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On The Up


kevin bore

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It had to happen i felt compelled by one man and his blog to start my own so here goes.

 

Firstly you may expect me to thank some people but having come from a thankless job i make sure that i say thank you often and regularly to the people whom have helped me, this has ranged from a panic call with great advise, reasurrance that im not doing things wrong, free birds or access to good genes and to some sounding boards and to building great relationships for the future-

 

However a BIG thank you very publicly has to go to my Mentor whom without sage like wisdom, the ability to keep me on the straight and narrow and not make an arse of myself at times, has to be given so step forward Ian Fordham and take a bow please and a big thank you Sir.

 

so my journey to my first pinkies in 25yrs!- yep that's right i have 3 chicks under 3 days old :-)

 

 

I have a modest shed- in fact i have a big shed i've had to cut in half as i cant afford the stock to fill a big shed and have to breed my own but it didnt all go to plan and if it wasnt for the generous nature of Alan Marchant (who gave me more free birds to get me started than i bought!) i'd be in a canoe deep in the brown stuff with a stick and not a paddle. It seemed that every time i took a step forward i took two backwards and i had some key losses very early, this then followed on with a light molt, a heavy molt and a run of bad luck and then some bad luck and an unpleasent surprise- but there is some good news so ill run through briefly where I am.

 

pair 1: the cock bird dies a week before the hen lays the first egg- fingers crossed but all 4 are clear, ill repair her when one of the clear pairs starts to kick out the eggs for cover

 

Pair 2: after 6 weeks nothing, change the hen. After another 4 weeks nothing so ive split up the pair and put them in the flight to have a molt and will look again at the cockbird in sept.

 

Pair 3: after 6 weeks again nothing from the hen so i replaced her. The cock was a little beneth the hen so given that every pair i had did nothing for 6 weeks i put what was the worst Lt Grn hen in with him and within 2 days she was in the box and 2 weeks on eggs. They have hatched 3 so far and as they aren't lookers i hope they are well bred and hens!- buy hey a HUGE step forwards and the first chicks for 25yrs

 

Pair 4: A pair of gryGrns- a Cin hen with great backskull and blow and a taller broader cock- 4 weeks and nothing! so ive repaired to a gry hen- i've high hopes for these two and they have laid two eggs to date so fingers crossed- mum is known to be a problem hen so ill have to take her away at three weeks or foster the chicks out- except my fosters are out of sync now!!!

 

Pair 5: The foster Pair are in sync with pairs 3 and 6 and have just hatched their own chick- if not needed at least its a feeder for the summer next year...

 

Pair 6: a YFGry cock and a GryGrn Hen: Seven beautiful perfect clear eggs- they are the only original pair i have and laid after......yep 6 weeks!

 

Pair 7: a pair of grey's- again high hopes. She laid 3 eggs and then a double yoker- missed two days and then 3 more, typically they look clear but time will tell but she went down after a week and laid within two!- i paired these two myself so lets see how my eye is after all this time

 

so there we have it i have two pairs from 7 (Excluding repairs) with chicks which whilst sounding bad (to be honest the oparents arent lookers) is a big step forward after what has been a really painful start. I lost some very major birds after a 5 hr drive then turned into the coldest two days since god was a boy and it was just too much for them, but ive picked myself up, dusted myself down, kicked the can around and with luck were on the up.

 

OK so ive got about 20 birds which isnt enough for a 12 x 12 environment and 12 breeding cages and if a couple of birds let you down it is a major set back- in fact if it could go wrong it has-twice) but ive had some very kind offers of help from some very nice people and when the hens stop this latest molt ive a couple of ideas with the birds i have to hand- i wont embarress people on here but i will shake them by the hand and look them in the eyes and give the biggest heart felt thank you i can when i see them and a very public thank you when in a couple of years time i venture onto the show bench.

 

SO, ive hated trying to start the blog and ive written it three times (all without spellcheck) i havent thanked enough people sufficiently for the assistance ive received but thanks must also go to encouragement/tollerence/wisdom/general kindness to Gary Shep,Nick Allwood,Mike Ball outside of the help from Alan and Ian oh and to my better half Charlotte who for a non bird person has the greatest tollerence of all.

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kevin bore

Posted

Damn it, now i know why there is a draft button!

