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Things to Consider when Fostering


When considering foster parenting, one can’t ignore the following key points;


  • For each Gouldian pair, prepare at least two foster pairs – let there be a backup just in case. Sometimes, foster parents refuse to brood for no good reason, and having a backup pair that is made ready for brooding will do you well.


  • A new egg that is un-brooded can survive in room temperature for up to two weeks — 10 days to be in the safe side. This piece of information is very handy in case you have Gouldian eggs but don’t have a brooding pair ready. You will have about 10 days to prepare a foster pair for the new eggs. New eggs can be placed in a small nest like dish away from birds, in the same room as the birds. Try to maintain humidity in the bird room between 30% – 50%. The new eggs can be placed on tissue paper, cotton, or even seed mix while in the dish.


  • Society finches are very social and responsible parents. They will do whatever it takes to mingle together and reproduce. Thus, you can set up foster parents in a group of two, or even three. In the case of two, you may either chose to select a male and a female, or two females or two males. Experienced breeders prefer to stick to two male parents, for a number of added advantages including the fact that they do not need to mate, so they will remain dedicated and focused on brooding and raising the chicks to independence. In the case of a group of three birds, all have to be of the same sex.
Society finches make great foster parents for Gouldians Society finches make great foster parents for Gouldians


  • Introduce four plastic eggs to the nest of the foster pair, and observe for signs of acceptance. It might take a day or two before the foster parents start brooding. Using plastic eggs prevents the mating cycle from taking place in most cases, and thus, you have spared the energy of the pair, mainly the female. Parents that are brooding well will make the eggs warm, and that’s your sign to start mating the Gouldian pair. Note, I mentioned four eggs, as any lesser number of eggs may not encourage the foster parents to start brooding.


  • In case plastic eggs are not accepted, then natural laying of eggs by the foster pair is the next safe option.


  • After confirming that foster parents are brooding well, you may start the mating phase of the Gouldians, note it may take up to a week before the Gouldian hen lays its first egg, and Society finches can brood up to over three weeks (they don’t abandon un-hatched eggs easily).


  • The Gouldian hen will lay an egg each day until the clutch is complete. Each day, you will need to swap the new Gouldian egg from the Gouldian nest with a plastic egg from the nest of the Society finch. A clutch of Gouldian eggs consists of 4 – 7 eggs. Note, Society finches are smaller in size, and it would be best if a Society foster pair broods between three to four eggs (potential for three to four chicks). Additional eggs must be distributed to another foster pair. The less the Gouldian chicks per foster parent the higher care and food they will receive. Be careful, too few chicks will fall in the risk of being abandoned by the foster parents.


  • Once the clutch is complete, you may then count 13 (up to 14) days for the chicks to hatch, and there forth, life is good!


Ahmed's bengalise



Ahmed Al Alawi