Eggs-Citement

I love that pun, and I am sure I have used it before. So sue me. No, wait, don’t! Think of the chicks! Lots of baby birds would be out on the street, begging for crackers. You don’t want that on your conscience, do you?

Here are the details. I rehomed a pair of Very Bad Budgies. Actually, only the hen was bad. The cock was one of the chicks I bred back when I first got into outside aviaries for budgies. He remained interested in humans enough to come see me whenever I opened the aviary door. But the hen did all she could to eliminate the other hens in the colony, so they had to go. I am not even sure I want to breed budgies any longer. Need to give it some serious thought.

outrigger cage

So I had a nice “out-rigger” aviary ready for finches or Indian Ringnecks or cockatiels. My last attempt at breeding tiels was a wash-out. Again, I think either the mice got into the nests and killed the chicks, or the other birds in the colony attacked them. I have vowed to only breed the cockatiels in separate cages.

My best breeders are a beautiful white-faced gray named Ash and his mate, a pearl named Mom-bird. They often give me albino chicks. So I netted them and put them in the out-rigger with a nest box. For a week or so, nothing happened in the nest. Then suddenly Ash was in there, being protective. And then Mom-bird found her way inside. Today there are three eggs in the nest. Mom was sitting in the nest when I did the water and feeding, so I am counting three weeks from today to check for the babies.

baby dinky

These two are such sweet birds, they come out of the aviary into the airlock to say hello to me and groom me for a while whenever I open the door. As long as I don’t reach too close to the nest box, Ash is a good boy. I am hoping they will tolerate me to co-parent the babies because I can’t really commit to hand feeding at this time. I hope I don’t have to choose between birds and writing some day, although I know that’s likely.

The other egg-citement is Button Quail Chicks! Yes, a couple months back, I had four chicks hatch out, and made a few mistakes with them. None of them survived. Last Sunday, eight (8!!!) chicks hatched. Adorable sweet chicks could barely all fit under mom. I pulled six, hoping mom would get some experience raising the last two babies.

baby buttons

The chicks in the brooder are doing well. They have a water dish filled with buttons (button quail, ha ha ha) and the right kind of food. I put rabbit pellets down as bedding, so they could peck at that if they wish. When I brought them in, I made sure to dip each one’s beak in the water until I saw it swallow. Then I put it in the food dish. I have a little stuffed owl that I put in for them to burrow under.

baby buttons water dish

Day two, I checked on the chicks left outside. They had sadly wandered into the males’ enclosure and were no longer walking around. I picked them up and they were very cold but moving. I brought them inside and put them in the brooder. When they were more active, I gave them the water treatment and showed them the food. While one of them may have lost an eye, the other one seems fine. They are doing very well.

A week old now with no signs of weakness or illness. At last, successful baby quails that I raised myself. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.

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