Bald Gouldians By Mike Fielder
There will be few of us who have not suffered from bald gouldians from time to time.
There will be even fewer of us who have not been regaled with a variety of cures and causes.
Working on the breeding records of over 2,500 pairs of Gouldians, Dr Sarah Pryke, the chief scientist of Save the Gouldian Fund determined baldness is hereditary and is triggered by stress.
Often the baldness does not show until the stress of breeding time, sometimes it will erupt when birds are overcrowded, sometimes it occurs and it is hard to think where the stress has come from.
I have known birds be perfect in their first year and become bald in the second; I have know juveniles develop baldness at a very early age. The worst case of baldness I can remember was in the stud of a person who was heavily in- breeding to produce show birds. Practically every bird he had was bald!!
There is no known cure, however sometimes if you treat a bird with any one of the ‘cures’ a bird will improve and even recover a full head of feathers. Sometimes, if you just leave the bird alone and don’t treat it at all, it will grow its head feathers again. But don’t be lulled into a false sense of security, it might look OK, but genetically, its just sitting there waiting to break out again or to pass the baldness gene on to its young.
So the best advice I can give you is: DO NOT BREED WITH ANY BIRD CONTAINING THE BALDNESS GENE.
As a matter of interest, the baldness gene is a standard recessive and works exactly the same as the white breasted mutation.