Note: The button quail chicks in this post did not survive, either due to a sudden cold morning or the male becoming aggressive. However, the events while they were with me were fun and interesting. Continue reading “You’re Adopted”
So much goes on with my flock and my hand feeding chores that I can lose track of what birds are doing what. I learned to do a head count daily, to make sure I haven’t lost anyone. When I get too busy, I get surprises. Not all of them are good surprises. Continue reading “Surprise Cockatiel”
I can never cover all the benefits of belonging to a bird club. I’ve had the privilege of helping to rehome birds from a hoarding situation. I’ve been invited into many private bird collections. I’ve reached a wider audience for my blog and a nice customer base for rehoming my baby birds. Continue reading “Meet the Turaco”
I warned you about the eggs puns. I can’t help it. They just roll out of my brain. There’s no hope for me now. Too many years of wordplay, encouraged by my husband and many friends. Continue reading “Eggs-travaganza”
When a breeder sets up a nest box for a pair of birds, the hope is that a clutch of 3 to 6 eggs will be laid and hatch out lots of fuzzy chicks. Sometimes the results are lots of eggs but no signs of life. Sometimes there are no eggs, which could mean you have two males in there. And now and then only one egg will hatch. Continue reading “Singletons”
Last week I was happily going about my business, cleaning bird cages, doing house chores, feeding birds, when I happened to look in my smallest button quail cage. This is a regular bird cage with a solid floor on the bottom grill. It’s a moment of desperation cage, as buttons can’t be housed together if you have more than one male. Continue reading “Button Quail Happen”
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.
I have had the pleasure of helping to raise some lovebird chicks, cockatiel chicks, and one African Grey chick. Right now, I am fostering four button quail chicks. All of these birds were taken away from their real moms and raised to think of Humans as their flock mates. Most of these birds get a little neurotic from the experience.
Some months back, I hand fed three lovebird chicks, weaned them, and found homes for them. They were calm, sweet babies and I am sure they bonded with their new flock quickly. By the time I emptied them out of brooder and cage, there were three more chicks in the nest. Continue reading “The Lovebird Dilemma”
One reason that canary breeders pull eggs as they are laid and later set them all back in the nest at the same time is so the chicks will hatch all at the same time, and get equal treatment from the parents. It’s a sad reality in breeding that out of six eggs laid a day apart, the oldest chick will be a week old before the youngest hatches. And the chances of survival under the crush of older siblings is very slight. Continue reading “Don’t Even Count the Chicks After Hatching”