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KathyW

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Everything posted by KathyW

  1. I remember reading many years ago (like 25-30 odd years ago) advice for the egg bound hens was 1. warmth, confinement in a small hospital cage and rub vaseline on the area around the cloaca to soften it but if that fails to: 2. carefully break the egg to allow the hen to pass it. Is that now frowned upon ... or forgotten? Hysterectomies seem an over-reaction and barbaric ... sterile and somebody-else's-problem but barbaric all the same. KathyW.
  2. Lovely! I think Sky is just gorgeous! KathyW.
  3. He certainly looked like he was enjoying that preen! A cutie for sure KathyW.
  4. I can't help but wonder whether there is more to the story of the "breeder". What has happened is horrendous to be sure, but if he WAS once a decent breeder, then something must have happened to bring him and his birds to this state of decay. It's easy to say set the RSPCA onto him and punish him, but what if he is in just as much need of help as his birds were? What is his state of mental health? Is he suffering from depression as so many people are (so BeyondBlue keeps telling us in their ads). Perhaps he needs more a visit from a competent social worker, doctor or psychologist instead. But as a society, we tend to punish first, and not bother to ask the "why" at all :hap: And so it keeps on happening ... KathyW.
  5. If at all possible leave them with their parents. The parent birds can do a far better job of raising the young than any well meaning human. If you cannot leave them with their parents for one reason or another (eg parent dies, is ill etc) and you have other hens with similar age nestlings foster them out. If you HAVE to hand rear (not recommended, especially for the inexperienced): No cage. Newly hatched chicks need to be kept in a temperature controlled brooder box. Keep the temperature constant at around 30-32 degrees C until they are mostly feathered and then start lowering it gradually (about a degree a day should be okay) to ambient temperature so that when they are ready to "fledge" to a cage they are used to ambient room temperature. You can buy or make a brooder box but temperature control is critical. Chicks can chill and die very easily. Carefully. Make sure your hands are warm. Cold hands can chill them (see above). There are hand rearing formulas readily available at good pet stores. Vetafarm make a good one. Follow the instructions on the pack. The food must be warmed as you would for a human baby. Initially chicks can be fed with a plastic syringe (no needle!!!!). You'll need a good supply as they can deteriorate rapidly after only a few uses. For the first week they will need to be offered food EVERY 2 HOURS - thats all day AND night. As they get older you can decrease the number of night feeds gradually, and adjust the day feeds to their appetites. Feeding can be messy. Have warm water and tissues or paper towel handy to clean the chicks after every feed. Hand rearing formula sets like concrete! But don't get the chicks too wet - they could chill too easily. Let me emphasise it is not a good idea to hand rear unless you have absolutely no other choice!!! When the chick is old enough you can try feeding off a small tea spoon. Once they move out of the brooder you can introduce seed scattered on the floor of the cage to encourage their natural foraging instincts. You will still need to hand-feed until you are CERTAIN they are eating seed independently. When they are fully fledged, able to fly and eating seed by themselves. Assuming you have the temperature control and hand feeding sorted, then you will need to watch for sour or impacted crop (food not digesting properly - can have lots of underlying causes), regularly clean the brooder - I find lining with paper towel and changing it every feed works best. Avoid sawdust or anything that they could chew and get lodged in their crops. Have some antibiotics handy as infections can kill quickly and hand reared birds seem more prone to succumbing to infections than parent raised chicks. And be ready for vet bills as you may need to consult your vet often, especially in the learning phase. Get as many books on hand rearing as you can and read up. As Kaz mentioned putting the breeding pairs in a separate breeding cage is by far the safest option. If you wish to aviary breed then allow for twice as many boxes as hens, and if it looks like a fight developing over a particular box remove it! You can put it back later in a different location. If you have a particularly nasty hen causing trouble you could remove her until the others have finished breeding. You can also remove parents and young to a breeding cage after hatching if you're careful about it. In fact what I would have done in your place when you first found the chicks evicted would be to remove them and their parents to a breeding cage. If the chicks were not fully feathered, put them into the nest box - the parents should find them pretty quickly. Then just keep a close eye on things to make sure the chicks are being fed (but not every 5 minutes or you might put the parents off ... ). Lastly and at the risk of sounding repetitive, don't hand rear unless all other options don't work. The natural parents (or even foster parents) really do the better job. Cheers, KathyW.
