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About KathyW

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    Young Budgie

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  1. Loren, he shouldn't be on his back all the time. He'll never develop any strength in his leg muscles if he can't stand up. Can you get a photo of him right way up so we can see how he sits? I know the parents sometimes feed them on their backs, but they should never stay that way. KathyW.
  2. Geez Macka ... my birds are bad enough with the flirting and bonking as it is :nest: ... don't know if it'd be safe to give them your (patented off course ) "Aphrodisiac" if you ever made it - they'd wear themselves out! :oliveb: Seriously Sean, a well fed and healthy budgie has an irresistible urge to breed. That is not your problem. Budgie eggs and chicks being kicked out is a sure sign of jealousy and competition over nesting boxes. Cabinet breeding is the ONLY way to stop that. I used to colony breed, and although it was extremely successful, it was not uncommon to have eggs and chicks evicted and/or attacked. Tracking down and isolating the offending hens in a large, high, open flight was no easy job either. Good luck, KathyW.
  3. I'd appreciate opinions: One particularly fertile pair is raising 6 chicks from 6 eggs. They have just started leaving the nest. One of the chicks (#3 in order of hatching) is exhibiting some odd problems I suspect may be neurological. He is well fed (always a full crop), is quite alert, and foraging on the floor of the breeding cage, but he does not stand upright on his legs. Instead he "waddles" and wobbles quite dramatically. His legs are quite strong in themselves - he can grip quite well! So much so I can lift him by his grip on my finger. So there is no leg muscle weakness. His head will frequently sway like a drunkard ... but once it settles he's fine. He can clean, preen, nibble and scratch his head with his back legs - although sometimes he seems to deliberately fall on his side to scratch an itch. If I try to pick him up he is very likely to roll over on his back, kick the air with both feet and squark. But once picked up he calms down quite quickly. No, there is no fermented seed in the cage, and their diet has not changed during nesting. None of his siblings or parents exhibit any symptoms so I do not believe it's dietary, environmental, illness or contagious. It looks like a serious lack of balance problem, but there's no sign of any cold or other illness. My suspicion is that his parents may be too closely related. They paired off in a mixed aviary before I moved them into a breeding cage, and I have no reliable records of their parentage being aviary bred birds. They are both very fertile birds and good parents, so I'll split them up after this nest fully fledges with birds I'm sure are not related and let them have one more nest this season. So has anyone had experience with this sort of issue? If my suspicion is correct and it's genetic / neurological, then there is probably not much that can be done for the little chap but to keep him from breeding. He may or may not cope in an aviary, but may be okay in a "small" cage. If he makes it through the next week without deteriorating, I may see if he'll tame down ... Any thoughts? KathyW.
  4. She sounds like she's adjusting - the way to a budgie's heart - through his/her stomach Phulleaseee give the bird some credit They can clean themselves, especially if it's a minor "accident". Sure you could clean it off ... but if she's not ill, and she's not a baby, put yourself in her position and leave her some dignity Besides, all jokes aside, they do get some beneficial bacteria from cleaning themselves off. We would do well to learn from that and stop getting so paranoid about (human) babies eating dirt or sand occasionally ... Cheers, KathyW.
  5. So the yolk cooks normally, but the "white" sets clear! How fascinating!! Thanks Nerwen. Any ideas why the white stays clear? KathyW.
  6. They are young, so should heal fast. Gently clean them as Kaz suggested but hopefully you will be right and the injuries will only be superficial. Keeping a working nest-box "hospital" clean is just not practical, but the parents and the chicks themselves should keep the wounds clean. It's hard to say which would be better - moving Ozzie and her family to a cabinet cage, or removing all other hens from the aviary for a few weeks so as not to upset Ozzie any further. The former might be easier, and make it easier for you to keep an eye on the injured youngsters. But I am not familiar with your setup or the facilities you have/don't have available to you. Just watch Ozzie closely, as she *might* reject or neglect the injured youngsters. Good luck and keep us posted, KathyW.
  7. Does anyone know *why* that is? KathyW.
  8. Nope Unlike insect eating birds with long sharp beaks our little budgie friends don't have the equipment or instinct to damage your eyeball. Now if the budgie is mischievously inclined (s)he can nip the bridge of your nose ... (happened to my sister). In theory (s)he could grab your eyelid, but it's highly unlikely. Because of the curved shape of the beak they need a ridge to grab - fingers are good but palm of your hand - very difficult. All the same, as eyes can be easily damaged, and eyesight too easily affected it's best not to let ANY animal (or certain humans) too close to your eyes. But nose to beak with your budgie should not be too risky. Insect eaters on the other hand, starlings as a common example, see your pupil (the "black hole" in the middle of your eye) as a potential insect hole that they will instinctively want to "probe". Cheers, KathyW.
  9. Blue grey feet are natural. Recessive pieds, albinos and lutinos usually have pink feet, but for a normal green bird blue or blue-grey feet are quite normal. Cheers, KathyW.
