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Everything posted by KathyW

  1. It's sometimes called the "honeymoon period", which you would appreciate if your birds were louder (screaching cockatoos and lorries come to mind ... ). They will settle and get back to their old noisy selves, they are just nervous of change which is quite reasonable when you consider they really have no direct control over what we do to them. Change must be pretty scary from their POV. Cheers, KathyW.
  2. If it's smooth scar tissue, quite possible depending on how big the scabs were, then feathers may never grow back as the skin with the feather follicle may have been replaced by the scar tissue. I've had baldies from rescued chicks, one hen that was a real "Friar Tuck" all her life. Cheers, KathyW.
  3. It's hard to see from the photo Norm, but is the other wing and tail normal? If so were you there when he was originally caught? There's a real chance the poor thing was caught inexpertly, wriggled out and tried to fly away leaving his flight feathers in the tightly clenched fist of his would-be captor. I've seen a budgie loose a set of tail feathers that way, I imagine holding onto a bird by the wing/flight feathers would have a similar effect. Time will tell with this little chap. Good luck, KathyW.
  4. Michelle, take the most aggressive (or rather leave the better feeder) of the parents out and put him/her in one of your small cages. It will not hurt for a week or two especially if the alternative is losing the babies or one of the parents to a fight. Once the babies are fledged and you can remove the nest box DO SO PRONTO. Then see if they will all settle back down in the big cage. Good luck, KathyW.
  5. Let's hope it's just a temporary mechanical injury. I have a 5 year old cock bird who was badly mauled in the nest as a youngster at the pin feather stage. He was removed and hand reared and he's fine in all respects (if a tad cheeky) except he has never grown tail feathers! He had perfectly normal looking tail quills before he was attacked. Cheers, KathyW.
  6. Is this (the Opaline Dark Green) an example of the grey factor at work? I've read that it's responsible for the intensity of yellows and appearance of dark violet where it occurs. Most of my recessive pieds have had intense yellows and the whites are often violet. I also have a few dark violet normals and an opaline dark green hen very similar in colour to your cock Norm. I've long suspected I've had a strong grey factor line through most of my birds, but this is the first I've seen a link between violets and Opaline Dark Green. Curious, KathyW.
  7. Walnuts are grown extensively commercially in Australia in the cooler regions. It is not a native. Walnuts are toxic to other plants and so it would seem to birds: Safe and Toxic Wood, Trees, Branches For Birds, Bird Perches and Bird Toys and Foods & Plants Toxic to Birds While it may be mainly the hulls and the toxicity is low (compared for eg to Oleander) it's better to be safe than sorry and avoid it completely. Cheers, KathyW.
  8. Once cleaned, the big gal washers (commonly called "mudguard washers") should be no greater risk than your aviary mesh, also (almost certainly) gal mesh of some type or another. If you use fresh natural branches they will shrink a little on drying out - not a problem unless you're attaching them at both ends!! If you use dead branches they could have wood borer so check for any telltale holes. The borers wouldn't bother your birds (they'd probably even relish it as a tasty treat ) but it might become a problem for other untreated timber or trees in your back yard. Cheers, KathyW.
  9. Lucky girl!! Look after him (Ken that is Cheers, KathyW.
  10. Could be an infected "in-grown" feather. A vet's the best option if you are at all worried, which you obviously are Good luck, KathyW.
  11. Hey Kaz, how DID you get your hubby to do that? Please do tell!! Envious, KathyW.
  12. Indoors that sort of temperature difference should not cause any problems. A night time cage cover is a good idea regardless to stop any drafts and provide a dark and secure environment for sleeping. It doesn't have to be a blanket thou. I've used all sorts of fabric from cotton to old tea towels and occasionally lightweight bath towels (handy in emergencies). Cheers, KathyW.
  13. For the life of me I cannot understand why "we" are so ready to euthanise animals against their will, and yet find it abhorrent to apply to people who beg for it! Is it the inconvenience or stress of caring for a terminally ill animal? Are pain relieving medications not available for our avian friends? I have had animals "put down" on the advice of "experts" and I'm sure they mean well ... I'm just no longer sure they've "got it right". If an animal wants to die, nothing you can do will save it. If it wants to live, even if it's just for a few more days, I no longer feel I have any right to deny them that wish. Vertebrates in pain produce endorphins, natural "pain killers" that take the edge off "suffering". In extreme cases they can go into shock - I've seen that with a stray budgie that had been cornered in a clump of fern by a mob of magpies intent on turning it into dinner! (I rescued the budgie and she recovered) Either way, nature has ways of easing things to death given the chance. I understand this flies in the face of "conventional wisdom" and may be controversial. In the end you have to make up your own mind, but I sincerely believe there are better alternatives to euthanasia. KathyW.
  14. It could have been anything. Your bird may have had a fit, it may have been sleeping when you went to handle it last and been startled and disoriented, impacted the cage walls too hard, or it could have been ill. Don't let it scare you off having more birds. Sometimes these things just happen to them like they can happen unexpectedly to humans. At least here there are a lot of people with a passion for budgies and a wealth of knowledge. They can help you recognise any warning signs in the future, put your mind at ease if a seemingly odd behaviour really is "normal" and when necessary extend a sympathetic voice when "**** happens" ... Cheers, KathyW.
