breeding questions

by Trish Smith
(Port Orchard Washington)

this is their nest box set up. It hangs on the outside. The photo is from last month.

this is their nest box set up. It hangs on the outside. The photo is from last month.

question 1.

I have a pair of Gouldians. The male is 1&1/2 and the hen is 1 year. This is their first breeding year. I have brought them into breeding condition as advised. They get along very well and are totally bonded. I feed them a store mix seed, a mix of my own with Prozo millet, Japanese millet and brown top millet. A minerial, calcium mix is always available. Cuttle bone is always available as is millet spray. Every morning I give them boiled egg food and rotate their chopped greens (celery leaves, chick weed, dandelion greens and chopped flowers, cilantro etc) They are in a large flight by themselves- 4 1/2 ft long X 3 ft wide X 3 1/2 ft tall. Room temperature is 73 degrees, humidity is 45 to 50%. The full spectrum lighting is on 14 hours a day and they have a night light that hangs over their cage. Her beak is dark black and she is in breeding condition. The problem I'm having is she has laid two clutches, 6 eggs in each, but failed to incubate at night. Not at all the first clutch and only one night the second clutch. I do not bother them except to feed, water and maybe do a quick peek once a day when they are busy eating. Only until the first egg is laid then I don't check until 5 or 6 days later to do a quick egg count. They are very tame and friendly anyway and don't seem a bit nervous around me or if I am doing a quick 2 second peek. Their nest box is home made with a privacy wall/porch inside and a very nice spacious nesting area. The male is a good nest builder and they spend most of their day in the nest. But not at night. Can you tell me if it's something I'm not doing correctly? Are they just young and inexperienced?
Question 2.
Thinking that they might need a little extra help I purchased a bottle of human grade,cold pressed, raw wheat germ oil to add to their egg food and to a T. canary grass seed they get every day as a treat. They won't touch it. Do you have any ideas on how to get them to eat it. They never have been crazy about the egg food anyway. Mostly they just pick at the greens a little.
V/R Trish

Hi Trish,

Your birds are beautiful and it sounds as though you have provided a heavenly residence for them. The only thing I can think of to suggest changing is to increase the temperature around them and their nest box to the high 70's or low 80's. Of all the finch species, I have read that Gouldians require the highest temperatures for successful breeding. The summers in Australia can get as high as 110 degrees F. Because your cage is so large, I would hang one or two ceramic heat bulbs in reflector shop lights on the cage with one close to the nest box. Take care that the shop lights have ceramic bases and not plastic ones that are meant for light bulbs only.

I am curious about what your boiled egg food is made of. It sounds as though the nutrition you provide is very complete. If you offer something and their bodies need it, they will eat it. I had success with finely chopped hard cooked egg mixed with the packaged dried CeDe egg food.

Hope this helps. Best wishes, Jeanie

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Aug 07, 2012
by: DAN s wales uk

Hi Jean, Two points for Trish. 1 birds are young and will mess you about, two to three years old and they will do fine, 2 do not look at the nest at all only if you think some thing is wrong. all the best, DAN

Good points. Jeanie

Feb 05, 2012
Thank You
by: Trish

Thank You for your comments Jeanie. I welcome anyone's ideas or comments.I really appreciate the information on the heat and the afirmation that I'm doing the right things with them. They are my first Gouldians. I also have a family of Societies that I love as well.

I have a shop type light (ceramic) with a red heat bulb in it that I use if one of my finches is ill. I will put that up on the end of the flight that the nest is on. That will bring the temp. up near the nest box but not too much.

My egg food is just boiled egg finely chopped. (I think I wrote boiled egg food instead of boiled egg.Sorry.) I have tried putting the dry egg food mix in it but they don't like it so I just put the dry mix in a small container alone and dry. If they ever get to the point of raising chicks I will probably mix it in again.

I also put a fresh bath in there every morning to help with the humidity. If it stays unused I just leave it all day.
Thanks again, Trish

Thanks for your kind words. When they need the dry egg food, they will find it and eat it I bet. You could try adding tiny amounts of it with the egg. They may pick up a bite of it and decide they like it. I love my trio of societies also. They are so curious about new foods. It's almost maddening that Gouldians can hold out for such a long time before trying new foods. I have upon occasion, put a couple of societies in with some Gouldians just to be teacher birds!

Best wishes, Jeanie

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