I should have titled this RUSH RUSH RUSH, because that’s how I feel lately, but then the whole blog would have been me whining, so we’ll leave it at that!
Yesterday I had to make some changes because the timneh baby is due to be pulled this weekend. He/she will be two weeks old then, which is when I like to pull them. If Mom Ziggy refuses to cooperate and leave the box, I will just have to be vigilant until I can catch her out of it. I don’t dare try to retrieve the baby with her in the box, because she tends to charge and could accidentally hurt the little one.
This was the baby, yesterday. He’s looking good. Always has food in his crop and Ziggy is normally covering him really well.
This is what I usually see when I open the box’s observation door on the end. If she sees my camera, she will slowly back off the baby and go to the far end of the box. I take a quick picture, thank her, and then get away.
Paco will come out of the box the minute he hears me in the birdroom. He is one ferocious protector. I really have to keep an eye on him and be wary when changing out the dishes.
Knowing the baby will be pulled very soon, I needed to free up the brooder which has held the three latest parrotlet kids up until yesterday. They are all males and were born September 10, 13, and 16, and are banded as numbers 13, 14, and 15. The oldest is very blue and practically weaned at this point. He is a day shy of six weeks today. The middle baby is pied and what seems to be a turquoise. He is 38 days old today. The youngest is another turquoise and 35 days old today. The youngest two are going to be cut to three feedings tomorrow because of a time issue, but may go back to four feedings the day after. Normally I cut a feeding when handfeeding and then stick with that for a week or more, but the parrotlets seem to want to stay on four feedings and then suddenly BAM they are weaned. I don’t know if other breeders find this to be true or not but, for me, it’s been like that with each clutch so far.
These were the kids yesterday after being moved to a Vision cage. As I was saying, they needed to be moved out of the brooder, but it’s never a simple matter of taking them from one cage and moving to another. That would be too easy! I wanted them in the Vision cage, but I already had a young pair of parrotlets in there. I should say here that I still have two young pairs left from the twelve kids I had raised beginning in July. At that time I had one pied baby from my pied pair, six blue kids from my blue pair, and five kids from another pair. The pied was sold at the bird show, and the six that remained after the show were able to be matched up as three pairs of unrelated birds. Very lucky there! One pair sold, leaving me with two pairs aka Pair #2 and Pair #3.
Pair #2 was in the Vision cage that I wanted for the three young babies. Pair #3 was in another cage in the dining room, in the spot where I wanted the three kids to end up! So how to achieve the end results?
I had a cage in the birdroom that contained my three female canaries. This is a cage that will take a divider in the middle. So the hen canaries got moved to an empty flight cage, requiring that cage to be fitted with dishes, etc., appropriate to them. Check. Now the empty cage they were in was fitted with a divider, but again, nothing is ever simple. Parrotlets can be rather obnoxious to each other, and it is recommended that pairs not see each other, let alone be able to TOUCH each other! So I forced two wire dividers into the space and then cut poster paper to fit that I slid in between them. Not ideal, as I knew they would find a way to chew this and eventually will be able to reach each other. However, I have a thin piece of Plexiglas that I will have Scott cut to size as soon as he gets a chance, and will paint that with non-toxic paint and use that to replace the poster paper. So the temporary divider was in place, both sides were outfitted for the pairs, and I then moved the two pairs into their new digs.
The two pairs, above. I grabbed my camera and as I was moving each pair I took a picture. They are still plenty friendly enough that they would make nice pets. #12 can be a bit bitchy, mainly when in the cage. The others will step up while in their cage, but she will not cooperate and will lunge and try to bite. If you let her come out on her own, she’s ok, but still not as friendly as the other three. Each pair has the advantage of growing up together, and when they are old enough to breed next year they stand a very good chance of being well-bonded and being successful. In the meantime, until they sell, they are in the living room where we can now let out one pair at a time and keep them friendly. They do love to come out and explore!
After that move I had the Vision cage empty as well as another cage. They both got thorough cleanings, along with all perches and dishes. That is one of the time-consuming parts of moving guys around. But I kept at it and in the end was able to store one cage so it’s ready when needed, and finally put the three young parrotlets into the Vision cage. Mission accomplished!
So now it’s just a matter of waiting for the weekend to pull the baby timneh. I’m looking forward to it, because I really love handfeeding them!
While we’re talking birds, an update on the chicken situation is in order. For the past week or two we’ve gotten serious about determining who the roosters are with the end goal of keeping just two. If they refuse to get along we will end up keeping whichever seems the better Roo at that time. In the meantime, we’ve been selecting a suspected Roo and putting him in the small coop by himself. Once we hear him crowing, he’s gone. Normally we have good luck giving away young roosters. If they end up as a meal, that’s life, but at least WE didn’t eat them. So far, we’ve identified SEVEN roos that are now gone. We have also positively identified one mille fleur that is destined to be a keeper. There is also a nice mottled blue which I’m sure is a roo, though we will also put him through the crow test before we take it as gospel, and he is the other one destined to be a keeper. I think other than those two keepers, we only have two more to check. I’m hopeful that by the end of this coming weekend we will have the chickens all sexed and be down to 8 hens and 2 roosters. FOURTEEN kids and we only added THREE hens to the flock!!! So much for the wing-sexing!
For info on birds that are for sale: