Bald Male Gouldian

by Karen
(Salt Lake City, Ut)

My male gouldian looks like he is going bald. Is it molting or could it be a mite or disease?

Hi Karen,

Balding is frequently a real problem among Gouldians. Molting starts with the shedding of feathers in other areas on the bird's body. Disease is not known to be a cause. There could be mites, a nutritional defect, such as a lack of some of the trace elements, inadequate artificial sun light or any number of other environmental reasons. I have read that a good way to check for mites is to put a white handkerchief in the nest box over night. If the problem is mites, there should be some tiny red speck like mites that can be seen on the cloth early the next morning.

I have never been able to get a bald bird to regrow lost head feathers and I have tried everything I ever heard of. Why it happens to just a few birds and not everyone in the same cage has made me wonder if it could be caused by an undesirable genetic mutation. Hopefully another visitor will add a comment that will be more helpful.

Wish I had a better answer, Jeanie

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Sep 15, 2011
Bald spots on male: Recovering!
by: Suzanne Windsor

Dear Jeanie and Karen,
I am happy to report that my male is recovering new feathers after bald spots on his head for well over a year,perhaps close to 2 years.(see my previous post 7 year old bald spots).He currently has a head covered in what looks like porcupine quills.I await a full head of feathers.I have not done anything "new" that I can attribute the new feathers to. As a matter of fact, we were evacuated due to flood and he spent a month in boarding and looked far worse. We were relocated to our former home since May, so it has been challenging for all.
Upon my initial post, I did add trace minerals( feather fast) to his food and also occasional "herb salad". I have maintained good quality seed and millet and a variety of fresh foods,such as spinach and apple.Of course cuttle bone and crushed minerals have always been available to him.I had added iodine when the balding first appeared, but without any effect.After the flood my iodine was not available, so eventually I purchased more, but he showed remarkable improvement, so I never resumed the iodine in his water.
I hope this helps and I am glad to report a remarkable recovery for a now almost 10 year old male gouldian!

Hi Suzanne,

Thank you so much for your comment!!! Jeanie

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