 

I always think that the greatest advise often comes at the strangest times and i must also thank two people outside of the EBF community at large. The first is Eric Peake just because he is our very own budgie wikipedia and he makes me think and question and also to Dean Holding- people have very short memories and when your in the brown stuff- sometimes it's nice when people say "i remember something similar and its s!!!" and i believe that dean has been very generous to beginners near him and is a credit to his local scene i know that being a beginner has cost my mentor by the weary look on his face when i ring and his empty medicine chest (Just kidding, but i do appreciate the commitment). Beginners always suffer losses as shed's settle down and we sould be more public about it, shed's have a pulse and if on day one its stressed it takes a couple of months to settle down, if it's settled down and you add birds it surprising how settled they seem immediately.

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kevin bore

Posted

I've had a late box inspection today and found another pinkie in pair 3 and just the one in the feeder pair 7- that's 4 chicks in three days for pair 3 so I closed the box up and scratched my head as you do- I'm not sure the hen would manage so many so close together as the size differential between them and the feeder chick was quite staggering- but I guess that happens when you have to split crop milk four ways- so rather than leave it until it becomes a "I should have" I transferred the new chick to the feeders to share the risk. The feeders chick is very pink ( I even checked it wasn't a red eye) compared to the other chicks which are quite red so fingers crossed all is well as i recall bad endings for red chicks as I am assuming they are behind due to volume and its my eyes playing up... but time will tell.

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kevin bore

Posted

Up bright an breezy to get the inspections and shed open early as its a 7th birthday here. Suspecting the worse i opened the box in pair 3 to find the chicks OK and turning a little pinker than they were yesterday- strange really how they started red but time will tell, at 5 days old the ring is far too big so i suspect it will be 10 days that they are rung- they are on a basic seed and soaked millet diet so it will be interesting to see what happens and if i try and coax the parents onto rearing food for sept when the season starts propper. The chick from pair 7 and the foster are both doing ok although the hen is a squawker so ill just peak every now and again until they are ready to ring which should be a couple of days after box 3, Pr 8 are clear with pr 1 so im awaiting a fresh cock for 1 to be avaliable and then ill discard the eggs and block off the nest for a few days to ge a good bond, Pr 4 is on egg 3 :-) and i hope to have two fertile from pr 9. (when i say pair i actually mean cage and i only have 5 prs down at the moment the rest are stock cages at the moment) Apart from that it's due to be 14 degrees today so its windows open and fingers crossed.

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kevin bore

Posted

OK- so i thought i'd got away with it and the luck had taken a turn for the better... well, in fact i inspected the box tonight to see that the feeders have hatched another chick which makes two of her own and one as a foster- trouble is the dark green ink on its back has come off! so i have no idea which one it was- ive even put both chicks on the window cill to check and ive no idea! so that's six in total (4+2) so whilst i would like more from the good pair i've run out of options!!!

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kevin bore

Posted

I know I shouldn't complain about full rounds hatching out but why is it always the weakest visual pair and never the strongest! As you can probably guess we have another chick at chez Kev- I've transferred it to the fosters, daubed it with green ink until morning (had to be quick the crop was empty) and crossed my fingers. I've a hen in a molt that I've taken out and given 1.5ml of GA (lucozade for birds) and I gave the others in the flight a brief spray with water (which they love) to help bring the molt on in a hope that it might then entice them to want to breed. And while hope springs eternal we had hail stones today- any wonder the season is so hit and miss for people so far

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kevin bore

Posted

I'm looking out of the window and its jet black outside so fingers crossed that the one pair that is laying eggs doesn't get spooked tonight if we have a storm. The fosters have hatched out another chick which now means they are over crowding- still there could be worse problems eg the lt green hen that is no longer with me- a nice pott5 rung bird that was going to be paired when she finished her molt but alas its not to be and a reminder to use birds as soon as they are available, fingers crossed that of the five chicks from the pair that at least one is a hen for the breeding team!

 

I've been watching the pair with infertile eggs and their body language is changing so id best mark the old eggs just in case they can't eject them from the deeper nest boxes I've got- on that note I've marked the foster chicks with a darker pen- I'm also keeping an eye on the loansome hen and ill try and remove the eggs from both and deny access for a couple of days while I introduce a new cock to her and with luck it may just work in my favour!

