|Fuchsia inspecting new nest box as Flame looks on.|
QUESTION: What to Feed
Hi. My name is Luis and I just bought my first pair of Bourke parakeets. Can you tell me more about them? What you feed yours. What type of fruit you feed yours. I read an article and it said no fruit because it not good for them. Is that true? Honestly I never knew they existed until I found an article on the splendid parakeet. I plan on getting a pair of those eventually but I liked the pink. If you could help me out. Thanks.
|Male Splendid Parakeet outside nest box.|
My hen’s been sitting on eggs for three weeks already. Will she toss them out of the nest box?? I believe I have a pair. One is all pink and the other one gray with blue and a little pink. I named him pinky.
|Fuchsia with five offspring. Never throw out eggs.|
Let the mother bird decide when to abandon them.
Best of luck next time around. Bourke hens go right back and lay a 2nd clutch...another reason to let her decide when to abandon this one.
|A pair of Normal (wild colored) Bourke Parakeets.|
Also, do you know what weeds we can give them???
ANSWER: Some bird breeders talk about harvesting weeds for the birds...newly sprouted are best. But, I've never done that. No one has ever pointed out to me what is safe and what isn't, so I don't do it. I give Kale and broccoli, cooked corn, carrots, peas ... I know there are wild things available, but I don't harvest them. For one thing, my indoor birds are protected from any illnesses that might be carried by wild birds.
Bourke hens don't usually toss their old or infertile eggs. They just quit going in the box. If he's harassing her, that doesn't sound good. Usually the hens are dominant. Does he have a tiny strip of blue over his nostrils (cere)? Normals have this, but Rosies do not. As I said, it sounds odd that he "makes" her stay in the box. That's not typical male Bourke behavior. They are usually hen-pecked by their mates.
If removing the eggs will make him quit it, then I'd remove them. But, check for that blue line of feathers ... it's tiny. If it's not there, maybe the reason the bird is aggressive is that it's actually another hen. If you have two hens, they can pair up when a male isn't available. Although, I'd expect both to go in and lay eggs in the same box. Better luck next time.
|Two Opaline Fallow Rosy Bourkes with red eyes.|
Thanks for the information that I read earlier.
ANSWER: Hello Jimmy, My blog has three columns; hopefully you can see all three. I moved the sign-ups toward the top of the first column. Enter your email address and push "Submit." Then you should get an email notice every time I post. The blog is still active. I don't post as often as I used to (or want to) because I've written a novel and am trying to get through the edits so that it can reach publication.
Believe me, blogging is a lot more fun and I feel guilty not spending more time editing the novel. The publisher, Cape Arago Press, is after me to hurry it up.
Good luck finding a mate for your normal Bourke hen. Too bad you don't live in Oregon. Smile.
One more thought. If you push the HOME button on the upper left, it will return you to the last post that went up. It sounds like your search took you somewhere else. Or, click here:
QUESTION: Unexplained Sudden Death of a Parent Bird
Hi I have two Bourke parakeets that have four young hatchlings. Yesterday I got home to find my male, only 1.5 years old, dead on the bottom of the cage. He was very healthy, eating good, singing, flying around. I have no idea what could have caused this and am now concerned about the babies. Do you think my female will be able to feed them enough by herself? Or do you have any suggestions as to what could have caused this and what I should do? Thanks, Laura
|Hand feeding Rosy Bourkes at approx. 3 weeks of age.|
I use Exact Hand Feeding formula, but get some immediately and have it ready. The directions are on the package. You can put the babies back in the nest and hopefully she will keep them warm and feed them. They will also help keep one another warm. If she appears to have abandoned them, you may need to provide warmth and food.
Sorry about your male.
ANOTHER QUESTION FROM LAURA:
I actually have some on hand [hand feeding formula] just in case, although I have never hand fed a baby. Right now the babies are 1-1.5 weeks. How often do you think I should supplement feed?
ANSWER: How Often to Hand Feed and Loss of a Parent
I hope you got the earlier email about being ready to hand feed. In fact, if it were me, I might pull the babies anyway...yet, they might be a comfort to your hen. Or, she may be so depressed she will abandon them. In any case, it's very sad.
|Hand feeding Rosy Bourkes at about 2 weeks of age.|
Tame parents are keeping a close watch on the event.
|Parent fed baby Bourke.|
Look how they stuff them soooo full!
When I was new to hand feeding I let myself get stressed over any air in a baby bird’s crop. Be sure you have no air bubbles in your feeding tube or eye dropper. But, if you see a little air in the crop, I've never lost one because of it and have seen it with parent fed babies too. Some books say this is deadly, but it doesn't appear to be...at least not for Bourkes.
|Splendid hen above, male below.|
ANSWER: They usually get this banding very early. I had one baby that had broken white bars. I thought it would be female, but the white bars eventually faded into black and it was male. Solid bars indicate a female... Broken bars can be either one. All black under the wing is male.
Or, sometimes Turquoisines are mistaken for Splendids. You either have a male Splendid parakeet or a female Turquoisine parakeet.
QUESTION: Best Age to Hand Feed
ANSWER: Birds with splay legs usually develop it from sitting in the nest incorrectly. Do you have pine shavings or something similar in the bottom of the nest box? If you notice a baby while young enough you can attempt to move the legs to their proper location. I'd like to see a photo of the defect if that's possible.
I have some posts about splay legs. Here is one:
The baby in that post only had one leg extended incorrectly and my attempts to fix it were probably started too late, or I didn't leave the splints on long enough. At any rate, I gave her away to a teenage girl who has had her for a year. I recently got an email from her saying how much she loves the bird. It flies just fine and can roost on one leg. Birds are amazingly adaptive.
Another reader had a young Splendid whose legs splayed out from side to side. She tied the baby's legs together early on and hand fed the bird. Its legs went back to normal by the time it was weaned. In that case, both legs were splayed. My Bourke only had one leg splayed and when I tied it to the other leg, it pulled the good leg off to the side and I was afraid I might cause an injury to it. Better one bad leg, then two. That's when I added a match stick between them, but the bad leg still pulled the other out of alignment. Wasn't sure what I should do and removed the splint. The bird still has its splayed leg. But, the Splendid with two legs held slightly apart, but prevented from splaying, recovered normally.
|My attempt to correct a splayed leg. They're splinted.|
Before you decide to put your bird down, or as you said, send it to heaven, wait and see how well it survives. It could be that it will move around in spite of the deformity. It might make someone a nice single pet even if it requires more consideration than most birds.
|Mealy Amazon Parrot from Google |
Images. Attributed to rightpet.com
ANSWER: Hello Emil, I didn't answer right away because I wasn't sure about mealy amazons, and have since done some research. Since mealy amazons lay in hollow trees, a wooden nest box should work well, just as it does for my parakeets. However, it has to be larger, of course. Because they like to chew and will probably knaw on the nest box opening, a thicker wood is probably called for.
I found a recommended nest box size at the following website: