The Circle of Life in Suburbia

Don’t know if you have noticed, or possibly been directly effected by it, but the economy in the United States is not very strong right now.  It’s about to be Spring Break as of tomorrow, and gas prices will no doubt go up inexplicably again.  What has that got to do with my birds?  Well, Just as I am setting up breeding pairs and putting nest boxes out in the aviary, my husband was let go from his job.

Already I had been looking at severe down-sizing of the flock and hope to move almost all to outside cages over the summer.  But now there is urgency in the decisions.  I can’t put it off or do things in stages,  So to whom do I say good-bye?

I have always taken in cockatiels and parakeets that were no longer wanted in their homes.  I have a super tame and sweet love bird because the family that owned him lost their house and had to move in to no-pets apartments.  Mike and I weathered a previous bout of his unemployment, and we are in a much better place financially now than at that time.  I am hopeful that things will turn around in a short time, and I can go back to planning to retire and hand feed chicks and take in more birds if needed.

Even as I place nest boxes, and hope for better things, I see the older birds and know their days are numbered.  In a flock of this size, there are always losses.  Not always the senior birds.  Hens of all species can have a rough time with egg-laying, and if not quickly remedied, the condition of egg binding will be fatal.  And I was checking the clutch of button quail eggs daily, ready to pull the chicks in to a brooder as soon as they hatched.  But I wasn’t in time, and the one chick that did hatch died, and the nest was scattered, either by the male or the other females.  Still, I have the four adults intact this time.  And perhaps an incubator will come my way.

Keeping a positive attitude is important when working with parrots.  The African grays know something is different, and when Mike is home all day with them, they will no doubt like the change.  We’ll do what needs to be done, and time will hatch out a future full of new experiences.  We can label them good and we can find a reason to celebrate our suburban circle of life.

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