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Feather Loss: Balding Gouldian Finches
By Gary & Barbara Solomon, Frisky Finches - Copyright 2006

Gouldians in the moltDo your Gouldians look like vultures? Are they balding or have no feathers on their heads? There are 3 common problems which can cause this. The most likely is an iodine deficiency. Iodine is one of the elements that Gouldians finches are deprived of in captivity. They need a little more of it in their diet in order for their thyroid gland to function properly. The thyroid gland is directly related to their feather production. Gouldians do not get enough iodine in their diet from the seeds, water and other nutritional supplements they are fed on a daily basis in captivity. This deficiency is known as goiter. Without getting into the science of this problem if you increase the iodine in their diet, this will usually clear up this problem.

If you use Frisky Finches specialty products: (Grit, Oyster Shells, Feather Glow Liquid Vitamins, Daily Breeder Seed Blend & Breeding/Winter Seed Blend) which all include extra liquid & organic iodine(s), you should be able to eliminate this problem.

For unusually stubborn cases of feather loss, Frisky Finches now offers a Concentrated Liquid Iodine, which can be mixed with any of the other liquid products we offer to help cure this problem in the Gouldian finch.

Gouldian coming out of the moltPlease "DO NOT THINK MORE IS BETTER"! when using a supplement iodine, it is actually poisonous and can kill your Gouldians if you administer too much of it into their diet. Follow the product directions very closely.

Once you get your birds the iodine needed in their system to cure this deficiency, the thyroid gland will heal quickly and it will take about 4 to 6 weeks for your birds to re-grow their feathers back. You will be amazed at the results.

There are two other potential causes of feather loss in Gouldians. The first is stress from over crowding (to many birds in a living space) or over crowded breeding conditions. Gouldians are very territorial when breeding and become aggressive if they are over crowded, this causes high levels of stress to the birds. Stress can be directly related to feather loss. The 3rd cause could be the canary feather mite which gets into the pours or feather follicle and eats the feathers as they try to grow out. The Gouldian finch species is actually related to the canary (they are in the same avian family) and they can be susceptible to this mite, however this is usually not the problem with balding Gouldians and we recommend trying to supplement their diet with iodine or look into reducing the population in their living environment before trying insecticides on them for feather mites. If you think this may be the problem please email or call us for our recommended treatment.

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.