by Trish Smith
(Port Orchard Washington)
this is their nest box set up. It hangs on the outside. The photo is from last month.
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?
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.
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