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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 #3

Going light is a term used to describe a very sad situation during which a Lady Gouldians will rapidly lose a great deal of weight. The birds will most likely appear depressed and droopy as well.

Puffed out feathers indicate a need to appear normal and to retain heat. Serious weight loss is most often fatal. The bird has hidden the fact that the body has been breaking down muscle and protein and using them to provide energy just to stay alive.

Even in the presence of food, so many things could be the problem that an experienced avian veterinarian will be unlikely to identify it quickly. An infection agent in the digestive tract is the most likely cause, but it takes time to culture that organism, identify it and then treat with the correct antibiotic.

It has been my experience that the bird will be dead by then. If any bird in this situation is to have even the slightest chance, act quickly.

Increase the cage temperature to 90-95 degrees F. Add bleach to the drinking water as already discussed in Tip #2 (check your report download) and additionally provide honey in water, in a ratio of one to two, for a quick energy source and hopefully to stop the wasting.

Do not be afraid that the bleach will poison your bird. Gouldians will not drink the water if it is too high in chlorine. They will wait until some has dissipated into the air before drinking.

Lady Goulding Finch Breeding | Egg Binding

When a Lady Gouldian finch is laying her eggs sometimes egg binding happens. The hen, instead of being in the nest box laying her egg will most likely be found one morning in misery, all puffed up and squatting somewhere on the bottom of her cage, nearly motionless and possibly panting.

She rarely will make any attempt to escape being picked up and if you gently examine her lower abdomen, you will be able to feel the egg that is stuck close to her vent. This is one more good reason to check on your birds very early in the morning.

This problem if caught in time can usually be corrected. Some breeders will say it is best to try to help the hen pass the egg.

This is an unacceptable method to me and might very well result in breaking the egg in the oviduct. Do not break the egg!

Assemble a plastic eye dropper and some vegetable oil. Do not use mineral oil as this is a petroleum product and a laxative.

Insert only the very tip of the eye dropper with vegetable oil in it, just into the vent opening. A drop or two of the vegetable oil placed into the vent will lubricate the mucous membranes that line the oviduct.

Do not release the pressure on the eye dropper’s rubber top until you have withdrawn it from the vent. This oil most likely will allow the egg to slide on out.

Once the hen has been treated with the oil, place the hen back onto the cage floor. Do the best you can to increase the temperature to 90 degrees F close to where the hen is sitting.

A ceramic reptile heater attached to the outside of the cage, a 60 watt light bulb placed outside of the cage, but close, or a heating pad placed under the cage should warm things up adequately. I will also put a very shallow tub of warm water on the cage floor.

I suspect I do that out of imagined empathy, but I have returned to find the egg in the tub and the hen recovered.

Check on the hen in an hours time and if the egg has not been laid, treat again with the vegetable oil and this time gently massage the area where you can feel the egg just to spread the lubricant around.

Many, many problems that arise with Lady Gouldian finches are attributed to malnutrition of one nutrient or another. Egg binding can be caused by several factors.

One of which can come about as a shortage of nutrients in the food, specifically, vitamin A and vitamin F. Vitamin F consists of a group of fatty acids and fat including linoleic acid, linolenic acid and arachidonic acid.

Which are necessary for life itself and are present in every cell in the body. The most important of the fatty acids is linoleic acid. Our bird’s bodies can make some substances, but they cannot make linoleic acid and without that in the food, in time your bird will die.

Vitamin A is said to keep the mucous membranes moist and supple. Without it these membranes will dry out and become stiff. Pretty difficult to pass a large egg if the oviduct isn’t slippery.

Seeds that are high in oils are, safflower, sunflower, rape, niger and flax. Hard boiled eggs and insects are also good sources of vitamin A.

Since lady Gouldian finches are among the small group of birds in the bird world, who unlike poultry, remove the shells of the seeds before they eat the seeds, Gouldians do not require sand or grit for grinding their food.

However, and especially during breeding an offering of a container of commercial bird grit will assure that your bird has enough of a supply of calcium phosphate. The grit that I recommend is made up of small bits of oyster shells combined with other key minerals.

As previously stated, there are other factors that could be considered as possible causes of egg binding.

Over breeding, old age, stress from being cold, frights, not having had adequate exercise and therefore poor muscle tone, and malfunction of the calcium depositing action in the bird are all possible contributors to the problem of egg binding.

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My lady gouldian throwing our eggs inside the nest

by danish (Pakistan)

i have a three pair of lady gouldian in the last month they have laying 4 to 5 eggs each pair after the few days i had spray in the cage and bird antibacterial for lice ,tick and others

after spary they are not going inside the nest and all eggs are waste now i had shifted gouldian in a new cage

gimme some suggestion that why they are not going inside again and why they throwing our eggs inside the nest



If all three pairs are in one aviary, there could be competition for the nest boxes. In an aviary with three pairs their should be at least 6 nest boxes for them to choose from.

It is a better idea to do the lice treatment in the nest boxes well before setting up for breeding. Most likely that has made your birds decide not to care for their eggs.

If you can wash the boxes and dry them thoroughly in the sun shine before putting them back up that would be good or even consider making new nest boxes.

Watch to see if they will accept the new boxes and give your pairs a lot of opportunity to bathe themselves daily for a couple of weeks.

Best wishes, Jean


Reply : Actually they all have a separate cage not in aviary


Since all the pairs are in pair cages, you may rule out the possibility of nest competition.

Most likely the treatment for lice in the nest boxes is the cause of the pairs not caring for their eggs.

I would try removing the existing nest boxes and give each pair a new or sterilized nest box in a day or two with fresh nesting material.

Hope it helps, Jean



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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