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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.
 
 
 
 
 

Ladygouldian.com

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 Save the Gouldian Fund

 

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.

 

CLICK HERE to learn more…


 



C.C. from St Louis, MO asks: Dr. Rob, Do you recommend letting Lady Gouldian Finches out of their cage/aviary and allowed to fly free in a room that is safe behind closed doors with nothing inside that room that would be harmful to them? Do you think most birds would then fly back into the cage? I have a fairly large cage (30" by 60"), and they are able, and do, fly quite a bit inside. I was just wondering if they would benefit from and enjoy flying in a fairly large room with the doors closed for a period of time each day or week. Thanks in advance for your advice. I have been using your products for about two or three months and I cannot BELIEVE the change in my birds ---- they look FABULOUS, absolutely GORGEOUS --- even after a fairly ugly molt !! Not only do they look good, act well, but I know in my heart they are happy, happy, happy -- two cocks singing at their finest and two hens busy listening and acting as "lookout" when "the boys" are down at the bottom enjoying their seed. Too funny to watch them. All four have different personalities from laid- back and curious to I-will-bite-you hard if you catch me (yeah, right -- that hurts.) I did not intend to breed them, but they definitely are coupling up and I guess I may have to put a nest or two in soon. That's ok --I have many family members that want some after seeing mine and for sure I will keep one or two for myself, if successful. I have a normal BH/WB male and a silver male/WB. Females are a blue BH/PB and a yellow OH(?)RH(?)/WB (too early to tell). I would love for the silver male and blue female to "hook up" because I think then they could produce a pastel cock. But, it looks like the opposite might be the case, and I guess I should let them choose for themselves. I just love these little beauties and thank YOU for your knowledge, wisdom and concern. I am so glad I found your website !!!! AND PRODUCTS !!!!!!!!! C.
Hello C.C., You have a great theory about allowing them plenty of free flight, but Gouldians may be prone to dust related infections, especially Staph and E.coli if they are allowed to pick around on top of cupboards,etc. If this would not be the case in the room that you allow them freedom, it would be great if they can fly free. All the Best, Rob


Lora Russell from Randleman, NC asks: I recently obtained two gouldian finches (June 2005), a male born May 2004 and a female born Nov 2004. Both birds seemed fine until a couple days ago. I noticed that the female was occasionally breathing through her beak. I took both to a vet. He said that they show no signs of problems with their air sacs, but they both had an upper respiratory problem. He recommended using a humidifier. Is there any thing else, I should do? Humidity is 60%, but birds still appear to be having some respiratory problems (breathing through open beak). Any suggestions?
Hello Lora, Some Gouldian fanicers think low humidity affects their hatching rate and humidifying the air is what is necessary to improve hatchability. However I believe high humidity (above 65%) is contraindicated for Gouldians, as they have no natural immunity to diseases that can result in humid conditions. All the Best, Rob


