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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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Another budgie day?

 

Well today was supposed to be planting 700 tulips- yes that's right 700!!

 

However, the boss (she who must be feared) asked if we had time to nip to the shops (which really means she wants a lift to the out of town centre) and a couple of hours later we were back and I started to change and clean the water drinkers which promoted me to ring the birdcare company and sort out a dispatch of some potent brew (a probiotic that I use after using an antibiotic to put some good bacteria in the crop) as I'd come to the bottom of the barrel (physically not literally) and they are going to send me some freeze dried culture to see what I think of it as a regular preventative in the same way ACV is used so let's see what happens.

 

A quick natter with the BS HQ and a shared laugh which is always nice and a pinkie in three- which is the third hen for the cockbird since march and hopefully a half brother or sister for rat bird but fingers crossed as its a Marchant lt green hen with a Marchant grey green cock so with luck it all adds to the genetic pool.

 

And to add to it I've an egg in eleven which is a BM1 spangle hen (opaline sky cinnamon) with a shep6 sky cock- I'm not sure if they carry violet but its a vivid blue and the cocks father was a cobalt but right now its making me smile and that's a good thing.

 

I've managed to have a look at the seven chicks from pair ten and it looks like four sky blues and three greys- the greys were fostered into cage seven who have as we know hatched three of their own chicks and are in the process of rearing the surviving two with these older three chicks- I have no idea if they make it but right now as always its fingers crossed!

 

So with all that excitement and a dozen stainless/chrome feeding trays bought from poundland I thought is now the lawn and do tulips tomorrow. The mower shed a drive belt and while I stood there a bird crapped on my head from 300ft!

 

Now normally I'd say that was lucky but I didn't quite see it that way and given Bash's break in its not exactly bad luck either. So tomorrow is all about tulips, YouTube drive belt replacement and enjoying the last throws of summer and as I posted today- spend a little time to share the love- oh and try not to get rear ended in a taxi in Spain mr Shep !!!

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The 1922 committee was the people that had formed as a clique to oust Margaret thatcher at 1922pm that day all those years ago, good, bad or ugly.

 

Christine Keeler and John perfumero down at clivenden hall and the such like.

 

The Paris tunnels, the secret service and ensuring our next king didn't have a Muslim half brother and all that dodi alfyad conspiracy.

 

The point is that whatever your poison we all have pivotal moments an today I ran chick 50 since i started in march and using a handful of pairs so for me today and 1022 is pivotal.

 

However,

 

When you break it down I've rung 12 feeder chicks, I've lost one killed by the foster cockbird, I've lost a few rings in the nestbox crap and that should leave me with about 30 chicks and....

 

Lookin in the flight with all the adults and noises birds (those birds bought in to give atmosphere) I've no ideal where they are !!!

 

Next year I will have to have a seperate flight for each round so I can compare apple with apples and not drop so many rings!!!

 

Oh well pride shared and back under my stone

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Ya' know you can't please all the people all the time or even in my case one person just some of the time! Last year I took the boss to Leiden (Amsterdam bulb region) and we came back with several hundred bulbs if all sorts that unplanted in a new six foot round bed.

 

This year she wanted all the non-tulips dug out an the new one planted- but have no fear I didn't have to cross the channel we had them delivered in the post- all 665 of them! So there was Saturday consumed digging up and replanting 1000 tulips in all colours, shapes, heights, frills and stripes.

 

As for the bulbs I took out- lets just say in a moment of rash dissent when she wasn't looking I dug a hole and buried them!

 

So radox apart I waited until the time was right and I was getting some rare praise and I started one of those conversations that goes "darling.... I think I should tidy up the manshed and perhaps build a flight for the chicks and tidy all those cages up and out them onto plynths....." We'll see how it finishes.

 

In the manshed I have been pleased with the progress of the corn on the cob and I bought a couple of carrots and beetroot and drilled a hole through them and suspended a cocktail fornth from a hook I'm the ceiling on chains- I'll be able to tell in the morning who's eaten what by the colour coded masks!

 

apart from that I put a suspension wire up for the extension lead to the manshed to tidy things up and inside chez budgie nothing has changed- just the one chick in three (which is a half sister/brother to rat bird) and the raining four eggs all look full. The dilute in two (rat birds mum) is On full eggs due to hatch within the next couple of weeks. The fosters are still raising the split nest and the greys are having to have me pop a chick back into the nest every other day.

