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Welcome to ladygouldianfinch.com's

Archive Topic
Breeding

jane tibbetts from anchorage alaska asks: In August a friend gave me two Gouldian Finches..male/female. In October they produced 3 very healthy offspring. Again in December they produced 4 very healthy offspring. There are now sounds of more baby chicks in the nest box...sounds like maybe 3. I do not look, nor disturb them in any way while nesting. My question is: is it okay that the hen is laying this many eggs and hatching and caring for young.
Hello Jane, I would not recommend allowing your pair of Gouldians to produce more than 3 clutches of babies in any breeding season. Once this last clutch of babies leaves the nest, remove the nestbox immediately and do not replace it until next Fall when the hen's beak darkens up again.

Your birds should go through their annual molt this Spring, along with their offspring. Be sure to keep their nutrition up so that your hen can replenish her calcium levels before her next breeding cycle. All the Best, Rob

deb ruhl from az asks: Hi,Dr Rob, I have a gouldian male finch with a female society finch, will they breed? and if so what would they turn out like? thank you again
Hello Deb, Your Gouldian and Society finch combo probably will not be able to produce offspring, but will make good companions for each other. Good Luck, Rob

FRANK GALLUCCI from 3 HOMESTEAD ST OTTAWA,ON,K2E 7N9 asks: Good day Dr. Rob, I hope you can shed some light on my problem. I have been breeding Gouldians for about 20 yrs. This year when I brought my birds in they started acting "wierd". They were very lazy, not interesting in much of what was going on around them. The first sign of not bieng right was that they would keep thier eyes shut for quite a while unless spooked, and when spooked they would not just take off like they normally do but look around and only fly if need be. I scatted them, dewormed them but to no avail. I am presently giving them mycolicine. I have lost 6 adults. I have ordered S76 from Lorraine and it should be here any day now. I'm hoping it will give them a boost. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Frank Gallucci, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Hello Frank, I would suggest that you return the birds outside and have a bird submitted for autopsy and analysis. This is needed because of the ongoing nature of the problem. I WOULD SUGGEST CHANGING TO A PENICILLIN OR ERYTHROMYCIN TYPE ANTIBIOTIC IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO GO THIS WAY AS I WOULD SUSPECT A STAPH. AUREUS PROBLEM. CULTURES WOULD BE GOOD TOO. GOOD LUCK. The Best, Rob

C.C. from st. louis MO asks: OK, Dr. Rob. One week and counting . . . . looks promising . . . . . like this clutch I told you about may survive. Three chicks from six eggs. Babies appear large and healthy. Just one more question, please? Can I leave the unhatched eggs in the nest for the duration?? I'm so afraid to go near them very much since they pitched the babies from their first clutch just one month ago. I am proud that my little female only seven months old is taking care now. And anxious to see what they produce, as the male is so beautiful. Thanks again.
Hello C.C., Yes, do leave the unhatched eggs in the nest with the chicks. As the chicks grow and take up more space, the parents will pitch the unhatched eggs to make more room. All the Best, Rob

C.C. from st. louis MO asks: Hi Dr. Rob, I was delighted when my female I kept from my very first Lady Gouldian clutch laid six eggs at a mere 7 months of age, only to be just as saddened when she and the male flipped the two babies that did hatch out of the nest. They did not survive. Now at about four or five weeks later, they have again successfully laid another six eggs and today I notice two have hatched. In fact, I just witnessed one of them coming out of the egg !! At the time of their original clutch, the male was extremely protective of the nest and chased three additional Gouldians around for a good portion of the day. Since then, I have removed those three birds to another cage and try to keep the room and their aviary quiet and undisturbed. They certainly do appear much more relaxed. My question: I live in fear what the next few days will bring. Is there anything at all that new research may provide as to how to help them avoid tossing these chicks? All my birds are on all of your supplements and I do everything I can with the knowledge that I have thanks to your books and this website. I just really do not want them to toss these chicks!!! The father of these babies is a gorgeous black-headed dilute whose head looks navy blue/torquoise in the light. I would just love to see him produce something. I guess all I can do at this point is sit back and wait with fingers crossed. Also, another question: I notice in newly hatched birds that sometimes their head/eye/body coloring is darker or lighter. Do you think this has anything to do with the color they will eventually grow into? Thanks very much.
Hello CC, I'm afraid that I know of no recent research that gives us a fool proof way to stop birds from abandoning or pitching their babies. The steps you have taken by removing the extra 3 birds from the breeding pair is probably a good start in changing the circumstances that lead to the death of the first clutch. As birdkeepers we must constantly observe and change those things that don't work, until we find what makes our birds happy and capable of parent raising their offspring. My Health Programmes have assured you that your birds have the best possible diet, so I suspect that the failure of the first clutch was environmental in nature.