Karen Golden from South Burlington, Vermont asks: I got a pair of normal backed gouldians a week ago from a great breeder. 1. My female, Ophelia, started shredding and eating varigated willow leaves - I don't see any ill effects. Is this okay?; 2. Can I use plastic on the side of the flight cage to act as "walls" to keep in heat and reduce drafts - worried about any toxicity issues vs. more expensive Plexiglas; 3. Can I put in the insecticide containers against spiders, mosquitoes, and the Protect Cage product against mites all at the same time in the flight cage which is 4 feet by 4 feet by 30 inches; 4. can I pick fresh herbs from outside like lavender, rosemary, and mint to let them nibble (we do have a lawn care service so I just realized that the plants might have gotten contaminated but what if we grew the herbs inside like I have a rosemary plant. 6. Can I just pick a sunflower with seeds and let them eat it? 7. Is it okay to give sugar like already sweetened, stir up Dannon yogurt or grape/cranberry juice and are these two products okay? 8. I see a lot of dyes, preservatives, and even sucrose in the bird foods - what do you think about these additives and the birds health? 9. I have a little table water fountain on the floor of the flight but can not yet get them to go down to it - any suggestions? Thank you, Karen
Hello Karen, I will repeat each question with the answers following them to make it easier to understand. 1. My female, Ophelia, started shredding and eating varigated willow leaves - I don't see any ill effects. Is this okay? YES, AS LONG AS THEY ARE CLEAN 2. Can I use plastic on the side of the flight cage to act as "walls" to keep in heat and reduce drafts - worried about any toxicity issues vs. more expensive Plexiglas; THIS WOULD BE OK 3. Can I put in the insecticide containers against spiders, mosquitoes, and the Protect Cage product against mites all at the same time in the flight cage which is 4 feet by 4 feet by 30 inches; THIS MAY BE TOO MUCH TOO CLOSE TO BIRDS. THE SPIDER AND MOSQUITOE TRAPS SHOULD BE AWAY FROM THE CAGE TO DRAW THOSE INSECTS AWAY FROM THE BIRDS. THE CAGE PROTECTOR WOULD BE FINE. 4. Can I pick fresh herbs from outside like lavender, rosemary, and mint to let them nibble (we do have a lawn care service so I just realized that the plants might have gotten contaminated but what if we grew the herbs inside like I have a rosemary plant. BEST NOT TO USE PLANTS GROWN OUTDOORS, AS YOU SUSPECTED, THAT COULD BE CONTAMINATED BY HERBICIDES OR PESTICIDES 5. Can I just pick a sunflower with seeds and let them eat it? OK IF PERFECTLY CLEAN AND DRY, BUT THESE MAY BE TOO LARGE AND USUALLY MOULD INFECTED, SO BE CAREFUL 6. Is it okay to give sugar like already sweetened, stir up Dannon yogurt or grape/cranberry juice and are these two products okay? PROBABLY NOT GOOD FOR GOULDIANS AS SUGAR CONTENT TOO HIGH. THIS WILL IRRITATE BOWEL AND CAUSE GREEN DROPPINGS 7. I see a lot of dyes, preservatives, and even sucrose in the bird foods - what do you think about these additives and the birds health? BEST IF NO SUGAR IS IN THE PRODUCTS, UNLESS THE PRODUCT IS MEANT TO GIVE ENERGY TO A SICK OR STRESSED BIRD 8. I have a little table water fountain on the floor of the flight but can not yet get them to go down to it - any suggestions? IT MAY BE IN THE WRONG POSITION AND EXPOSED. BE EXTRA CAREFUL WITH WATER FEATURES IN AN AVIARY AS THEY CAN BE A BREEDING GROUND FOR BACTERIA UNLESS KEPT PERFECTLY CLEAN. All the Best, Rob


Nicholas Chase from Brandon, SD asks: I am looking at buying some gouldians from a breeder who breeds them in room-size aviaries. I, however, will be housing them in smaller breeding cages. I was wondering if this is not good because of their former housing. Would they be too cramped and not able to adjust? Thank you
Hello Nicholas, I believe that the birds raised in the room size flight could adjust to the smaller cage, but you will find them to be very flighty and easily spooked because they are not used to the smaller space. With time they should settle down, however no bird should be kept in small confinement for it's entire life. The larger the cage you can provide (5ft-6ft long x 3ft-5ft high x 3ft-4ft deep) the healthier and happier your birds will be. It is difficult to prevent obesity when the birds do not get adequate exercise. All the Best, Rob


Leo from California asks: Can Gouldian Finches be in the same cage as other finches? For example Zebra finches, Society finches, and Shafttail finches.
Hello Leo, Yes, Gouldians are very peaceable birds and will do well in a community flight. Just be sure that the flight is large enough so that the birds are not subjected to crowding which would cause extreme stress leading to a suppressed immune system and illness. Also, when breeding season approaches, be sure that you have the correct type of nesting box for each species and that there are lots of extra boxes/baskets so that bickering does not erupt which will also lead to stress among the members of the community. All the Best, Rob


