To answer the first question you must have, no, there is no pun involving egg that I will refuse to stoop to. Just get over that and we’ll continue. Ready?
We’re in a new year and a new breeding season. Of course, for lovebirds and many other southern hemisphere avians, we started back in October. But canaries and ringneck parakeets are letting their fancies turn to thoughts of mating about now.
My half-beaked lovebird, Fin, is very happy with his mate, Rebel. (For convenience sake, I will refer to Fin as male.) Watching them mate and carry on, I decided to give them a nest box to see what happens. Rebel is the only unrelated violet lovebird I have. I hope to find a way to breed her, and since she and Fin are good together, I gave it a try.
The box went in, the birds shredded paper like crazy, and soon had a cozy nest perfect for eggs. Next time I looked, there were six eggs in the nest. Three weeks went by and nothing hatched from the eggs. My sad conclusion is that both Rebel and Fin are female. I candled the eggs and there was no sign of life.
I was going to pull the nest box, in fact, I had it outside when an idea struck me. My prolific violet lovebird pair were starting their third and final clutch for the year. What if I took two eggs from their nest and put it in Fin and Rebel’s box?
I have done this before with lovebirds, letting an infertile pair raise chicks from another pair. They usually come through like troopers. And I can double the number of chicks I get. Well, sadly, they seem to have developed a taste for eggs, because one disappeared without a trace. I left the last egg in for a bit longer, but when I candled it, part of the shell was chipped away.
The canaries are making sweet noises to each other, he’s feeding her, and they have built a soft liner to the wicker nest I gave them. Miss Patsy sits pretty as a picture but so far no eggs have been laid. Time to break out the egg food and Aviagra.
My zebra finches are going like gangbusters with laying eggs, but the chicks are not doing well. The pair I had which killed their chicks when they wanted to lay another clutch is at it again. They attacked three of five chicks and are not feeding the other two. These poor things are nearly plucked bald and have been attempting to feed themselves from the seed dishes. I’m so tempted to bring them inside, but I will see if I can hold off. The next clutch from this pair will be taken in and hand fed if needed.
The American parakeets have laid eggs in their nests. I’ll be working with those babies when they hatch and have them for sale soon. I contemplated giving my pair of English budgies a nest box, but I want to wait until I can put them in their own cage outside.
There I go, counting my chicks before they even hatch. The mental game is part of what keeps me involved with birds. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back next Sunday.