Thursday, April 17, 2014

Parakeet Questions for Rosie Bird

Below are recent questions from Readers and the answers provided to them. They're worth sharing.

Female & Male Splendid Parakeets


Question:
1. I was ... given a flock of splendid s and Rosy's , I would like to have them all checked out by a vet. Do you know what type of tests should I have done to make sure they are all healthy, ... for parasites and Jardia, mites, etc.?  I would like to get the whole flock off to a good start. 
  
2. At which point do you take a nest box away from a pair ? I had two hens that laid and raised 2 clutches and then on the 3rd clutch both hens died in the nest box. Should I limit the hens to just 2 clutches a year? I was just worried that these hens would lay on the floor if they didn't keep the nest box for the 3rd clutch they wanted. I was afraid to take the hen out of the nest box thinking she was still feeding the big chicks inside the box and she was already producing the next batch of eggs. What should I have done ?



Opaline fallow Bourke Parakeet


3. What should you do if a chick will not come out of the nest box even though it is feathered and the next clutch is already laid in the same nest box? Do I remove it and put it by itself ? I am sure it is being fed by its parents but has just not left the box and the second brood is about to hatch. I do not want to starve it if it does not know how to eat on its own.
Thanks.  Randy



Answer:
Hi Randy, I'm sorry about your hens. Don't remove the baby from the box. Bourke parents and also Splendids feed their young another couple of weeks or more after they leave the nest box. It's not unusual for a hen to lay eggs while she still has young in there.

Rosy Bourke hen with her brood.

1. An avian vet recommended to me that I not medicate birds for unknown or suspected illnesses. You can quarantine them from other birds and watch for any sign of illness. If you have an avian vet near you and want to ask them to examine the birds, you can. However, we don't have an avian vet near us and the veterinarians in our area are unfamiliar with Bourkes or Splendids. When I took a dead Rosy Bourke into a local vet who had to be used to transfer it to an avian vet for an autopsy, the local vet said, "I've never seen a bird like this. It's beautiful, what is it?" That didn't instill any confidence. BTW, my dead Bourke died of obesity, so I quit feeding safflower seed and gave them less corn and less frequent spray millet, but added more leafy greens and vegetables.

2. My young birds do okay with three clutches a year, but older hens I restrict to two, or even one clutch a year. Egg laying and raising young is physically stressful. Not knowing the age of the two hens you lost, it's difficult to ascertain why they died. Were they getting enough calcium to prevent egg binding, for instance? An egg stuck in the vent would leave an obvious bulge there. Were your hens older birds who couldn't maintain the high level of physical toil required to lay and raise three clutches? Removing a nest box as soon as the babies leave it will usually prevent a hen from continuing to lay. If she lays eggs before her last clutch has left the nest, you can foster the eggs under a younger hen if you wish. Or, I've resorted to removing the new eggs and putting them in an incubator. It puts the eggs at risk of not hatching and means hand feeding babies who do hatch. However, it protects your hen safe. That's sometimes the best choice.

3. Most birds will eventually leave the nest box on their own. As I said, it isn't unusual for a hen to lay eggs while one or more of her previous clutch are still there. However, I can't imagine they'd still be there over two weeks after she laid the new clutch. If they are, there's something wrong with them.


Young male Splendid Parakeet.


Over the years, I've had three young Bourkes that could not feed themselves. I've no idea why and they didn't come from the same pair of parents. The first two (years apart) were very tame and I gave them away to people who agreed to hand feed them. I had spent over two years hand feeding the second one until I found someone who'd take her over. With the third bird, her father kept feeding her and I could see him getting thinner and thinner. She wouldn't allow me to hand feed her and would bite viciously. Sorry to say, she was mercifully destroyed rather than lose him. Birds that cannot feed themselves would die in the wild. If yours is one of those, you do need to remove it and not let the parents risk their new brood, or their health, trying to maintain that bird.

Best of luck with your choices.

--------------------------------

Question:
Yesterday, I made a trade of some birds I was raising for a pair of Bourkes. My female is a Rubino and my male is a Rosie. I have had them for almost a day now and I am very concerned about them. They do not move. They are not eating and I don't think they are drinking either. The breeder had them in their own cage in an enclosure around other birds he raises.
 


 

I have a large aviary outdoors and it's filled with Bourkes (a normal pair and 2 Rosie females) and finches. I have never had any issues bringing home a new Bourke nor any other bird for that matter. This behavior is so new to me.

