Breeding Gouldian Finches

 

 

There are many important topics to discuss in terms of breeding Gouldians. I have divided the breeding section up into these topics, and the index can be found in the Information Tab above. These are Diet, Housing, Sprouting, Fostering, and the Identifying Mutations section, which provides information on identifying the various Gouldian mutations in the nest.

Breeding Goals: Why do you want to breed Gouldians?
I urge everyone to ask themselves this question before they venture into breeding Gouldians. What are your goals? For me, I am breeding to produce offspring that are both genetically strong, but also worthy of showing and breeding themselves. I am a selective breeder and therefore do not colony breed. This is so I can produce very specific offspring from very specific pairs of parents. It is in this way that I am working to achieve strong lines of show and breeding quality mutation birds.

Contrary to popular opinion, I do not find Gouldians to be that difficult to breed in the grand scheme of things. However - I do feel a variety of factors need to be addressed before you can be successful with them. Breeding Gouldians is not always as easy as breeding Society finches. Most breeders will likely encounter some, or a number of, frustrations along the way. It is important to take a step back in these situations and evaluate the environment you are providing for the birds. Rather than blame the birds for their poor behavior or performance, think about what you can do or change to get a better response out of your birds.

How do you select the birds you breed?
I believe quality of the birds you breed will greatly dictate the quality of babies you produce. Thus, you should select and breed the highest quality birds in order to produce the same. It is often said that breeders will "keep the best and sell the rest," but I believe if you look closely, you will find there are many breeders selling high quality birds! When you are buying birds from a breeder, there are a few questions I believe you should always ask:
1. Did they personally breed the bird that is for sale? If the answer is no - try to find out who did and get their contact information if possible. 2. If the birds are not close banded, how old are they? Can you trust the breeder to be honest with you? Evaluate the bird closely!
3. Why are they selling the bird(s)? Although this seems like a no-brainer, it is still an important question to ask and the answer may surprise you!
4. Have the birds been bred? If yes -
a. When was the last clutch?
b. How many clutches did they produce (successful and non!)
c. Did the parents raise the chicks themselves? d. Do they still have any of the babies (if yes, ask if you can see them!)

The act of breeding should not be taken lightly, and the babies should always be considered first before one attempts to breed. Keep in mind - Gouldians can lay up to 7 eggs at a time, with 4-6 being average, and they can have up to 3 clutches a year. Most Gouldian young do not finish their first molt until they are between 6-12 months of age, with some birds coloring up faster than others. Will you be able to provide ample space and adequate care for them during that time?

 

 

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