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Happy Bird Place

Happy Bird Place
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Sunday, June 27, 2010


Not much new occurring.  A few birds are still finishing up molting.  4 splendid babies went home to their new mom yesterday in addition to a bunch of gouldians.  Everyone is resting.  The gouldian pair I put together hasn't done too much.  Some nest inspection but no eggs yet.  If nothing happens after another week or so, I'm going to separate them and let them save their enthusiasm until fall when it's really the breeding season.  I haven't had too much good luck with pairs trying to breed during the summer - simply too hot.  My poor turq hen had lost a lot of weight through the current illness.  She's finished with her 2 week course of antibiotics for a few days now.  Minimally mucousy now, but still not very energetic.  I've decided to crop feed her some new born formula with probiotics twice a day in an attempt to speed up her recovery.  I don't feel she can eat enough to gain back the weight she's lost, and being underweight puts her at higher risk of a slow recovery at best and reinfection at worst.  Fingers crossed that she'll eventually get back to normal.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

summer updates

The one and only turquoisine egg turned out to be infertile as I suspected.  At least I got to try out my new incubator with self turner.  A bit noisy but works very well otherwise.

The scarlet chest babies are weaned now.  The 2 babies that were plucked are growing feathers back, so should be ready for their new homes in a few weeks.
Here is one of the babies.  At this stage, the juvenile look almost exactly like females except the beak is not as dark.

All of the zebra babies have fledged.  They are still weaning and are very noisy doing it ^_^.
The mother is the CFW at the most left, and the father is the gray normal 3rd from the left - he should be split to CFW.  There is a normal gray behind the CFW baby 2nd from the left.  There are a total of 4 CFW babies and 1 normal gray.

I've put a pair of gouldians together since they were looking very interested.  These were some of the first gouldians to finish molting.  They immediately did the dance, so I provided a nest box.  I've been seeing them checking out the nest.  We shall see if they succeed.  It's the first time for this pairing.  The weather is pretty hot, but hopefully they will do well.  See below for the happy couple.  The hen is on the left - she is a black headed purple breasted silver, and the male is a red headed lavender breasted double factor yellow split to blue back.

Friday, June 18, 2010


It took several days to get my little home made incubator to near constant temperature.  It consists of a plastic small animal aquarium/terrarium with ventilated lid, a small container for water and a snuggly bed area for the egg.  I used both my terrarium digital thermometer with a probe to be right next to the egg and another digital thermometer and hydrometer.  I used a terrarium heat lamp as a heat source, varying the distance betweent he terrarium to the heat source.  It was a struggle to get the temperature around what is right and stay there.  There is still variations of 1 degree or some thoughout the day.  My incubator finally came in the mail, but it too takes about a day or so to get to stable temperature, but at least once it's set up, I won't have to do much else.  Turning the egg several times a day is not a big issue.

Unfortunately, after all that, I'm starting to think the turquoisine egg is infertile since there's been absolutely zero change in the egg since incubation.  I'll probably use it to test out the new incubator with self turner but doubt I'll get a baby out of it. 

My sick turquoisine hen is status post 1 week of antibiotics.  She's better, but not completely recovered yet.  I tried to see if she would like to get better sun and fresh air in the bird room during the day yesterday, but she looked a bit tired again, so I think I'll keep her out of the breeze until she finishes all her antibiotics - another week.  She's still quite lively when I try to clean her face with a wet cotton swab and appears to be eating well, so at least that's good news.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

not meant to be

Just as my female turq is laying its first egg, she got sick again, and I am having to pull her to treat her for infection again.  Hopefully she will recover, but I am definitely not going to allow her to breed again this year.  I am trying to incubate the one egg she laid.  It's very difficult to maintain constant temperature and humidity without an incubator.  I bought one, but it will not get to me in time, so I am trying to make a home-made incubator until I receive the professional one in the mail.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


The yellow turquoisine grasskeets are finally looking like they are breeding.  They were fighting a lot right before they were more amorous.  Having read this was likely and does not affect fertility, I left them alone.  Shortly thereafter, the hen started accepting feedings from the male and they were mating frequently.  The hen is spending more and more time in the nest, I hope this means she's sitting tight on the eggs.  I have been reluctant to check in the nest since it's hung high up in my ginormous flight cage.  I may give in after a week or so when they are both out of the nest since I do want to candle the eggs to make sure they are fertile.  I have been watching the hen carefully daily since she did have a bout of bacterial infection a few months ago.
 Here is my bachelor split to yellow turquoisine male.  I should be getting a yellow hen for him soon.  His feathers is a lot better now after molting and improved nutrition.  

Here's the male yellow turquoisine.
Here's the yellow hen.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


When birds molt, they require more nutrition such as vitamins and protein.  For gouldians, it is even more so since they tend to molt all their feathers quite rapidly - compressed molt - as long as they have enough nutritional resources.  Providing great nutrition, however, is definitely worth it.  You will be rewarded with birds with much deeper color and bright/sleek feathers.
 This is a red headed lavender breasted double factor yellow split to blue back male.

 This is a black headed white breasted single yellow factor blue (i.e. silver) male.  He had lost a lot of head feathers during bickering in the breeding season, but these have grown back nicely.
 Here is a red headed purple breasted single factor yellow back (i.e. dilute) male.  Note the grey bib and lime colored back feathers - these are much deeper in color compared to last year after I improved their nutrition.
This is the baby gouldian I've been handfeeding.  It's still quite tame; this will likely pass after I turn it loose into the flight with all the other junveniles where it will learn how to be a gouldian.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

New babies

New zebras babies are growing feathers.  The grey is the father; given the color of their babies, he is most likely split to CFW.  The CFW is the mother.
 This is when the babies were just hatched for a few days.  Zebra babies have white fuzz and no nodules at the corners of the beak.
 Here the babies are a bit older, starting to get pin feathers on the wings.
 These are the babies currently.  The oldest has the most feathers.  Four looks to be CFW so far; given the high proportion of CFW in the babies, the father should be split to CFW instead of fully normal grey.
 Here we can clearly see the difference in the color between a CFW chick on the left and a normal chick on the right.
Here's the oldest chick - a CFW. 
 Very cute still with fuzz on its head.
 Some of the my molting boys; these guys are so much more colorful this year after improving their nutrition (more on this later).  This guy turned out to be a red headed lilac breasted single factor yellow back - his colors were so light when I bought him from another breeder that I thought he was a white breasted (thought he was a bad white breast since he had a very light pink colored breast) double factor yellow back (the light blue ring around the mask is just showing through the molt).
This is another example of what good nutrition can do for your birds.  He is a red headed lilac breasted double factor yellow back.  Note how deep the red on the face is.  He too had a very light pink breast; I could not figure out whether he was a bad white breast or a very light lilac breast.  See how lovely his breast color is.  He is enjoying my home-made veggie salad; this is an important part of my current improved regimen for them.
Another group of my molting male gouldians.  From left to right, red headed white breasted double factor yellow back, red headed purple breasted single factor yellow (or dilute) back (he seems to have a redline under the breast, but this is just a factor of the picture; he's not really a redline), and finally, black headed (YTB - see yellow tipped beak) purple breasted normal green back male.
A new junvenile just finishing his first molt into adult color; he's a black headed purple breasted normal green back (split to yellow head since his father is YTB).
Just wanted to throw in a picture of my yellow turquoisine male since he's so pretty :D
This is the baby I've been handfeeding.  It's the baby that was abandoned by its parents that had the stress bars on its feathers.  Not sure if it's a boy or girl yet, but is a yellow back.