Monday, August 8, 2011


Remember my favorite handfed Rosy Bourke hen, Rosie, who hatched three eggs and two of her babies had pink eyes? 

Since Rosie's grandmother's pink-eyed youngsters seemed to have internal defects and didn't survive, we worried for Rosie's babies. At two weeks of age one pink-eyed baby did die. I expected to lose the other one too, but that was not to be. Here it is with its dark-eyed sibling.

Pink-eyed baby Bourke in front.
Notice that the typical black feathers are gray.
This bird's "rose" feathers are actually light pink with yellow highlights.

This was Rosie's first clutch and her mate, Pretty Boy, is very young and not much help feeding her before she feeds their babies. After inspecting the dead baby bird, I think she simply did not feed it and let it starve. If I'd kept a closer watch, I might have saved it with hand feeding. I hope it wasn't a genetic problem. We've had other young hens with young mates who give up on one or two of their clutch.

You'd think that with ample food provided they'd happily raise all their young. However, when the males aren't enough help... 

In the case of some of those hens I was able to successfully hand feed the abandoned youngster(s). By the time I saw this one, however, it was too late. Rosie and her mate will probably improve with future clutches. Experience seems to add confidence and many of those hens who rejected one or two babies in the beginning went on in later years to hatch and raise four babies in every clutch instead of hatching four and only feeding two.

Bonnie with her single baby. He's very calm and serene.
A very sweet little bird.
Bonnie & Clyde hatched only one egg this time, although there were three in the nest. That's unusual for them. The baby is doing fine, but grew so fast that I missed banding him. By the time I took him out of the box, his foot was too big to put a band on.

I was kept enjoyably busy with visiting relatives and forgot to check on this bird.

Can't wait for her to leave the nestbox so I can see what she has
hidden under her. At least two of her five eggs have hatched.
Tame Fuchsia and mate, Flame, have five eggs. She shares a grandmother with Rosie, so I'm curious to see if she will also have pink-eyed youngsters. Yesterday I discovered that two of her eggs have hatched. One baby has dark eyes, but I wasn't able to see the other one without moving Fuchsia. Didn't want to upset her since it's her first clutch.

I need to watch these babies more closely than I did Rosie's. Don't want to miss whether they are being fed, and will need to band them on time. 

Currently have eight baby Bourkes with two more clutches waiting to hatch. Bourkes are such sweet birds.

I hope to trade some baby Bourkes for more Splendids. Ours haven't been productive for quite a while. Rainbow's mate died and he needs a new hen. He is becoming noisy, crying for her. Sad.

Peace & Blessings
to all of You and your Birds  

1 comment:

neversink7 said...

congrats on your white faced pink (or opaline fawn) baby! very pretty :)