Hen tired, lethargic
by Julio Martinez
(Ontario, California USA)
I bought a pair of Lady Gouldian Finches a couple of months ago, in December 2011.
I placed my beautiful pair in a cage all by themselves. I placed a box nest outside of the cage.
Everything seems to be ok until the hen started to lay eggs 10 days ago, she has 5 eggs in the nest (now is beginning of March) and she looks too tired, sleepy, sleeping with her head underneath her wings, she eats ok, and drinks ok I think, but she does not look good, she looks fat and fluffy like she is cold.
I dont have a heater at home but I keep them indoors, temp. inside is about 65 when is too cold.
This morning she was in the bottom of the cage sleeping with her head underneath her wings and she was not reacting when I was tapping the cage, also she had a dirty butt,
Is She gonna die? What should I do?
Thank you very much in advance!
You are quite right. I think your hen is too cold. Warm the hen up slowly. I do not know how things will turn out for your hen, but I think where there is life, there is hope. Let's get her stablized first and then recheck her vent.
Of all the different finch species, Gouldians require the most heat. Temperature fluctuations should be avoided along with the possibility of drafts. The summers in their native Australia often see temperatures as high as 110 F degrees and the birds do very well with that. My domesticated Gouldians were successful breeders in temperatures in the high 70' or low 80's.
I often hang a couple of ceramic heat bulbs, (usually marketed to reptile keepers), in a reflective, clip on shop light on the outside of a breeding cage. One near the nest box and one near a frequently used perch. Whenever it is possible, I cover the top and wrap three sides of the cage with small towels and clothes pins, also to keep in the heat. I have also used a heating pad, set on low, with clothes pins to the side of a cage. I do keep a small household thermometer close to the cage also so I can monitor the temp.
Hope this is helpful, Jeanie