I decided to keep this pair indoors for the time being so that I can monitor their behavior. I have put a seed mix and some spray millet on the bottom of the cage as well as offered 2 bowls of water (which I was told by the breeder that they are used to open water containers) ..but they do not move. Last night, when I turned out the lights, they became more active. I heard them chirp and fly around the cage. I left a soft light on so they can find their way around the cage but when I woke this am, I can clearly see they have not touched any of the food.

Today, I left them in peace and went run some errands only to return and they are in the same spot, and I can't say about the water for sure but I can see they have not touched the seed and I am guessing neither the water. Should I place them outside next to the aviary? Should I put them in the aviary for now to see if they feel more comfortable? I am at a loss of what I should do. Please help! - Brandy

 
 
Answer:
Hello Brandy, Bourkes are typically quiet during the day and active at daybreak and late in the evening when the sun is going down. Hence, their flying when you turned off the lights. Maybe they are very tired from all the changes they've gone through. I hope they're eating when you're not around to see them. I'd recommend keeping them indoors to be certain they're healthy before introducing them to the aviary.

Try standing near their cage and talking sweetly to them and see if you get some reaction ... Hopefully, they'll perk up at your voice and attention. Every bird is different though.

You might try enticing them with chopped fresh Kale or Broccoli. Mine also love cooked corn. See if they aren't willing to eat that. It might encourage their appetite enough that they will eat in front of you and reassure you that they're okay, and only frightened by the move. Let's hope that's all it is.

Blessings,
Gail
 --------------------------------

Question:
Hi Gail, My rosy Bourke's parakeet is a little over one year and she is showing signs of sickness. Unfortunately, I am not able to call the vet until tomorrow and  I'm having trouble diagnosing it, so I'll list the symptoms.



Two weeks ago she lost energy and slept a lot, and when she wasn't sleeping she was on an eating frenzy. She jumped from dish to dish eating only seeds (mostly the oats that come in the seed mix). She won't touch her vegetables except for sometimes the peas. Her droppings were normal and her vent and nostrils clean. I added vitamins to the food and offered fruit pate. I also made boiled eggs thinking it might be a hormonal issue. She started to perk up and go back to normal again....until today. Today she has slept most of the day and now her droppings come out watery and light green. She still eats a lot and when she's not eating, she sleeps. Any ideas what illness this could be? I was thinking fatty liver, but I read the symptoms and it said birds stop eating with fatty liver.

Thanks for your help. - Melissa


Answer:
Hi Melissa,
What worries me most is the watery, light green droppings. I'm no vet, so I can't begin to guess what's causing them. I can note that most Bourkes sleep a lot during the day. Is she active in the early morning and/or early evening? It's normal for Bourkes to fly and be active at dawn and at dusk. Sleeping during the day is pretty typical. If she fluffs up and sits on the floor, then you know something is very wrong. That is, providing she's not covering an egg or eggs down there...

My Bourkes won't eat fruit ... so fruit pate? Mine like cooked corn best. The fact that yours ate peas...could that have caused the watery, green droppings? I hope that's all it was...

I lost a hen at 3 years of age once. She had a stroke right in front of me and I was shocked, so we sent her body to an avian vet for an autopsy. I was afraid there might be something that could infect the rest of the flock. Turned out she had died of obesity that damaged her interior organs. She'd never had a mate and had never laid an egg, so all her food intake went to fat and not to producing eggs. I'd given her (and my other birds) safflower seed and lots of cooked corn and spray millet in addition to a budgie seed mix. They got some greens, but not regularly.

Now, I do better. I quit giving safflower seed all together. They get cooked corn only when breeding or raising young. Spray millet is sporadic in the winter and only given more frequently if they are feeding young, or laying eggs. They get chopped fresh kale, chopped fresh broccoli or cooked mixed vegetables often.

Always present is a budgie seed mix, cuttlebone, mineral block and a few years ago I added rabbit salt blocks for the iodine in them. That was recommended by several experienced breeders. The only bird I've lost in many, many years was my very first and oldest Bourke from geriatric causes.

I pray your little hen is okay and recovers from any problem she may have.

Peace & Blessings,
Gail


Follow-up message:
Hi Gail, This morning her droppings are normal again, so you could be right that is was the peas. She seems more perky too. I give my Bourke's peas and cucumber every morning because they seem to love them for breakfast. Only once per day though. This bird is over weight and I think that is really the issue. She used to be more active in the morning and evening, like typical Bourke's, but now her only activity has been eating. Even out of the cage she will just sit. I let my Bourke's out of the cage quite often. I really think a diet is in order for her.

