Bird breeder's thoughts on whatever…

06-22-16 Bloggy Blog Blog — June 22, 2016

06-22-16 Bloggy Blog Blog

Why is this “Bloggy Blog Blog”?   Beats me; it’s just what popped into my head a few minutes ago when I booted up the PC and thought, “it’s been a while since I’ve written a blog, so I really should” even though there was nothing earth-shattering to post.  Then again, is there ever?  So let me just start and see where it goes.

I heard one of the barred rock chicks, now 8 weeks old, trying to crow this morning.  You’d probably think it a pathetic attempt, unless you like animals like I do.  In that case it’s “awww, how cute!!!”   At this point the mostly white cochin has been disposed of as a rooster, and it really looks like three of the four barred rock kids are roosters as well.  The “puffhead” is still up in the air.  I’m really hoping it’s a hen.   We plan to keep any hens as well as one barred rock rooster, so that next year we can hopefully produce more barred rocks.  Maybe we’ll even get lucky and manage to produce more than 25% hens!

Inside birds are doing well.  Three lovely canary kids in the nest, two of which have crests which make them look like little Beatles.  The three are highly variegated with lots of yellow, which is my personal favorite. 062116CanaryKids12DaysOldThey were 12 days old yesterday, when this picture was taken.

The budgie pair I was given now have hatched their fifth baby.  Lousy picture here, but I’m forced to slide open the end door and snap a pic really quick because Mom is not impressed with me being a nosebag!062116FiveBabyBudgiesHowever, despite the blur I think if you look close you can count all five. In order of hatching (from top of pic to bottom), we have fourth, third, second, first, and fifth.  I’m going to need to pull the oldest soon to band, but Mama is going to be mighty irritated!

The parrotlet kids, two blues, were pulled last Sunday for handfeeding.  They are doing great and are now 19 and 20 days old. 062116Plets18And19DaysOldThis picture was taken yesterday.  So far it looks like two hens.  What sweet little faces they have.

Today is a very important birthday.  Our favorite furball, Spotticus, is SEVEN years old today!!!   He is truly the best dog we’ve ever had, in spite of his obnoxious behavior to anyone but his “immediate” family.  He loves Scott and Alex, and I think his Mama (that would be ME) is his favorite.  🙂  So we can overlook his attempts to terrorize any other human he sees.  That would include those he catches glimpses of across the street and any delivery person that dares to enter the driveway, let alone actually come to the door!   We love him to pieces.  He is a huge part of the family.  I will make a cake later to mark the occasion, and Spot himself will get his favorite treats.061816SpotAndTheMamasLegsThat’s my boy!  (At my feet, as usual!)

Last week I had been amazed to find that my angelfish pair in my 29 gallon community tank had managed to hatch eggs!   Even now after having read numerous articles on how to sex angelfish I still can’t say which is which, so this was really a cool thing to happen.  I removed all the other fish, which created havoc and I’m shocked I didn’t lose all the kids in the ensuing chaos.  There were still maybe a dozen fish or more to be seen, however.  At that point they were not free-swimming yet.  The only other egg-laying fish I’d ever managed to breed were bettas, so I immediately began searching for info.  I did find one You Tube video that I found well done, so I emailed the poster of said video.  I was hoping that, like me, he has no problem sharing what he knows with those who ask.  I was very happy to find that he IS, and through several emails I have learned a lot already.

One thing I learned was I’d better find my brine shrimp hatching equipment that Scott had made for me back when I was breeding the bettas, because the angels apparently need freshly hatched brine shrimp to start out in life.  In case you’re not familiar with these, they are the “Sea Monkeys” of our youth – well, IF you are old enough to remember them.  I can assure you that actual brine shrimp do not smile and play as the old ads used to depict them!     I found the equipment yesterday and set it up, though I did need Scott to free up the valve used in the process, and now it’s a matter of waiting a bit longer to see if they hatch or if brine shrimp eggs do NOT last a decade in the freezer.

I’m thinking this particular hatch of angels will probably not make it – and in fact I have not seen a baby for the last two days now.  I am told by my expert, though, that it’s not uncommon for them to disappear in the tank, only to find each other and school together days later.  I do know the parents don’t seem to be fry-eaters, since I watched them sucking kids into their mouths and spitting them out in the area where they were trying to keep them corralled.  I’m told that if they do that rather than eating them, they will probably continue to be good parents.

Bottom line is that much like when dealing with the birds, I have already learned invaluable information from this.  I now know: 1) I have an actual pair; 2) they managed to lay and hatch eggs; and 3) they appear to be good parents.  Angelfish can apparently lay eggs every week to ten days, though they may not do so when they already have kids.  I’m better prepared now – or will be once I get the brine shrimp situation under control – and I’m hopeful that even if there are no kids remaining of this hatch, I will be able to successfully breed them in the near future.

Most of my “news” always concerns the critters, doesn’t it?   Hey, that’s my life.

This past weekend the guys were off fishing (the new boat has proven to be a real cheap thrill for them, which is great!) and I looked outside to see a BIG bear (not the biggest, I’m sure, but big enough!) hanging around outside our fence in the lower yard.  I grabbed my good camera because that area is at least 100′ away so I needed to be able to zoom in, and ran out onto the deck.  Turned my camera on and of course the battery was dead.  I should add that  Mr. Bear sees me and does not care.  He continues about his business, checking things out.  I go inside and try to remember where I put my camera case when I removed it from Alex’s old room which is once again his current room.  Takes a minute and I think I remember and lo and behold I am right.  Grab the spare battery and swap it for the dead one and head back out.  I spent the next ten minutes taking pix of Mr. Bear.  Once I’d taken a few that I thought would be decent, I peppered my snapping of pix with intermittent arm-flapping and hooting and hollering.  Such a good thing we have no close neighbors to see the insane lady performing on her deck.  Anyway, Mr. Bear hears me, sees me, and cares not.  Now I didn’t go back in and grab the air horn, because I’ve done so in the past and THAT Mr. Bear also cared not, even when I was blowing his brains out with the air horn.  It did, however, scare me half to death, and I was the one pressing the trigger on it!061816Bear17.jpgThe stump is 3′ tall.

