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Thread: Gouldian finches

  1. #1
    Brand New Egg jenn4turtles's Avatar
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    Gouldian finches

    Hello! I'm not new to this site, but I am new to Gouldians. Long story short: I went to a nearby bird show and came home with a male Gould. We have lovebirds, and we were looking into getting owl finches, but the breeder wasn't there. There was a little black-headed Gould all by his lonesome, so we brought him home.

    I've been gathering info on our newest baby, Napoleon, and it seems that Goulds are a bit harder to keep, as opposed to other finch breeds. Oh boy!

    So ... Fellow Gould owners: Help!

    Do they have to be kept in pairs? If so, can I put another male in with him, or would that be a prob?

    If I put in a female, is breeding as complicated as it seems? I've read that they may abandon eggs - so then you need society finches, who then step in to raise the babies. (You start with 1 finch, and it becomes a slippery slope, and you wind up with an aviary! ) There's also dietary changes when breeding vs. their regular diet?

    And speaking of diet, what is Napoleon supposed to be eating? For my lovebirds, per our vet, they get a mix of pelleted diet, with about 20-30% seeds, and fresh veggies/fruits. But a breeder told me that she only fed her finches seeds. Wait, what? I've also seen cages of finches with what looks like balls of timothy hay. Do they need that, too? Or is that only for nest-building?

    Pics of my little Napoleon are in my album.

    One of the ladies at the bird show said that she called Gouldians "Mardi Gras finches", because their colors are purple, green and gold. Even though we live here, we don't really do Mardi Gras, except for a select few parades. Napoleon is one of those, so my son named him Napoleon.
    Jennifer M.

    Mother to 1 human, Eric; 3 cats, Stormy, Sami, & Saint; 2 bearded dragons, Smauggie & Sydney, an assortment of fish, and 4 peach-faced lovebirds, Sprite, Scout, Skye & Jasper. I also have one Gouldian, Napoleon.

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    Re: Gouldian finches

    They are such cute birds. I can't blame you for bringing this little guy home and hopefully Rudi will see this post and give you advice on keeping him happy.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Brand New Egg jenn4turtles's Avatar
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    Re: Gouldian finches

    I'm open to all suggestions!
    Jennifer M.

    Mother to 1 human, Eric; 3 cats, Stormy, Sami, & Saint; 2 bearded dragons, Smauggie & Sydney, an assortment of fish, and 4 peach-faced lovebirds, Sprite, Scout, Skye & Jasper. I also have one Gouldian, Napoleon.

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    Re: Gouldian finches

    For their diet my seed dealer recommanded me to add 50% of canary seeds in their mix.

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    Brand New Egg jenn4turtles's Avatar
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    Re: Gouldian finches

    Quote Originally Posted by ketcha View Post
    For their diet my seed dealer recommended me to add 50% of canary seeds in their mix.
    Right now, I'm doing 50% seeds with 50% Zupreem X-small fruitblend pellets for canaries and finches. I thought it was odd that the breeder said that she ONLY did seeds. I know, for my lovebirds, the vet said that the pelleted food should be the main staple, with 20% to 30% seeds. From what I can understand, a strictly seed isn't supposed to be healthy for birds. It's kinda like us eating burgers everyday - yes, it's edible, but we'd be missing out on a variety of nutrients.
    Jennifer M.

    Mother to 1 human, Eric; 3 cats, Stormy, Sami, & Saint; 2 bearded dragons, Smauggie & Sydney, an assortment of fish, and 4 peach-faced lovebirds, Sprite, Scout, Skye & Jasper. I also have one Gouldian, Napoleon.

