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 ADVICE FROM YOUR

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Do you have a question that you have not found an answer for throughout this website or in my FAQ? Use this link to send your question directly to me. Be as specific as possible about the symptom or behavior in question...
 
 
 

Dr. Rob is a world renowned avian veterinarian in Sydney, Australia. He was the veterinary consultant for the Northern Territory Nature and Conservation Commission for a scientific study of the disease status in the wild population of the endangered Gouldian Finches as it related to a "Recovery Plan".

 

 

Tailai O’Brien is a Parrot Behavior Consultant who has worked along side Dr. Marshall and has developed special regimes for successful bird training and behavioral development. Fill out her Questionnaire so that she may help you with your parrot’s bad behavior.
 
 
 
 
 

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A portion of all of our sales will be donated to the fund, in the hope that we may contribute in a small way to saving the wild

Gouldian Finches.

 

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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


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


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!


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


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". This is perfectly normal. 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


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 tannish head but her body is all white all over. She already went thru the moult so I know she isn’t 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 carrying the yellow-back genetics from her father and the DF blue-back from both parents. All the Best, 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


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 won’t 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


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/turquoise 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 bird keepers 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


Frank Gallucci from 3 Homestead St. Ottawa, ON, K2K7N9 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 "weird". They were very lazy, not interesting in much of what was going on around them. The first sign of not being right was that they would keep their 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 Laraine 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

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