Friday, July 15, 2011


Rosie has just returned to her brood. I added millet to her box
when I thought she looked thin. She ate it until the eggs hatched.
Now she relies only on her mate for food. Possibly because the
twice regurgitated food is richer and finer for her youngsters.
Our handfed Rosy Bourke hen, dubbed Rosie, hatched all three of her eggs. Two of the babies are a surprise. They have pink eyes.

Rosie, and her mate, Pretty Boy, are first cousins. Her father and his mother are siblings. Their mothers have never produced babies with pink eyes. But, their shared grandmother, Cherry, produced a baby with pink eyes one year. It only survived for a week. 

Three huddled together for warmth. Hatched
Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Photo taken
on Friday.
For Rosie to produce two pink-eyed babies in her very first clutch was unexpected. I hope they're healthy and will continue to grow. I once owned a pair of white faced Bourkes with pink eyes. I'd no idea how old they were and the hen died about six months after their purchase. I traded the male for a Splendid parakeet, and he did later reproduce for his new owner.I don't think any of his offspring had pink eyes, however.

As discussed in an earlier post about that first pink-eyed baby, it also had a very dark stomach, indicative of an internal organ problem. These are so newly hatched, and Rosie is so protective, that I've not examined them closely enough to determine if they do too. I'm optimistic that they are okay.

Look closely at baby in my hand. Egg tooth is touching
my finger. Eyes are still closed and both slightly bulge
outward on both sides of head. See that they are pink. No
dark coloration. Compare them to photo below.

The largest, and first baby hatched, has dark eyes. His head is at far left with one dark eye visible. Crop is full. The other two babies' eyes are harder to find in photo because they're pink, lacking the melanin of their sibling. The one in the middle is actually facing us and his head forms a "v" toward us. Both eyes are visible at each side of his head.

Peace & Blessings.

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