 

I'm watching the Ino discussions with interest as its something I know nothing about but it has sparked an idea that my Ino breeding mentor put into my head and that is to try a special/rare as the feeder line. I might try that next year if the three split Ino cocks don't throw up something with a red eye in the nest, ok they are just pet shop birds but anything to keep my little helpers smiling is good news!

 

I've a busy few days coming up- I made a chocolate brownie the size of a grill pan and coated it with white, pink and milk chocolate ready for tomorrow's 7th birthday party. Ive a 15th on Monday and a budgie day on Tuesday so fingers crossed that none of it ends in tears!

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kevin bore

Posted

I'm looking out of the window and its jet black outside so fingers crossed that the one pair that is laying eggs doesn't get spooked tonight if we have a storm. The fosters have hatched out another chick which now means they are over crowding- still there could be worse problems eg the lt green hen that is no longer with me- a nice pott5 rung bird that was going to be paired when she finished her molt but alas its not to be and a reminder to use birds as soon as they are available, fingers crossed that of the five chicks from the pair that at least one is a hen for the breeding team!

 

I've been watching the pair with infertile eggs and their body language is changing so id best mark the old eggs just in case they can't eject them from the deeper nest boxes I've got- on that note I've marked the foster chicks with a darker pen- I'm also keeping an eye on the loansome hen and ill try and remove the eggs from both and deny access for a couple of days while I introduce a new cock to her and with luck it may just work in my favour!

 

I'm watching the Ino discussions with interest as its something I know nothing about but it has sparked an idea that my Ino breeding mentor put into my head and that is to try a special/rare as the feeder line. I might try that next year if the three split Ino cocks don't throw up something with a red eye in the nest, ok they are just pet shop birds but anything to keep my little helpers smiling is good news!

 

I've a busy few days coming up- I made a chocolate brownie the size of a grill pan and coated it with white, pink and milk chocolate ready for tomorrow's 7th birthday party. Ive a 15th on Monday and a budgie day on Tuesday so fingers crossed that none of it ends in tears!

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kevin bore

Posted

Oh well an early inspection today Presented the eldest chick in the show birds having died in the night- a full crop and no damage except for what looks like internal bruising so it may have been squashed by the parents- shame really as I only rang it yesterday and it slipped the ring off again never to be found- on the plus side they have also hatched another pinkie so I've transferred that to the foster whom has three from the show pair and two of her own- ill keep an eye on the reminding two show chicks and see how it goes but they are at the age of ringing at a week old. Frustrating yes but to be expected I guess and no different than anyone else

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kevin bore

Posted

Well..... I've just inspected the boxes to ensure that the feeders and the show pairs chicks are still alive and they are which is good news so I've topped up the tonic In The finger draws so that's good news- on the plus side is one of my high hopes pairs have hatched a chick out of the blue- don't get me wrong their wasn't a star in the east last night or three wise men ( not in this neighbourhood its the Bronx!) she did have eggs and by my calculation its the 4th (one after the double yoker ) the thing is this:

 

I have to tell you because ms B is a birdie person and I'm allowed a glass of wine tonight after the chick died earlier and i e a cake to make tonight-and I have to tell someone!

 

Oh and it's going to be proseco as champagne is reserved for the other pair once they fledge something so Ms B should be happy with some bubbles just for her (wink)

 

 

But...... Feeders are working flat out so I really don't need any problems but as a maiden hen its fingers crossed for the first night and then a wing and a prayer till its on the perch- funny old 24hrs but it does underwrite to people the note dean/Richard posted about always put four or five pairs down at the same time just in case!

 

Oh well lets just hope I've cracked the run of luck?

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kevin bore

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Well its mid-day and I had to do some bootfair escorting of ms B to but some in the bank if I want an away day any time soon. The new chick in the greys has survived the night and doing well so fingers crossed he isn't alone long (don't forget I'm not feeding softfood) an so that left the grey/green pair where the chick died leaving two in the box as I've often read that two chicks and the hen becomes bored and they suffer- well problem solved as the fosters hatched another chick- if only the show birds were this fertile! So I transferred the eldest chick to the grey/green pair in cage 3 to make up the numbers. I couldn't bring myself to euthanise the new chick as its the same age as the high hope chick from the greys so just in case I have a problem I need to keep the fosters chicks as young as possible but also manageable in numbers but for once its good news which means I'm due an upset at some stage- least the rings I've put on have not come off (7 days for ringing) and whilst they are rings 4&5 I've also found the spares in the bottom of the nest box! I just need to get the ratio up from 3 fertile nests from 11 pairings! But I'm not upset im just developing my skills...