  6. They do look like two girls. I'd get rid of the 'nest' and anything that might look like a neat hiding place to lay eggs in. Good luck but girls can be pretty snitchy. I've got one cheeky 2 month old who's cere has just turned brown flirting with her half-brother and I swear looking for somewhere to nest! KathyW.
  7. At 8-10 days of age. Place chick in the palm of your hand feet up and head towards you. (Try to) hold the leg between thumb and fingers. (Try to) get the 3 forward-facing toes together and slide the ring over them, let the 4th toe lay back along the leg. Using a toothpick or tail/wing feather quill carefully slide the 4th toe through the ring. Good luck, KathyW.
  8. With cabinet breeding you get that. They seem to feel intimidated at being seen by you in the cage and use the box as a safe haven. I've got quite a few hens I used to aviary breed that are like that. They all have eggs now, one pair has already started hatching theirs and the rest of the cages are due any day. If she feels "safe" in there, that is good. They do come out to eat, drink and be merry but not while your watching Good luck and have patience ... KathyW.
  9. How practical or otherwise would it be to somehow attach the hospital cage to her old one so if she felt cold she could hop back into it? Take off or modify a side wall for eg? Good to hear she's perked up so much thou Cheers, KathyW.
  10. I don't think so, but that was 3 years and a house move ago. If it's the hen I'm thinking of, now retired from breeding and a bit long-in-the-beak, she's got no iris rings and her feet are pink. KathyW.
  11. I have a dark green normal with a (yellow) spot about the exact same size and placement as Merlin's. He's got iris rings, and normal blue-grey feet. Yet ALL my other pieds are definitely recessive (no iris ring, pink feet). I cannot recall ever having a dominant pied in the flock at all. So I guess it's possible he's a "throw back" (it'd have to be back over 20 years thou) ?? What would be the best pairing for him to determine whether or not he's true dominant? He's mother, from memory, was a pied (recessive). Not certain about the father (aviary breeding), I think he was an olive or dark green normal. Cheers, KathyW.
  12. Gosh - I never realised Coccidia was so closely related to Cryptosporidium! Cryptosporidium and Guardia are unfortunately common in some town water supplies, but usually only in summer and when the tanks get low (and thus warmer - less fresh water inflows to cool them down). Link: Cryptosporidium / Coccidia - Bird Health Care Link: CRYPTOSPORIDIUM: (A PARTICULARLY NASTY TYPE OF COCCIDIA) Splat, until you can find out what's causing your birds problems, can you filter, boil (min 20 mins and cool) or not use tap water? At this point it won't hurt to take every precaution you can. KathyW.
  13. I had an albino hen once who had a pinkish "sheen", and a Gouldian who went completely black! I guess it's just a matter of time before someone tinkers with budgie genes to introduce the colour. Theoretically I guess anything is possible if you can graft a fish gene into a strawberry! (Did I mention I'm going to grow my own heritage, non-GM strawberries from now on?) I prefer nature's lottery - unpredictability can be far more exciting :-) Cheers, KathyW.
