I first kept and bred Gouldian Finches in 1972, and in that year I raised more Goulds in one season (24 young) from my first pair than I ever have from a single pair in all the years since then. For several years in the early 1980's I did not keep any Gouldians, but since 1985 I have been breeding a variety of Gouldian Finches. These are bred in individual cages (I did some flight breed from a while but no longer do it). I always encourage the Gouldians to raise their own young, so almost all of the offspring I produce are parent raised. Fostering of Gouldians to Society only happens as a last resort. It seems the only time I have to foster is if the parent Gouldians have too many babies per clutch and I feel the need to reduce the number.
My individual breeding cages are about 20 inches square. Each is build as a tier of 3 cages. There are a row of 5 tiers on each wall of the bird room. Each individual cage houses only one pair of birds. There are two perches per cage at opposite ends of the cage. The feed containers (tuna fish cans) are place on the floor of each cage. Small plastic cups attached to the side of the cages hold grit and ground egg shell. Often a small additional plastic saucer is place on the floor for nesting food. Millet sprays are placed directly on the floor of the cages.
Each set of cages has a clear fiber glass barrier running the entire height and width of the tier. This serves as a visual barrier, allowing light to be transmitted, but preventing breeding birds from seeing neighbors in adjacent cages. I believe this visual barrier is important to many pairs of Gouldians, who might become distracted from their own nesting activities when observing birds in adjacent cages. Supplemental fluorescent lighting is above all of the cages and during the breeding season, the lights are on a photoperiod of about 14-16 hours. Night lights are always on when the fluorescent lights go off. The birds are never in total darkness.
In case you are wondering about the availability of Gouldian Finches. I do breed a few each year, but only set up about 4 - 5 pairs, so the production if limited to about 30 young per year. They sell very fast and generally you'll have to contact me well in advance to acquire any. The cost starts at $150 per pair, up to $125 each for some Yellow combinations. I have no blues or silvers and only breed Green and Yellow Bodied Goulds in Red, Black and Yellow heads. Just email me to see if any are currently available.
Pictures of some of my Gouldians
- Yellow Bodied Red Head male
- Yellow Bodied White Breast Yellow head male
- Same bird as above
- Yellow bodied Yellow head female
- Adult Normal Red head female
- Young Male Red head (still molting)