 

I still can't figure out why the light green hen in four hasn't laid yet, she isn't eating them as I can't find any evidence so I'm foxed- all the right habits

Just no end result !!! If another hen becomes available for the cock ill split them up but I'm happy to wait for the the right one

 

Other than that I'm excited and looking forward to October or November when the main birds stop moulting and start chasing eachother around

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Well today was always going to be a funny old day- I had four hours of boarder control- no not imigration or drugs squad but digging and weeding which is always good for the soul.

 

So this morning I took rat birds brother away from his fosters and placed him with the other chicks and a chick from the flight who's come last in the pecking order! And tonight they are ok.

 

I also hung up two carrots and two beetroot on a chain yesterday and.... Nothing! Those that were in the seed tray got eaten and I know by whom and beetroot tends to leave a trail. So I had to nip a broken mower down the road and on the way back a neighbour with canary's decides to show me his latest additions and his plan to extend the aviary over where a pear tree stood- five mins later and I'm on my way to budgie HQ with some pear tree branches and ten mins after that the eucalyptus branches were taken down and cast onto the floor as a play area and the pear branches were hung from the ceiling for the birds to use and as I speak (or rather type) they are climbing away an having fun- I just hope the hens chew away and come into condition

 

Other than that I had to out two hicks from the Adams pair back in the box and whilst I was there and feeling the love, I trimmed the vents of both parents just in case as I've seen them calling to the chicks to move them out of the box ready for the second round. The lutino and normal in with the fosters and the three chicks fostered are doing ok- strange that the first four are all sky blue and the next three are All greys?

 

Other than that its all laid back here on the south coast and its the show this weekend.

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The noise is deafening!!!

 

Strange isn't it that by adding a couple of branches and hanging up a couple Of carrots and a brace of beetroot cricket balls should make such a difference but its deafening and I've some ball-esque hens turning from white to light beige so who knows what will happen in a couple of weeks?

 

of things closer to hand is the light green and the Sky blue- they mate like they have invented it, they line the box and her vent swells but nothing after four weeks- I can't feel an egg so ill give it a couple more days and ill either slip in an egg eater concave (I can't find any egg or shell in the box) or split them up but what I do know is that I may have to call upon an expert for a home visit to help me decide- yes ian that will be you, you just don't know it yet!

 

On the plus point all three spangle hens that I bought in have laid eggs and I've not seen eggs that big for a while- and we are talking 50% bigger than a false egg!!! So it will be interesting to see what features is prepotant as they are with matchant/Adams cocks from Gary Shep. If they look good then I have some bigger shouldered birds 25% Marchant for the line- if they don't work then its down the pet shop.

 

The Marchant pair in three (light green hen on her 4th round and second cock) with rat birds dad have hatched their second chick which then gives me options if they make it for half brothers and sisters- either way I'm sure they will be grey greens and this time just single factored ones!!!

 

The difficult hen in one is being chased by the cock whom won't take no for an answer (that was the plan) so I am hoping than in a couple of weeks I might hear the loud pop of an egg being squeezed out!

 

So there we go an easy round up- a few eggs, a couple of chicks and lots of hope and faith- but in two weeks that will wear thin and I'll be screaming at the birds and breakng them up and juggling things around- like the hen in eight who's stopped at two eggs with an infertile cock when I have her cousin in the flight!!! I dont need the cover of foster

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.... Cover or foster parents as that's why the spangles are for- so I may have three or four spare cage after weekend- then again its the London and Southwrn open and I'm good in the raffle section so fingers crossed for some good donations and ill buy a strip or two!

 

Remember if anyone ever meets my missus their all gifts and rehomed!!!

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You just know its going to be one of those days!

 

Or rather if you've seen Forrest Gump it comes under the heading of "shit happens". So where to start? Ok the good news:-)

 

Pair three have hatched their third chick tonight and its fingers crossed as its half siblings to some birds from both a wilson and a ball background so potentially it opens up the options for later in the season and they would be chick numbers 52 onwards which given this is my first season is quite the milestone.

 

I also have news that today the last of the new foster pairs have laid an egg- so I've a whole raft of spangles Laying eggs and there is a whole new story!

 

I've had HUGE eggs in the last four nests and also the part wiilson hen in eight has laid two eggs prior and they are cold and judging by her back end, which I've felt, she is doing an impression of an ostrich which is wowed given she laid last year and has laid a normal round and a half this year- I also note and I think this is the problem- the cockbird just isn't aggressive enough and doesn't quite seal the deal, so she has been calling out to the boys is the flight and I think she has retained an egg knowing it hasn't been fertilised rather than lay a duffer. The thing is she raise foster chicks last round and I'm in two minds about what happens next- on one front I want to save every bird and she has been a good mum and on the other front what use is a bit that decides not to lay just to extend the learning curve?