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    Re: Gouldian finches

    I have never dealt with Gouldian finches before. I do know there is specific dietary aspect one should provide or they begin to look like little mongrels, meaning their colors fade and they lose feathers. Never feed any bird only seed. Go to Larraine's Lady Gouldian online. Laraine is a very nice lady and her site has everything you'll need. Read information there and communicate with her. She can help and steer you in the right direction. She won't push you t buy anything but will recommend what you'll need. She's extremely honest so don't worry. So much has happened with Gouldian in the past 10 years. There are colors/mutations like crazy now. Years ago we only saw the true normal two colors, male and female, then mutations started to appear and people took the breeding of these mutations further and further. Now a mutation is just that, some genetic anomaly occurred and a bird arrived looking different. (OK, that's a gross generalization) but anyway, people used these mutations and keep breeding for new colors. It creates a wave of people wanting these new colors, but mutations are not all visual, they also can occur internally. Plus this creates a weakened line of birds. Again communicate with Laraine or go to her site, she can really help. I also say that because I cannot remember what it is, but Gouldian owners use a specific product to insure the color and feathers stay vibrant. For some reason I am thinking kelp, which could be for the iodine, but I cannot remember so go to her site.

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    Brand New Egg jenn4turtles's Avatar
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    Re: Gouldian finches

    Awesome! Normally I would do my research prior to getting a new family member, but I saw that little guy sitting all alone, and that was that. After a month-long quarantine, he is now in the living room, where all my lovebirds are, but I keep them a distance apart. The contrast between the noises the finch makes and the noises my lovebirds make is interesting.

    I will check out her page!
    Jennifer M.

    Mother to 1 human, Eric; 3 cats, Stormy, Sami, & Saint; 2 bearded dragons, Smauggie & Sydney, an assortment of fish, and 4 peach-faced lovebirds, Sprite, Scout, Skye & Jasper. I also have one Gouldian, Napoleon.

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    Re: Gouldian finches

    I like finches. I first saw them in a neighbors home. They were a mom and dad finch and their daughter. They were Zebra Finches.

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    Re: Gouldian finches

    Zebras are cute, too!

    I was told by a breeder, that if I want to breed the Goulds, I should get a pair of Society Finches, too, because Goulds will sometimes abandon their eggs, and the Societies will raise the babies for them.

    So ... I'd have 2 Goulds, 2 Society finches, and we still want to get the Owl Finches. Buying finches is a slippery slope!
    Jennifer M.

    Mother to 1 human, Eric; 3 cats, Stormy, Sami, & Saint; 2 bearded dragons, Smauggie & Sydney, an assortment of fish, and 4 peach-faced lovebirds, Sprite, Scout, Skye & Jasper. I also have one Gouldian, Napoleon.

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    Re: Gouldian finches

    When I thought I had to rehome my parrots because of allergies, I felt terrible being without birds. So I got a pair of Gouldians and a pair of Societies. The Gouldians were male and female but I found out the hard way that the Societies were both females. I gave them some canary nests to sleep in. Normally, finches like covered nests. But these 2 Societies got together and both laid eggs in a nest. Then they got aggressive to the Gouldians, which is weird for Societies to do.

    I brought the finches back because I really wanted birds I could handle. This was my first experience with Gouldians. They're cute, but I don't want birds I can't touch. I used to have lots of finches for years. It was different then before I retired because I was at work most of the day and could just watch the birds. Now, I want that contact.

    I can't give you much feedback on Gouldians, sorry. But I used to feed my finches a finch mix. And, I made sure to give them fresh fruits and veggies every single day. They also like a little pasta, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc. When I worked at PetSmart, all of the birds were dying. They were on a seed only diet. I started to make everyone a big salad and the birds began to do a heck of a lot better.
    Whitefaced Pearl Cockatiel Smokey Bear: Hatched June 14, 2018
    Whitefaced Pied Cockatiel Wolfie Barry James (Wolfgang): Hatched approx: December 25, 2017
    Yellow Naped Amazon Benny Francis: Hatched March 24, 2018

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    Re: Gouldian finches

    Quote Originally Posted by DesertDweller View Post
    When I thought I had to rehome my parrots because of allergies, I felt terrible being without birds. So I got a pair of Gouldians and a pair of Societies. The Gouldians were male and female but I found out the hard way that the Societies were both females. I gave them some canary nests to sleep in. Normally, finches like covered nests. But these 2 Societies got together and both laid eggs in a nest. Then they got aggressive to the Gouldians, which is weird for Societies to do.

