Friday, January 14, 2011

Splendid Scarlet-chested Parakeets and Determined Bourke Parakeets

Two pairs of Splendids are on friendly terms sharing a large common cage.
However, when nest boxes are introduced, that could change.

Cherry when nest box is first opened.
Notice relaxed tail.
Cherry after taking a photo with the flash.
Tail is spread wide, making herself appear larger.

Cherry, a Rosy Bourke hen, has four eggs that aren't going to hatch. Yet, she refuses to give up on them even after setting twice as long as it takes for eggs to hatch (18-21 days for Bourke eggs). I could take them away, but would hate for her to be angry with me.

Her previous clutch was also infertile, but I gave her an egg from one of her daughters who had laid it on the floor of her cage. That egg was laid about ten days later than any of Cherry's, but she stayed on it and hatched it. She raised the lone chick. She's been on these current eggs even longer, perhaps hoping beyond hope that one may just be late like last time.

This is Rhett, Cherry's mate. He's my eldest bird.
Cherry's mate, Rhett, was my very first Rosy Bourke. His mate, Scarlett, has since passed away, as did Cherry's first mate, Bing (he was quite a singer). Rhett and Cherry never did much with their first mates, but together they've raised more birds than I've kept count of.  As older birds, their productive years are behind them though.  Nevertheless, if Cherry continues to want to brood there may be other opportunities for her to foster eggs. For instance, one of the eggs she's sheltering is from a Splendid. I had hoped it would be fertile, but such was not the case. If it had been, Cherry would have raised it like one of her own.

Budgerigars also make good foster parents for any of the small varieties of parakeet. Timing is important, so my nest boxes all go back up on the cages on the same day. The hens may not all lay at the same time, but it stimulates them and they will overlap one another, making fostering (when necessary) a possibility. This way, I've been able to save many eggs from young mothers unwilling to set, or hens who suffered egg binding and recovered, but weren't up to caring for their clutch after that. Putting fertile eggs under other hens is highly successful. I usually pick an experienced hen, and/or one with only three or four eggs.
Jewel & Rainbow, Scarlet-chested parakeets.

Recently sold Rosy Bourke youngsters.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone! 

UPDATE A FEW DAYS LATER:  Cherry finally gave up. She actually had five eggs, don't know why I thought only four. Two of the eggs were actually fertile. Sad that they didn't hatch. I'm thinking that maybe I need to add Vitamin D since they are never outside, and windows filter sunlight. They have iodine and calcium available. It surprised me that this aging pair is still able to produce fertile eggs...good for them! However, could her age have anything to do with the eggs not hatching? She always kept them warm and babies were fully developed. Some kind of genetic defect from older eggs, maybe?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Selling Birds

My tame Rosy Bourkes have all moved in together.
If you've followed my earlier posts, you will know I wasn't able to sell my most recent batch of baby Bourkes. In the past, nearly all went to a woman who had a contract with a national chain of pet shops. Presumably the major downturn in our economy is affecting them like everyone else. 

Last month I spoke to one of our two locally-owned pet shops and they took a young pair of Bourkes, a male and a female. When they sold, I expected to sell more to them just before Christmas. However, for inventory reasons, they preferred to wait until after the new year.

Yesterday, they bought three young Bourkes and two male Splendids. That's right. I've given up trying to find hens, or raise some, for my two extra male Splendids. I still have my tame Rainbow, father of the two I sold, and an unrelated male called Rudy. Rainbow is with Jewel and Rudy is with Rivkah. Neither hen has ever produced, but one can always hope. Rainbow and his first mate were successful. Unfortunately, she suffered egg binding and died before I realized she had a problem. These two have had several clutches, but to date all their eggs have been infertile.

You ask, "Why didn't you advertise your birds in your local newspaper?" For several reasons. Primarily because we are a long way out of town, difficult to find, and my husband doesn't want strangers wandering in and spending our valuable writing time while they view the birds. Smile.

Truthfully, Ed (E.G. Lewis) is trying to finish the third novel in his series "The Seeds of Christianity."  As a child in Witness, Rivkah goes with her father and the other shepherds into Bethlehem andas any young girl wouldshe asks to hold the new baby. As she grows up, her life intersects many major events of that time. Also, the man she's believes she is destined to marry appears to be killed in a temple riot. Instead, he's been carried off into slavery. The novel runs a parallel story about his life as a Roman slave and hers as she avoids her father's efforts to have her married. Will they be reunited? She doesn't even know he's still alive. Witness is a well-written, touching tale. Disciple, is even more so. It follows Rivkah's family after the crucifixion. Both are Biblically and historically accurate full-length novels.

Meanwhile, I'm blogging about birds.
But, I love them ... and love reading my husband's books.
I'm sure you'd enjoy them too.

Hope everyone had a Happy New Year and
will have only wonderful blessings in 2011.