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kevin bore

Posted

I'm pleased to say a boring day down the manshed. The fosters haven't hatched any more and none have bitten the dust, the lesser show pair have done the same and the grey pair have remained the same wih the one chick- shame really as I'd have liked more than one chick from them but I guess I have a few more eggs to go, mind you I often peek In the window of the manshed before I go in and I spotted the hen out and the cock being quite aggressive to her so with one chick I just have to ensure that he doesn't get bored with not enough rearing to do and frustrated with the hen who is distracted- time will tell on that front. The other high hopes pair have stopped at four eggs- not what I was hoping for! So next time I may just foster them out as they lay to get more from her and I'm hoping that I can bring these skills up with a little coaching over the near future. Other than that the birds in the flight are still sulking through the molt but with some woodwork being chewed ill have to keep a close eye on the hens and add a few more birds to get the vibe right and the shed bouncing.

 

On the strange front Ms B has obviously heard snippets about budgie fertility conversations so I had a round of "twenty questions" about the video she googled showing our own Mr Freakly testing birds and ap

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kevin bore

Posted

And apparently she's counting the rubberty gloves and if any go missing I'm to pack my bags if they turn up in the shed!

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kevin bore

Posted

I was up just before five this morning but damn it I still can't beat Tony for early mornings- I had a mini safari today to go and look at a piece of jigsaw and hence the early start and late Finish, the postman also delivered a pleasant surprise and for a change when I got home and settled things down I checked the nest boxes and ALL three pairs hatched out chicks- so try as I might every time I reduce the feeders nest she hatches another and every time I reduce the nest size in the chance pair to ensure survival the same thing! So I thought I'd pop it into the high hopes pair to keep the single chick safe and there was an extra one! Fingers crossed but like tony I won't count them until they are perching in the flight- but good news none the less

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kevin bore

Posted

Another eventful day down the manshed.

 

In terms of the birds I've taken the infertile eggs from the single hen and after four hours and her re-lining the nest box with some feathers I've shut it off for today so I can introduce a new mate tomorrow- I've a young cinnamon upstart that fancy's his chances- I just hope he fancies older women!

 

I was going to do the same with another pair on seven clear eggs but they beat me to it and have destroyed them after a suitable period of not hatching- this surprised me as he won't leave her alone BUT she tends to then be box bound so the strategy when she starts to lay will be to close off the box in the morning for a little while so he gets a chance to do the job- I'd cut the feathers but when I had a look the down was really thick and it resulted in quite the quilt on the manshed floor after some plucking- after this if nothing happens the cockbird may just end up on a skewer as a feather duster for those hard to reach areas! I've closed the box off and tomorrow ill have a look at how they are doing.

 

Tomorrow may see a couple more pairs selected so fingers crossed as I've got some spare cages and no fosters so I'm going to need the cover.

 

On the non bird front I had a rather large slice of humble pie today, as a beginner you get romanced by what's in front of you rather than the real beauty which lays underneath- namely the genes and I do have good genes, and i dont mean from my father lol. So moving forward ill be referig to pairs by number which for future reference is top left 1 to top right 3 and so on to bottom right 12 rather than a pair by a name.

 

I had a quiet moment of reflection today and I must say that while my year out was good to delve and understand and ask the awkward questions you really don't know what to ask until after you've hit a few brick walls. To that end my mentor Ian still has some hair and patience left and he will be popping round next week to see how things have chnged in the last few weeks (ie life before chicks) to listen to me rambling on about how I'm a master at pairing up (if only). Other than that it was nice to reflect on the nice people I've met, the genuine kindness of relative strangers and to looking at the sunset knowing the future will be rosey- I've just got to get the genes in the right order.

 

I spoke to my daughter about genes and she gets it but try explaining it to a seven year old! " if I gave ten people a bucket of Lego and said build me somewhere to live..... Two would build a house- two a bungalow - a Tent, a cave, a castle etc etc. the thing is they are all correct its just how you put the pieces together!" Johnny Ball eat your heart out!

