Is there a more beautiful finch than the Gouldian? An old friend of mine said they must have been the most beautiful creature ever created and I tend to agree.
This is the time of the year when you start to see the results of the past breeding season. The birds are partly through the moult and you start to think of next season, such as what to pair with what; what bloodlines to keep and what to discard. Donâ€™t make up your mind too soon as to what you want to breed, but be guided by what you have available â€“ good bird to good bird. Donâ€™t try to breed inferior Reds when you have a good supply of Black or Yellow or vice versa.
I have come across articles in different magazines, books etc where the writer advises breeders to keep head colour true such as red to red, black to black, yellow to yellow. From my experience, I have not found this to be good advice.
It seems all my best birds have been bred from black hens; Red cock â€“ Black hen; Yellow cock â€“ Black hen; Black cock- Black hen.
I have bred some beautiful Red and Yellow hens but have not bred many good birds with them. This seems to apply in all types of Gouldians whether they be Normals or any of the mutations e.g. White Breasted (WB) and Single Factor (SF) and Double Factor (DF) varieties.
The first thing I do when all birds are fully coloured is to pay particular attention to all the Black hens whether they be Normals, WB, SF or DF. I then next decide which cocks I want to keep and mate them to the Black hens, but obviously not always, because some Red Hens and Yellow Hens you just canâ€™t part with. I try pairing these with different cocks, as you never know something may happen. Over the many breeding seasons I have found that the surprises come from the Black hens and the disappointments from the Red and Yellow hens.
One thing I have found recently is that the Red Faced Parrot Finch and their mutations are very compatible with Gouldians. I run two pairs of Gouldians plus one pair of Parrot Finches together in aviaries 5m length x 2.4m high and 1m wide, only using nest boxes. These two species compliment each other as they have the same needs both diet and nesting requirements and look good together in the flight.
I feed these birds separate trays each of mixed seed, canary and jap millet. Each morning birds are fed a dish of cooked seed with egg and biscuit mix. No live food is given but I give as much green feed/seeding grasses as possible.