  14. I wouldn't be waiting for the next one to die ... I'd be doing something! Blood in the intestine could also indicate some sort of poisoning causing internal bleeding. Is there anything the young birds might have gotten at that is different from the older birds in the aviary? Check the older birds droppings as well. Are they unusually tarry? Could they be affected but not suffering as badly as they are not under the stress of moulting? There was an awful story on RSPCA Rescue during the week about 37 wild Magpies in one street somewhere all dropping dead - falling out of the trees and dying in agony. They had been poisoned by someone using some sort of industrial pesticide although they did not say what it was, how it was administered to the birds and have not found who did it. You say your aviary is completely covered - but is it inside or outside? Have any of your neighbors (or yourselves) had their houses sprayed for spiders, cockroaches or termites etc recently? Has any mouse or snail bait been used anywhere near the aviary etc? I'd be isolating any ill bird inside in a warm room, away from any possible contamination. Get fresh seed and store it separately from the rest of your seed. Same with any greens, grits, sand or supplements you might offer them. Make sure all the fruit and veges offered are well washed to remove pesticide residue. If any older birds show signs of trouble I'd be replacing their seed and water, and checking to be sure the aviary could not be interfered with. I had a bad neighbor once who kept "accidentally" tearing the aviary mesh on the boundary fence. Fortunately my birds did not want to leave "home", but I had to move them all inside when he started spraying Zero weedkiller ("accidentally") over the fence. KathyW.
  15. Is there actually a hole in the skull itself, or just a chunk of skin missing? If it was one of your own bred that was still returning to it's nest box then it's own parents could well have attacked it. If it had not yet left the nest box it could have been attacked by it's parents (eviction attempt) or another bird, usually a hen, that wants that box. As I see it there are 2 issues here - what caused the injury and how to treat it. Kaz has addressed the colony breeding issue which is a likely cause. Budgies might look sweet and innocent but they can be VERY vicious - they take their breeding and territorial issues very seriously! The suggestions and links that have been posted should minimise the risk of this happening again. What to suggest about your patient depends on the extent of the injury. Certainly isolating it in a small cage so it can't move around too much and with something to provide warmth is a good start. If you can post a photo of the injury and update on the injured birds behaviour it will help too. Budgies are pretty tough and can bounce back from horrendous injury, but like all sick animals they are vulnerable while they are recovering and setbacks can come quickly with little warning. Good luck, KathyW.
  16. Anthony, there is a good article on Lipomas here: http://www.birdhealth.com.au/bird/er/conditions.html Another article concludes: "Based on information gleaned from mammals, it is probably wise to not surgically remove a lipoma unless it has grown to a size to be uncomfortable to the bird." I have a hen who developed what I believe were lipomas about 5 years ago. She was a small, slight bird so obesity was not a factor. She was from my own stock and I had not observed lipomas in any of her ancestors going back 20 years, so it was not likely genetics. The "experts" also associate it with hypothyroidism. Perhaps there was something there, or just a sport mutation. She's still with us today. All the lipomas she developed (there were about 3 or 4 but never more than one at a time) all shrunk and one I'm sure just "fell off" - it was there one day and gone without a trace the next! I've never let her breed in case it is inheritable, although she I'm sure would have other ideas - she likes the boys I hate trying to catch her in the aviary - she's too fast and too agile! And she bites like a normal hen too. She looks a mess - her chest feathers ... well she really has none - just scruffy down where the lipomas were. But she's happy enough. She looks scruffy and could develop lipomas at any time but she's far too "alive" to "put down"! Cheers and good luck to Buzby.
  17. I've had a similar experience Norm. Had two pairs together for months with lots of time spent in the nest boxes but no action and no eggs. Swaped the cocks and within 2 days one pair had eggs and were VERY lovey-dovey! The other "pair" did nothing - 2 duds for the "old folks" aviary come spring. Cheers, KathyW.
  18. Cats and dogs both dream (and it's fascinating to watch ...). Can't see why budgies couldn't dream too and perhaps fall of the perch trying to escape an "enemy". One bird fluttering around in the dark would likely act like a domino effect, startling the others ... KathyW.
