You’ve doubtless heard the adage of not naming animals because then you have to keep them. For the most part, that’s true and applies to baby parrots as well. The problem is, in hand feeding, I have to record the weight of the chick every morning. I need a way to reference the birds as individuals to keep the record straight.
I have resorted to food coloring on the head to tell the birds apart. This especially works for violet lovebirds who look exactly alike. (I did give them temporary names, but still needed the colors to tell them apart) The parakeets of the first batch were each a different color so I could call them A, B, and C. The second batch not only had twice as many chicks as the first one but three of them were the same color. Yikes.
For my own sanity, I had to name them all. Luckily, these little sweeties won’t remember what I wrote down on their charts. So it’s all good.
The oldest chick was one of the look-alikes, a beautiful yellow-green. He got the name Berry due to being the elderberry. Yeah, puns whenever possible. The youngest was also a look-alike and with his color, he earned the name Squirt. The second oldest was the last of the greens, so he became Dewey, after Mountain Dew.
The fourth oldest was a solid yellow, a very mellow bird who became Saffron. The fifth was a light washed yellow-white. I had the feeling that was a female and she became Lily. She acted very shyly, even at meal time, but I couldn’t call her Shrinking Violet. Instead, I thought of Lily Tomlin in The Incredible Shrinking Woman.
The third oldest chick was the only blue one in this group. And he or she came loaded with personality. He was the first one to manage to fly up to the top rim of the brooder aquarium. He was the first to hop down to the table and then to the floor. He looked around wherever we were at feeding time. He was both an explorer and an investigator. I called him Colombo.
Colombo is the only one still with me because he will be a feature on the opportunity table for my bird club in June. Saffron became the first choice of one of my prior customers and will get to play and live with a great family and an older sibling of his. Two club members picked out Lily and one of the greens. I thought only the woman who wanted Lily was coming to the May NCA meeting. They both showed up and I confused who wanted which birds, but luckily they were both understanding and the right birds, sort of, went home with the right happy new owner. Lily did go with the right person, but I had wanted to give Squirt to the other lady. I left him at home so I could work on his delivery later.
Squirt, as the youngest, had the most time with me and stayed the tamest even when I didn’t have a lot of time to play with the babies. So Berry went home with the woman who showed up unexpectedly, which actually turned out well since she wanted him to be a companion to her other parakeet.
The other two green parakeets were sold to a local bird store, along with a flock of zebra finches, and Colombo is alone until the next meeting. He does seem interested, as per his early demonstration of personality, in the other birds that are being hand fed near him. He’s still a little too excitable to be a great pet, but hopefully, I can work with him over the next few weeks.
After the meeting, I saw that another person asked about the parakeets. I could have sold her one if I had just seen her comment sooner. However, as I told her, there were eggs in the nest already. This will be the third and last clutch for my breeders. I did get one new parakeet, hoping for a female, so that next October I will have two pair breeding for me. She’s a beautiful pied blue and white. She could easily give me beautiful chicks then.
Of course, the birds I named Mom and Dad and Uncle should get real names, along with the newcomer. Meanwhile, three of the eggs under Mom have hatched. I’ll be pulling them and possibly one more on May 23. Four weeks after that, they will be ready for homes. Life is good.
Thanks for reading, I’ll be back next Sunday.