Why Use an Austerity Diet?

What It Is

The austerity diet refers to the austerity period, a seasonal climate in the Gouldian finch’s native region of Australia. Their natural habitat only has two climates, one is wet and one is dry.

Gouldian Habitat. Photo Courtesy Birds in Backyards.

Near the end of the dry season, it’s not surprising that seed has become scarce, plus what little seed can be found isn’t full of nutrition. This lack of resources has a physical effect on the birds; their bodies go into a “rest” mode.

This may sound harsh to the average finch owner, whose bird room is probably fit for Gouldian kings and queens. No way would we let our Gouldians go hungry! But for those who understand the life cycle process, this slowing of available food resources helps keep their bodies conditioned for breeding. It helps to synchronize the readiness for breeding between the male and female- even though they may be separated during this season.

How to Utilize It

Here’s a chance for improving on the quality of your flock. Use the austerity diet for 45 days. Supply limited seed and nothing else. It’s okay and even encouraged to keep them on the diet longer, up to 6 months, but give it at least 6 weeks. If they’re overweight, they may slim down some. There won’t be any hormonal / breeding behavior going on during this time.

Will they like it? No, probably not – but listen; our birds have it made. Lady Gouldians in the wild have to travel far just to get water during this season. and we’re only backing off on foods.

Be sure to avoid giving:

  • Supplements
  • Fresh foods, wet foods
  • Protein-laden foods
  • Treats
  • Sprouts

“But Tanya,” you protest, “You’re always saying to give them those things!”

Yes but… not now. Right now we want those bodies to get ready for the next season: breeding! More>>>

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