“Those Finches with Rainbow Colors”

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RH GB male being his goofy self for the camera. (Photo by Randy Hume | TWFA 2014)

The Gouldain Finch flock is doing well in their aviary and have begun to really settle in. They use literally every perch I gave them & are constantly flying around getting exercise. It’s so amusing to see them on the bottom, lower, middle, and upper areas of their large aviary all at once. The constant melodious signing is so beautiful and peaceful to listen to, I find myself watching them for hours at a time!

What kind of mutations do you have?
Well, you know me! I love to “catch ’em all,” and I very nearly do have every Zebra mutation. When acquiring these Gouldians I applied the same philosophy. In this new flock of rainbows I have Red Headed (RH), Yellow or “Orange” or “Tangerine” Headed (YH), Black Headed (BH), Purple Breasted (PB), White Breasted (WB), Yellow Backed (YB), Green Backed (GB), and a single Pastel male. The only color mutations I don’t have right now are the Blue Back (BB) & Silver Back (SB) types. There are ways for specific types of GB & YB to produce BB which I may get into later.

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RH YB female enjoying the aviary’s 4-tier swing. (Photo by Randy Hume | TWFA 2014)

Where did you get them from? 
I adopted all of my Gouldians from Meg @ Whidbey Birds who is a local breeder on Whidbey Island, Wa. I searched for over a year for a breeder who cared deeply for their flock and finally found her! She was kind enough to sell me her breeders since she was focusing more on other species, and I couldn’t have lucked out more. They are lovely and a great quality, already 1.5-2 years old, fertile, and ready to breed. After I’ve started breeding them and raising offspring I’ll publish a review with more details.

When will you begin breeding Gouldians?
As soon as the flock has finished their annual molt, they’ll get a period of rest. After that they’ll be ready to breed and I’ll introduce new nesting boxes at that time. As I’ve been told by their previous breeder, they’re great producers and from what I can see most comfortable in a large group environment.

To avoid aggression and territorial issues I’ll be removing all eggs for fostering or hand raising. That may change with time but I want to preserve the peace that they have right now for as long as they’re together in there. They prefer to be together and they love the large space for flying so I’m confident that I’ll be able to keep them happy. Keeping my fingers crossed & knock on wood!!

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RH GB pastel male finishing up his annual molt. (TWFA 2014)

Have you ever kept Gouldians before?
Yes indeedy! I kept them on and off short term back when I was taking in unwanted or ill birds which their owners didn’t feel prepared to care for. Any ailments were normal: balding, egg binding, infertility, etc. I loved having them around but they always intimidated me as a Finch keeper. Once you start challenging yourself, taking on a more stereotypically fragile species seems like small potatoes. But back when I had only cared for a few Zebras/Societies at a time I was always paranoid they would come down with something scary. It was a huge deterrent because if you don’t know what you’re doing you could end up with an entire flock with a serious illness.

How does the whole mixed aviary thing work?
First of all, there are plenty of acceptable ways to have a mixed aviary. Much like everything else with pet care, one standard does not apply to everyone. In my experience, there’s just no way to control breeding in an aviary other than by controlling which birds you put in it to begin with. I don’t know how some people can keep a self-sustaining aviary with offspring, parents, siblings, generations, without any inbreeding. I just don’t see a feasible solution, but there are many out there doing it successfully. They take very detailed notes, and spend a lot of time observing their flock as I’m told. It’s impressive!!

For me, what works best is to set up a mixed aviary with totally unrelated pairs. This way anyone can breed and there won’t be any issues. For the juvenile aviary I have or any other non-breeding aviary, it’s easy to prevent nest building. For the Gouldian aviary, I made sure that each Finch came from different bloodlines. This will enable me to set up some nest boxes and let them do their thing, but I’ll still have to keep a close eye on who is breeding with whom/etc.

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BH GB male beginning his annual molt. (Photo by Randy Hume | TWFA 2014)

Are you going to be selling Gouldian offspring for $300-$600 as others?
The average price for Gouldians is around $75 each for the regular mutations, $100-$150+ each for the rarer types. Anything more than that is absolute fabrications, like the brokers/flippers trying to sell regular Gouldian pairs for $600 – are they serious?!

I’m also planning to support a couple of rescues each season with any extra Gouldian profits that don’t go directly back into the flock’s care. They won’t be breeding for a few more weeks or so until they’ve finished molting & resting.

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That’s all of the Gouldian plans & details for now! All but 1 are still heavily molting but they’re all doing very well on their Dr. Marshall program and fresh foods. Even though a few had just finished their first molt, they molted again a couple of weeks after arriving. That’s no coincidence, it’s the program working at its best. Their new feathers are even more vibrant as you can see in the pastel male’s photo above & right. For Zebras & Societies the Dr. Marshall program works great, but I couldn’t imagine having Gouldians without it!

Thanks for following & liking our posts! 🙂 It’s been a great start to the 2014 breeding season and I’m looking forward to all of the impending adoptions. Don’t forget to check out the Facebook page for articles, news, photos & more.~

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4 Comments

    • Thank you so much, SI!! 🙂 Goulds will get along well with Zebras in a mixed aviary or mixed cage environment as much as Zebras get along with Zebras. There may be squabbles but if you remove all breeding stimulants & give them plenty to do/plenty of flying space they’ll do great together. There are a lot of Finch species out there that would not normally get along, but in a large aviary environment people keep them all together successfully without issues or fighting. When I start breeding the Gouldians their babies will be mixed into the juvenile aviary with Zebras & Societies.

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