Gouldians and Other Finches
The Finch has been of particular interest to Dr Marshall since the mid 1980's when the mutations bred under Bengalese parents developed very disappointing breeding results. With the help of John Sammut, Dr Marshall developed health programmes that dramatically improved the breeding of these fragile birds. At the same time, Polyomavirus was found to be involved with these poor breeding results. This discovery was presented to the AAV International Conference 1989. In 1990, as co-author with John Sammut, Dr Marshall explained the best methods for breeding the mutation Gouldian finches in the book "A guide to breeding the Gouldian". The second edition of this book is available through Australian Bird Keeper. Dr Marshall's world-renowned book, entitled "Gouldian Finch Health" is now out of print but is available online in our Clients Only section.
Dr Marshall knew that if his health programmes and products were successful with the most fragile members of the finch family, the beautiful mutation Gouldian finch, then they would be extremely useful for all seed-eating birds.
Dr Marshall used the canary and mutation Gouldian finch to test the effectiveness of this super health product range and health programmes, because both of these birds are highly susceptible to disease. The finch birds are special in the bird kingdom because their bowel is totally free of all bacteria in the healthy state.
The health programmes became a very important part of breeding the inbred and fragile Gouldians and they are now used successfully for all finches. Particularly good results have been found with exhibition canaries and ornamental aviaries. The health products made it much easier to breed finches. As well, there were far less illnesses so common during the breeding season and during the stressful first juvenile moult.
The secret in breeding the fragile finches rests with:
Selecting robust birds only for breeding.
Providing enough energy and the correct protein balance to the feeding parents.
To pre-treat the flock for Ornithosis (Chlamydiophila infection) prior to breeding when infertility and hatching problems have been experienced in previous seasons.
To control a build up of germs especially in wet weather by using (water cleansers).
More Gouldian Finch Links
Important information on airsac mite infection, treatment and prevention in Gouldians.
Causes, treatment and prevention of baldness in Gouldian finches.
The moult and breeding success.
Alan Simpson's soft food recipe uses hard boiled eggs, breeding crumbles, and Dr Rob Marshall's health supplements to produce excellent breeding outcomes.