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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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Rocco Cicirello from Staten Island, New York asks: Hello, I have a molting red factor canary. I added one half teaspoon of Cantaxithin into one half pound of Orlux red factor egg food. Do you think this sufficient, or to much? They say what they don't need they excrete. Is this correct? Thank you.
Hello Rocco, I suggest that you follow the directions on the label of the coloring product that you are using. Regards, Rob

Denise Mower from South Yorkshire, England asks: Dr Rob, I have many Gouldians and have bred successfully for a number of years. This year I have quite a few females with bald heads. They have no mites or other visable skin infection. They seem very healthy and some have bred young. They have a good balanced foreign finch, charcoal, iodine block, egg shell, cuttlefish, greenfood, gg food and a water mineral supplement. They also have meal worms every day as they live in a mixed aviary. mineral block grit also. I have heard it is due to a lack of iodine. They have access to a water spray 3 times a day and often use this, What could be wrong? Thank you
Hello Denise, Insufficient iodine is seldom the cause of head feather loss. Most times it is caused because birds are breeding "out of season". By this I mean that they have not been allowed a proper time period to completely molt each year with adequate nutrition. Improving the nutrition in their diet and allowing sufficient molting time next Spring should correct this problem for you and your birds. All the Best, Rob

Shelly from Hendersonville, NC asks: I recently acquired a group of finches from a pet store that was going bankrupt. In the group, there is a male Gouldian, 2 Societies and several Zebra finches. They are all housed in a large cage together. I have noticed that the color in the Gouldian is faded and looks like he is losing feathers. I have never witnessed the other birds picking on him, but have not ruled that out as a possibility. Do you suggest separating him or do typically mixed flocks do OK?
Hello Shelly, I suspect that the faded color on your new Gouldian is a result of inadequate nutrition in this last year since his yearly molt. The birds that you have mentioned should have no problem living in a colony together. My suggestion is to put all of them on the best diet you can afford and watch what will happen to their health and activity level. My Resting Season Health Programme would be ideal for them. All the Best, Rob

Ira & Rita Goldstein from New Rochelle, NY asks: We have 2 Gouldians, we have noticed recently, a lot of small pin feathers coming out near the head & neck area. That is on both of them. Other than that, they are eating well, singing...Hope you can help us...thank you...Ira
Hello Ira & Rita, I do not think that anything is wrong with your Gouldians. It sounds like they are at the completion of their yearly molt. All the Best, Rob

Kalan Toy from San Jose, CA asks: Hi Dr. Rob, Yikes, the breeder treated the canaries with lice spray for two weeks. I picked the birds up yesterday. When I caught two of the birds, they still had lice! The lice were clustered on the small of the back just above the preening gland, unless you were looking for them they would have gone unnoticed: the birds are in good feather still singing and bright. After I got over the shock, I took the spray and drenched the lice in the spray which killed them. 1. Will Scatt control lice? 2. Will one Scatt treatment be enough? Hi, I went to buy a few canaries and a parrotlet from a breeder. When I examined the Canary, mites/lice ran down my arm. I asked them to treat all the birds for mites/lice and hold them. They've been treated with and anti mite/lice spray every 3-4 days for two weeks now. Is this treatment regime enough to kick the pest? Will these treated birds have other health issues after treatment ends? Thank you!
Hello Kalan, It is hard to say whether the cycle has been broken. It really depends upon what kind of mites/lice were on these birds. If they were the kind that only crawl on the birds at night (blood mites) and hide in cracks and crevices during the daylight hours, then the environment would also have had to be treated also. Rob

Ian Jones from Wales, UK asks: Hi Dr. Rob, Have bred Gouldians for 18 years with very few problems. Recently moved all the birds [90] to new birdroom, also bought in. About 7 weeks ago they started to scratch vigorously, loose feathers, and small pieces of flakey skin fall off. They seem worse after being handled and after bathing. Have been treating them with S76 in the drinking water as instructed, also given them Ivermectin drops to back of neck but they are still suffering. The cages and flight have been thoroughly cleaned. I've obviously handled each bird while treating them, but as yet not seen any parasite on them. Do you have any suggestions as they haven’t improved after 6 weeks of treatment. Thanks Ian
Hello Ian, Yes, it is possible that your birds may be suffering from quill mites. Remember, quill mites and some other types of mites are not blood suckers, so S76 in the drinking water will not be effective. I suggest that you try mixing the S76 at drinking water strength and allowing one or 2 of your birds to bathe in it. Assess the results. If there is a positive result, then let them all bathe in it. If your birds do not like bathing on their own, then gently mist them with the S76 water. This could also be a Thrush problem, so adding the KD Water Cleanser to the bath and drinking water could also be helpful. This could also be a dust allergy. So I suggest you also move several birds to a new room and treat them to see if this makes a difference. All the Best, Rob