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Happy Bird Place

Happy Bird Place
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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Probably pastel, not blue gouldian baby

I went through my gouldian genetic forecaster, and based on the parent's genetics, the gouldian baby should be pastel, not blue.  One step closer.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

More babies - perhaps first blue gouldian??

Coral and Blush now has 2 hatched babies with 2 still in the egg.  The baby who just hatched today is still wet - it is on the left.  The shell it just hatched from can be see at the right top corner of the picture.
 Here is the little guy I had to handfeed last breeding season.  He is looking to be a black headed white breasted yellow back - not sure if single or double factor yellow, but he is molting really slowly.  I know he is still molting because he has pin feathers, but this is definitely not a compressed molt.  Not sure how much of this is due to the timing of his birth versus the hard start he had in life - he is the one with stress bars on his feathers.  He is quite healthy nowadays though and is not nearly as enamored with my finger anymore.  He is, however, still the boldest of them all - always the first one down to eat when I replenish their dishes.  I rarely name my finches since I have so many, and I am an extremely untalented namer, but I decided to name him Ken (strong in Japanese).
 Here are Ken's new siblings from this season.  Ken's parents are in general fabulous parents - tight sitters and good feeders.  I believe the failure of their 2nd and 3rd clutches last season was partially due to illness.  This is probably the first full clutch of 5 I've had in a long time.  I'm not terribly good at guessing at colors of the babies until they get some feathers, but the top right baby is looking very much like a blue.  If this is the case, it will be the first blue gouldian born in my aviary - hooray!  It's possible for it to be a pastel as well I suppose.  I've had a couple of silver babies (curiously both have been black headed white breasted silvers - 1 male, 1 female) - the silver hen is another sister of Ken's, but never a pastel or a blue.  The bottom right baby is looking to be a silver, I think.  The other babies are probably dilute versus normals - I better wait until feathers come through before making any conclusions.

As for the linnies, Captain Turq and Cream Puff's eggs were all DIS or infertile.  Not sure if there really is a genetic issue or they stop sitting well toward the latter part of incubation, but they have restarted laying eggs already.  Frustration!  All these fertile eggs but always DIS.  Indy and Blondie are still completely ignoring their nest box and are shredding newspaper and playing under their newspaper "tent".  Silly linnies.

The 2 society fostered gouldian babies are growing well - I have already been able to close band them - both looking like they will be yellow.  Their parents laid again with 4 fertile eggs, but tossed and killed the 1st hatched baby, so I had to also foster out their 2nd clutch.  Two of the remaining 3 eggs hatched - 1 yellow and 1 normal vs dilute.  The last egg was DIS.  I don't think the hen was the tosser as she did fairly well last season.  Her new mate is 2 years old but this is his first time breeding, so perhaps he is just inexperienced.  I will allow them to try for a 3rd clutch before separating them since they've yet to do any hard work.  

Shaft tails are finally investigating nests.  The nests put into the large flight have also been met with great interest by the shaft tails and red headed parrot finch pairs.  We shall see if any babies result from all this enthusiasm.

Trying to make sure all the parents have enough high protein soft food can be expensive.  I have tried to give fresh egg food, but the constant concern for spoilage have led to using dried soft food/egg food only.  I've been using Miracle Meal so far, but have decided to try out Higgins Proteen 25 and Petamine to see if I can save on cost.  I am still providing chitted seeds everyday.  Mealworms and dried bloodworms are added as well.  Veggie salad is provided daily.  Different supplements are provided in the water as well.  I've started to try Nekton E and Nekton S in additional to my previous regimen.  Hopefully everyone will take to the new products without problems.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Splendid baby pictures

Red and Scarlet's babies are growing fast.  Everyone is getting fed and growing well now.  Just banded the 2 oldest babies today.  Eyes are starting to open and pin feathers are coming through.  Coral and Blushe's 4 fertile eggs are hatching anytime now.  I saw the oldest egg starting to crack, so am expecting the 1st baby to hatch tonight.

 Here's a group shot - should be 4 babies, but 1 is hidden.
 See the size difference between 1 of the older babies and the youngest (face down on the left).
 Here's the oldest baby whose eyes are already open.
 Oldest baby - leg band #17.
 Second oldest - leg band #18.
 The youngest baby, a bit too young for leg band still.

