by Karen
(Fergus, ON)


I was given a pair of Gouldians in 2011. I hadn't any experience with birds. The following spring I noticed that the male seemed to be loosing feathers around his eyes. I treated both birds with Scatt for a time period. His feathers started to return. This couple had a baby last summer and another one this summer. I had purchased a male society finch to put in a different cage with the first baby as she was pecking at her mother. We then had the male baby. During incubation the father was loosing more feathers around his eyes again. And the mother seemed to be scratching a lot. I treated them with Scatt again on a regular basis. Things seemed to be doing well as far as mites.

Recently, we put our house up for sale. And with the cages being in the kitchen/familyroom area we decided to put the society finch and the female first born into a larger cage with the parents and new male. This is when an explosion of preening happened. Within days we started with Scatt. The mother bird is now almost bald on the back of her head. Both parent birds have bumps around their eyes. This morning it looks like the young female is getting bumps around her eyes.

A few weeks ago I had a bird watcher come and show me how to band the birds. The mother has bands with numbers. Anyways I asked his advice and he recommended "dianathos earth?"which I found out is silica dioxide. I have put powder in their corn husk litter. And a food grade into their food and water. This seems to help as well. Yet here I am again concerned about the health of the parent birds. Any suggestions?

I have taken both parent birds out separately over the last few weeks and put them in my make shift hospital for a day. This seemed to help. But now we have people coming through the house so I have safety concerns between the cat and people wanting to touch them.

In appreciation of your knowledge,


Hi Karen,

I apologize for the lateness in my response. I get overwhelmed whenever one of my granddaughters is sick.

I have only treated my birds with Ivermectin or a Pyrethrin based powder. I understand that Scatt is a good product if your are treating for mites too.

Gouldians can become stressed fairly easily when things change in their environment and drop feathers or pick at each others' feathers, especially when you are not watching. Feather loss is not always caused by mites. If your birds have raised healthy young, I am pretty sure that you are feeding them a complete breeding diet and they aren't suffering from a nutritional lack and if it's just around the eyes, doesn't sound as though they are molting. Iodine is often said to be insufficient in a Gouldians diet and cause feather problems. If you want to increase the Iodine in their diet, I offer my birds a mineralized oyster shell grit. That way I don't have to worry about that possibility or add Iodine to their drinking water.

If I were in your situation, (selling your house and having strangers in and out), I would first be sure that the cage was extra warm and that it was covered on three sides and top at least. Of all the finches, Gouldians need the most warmth. While they are very curious birds, they also need to feel safe. Covering the cage completely when the cats or strangers are near their cage isn't a bad idea either if you can. It will keep the warmth in the cage and it will limit the directions from which the birds will have to watch for safety from predators or other threats.
Hope this is helpful, Jeanie

Comments for Mites

Average Rating starstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Dec 05, 2013
by: Addie

I use Permectrin 11 Bug Spray applied directly on the birds but not in the eyes I will use a cotton ball and wipe it around the eyes. Spray the cages too and clean it. I use powdered kelp or granulated kelp to help grow the feathers you can go to Lady they have those mites spray.

If you can find a eucalyptus tree get some branches put inside the cage Gouldian like them they nibble on the leaves and it help with the mites I like the round leaves they call it silver dollar leaves it make the room smell good too.

Good ideas! Be sure to get fresh eucalyptus branches that have not been treated with any chemicals for use in floral arrangements. Thank you for your comment, Jeanie

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to FAQ & Breeding Pages.