  10. Not me KathyW. Found it!! 1. A Study of the Dietary Requirements and Toxic Levels of Calcium and Vitamin D3 in Budgerigars. A moderately common problem seen in budgerigars and some other species of birds is calcium deposition in the kidney resulting in kidney failure. The cause of this disease has been hypothesized to be either excess calcium or vitamin D3 in the diet. To determine the cause of this disease, groups of budgerigars were fed diets containing various concentrations of calcium and vitamin D3 and allowed to breed. Results of this study showed that budgerigars need less dietary calcium (0.3%) than most other species for growth and egg laying. When dietary calcium concentrations reached 0.7%, mild calcium deposition occurred in nestlings and adults. When calcium concentrations reached 1.5%, death occurred in chicks and adult birds. All seed diets containing less than 0.3% calcium resulted in weak bones in laying hens and their eggs did not hatch. Vitamin D3 concentrations ranging from 500 to 3,300 International Units of vitamin D3 per kilogram of diet did not cause calcium deposition in the kidney as long as diet did not contain more than 0.3% calcium. This research is important because it shows that budgerigars can only tolerate a narrow range of calcium in their diet. Calcium concentrations in seeds are insufficient, but calcium concentrations found in most pelleted diets will be too high and could be toxic. Therefore, it is necessary to supplement seed diets with some form of calcium, e.g., cuttlebone and if you are going to feed pellets, they should be no more than 25% of what a budgerigar eats. This research also shows that budgerigars can tolerate a wide range of vitamin D3 concentrations in the diet without problems. David N. Phalen, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ABVP (Avian) Associate Professor Small Animal Clinical Sciences and the Schubot Exotic Bird Health Center Texas A&M University College Station, TX LINK: Presentation given to the World Budgerigar Organisation& BAA Grand NationalLas Vegas, Nevada October 21, 2005.
  11. What was the final "diagnosis" Vonn? If it was "mega" it NOT bacteria. "It has now been positively identified as a yeast and is NO LONGER named "megabacteria". Its new name is Avian Gastric Yeast (or AGY)". This is important as if any vet is recommending anti-bacterial treatments or disinfectants they will have little or no effect. The research paper is here: Studies on Megabacteria (Avian Gastric Yeast) by Dr. David Phalen, Dr. Robert Moore, Dr. Betty Tomaszewski. However I totally agree to get rid of all the old toys etc. It makes it easier to make a totally fresh start when you're ready for a new bird. I found it hard to re-use my much loved but departed German Shepherds collar on a new dog ... seemed like a betrayal. KathyW.
  12. Kaz someone (possibly you) posted an extract from an interesting research article in the past week (?) advising caution on calcium supplements as it can cause long term organ damage, especially to the kidneys. I cannot find the damn thing now ... but I remember he (the author) concluded that budgies have a narrow range of tolerance to calcium - too little AND too much can BOTH cause problems. As a follow-up on my own chick who displayed severe splayed leg in one leg but responded within 24 hours to additional (pet litter) box filling - he has fledged fine and shows no sign at all of his previous condition. Cheers, KathyW.
  13. In a small aviary, only budgies. You could have some quail on the floor if you wanted, but there are mixed views on that too and it's not without risks either. In a BIG, BIG aviary, with lots of cover, branches and places for birds to escape to the less aggressive parrots are okay. Eastern Rosellas are particularly sociable and easy to get on with. I've moved my Varied Lorikeets into the big non-breeding budgie retirement aviary (birds either too old or not suitable for my breeding program) and so far they are okay, but I'm watching them closely as I do not quite trust them yet. They can be a bit pugnacious at times when they are not busy being total clowns. Finches really do better in planted aviaries, and budgies will destroy any plant in an aviary given sufficient time. Finches and budgies do not mix well. My advice - don't do it. Cheers, KathyW.
  14. R.I.P. dear Lukie. Vonn, to you and your partner, remember the good times and let the bad times go ... With respect, KathyW.
  15. I've had a small but pretty bright emerald-green opaline hen I decided to cabinet breed with a nice sky blue recessive pied cock. This is their first nest and for a long time I wasn't sure it would work at all - she seemed pretty blasé about the whole breeding box business and he was on the rebound from losing his mate (she died suddenly). Anyway they sorted their differences and she laid 5 eggs of which only one has hatched. The youngster is definitely pied, definitely yellow. I am not sure whether it's going to be dark green/olive or a lighter green. Those quills have not yet opened enough to see colour although I suspect dark green ... I'm hoping for (eventually) a light or bright green recessive pied - perhaps in the next clutch. Anyway my question is: as the cock is a visual recessive pied and the hen is visually a normal opaline, does the pied chick mean she *must* be split for recessive pied? She is an aviary bred bird and her parentage is unknown. I'm working backwards on this one. Cheers, KathyW.
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