Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bourke Breeding Update

Sold seven Rosy Bourkes over the weekend, five 2012 babies and two from last year with pink eyes and beautiful. I'd planned to keep them, but have since decided to continue downsizing.

Spicy and Sweetheart.

View of Sweetheart's yellow feathers.

I still have my favorite male with pink eyes and am looking for a lutino hen for him. His tail is yellow and his body a deep rose. Spicy is the only normal Bourke I still own. He is the first bird I ever hand fed.

I am down to eleven birds and hope to place three of them soon. (Two are mated Gouldian finches and one is my defective youngster with the splayed leg).

That will leave me three mated, very tame Rosy Bourkes and two bachelor Bourkes, both very tame. I hope to get unrelated hens for one or both of them. Having only four or five cages is my goal. I've had as many as 12 cages and over 30 birds in the past. I love all of them, but want to continue writing and editing. When you have ten or more cages, it takes a lot of time to keep them well cared for. The four cages in my kitchen nook satisfy my love of birds and allow me to spend extra time with my tame pairs. And, having fewer gives me more time for writing and editing.

Fuchsia and Flame are raising two babies; Cherry and Rhett have three. I expect to remove and hand feed these five in a week or two. (And I wanted more time? Handfeeding uses time). Haven't decided whether to allow third clutches or not. We shall see. Meanwhile, Rosie and Pretty Boy are back in the nest and she's laying eggs for her second clutch.
Fuchsia almost looks like a baby herself jammed
against the wall of her nest box. She has two babies.
Cherry left the nest and I hurriedly took this photo of
her three babies. Fourth egg isn't likely to hatch.
As for my novel, "Cast Me Not Away, by Zara Gail Heritage," I'm still editing, hence the reason I'm posting here less often. I do so want to finish and let the Publisher have it back. Smile. (Zara is the pseudonym for my first novel).

Peace & Blessings.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Young Lady Gouldian Pair

After successfully raising two clutches of eleven babies, this young pair are now into home redecorating.

They keep adding more and more nesting material.

What they are doing, is rearranging and more nest building. Nothing satisfies them. Their box is overstuffed.

Their second clutch of six healthy youngsters.
There were seven eggs. One was infertile.

She laid a lot of eggs this time!

Peace & Blessings.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Lady Gouldian Update

After successfully raising two clutches of eleven babies, they are now into home redecorating.

They keep adding more and more nesting material.
Mama has laid over 12 eggs that she sometimes deigns to sit on, but never at night when she's supposed to. Daddy Gouldian, who should warm them during the day, isn't bothering either.

What they are doing, is rearranging and nest building. Nothing satisfies them. They cover the eggs, which I've uncovered several times, then recover them. I thought for a while maybe they were trying to keep them warm with newspaper. Hah!

After candling the eggs, most appear to be fertile, but it seems unlikely any will hatch. I've considered bringing our homemade egg incubator up from the basement and putting it into use, but haven't done so yet. It may be too late and the Gouldian babies aren't as quick to sell, nor for as much, as the Bourke parakeets. A lot of work and risk for less gain, although the babies would be hand fed and tame.

Their second clutch of six healthy youngsters.
In earlier clutches, she stayed on the eggs if I peeked into the box. This time she leaves any time I open the lid.


Later in day: Decided to count and candle her eggs. There are 15!

Only ten eggs showing, but as
of today there are 15 in total.
She has laid two clutches back to back after fledging a second clutch of healthy babies. By candling them I hoped to identify the good from the infertile or dead. What I learned is that I'm less sure of myself with small finch eggs than with larger Bourke eggs. Over half are definitely fertile, but only one had apparent movement.

As for seeing a heartbeat as expected in a Bourke egg...well, the little hearts are probably too small for me to recognize. One dark image inside an egg was certainly moving, but the others didn't seem to be. Yet, I'm not willing to risk throwing out a healthy little bird in the shell.

I put all 15 eggs back into the nest...those that were dark and those that looked like they were either infertile, or recently laid (there were no visible vessels). We shall wait and see what she does. The eggs were, by the way, all warm. How she keeps 15 eggs warm, I'm not sure, but they were, even though she seldom seems to be sitting on them and it's only 70 degrees in the house.

Peace & Blessings.