Sunday, July 22, 2012

Parakeet Leg Defect

Foot appears to work normally, but one leg
extends outward at an odd angle.

Our elderly Bourkes Rhett and Cherry's first clutch wasn't highly successful this year. She hatched four of five eggs, but two babies died early on...both with pink eyes. The baby below has something wrong with its leg. I don't believe there was any sort of injury. I suspect it happened in the shell. The leg extends outward instead of in a normal position. Yet, it can be manipulated into a normal position with no apparent distress or pain to the bird.

My husband feels we should remove Rhett and Cherry's nest box and call them retired. Typically, elderly birds quit breeding on their own and these two have gone on longer than expected.

Over the course of several days we made three attempts to pull his leg into a normal position. Every time the contraption came apart or came off. I suspect his mother may have helped remove it.

First attempt to keep leg in a normal position.
We used a strip of bandaid to avoid irritating the skin.

Second attempt with a rigid match stick between and
stronger tape in middle with bandaid tape over ankles.

Third and final attempt. Notice, he's a little older in this
photo than in previous ones. Duct tape over a match stick
with Duct tape over the bandaid tape underneath.
The baby bird never seemed to mind the attention he was being given. I've spent time holding him in my hand with his leg held in a normal position. I think he likes it. Given enough time, simply carrying him around and holding his leg next to his body might begin to allow him to keep it there. Sort of like a person's frozen shoulder, where you have to gradually force it back over time until it's back to normal.

I've never experienced this type of problem before, but Debbie wrote to us about a similar one in 2010. Here is a link to her message with photos of her bird:  Bird Leg Deformity 

Debbie, if you're still out there, please let us know how Scarlet grew up. Did her legs become normal over time?

He can grasp with both feet and if I hold his leg next to
his body, it will stay there. He seems happy and
content in this position.

I didn't expect this bird to leave the nest box on his/her own. I expected to take him out when his younger sibling left the box. However, today he left the nest box on his own and his younger sibling is still in it. The photos below were taken today.

Sitting on a perch one-legged. Flies pretty well too, considering.

Found him sitting in this seed cup. He seemed
comfortable there. Leg is not stretched out quite as far.

This little bird will either be a keeper or one to give away. He/she isn't one to sell, but neither will I put him/her down. Animals are amazing at coping with physical problems.

Peace & Blessings.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Baby Bourke Parakeets Today

These clutches began hatching June 18, 19 and 20. By three weeks of age, parent Bourkes spend more time out of the nest than in it. The optimum age to begin hand feeding is also about three weeks, although I've hand fed a few birds from day one, when necessary, and they did fine.

Parents, Flame and Fuchsia were both hand fed and are very tame.
Their first baby hatched on June 19, then every other day thereafter.
Four babies here.

These two are from Rhett and Cherry, my oldest birds.
(His 1st mate was Scarlett and hers was Bing).Their first
egg hatched June 18, 2012. Four of the five eggs hatched,
however, two babies had dark stomachs, indicating
some internal physical defect. Neither survived long.

Rosie and Pretty Boy are the proud parents of these two.
She laid four eggs. Only these two were fertile. Rosie was hand fed
and is very tame. Her mate will get on my finger if I insist,
but he was not hand fed and isn't as tame as the others.

Looks like he will explode! So full he can barely move.
This is an early photo of one of Cherry's babies (also
shown in the 2nd photo above when older). I was worried
about how absolutely stuffed she'd made her two, but
apparently it didn't do any harm. He's healthy and happy.
On Friday I'll begin hand feeding some, or maybe all of these. I may leave one in each nest for the parents to finish...haven't decided yet. I don't want the parents to be upset over having all their children stolen at once, but two of the pairs are tame and will want to "share" in the hand feeding process with me. They like to eat the hand feeding formula whenever they get a chance. I'll be hand feeding at least five of the eight. Flame, Fuchsia and Rosie all join in when I'm hand feeding. The babies will all share the same cardboard box and later the same cage. Colored bands help me remember who their parents are.

Six Baby Lady Gouldian finches have their own cage away
from Mom and Dad now. They need new homes.
Flame and Fuchsia are bathing in their water dish.
So is their bachelor neighbor, Sweetheart, next door.
Sometimes they start splashing me before I can even
finish giving everyone fresh water. They're so cute!

May all your eggs hatch and
all your babies grow to be beautiful adults.
Peace & Blessings.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Prolific Lady Gouldian Finches

Duke and Duchess have successfully fledged their second clutch. All six hatchlings are healthy and eating on their own. Meanwhile, even before the babies left the nest, Duchess had laid two more eggs! Currently, she has five, but her first and second clutches were seven. Probably more eggs to come.

Duke has a mouthful of paper shreds. Baby at left.
Cup holding paper shreds.
I like to have newspaper on the bottom of our cages.
It is changed regularly and keeps everything clean.
Since Duke was tearing it into big shreds, I gave him a
cup full of paper from the paper shredder. He loves it.
Duke is happily revamping the nest box. No chance for me to clean it out, but he makes sure it's nice and tidy for another clutch. He has covered up all evidence of the last clutch and made it look spic and span. One problem, however. He covered up Duchess's first two eggs. Then she laid two more. He covered those up too!

So, today I went into the box and dug around to find those eggs. Found five buried eggs and moved them back to the surface. I candled them first, but since she hasn't been sitting on them I'm not certain if any, or all, are fertile. Two appear to possibly have veins in them, indicating fertility. They were probably warmed by the previous youngsters who are still returning to the nest box at night. The first clutch of five babies didn't do that, but this second clutch of six does return nightly.

Held the camera inside the cage for this photo.
Duke with shreds in his mouth.

Eight birds require a lot of food. Several dishes on the
bottom of the cage with a variety of food for the
babies to learn to eat on their own.

Duchess is still feeding her brood, even though they are eating on their own as well. Duke isn't interested in the young birds and has even knocked one or two off the perch when they've been in his way. Soon they will be moved to a cage of their own.

Peace & Blessings.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Bourke Parakeet Banding

I have many other photos and information about banding. Enter "banding" in the Search window if you want more specifics on banding baby birds.

Mineral oil helps slide the bands on, and a sharp toothpick helps pull the last toe through.

Fuchsia's youngest baby is banded. Silver aluminum band
identifies breeder as EGL, with the state OR,
also hatch year and sequential number.
Colored band identifies parentage.

Look at how fat this baby's crop is! Looks like
it could pop apart. Fuchsia makes sure her
youngsters never go hungry.
Today's Bourke Update:

1) Fuchsia hatched all five eggs, however, her pink-eyed baby died after a few days. She now has four healthy Rosy babies, all with dark eyes.

2) Cherry hatched four of five eggs and two babies had pink eyes. One died a day later, the other lived ten days before dying. She has two healthy Rosy babies left, both with dark eyes.

3) Rosie hatched two of four eggs. Both babies have dark eyes and are doing well.
Currently, we have eight (8) healthy baby Rosy Bourke parakeets. All are banded.

As a reader previously noted, when a bird's intestinal area is dark it seems to indicate a physical defect. All these pink-eyed babies had dark stomach areas and none of the three survived. Last year, although we lost a few with pink eyes, we also had several who survived and are beautiful and healthy. Their stomachs were not dark...a genetic problem more likely to affect the babies with pink eyes, but thankfully not every time.

Peace & Blessings.