KRISTEN REEVES, MEADOWLARK FARMS AVIAN SUPPLY, INC.
I’ve compiled these averages over the last two decades and update them annually as part of my ongoing research. I track this same data for all species kept here. These are my averages for Gouldians only. Other species have very different averages.
Please keep in mind, these averages are only for my aviary and PARENT RAISED chicks only. Society raised or hand-fed chicks will have different rates of growth due to the difference in feeding. Typical results may be different in your own aviary!
- Gouldians typically lay their first egg 5 days after first copulation
- Average Clutch- 4-8 eggs with no real dependencies on age or experience. Our Gouldians will lay as few as 2 eggs and as many as 13. I do not allow them to raise more than 6 at a time and typically foster additional eggs under retired hens or even single cocks. I rarely use Societies for fosters as their feeding and weaning schedules are very different from those of Gouldians.
- Average Egg Size – 18.2 millimeters (with egg sizes ranging from 15-19mm)
- Average Egg Weight – 1.476 Grams (with weights ranging from 1.085-2.002gm)
- Average Length of Time An Egg Will Remain Viable Once Laid – 7 days. If the egg is not brooded consistently by the 7 day mark, the egg will more than likely become nonviable. In most cases, clutches larger than 6 will see the 1st eggs nonviable unless the parents begin the brooding process early before the entire clutch is laid.
- Average Incubation & Hatch Dates- 17 days from the day the first egg was laid for an average clutch of 6 (if the hen broods immediately, the first egg will hatch at day 13-15, if the hen holds off brooding until more or all of the eggs are laid, 17 days is average)
- Average Weight at Hatching- 1.091 grams (with weights ranging from .880-2.280gm
- Average Intake Per Feeding - Crop Contents at 1 Day- .2 ml - crop milk only
- Average Intake Per Feeding - Crop Contents at 3 Days- .4 ml - crop milk only
- Average Intake Per Feeding - Crop Contents at 5 Days- .5 ml - crop milk + some dark oily seed
- Average Intake Per Feeding - Crop Contents at 7 Days- .5 ml - crop milk + some dark oily seed + some millet
- Average Intake Per Feeding - Crop Contents at 10 Days- .5 ml - dark oily seed + millet
The above intakes do not discern the difference between soft food and seed - only crop milk formed from foods eaten by the parents, and obvious seed in the crops.
- Average Age of Open Eyes - 7 days
- Average Age of Pinning - 6 days
- Average Age at Closed Banding - 7-9 days with D sized band (2.73 mm ID)
- Average Age of Full Feathering - 15 days
- Average Days at Fledge - 22-26 dependent on environment. Brushed aviaries tend to see chicks fledge as soon as 21 days.
- Average Weight at Fledge – 18.377 GRAMS
- Average Age Weaned - 38 days, though this appears to be unusual. Most aviaries see their chicks wean at about 45-50 days. A good sign they should be weaned is when there are only two of the 3 nodules left on each side of their beaks.
- Average Age of Males First Song - 22 days - they'll sound like pebbles in a tin can at first. You may not realize they are singing
- Average Age Begin Juvenile Molt - 34 days - dependent on environment
- Average Age Finish Juvenile Molt - 129 days (3 months of age - dependent on environment)
- Average Adult Weight - 19.020 Grams - my Gouldians weigh as much as 28 grams for our large show birds and as little as 17 grams for our smaller "wild type" birds. Weight of your Gouldians will be dependent on genetics, diet and overall health.
- Average Age of Retirement - Hens - 4 1/2 to 6 years dependent on overall health and vitality of the hen
- Average Age of Retirement - Cocks - at demise
- Average Lifespan - birds bred and raised in our aviary- 8-10 years - some of our Gouldians have lived 10-12 years.
- Average Lifespan - birds purchased from other breeders – 4-5 years
Remember, these results are only from my aviary.
Result may differ greatly with your own birds. Use these averages as a guideline, but please do not assume they will be the same for your birds! I update these averages at the conclusion of each breeding season. If there have been problems (as in my case this last breeding season - floods, pipe freeze situations, power outages, etc.) that may have stressed the birds during breeding – in other words, environmental changes – the averages usually go down significantly. But as the birds are perfected for show and genetic strength, the averages should continue to go up then eventually level off to a fairly consistent number. I track every bird and clutch. Averages will continue to change yearly as environment changes and/or as stock is perfected.