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 There are many hacks to breeding  the lady Gouldian finch.  These are some of my best

Perch Size and Placement

The first hack is the perch. This is where you want to have two perch lengths. A full length perch and a medium length perch.  The longer length perch is placed lower than the medium length perch.  This is because birds prefer to sit higher. Both will naturally be drawn to the higher perch.  The medium length perch forces the pair to sit closer together.

This will obviously make them much more comfortable sitting closer which should stimulate greater compatibility as they have to share the same smaller space .  


Place the male ( when in condition : top form, pearly white sheen to beak) in the cage week or so before the hen so he establishes territory. This will stimulate his need to mate. Place the hen ( when in condition: beak will be 1/3 to 1/2 black, red, or, yellow depending on mask colour) in eleven to fourteen days after the male is comfortable in his territory. He will exude entitlement and confidence. This will be a trait that will impress his mate and may lead to copulation in the coming weeks.


-ten or so days after the hen is introduced you may want to test if the pair are ready to mate.

Place some nesting material on the cage floor if the male carries or plays with it place the nest in the next day

-never use wicker ( too hard to clean, to bright inside)  or half sized plastic nests ( let in too much light and are way too shallow) 

Both can lead to poor breeding performance.

Gouldian chicks have mouth markings that are iridescent in the dark so having a lighter nest may cause feeding issues.

-best nests are the L shaped and the deep large plastic nests. We have had 27 years of ideal results in the deeper nests Our gouldians seem to prefer half open entrance to the hole entrance. We get very few pitching and abandoning issues because of the depth and darkness in the nest.

-After banding place facial tissue or paper towel in the nest so nest cleaning can be done quite easily every week to prevent bacterial issues in the growing chicks.

Diatomaceous Earth

Another good trick deals with food grade diatomaceous earth.  You  want to place the diatomaceous earth under the trays so that the powder keeps in the crevices and out of the birds reach.  This is a cheap but ideal way to keep the cage free of red mites and feather mites.  Both like to hide in crevices, corners, and under the trays.  You can also place diatomaceous earth in the nest before placing in the nesting material again to prevent parasite infestation of the nest.


Synchronizing ensures the eggs hatch within hours instead of days apart

-A good tip to synchronizing the clutch is to remove the first three to four eggs as they are laid ad replacing them with dummy eggs. If there is no fourth egg laid replace the eggs on the fourth day after the first egg was laid.

-Rotate the removed eggs two times dailly to prevent settling of the yolk before replacing them for the pair to brood. 

-discard unhatched ( clear or dead in shell eggs few days after the synchronized clutch has hatched.

If you are not synchronizing the clutch remove day of banding.

Nest Checks

Do a maximum of 3 in the first ten to twelve days. First one day or so after hatching date.

Second one days before banding. Final one hours after banding to make sure the process has not over stressed any of the chicks. Remove any that have expired from banding.   


-keep all your banding equipment ( rings, lubricant, split rings, band cutter, split ring applicator)  in a kit so you are not searching for this or that during banding

-have first aid kit ( liquid bandage, styptic stick, small jar ( 50 ml or less) flour, some tissues of flour at the ready in case you accidentally cut the leg or cause other injury while banding.

-keep the chick calm by covering it with towel and exposing just the leg to be banded.

-never pull on the toes concentrate the majority of force on puling the band itself down the leg.


Replace the medium sized perch with two full length perches once the chicks fledge so the family can all sit together. A big concern during this trying time is dehydration.

Many chicks also fill their empty bellies with water to stave off hunger pangs.
A good tip that has saved me the loss of many weanlings is a shallow dish of water on the cage floor
they can easily access during weaning.