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kevin bore

Posted

Well I don't know where to start- its been an eventful day today for all the wrong reasons which ment that every time I needed to concentrate on some decisions on the birdie front I got diverted to the domestic and some times that's just how it is!

 

So the net result of today is that I've put three pairs down-

 

cage one I have an opaline grey hen with a cinnamon sky cock- he has great blow and the genes to imprint this and she has great feather length and a larger frame so fingers crossed- ill open up the box tomorrow and see what happens.

 

Cage two I've got a dilute yellow hen with a lt grn cock so fingers crossed all goes to plan.

 

Cage three- the existing grey cock and lt grn hen who have three chicks- I added up today that they hatched 7 from 7 and that's not bad, the first I lost along the way but the next looks like a green series so ill know in a day or two- the hen is rearing two of her own and a foster chick and doing a great job.

 

Cage four has a grey hen with a grey green cock and she is on four eggs- ten days and we can see what happens but fingers crossed.

 

Cage seven has the fosters in that has three foster chicks and three of her own- the two eldest are fosters and I guess it will be a few days before I think about ringing them.

 

Cage eight have just smashed the seven infertile eggs so I've given them the full Hollywood treatment (Sellotape gets everywhere!) and I've closed off the nest box to hope that if they lay again and they are clear I could transfer from the new pairs if they are in sync so tomorrow ill open it up again!

 

Cage nine has the two greys- she had one chick and I then had to foster in one from pair three in desperation and hope that it would save the chick- she has now hatched two more so its back in tomorrow with the ink just in case the foster is grey! But I'm happy and I appreciate we have a long way to go.

 

Cage eleven- ive selected a thick set sky hen to go with a cinnamon grey cock that has great blow and good genes so its a repeat concept of cage two so fingers crossed we get a couple of crossover birds that are thick set with blow!

 

So the chick count is upto 13 and I hope its a lucky number- I need to organise some more millet sprays in the morning and keep my eye on a couple of hens on the flight. I have a feeder hen that at five months is eati g her way through an 18mm dowl aided by a cinnamon hen that must be old enough but just doesn't have an iris! One for the mentor next week as I'm foxed- in fact she is palling upto a cock in the flight that's refused two hens and she turned down a cock earlier- they chat, they dance, they feed ...... They sleep! I need George clooney not George and Mildred !

 

So I've got two cages spare on the bottom row that are ready and I've a double breeder quarantining a rainbow of birds- its going to be exciting and the seed bill may just be going up- nice problem to have

 

But again a nice budgie day and some nice banter on the net- fingers crossed it continues and things settle down on all fronts!

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kevin bore

Posted

Well I opened up the boxes and the sky hen in cage eleven was straight into the box- she is a '10 hen so knows the ropes but the poor old cock bird looks a little star struck so fingers crossed she makes a man of him or rather he gets to her while she stays in the box- its directly below the box bound clear round and also below the cage where the cock did nothing with two hens so perhaps its an unlucky column?

 

The hen in cage 1 is in a sulk at the moment so I hope within a couple of days she will realise a cockbird to keep her company is a good thing- it who can tell.

 

The dilute and lt green in cage two are bouncing off the perches so as a new venture I'm excited to see what they bring and who knows being a recessive gene I may just get them popping up for years to come- which isn't a bad thing.

 

The chick count is still on 13 and I've for ten to ring when they grow a little which will mean buying new rings if the other birds take off- I have either four fertile eggs from four in cage four or they are addled but they are due from the 6th so fingers crossed for a little luck

 

The spare hens in the flight have been a bit of a pickle at the moment, the six month old feeder hen has teamed up and eaten her way almost through a 18mm dowl in two days- her partner in crime is a cinnamon hen that I tried earlier in the year that wasn't interested and even now she doesn't have an iris so as much as I'm tempted I'm just not sure- one for ian next week!

 

Other than that I keep looking at the two spare cages and two spare cocks in the flight and some of the hens and thinking should I roll the dice and go for broke or should I wait for that special hen to come fit to make the ideal pairing? Damned if you do and damned if you don't!