The skin color of newly hatched chicks does indicate the eventual adult coloring they will have. Best of Luck in the future, Rob

Delma anello from virginia beach, va asks: Dear Dr. Rob, I d just like to mention how excellently your program is working for my finches. They're thriving! Before, I had twelve, which included zebras, societies, lady gouldians, and cordon bleus. But now, because the zebras and societies bred and had chicks, I have twenty finches, all healthy. Even the juveniles are strong, thanks to your program. But one of the baby societies concerns me. It's the runt. It has one leg twisted backwards, and one wing that wont flap. When it was just a little newborn chick, it was taken out of the nest and dropped about three feet, by one of my lady gouldians. And the peculiar thing is that recently I caught the same lady gouldian finch actually feeding the juvenile societies. But aside from that, the small society chick seems healthy. I just need to know if I should continue to care for it, get medical attention, or have it euthanized, which, by the way, I?d hate to do. So I need your advice on the matter. Thanks. Sincerely, Delma
Hello Delma, Unfortunately it sustained a permanent injury to its leg and wing during the bone growing stage and will fail to recover. In my opinion it is best to euthanize this bird. Regards, Rob

T. Ross from Palm Harbor, FL asks: I have recently acquired a pair of gouldians. They have now gotten to the point where the eggs are hatching but do not appear to be feeding the babies. Should I remove and hand feed.
Hello T. Ross, Yes, if the parents will not feed the chicks, you will need to hand-feed them if they are to survive. Best of Luck, Rob

Edward Kapuschinsky from pennsylvania asks: Hi, this is really more for Laraine then Dr. Marshall but here goes anyway, I have bred a normal green back red headed female to a yellow bodied red headed male gouldian and I produced a white baby gouldian, how? The baby does have a very light lavender breast and a very light tanish head but her body is all white all over. she already went thru the moult so I know she isnt going to change to any other color. How did I get this color from those two birds? Thanks
Hello Edward, Both of your parent birds were split to the blue-back mutation and the white baby is a Silver Gouldian. She is carring the yellow-back genetics from her father and the DF blue-back from both parents. All the Best, Rob

Rhonda from Georgia asks: I have 3 Zebra finches that have hatched with tumors on their necks. They have died. Now I have an older finch that has the same tumor on her neck. What's going on? Thanks!
Hello Rhonda, I believe that the "tumors" that you are seeing on your newly hatched Zebra chicks are their "crops". All birds have a crop that stores the eaten food before it is absorbed into the digestive tract.

Further investigation needs to be done to assess why these chicks died. All the Best, Rob

Tom from Jerusalem asks: Just a few more questions. I have a new breeding canary hen who is laying her first clutch, and started incubating from the first egg. I would replace the eggs with a fake one, but I'm afraid that disturbing the nest will cause a negative reaction, since it is her first time. Would leaving the eggs the way they are and having them hatch each one a day after the other lead to a lower survival chance for the last ones hatching? I also have a cock who is missing the majority of his tail. Would this affect the chances of fertility? Thank You.
Hello Tom, It is perfectly normal for a canary hen to begin incubation with the laying of her first egg. Leaving the eggs in the nest could result in problems for the last chicks hatched, as there will be significant size differences in the chicks. Some pairs can overcome this problem and raise a clutch successfully, others are not as successful.

Do you know why the tail feathers are missing in the cock bird? Rob

C.C. from st. louis MO asks: Thank you very much -- I will move her in the morning. Babies will probably join her next week. The chicks look so good. Thank you to you and Laraine. You both are such a help and your advice is very much appreciated !! I wish you could have seen those dutiful parents doing such a fabulous job of raising their young these past weeks . . . . and they say Lady Gouldian finches are bad parents. Rubbish !! Thanks again -- Colleen
You are most welcome!

