What would cause my nestlings to dye in the nest?
by Robin Heyde-McCoy
(Exeter , CA. USA)
I breed 6 PR In a large outdoor aviary. The birds are good parents. They brood and feed their young but the babies start to die off one by one in the nest at about one week old. Their crops have seed in them. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Robin.
My first thought would be to wonder about the temperature they live in. Of all the finches Gouldians need the highest temperature. They can rarely be too hot, since in Australia the temperature can be as high as 110 degrees and they will be fine. I don't know if the temperature where you are changes at night, but Gouldians do not do well with sudden changes in temperature. I keep my nest boxes in the high 70's or low 80's.
Another possibility I would wonder about is red mites in the nest boxes. They hide in crevices by day and come out to suck blood at night. In order to see them I put a white napkin in the nest box at night. When I take it out early in the morning, if there are mites, they will be visible tiny red specks on the material.
Hope this is helpful, Jeanie