Anyone may join or gain further information about the NFSS by going to their website, www.nfss.org.

One of the many benefits which this organization offers is the ability to participate in sanctioned bird shows held throughout the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. The NFSS has established specific standards or criterion for finches and softbills that are being entered into shows.

These standards are available at the website for anyone who desires this information. A good way to go about locating a bird show is to find a local bird club or start a club in your area. Many bird clubs will have a finch division even if the club is not exclusively for finches.

Once you have found a show, you will need a show cage, water, seed and a Lady Gouldian to enter. There are several different types of show cages available. You can see pictures of them on the NFSS website.

Most are wooden or plastic boxes enclosed on all sides except the front which is wire. These boxes will have one perch and a door on the end or side.

Many hobbyists paint the outside of the box black and the inside a pale blue and just as many use all white cages.

Do not put your name or any other distinctive or identifiable marks on your cage. The exhibitors will not be identified until after the judging.

Upon arrival at the show, you must register your bird or birds to have them placed in the proper division. For a small fee, you will be given a tag to fill out which you will attach to your cage.

Your cages will then be places on tables behind the judges’ bench with other birds in the same division. You may show birds that you have not bred as well as birds that are not banded.

Food and water must be provided in each show cage. Cages without food and water will be disqualified.

The birds are judged based upon;

Conformation, (body shape, size and posture),

Color/ Markings, (depth and evenness of color),

Deportment, (how the bird behaves in the cage, sitting still and being calm on the perch is most desirable for Lady Gouldians),

Demeanor, (considered for the more wild types of finches that are supposed to be active in their cages), and

Condition, (feathers must be in good shape, the bird must be the proper weight and picture of good health with nails trimmed).

* Softbill is a term which includes cage and aviary birds who feed on insects and soft plant material and whose young are helpless at birth. These birds do not truly have soft bills as the term would imply.

**NEWSFLASH!** My expert guide to the care and breeding of Lady Gouldian Finches is finally published and for sale online!


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Preparing a Gouldian Finch Breeding Nest Box Gouldian finches breeding are not the best nest makers. Making nests in a hollow logs or branches doesn’t require collecting a lot of material.

The nest boxes we provide aren’t naturally cozy. It is definitely important to give the birds a head start on nest building. My e-book lists various materials that have been used successfully. Flexible Flyers’ Aviary found coconut fibers, six to eight inches long to work the best.

By taking a hunk of the fibers, separating them somewhat and then wrapping them around your hand making a circle or a U shape they can easily be placed into the nest box and spread out as needed to line the entire box.

The fibers will automatically form a cozy hammock shape. Because the parents will want to add their own personal touches to their nest, be sure to place some loose coconut fibers inside their cage. Both male and female will share in adding these loose fibers too their nest.

They will create an indented spot in the bottom of their nesting material. The purpose of this is to keep their eggs close together during brooding. It is finally time to introduce the female to the male.

This should be done one or two days after placing the male in the cage. This delay gives the male time to become familiar, comfortable and more importantly the dominant figure already established in the cage.

Now that they are together, you will find that both finches really enjoy their bath times. Try to increase giving them separate water to bath in more often. Many different types of tubs can be found in pet stores.

Your birds will jump in and splashing water everywhere. The bath that confines the splashing best is one that is a plastic cube having one side open and only an inch or two deep for the water.

This covered tub is designed to cover the opening of the front of the cage. With a twist tie to hold the sliding front door open this cube hangs on the outside of the main door.

If the cube is a clear cube the birds will take to it much faster if the bottom is covered on the outside. The bird seemed to not like the idea of a bottomless bathtub.


Thank you for reading my newsletter, I will try to make sure all editions are informative and helpful to you and your Gouldians!

Let me know if there are any topics you would like me to cover in the newsletter, and I’ll try to oblige.

Remember also that you can post your questions direct online at: Gouldian Finch FAQ where you can also read my answers to other questions.

Jeanie Ferguson
“Lady Gouldian Finch Tips”

Severna Park
MD 21146, USA


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