C.C. from st. louis MO asks: Hi Dr. Rob, I have recently successfully bred my first clutch of Lady Gouldian finches. I have an aviary of three pairs. I let the birds chose their own mates. The parents are a Normal male and a Blue female -- they had five babies, but unfortunately one died. They did, however take excellent care of them. This is their first clutch, they are just about two years old. The remaining babies -- three Normals and one Blue are thriving. Since then, my Silver male and Yellow female have hooked up and are sitting on three eggs as well. My question is: of the remaining couple, the male is actively pursuing the remaining female. He is older, a little over two. She is under a year and not interested. He is not exactly chasing her but bothering her to some extent and she appears to be getting a little stressed -- a bit fluffed up and losing a few feathers around her head. I feed all of the birds all of your supplements and recently ordered some liquid iodine instead of the powdered kelp to help with her head feather condition. However, what I want to do is put her in the smaller cage just as soon as the four babies are ready in hopes that she will perk up a bit. She is not sick, just not as fabulous as the others. Do you think she would be happy with them for a while??? Thanks again. Your advice and products are very much appreciated. Colleen
Hello Colleen, Congratulations on the new additions to your flock. I would definitely separate that young hen from her intended mate. Do not wait until the chicks can be moved with her. If she is subjected to the stress much longer, she will become ill and not just unhappy.

When birds are subjected to stressful situations, their immune system is suppressed, leaving them open to any illness that they may come in contact with.

Once she is moved, you should see a difference in her behavior. Add some NV Powder to her drinking water for a few days. Keep her new cage close by the other cage so that she has some company until the chicks are independent and can move in with her. All the Best, Rob

Kathy Taylor from NM asks: Can Zebra And Gouldian finch interbreed
Hello Kathy, Zebra finches has been recorded as having hybridized with many different species of finch. I am not aware of it happening with Gouldians. All the Best, Rob

Carlene from Seattle asks: Dr. Rob - I have a pair of gouldians (3yrs old)that just birthed their first chick and then promptly threw it out of the next. Should I take the rest of the clutch out which haven't hatched yet and raise them myself?
Hello Carlene, I would wait and see what happens because sometimes Gouldians will pitch only one baby, and other times all of them as they hatch. I believe that you should watch them closely and hand-feed if necessary to save the babies.

More importantly you should assess the nutritional programme, are the parents secure in their nesting cavity, and are they in breeding condition? All three things will insure better parenting. Best of Luck, Rob

Carol Snoeyenbos from Duluth, MN asks: I have a pair of Lady Gouldians, my husband bought me for my birthday... I do not know anything about the birds except their beautiful.... Well they laid eggs (5) the eggs hatched, and both parents are taking turns feeding all five babies and sitting on them to keep them warm. The babies are 5 days old now, and they have these strange growths on their necks!! Are my babies OK? Or are they sick?? Thank You, A concerned new mom.
Hello Carol, The "growths" that you are seeing on the necks of your 5 day old babies are called 'the crop'. The crop is the storage place where the food a bird eats is stored until it's digestive system can process it. All birds have crops, but once the feathers grow out, you will no longer be able to see them. Your babies are perfectly okay. Best of Luck with the new members to your family. Rob

Kristen E. Martin from Alambama asks: Hello, I have a canary hen who eats her eggs soon after laying them. I give her calcium in the form of Calciboost. Is there a way to discourage her from this? I hope to breed her someday.
Hello Kristen, Your canary may have a protein deficiency or not be in good breeding condition. I recommend that you put her onto my Breeding Programme of supplementation. Egg eating is not just a calcium deficiency problem. All the Best, Rob

