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Gouldian Tips


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AIR SAC MITE MEDICATION

AVIAN INSECT LIQUIDATOR - VETAFARM

AVIARY POSITION

CLEANLINESS

DAILY OBSERVATION

EGG SHELLS

MOULTING, PROTEIN AND IODINE

PERCHED ON ONE LEG?

POND WATER

SEED AND AVIAN PRODUCTS

SWAMP GRASS NESTING MATERIAL






AVIARY POSITION.

Ever wondered why some Gouldian keepers have so much success? You will most probably find that it is a result of the position of their aviary.

If you are about to build an outside aviary with an attached enclosed section the BEST tip you will ever get is to place the aviary in a position where it will capture as much sunshine as possible. Do this and you will be well on the way to SUCCESS.

My aviary is in a BAD position where it captures more shade than sunshine. Not much I can do about it, as it is in a position that suits the layout of the garden available.

Gouldians love the sunshine, require an area for shade if they choose plus they must have a draft free enclosed section to retreat to in poor weather and nightfall.

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EGG SHELLS.

Gouldians love working away at eggshells, especially during the breeding season. I am always collecting eggs shells from my family.

The shells need a good wash. I was recently told by someone qualified "ie a molecular biologist" that the best way to ensure they are safe is to boil them in a pot.

I use to microwave them on high for about 3 minutes thinking it would kill any bacteria. This is WRONG! Best to use boiling water. You can thank Christine for that tip!

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AVIAN INSECT LIQUIDATOR - VETAFARM.

Every 6 weeks I spray my finches with Vetafarm's Avian Insect Liquidator. This product is excellent and keeps the finches free of lice and other insects. I also spray it in and around the nest boxes.

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SEED AND AVIAN PRODUCTS.

Mackay Robert & Sons
6 Kookaburra Frankston (P) 9781 4263

Without any doubt, this is the cheapest place going around. I buy my seed here in 20-kilo bags.

They have the cheapest water bowls and can get any VETAFARM product in at the RECOMMENDED retail price! Except Scatt which is not avialable in Australia unless you are a Vetaclub member. If it is not on the shelf they will order it in for you.

They also have other brand products in at very cheap prices.

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SWAMP GRASS NESTING MATERIAL.

Peninsula Bird World
9 Bennets Road Mornington (P)5975 0945

I purchase my swamp grass from here, as it is clean, soft and well priced. The Goulds love it. I also purchase my grit here. They also have some Vetafarm products and a good range of finches.

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AIR SAC MITE MEDICATION.

I am now a member of the Vetaclub at Vetafarm so I am able to purchase Scatt even though I reside in Australia. It is so easy to use and I have had no deaths after using it. It comes in a 30 gram bottle and one drop is safe for birds under 30 grams. The bottle actually states 1 drop for 30 gram weight but I have been told from Vetafarm that it should read "under 30 grams apply one drop" which as you know applies to our Gouldians that generally weigh around 15 grams give or take.

As I have said I have used it and have no problem recommending it as long as you are carefully squeezing the bottle so that only one drop falls. It is very easy.

I use to purchase air sac mite medication from the Australian Bird Company and Breeding Farm, 578 Springvale Road Springvale South. (P) 9548 2422. Its called Australian Bird Company Mite Antiparasite Solution. Ideal for use on birds where Scaley Mite and Air Sac Mite are inhabitating. Dosage 1 drop on the back of the head of the bird once a day until symptoms are gone. I place all the colony in holding cages and to be safe I treat for 24 days straight. Luckily I don't have to do this anymore! Thanks to Scatt!

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CLEANLINESS.

A clean aviary is the next best tip other than position of your aviary!

Bacteria is transmitted through dirty water, perches, floors, feeding trays and feeding bowls. Keep them all CLEAN.

I change the perches regularly. Soak the plastic trays/bowls in bleached warm water for 15 mintues every time they are used. I have seven water bowls for every day of the week. Change the water daily and also add Vetafarm's Aviclens. The outside section takes care of itself with a good hose down at least once a week.

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MOULTING, PROTEIN AND IODINE.

Keep the protein and iodine levels up during this period. Provide a good balanced seed. Soft egg food if you have time or dry premium avian egg and biscuit food if you don't. Oyster shell and charcoal supplement. The oyster shell provides calcium and iodine. My Gouldians love it. I use Aristopet 300 gram container if I can get it. I also use Vetafarm's Soluvet Liquid Vitamins in the water which also has iodine. Plenty of sunshine if possible too.

This is the time I least disturb the colony as it is a period of high stress. They love to sit quietly with all the young male juveniles practising their singing as the hens patiently sit watching.

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PERCHED ON ONE LEG?

Don't panic. This is a sight to behold. It means your Gouldian is happy and healthy.

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DAILY OBSERVATION.

Try and observe your finches daily, even if it is for only five minutes. You will get to know their individual habits. This will help you identify any health problems if they occur.

If you notice a sick finch, one that is sleepy, head tucked under the wing, puffed up and rocking, or appears to have lost body weight, act quickly and remove it from the colony for treatment in a Hospital Cage and then quarrantine it in a holding cage!

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POND WATER.

Each weekend I remove the 16 litres of water from the rock pool pond. This is done using a small glass beaker and then a sponge to remove the remaining small amount of water.

The pond pump is then placed in a bucket of warm water for about 10-15 minutes that has bleach added to it. I use to measure the bleach at about one part bleach to ten parts water but now I just guess by pouring it in. I remove the small sponge filter and soak that too. Afterwards I clean the filter sponge by jet spraying it up close with the garden hose.

I then replenish 16 litres of water from the tap and add 8 ml of Vetafarm's Aviclens. The pond pump is set on a timer or I can override it manually for whatever reason. The whole process only takes about 20 minutes but boy, those weekends come around quickly!

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Revised 09/2003