is it normal for a breeding gouldian hen to lose some facial feathers?

by Dana
(Michigan)

I have a 2 year old female gouldian (bh pb gb split to blue) and I noticed she has lost some feathers on her face, left side. Her other side is OK. Its just some patches mainly around her eyes. It started happening while she was breeding. She had two failed clutches. It wasn't until her third clutch hatched did it start to happen. Her third clutch two eggs out of four hatched. I am wondering if it is normal for a hen to lose some feathers on her face. Overall she seems healthy. The male didn't lose any facial feathers. Both chicks have fledged. They get a mixed seed diet along with eggfood, sprouted seeds, greens, grit-egg shells, Cuttle bone, oyster shells, charcoal and etc.


Hi Dana,

I can't say that it's normal or not. I have had birds with some feathers missing too. I think of Gouldians as little people. Each one even if they look the same is an individual and I don't know what went on in that nest box. If there are no other signs of illness, I would not worry about having a serious problem, but I would keep watching her activity level. My experiences with blues and split to blues have often been that they are just a bit more fragile than the normals. I mean if something was to happen it would happen to them first. The menu you described sound perfect. This is not your fault. Hopefully the next molt will bring the feathers back.

Best Wishes, Jeanie

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Nov 24, 2012
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Feather Loss on the birds head
by: Janet

Hi Dana,
I to encountered the same problem when breeding my finches. There is a web site called Frisky Finches, there are articles there you can read about it. I buy the Avian Necttar, it is good for their feathers and also has iodine, the lack of it is what is causing your bird to loose facial feathers. They say that the feathers will come back in about six weeks but my birds feathers did not come back till the next moult. I also buy the Calcium Gluconate 23% solution. Best of luck to you!
Janet
Ps. I spent $130 at the bird vet and he gave me antibiotics which of course didn't help, a fellow breeder clued me in

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