Vera Keil from Manhattan, MT asks: I have a cockatiel that I am handfeeding. Her crop will not completely empty. I can only feed her 3cc's every 3 hours. I have had her to the vet and they do not know what her problem is. They did a crop culture and it said everything was normal. She is so skinny I am afraid I will lose her. We are giving her 3 different kinds of medicine from the vet but she is not improving. She plays but is always hungry. We have been battling this for about a month. Thank you for any help. Vera
Hello Vera, This is called crop stasis. There are several possible causes. The food or environment may be incorrect; fluctuating temperature could be causing the problem; or the cause could be an incorrect consistency in the hand-feeding mixture. I need to have exact details explained on feeding methods. One other possibility might be an obstructed gizzard. My initial treatment suggestion would be Nystatin. All the Best, Rob

orbie from NC asks: Hello Dr Rob. I recently purchased my very first finches. 2 zebras and they certainly couldn't mate fast enough. At the moment they are rearing 3 - 4 day old chicks. I've had the birds almost 2 months. The male bird got real fluffed looking and lethargic during the mom's incubating the eggs week and I put a flexible heat lamp shining down in the top of the cage and he sat under it at his own liking and got better. I built them a large flight cage and moved the cage they were in inside of it so as not to disturb the nest then just opened the smaller cages door so they can come and go from it into the flight cage at will. The birds are very active, very vocal, seem great, eat and drink great and are feeding the chicks. I give them millet sprays, boiled egg, finch seed mix, fruit mix, grains and greens mix and recently started adding in some nestling food among their many dishes. (I have lots of fake greenery and the different foods in different containers all around the mini aviary to make daddy's job of foraging for food more interesting for him.) Well daddy is bald down his back all the way to his vent suddenly over last couple of days and today I noticed mom plucking at him. They are both fluffing and preening and scratching an awfull lot, although they don't act sick or tired at all. And all day today one of them, not sure which, has had some odd droppings. The dropping looks normal, white, shaped..but the liquid around it is drying bright green? Could it be all one issue or could it be mites and possibly too many greens or maybe the nestling food? Also, the daddy is a very pro-active kind of guy, he is continually trying to get leaves off the fake vines, reed material off the nest hut and anything else he can find to nest. He at one point buried the eggs after they were laid and I had to carefully uncover them and take away his string supply. Thought perhaps his need to build nests could be a possible culprit in the missing feathers. I tried giving him just a few strands of nesting string to play with, he has a preening toy. But since mom is scratching and fluffing too Im not sure thats it. Any help is GREATLY appreciated.
Hello Orbie, Some Zebra Finches have built consecutive nests, one on top of another. So removing the nesting material supply was good.

I would suggest an S76 bath to insure that there aren't any external mites causing the excessive scratching, followed a few days later by a KD water bath.

The missing feathers could be an attempt by both birds to "feather" the nest for the chicks. Watch closely that they don't attempt to cover the chicks and build another nest.

The green water ring could be caused by an additive in the nestling food. As long as neither parent is fluffed or frumped indicating a sick bird, I would suspect the additive. Best of Luck, Rob

Pip Wilson from Sandy Beach, Australia asks: Dear Dr Rob, I am a new carer of two Gouldians. http://photos1.blogger.com/img/262/2938/1024/gouldians2.jpg The hen (Lizzie, named for John Gould's wife) seems to have a discoloured beak; it was much like that when I brought her home two weeks ago. Do you think she might be ill? Yesterday she started coughing as well. Thanks a lot.
Hello Pip, The darkened beak on your Gouldian hen is an indication that she is in breeding condition. All the Best for the upcoming breeding season. Rob

