The artificial incubation of Gouldian Finch eggs

An alternative to the incubation of Gouldian Finch by their parents or their wet nurses is artificial incubation.
If you opt for artificial incubation, you should keep in mind that it is a delicate alternative that requires strict control of temperature and humidity. Rotation of the eggs, whether manual or automatic, is also important to prevent the embryo from sticking to the shell.

Storage and Fertility of Gouldian Finch Eggs

Waiting for the pair of Gouldian Finch to put the whole set, the eggs will be stored in a cool, slightly humid place without the sun touching them directly, as follows:

Days of
1-3 12 - 15 °C 75 - 85 %
4-7 15 - 17 °C 75 - 85 %


When storing the eggs of the Diamond of Gould, it must be taken into account that as the days pass, their fertility decreases, and it drops quickly after 7 days of storage. Taking into account that the average Gouldian Finch is about 4-6 eggs, we will have enough time to artificially incubate all the eggs at the same time and without losing much fertility due to its storage. Next you have the theoretical fertility percentage of the egg according to the days elapsed since its laying:

Days stored % fertility Birth delay
88 %
0:00 hours
87 %
1:00 hour
85 %
1:20 hour
82 %
1:40 hour
79 %
76 %
2:20 hours
72 %
2:40 hours
68 %
3:00 hours


Guide for artificial incubation of Gouldian Finch eggs

1.- Once we have the complete clutch, we will introduce the eggs of Gouldian finch in the incubator that previously will be adjusted to 37,5 °C, 50% of humidity and rotation of 90° to 180° every 3-4 hours (ideal Every 1 hour).
2.- When there are 2-3 days to hatch, we will stop rotating the eggs and increase humidity to 70% to facilitate hatching of the chicks. Here you have a guide of the parameters of temperature, humidity and rotation according to the range of days of incubation:

Day Temperature Humidity Turn eggs Observations
 1-15 37,5°C 50% ON Plug in for 1 hour before putting the eggs
16 37,5°C 50% OFF Put eggs in hatching basket
17-18 37,5°C 70% OFF Do not open until hatching

3.- Once the chicks are born, we will leave them for several hours in the incubator. Later we will transfer them to the nest of their parents or foster parents.
The broken shells will also introduce them in the nest since the parents eat it to replace the spent calcium.

Temperature, humidity and rotation during incubation

Embryos only develop within a very precise temperature range.
A high temperature will cause the embryo to develop more quickly but may be too weak to break the shell and hatch. If it hatches, it is easier to do with physical deformities.
A low temperature will cause the embryo to develop more slowly, hatching is delayed and may have an abnormal physical appearance.
Temperatures at 1°C above or below the appropriate range and over a prolonged period can cause the embryo to die.

Humidity is also very important especially during the first third of incubation.
If the humidity is too high the air bag of the egg will be small and can cause the death of the embryo or be born with physical anomalies.
If the humidity is too low, the embryo becomes dehydrated, resulting in renal insufficiency and stunted growth.

Rotation of Gouldian finch eggs is also an important factor to consider. Periodic rotation prevents the contents of the egg from sticking to the inside of the shell. Not turning them sufficiently can lead to the death of the embryo. In artificial incubation it is convenient to rotate the eggs several times a day, being ideal to rotate them every hour.
Eggs should not rotate in the same direction each time, and should rotate between 90 ° and 180 ° in each turn.

Other considerations

If there are power outages of up to 12 hours, this will not affect the egg hatchability of the Gouldian finch, but will hatch late.

But if the outages last longer or are persistent, the use of an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) should be considered. The incubator types for breeding Gouldian Finch have a maximum consumption of 75 watts, so a UPS of 700-900VA will be adequate as it can provide us an autonomy of approximately 1.5-2 hours.

In the artificial incubation, strict hygiene of the incubator must be carried out. Clean and disinfect the incubator before and after each batch of eggs placed and stored. Trays and water tanks should be properly cleaned and disinfected.


The artificial incubation of Gouldian Finch eggs

Greenvetpets - Herboristería Ornitológica para Diamantes de Gould