 

Ms B has has a rough time of late so fingers crossed the weekend is quiet but I've all four girls this weekend, a delivery at the old bachelor pad to sort out and shopping for a eleventh birthday in two weeks time! So ill just be smiling and thinking about what could or should happen if I cross over different lines and as I explained to the 14yr old today (she's doing propper maths at school) you always get a sum and difference- "so if your pairing a six and an eight you don't always get a nest full of sevens you get an ocassional nine but mostly fours! But its how you manage to tell the fours that are really nines in disguise" I think johny ball was safe with that one!

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kevin bore

Posted

Well a relatively boring day down the manshed- we had some shopping to do for an eleventh party in a couple of weeks and so I was late in the afternoon but the morning visit was in good time. We're at the stage where the eldest chicks are just starting to colour up which is nice but as always it will get better in the next week but It looks like most of the feeder chicks look like spangle green Dom pieds which is nice for next years crop of replacement feeders, I've rung another, ordered some rings and at last we have another chick for the pair in cage 9 which is four of her own and one foster- trouble is the chances are they are all grey so its out with the felt tip pen but its number 14! I topped up some sawdust in the foster pair's nest box as I noted it was getting a little soiled and "clumpy" and was relieved when the hen didn't mind ( she is a screamer). Two of the new pairs are using the box but I also have two cocks that look a little dumbstruck with their older beau's but time will tell and see how the bond develops between them. Other than that its fingers crossed for the end of the week to see if cage 4 hatches anything, she is a known problem hen but worth the heartache and worry especially as I've not got any cover now cage nine has five chicks!

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kevin bore

Posted

Things are going well down the shed- ive had an influx or daughters handling chicks from one of the better hens and so i hope it's leading to securing the next budgie generation.

 

 

I havent had any more hatchng out but this week is fingers crossed for the pair in cage 4- the 4 eggs look fertile and i'd settle for 50% making it but lets see what happens. The foster chicks all look to be green series spangle dom pieds! so ill have to keep a few of those for fosters next year- mind you im always on the look out for seed money but dont really want anyone down the manshed.

 

 

I have a fresh egg in the pair that went clear previously- just 48hrs since i let them back at the box- although they have a full trim im not sure he has worked his magic so ill be candling and swopping if they are clear this time and replacing the cock next.

 

 

I have three cocks in the flight-

 

 

a lovely spangle that has refused two hens already but making upto a hen that's already refused a cock- not that it's a doomed pair in my eyes but unless they are treading they will have to convince me harder!,

 

 

A feeder pair (spangle green 5yr old cock with a brown cere that's just turned blue and a grey hen) that have been sweet on eachother since day 1 (feb) and she is just 7 months but eating her way through anything timber

 

 

A grey cock that's started making upto a lt grn hen that would make an excellent pairing- she was one of the refused hens from the spangle- in fact she didnt even go into the nest box! so whilst ideal they will have to convince me although he has yet to mature and get an iris ring!.

 

 

on the plus side i can say that i have at least three fertile cocks so if the next wave of hens could wait until after the second round of the current pairs it would be appreciated. mind you if the new pairs would work a little harder that would be good too- time for the barry white CD. Ive been spraying the inside flighted birds every time it rains outside to convince them it's spring!

 

 

 

I've been a little under the cosh for not bining the foster eggs on day 1 and geting false eggs (I really do need to do this and get organised), allowing me potentially to transfer all the chicks and get better coverage- the thing is the only way i can thank my mentor is to breed a surprise Ino and give to him- the challenge is if i do manage to breed one from my split feeder birds it would be a couple of years before they were bigger than mice and he may just spot it- have to settle for bourbons again for the forseeable future as they are all pieds! Ian is around tomorrow so ill drop tony an email to ring me when he wakes which should give me a good few hours to clean the manshed before dawn!- just kidding tony

 

 

On the plus plus side i managed to bid on ebay for a parrot cage on wheels to put the chicks into and ive managed to get one for £17 just down the road (always pays to bid just in case as i didnt expect to win),as with all good things i'm on a roll so i expect a fall from grace and the seller to decline the sale or for all the chicks to get attacked or the shed to get hit by a tornado or another act of god (about time he caught up with me)-but until then ill rejoyce in small victories, the kindness of genuine people, some fine banter and raise a glass to lady luck while she shines because we all know what its like when she doesnt!