The fruit pate is the conditioning food from the shop, it's made by Orlux Versele-laga. Should I not give this to them? Everyday I offer vegetables. Sometimes it's broccoli, spinach, parsley, carrots. I can't offer Kale until the summer when I grow it and it's in the shops. I bought some hemp seeds, what do you think about giving that to Bourke's? Always present also is budgie seeds, cuttle bone and mineral block. And occaisionally oyster grit and millet spray.

I'm sorry about your bird having a stroke. It must have been so upsetting to watch and not be able to do anything! Which makes me now realise I must put Emma on a diet. I don't quite know how because she shares a cage with her brother, who is thin (maybe too thin because she eats all the foods). So I plan to read from your webpage today about a proper diet. I thank you again for all your expertise. And the prayers really work!

Thank you. - Melissa

Second Answer:
Hi Melissa, I'd make sure budgie seed mix is always available. But, cut back on everything else. Maybe give vegies two or three times a week and spray millet twice a month. You might encourage her to fly more. One of my tame hens doesn't leave my shoulder very often, so I put her on my finger and drop my hand quickly so she'll fly. She goes to her cage when I do that and it's across the room and around a corner. Keeps her a bit more active. ;-)

I wonder if the Orlux Versele-laga could be fattening? I've never seen it here. I know nothing about hemp seed, and because I don't, I wouldn't offer it to my birds. My Bourkes sometimes get some finch seed mix because I keep finches and they seem to like it. The Splendids actually prefer it to Budgie seed.

I'm guessing that the cucumber is more likely to have caused wet stool than the peas. About spinach...I used to give it once in a blue moon, but have since read that it's not healthy for birds. So, I give kale, but never spinach any longer. I'd rather be safe than sorry.

Glad your girl is better...hope she loses weight and lives a long life. Meanwhile, her cage companion should do fine as long as there is a budgie mix for him to eat any time he wishes.

Blessings,
Gail
 --------------------------------
Question:
Hi again! It has been a while since I've bothered you for info and again am soooo thankful for your blog! I have a pair of rosie's that I am guessing are near 2 yrs old. They have been mating here and there since last August. I got them last late April. I have never provided anything remotely close to a nesting box or area hoping that this would discourage egg laying.  Well, she has decided to anyway! YIKES! Well the first egg arrived late Friday night on 3-28-14. I removed the egg and cleaned up the bottom of the cage a bit to hopefully discourage her from feeling it a safe place.
I should explain that they are in a good sized cage - 30" wide, 18" deep and about 36" tall. I did not put in the bottom grate that separates them from the very bottom. Their substrate is a mix of recycled crinkly paper and some timothy hay to try to provide them w/a more natural floor. I guess she felt that would do ok for a nest???  
So on the 29th I happened to go to a pet store to get some oyster shell, as for the first time ever she is mowing on the cuttlebone. There happened to be some good folks from a local bird rescue there and I spoke with a couple of them. They suggested I leave the eggs so she doesn't wear herself out continuing to lay. I get that now. Also they suggested switching out the eggs w/fake ones. I could only find fake ones that have little speckles on them and they are a tiny bit smaller than hers. I am wondering if I really need to swap them out as I highly doubt these eggs will likely hatch. They are on the bottom of the cage floor and when she broods she's not always covering all of them. I am not providing any extra heat or humidity. She has 5 eggs now as of Monday evening the 7th of April. 
So, I had no intention of breeding or adding to the unwanted pet population. What would you suggest I do next? I don't want to stress her or let her wear herself out. I do not have a second cage to remove the male to. I hope that's not the only answer as it would make me feel really bad for them aside from spending the $ and finding room. My other thought is putting the grate back in so it's a bit less natural feeling?? Please guide me and know that I appreciate you more than you can know. I read a lot on your blog but there isn't a lot of info that aims at UNWANTED babies : (   I will thank you in advance for any help and guidance you can offer. - Christy
Answer:
Hello Christy, I have a pair of Lady Gouldians that I have to separate to keep her from laying eggs constantly. My Bourkes, however, quit when I remove their nest box. But, I do allow them to raise two or three clutches every year and that seems to satisfy them.