  19. Here is the link to the previous discussion: Croaking Budgie KathyW.
  20. "Going light" can be caused by a lot of things, not just "megabacteria" (although that is the current fad). With the one still alive - is the hospital cage heated? If not do so immediately. 28 - 32 degrees C if at all possible. Have they been wormed? That can kill and it can be introduced really easily as most wild birds carry worms. Any unwashed greens from the garden or exposure to outside can infect them. More serious infections (psittacosis or {hope not} ND) are best diagnosed by your vet. Keep the ill birds in controlled conditions (warm and confined so they cannot spread whatever it is). I lost 2 baby Gouldians within 24 hours to a bacterial infection, but two others in the same brooder survived thanks I believe to antibiotics from my vet. I have a hunch that bacterial infections are rife at the moment - perhaps a climate related thing. That's old fashioned ordinary run-of-the-mill bacteria - not megabacteria. You are in southern Australia and not that far away from here on a global scale (Albury) so climate conditions will be somewhat similar. For that reason I would recommend antibiotics immediately if you have some on hand. Otherwise talk to your vet ASAP. Good luck and keep us posted please. KathyW.
  21. Really fresh beach cuttlefish bone should not smell at all. If it does it has been contaminated with something. I remember picking up bags full along the beaches particularly after storms. It should not smell of anything but possibly fresh beach (a little salty, a little seaweed, maybe a little ozone). Perhaps beaches and the surrounding seas these days are not as clean as they were 30 years ago ... Pristine cuttlebone is a wonderful source of minerals for birds. Far better and nicer than the sterile rubbish dished up at pet stores and supermarkets. KathyW.
  22. She's a perky little fighter that's for sure :-) Keep doing what you're doing, it seems to agree with her. Cheers and best wishes, KathyW.
  23. That's about brooder temperature range and should be just about ideal. At her age she simply may not be able to control her own body temperature, just like when she was a newly hatched chick. She'll tell you if it's too hot (wings out panting), or too cold (fluffed up) but that range sounds good. All the best to you both, KathyW.
  24. Wikipedia says: "Apart from its low toxicity and low metal corrosivity, it is also relatively cheap compared to other disinfectants and is effective against gram positive and gram negative bacteria, fungi, yeast, mildew and even the frightening "super-bug" MRSA, thus giving it a broad spectrum of antimicrobial action." and continues: "However, like other household cleaners, it is still poisonous and should not be ingested." "Overuse of Dettol can also cause bacterial resistance, but the risk of infection can be reduced considerably by using it in addition to soap and water." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dettol A Google search of "Dettol" and "birds" only brought up links to common uses in cleaning and treating some avian parasites and infections. Nothing to indicate serious problems in normal use. It seems difficult, but not impossible to kill yourself with Dettol ( "Dettol Man" cleans himself to death ) and don't do that ;-) So don't give it to your birds to drink, any more than you would give them a bar of soap to chew on, and use common sense. I'm one of those who has used Dettol to treat scaley-face (mixed with olive oil) and on occasion I've had budgies bite the cotton bud applicator. I figured this was probably a "bad thing" and switched to using an eye dropper instead. However, the birds that chowed down on a beak full did NOT develop any cancers, or have any noticeably shorter lifespan, or any other problems - but they DID completely recover from scaley face. I would say using Dettol to clean your cages or perches is no more harmful to your babies than the flourescent lights in your house (supposedly cancer causing), pollution in the air (ditto), plastic in the cages, seed containers, and food storage you may use (also supposedly carcinogenic). I could keep going with the list of supposedly tumor causing products and processes, but then you'd probably want to crawl into a corner and die yourself ... Next time your "friend" comes around - smile sweetly, nod at appropriate times, and tell her nothing. As the saying goes "Don't confuse me with the facts ... I've already made up my mind!!" and under those circumstances it's not worth arguing over. Cheers, KathyW.
  25. When I've had budgies inside (as opposed to in the aviaries / birdrooms) they seemed to actually LOVE noise. It seemed to be a challenge for them to join in and if possible out-squark like it was a competition. They particularly loved the noise of the vacuum cleaner. They weren't scared at all (mind you they were always in their cage when the vacuum was in use). The louder the human generated background noise, they louder the budgies would get. Cheers, KathyW.
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