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kevin bore

Posted

Well an early blog today- I'm waiting for the bird cage seller o ring back and ill go to pick it up- I was surprised at the amount for sale and the enormous price range, just goes to show you livestock and cages are like busses if you chase one it will get expensive and painful at some stage.

 

Ian my mentor came round today for a cuppa- I think its more a case I'm his tormentor!- and as always I got a ticking off for trying to run before I can walk so I'm back on track now and I've had a couple of pairings ok'd from the flight so that will be tomorrow's job together with dabbing the birds for mite, building a mock nest box for the flight and all the other odds and ends that need doing- not sure what to do for next year in terms of expansion but that can wait for another time and a few more cups of tea.

 

I'm waiting to see what cage four does this week and I'm leaving her to it but the suspense is killing me! it's like being a trainee Jedi all this waiting and being patient!! On the plus side all the new pairings are using the nest box so the next two pairs to go will be a hen and a cock that have already ignored the nest box with other pairings and a young cock with a hen that looks fit and is eating up the aviary but has the final molt feathers coming through- although she is 2yrs old. I guess if he is a little young by the second round he will have the idea?

 

That leaves me the quarantine double cage that I could release for another two pairs or for the chicks that I should have on the cage floor in two weeks, when I look at the birds can I "feel the force"? no not really I'm still a little shy for ready cocks but I know ill have some birds coming on strong for sept and I just need this start to breed some hens and at least I know four of my cocks are fertile and that's more than I knew two months ago- so its all good stuff!

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kevin bore

Posted

It's a funny old game....

 

Firstly I've had a champagne moment and the pair in cage four have hatched their first chick- she is a problem hen so I'm tying to find out if she kills the young in the box or on the cage floor but it was eyes open when I acquired her so its a positive and all part of the learning curve.

 

Conversely the pair of greys in cage 9 (former high hopes pair) are looking after the chicks really well and I thought "hello" the cock looks a little off colour and upon investigation I found a feather cyst or three of which one had leaked- so I've had a look and nothing's moving so its a question of bathing with cordial silver and letting him do his work- I've never known a bird with a cyst make a huge improvement and if I move him away from the hen she may abandon so all I can do is leave as it is and foster out the next round when it is laid and try and get him over another hen and do the same! But experience tells me its going to be day by day for a little while!

 

I've put two pairs down today- a 10 spangle cock and a 12 cinnamon hen- if they do anything other than feed ill be amazed and I've also put down a lt green hen and a grey cock- she's just finishing a molt and he is a little young but both are keen and hey- four birds sporting full hollywoods and all birds in the flights have been spot treated for mite and the two pairs today- ill do the rest when appropriate.

 

Fingers crossed that's the bad luck done with for a while, fingers crossed anyway!

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kevin bore

Posted

I hate it when your somewhere where you don't get cellular coverage and today was one of those days! Up early for a B&Q delivery 15 miles from home which ment that the birds had to be done at around seven which in summer isn't a problem- so in with the coffee and a nose around. The cockbird with th cyst is ok and being attentive to the hen and the chicks and after a few calls I'm very happy with the status quo as its not life threatening and i can keep an eye on things- the flip side of the coin is a prompt to get the first aid kit upto date with sterile blades and creams etc- but the cock looks very healthy- I had noticed that he was getting more blow and thought it was just feeding moving the feathers around but in reality it looks like a light molt so a warning for everyone to be vigilant at all times I guess.

 

I'm going to keep an eye to see if it appears in the chicks and if we get any non-normals in the nest as a theory. I have half a chick with pair 4! I inspected this evening to find it half out of the shell so I didn't disturb any more and to be honest I am stuck for places to move it to at the moment.

 

The pair in cage 2 and 11 are using the box, pair 8 is on 3 eggs which I suspect will be another clear round but delighted if it isn't- another week and they would have been in sync with pair 1 if she lays.... the other pairs are doing the sulk after being trimmed so towards next week we can see how things change.

 

Other than that the sun is here at last, so its spraying for the flight and Sun block for me- ill get to the beach tomorrow and collect some grit to make iodine blocks if anybody is interested

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kevin bore

Posted

23 degrees in the manshed today! So the extractor fans came on at 17degrees which was some time before eleven which shows me its going to be hot so its time to spray the birds and turn on the big fan- all of three pounds at the boot fair a few weeks ago- a twin blades 16inch pedastall beast! But very handy.

