Thursday, December 29, 2011

Gouldian Finches, and Rhode Island Red chickens.

We 'adopted' some fertile eggs from a friend who breeds various kinds of chooks, and two Rhode Island Red chickens hatched out a month ago.  We think we have a rooster and a hen.  Foster Mum is a Columbian, although you'd never know from this angle!

Our flock of juvenile (under 12 months old) Gouldians are very healthy, and their colours are coming through now.

The bird with the white chest at the top left is a mutation. Some people deliberately breed Gouldians like this, but we didn't. The parent bird may have come from a breeder that had some white-chested birds in his aviaries.
The other two on the top perch look like they will be females, as their colours are muted compared to the males. The bird on the bottom perch at the right is from the last lot to hatch and is still too young to be showing any colours.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Our flock of Gouldian Finches

To anyone who is still visiting this blog, sorry it has been so long since I posted anything. Ken has made quite a few changes to the aviaries. He has sold most of the budgies, leaving only half a dozen, and they seem to be much happier now there is less of them in that aviary.
He has also sold all the Zebra finches except for four Charcoal finches, which have already hatched four eggs last month. They are in the same aviary as the four Canaries (two breeding pairs), but they haven't been successful in hatching the eggs they have laid.
The Gouldians are our success story. One of the reasons Ken sold the finches was to free up a second aviary for all the juvenile Gouldians we now have. So we now have three adult breeding pairs in one aviary (and they have four babies and more eggs at this moment), and 13 juveniles in the adjoining aviary.

Red headed male Gouldians.

Black headed male, red headed male, and a female in a very unusual position! She was preening herself just as I pressed the camera button! There is a red headed male just behind her.

Some of the juveniles. They are all about six months old except the male on the top perch, second from the left. He is about one year old, and has coloured up, but is going through his first moult. The young ones are just starting to colour up (it takes about a year) from their initial fawny feathers, to the green on their backs. The bright colours will start showing in little patches from now on, but we won't be able to tell which are male and female until they have coloured up completely.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

February 2011.

These Galahs got caught in a heavy downpour of rain last week. They were waiting for me to put some seed out on the feeder, and they looked so miserable, perched on the gum tree branch.

Our breeding program last year in the aviaries was only moderately successful. The quails have had half a dozen clutches of eggs, with one or more hatchings each time, but the babies have only survived for a week or so, then we find them dead. I think there is too much competition in the aviary; there are about 20 finches and 3 young canaries, and although the quails live on the ground, the finches feed on the floor of the aviary as well as from their seed bowls above, so it gets a bit crowded at times.

The three young budgies that hatched last year are all doing well, and there are more eggs in the nesting boxes now, so we may have more babies in there soon. The canaries have had mixed results. The breeding female has laid several clutches with only two babies surviving to maturity. She has two more babies now, so we are hoping they will survive.

The Gouldian Finches are delightful to watch. I persuaded Ken to put them all in one aviary (he had the young ones separated from their parents), and they are all getting along just fine. In fact there are eggs in both nest boxes, so we may have even more young ones soon! This photo shows the four males and two females in their aviary, and there are 3 more immature Gouldians still in the other finch aviary. They will join their flock when they colour up later this year.