[12 Steps to Success Intro]
Step 2: February Ė Begin Preparation for Molting & Breeding Season
Molting & Breeding:
During the breeding season some of your birds may get rather aggressive. There is usually a little picking of feathers, chasing each other around the cage and some birds may actually grab another birdís wing and toss them out of the nest box they are staking claim to or chase another bird around, hold on to their wing and hang them from a perch to show dominance to another overly aggressive bird. This is perfectly natural and donít worry, they will not hurt each other.
Molting can be very hard on the Gouldian finch if they are not prepared in advance with the proper nutrients because they must produce such vibrant colorful feathers. If Gouldians donít have an ample supply of nutrients available in their system ahead of time, molting can actually cause death. Because of this you should begin to prepare your birds for the upcoming molting and breeding season early, especially the hens, to prevent egg binding while breeding and to eliminate any other molting problems. The molting process usually takes about 4 to 6 weeks but each bird is a little different.
After completing the preventative maintenance in January we start our birds on a regiment of Frisky Finches Feather Glow Avian Nectar Liquid Vitamins and liquid calcium gluconate in their water. This is their only source of water for 4 days per week to replenish their reproductive systems from the previous years breeding season and prepare them for the new years upcoming molting and breeding season.
We start with the feather glow vitamin and calcium regiment the first week of February and alternate with fresh water in between treatments through the entire breeding season. 4 days on with feather glow and liquid calcium, 3 days off with plain water each week.
This vitamin and calcium regiment will continue until the end of October, however in July during the hot summer months through October we reduce the liquid vitamin and calcium regiment and alternate this formula to every other week or skip a week in between and give the birds just plain water for the full week; one week on (4 days on the vitamins & calcium, 3 days off and continue with pure water the following week), or an additional week off. In other words you will only be treating your birds with liquid vitamins and calcium for 2 weeks out of the month.
Note: At the end of February we remove the breeding season/winter Gouldian seed mix and reintroduce it in April for the molting and breeding seasons. You could probably just leave the breeding season/winter mix in year round to simplify things a little if you like.
Donít worry if you are not able to follow this regiment perfectly day by day, week by week to the exact schedule. As long as you follow this as closely as possible it will work. Just be sure to give your birdís regular time off the formula with pure untreated water. It is not a good idea to have your birds on liquid vitamins all the time. They will need pure water as all living creatures do. If you leave the birds on vitamins too long or mix them too strong it can cause the birds to get diarrhea, but it wonít hurt them for short periods of time and will clear up quickly when put back on plain water.
Both of these liquid products we use can be mixed in with the Ronsivet at any time of the year for Canker, Guardia or Cochlosomosis treatment.
Again the water should be changed every day or every other day depending on how many birds are using the watering system, how dirty the water gets and what time of the year it is if your birds are housed outside. For example if itís February and your birds are outside, the weather should still be cool therefore you donít have to worry about bacteria, molds or algae forming in the water as much as in the warmer summer months. Indoors clean your watering containers more often if not daily.
Note: Keep the serving dishes and water containers clean and maintain proper loft hygiene at all times.
The liquid vitamins we use are a potent highly concentrated liquid multi vitamin with iodine we have specially made for our birds to maintain beautiful ďshow quality feathersĒ year round. This product produces stunning results. You will love what it does for your birds! This product can be used on all birds to achieve the same impressive results with your birdís feathers.
Both products should be mixed together: Mixture rate is 2 tablespoon of feather glow per gallon of water and we add 2 tablespoons of liquid calcium gluconate per gallon.
This article is copyrighted 2006 for Frisky Finches and is not meant to be reprinted, replicated, or republished without our expressed written permission. Thank you.