    I brought the finches back because I really wanted birds I could handle. This was my first experience with Gouldians. They're cute, but I don't want birds I can't touch. I used to have lots of finches for years. It was different then before I retired because I was at work most of the day and could just watch the birds. Now, I want that contact.

    I can't give you much feedback on Gouldians, sorry. But I used to feed my finches a finch mix. And, I made sure to give them fresh fruits and veggies every single day. They also like a little pasta, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc. When I worked at PetSmart, all of the birds were dying. They were on a seed only diet. I started to make everyone a big salad and the birds began to do a heck of a lot better.

    Yes, I never planned on getting finches because they aren't hands-on; they do not like physical interaction with humans, and we like cuddling and holding! Poor Napoleon (our Gould) freaks out when I'm just reaching into his cage to give him fresh food and water.

    But we already had lovebirds We have peach-faced lovebirds, and they are very hands-on! Especially our oldest, Sprite, who was hand fed; it DOES make a difference! We have 3 adults, 1 juvenile, and 1 baby (2 weeks old as of yesterday). If you are still looking for a cuddlebug, I would look into getting a lovebird. There are different types of lovebirds, but I'm only familiar with the peachies. I have a thread on the lovebird forum (Intro to Sprite and Scout) that discusses my experiences with them, and I have pics in my album here.
    Jennifer M.

    Mother to 1 human, Eric; 3 cats, Stormy, Sami, & Saint; 2 bearded dragons, Smauggie & Sydney, an assortment of fish, and 4 peach-faced lovebirds, Sprite, Scout, Skye & Jasper. I also have one Gouldian, Napoleon.

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    Mom of 3 fids Chick Tailfeathers Supporter!Tailfeathers Supporter! DesertDweller's Avatar
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    Re: Gouldian finches

    Quote Originally Posted by jenn4turtles View Post
    Yes, I never planned on getting finches because they aren't hands-on; they do not like physical interaction with humans, and we like cuddling and holding! Poor Napoleon (our Gould) freaks out when I'm just reaching into his cage to give him fresh food and water.

    But we already had lovebirds We have peach-faced lovebirds, and they are very hands-on! Especially our oldest, Sprite, who was hand fed; it DOES make a difference! We have 3 adults, 1 juvenile, and 1 baby (2 weeks old as of yesterday). If you are still looking for a cuddlebug, I would look into getting a lovebird. There are different types of lovebirds, but I'm only familiar with the peachies. I have a thread on the lovebird forum (Intro to Sprite and Scout) that discusses my experiences with them, and I have pics in my album here.
    Thanks Jennifer. I already have my cuddly birds - 2 baby cockatiels and my yellow naped amazon.
    I used to have finches that were hand fed by me and were totally tame. The only problem these days is that finches are normally sold when fully mature, like canaries. I got those baby finches from someone who had to let go of her large bird collection and there were some babies still in a nest. Otherwise, no more finches for me in the future, as far as I can tell.

    Lovies are cutie pies, for sure. But, my home is now happy with Wolfie Barry James, Smokey Bear and Benny Francis.
    I haven't had so few birds in over 26 years!! It's nice to have a great bond with all my birds and not be seeking more.

    A Gouldian is a gorgeous bird. I love their songs. And, until I got 2, I had never before noticed the cute tiny lyre-tail feathers they have! So cute!

