|White-breasted Yellow-headed and Black-headed male Gouldian Finches (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Gouldian finches are more difficult to breed and care for than other types of finches and below I have outlined some useful tips you should consider:
1. Gouldian finches need a lot of space to exercise and fly about. You should consider whether to buy a cage or an aviary, this depends on the number of Gouldian finches that you have. After you decide on a cage or aviary, you should then choose a permanent location to keep these birds as they do not like changes in their location.
2. Gouldian finches like humid and warm conditions. These environmental settings should not be taken lightly so do make sure you provide the right conditions before choosing where to place them permanently.
3. Gouldian finches love seeds, which are their primary food source; therefore a nice mix of quality seeds should be given to them every day. You also need to provide additional nutrients and vitamins. Grit, as well as crushed eggshells, should be added to their daily diet. Lettuce, watercress and spinach (greens) also are necessary for a balanced diet. In addition, your finches require calcium so providing Cuttlebone is a must; especially when breeding.
4. A clean cage or aviary is essential as it keeps the birds in healthy living conditions. The cages must be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis; usually monthly but more often if necessary. All containers in the cage or aviary should be cleaned daily and the gravel in the bottom of the cage should be replaced with clean gravel at least once a month (or more often if needed).
5. Fresh water should be available daily as stale water can attract bacteria and spread disease. Ideally, you would clean the water container at the same time. Plastic containers are not ideal and should be avoided.
6. Gouldian finches are extremely sensitive about being touched and petted. Try not to handle them unless it's absolutely necessary as this stresses them out.
7. Gouldian's lay on average 4 to 6 eggs and these will hatch between 15 to 18 days after the egg has been laid. It is of the utmost importance that the breeding parents are not unnecessarily disturbed and extra food and clean water be provided each day. Try to use the hand feeding formula as well. The formula is a special diet that should be given to the parent birds. This should be done before the eggs hatch so that they get accustomed to the new diet. Once the chicks are hatched the parents will regurgitate this mix and feed the babies.
8. Never breed Gouldian finches that have a different head color. The reason being is that such mating results in an imbalance in the sex ratio of the young. It's an interesting scientific concern that points to the mortality rates of the young which have been recorded as high as 80%. So this is why breeding Gouldian's of the same head color is recommended.
These important tips will require your additional research for a thorough understanding of the Gouldian finch's needs. Keeping finches is a satisfying and proud journey that I know you will enjoy in order to successfully care for these beautiful birds.