The Gouldian Finch Handbook
By TANYA LOGAN
“The Birdology Series” – A unique collection of books detailing the real scoop on bird ownership, by people who actually own pet birds. Feeding, housing, breeding, bird illness, and everything a pet bird owner needs to know.
Coming soon – the Congenial Cockatiel, A Complete Guide to Owning, Housing and Breeding America’s Favorite Pet Bird.
Experience First Pages
For ease, I will use the term Gouldian Finch, or simply Gouldian, to refer to the Lady Gouldian Finch. It is also known as Rainbow Finch and Painted Finch (although, to confuse matters further, there is another finch with that moniker).
I fell in love the first time with Gouldians because of their bright, beautiful colors. I fell for them all over again once I owned a few and discovered their delightful personality. They are comical, interactive, and gentle. They do not peck at each other overly much, and will learn to greet their owner each morning. Their sounds are soft “yoo-hoos” and quiet songs. They are intensely interested in what’s going on around them. What could be more enjoyable and relaxing than watching an aviary filled with these beautiful creatures?
Because of their gentle nature and vibrant colors, Gouldian finches have become my favorite hobby. I enjoy sitting by the aviary and listening to their songs and calls and breeding them to share with others. I have written this book in hopes that you, too will enjoy a life with the gentle song of the Gouldian finches.
The most frequently asked question: I bought finches at the pet store and the employee sold me a 12×12 inch cage, is that good enough?
Answer, accompanied by a deep sigh: No. The minimum size for a pair of Gouldians should be 30X18X18. That gives them enough space to fly from side to side. Being able to fly is a key to good health.
A good cage is one that satisfies both the bird and you. By this I mean the bird has ample space for flying, a comfortable place to perch, and good feeders/waterers. Ample space for such a tiny bird is not nearly the same size or expense as if you were purchasing for a large parrot. Cages can be had for $12-$100 that are large enough for your birds.
Purchasing a cage seems like a simple exercise, but there are many ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ cages on the market and readily available. It is best to read and learn before you make an investment. The right cage should last for years.
Accessorizing a finch cage is fun. Look online and you’ll see plenty of ideas, some better than others. I like to see cages lined with artificial turf, but I don’t believe I could keep those clean enough for my flock. What I can do to decorate the cage is hang fake plants all around inside and out, so I’m content with that.
Nests are one item people tend to buy almost immediately. I’ve never bought a finch from a store, but I imagine store personnel must encourage this thinking. So the buyer comes home with one or more nests. There are a few reasons I’d like to discourage this.
• It’s best not to breed new-to-you finches. They need to be treated for parasites and vet checked, even if they aren’t ill (and some are). They could be too young.
• Birds do not need a nest for sleeping. They can sleep on a perch. So people who don’t plan to breed them don’t need a nest.
• Gouldians can use those little wicker nests you see at the big box stores, but they prefer a deeper box type nest. Remember, they’re cavity breeders. So something that feels like a dark hole in a tree will suit them best.
The problem with the wicker nests is that they’re quite deep and yet not very wide. So for more than 3 babies it’s crowded. As the babies grow the space issue becomes worse.
Read Reviews by My Readers
" This book is really something that should be in the arsenal of any bird owner! Many of the things discussed in this book apply to parrots as well, so even if you don't have finches you will still find something useful.”
" The author covers the whole spectrum- seeds, grains, veggies and fruits. There is lots of information to pour over, including lists denoting the safety of certain fruits/veggies. There are also recipes, for everything from chop to mash to birdie bread!"
" This author has raised finches successfully for many years selling her birds in many states. Many people depend on her expertise when having problems with their birds."