Wednesday, May 12, 2021
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Gouldian finch, true jewels of nature

The Gouldian are few birdies very showy and colorful that have become well known recently. They belong to the passerine family and are native to Australia, a region with a tropical climate. The first were hunted in 1833 and taken to England, where the zoologist John Gould was in charge of organizing expeditions to study it. In the wild there are three different types, the red-headed, the black-headed and the orange-headed. However, they all have in common the lilac chest, the yellow belly, the green mantle and a striking turquoise necklace. In captivity, other color variants have been obtained, such as lutinos, blues, yellows, etc. The color in the females is a little duller and their tails are shorter.
They are small birds, about 12-13 cm, lively and cheerful, quite sensitive to cold and sudden changes in temperature . Their reproduction in captivity is quite difficult , some are not good parents and surrogate parents are required to take care of the chicks. The breeding season is at the end of summer and autumn, but they need a temperature of at least 25ºC and long hours of light, so it is necessary to add artificial light outside their natural habitat.
The cage must be placed in an environment protected from temperature changes , therefore it is better that they are indoors, unless the weather is very benign. They need a lot of space, with a spacious cage about 60 × 30 cm by 40 cm high, and not many birds should be put together; the ideal is a couple per cage, or more birds if you have a large aviary. They live in communities in the wild, so having just one is not recommended .
Their basic diet is covered by a mixture of seeds for parakeets of good quality, but it is advisable to complete the feeding with egg paste, vegetables in little quantity, calcium carbonate, sprouts and a complex of vitamins. As in other species, the breeding and molting season are times when the ration of proteins, minerals and vitamins must be reinforced . They also need some grit to help them grind the grains in the gizzard. They are very fond of birdseed and millet, but they must get used to eating different seeds when they are young to ensure that they have a complete diet for the rest of their lives.
Gouldian finch are sensitive birds, it is therefore necessary to maintain proper hygiene of the cage , dishes and food . Wet food, such as pasta and sprouted seeds, should be removed from the cage after a maximum of 6 hours to prevent the growth of fungi and bacteria. Likewise, the water in drinking fountains and bathtubs must be renewed, as germs can cause reproductive problems, weakness, diarrhea, weight loss, etc. Lack of general hygiene in the cage can also lead to disorders, such as chick death, weakness and death during molting, sudden adult mortality, etc. Cage overcrowding should also be avoided because it is a major cause of stress in these birds.

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