Sandrine Kerbrat from France asks: Dear Dr. Marshall, I apologise in advance for my bad english, and hope you'll be able to understand my problem and possibly solve it. I currently have 2 parakeets and 17 finches, living indoor in separate flights, but in the same room. Among my 17 finches, I have had a pair of Owl Finches for almost 3 years now. More or less 2 months after their arrival in my place the female started laying eggs, and since then she never stopped. Not one single week without an egg... However, this pair is not incubating the eggs. I tried to separate them, but, she continued laying eggs, I tried to remove the nest, again, she continued... Temperature in the birds room is now around 20-22°C, and humidity rate varies between 55% to 65%. When I came back from a week vacation (during the week off a friend of mine was feeding and watering my birds every other day), I noticed that the owl female is fluffed, I was not too concerned as it was not the first time. I thought she's laying an egg again !! The following day, I found an egg, but a very small one, and since then she's still fluffed. It's now over 6 weeks. She have all the common signs of a sick bird, looking for heat,fluffed, sleepy, dull eyes, abnormal droppings and the cloacal area is dirty with the feather all matted. After a few days, she became very weak and was loosing her balance every now and again, I managed to solve the balance problem in a few days by using extra Calcium (Calciboost). I really first thought, it was exhaustion due to egg laying. I gave her Guardian Angel + Calciboost, but not improvement after 2 weeks (a part that she was not loosing her balance anymore) Some days she looked better, almost normal for 1 or 2 days and then relapse (several time like that). I started thinking the problem could be a protozoa, so I treated her for 7 days with Ronivet-S (dose rate x4), but again no improvement but she seems now more constant, she's not doing well for a couple of days and then relapsing. She's not as sleepy, but she's still in very poor condition. At the beginning, she was eating well (I may even say maybe too much) but now she don't eat a lot of seeds (the minimum I would say), and wait for me to give her anything but not seeds !! So I give her either pellets, commercial egg food, frozen insects (of course I defrost the insects before feeding to my birds), and fonio paddy seeds, and she eat all that very eagerly. She's still drinking a lot with great gulps (from the beginning of the illness). I'm now giving her probotics (Bio plus) in her drinking water, but again so far no results. As most of my birds started their molt and it's even completed for some of them, I start thinking maybe she going through a hard and stressfull molt. I'm pretty sure she have started her molt now, as last week-end, she had a patch on her cheek, but I keep thinking there is something else. She's really in poor condition, looks depressed, fluffed and her shape is not plumb at all, however she's flying confidently, is eating and drinking, I find she's scratching quite a lot, but that may be due to the matted feather. It's not easy to describe the droppings, as I have the feeling everytime I try to look, it's different !! For sure, the droppings are now always huge but for the rest, I'm not too sure. Sometimes it's with increased water, like if it is only clear water and it goes like a gush ! Sometimes with light brown feces. Sometimes it's like everything is mixed and it's viscous and murky (greenish??). Once I found non digested little seeds (fonio paddy) in the droppings (unless it is regurgitation ??, I don't know as I saw that on the paper at the bottom of the cage !) Her cage mate is doing well, and the birds located in cages next to her are OK as well. Do you have by chance any idea ? Could it be a yeast ? What should I do ? Why are my birds molting now when it should be at the end of the summer ? Thank you very much for your consideration
This is called egg embolli. It occurs often with fungal infections associated with egg laying. She may have a mineral deficiency as well associated with a fungal infection. PLACE HER ON KD WATER CLEANSER FOR 2 WEEKS and TurboBooster, E-Powder and F-Vite mixed into her seed or food. She may never fully recover but most will on this programme. Rob

Michael Costanzo from Collins, Ohio asks: I have lots of society finches and gouldians. They have been idle from breeding for about 2 years due to an illness I had. Now I can't get them interested in breeding. I didn't breed them because I could only maintain them and that was it. Now I am better and hope I can get them breeding. Thanks! Michael Costanzo
Hello Michael, Best of luck with your breeding. The birds should be eager with proper nutrition and health. Rob

Karen Schafer from Southport, FL asks: Dr. Rob, my Cordon Bleu finches threw their chicks out of the nest about 6 days after hatching. The chicks were very small. Why did they do this? I thought it was because of their diet. I fed them seed along with nestling food, insect food, and greens. Should I only feed nestling food?
Hello Karen, It sounds like it could be an energy deficiency in the parents. I would add Turbobooster, E-powder and F-Vite to their diet. Also check for a wet nest which would indicate an underlying bacterial or fungal problem. All the Best, Rob

Lisa Mallory from Jacksonville, Florida USA asks: Dear Dr. Rob, Thank you for all of your helpful information, and for taking the time to help fellow bird enthusiasts. I have a female gouldian that I obtained about 2 months ago. When I got her she appeared healthy, began calling to my male and was quite interested in him. After 2 weeks I placd them together and it seemed they bonded immediately. He displays courtship behavior and she in turn will squat on the perch and move her tail to the side welcoming his advances. She laid 2 eggs then the day after the second egg she became fluffed up, had droopy eyes and slept all day. I have your book, but had just gotten it shortly before this happened and still need to read it over again because of the volume of information in it. I took stool specimens to my vet who said he didn't find anything. I made a "guess" as to what to treat my finch with and decided rather than take the chance of loosing her I would try anything. I had doxycycline capsules prescribed for myself and not having any idea how to dose my bird, I just opened the capsule and tapped out a tiny amount of powder, mixed it with enough water to dilute, and administered it to my bird via syringe. By the next morning she looked great. I continued they doxycycline for 10 days, but not knowing the correct dose, I worried about overdosing and stopped. She was fine for 2 weeks, then began laying eggs again. The exact same thing happened again, although this time I seemed to notice that she is opening her beak, extending her beak and extending her neck as if to try and swallow something she can't get down. I know there is something wrong with her, but i just don't know what to do to help her. I am using your products and all my other birds appear quite vigorous and healthy. any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Lisa Mallory
Hello Lisa, Your hen is exhibiting nutritional stress of laying eggs and an inherent low grade Ornithosis problem. Treatment must include TurboBooster, E-Powder and F-Vite during a Doxycycline/Megamix treatment, as described in my book. Do a 30 day course of treatment. Rob