Chris from Warren, NJ asks: I have two Goudians in a 32' X 21 X 60" cage. I want to buy a ceramic heat emitter for them. What size should I get 60 Watt or 100 Watt?
Hello Chris, I believe the 60 watt bulb would be sufficient. I would install it in one of those silver dome bulb holders and attach it to the cage near the top perch. That way, the birds could use it if they were chilled, but could get away from it if they didn't need extra warmth. Rob


Katherine Roberts from Jacksonville, FL asks: Is cypress bark mulch a good choice for bedding in a bird room with finches? (This 12'x5' room is indoors and has A/C, heat, and ventilation). Also, does a clicking sound from the birds always mean air sac mites When treating the birds with your S76, is it necessary to treat the aviary as well?
Hello Katherine, Cypress mulch must be perfectly dry as it carries a mould and that may cause inhalation air sacculitis. There is a number of causes of clicking sounds, the most common is caused by the airsac mite. Fungal infections and some bacterial infections may also cause a clicking sound. It is not absolutely necessary but is highly advisable to clean the aviary when administering S76. All the Best, Rob


Amy from Oxford, MI asks: Will a space heater be ok to use instead of a bird specific cage heater? Would one be better than the other? We have a Scarlett and a big room that he is in. Also, would it be advisable to purchase a new puppy since our Scarlett is our only baby (pet) now?
Hello Amy, This sort of heater is good. I use it for my pigeons. No fumes. Do you have a Scarlet macaw? If so these are the smartest macaws and may benefit from interacting with a well trained dog. If it is happy with both of the owners, then it would be okay to get a puppy. If it is strongly over bonded to one owner the bird may have problems with a new pet. All the Best, Rob


Sandra DeSante from Philadelphia, PA US asks: My aviary is 39"x24"x48" and it initially housed 6 finches, one pair each of Lady Gouldian, Orange-cheeked and blue-capped Cordon Bleu waxbills. All seemed well. Two weeks ago 3 baby Gouldians fledged. Since then I've noticed a change in my other birds. The Cordon Bleus seem to be sleeping a lot more during the day and tend to huddle together in a sheltered spot. The Orange-cheeked female is the one giving me the greatest concern. While her feathers have always been a little natty because the male tends to pluck at her, she now looks completely tattered. Formerly very spirited she had been eating less and at times sits by herself with her eyes closed. Is it possible that the increased number of Gouldians has caused an upset? The babies are docile and finally quiet but they do fly around a lot so the aviary is less peaceful now. Do you think the problem could be due to intimidation by the bigger Gouldians? Should I house the Gouldians separately or perhaps purchase a larger single aviary? I already have them on your Turboboost, F-vite, E-powder and megamix (they won't drink water with Dufo-plus and Ioford in it) so I don't know what else I could do for them nutritionally.
Hello Sandra, I believe that the problems you are seeing are caused by intimidation from the Gouldian parents, now that their babies are out of the nest. You may not have seen it happening, but I believe that this is a big factor in the behavior you are seeing in your Cordon Bleu and Orange Cheek pairs. Constant stress will suppress the immune system of birds, which will in turn leave them open to possible infection and sickness from environmental factors. My suggestion would be to leave the Gouldians in the original cage and move the 2 pairs of waxbills into a separate cage. After the move, you can assess their behavior, droppings and activities. All the Best, Rob


George Simik from Santa Monica asks: In my bird room I have forty Canaries, a dozen Parakeets and six Conures. They are caged separately. I do have several air cleaners and I am pulling a lot of powder out of the air. Am I inviting trouble in having Parakeets? It is my understanding that it is not good to have certain birds with others
Hello George, It is best not to house Budgerigars with Canaries because of risk of Polyomavirus and Budgerigars have bacteria that may be potentially harmful to Canaries. Rob

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