Gouldian Finches As Pets
Gouldian finches are among the larger finches held in captivity growing up to six inches from beak to tail feathers. They are also among the more colorful finches. The male is known for his crown and cheeks of scarlet with a black border, light green and black wings, a purple breast, turquoise neck and back and a yellow belly. Females are far more muted in color but retain a version of the head markings.
Their native habitat is among the dry eucalyptus savannas in northern Australia where they live in groups all year long. They eat mostly mature sorghum seeds, climbing the stalks and picking out the maturing seeds from the plant. Gouldian finches are omnivores and consume their fair proportion of termites, beetles and spiders and during the breeding season they satisfy exclusively on insects.
In the wild, Gouldian finches live in small, loose colonies during the breeding season which comes during the second half of the rainy season. They tend to adopt abandoned brooding nests left by parakeets. When no abandoned nests can be found they will build nests from various grasses obtainable but they don’t line the nests.
Gouldians in Captivity
Their native habitat is in the hottest parts of Australia and they simply like it hot. They require temperatures of 77 degrees F or already warmer in captivity in order to become fully active. They also like higher humidity between 55% and 70%. They require the space of an indoor or outdoor aviary and simply don’t thrive when kept in the confinement of a small cage where they don’t get proper exercise. It is also desirable to keep three to four pairs of these colorful birds together as they thrive in a social group and having company tends to stimulus their mating behaviors in addition.
Gouldian Finch Diet
A good commercial mix of seeds supplemented with vitamins and minerals is the basis of a well rounded diet. You may supplement their diet with millet, green grasses, grass seeds, mealworms, and other insect larva for variety. Fresh fruit, boiled eggs and leafy green vegetables are also welcome by Gouldians.
Gouldian finches will generally accept semi-open nesting boxes that are mounted as high as possible in the aviary. In captivity they seem to have lost their ability to build nests so you will have to supply the nesting boxes with abundant nesting material so the parents do not grind the eggs. Coconut fibers are obtainable at most pet stores and serve the purpose admirably.
The young hatch between 14 and 15 days after the eggs are laid. The fledglings should be fed with a variety of seeds and insect protein. The female will keep her nestlings warm for about ten days when she begins to pay less attention to them. You must make sure the ambient temperature stays comparatively warm in the aviary. Do not separate the young from their parents until they go into their juvenile molt, about six to eight weeks or they may not be able to navigate a new ecosystem.