jan armstrong from south korea asks: I have been breeding Goulds for 6 years. First time a female has plucked all her stomach feathers - she has 4 eggs. Also, she tossed two 4 day old babies. Why is this all happening and what can I do about her feathers and saving the other 2 eggs? Thank you
Hello Jan, I suspect that this is a protein/energy imbalance associated with rearing her young. Look for the cause and give Turbobooster, E-Powder and F-Vite on food. Rob

Laura Watkins from Southern California asks: Dr. Rob, I have two questions for you. I have several breeding pair of Yellow Gould mutations set up in my birdroom in the house. They are on a diet of Gouldian seed mix, cuttlebone, crushed oystershell/charcoal/salt/crushed eggshell mix, Herb Salad™, spray millet, sprouted seed and hardboiled egg sprinkled daily with either Feather-Up, Daily Essentials 3, Spirulina or ProBoost SuperMax. They also get occasional greens or fruit. Drinking water contains KD one day per week, CalciBoost 3x week, and apple cider vinegar and iodine 3x week. Now the question: Pair #1 successfully raised 2 babies in May. Since then, they hatched a clutch which they tossed on day 1 - this may have been my fault, I did not provide sprouts & egg that morning. After that, they hatched a clutch of 4, raised them until day 9 and then tossed them. I haven't changed anything about their situation or diet. Any idea what would cause them to toss the babies so far along in development? The second question is regarding pair #3. They successfully raised a clutch of 4, recycled and are now raising another clutch of 4. My concern is for the hen - she has dropped alot of weight. The male is fine, and all her babies are fine, so this doesn't appear to be contagious. They were treated with Worm-out Gel in the Spring, Doxycycline in April, Ronivet in June and again just two weeks ago (as were pair #1). I plan to take away their box after this batch fledges, and will re-treat with Ronivet at 4x strength. Is there another possible pathogen at work here? Is Megabacteria a possibility (I'm in Southern California, USA), and what would be the treatment of choice? (I'd like to have it ordered and on hand before I need it). Final question - regarding the KD, which I administer 1x week, should that be at the 1gm/liter strength or the 1gm/4 liter strength?
Hello Laura, What you are describing from both pairs seems to indicate the parents are tiring after the first clutch. I would suggest maybe a fluctuating temperature problem, low energy or low minerals salts in food. My suggestion is Turbobooster coated seed, sprinkled with E-Powder and F-Vite. Calciboost is great for egg binding in birds but does not provide all minerals necessary for feeding young. It may simply be a mineral salt problem as adults are becoming depleted on the second round. I do not believe it is a disease problem. All the Best, Rob

Cathy Yocius from New Jersey asks: Dr. Rob, This is just an update to the problem I had with the 9-day old chick that seemed to have an air bubble on his crop. It was very big and i was very concerned. Your suggestion had been e-powder, f-vite and turbobooster. I had just rec'd the e-powder and f-vite and put it on the food that the parents were feeding the chicks. In only two days of adding these supplements, the "bubble" was completely gone and never reappeared. I have continued with the e-powder and f-vite, along w/dufoplus and ioford and I am happy to report that all 4 of the chicks have fledged successfully and all are doing beautifully. Thank you for all you help.
Hello Cathy, This is great feed-back. Thanks so much for sharing it with everyone. All the Best, Rob

