Gouldians are tossing out unborn babies

by Jack
(Los Angeles)

Hi, my gouldians laid 6 eggs in this clutch. After 19 days in taking turns sitting on the eggs, i found one dead baby last morning and three dead babys this morning. There are two more eggs left in the nest but they arent sitting on it no more. My cage is those 18x24 round top cages you get at petco for about 40 bucks. I change their water and seeds everyday. I also give them egg food every morning. What do you think happened? What should i do now?

Hi Jack,

I wrote an answer last night, but deleted it when I meant to send it. You probably got a notice without an answer. Sorry.

It is a real heart break when one finds newborn chicks tossed out of the nest. However it is one of the classic problems that Gouldians are known for. I never had any luck putting them back in their nest and I found that all too often the parents would repeat their behavior with future chicks. Although you did not mention that you are feeding your pair dark green leafy vegetables too, you must have their diet correct or the pair would not have been successful this far.

This is not your fault and I do not know of any way to cure them! I think you have two choices if you want to continue breeding this pair. Hand feeding or foster parents. Hand feeding is very, very demanding and time consuming. I realized that I was more suited to fostering. I would use 2 or 3 of them. They don't have to have a flight cage. A smaller cage will be fine. I used the same sex Societies in order to avoid having to dispose of their eggs. They won't raise Gouldians if they already have their own eggs or chicks and it doesn't matter what sex they are. males will be good foster parents as well as females.
Gouldian chicks hatch all on the same day and very early in the morning. If you let your pair try again, check on the eggs on the morning of the date you think they are to hatch. Whoever carries the chicks out of the nest doesn't seem to hurt them. I have noticed that they seem to hide them far away from their nest or spread them out on the cage floor, even get them outside the cage. Look very hard to find them all asap. The first couple of days the parents don't feed the chicks. They survive on what is left from the yolk of their eggs. You can see the yellow yolk in their tummies. If you have your societies set up with a nest box just transfer the chicks right away. You can also transfer the eggs before hatching.

Best Wishes, Jeanie

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