The people who recommended you allow your hen to stay on eggs gave you valuable information. Laying eggs depletes calcium and is a physical drain on birds. She will probably keep laying if you only remove the eggs and that wouldn't be healthy. She might accept the smaller artificial eggs, but only trying it will let you know for sure.

As for "adding to the unwanted pet population," I don't know where you live, but my experience has been that there is never an over abundance of Rosy Bourkes. They make wonderful pets and hurry out of pet stores. It's more difficult for an individual to market them, but if your hen does hatch her eggs, you would be in for quite a treat. It's fun to watch the parents feed the babies and see them grow. If you don't want to keep the young birds, I'd guess that any pet store will be thrilled to get them. Even though a pet store might not be willing to pay much, they might let you trade the birds for pet products. For instance, I traded young zebra finches for a dog bed once.

My advice would be to let your hen stay on her eggs. After 30 days or so, if they don't hatch, she will abandon them. Then put the grate back in. The floor covering you describe sounds like a perfect medium for her to lay eggs. She would prefer to have a dark box around her, but since it's not available, I'm not surprised she's using that medium on the floor of the cage.



I don't like bird droppings on the grate at the bottom of my cages, so I lay newspaper down. Most Bourkes are good about not chewing. Even if they do, it's minimal compared to other birds. I throw out the newspaper when it's soiled and replace it. That works for me and keeps the floor and grate clean. The pan underneath stays clean, but still catches loose seed.

I recommend letting her abandon her eggs on her own instead of removing them (or let her raise the baby birds if the eggs are fertile). I hope you can experience baby Bourkes at least once. Best of luck preventing further clutches by putting the grate back after this clutch. You might want to check out some local pet stores and see if they have any interest in "Pink Parakeets"... Most will. Smile.

I had a terrible experience with a tame Budgie hen when I was a teenager. We'd moved her from indoors to an outdoor aviary and she set up housekeeping immediately. Raised one clutch, then I kept removing her eggs so she wouldn't raise more. I was inexperienced, and didn't recognize how upset she was. She ended up pulling out all the feathers she could reach and died from the cold outside. Now, I recommend allowing hens to abandon their own eggs and/or removing nest boxes (and nesting material in your case); rather than traumatizing them by stealing their "babies" (i.e., eggs). Animals have strong feelings just as we do, especially those that are maternal.

Peace & Blessings,
Gail

Follow-up message:
Thank you so much for your quick and detailed response! I am quite sure I would have no problem homing any babies...I think we all see too many people that think they want to own a bird and change their mind. I live in Wisconsin and have never seen a rosie at a pet shop. Only at bird fairs. As for the big IF...if she should actually hatch them - I would be amazed and delighted in the beauty and nature of it all. I just worry about the pair being able to tend to them all, as I have no time for hand rearing of babies in my life. Another reason I don't want babies. 

Is it normal for her to not always be covering all the eggs when she broods? I am so grateful for your involved info and I will allow her 30 days w/the eggs. Thanks again so much and God Bless You and your beautiful blog!!! - Christy

2nd Response:
Hi Christy, Hand feeding is seldom necessary. Most people who hand feed do it because they want very tame birds.

It's not unusual to lose one in a clutch, so if that happens, that's nature. The same goes for eggs...sometimes fertile eggs don't hatch and it may not be the hen's fault. As for sitting on the eggs, they can remain viable for a few days after they are laid without being brooded.

Some birds don't sit on the eggs until all are laid. That allows them to hatch closer together. My Gouldian finch never broods until all hers are laid and then they all hatch the same day. Bourkes don't usually do that, but it would be possible if they chose to.




How often, or how much, she sits on the eggs can be affected by the temperature. Also, she needs water to bathe in... a cup will do. Hens carry moisture to their eggs as needed. Since this is her first clutch, she might fail to keep them warm, especially since she's at the bottom of the cage and has nothing around her. She could be easily distracted, or frightened, off of them. When in a dark nest box, she'd be more likely to simply go to sleep and stay on them. I've never had a hen who wasn't in a quiet, dark nest box. However, my tame hens would probably do okay anyway. Is your hen tame? That would make a difference in how successful she is...whether she allows outside activity to cause her to leave the eggs more often.

My Lady Gouldian hen is not tame, yet when a dog toy was lobbed and accidentally hit her nest box two days ago, she did not leave her eggs. The first egg hatched today. Good Mama finch!

I hope your girl succeeds, but if she doesn't, don't grieve. You can give her a nest box for next time, and she will do better; or put the grate back in. Your choice. Nature can be harsh sometimes.