Matt from Lafayette, IN asks: I just purchased a mating pair of gouldians. They are both approximatly a year old. From what I understand, their breeding season should end here shortly with the molt, but their previous owner says they have had 3 or 4 clutches so far (none sucessful). They are very willing breeders, as without a nest box they use any container they can find (ie food bowl). Will she continue to lay eggs constantly or do I need to seperate them. The other problem is that she is a horrible mother and keeps kicking the chicks out. I'm going to attempt to remedy this with a less stressful environment and the addition of egg food. I would like to see her raise a sucessfull clutch.
Hello Matt, This unsuccessful breeding problem could indicate a protein deficiency. The birds should begin an ongoing health programme using Turbobooster, E-powder and F-vite.All the best, Rob

Ismael from springfield il asks: Dr, thx very much for answer my question, but my bird its back to normal,i do believe one for the reasons the bird was in trouble is because she was traying to nest again, i remove the box and the male now, coz the last for day she has laid 4 eggs,.i was worry about that, but she didnt have any problems before passing the eggs or now,. but i do believe thats alot stress for her,.this morning she was out with the other birds eating flaying,bating,. not trouble so far,i watch my like my own family ,. i do believe the weather has not help very much lately, coz is not warm or humed enough,.plus i have some of the offspring from this female two years old, some became parents for the first time, no problem so far, i really hope stay that way,. thx for your time, thx for answer my question,.
This appears then to be a stress related probelm. It is wonderful that you are so close to your birds. We must try to interpret body language and now you know the body languge of this bird. you have done well to stop breeding. All the best, Rob

Cathy Yocius from New Jersey asks: Dr. Rob, I have a 9 day old chick in a clutch of 4 that seems to have an enlarged crop. It looks like it's full of air, but I do see seed in there so I know he's being fed. He looks fine except for that. I just never saw that before and hope you can tell me what it is. Is there something I can do for this? If there's any more info you need, let me know. Cathy
Hello Cathy, Air in the crop is an indication that the birds are not feeding properly or are not getting enough energy from their food. KD Powder will help this problem and also daily administration of TurboBooster, E-Powder and F-Vite to the feed. All the Best, Rob

JOANIE/SONGS & RAINBOWS from NEW HAMPSHIRE asks: I HAVE A BLUE HEN THAT HAS BEEN SITTING ON EGG FOR ABOUT 8 DAYS, THEN SUDDENLY SHE CAME OUT OF THE NEST..AND IT IS AS IF SHE WERE CRIPPLED. THE CANNOT SIT ON A PERCH OR WALK. SHE IS USING HER WINGS TO MOVE ALONG THE FLOOR OF THE CAGE. SHE EATS AND IS ALERT OTHER WISE SEEMS NORMAL. WHAT COULD BE THE PROBLEM WITH HER FEET?
This is post egglaying paralysis. She needs more clacium and protein in the diet, OR she paired up not fully into breeding condition. She will recover as long as you keep her warm and add calcium to water, plus, I suggest TurboBooster etc, to the feed. All the Best, Rob

Lynn Durnin from Langley, B C asks: One of my hens seems to be always laying undersized eggs - almost the size of a cordon blue egg. What would cause this?
Hello Lynn, Undersize eggs could indicate that your hen has a malformed uterus or shell gland problem if all the eggs produced are malformed and small. Intermittent abnormal sized eggs may be a nutritional problem or an infected uterus. Very few small eggs will be fertile or hatch. It is better to breed away from a hen who lays small eggs. All the Best, Rob

Lynn Durnin from Langley, B C asks: Could you please tell me what the main reasons are for causeing infertility? I feel the diet I feed my gouldians is excellent - the only thing I have not given them is iodine. I give them vitamins in the water and on the soaked seed and calciboost is also given regularly along with many other foods. I also purchased proboost supermax which is given daily and still I have not seen a difference so far.
Hello Lynn, The most important part of fertility is waiting to breed them after they have come into breeding condition. See pages 34-39 of the Gouldian Health book. Birds that are well fed and in "breeding condition" will not have an energy defecit causing them to incubate poorly.

