Surrogate Goulding incubation/brooding/feeding.

by Elliot Gordon
(West Palm Beach FL)

I have had Society Finches for several years. Recently I bought a pair of mating Gouldian Finch. Now, the male is preparing the nesting box. I assume that the hen is ready to lay eggs. I was told that Gouldians make bad parents. How do I know when and if I transfer the eggs or 'babies' to the Society nests? Do I transfer the eggs or the babies? Will if all else fails I can hand feed them. How will I know if I have to hand feed them. If this is successful I want to get more Gouldians.

Thank you,

Elliot Gordon

Hi Elliot,
I apologize for the huge delay in answering you. Sometimes life throws us curve balls. All is well now. Hopefully you have growing babies by this time. You are right, sometimes, but not always, Gouldians will not do well as parents. Early in the morning they will throw the newly hatched chicks out of their nest. There is not much point in trying to put the chicks back because the parents usually will repeat this horrible behaviour. I keep a couple prs. of societies set up with nest boxes and I treat them just the same as I do the Gouldians except I either give them fake eggs to sit on or I take their eggs away before they can grow. I do this so that, if I find Gouldian chicks tossed out of their nests, I will have foster parents ready to accept them right away. If I know that a pr. of Goulds has a history of tossing their chicks, I will just switch the fake eggs with the Gouldian eggs at any time during the brooding cycle. I do the switching in the early evening because that is when my societies go in to sleep.

Hand feeding is an alternative, but not as easy as it may seem. It requires feedings around the clock. Some people really love to hand feed and get very good at it, but I found the fostering to be easier for me and besides, I adore the little societies. Hope that things have gone well for you and your pair. Jeanie

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