If you keep the bugs, parasites, protozoan infections and most importantly "nutrition" all in check, your Gouldians and all birds in captivity will be happy, healthy, feel good and breed. Birds are allot like people when it comes to breeding. If your sick with the flu, have a bad case of food poisoning just not feeling very well there is not going to be any hanky panky going on... Birds are the same...
If they are lacking nutrition in their body due to having an intestinal infection caused by bacteria ("usually with dirt floors or feeding wet foods") or a parasite like worms or canker causing them not to feel well or if they are being attacked by bugs, they are not going to be able to focus on breeding. If you get all these things in balance on a regular schedule the birds will quit dyeing and breed like mice. Like people occasionally you will run across some birds that just are not attracted to each other, switch their mate or sell them if you want to breed Gouldians...
Feather loss in Gouldians is usually because of a lack of nutrition in their diet or the vitamins and minerals to maintain healthy plumage. Seldom is it a lack of iodine in their system or bugs. Canker can contribute and I will explain that below. Seed alone is not enough for Gouldians in captivity, it is all grown on heavily farmed land these days and it has very little nutritional content. Gouldians need a verity of additional nutritional supplements added to their daily diet in captivity. When low nutrition occurs the feathers are the first to go like the leaves on a thirsty bush or tree. If Gouldians start to look scruffy before the year is up you need to increase the vitamin supplements in their diet so they have what is needed in their bodies to replace the lost feathers. You need to add a little more vitamins, calcium and molting aid to their diet to force them into growing back the lost feathers.
Basically here is what we use and how it's used...
DAILY USE: You can use the Frisky Finches Feather Glow at a rate of 2 tablespoons per gallon 4 days a week or use 1 tablespoon per gallon along with the Vetafarm Calcivet at the same dose rate (1 tablespoon per gallon) as their only source of water every day.
I recomend adding the Vetafarm Moulting Aid to this cocktail at a dose rate of 1
teaspoon per gallon for daily year round feather health.
You should also treat your birds at least once a year with Scatt or Ivomec to be sure they don't have any pests. Lice, mites and other unwanted bugs can also contribute to feather loss. If your
birds in the middle of breeding, wait till they are done unless you suspect they have a bug problem. It's best to treat them with Scatt or Ivomec 2 to 3 months before breeding if possible. There is some speculation Ivomec may cause temporary sterility therefore it could delay successful breeding. This is why I recommend using
Ivomec 2 to 3 months prior to breeding and use the Scatt during breeding if possible.
PREPARATION FOR BREEDING, MOLTING, FORCE FEATHER GROWTH ON BALDING BIRDS: To grow their feathers back I would use 2 tablespoons per gallon of the feather glow and 2 tablespoons per gallon of the liq calcium
plus 2 tablespoons per gal the molting aid all mixed into one cocktail. Supply
this to your birds as their only source of water for 2 weeks straight, then cut everything back to 1 tablespoon per gal as the only source of water for another 6 weeks as needed until they are done
molting or feathering up. Then go back to using the cocktail 4 days weekly.
If breeding use 2 tablespoons of the liq calcium with the feather glow for a minimum of 30 days prior to pairing your birds and before the hens start to lay eggs, (to avoid egg binding) then put your birds together for breeding or if already together, give them the nest boxes after 30 days and reduce the liq calcium to 1 tablespoon per gal with the feather glow while breeding. You can still give them the molting aid at 1
teaspoon per gallon year round. It has amino acids, minerals and other ingredients to help keep the birds feathers
remain healthy year round. It's great stuff ;-)
All of the products in the concentrate form are good for years. Use them
until they are gone! Once diluted into a cocktail and mixed together you should keep the
supplement solutions refrigerated and after about 2 weeks if there is any left, dump it and make a new cocktail. If using the 23% gluconate rather than the Calcivet be sure to keep the concentrate cold or it will grow mold and you will have to toss it all out. The Vetafarm Calcivet
has a stronger persentage of calcium content and is a better formula of calcium
for the birds body to absorb, it also has vitamin D to further help the birds body absorb the calcium.
You should also treat your birds with Ronivet prior to molting or breeding and about once every
6 to 8 weeks when not breeding. During breeding you should use Ronivet about every 4 to 6 weeks. This is to clear up any inflammation in the intestines so your birds can absorb the nutrients in their diet better. Canker inflames the intestines and prevents them from working properly and it can contribute to feather loss, poor breeding behavior, egg binding and a host of other problems that can occur with a weakened bird. Canker can eventually kill your birds, more so when breeding,
molting or in stressful conditions such as transporting. Canker will dramatically increase your baby bird mortality. The Ronivet can be mixed into the cocktail with
all our Frisky Finches liquid supplements at a rate of 1 TEA-SPOON per gallon of fresh water.
Under normal conditions treatment for 5 to 7 days is recomended. Do not exceed
14 days and only if necessary. It will not hurt your birds hatchlings or young birds
that have fledged the nest.
There is info on my site about how to identify this infection by your birds droppings
to help you recognize if they need to be treated. If your mixing Ronivet in your
supplement cocktail it should be keep this refrigerated and you should replace
the mixture/cocktail after 7 days.
http://www.friskyfinches.com/cankerinfections.htm - An article I wrote about Canker in Gouldians. I believe this contributes to the Gouldian finches inability to absorb enough calcium into their diets, and other necessary nutrients and supplements.
There are 5 basic liquid supplements that I use which you can give your birds to feather them back up, prepare them for breeding and keep them healthy...
- http://www.friskyfinches.com/frisky_finches_feather_glow.htm - Use year round... or http://www.friskyfinches.com/vp-soluvetliquid.html and if you like using a powder http://www.friskyfinches.com/vp-soluvited.html
- http://www.friskyfinches.com/vetafarm%20feather%20aid.htm - Great stuff and should be used year round... Not just for molting...
- http://www.friskyfinches.com/vetafarm%20calcivet.htm - Use year round... Not just for molting and breeding...
or - One or the other, you do not need both...
- For breeding season we highly recommend using Frisky Finches Breeding and Stress Aid in your cocktail mixture.
Please call us if you have any questions... Thank you!