If the birds are fed well and have a balanced nutrition then you must consider Ornithosis as the cause of infertility. A the effect of a Doxycycline trial as described in the book will tell if Ornithosis is the cause of your bird's infertility. All the Best, Rob

Dianne Pearson from Amarillo, Texas asks: Dear Dr. Rob: I must start out by telling you that I purchased one of your books, and have learned a tremendous amount from it. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge! I will give you several details below in hopes that it will help you with your analysis: Raising Gouldians is a new venture for me, so some of my questions may be VERY basic..I recently encountered an "egg hatching" problem with my Gouldians I'd researched several different places and found so much information that I became very confused! You see I have a pair of Gouldians that recently laid their first clutch of eggs. The hen laid her first egg on May 8th. In the end, she laid a total of six eggs. Since this was their first clutch, I took the first three eggs (on May 11th) and put them under Bengalese finches (thinking they could help out the Gouldians since it was their first clutch). I left the last three real eggs with the Gouldians to see if they would raise their own babies. Much to my surprise, the Gouldian hen took right to being a mother. She sat very steadily on her eggs..On May16th (five days into the incubation process) I checked the eggs I'd put under the Bengalese for fertility. They were pink and had lots of tiny blood vessels running all over them. However, two days later I checked them again and found that the red vessels were concentrated ONLY in the middle of the egg, and that at each end of the egg there were dark rings/circles that had formed. From what I understand that means the embryo has died. I then checked the eggs that I'd left with the Gouldians and found they looked strange too, but in a different way. These eggs looked somewhat yellowish and clear, but they each had ONE red streak running only on ONE SIDE of the egg. Any suggestions? Are both of these "egg descriptions" the same problem? Since this is all new to me, I left the eggs in the nests just in case. Humidity is something that Laraine asked about. I don't have a humidifier, and I do live in a rather dry part of Texas. However, I'd read in several places that misting the birds down, or leaving out a dish of water for them to bathe in would be sufficient "humidity" for eggs. I mist the birds down liberally twice a day. You see I work full time and fear that while I'm gone, the birds may soil their bath water and then drink it--thus get a bacterial infection of some kind. Is a humidifier something you still feel I should have or do you think misting the birds is sufficient? In regards to medications--the Bengalese that I used to foster the eggs had been given Ronivet and Amtyl several months ago. I've never treated them with antibiotics that could treat a possible Campylobacter infection. The lady I bought the Bengalese from used them to foster some of her own Gouldians, and she didn't seem to have any problems with Gouldian egg/juvenile deaths. Their droppings look normal in color and consistency. Room temperature is kept at a constant 78-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Their diet consists of seed, millet, egg food, vitamins, minerals, Calciboost, liquid kelp (given every other day), charcoal, sterilized egg shell, and greens. Soya Musca powder (ground up fly larva) is added to the hard boiled eggs, as is Feast soft food, vitamins and minerals. I use the Calciboost every other day during the breeding season. Otherwise they get it twice a week. There are Full Spectrum lights above each cage to supplement sunlight and they are getting 13 hours of light a day right now. Hopefully I've given you all the information you need to assess the problem I am encountering. **It is important that you know that in March, I successfully raised a clutch of three Bengalese. My room temperature is the same now as it was then, and I misted those birds down as well. That's one reason I'm so stumped. If those eggs hatched and were raised to adulthood, why am I having problems with my Gouldian eggs? Many thanks in advance for all your help!! Regards, Dianne Pearson
Dear Dianne, This is known as early embryonic death. Common causes are dry weather or brooding failure. Other causes are possible infections like Strep, E coli and Chlamydia (Ornithosis). I suggest that you break open an egg (egg post mortem) and see if there is a smell. If so, then it is a bacterial infection like Strep or E coli. If no smell is present, then it could be Chlamydia or a brooding problem.

Gouldians are senstive birds and may be disturbed by your spraying process? While Bengalese finches are not as sensitive as Gouldians, checking on the eggs often could disrupt their incubation process and thus kill the developing embryos.

If there was full fertility then it is not likely to be Ornithosis, but rather brooding problems by both Gouldians and foster Bengalese. It may have been by moving the eggs from Gouldians to Bengalese OR disturbance of Bengalese. I would say, in order to remove one of the variables, the next time the Gouldians lay a clutch of eggs, leave eggs under the Gouldians for 2 weeks and see if embryos are still alive. If only blood vessels are present after 2 weeks then the embroyos are still dying at 5 days and it could be any of the other factors I mentioned. Rob

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