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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.

Many places on this web site have been designed so that you can send me information and photos that can be added to the site so that it will continue to be an increasingly valuable source of information. If this site can provide just one piece of information that helps you and your birds, I will have accomplished my mission.

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.

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

For those of you who are planning to breed Gouldians, may I say that accurate information is a necessity. It can be difficult to get consistent answers from different breeders. Their main goal is to sell their birds to you.

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!!!

If there is no veterinarian or breeder to help you, there is not a lot of hope for your bird. Finches go downhill very quickly.

Over the years, I have gathered tips that have sometimes worked for the good of my birds, but not always. I hope these thirteen practical tips will be of some comfort to you and your birds should you find yourself without professional help.

Lady Gouldian Finch Health Care Tip #1

An injury that causes a Gouldian to bleed can very quickly become the cause of death. As an example, no matter how careful we are when trimming over grown toe nails, sometimes the nail will be cut too short and the quick will start to bleed.

Any bleeding injury calls for quick action. Plan ahead and keep a bit of flour or cornstarch handy among your bird supplies.

Gently apply either one with slight pressure to the wound. The gluten in the flour or cornstarch will make a sticky mix with the blood and that will hasten coagulation.

The bleeding should stop almost immediately. Lady Gouldian finches, have high rates of metabolism which is good and bad.

The bad being that if bleeding cannot be stopped quickly, the bird is very likely to die. The good, being that a fast rate of metabolism helps to speed their healing process.

Is A Lady Gouldian Finch The Right Bird For My Family Pet?

Many people have been so overwhelmed by the amazing beauty of Lady Gouldian finches that they proceed to purchase one, planning to learn how to care for it as time goes along. Let me suggest that this is not a good plan. Finches in general are unlike most other pet birds.

This is not always obvious. The majority of other pet birds commonly sold will talk, socialize, learn tricks, sit on your shoulder, eat out of your hand, cuddle, kiss and truly have an emotional commitment to your companionship.

Finches are domesticated we say, because they have been bred in captivity for many, many years, but they are far from tame. Finches live in their own worlds and we may be their observers, protectors and their care givers.

It is rare, but it can happen that a Gouldian will bond with a human. I have seen photographs that prove this is possible, but it is by far not the norm. The only really tame Goulds that I have knowledge of were taken as babies or rescued babies that have been hand fed and kept alive by very experienced breeders.

Some types of finches are timid, some not so much, some types are aggressive and some types are very aggressive. Lady Gouldians are known as community finches.

They are for the most part docile and content to live peacefully in pairs or colonies. If a large flight is available in which to contain Gouldians, they will behave nicely with other types of non aggressive finches. My e-book has a list of compatible finches if you are considering having a mixed flight.

If you simply want to keep a beautiful Lady Gouldian Finch, may I suggest that you purchase two males. The males have the rich, deep, most beautiful colors. A single Gouldian will be lonely and bored, so purchase at least two.

Watching the interactions between the birds is most fun. If you do not intend to breed the birds, may I suggest acquiring two males rather than a male and female. You will avoid all of the mating issues and you will have the most gorgeous birds.

Gouldians are fun to care for. You will see that they do show appreciation for the things you do for them. They are very inquisitive little guys. They pay attention to everything you do and are constantly watching you.

These birds won’t pine away for you, should you have to leave them for a period of time. You can rest assured that they will be fine as long as anybody gives them fresh water and food.

To be sure that you are acquiring a well cared for bird, may I give you some tips?

(1) Their eyes should be bright and clear, with no discharge or swelling and you should expect to feel that you and he have made eye contact.

(2) The nostrils should be free and clear and the feathers near the beak should not show signs of any staining or drainage.

(3) The beak should not be overgrown or crossed at the tip.

(4) The bird should be active. He must not sit still on his perch with puffed out feathers, open mouthed, panting and/or sneezing.

(5) Rule out birds that stay on the bottom of the cage, or who display poor balance or abnormal head or neck twisting.

(6) The bird must be alert and responsive with feathers tight and sleek.

(7) Have the breeder take the bird in his hands in a way that you may observe the bird’s vent. Check to make certain there is no evidence of thin watery dropping sticking to the feather in that area.

(8) While the bird is upside down in the breeder’s hand, blow gently on the pale feathers that cover the breast bone until you can observe the abdomen. The breast should be gently rounded. It should not stand out like a knife blade.

Feel free to e-mail me if you have questions or ask in our FAQ section on the site:

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I have a crystal singing bowl. I played it while my canary and gouldian pair both had a clutch of eggs. Out of 4 canary eggs, only 2 hatched, 2 days apart, the young were dead by the next day.

My gouldians had six eggs, I saw 1 live baby this morning, hours later, it was dead. They have 4 eggs left. (1 was found broken at the bottom of the cage, same as the canaries.

the last canary egg was also found broken, with only a yolk.) Could the vibrations of the singing bowl have affected the eggs? (My canary's very first clutch of four all hatched within 13 days, were flying within 14, I had NOT played the bowl.)

The cages have not been moved, heat/humidity are the same, food is the same.

I cannot understand this failure, other than to blame it on the vibrations from the singing bowl, even though it was not played next to them, but in the next room, AND, only the one time.

I do have an open floor plan. If not this, what could be the cause?

Thank you.

Kim St. Clair
Newcastle, California


Hello Kim,

For starters, I’d obtain a humidity gauge and check that the humidity level near the cages is between 60% and 70 %.

I have my doubts as to the power of the vibrations from your crystal bowl, being played in an adjacent room, damaging the developing eggs.

It seems possible that the adult birds could have been frightened by the sounds or vibrations and their normal brooding patterns were interrupted long enough for the contents of the eggs to have been damaged.

I do not have any experience with singing bowls, but for the purpose of elimination, if you plan to let the pairs breed again, don’t play the bowl.

If all goes well, you will have your answer, but if it is another disaster, I would look for a veterinarian to examine their stools for parasites such as E-coli.

The fact that both pairs had failures, gives me concern for contamination of food or water.

Check out my thirteen tips on problem solving and see if any of those ideas seems relevant to your situation.

Best wishes and I hope this helps.




Thank you for subscribing to 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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