Blessings,
Gail

3rd message:
Thanks again for all the great info! She and the male are not tame. I do not handle them. They are getting used to me, but would still fly away if I reached near them. I sometimes wish I had held out for hand tamed birds, but I like that they don't need a lot of my attention and yet welcome interaction. We have routines such as certain treats and "Fly time". I have water available in a small cup on the side and a large crock near their door. I STILL have yet to see these two take a bath. I am hoping w/my outside birdbath in their view now this spring/summer they may be inspired. I had e-mailed you in the past re: baths. I understand about nature as I work as a vet tech assistant and am also very into wildlife. Truly I was hoping they would not hatch but I guess if by some miracle they do...I'll make the best of it with them! So just to be sure...I should wait around 30 days from the last egg arrival but wait to see if she stops brooding altogether before removing any eggs? Thanks again so much, Christy

Baby Rosy Bourke Parakeets


3rd Answer:
Fertile eggs begin to look slightly darker when nearing hatch. But, I've had people write to me that they are certain their eggs are no good and suddenly got a surprise hatch... That's why I recommend waiting 30 days from when the last egg was laid. They should all hatch in 18 to 21 days from being laid. But, as you may know, temperatures affect that. Also, delayed brooding can put off hatching.

If you wrote to me in the past, Christy, I apologize for not remembering. I probably get people confused with others from time to time. I get a lot of emails, for which I'm grateful, but my recent memory leaves a lot to be desired. ;-) 

Blessings,
Gail


Lady Gouldian hen with 3 young,
others left the nest already.


 --------------------------------

How are you and your birdies doing? ... So I have another question for you, I hope you don't mind me coming to you for advice and wisdom =).

I just recently got a baby Turquoisine parakeet that the mother was neglecting from a breeder. I'm thinking it's probably around 2wks old or so and it definitely seemed underweight. Breeder told me it would have not have lived past 2-4 days so I hope that I can give it a chance to survive. I have raised (hand-fed) two other babies before years ago but they were wild birds so it feels a bit different, I guess the wild birds to me seem hardier.

So far we have made it a few days now and the baby bird seems to be eating better and seems to be doing better. However, when I first started feeding it I noticed that the bird had tiny microscopic bugs (size of a piece of sand) crawling off of it and on my hand and arm, Eeeeck. I was in shock at how many of those critters were just crawling on it and that the breeder either was unaware of it or did not tell me, poor thing.

Maybe I should have expected it I suppose since it was in an aviary but I'm not sure what kind of bugs these are...mites or lice or something else??? I'm not sure if it is critical to have it out of my home or not now. I'm wondering if these critters do any harm to people. Since it's a baby I have it indoors in a good sized Critter Carrier that I have made into a brooder home inside another box in hopes that it will prevent those critters getting out and crawling around in my home where I have placed it. I had to get rid of the bedding it came in and change/clean it's home since the breeder dropped it off in a very filthy carrier that looked like it had been sitting around with old poop on it.

Even though I notice less crawling around on surface, me and on the bird, while feeding him/her I have noticed them in his bed area now especially around his feces which I change constantly. So I just don't know where to go to see pictures to compare to online and if there's anything to give the poor thing/put on it in a store versus having to order it online, do you have any suggestions? Have you encountered any bugs with your birds?

Thank You,
Rebecca


Answer:
Hi Rebecca, Sorry about your baby. Sounds like mites. They can transfer to other birds easily. I assume that like cat lice, they can't survive on people or other animals.

I had this occur once to my flock years ago. I bought a mite spray at our Grange that didn't work well (it was 8in1). Also, it was necessary to avoid the head and eyes. It said nothing about what to do for babies in the nest, and I had many of them at the time. 

What DID work was "Avian Insect Liquidator" by VETAFARM. It's a concentrate, and when mixed according to directions, it's approved for spraying into a nest box ,even on newly hatched chicks. It costs more for a bottle, but is a concentrate and makes a lot. I mixed the concentrate into a tiny spray bottle because it only takes a small amount. I reused a spray bottle that previously had eyeglass cleaner in it. It is small and emits a fine spray.  




That mixture worked wonders right away. I did have to order it online, but it came quickly. It was ordered through All Bird Products, Inc. The 100mL bottle makes two liters and I still have the concentrate these many years later. However, I've never had a reoccurrence of the problem.