    I hope you get some good info here that will help you with your gorgeous birds!
    Whitefaced Pearl Cockatiel Smokey Bear: Hatched June 14, 2018
    Whitefaced Pied Cockatiel Wolfie Barry James (Wolfgang): Hatched approx: December 25, 2017
    Yellow Naped Amazon Benny Francis: Hatched March 24, 2018

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    Brand New Egg jenn4turtles's Avatar
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    Re: Gouldian finches

    Quote Originally Posted by DesertDweller View Post
    Thanks Jennifer. I already have my cuddly birds - 2 baby cockatiels and my yellow naped amazon.
    I used to have finches that were hand fed by me and were totally tame. The only problem these days is that finches are normally sold when fully mature, like canaries. I got those baby finches from someone who had to let go of her large bird collection and there were some babies still in a nest. Otherwise, no more finches for me in the future, as far as I can tell.

    Lovies are cutie pies, for sure. But, my home is now happy with Wolfie Barry James, Smokey Bear and Benny Francis.
    I haven't had so few birds in over 26 years!! It's nice to have a great bond with all my birds and not be seeking more.

    A Gouldian is a gorgeous bird. I love their songs. And, until I got 2, I had never before noticed the cute tiny lyre-tail feathers they have! So cute!

    I hope you get some good info here that will help you with your gorgeous birds!
    Those are awesome birds, too!
    Jennifer M.

    Mother to 1 human, Eric; 3 cats, Stormy, Sami, & Saint; 2 bearded dragons, Smauggie & Sydney, an assortment of fish, and 4 peach-faced lovebirds, Sprite, Scout, Skye & Jasper. I also have one Gouldian, Napoleon.

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    Re: Gouldian finches

    My Snitch (a canary) used to fly head first across the cage and practically into the walls away from me when I reached in to put food or water when I got her. I have now managed to get her to sit on my finger a few times after a year and a half of love and patience. She lets me nuzzle her with my nose when she’s out of her cage, mimics my phrases and she hops up to the perch at the front of the cage to say hello to me when I approach her cage. Comfort and trust come with time, so don’t completely write them off just because they’re not the type of bird that likes scratches and cuddles. I imagine finches to be similar to canaries. Snitch was a year old and completely feral, essentially, when I got her. And the relationship has blossomed and is so rewarding!

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    Mom of 3 fids Chick Tailfeathers Supporter!Tailfeathers Supporter! DesertDweller's Avatar
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    Re: Gouldian finches

    Quote Originally Posted by MessyMissy View Post
    My Snitch (a canary) used to fly head first across the cage and practically into the walls away from me when I reached in to put food or water when I got her. I have now managed to get her to sit on my finger a few times after a year and a half of love and patience. She lets me nuzzle her with my nose when she’s out of her cage, mimics my phrases and she hops up to the perch at the front of the cage to say hello to me when I approach her cage. Comfort and trust come with time, so don’t completely write them off just because they’re not the type of bird that likes scratches and cuddles. I imagine finches to be similar to canaries. Snitch was a year old and completely feral, essentially, when I got her. And the relationship has blossomed and is so rewarding!
    I agree with you, Missy. It's a beautiful feeling when a little bird like a finch or canary begins to trust you enough to develop a loving relationship! I had a couple of canaries over the years and they developed rewarding relationships with me like that. Although I didn't take the time to handle my finches that much, over time they were quite willing for me to handle them for grooming and cleaning their flight cages.

    I had raised baby sparrows and a baby house finch who were hand tame. They were a joy!

    I just don't have the inclination to work with finches these days. I'm 71 years old now and I am happy with a few parrots. But I used to have 38 finches. The Gouldians I recently got weren't going to be handled by me, so I brought them back.

    I totally agree with your advice to take time to let the bird develop trust. It does take a little more time with these tiny birds. But the rewards are great when it happens. I'm so happy you posted about your experience. Thank you!
    Whitefaced Pearl Cockatiel Smokey Bear: Hatched June 14, 2018
    Whitefaced Pied Cockatiel Wolfie Barry James (Wolfgang): Hatched approx: December 25, 2017
    Yellow Naped Amazon Benny Francis: Hatched March 24, 2018

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