mites

by kathy
(georgia)

I recently adopted a pair of gouldians. They just laid eggs not quite two weeks ago. While I was feeding them today I noticed the female holding one foot up to her chest. When she put it down it was red and swollen looking. from my research and looking at other gouldian photos It looks like maybe leg mites? The male has some feathers missing around his ears and I think that might be mites as well. They came from a person who had a large finch aviary. How can I treat the mites and not hurt the eggs in the nest? Any advice on what to do? Thank you


Hi Kathy,
To treat mites, I would put some Pyrethrin based insecticide powder in a small brown paper bag and then let the birds walk around in the bag long enough to have them splash the powder around with their wings. I like the Pyrethrin because it is a natural product and not a chemical. As to the nest box, if the eggs are at least 10 days old it is a good idea to candle them to see if they hold developing chicks. I use a little penlight flashlight, like the ones the nurse uses to check the pupils of our eyes. I just hold it up real close to the eggs and when I see tiny red blood vessels inside I know the eggs are fertile. If they aren't I would toss them out and give the nest box a thorough cleaning and disinfecting. If they are fertile,I would put some powder in the nest box too.
I would also take a close look at the hurting foot. How are the bird's toenails? Are they curling and do they need to be trimmed? Is there any wound that you can see or injury to the toes. Sometimes I would find a bird who had gotten a foot caught in something and either died trying to get free or has managed to get free, but with a missing toe or other injury to the foot. I like to use long smooth coconut fibers, hammock like, nesting material because the thready or stringy types of nesting material are easy for Gouldians to get tangled in.
Hope this helps. Best Wishes, Jeanie

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