Thursday, December 19, 2013

Incubating Small Exotic Bird Eggs

Baby Lineolated Parakeets at 10 and 11 days of age. Also in incubator are
Eggs from Lady Gouldian finches and Rosy Bourke Parakeets.
I've written before about incubating and hatching Lady Gouldian finch eggs in the homemade incubator my innovative husband created using a cockatiel nest box.  After hand feeding them from day one, I said I'd never do it again. Well... Never say never!
Just like last year, after three clutches our Lady Gouldian finch would not quit laying. Removing the nest box did no good. I had to separate her from her mate, or risk losing her.
But, what about all those fertile eggs? I retrieved them from the floor of her cage before moving her to a separate cage away from her mate and their earlier brood of six youngsters.
The larger eggs in the photo above are from Fuchsia and Flame, our prolific Rosy Bourke Parakeets. Because of family health issues, Fuchsia's box was not removed when it should have been. She's raised too many clutches this year already. So, I removed the nest box. These four eggs were all laid on the floor of her cage, so I retrieved them too.
My prolific pair deciding to mate even without a nest box.

At present, at least three Lady Gouldian eggs have live embryo's in them and so do at least two of the Bourke eggs. Later, I'll try to video the eggs with a light behind them. The little red embryo's already show a heart beating.
One Gouldian egg and one Bourke egg have damage to their shell, probably done when they were roughly laid. I don't expect them to hatch. Considered trying to repair their cracks, but haven't.
Looks like I will be hand feeding baby birds until the end of February! Probably five or more.

Flame above, Fuchsia (the hen) below.
Very tame, they don't mind an audience.
Rosie Birds has a video of them on You Tube.
Bird eggs have to be rolled frequently for 18 to 21 days. Newly hatched chicks require feedings every two hours, even through the night. With the baby Linnies I'm down to every three to four hours. But, still sleep deprived.
My husband suggested I throw out the eggs rather than incubate and hand feed because night feedings are so taxing. That's true, but the incubator was already set up for the Linnies and readily available. It was easy to add the eggs and turn them when I feed the baby Linnies.
Then, there's the fact that I'm stridently pro-life!
And, that participating in saving even little feathered lives makes me feel really good. Can't bring myself to heartlessly cast them away. May we end abortion and spare precious human lives too.

Peace, Blessings,
 and a
Merry Christmas!

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