Cockatiel chicks are not especially attractive. Even before the feathers start and they are just lumps of down, they look misshapen and alien. So how can I be falling in love at first sight with the two in my nest box?
Part of it is that I already know one is a boy and one is a girl. The parents always give me albino females. Little ruby eyes and white feathers is certainly female. The other chick is mostly white with some grey and big dark eyes. Looks a lot like his father. Probably male.
I take them out and cuddle and kiss them as often as I can because I just can’t get enough of them. I even love that they poop on me as soon as I pick them up. D’aw!
They are two weeks old right now, and I would be pulling them to hand feed except I won’t be home most of next week. So I plan to pull them when I get back. They will be four weeks old, but if I have been handling them often, maybe they will make the transition to being good pets. The parents are not tame but are friendly. They love to sit on my shoulder when I am feeding them.
The chicks are growing beautifully, and the parents are feeding them all day long, so there’re no worries there. They have survived the heat and some odd cold mornings, thanks to the excellent parents.
I am expecting another wave of button quail chicks any day now and have moved the nearly adult clutch outside to a cage set up for them. I am going to try to sell them but since they are all related, I will have to give out the names of other breeders I know. Not really a problem. One of my friends bought 50 quail eggs off of eBay, and almost all are hatching now. They will be from different parents, so she can make up unrelated pairs without too much difficulty.
My husband figured out a great solution to getting my breeder cages, as yet unused, up off the ground. And he solved the need for an airlock. So my finches and Indian Ringneck parakeets will be heading outside soon. I only have one pair of zebra finches that are giving me eggs, and that’s just a guess. They are using a wooden nest box that I can’t see into. But they have hatched babies out before, sadly in a carton nest that didn’t survive long. So I am awaiting the babies fledging so I will know what I have.
I hope that colony breeding will allow the finches to pick their own mates and be more proactive in raising families. I love the sound of baby zeebs begging for food. For their size, they can be very aggressive.
Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.