It's really not that hard to band babies with closed bands with some practice.  Usually age 9-10 days are the best days.  I find when pin feathers are just starting to come through correlates well with when banding should be down - see above older baby pictures.  All 3 of the longest toes should be put through the closed band ring all at once, then the ring should be slid over the 4th back toe.  Beware of the toe nail of the 4th toe catching.  The band should not be able to be slit back out over all 4 toes or it may fall off.  Some people use some mineral oil to help with the process.  I've never found it to be necessary when done on the right size/age chick.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

8 afterall...

Unfortunately, one of the older scarlet chested chicks died, so now there are just 4 babies that have hatched from Red and Scarlet.  I am unsure of what happened since the chick had food in it's crop.  Today another chick had an empty crop and was shivering.  Perhaps there is an infection going through.  I handfed the babies with some antibiotics and handfeeding formula.  Hopefully whatever is going around will be stopped without further losses.  Blush is sitting tight on her 4 fertile eggs.

The 2 gouldian babies fostered to societies are doing great and growing fast.  I've put together a few new pairs of gouldians to replace the pairs that have just been staring at each other without much happening.  The parents of the fostered babies have 4 more fertile eggs in the nest, and my best pair from last year have 5 fertile eggs.  Interestingly, one of my best BH pairs from the past 2 years seem reluctant to breed this year - perhaps the hen is just not ready yet.  I'll probably put them back into the flight cages for a few more weeks then try again.

The shaft tails are more interested in sitting on top of the nest than doing anything in it.  They are all young birds just getting to be about 1 year old - perhaps that is the reason for no interest in breeding?  I did put up some nests in the big flight cage where the purple grenadiers and some of the RH parrot finches and yellow faced stars and a couple pairs of the shaft tails are.  Everyone seem to be somewhat interested in the nests.  We shall see if anyone actually does something more productive than roosting in the nests.  

The mealworms have arrived, so the waxbills will be slowly re-introduced to some live food for their breeding season.  So far, the keets and gouldians have been as interested in eating them as everyone else.  Perhaps I should have ordered more...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Few more pictures...

Here is Blush with her 5 eggs, 4 of which are fertile with 1 that cracked.  She doesn't like me peeking in but is used to me enough that she won't panic and hurt her eggs when I do.  
 Here's her youngest egg.  I tried to get a video of the heartbeat, but unfortunately resolution is too poor to be visible.
 I have noticed the turquoisines to be vigorous bathers while the splendids seem interested but can't seem to go beyond just dipping their heads into the water.  The bourkes seem oblivious to the presence of bath water, so I do a light sprinkling of water to help the non-enthusiastic ones to take a shower.  Here is Turkey really getting into the bath - I really should see if I can find a bigger bath tub for him.
 Turkey taking up all the bathing facilities to himself.
 My gouldian babies from last year after their bath - these are sisters.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I mean bad, and more pictures...

Blush came out of her nest box this morning, and I see 4 live eggs!  Not sure if I was hallucinating the first or second time, but I'm thinking 9 total scarlet chest babies this round.  Red and Scarlet have 3 hatched babies with 2 more yet to hatch as of today.
Red, one of my gorgeous normal scarlet chested grasskeet males.  I interrupted his veggie snack - see some still on his beak.  His busy eating and feeding Scarlet so she can feed the 3 newly hatched babies.  Behind Red are some of my gouldians who are not breeding yet.
 As promised, here are some pictures of my new scarlet chest mutations - here is Blue, the young white chested blue splendid grasskeet male.  He is still molting into his adult feathers, but already getting his white chest, which is usually red on a normal splendid/scarlet chest.  He should be split for ino.
 Here is Snow White, the albino splendid hen.  She is the most vocal splendid hen I've ever seen, singing as well as the boys.  So well, in fact, I had to ask her breeder to make sure she is a she, not a he.  She is DNA sexed to be a hen.  The albino is the white chested blue combined with the lutino gene.
 Ruffus the rubino bourke male along with the new splendids.  I am still awaiting a rubino hen who will be his mate.
 Here he is again.  He doesn't have his full tail feathers as he is molting.
 Here is Rose, my rosey bourke hen on the left, with Apollo, my yellow turquoisine male who is red-bellied and molted into a bit of a red necklace this year as well.
 Sunnie is the new mate for Apollo and is a red-bellied yellow turquoisine hen.  She is replacing Sunny, my poor yellow turquoisine hen who didn't make it after several weeks of fighting off one infection after another.  She is still quite young and doesn't have all her adult colorings yet.  My male yellow faced star finch is to the left.
 The new zebra babies - 4 out of 6 survived, 3 CFWs and 1 normal gray.  Here are 2 of them.

One of my creamino shaft tails - this is the male.  I absolutely love their coloring.  Sadly, no one is in the breeding mood yet, but they are young birds.
From left to right, a yellow headed white breasted yellow split to blue male gouldian, a normal shaft tail hen, and Turkey, my normal split to yellow turquoisine male.  
Here's the yellow headed white breasted single factor yellow split to blue male gouldian again - he gets a second shot since he was the only one cooperative enough for a close-up ;D.
A straw-headed (either red head or orange head) purple breasted blue backed male gouldian in the foreground with a few gouldian hens in the background.
First 2 gouldian babies of the season!  While it's unfortunate I had to foster them under my helpful societies, I'm still glad they are here.  Looks to be 2 yellow babies - see the 2 little head under the breast of their foster father, a pied fawn society.
Here he is feeding one of them.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Actually 8

Red and Scarlet's second baby is hatched.  Three more to go!
 Here's the whole brood.
 Baby number 1 is a little bit bigger already with food in its crop.
 Here's the 2nd baby with it's sibling on it's side and the 3 more fertile eggs yet to hatch.
Coral and Blush, on closer inspection actually only has 3 fertile eggs.  The 4th is clear so far, not sure if it requires more days of incubation or is simply infertile.  Here's an egg at an earlier stage of development - the red round area is where the beating heart can be seen.
 Here's a praying mantis who came to visit.  Love the little guys/or gals despite their ferociously lethal nature.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

New grasskeet babies are here!

Red and Scarlet's first baby out of 5 has hatched today.  She's been sitting so tightly that I can't catch her out of the nest box and even when I peek in she's not coming out, so I did not want to disturb her too much - will try to get pictures as soon as she lets me :)

Coral and Blush has 4 fertile eggs being incubated - it'll be at least another couple of weeks before they hatch.  There are 5 eggs in the nest, but unfortunately 1 cracked.
My first ever nest of 6 gouldian eggs are infertile.  The pair that laid the eggs also laid all clear eggs last year, so I've split the pair in the hopes they will do better with different partners.  Not sure how well this will work since gouldians tend to bond pretty tightly.

The zebras are feeding their 4 babies - 2 out of 6 hatchlings died.  I think the pair is finally getting tired.
I've put my creamino society hen with 2 males who are supposed to be split to creamino.  Hopefully, we'll get some fertile eggs.

Further musical chairs with shaft tails.  The second pair I put in the breeding cage didn't seem interested at all so a 3rd pair has been switched in.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Quick update...

Looks like Red and Scarlet's (splendid pair) clutch of 5 eggs are all fertile.  Scarlet is sitting extra tight this round.  Good for the babies, but hard on me to catch her out of the nextbox in order to take a peek.  Coral and Blush have 3 eggs so far.  Usually the splendids lay eggs every day, but Blush has been laying very sporadicaly this round, sometimes laying as far apart as 2-3 days.  They are still mating, so hopefully a full clutch will be laid soon with most if not all being fertile.  Blush has at least started to sit majority of the time.  I'm not sure if the nest box being hung outside of the cage rather than in has anything to do with Blush's change in laying pattern, but with the configuration of the cages currently, it's going to have to be the way it is done.

Two eggs survive so far in the clutch of gouldian eggs that's been fostered to the societies.  The parents have started to lay again, hopefully will sit tighter this round.  I have another pair of goulds who appear quite bounded, but laid 2-3 rounds of clear eggs last year.  This year, they laid 6 eggs, so far not looking good - all still clear, but I'll give them a few more days as it has not been a full week since they started sitting tight.  If this clutch is still clear, I'm going to try to split the pair.  One of my best pairs from last year has 4 eggs in the nest so far.  Hopefully they'll do even better this year than last year.  I'm playing a bit of musical chairs with everyone else currently, trying to put together pairs that will give me the desired offspring can be difficult sometimes since the goulds themselves may not agree with my choices ^_^

Shaft tails look so adorable together, but once I put a loving pair into the breeding cage, not much happens.  Perhaps I need to wait a bit longer?  Since this is my first year with shaft tails, I am not as familiar with their behavior as with my other birds.

The 2 linnie eggs in the incubator is officially DIS now.  Cream Puff and Captain Turq have laid 3 more eggs - 1 fertile still, the last one laid looking like it'll be fertile, but the 3rd egg looking to be DIS.  Not sure if there is an issue with the egg not being sat on properly or genetics factors, so we'll have to see how this clutch proceed.  Indy (the colbalt male) and Blondie (the lutino hen) appear satisfied with just hanging out and eating daily - no indication that the nest box I've put up for them even registered as something to explore.  All well.  Somethings can't be forced.  I finally got to see the linnie's bat-like position when enjoying a "rain shower".  Apparently, I have to get the droplet size just right on my sprayer for them to enjoy it like a tropical downpour. 

I just received my white chested blue split to lutino male splendid and albino hen.  They look quite healthy.  Big hopes for them once they get old enough to breed.  I am also getting a pair of rubino bourkes - received my male so far, the hen will hopefully soon follow.  I will try to get pictures of my birds up soon, but check out a fabulous example from -

Monday, September 6, 2010

Baby count

This is probably the earliest I've put gouldians into pairs to breed compared to previous years.  Several hens have shown readiness by turning charcoal black on the beaks.  Other hens are not quite as ready yet.  This is good, since it allows me to stagger the use of the breeding cages.  The first pair to lay a complete clutch sat well for 2 days then abandoned for some reason.  I had to give their 5 eggs to the societies to foster - maybe 1-2 eggs with signs of life; won't know for sure how many DIS due to being left cold and how many can recover until a few days later.  The pair looks to be interested in the nest box still; hopefully they will do better the second time around.  Another pair has 4 eggs so far; should be 5 by tomorrow and hopefully the parents will start to sit tight soon as well.  Everyone else has shown some interest in the nests, but no further activity.  

The zebras are living up to their reputations still.  After raising 2 clutches already, the hen promptly laid 6 more fertile eggs, the first baby hatching today.  I will have to try to pull the nest ASAP this time.  Given my lack of space, I may be offering up all the babies as well as the parents up for sale once this round is done.  I'm afraid they are just a bit too prolific for me.

The linnies Captain Turq (turquoise male) and Cream Puff (creamino hen)'s 2 eggs I have in the incubator are DIS unfortunately.  Not sure if it's a temperature or humidity issue, but the development didn't seem normal beyond the 1st few days.  Fortunately, they have laid 2 more eggs, that both appear to be fertile.  I'll have a few weeks to decide whether I will hand feed or not - probably will, to try to have a couple of tame pets since I don't really need any more breeders currently.

 The splendid grasskeet pair whom I've named Red (the male who has added a few red feathers to his belly after molting this year) and Scarlet (my best hen with poor vision in one eye due to an infection early on in life - more on this later) has laid 5 eggs, 4 of which, at last count, were fertile.  Scarlet was given to me by her breeder when I went to pick up Red.  Wanting to only start with 1 pair of splendids, I had already picked up another hen, Blush, earlier on.  Red was born and weaned later.  When I went to pick up red, the breeder asked me if I would take Scarlet for free since she's developed an eye infection and would likely be blind in that eye.  While this is unlikely to affect her ability to breed, it would make selling her much more difficult, and I was trusted enough to see I can help her.  Scarlet healed with topical and internal antibiotics, but did develop scaring on her left eye, which does have decreased vision.  Now, with 2 hens and 1 male, I decided to get another male to make 2 pairs.  Coral was bought from a different breeder to keep the blood lines separate.  Thinking Scarlet may not be the first choice mate due to her disability was completely wrong on my part.  Red chose Scarlet without reservation.  Although he was younger than everyone else, he was the dominant male.  Coral and Blush have done well with raising their own clutches as well, but never quite as good as Red and Scarlet.  Coral and Blush have started some mating behavior, but so far no eggs yet.  If they also lay a clutch soon, the youngsters will be at least a month behind in development.

I have also put a pair of shaft tails together so see if they are willing to breed.  My favorite mutation is the creamino (or white).  I also like the normals and the "creams", which are a lovely light caramel color.  They have a very boisterous personality and love to snuggle and groom each other.  They seem to be in general peaceful with each other, but appear to prefer to snuggle in pairs.

The societies sneaked a clutch in during the summer, producing 3 pied fawn babies, 2 of which are crested.  A buyer has requested them earlier, but if they are no longer wanted, I'm thinking of keeping them as fosters since they come from my good clean foster line, and I did lose their elder by a few generations, one of my best foster males earlier this summer.  He was probably older than I think, and became ill suddenly, and unfortunately did not respond to any treatment - I think it was simply his time.  My attempt to breed for creamino societies is halted for now.  After 2 clutches of clear eggs from my creamino hen and a split male, I am letting them rest.  The male may be a bit too young yet.  I may need to put them to foster duties as well, but may let the creamino hen try with a different male in a couple of weeks.