Juniper Times

Latest News Magazine

Getting Started: Breeding Gouldian Finches

When breeding Gouldian finches, space is essential. They are made to fly a lot so an aviary is the best option. However, if this is not possible a large indoor cage will be fine, but an indoor flight cage will be even better.

Put a hand-woven or bamboo nest box on the outside the cage giving plenty of warmth and security to the young ones. Wooden nest boxes also provide security for the chicks, choose one that opens at the top allowing you access to the eggs and to clean the cage. You can also better observe what is going on inside.

Nest boxes can be hung on the inside or outside of the cage but it is recommended you hang it on the outside giving you the right amount of space on the inside.

When breeding Gouldian finches, cage materials should be dry, soft and warm; use pre-made nesting materials, feathers or dry grasses. You can find a lot of things at home, purchase them from a local pet store or go online.

Males will prepare the nest with whatever they can find in the cage or aviary so cut off all stringy bits free of leaving no excess so they don’t get tangled up in them.

The female will leave the male to sit on the eggs while she goes off to feed herself. The male will reorganise the nest so move any excess because he might accidentally cover-up the eggs.

‘Colonial breeding’ and ‘Selective breeding’ are the two methods of breeding Gouldian finches.

‘Colonial breeding’ means having a lot of finches in the one space. Keep an eye on which finches are breeding, the best idea is to only put five pairs in the one enclosure this will allow you a certain amount of control.

‘Selective breeding’ means better observation and less headaches by putting as many compatible pairs in one compartment each, ironically meaning you won’t have to monitor them as much.

This method is very popular amongst bird enthusiasts and helps combat against overcrowding which is very bad for their health.

When breeding Gouldian finches make sure they are compatible, you can tell if two are if when the male stands tall, looks down at the female and makes his whistling sound, she is receptive to him.

If they stick together roosting side by side or are born in the same year they are compatible. When their beaks change colour and their energy is higher and they flap their wings madly you know they are ready to mate.

It is best to start them on a suitable diet a month and a half before two finches are put together.

Provide them with a lot of calcium in the form of cuttlebone, it aids in digestion and makes their beaks strong. Calcium is also found in crushed eggshells. Give them protein in the form of sprouted seeds, seeding grasses and egg foods.