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 ADVICE FROM YOUR

BIRD’S BEST ADVOCATES

 
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

is now a proud sponsor of the

 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…

- A Testimonial -

Jack….didn’t get the memo!

by Dawn St John

I saw my first Gouldian in a pet store in the fall of 2007. At that time, I had Society Finches & Zebra Finches but I had never seen this colorful finch before. He was a Red Headed/Purple Breasted/Green Back and the most beautiful bird I had ever seen. I went back 2 weeks later, on my birthday, and bought him. “Jack” was put in a 30x18x18 breeding cage and I set about soaking up as much information as I could on him. The first thing I remember reading was that Gouldians were not easy to breed and generally not very hardy. Jack, as I named him, didn’t seem to get the memo though and despite his dubious beginnings and my inexperience set about proving all that wrong.

The same can’t be said for the poor Gouldians that followed. I found homes for all the non-Gouldians I had, moved Jack into a spacious flight cage and ordered another Gouldian from the pet store, the only source I knew at the time. I bought another male who died just a few days past the 2-week warranty period. Then I bought another who also died the same way, fine one day, dead the next. The only symptoms they exhibited were staying on the cage floor and sleeping the day before they died.

The second bird that died I put in the freezer until I could get to the only Avian Vet in my area, an hour and a half away, for a necropsy. The Vet sent the body off to a Lab in Orlando. I left $250 poorer and waited anxiously to finally find out what I was doing wrong. The findings were Aspergillosis, a respiratory fungal infection. I was informed that the spores are everywhere and most healthy birds would be immune to them but a genetically weak bird could easily succumb to it. Well I am nothing if not stubborn and even the store agreed that I had spent a lot of money on dead birds, ordering me another - no charge. This one lived and Jack and his mate produced 7 healthy chicks that first year. In hindsight, I realize now that I just lucked out with these 2 birds of unknown origins.

I soon realized I needed some new blood to breed to my babies later on and, still unable to connect with any breeders in my area, went to my first bird fair…  I had heard that I could find both good and questionable breeders at fairs so I went, not sure how I would know the difference. I thought I would be able to tell just looking at the birds. I did not have too much to choose from, as there were only 2 Gouldian breeders at that first bird fair that I attended. I went to the one whose birds looked the best. He had all colors and his prices were so cheap… compared to the pet store.

I picked out 6 or 7, some really pretty, some upon closer inspection at home, had some issues. However, I figured I could “fix” whatever might be ailing them with meds and good care and they would reward me by growing strong and producing beautiful healthy babies. To say I was naïve is an understatement and I was about to learn a very “expensive” lesson about buying “cheap” birds.

Well a couple of years have past and I have learned a lot. The money I thought I was saving by buying “cheap” birds was eaten up by the steady stream of medications I had to buy to cure one illness after another. Sadly, I have come to the realization that I cannot just “fix” these birds, because they are genetically weak and will fall prey to any opportunistic disease that comes along. You could say I had an epiphany one day. I just thought, “Well they will make it or they won’t. I’ve done everything I can.” If they do, great, but I can never breed them.

If I had gotten on a waiting list for some strong healthy birds in the beginning, I would be well on my way with a successful breeding program of my own. I intend to do just that now.

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