Bald gouldian

by Ally
(Brisbane, QLD, Australia)

Hello, I have 6 gouldian finches and 2 of these (males) are going bald. One in particular has been losing more and more feathers from his head - it started under the neck and the balding has now progressed all the way around his beak and head and continues to worsen.

Behaviour is normal and the birds are active, singing, eating as usual. I have not seen any signs of pecking in the aviary either. Diet consists of seeds, millet spray, cuttle, fresh veges, vitamin water, occasionally egg and recently I tried adding a little powdered kelp. I'm attaching several photos for reference, however the feather loss on the head is now worse than pictured.
Thank you for any help.

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Nov 28, 2011
Bald Gouldians
by: Beth

Hello! I had 8 gouldians all in the same cage. Two were the parents, 2 were siblings from one clutch, and the rest from the next clutch. We had 4 females and 4 males. Suddenly two began to lose head feathers. Then all but one male lost head feathers. I gave one female to a friend during this time, and found information saying their baldness could be from iodine definciency. I began supplying my birds with oyster shell, kelp, and iodine. I also gave them varieties of foods and conditioning products. I told my friend who had taken the one female, and she did the same with suppliments. My birds did not get any better. Only balder. Although the one male never lost feathers. They stayed bald for nearly a year. I found one sight on the internet that said the baldness is most likely caused by keeping males and females together, and them staying under continual sexual stimulation. I called my friend who had adopted the female and she said her bird had grown her feathers back months ago. That told me it had to be the sexual stimulation thing, so I separated the birds by sex, and IMMEDIATELY they began growing their head feathers back!!!! All but one, the father, has either all or most of their feathers back now.

Aug 19, 2011
finch losing feathers
by: Tracie

Beautiful birds! I am sorry that you are having this problem. Unfortunately, there is no way to know if this is a disease without taking the birds to an avian vet for an exam. Since you do not believe the bird is being plucked by another bird, it is likely an infection or disease that must be treated by an avian vet.

Our avian vet feels strongly that vitamins should never be put in the water. If the bird is eating a healthy diet, like Harrison's or Roudybush pellets and 30% seed, then your birds will not need supplements.

Please Find an Avian Vet for your birds, in case this is a disease.

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