first year parent gouldians not feeding the babies once they fledge

Hi I was hoping to get some insight to a problem I have had with my gouldian finches. I am very new with this and started with a pair of 1 yr old finches. They bred for the first time and 3 out of 6 survived. My finches bred again after that and 5 out of 6 survived! They then bred a third time and none survived :( They were breeding and laying eggs with the babies still in the nest box. The second the babies fledged they stopped feeding them all. After loosing all the babies on the 3rd round of breeding I left the eggs in and ended up with 3 hatching out of 6. The parents repeated the same pattern of laying eggs with the babies so this time I pulled the eggs out and tossed them each day from the nest box which housed the 3 babies. 2 babies died in the nest box and 1 fledged. As soon as it fledged I pulled the nest box and the parents stopped feeding it and it died as well. It really upsets me every time a bird dies. I have tried to hand feed them and save them all, but have not had any success yet.

I have to be doing something wrong. OR I could do something different and learn from this experience so history does not repeat itself. My birds are in a large flight cage inside. I provide all the correct vitamins, food etc. I have researched it through and through and know I am doing that part right :) I am hoping to gather your thoughts and learn from this. Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated. There is no nest box at this time and I am letting them save there energy to go into molt.

Thank you,

Dear Carrie,

I have to tell you I have never heard of or had any experience like you have been through. Certainly you are doing all that is needed for the parent birds or there would not be any chicks in the first place. I hope someone else will read your question and be more help to you than I can be. I cannot imagine tender caring parent Gouldians just letting their chicks starve. Something has to be wrong that is causing the birds to lay eggs too soon. They should be feeding their chicks for about two weeks after they have fledged and after that start another clutch. I do not know how to change their behavior, but I know I would get maybe six Society finches and set them up with nest boxes in three cages in order to have three pairs to care for three broods. It doesn't matter what the sexes are. Both male and female Societies will care for the eggs and chicks and you don't want their eggs anyway. The Societies will get in their nest boxes for the night in the early evening every day. Mine turn in around 5:00PM, so after your Gouldian has layed her full clutch, pull the eggs and put them in the Societies' nest box just before they get in for the night. I know this isn't what you had hoped for and I know you probably don't want the Societies. I didn't want to foster either. Sometimes Gouldians just can't be adequate parents. Care for the Society finches just as you have cared for the Goulds. You are not doing anything wrong. One good thing about Society finches beside how kind they are is that they do not require such a large cage. Sorry I cannot be of more help, Jeanie

Comments for first year parent gouldians not feeding the babies once they fledge

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Apr 07, 2012
by: Jen

My finches left the nest yesterday I have 3 fledglings and this is my first time with babies. My gouldians are housed with zebra finches and they have helped the parent's feed the chicks. I also have read that the fledglings should be left with the parents until they have hatched another clutch and removed a couple of days later so they get a clue when its there turn to breed.

Hi Jen,

I never thought of it that way and you may be completely correct. I often had to remove fledglings because of aggression from the male parent. He did not want them back in the nest once there were new eggs. Great that the Zebras helped feed the chicks!!

Thanks for your input. Jeanie

Jul 25, 2011
first year parent gouldians not feeding the babies once they fledge
by: Anonymous

I have the exact same problem! My Gouldian finch pair has started to lay new eggs whith their 20 days old chicks still in the nest. It´s absolutely frustrating when you don't know if they are going to care for the babies. I have tried to find some information about this online but with no results. Now I don't know what to do, should I leave the eggs in there or toss them?

It´s really frustrating that the chick has been doing so well up till now. It´s nearly fledged but not weaned.

If some one has had the same experience, please give me some tips!

Josefin (from Sweden)

Hi Josefin,

I have researched further and read that the best chance for success in situations such as you describe is to foster the Gouldian eggs to societies or zebras. Eggs have a better success rate when being fostered than do chicks.

Thanks for commenting I too hope we get more info. Jeanie

Mar 06, 2011
Gouldian mutations & food fed
by: Carrie

I hope I am replying to the two posts correct. Sorry for the delay in response, but I just had a baby last week :) I have not a clue what mutations my pair might have, but they are both normals in appearance. I ended up with a blue back/white chest baby from them! So they must carry some other genes :) As far as food goes: They have access to all the bells and whistles. Spray millit, egg food, cooked egg shells, oyster, grit, charcoal, cuttle bone, special hatchling feed, great seed blend and vitamins. Any thoughts/suggestions?

Are their head colors the same? Are either of your birds red heads? Are both of your birds purple breast green backs? If they are both green backs, both are split to blue. If both are purple breasts, they are also both split to white breasts. If both are red heads, they are both also split to black heads. Red is dominant and black is recessive in head colors. In order for offspring to be visibly black heads, they have to have received two recessive genes for the black head color. Very unusual. I am suspicious and wondering if they could be related to each other? A visibly blue back bird has to have received two recessive genes, for the color blue, one from each parent. A visibly white breast also has to have received two recessive genes for a white breast. If that is all correct, in order for them to have produced a black head white breast blue back, your parent birds each have to have a minimum of the same three genetic mutations. You are right. Your pair is getting ALL the bells and whistles. The only thing you are doing that I did not do is to offer charcoal and it is probably a good thing that you are doing that. Do they eat it? I don't remember your original question, but the more mutations a bird has, the more likely it is for them to have breeding problems and if they are related they are prone to having frail young. Wow!
Does this help? Jeanie

Feb 27, 2011
starving youngsters.
by: Anonymous

Were the parent birds offered good egg food and lots of greens plus spray millet? I did't see any mention of food offered.

Feb 26, 2011
Carrie question for you
by: Jeanie

I had a second thought, but I need you to describe what your birds colors are, male and female and are they normals or mutations.

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