 

The grey cock is in good health so I gave him a light spray which he loved- mindful that His chicks are older and I'm just trying to make him comfortable and content. The pair in cage four have hatched their second chick which is good news- just a shame I don't have anywhere to transfer them to so I hope she has kicked her habit of scalping the chicks! But its chick number sixteen of which twelve should be for the breeding team march next year- yes a long way to go so let's just say its fingers crossed for six!

 

I went into the pet shop to try and order some bags of seed, I normally just but a kilo or two and I did get some funny looks when I asked for sixty kilo's and they will have to order it. I can't get aniseed oil anywhere so that will be an eBay item and fingers crossed for next week when my auction win should turn up. Other than that I've been observing the birds in the flight, crossing my fingers and dreaming a little- by hey there are worse things! Oh and thinking of questions as Simon complained there werent enough for Sunday!

 

Tomorrow is beach combing I hope but anything can and usually does happen! I just need pairs in cages 1-2-8-10-11-12 to do something and given 5-6 are a stock cage I'm still down to 30% behaving,30% misbehaving and 30% doing nothing! (And of those that hatch 30% make it to the perch!) Oh well life's a little richer for the journey!

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kevin bore

Posted

Well I opened my mouth and both feet fitted in nicely- in more ways than one!

 

A cold day today and a little tlc needed on one of the birds after I sent an SoS to my mentor on a bird looking a little under the weather and he came round sensing my blind panic to give me some of his time, wisdom and kind words.

 

So as the bird is still alive and eating a little after twelve hours its fingers crossed- if kindness can kill then I'm lucky to have anything left let alone just the odd wobble!

 

But its fingers crossed as I've just come back in from the manshed after spying him gone from the cage to find him in the nest box so i popped in a little bit of soaked millet in that I had to hand just in case!

 

While I was in panicking I spotted that the hen from cage 1 (who lost her partner in the nestbox just as the first round started-hence my panic with the pair above in cage 2) was on the perch as she and the cock have been pretty Much in the box for 80% of the time of late and she has laid an egg! Again its more like a jelly bean in shape but if its full and hatches who cares! She is a flecked long feathered opaline grey and he is a Snow White capped cinnamon sky so if- and its a big if- they are full ill be a happy bunny, ok happier if they compete for who can produce the best chick with cage two but ill take just being plain old happy and everything ship shape in the morning- on the plus side they are in sync with cage 8 who also went clear last time- fingers crossed for just a couple of full ones to consolidate.

 

Cage four has hatched a further chick so its three from four eggs and a bit of a dilemma as in three weeks time they will emerge and ill need a coping strategy to separate the hen from the chicks and ensure they get fed...

 

Cage three and six have the hens spending more time out of the box so fingers crossed it good feeding rather than bored hens as so far they have all been good girls.

 

And in the words of my mentor- Kev you just need to relax and stop worrying, don't change anything that's working and keep calm!

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kevin bore

Posted

Where there's livestock......

 

Despite my best efforts I lost the cockbird- not expected and a Bit of a blow and even more so that the hen is clearing the box out and ready to lay in the next week or so!

 

I'm sure that many people reading this all have key birds they have lost but usually you have some cover in the birdroom in terms of alternate mates but when your starting out a key loss is a real blow as you dont have the depth to recover when the birds are fit. in reality im sure that I can think of something but ill leave her a week to ensure its just a one off and consult on what's next-

 

strange really as I tried really hard to ensure his survival to the point Ms B even commented when she lifted her nose out of the latest Peter james thriller! But the reality is that the pair were a gifted bonus and in reality I'm very grateful as it ment I could have two lines and leapfrog a season- pride before a fall And the consequence of greed spring to mind!

 

Other than that pair four have hatched chick three and they all look fed and the cock is sharing the sitting which is unusual, the hens in three, six and seven are spending more time out of the box feeding as the chicks grow which I hope is a good sign and they tell me it might get above fourteen degrees this week!

 

Fingers crossed that's the trauma for the next couple of months (eapecially as i have chicks due is two-three weeks out of the box) but sometimes you have to accept it happens and when it does it just one of those things especially when everything else is tickerty-boo

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