Finchly’s Quarantine Protocol
Here is my quarantine protocol for Lady Gouldian finches. It may be different from yours; it’s simply the one I’ve come up with that suits my aviary best.
If you haven’t read page one you can go here to view it.
For quarantine you will need these items. They are linked for your convenience; some are affiliate links and I will receive some pennies from your purchase, which goes to my local bird rescue center:
Medpet 4-in-1 OR Baycox
Avian Insect Liquidator, I’ll refer to that as AIL
Ronex 12% – if you have it already in 6% form just double up
Hopefully you’ve read this and purchased the medications before acquiring your birds!
The Quarantine Procedure
You will notice that there are no medications given on days 1 and 2. That’s because you want to let your finches settle in before applying potentially harsh chemicals. So spend those 2 days letting them become familiar with the new environment. Covering the cage on 3 sides can help, if it’s a busy room or busy household.
Also observe carefully. Do you see signs of illness? Runny eyes? Wet shoulders? Wet vent? All of these are concerns, and reasons you may need a visit with your veterinarian.
Assuming there are no problems, proceed from Day 3 as follows. In another post I’ll discuss what each treatment does and how often in should be repeated.
|Day 3||Scatt on back of neck|
|Day 7||Begin 1-week Ronex in water|
|Day 14||End Ronex|
|Day 18, 19||Treat with Baycox or Medpet 4in1|
|Day 22||Scatt on back of neck|
|Day 22,23||Administer worm-away in water|
|Day 25,26||Treat with Baycox or Medpet 4in1|
|Day 29,30||Administer worm-away in water|
|Treat with Baycox or Medpet 4in1|
Spray all with AIL
|Day before moving to new quarters||Dip in Avian Insect Liquidator bath|
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More About Quarantine
What’s It For?
When you purchase a new finch (or any bird for that matter) you may be tempted to place it directly into the cage or aviary with your other finches. However, that’s rather dangerous; the new bird could have mites, parasites, or disease, just to name a few. Even if it didn’t arrive ill, it can become ill from the stress of moving. If that occurs, all the finches you already own may be susceptible. That’s why we quarantine.
Quarantine should last a minimum of 30 days, but many people tell me they quarantine as long as 90 days. The average, you may have guessed, is 60 days. That’s plenty of time to observe the bird, watching for illness and signs of parasites, and treat him/her. Even if you are in a hurry to breed the bird, quarantine will save you time in the long run. Here’s why.
Why Quarantine is Important
Suppose you’ve just purchased a red-headed male Gouldian finch and you’re eager to breed him with your hen, who is already showing a black beak. You put him in the cage, and in less than 2 weeks you have a full nest of eggs. The babies hatch, and by the end of the third day they seem weak. You observe your parent birds and they seem fine but they’re scratching a lot. A visit to the vet reveals that they have mites, most likely brought in by the new male. Now your entire cage (or your flock) has been subjected to mites, so you buy a new bottle of Avian Insect Liquidator concentrate ($17+) or Scalex http://amzn.to/2EXSuyE $8.25 on Amazon and treat them. You have to treat again in three weeks to kill off the breeding cycle of the mites.
In the meantime you lose the 5 hatchlings – easy to do with mite infestations. Now you’ve lost a couple months and you’re out the cost of the meds, plus you’ve spent a lot of time and energy cleaning and spraying for mites. Quarantine would have been a better option.
How to Do It
Here’s my quarantine procedure. There are probably a million others; just do what is best for you and your aviary.
When a finch first arrives, I put it in a cage away from the others and do nothing for two days. I’m observing, letting it settle in, making sure it eats and drinks.
Links are below this article for all products mentioned…...
On the third day, I place a drop of Scatt on the back of the neck. It’s important to part the feathers and get this product onto the skin (much like we did dogs with flea treatment, if you’ve ever done that). SCATT goes into the bloodstream and kills off airsac mites as well as external mites. It remains active for up to 21 days. The air sac mite’s life cycle is 14-21 days, so I’ll retreat on the 22nd day. That way I can eradicate any that escaped the first treatment.
SCATT also will treat Scaly mites (scaley face mites).
Birds affected with these mites may also have a secondary lung infection.
SCATT is a strong/harsh medication and is not the best choice for old, very young, or injured/stressed birds. S76 is an alternative.