I recommend you share this information with the breeder of your baby. He/she needs to take care of this problem ASAP. Mites sap a bird's energy and are harmful, especially to baby birds.

What are you hand feeding? I use Kaytee Exact Hand Feeding Formula. I know there are others, but I've never used anything else.

Peace & Blessings,
Gail

Tame Lady Gouldian finch hen.

Peace & Blessings,
Especially At This Easter Season.

4 comments:

Mary Alice Martinez said...

Hello,I was wondering if you could help me out... I recently lost my 2 month old Rosey Bourke Pinkie, we got her a month ago and I thought she was fine. She would eat good,was very sociable,droppings seemed fine But yesterday morning, when I took the cover off of her cage,she had poop stuck to her bottom.I wiped it off and washed her real good then dries her off and wrapped her in a loose little blanket.She seemed to be content and warm as she slept,and I thought she was just being lazy since it was a dreary rainy day.Well as I would check on her,she seemed to be getting weaker and weaker,I didn't have the money for a Vet visit so I continued to talk to her and comfort her,she would cheep back and respond when I would speak to her so I thought whatever may be wrong,is going away. Then I went to check on her again and she was acting paralyzed and kept folding up into a backward ball, I held her and spoke soft and sweet to her and she looked at me and took two breaths and died right there. Idk what could have happened to my sweet baby,I feel like such a horrible bird mama.Do you have any idea,what may have happened??

G. A. Lewis said...

Sorry about that Mary Alice. In future, best to contact me at rosie.birds@gmail.com ... I don't always see comments on older posts. Your Rosy was only 8 weeks old and you got her a month ago? Was she hatched at your house, or did you get her from someone else? That's pretty young to leave her parents, unless being hand fed. They really aren't ready to leave before 8 weeks of age, so she must have been older than you indicate. Parents continue to feed them two weeks after they leave the nest while babies are learning to eat on their own. They take longer than other varieties of parakeet. Budgies can eat immediately upon leaving the nest, but Bourkes take longer.

Australian birds, like Bourkes, need to stay warm and away from drafts. When sick, they need extra warmth. A cage near a quiet space heater (like a plug-in oil heater for instance) to keep them as warm as 90F degrees when ill. If they have a cold there are other things you can do, but you don't say she was coughing or having trouble breathing.

The being paralyzed and folding back sounds awful. I'm so sorry for her and for you. I'd talk to whoever bred her and see if they have any ideas. Parakeets are prone to illnesses that are carried by Lovebirds, pigeons, doves, or cockatiels and don't show up in them. So, if she came from a breeder with other birds, that might be an issue.

Difficult to know. I hope she had food she could easily eat and was warm enough. That's about all I can guess at. I hope she won't be your last Bourke. They are wonderful little birds.

Peace & Blessings,
Gail


Karen Garibay said...

We had a male and female. They mated once and their were 7 eggs. I disposed of them after a month. The two budgies mated again and their were 5 eggs in the clutch. One made it and left the nest yesterday for the first time. I haven't seen it eat. Mother was still feeding yesterday evening. We returned the baby to the nesting box for the night and the mother was with it. This morning the baby was out and we found the mother, dead on the bottom of the cage. Now of course the male keeps calling to the nesting. The baby just sits on one branch and doesn't appear to be eating.
I'm wondering why the mama died, but also what to do with the baby. Help, we don't want to lose it too.

G. A. Lewis said...

Hello Karen,

Sorry about your hen. Difficult to know what happened to her. Sudden night fright and flew into something and broke her neck possibly. Did it get very cold that night? Australian birds need to avoid drafts and like warmer weather. Parent birds work hard to raise babies, so they are more susceptible to anything that might otherwise be easier for them to throw off (a cold, for example).

Most male parakeets begin feeding their offspring once they leave the nest, if not before. Hopefully, he will do so. Budgerigar parakeets usually begin eating on their own much sooner than some of the other parakeets, like Bourkes for instance.

It might be a bit late to start hand feeding, but you could try if you can find any locally. Or, offer nestling food, which is easier to eat than budgie seed. Spray millet is also easier for very young birds to begin eating. Look for golden sprays, not ugly old gray ones. A local Grange might carry it if your pet stores don't. The pre-packaged varieties are typically small and who knows when they were harvested. I buy Calif. Golden millet online.

Best of luck with your little one. Hope he makes it. If his dad is a good dad, he will.

Peace & Blessings,
Gail
(aka Rosie Bird)