061816Bear08I would prefer to see Mr. Bear at Clark’s Trading Post, not in my backyard.  My garden is mainly down in this lower area of the yard, and from now on I’ll be putting on another show by talking loudly whenever I am approaching that area, or singing, or blowing that damn air horn.  Probably flapping my arms, too.   I have an uneasy feeling that this bear really won’t care, and may just stop and watch the crazy lady put on a show.

Till next time,

Nita   I’m running a coupon code which will save you $5.00 off your item(s) totaling $49.00 or more; check it out!




06-02-16 Beautiful — June 2, 2016

06-02-16 Beautiful

Everything has greened up and leafed out and just reeks of LIFE.  Even up here on the hill where we are about two weeks behind everybody else, the lilacs are in full bloom and the rhododendrons are just starting to bloom.  The irises are out.  The lawn is growing like crazy.  Everything is alive and thriving, and making up for the long winter.  No matter what else is wrong in one’s life, spring and early summer is a time when everything seems right with nature.  I can’t imagine what it must be like to live in a city where you don’t see all these signs of nature at her best.

The chicks are now six weeks old and have been coming outside for close to a week now.  They still have a light for heat inside the coop, but it’s a smaller version of the original and they really only use it on very cool nights.  In the morning, they are ready and waiting for the door to open so they can rush out onto the ramp that leads them to the fresh air.  They are not yet smart enough to go inside on their own come dusk, but that always takes a while.  Scott did manage to get one inside last night under its own steam, so he only had to catch six of them.

There is a bit of kick-boxing action going on with the two mille fleur cochins, too.  It would figure that they are probably both roosters!  The bronze laced polish chick is quite lovely, and I’m really hoping it is a hen.  The four barred rock kids are much smaller than those other three, so I’m guessing they will be quite petite even when full-grown.  These are all bantys, but I guess there is still some variation to the size.  I still have no clue as to the  sexes of any of these kids, but I just hope we have SOME hens out of the seven!

The older hens are now giving me three or four eggs per day.  Since they are bantys, it takes two to make the equivalent of one large chicken egg, so they barely keep up with us.  We do really enjoy having them, though, and if we do end up with all roosters we will keep the best so we can make more kids next spring!

We have a pair of bluebirds nesting in one of the houses, as well as several pairs of chickadees, robins, and phoebes.  This year the swallows booted out a pair of chickadees from the house near the goldfish “pond” which left the bluebirds to lay claim to the house of their dreams that the swallows normally grab.  So I guess in the end it all worked out well, and I’m sure the pleasant little chickadees found another spot.  We have a LOT of houses, and yet most years they still squabble over certain ones.  The more birds the better, especially since they eat so many bugs!

Inside, I just had a parrotlet baby hatch.  I think he’s going to be the only one of the clutch, which was mostly infertile save for one other egg in which the chick tried to hatch but didn’t make it.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Mom will still feed the lone chick.  In nature, it’s not in their best interest to “waste time” on a lone chick when they could go back to nest and have a full clutch of 4 to 7 babies, so often a single chick will be abandoned.  We shall see.

The new budgies are now in the birdroom and laying a clutch of eggs.  All seems to be going well there. They have laid three so far and are both spending a lot of time in the box.  Hopefully they will hatch and I’ll have some budgies to handfeed.  It’s been a long, long time since we’ve had budgies in the house, so it will be fun.  We actually really enjoyed having them in the living room, but since the guys were going to be wanting the AC turned on and lots of air movement, I figured I’d better get the budgies into the birdroom before that happened.

My canaries are not exactly cooperating this year.  They were “in the mood” in the winter, which is just not right so I refused to give in to them, making them wait till spring.  They dropped eggs all over the place and then went into their molts, and now they are finally starting to get back in the mood.  Of course now it’s a bit late in the season!  🙂

The gouldian baby that had been abandoned by the foster parent societies is finally weaned!  I had been handfeeding her since she was near three weeks old, and for a while I thought she’d never wean.  This past Monday was the last feeding she got, and she is doing well.   I also have four kids that are finally colored up enough to sell.  Check my website for pix and info.

Someone asked me what the windspinners I had mentioned looked like.  You may recall that my son got me a lovely flamingo for my birthday, and then a crow for Mother’s Day.  We already had an oriole and a dragon.  The flamingo is probably my favorite, so here is a picture of it:


She’s a beauty!

We had some fun this past weekend sending rockets up.  The humans had fun; Spotticus did NOT.  He was not impressed, not one little bit.  My little chihuahua may be a fierce defender of his Mama, but some things just terrify him.  He doesn’t like when the guys shoot guns, and we now know he does not like rockets being launched.  So Spotty went inside where it was safe and quiet.  The rockets were fun, though.


My guys are on vacation next week, and we get to celebrate their birthdays, too.  I always said that Alex was Scott’s birthday present back in ’86, because we brought him home on Scott’s birthday.  So their birthdays are two days apart and we usually try to celebrate for several days.  Since Alex is living here at the moment we can celebrate all week!  Then in a couple of weeks we can celebrate Spot’s birthday, too.  I can’t believe he will be 7 already!  Time really does go way too fast.  Enjoy today, since you never know how many tomorrows you have left.

Till next time,