Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Question on Personalities - Male or Female?

Marie asked: "My female 12-yr-old Rosy Bourke died yesterday. I have 1 one-yr-old female. Now should I get another female or a male?"

You have our sympathy. It's possible to become quite attached to our pets and Bourkes can be very sweet and interactive.

The obvious question would be, "Do you want to raise baby Bourkes?" I assume not, or you wouldn't be asking which sex is best...you'd already know you want a male. 

As a woman, even if sexual relations were not an issue, I'd rather live with my husband than my very best female friend. Your Rosy is probably no different. A female companion is better than none, but a male...well, he's going to mean a lot more to her.

If you don't provide a nest box, your pair will probably not breed. Nest boxes stimulate the urge to raise young. However, I had one experienced mother hen who didn't wait for me to return her nest box during the breeding season and laid an egg in her seed cup. This is unusual, however, and even less likely with a bird that's never raised young before.

Even though a pair without a nest box probably won't breed, the male will likely feed her. This is a bonding activity, similar perhaps to human kissing. It also proves he can be a competent father. Male Bourkes feed the hen while she's brooding and raising chicks. They later take over feeding the offspring when the young leave the nest and he helps them learn to feed themselves.

A happy pair of Bourkes will sit together much of the time and the male will offer to feed the hen occasionally. Male Bourkes are also lovely singers. They naturally wolf whistle (softly) and their songs are longer. They spend more time singing than hens do. They're also more active because of their courtship behaviors.

My recommendation is that a male will offer you (and your hen) more entertainment than will another female. Too bad you don't live in Oregon. I have two young male Rosy Bourkes available who are hand fed and very tame.

Best of luck and God Bless you and all your pets, four-legged or winged.

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