  15. The larger standard cage front size (24" x 18" or in metric 610mm x 457mm) is a good start. My cabinets are ID 610mm wide by 500mm high and 460mm deep (depth determined by external building factors - ie available space). Commonly available cheap building materials (eg MDF and chip board) are also potentially toxic so seal and paint them and make sure there are no exposed edges inside the cage the birds can start to gnaw on. My "cabinets" are built on a "pigeon hole" style - common side walls and the top of one is the floor of cabinet above etc. You may prefer to make yours as individual boxes. It's a matter of personal preference, available materials and space. Mine are painted with semi-gloss enamel for hardwearing and ease of cleaning. In 2 years of use I've only had one hen develop a "taste" for it (hanging on the cage front and chewing the end of the side wall). But don't paint perches - too easy to chew! I use eucalypt branches for perches anyway. I had trays made for the bottom - stainless steel with a front lip from the local stainless steel fabricators was believe-it-or-not cheaper than any other alternative I could find, and harder wearing. Nesting boxes - construction, materials and where to put them is a whole different kettle of fish. Inside of the cage vs outside ... I've tried both and there's good and bad points with both. Good luck, KathyW.
  16. It sounds like they may be good foster parents thou, especially if George II is feeding the youngsters. All the best of luck with them all KathyW.
  17. Hmmm ... I'm thinking girl, but hard to say for sure. They can fool the best of us sometimes. Whichever, s/he is a cutie! Cheers, KathyW.
  18. Hey Paul. Just make sure there is plenty of seed scattered on the floor of his cage. He'll forage there and eventually work out there is more seed in the container. They are all individuals, some birds take longer to work out the obvious than others. Cheers, KathyW.
  19. Not often but occasionally. It's not so bad in aviary breeding as there is a lot of room for the little ones to get away from an aggressive parent. But in a small cage they are "sitting ducks". And if the parents have decided they've had enough of parenting that batch of babies they can get very territorial about their nest box and surrounds. They may see the older babies as potential threats to the next clutch. Budgies very rarely have anything to do with their offspring once feeding stops. Sounds like you've done the right thing, putting the babies in with an older bird. Just as long as that pair do not turn on them. Are George II and Winnie a bonded pair? And do they have a nest box? If so be very careful or remove the nest box until the babies are old enough to be removed to their own cage - which should be done as soon as possible anyway. Cheers, KathyW.
  20. I am very pleased to report that the relocated family are doing very well. After a sluggish start both babies are sporting full-to-near-bursting crops now, and continuing to feather up nicely. The mum has even started picking up again and is looking much better - her cere is still a bit dull but her plumage and bearing is brilliant. The dad does not seem to miss his bit-on-the-side, and never calls to her although she's in an aviary within ear shot. All in all very pleasing result so far. I might even leave the parents in the cabinet for a while after these chicks fledge to see if they want to have a second clutch in peace. Kaz, I hope your situation worked out too. Cheers, KathyW.
  21. Digging in the earth floor - yup, mine did that to me too. They were all old birds I was going to let live out the rest of their alloted time in a nice aviary. They were NOT ready to retire! Feeders - yup - I've had a couple of hens some years ago repeatedly dig ALL the seed out of the feeders and somehow squeeze under the divider and lay eggs INSIDE the feeder! Sometimes you just gotta let them have their own way ... they seem to think they know better than us what they need / want Cheers, KathyW.
  22. In over 20 years of aviary breeding I had lots of hen fights but very few serious incidents. I also had HUGE aviaries and always had way more boxes than hens (like 1/3 more boxes than hens). My most serious maiming happened in a large aviary that only had a few pairs and not many boxes. However I took the maimed youngsters in and hand reared them. They'd had their upper beaks bitten off and were perhaps not a pretty site, but they survived, adapted to hand feeding, then learnt to feed themselves and were eventually returned to the main aviary where they lived out a normal life. They were quite able to crack seed and just looked like a "cleft palette" budgie. All long gone now, but they were sweeties and survivors. It's a bit anecdotal, but the smaller the population, the more likely they are to get on each others nerves. KathyW.
  23. KathyW


    "Marion" (Variant of Marian. Pet form of Mary) can be male or female. There were a few other "possibilities" at Name Search but nothing as close sounding to "Mary". Cheers, KathyW.
  24. A question that I would appreciate views on. All my handfeeding and hand rearing texts recommend for various reasons not to feed a (hand reared) chick until it's crop is empty. However over the years I've had some birds with either slow emptying crops and/or opportunistic feeders who wanted fed every time they heard or felt movement. Bearing in mind that birds are probably as individualistic as human babies in metabolism and feeding habits I'm beginning to doubt the wisdom of the texts and think "demand feeding", assuming all other general health factors are in order, may be the wiser course of action. So what are the general views on "topping up" before the crop empties IF the chick is begging for a feed? I suspect it would probably trigger a parent bird to feed their young. KathyW.
  25. Dave, a quick Google found a number of references to 3 day delays between laying (budgie) eggs with all sorts of possible explanations from re-absorbing the "missing" egg to the hen just not wanting to lay! As long as she looks and behaves normally, leaver her to do what comes naturally or you could stress her as well as yourself by interfering. Cheers, KathyW.
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