Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bourke & Splendid Updates - Successful Hatches and Not

Scarlet-chested parakeets, male on right

As you know, my two pairs of Splendids haven't raised young for the last couple of years. Their eggs have been infertile. In fact, neither of our two hens have ever raised a chick. So, with four male Splendids available, we decided to move Rudy in with Rivka and put Rainbow (the patriarch) in with our other bachelor male, his son Flip.  Rainbow Jr. is still with Jewel. 

Rivka & Rudy ... not very used to each other yet.
 I moved Rivka to another cage and nest box, in addition to giving her a new mate, hoping one or the other might stimulate her to mate. Rivka and Rudy are investigating the nest box, so we shall see. She hasn't allowed him to feed her yet, although he's tried to. I am only "cautiously" optimistic.

Cherry, a Rosy Bourke hen. One egg has hatched, see broken shell at right.

As for the Bourkes, my elderly Cherry hatched an egg this morning. Four were hers and one is a fostered egg. Since her eggs were older and I'd given up on them, I think the one that hatched is the fostered egg. She hasn't left the nest box for me to investigate, however. How do I know an egg hatched? She's covering everything, but there is a broken egg shell present ... a sure sign! It's above her head near the wall of the box. The other is an unhatched egg.

The egg Cherry fostered is actually one that a daughter of hers laid on the floor of the cage and I rescued. Later, that daughter went into the nest box and laid more eggs, so I could probably have put it in her nest box, but I trust Cherry more than I trust the younger hen. I am hopeful that the young hen will soon hatch hers.

Candy is fluffed up to cover her eggs. She's not upset.
Candy and Dolph also have eggs. They are a proven pair, so I expect their eggs to hatch in the near future. Happily, we will have more Bourke babies this year! We had many early in the year and then I closed the nest boxes for three months to let the hens rest. Subsequent clutches in the summer didn't produce anything and I thought maybe that was it for the year. Now, it looks like we may get some more baby Bourkes. Hurray!

Until last year, I always removed nest boxes in the Fall, cleaned them and put them away until Spring. However, after an unproductive summer last year, I discovered that my birds did well breeding in the Fall. Perhaps they will do the same this year. 

May all your eggs hatch and your birds never stop singing. Peace & Love. 


neversink7 said...

My splendids tend to get going in the fall and enthusiastically continue to breed until late spring. During the summer they tend to molt and rest. The same occurs with my other Australian birds-namely the gouldians, so I figure it's just their internal clock. This occurs despite exposure to outside temperatures. Have you tried to let the splendids breed in a larger flight cage to see if that makes a difference? Congrats on the bourke babies.

G. Lewis said...

The grandparents and parents of these birds did fine in the same sized cages. These hens came from the same breeder in California and are probably related. They just don't seem willing to least as far as I can tell.

I would prefer to have all my birds in an aviary like I had in Calif. as a teen, but the weather on the So. Coast of Oregon is too cool most of the year. Even in summer it's windy and cool where we live...comfortable weather all year for people, but not near the warm temps of Australia. Smile.