 

The Adams pair in ten had ejected three of the four chicks and woo hoo she started another round today (thankfully I trimmed their vents a few days ago) so I moved the last. Hi I from the box today- his crop does overfloweth and the three in the cage could do with a little top up but as they have some feed I'll leave well alone and heck tomorrow night

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... Check tomorrow night. But the three siblings in the box above seem to be doing ok Nd as said before the four with mum and dad are all sky blue Nd the three above are all greys! But judging by the bite is say a couple of hens!

 

Other than that in feeling quite excited at the task ahead or as someone said to me last night....

 

Here starts the hard yards!!!

 

With friends like that..........

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Hard yards my ass its a massive uphill struggle or rather "like that one dad?"

 

 

Where to begin. I'm rather inclusive when it comes to the budgies, all apart from the boss are encouraged to get their hands dirty and understand life and death and so today my little rehead who's 11 wanted to help with some crop feeding- or rather wanted to see up close and personal how a crop needle worked and as I've four chicks on the cage floor it was an ideal time.

 

So.....

 

Given that I've a hen in eight that was waiting to pass an egg the size of an orange and had abandoned her two other eggs I had to explain that we might not be greeted with the nicest image. So in we trotted and we went through a couple of nests on the top row and after explaining in the kitchen that an addled egg is "budgie soup" we found a just hatched chick in two (rat birds mum) and three chicks in three (rat birds dad) so I was explaining half siblings etc when I looked in the box of eights and found a new egg amongst the debris of a nest that had been given a makeover In the night by the hen passing the big egg- it was cracked and broken such was its size and I decided that as the cock is infertile I'd turf him into the flight and told my eleven year old to pick another cock for this '11 hen- remarking at the time that thank god as I though she may be dead this morning!

 

To which she replied "like that one down there!" And yes dear readers I lost a maiden hen that had just laid a normal, good proportioned, perfectly respectable egg two days before without any issue and there she was on the cage floor. I suspect as it was a thunder storm last night an she wasn't in the nest box that it may be related rather than an open and shut case of being egg bound but none the less another case of nature evening up the score-

 

Typically as both of these hens have some wilson running through the veins as a gift from young mr Shep its the '11 one that makes it and the '13 that pops her clogs.

 

But look on the bright side- the cock incubated the egg last night as it was warm and so we popped it under a pair of grey birds (he and mum were green series) and we didn't have to look too far for a cock for the hen in eight.

 

I also made a decision that as the hen in four (light green Marchant hen with a sky darren snell cock) had again given the box a make over but no egg and noting his agreasive behaviour (frautration I guess at no clutch as they have been mating for two weeks) that I whipped out the box and put in one of those ones with hole in the middle to let the egg drop through if they are egg eaters, she doesn't look too impressed but what can I do?

 

I tell you its all go today! And we're not even into the difficult winter period!

 

Hard yards indeed!!! But I guess its one of those things you get used to-apparently!

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One small step for mankind forwards an a giant leap for budgie kind backwards

 

Yep you've guess it the famous or rather infamous rule of three- I'd put six pairs down so something had to happen-

 

Yesterday we had the lt green hen pass away unexpectedly between eggs.

 

And today

 

Yep the Marchant cock in two who was with rat birds mother pass away- no idea why as he had feed in his crop, weight on his frame and no neck break but was away from the perches near the nestbox perch position so i presume a night fright!!! I have nightlights etc and no signs of stones, vwrmiin or otherwise and I'm baffled- especially as he'd just filled the eggs and last night she hatched a second chick !

 

So its two for two in two days! Two out and two new ones- I just hope that they make into the perch.

 

Its gutting to lose a foundation cock and yes I guess the shed is now younger and ill just have to breed my way out of it!

 

Fingers crossed its not three for three!!!

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Patience, patience and more patience !

 

It's been a funny old day- although I'm Not laughing at the above turn of events this morning!

 

Well today I went to the London & Southern show escorted by My daughters or rather I bag

She red them until they agreed to go along as long as pizza express was the next step!

 

Well- I bumped into sue the upcoming lutino queen. Ian Fordham the lutino king who took the YB with a lutino (a fine feathered bird so goodness knows what it would have got if it were buff?), Barry Matthews, steve bailey, mike ball and at least four BS council

Members I think!!! So quite a busy 90 mins.

 

But the headline is that the two chicks with the now single mum are still alive but needing feeding so tomorrow morning I'll know what's what but it won't change the situation that I'm a bird down at the start of the season.

 

Advise from today? Be patient, do the hard yards and that's just the way it goes, no great comfort but let's revise this decision in April!

 

But congratulations to the winners and many many different styles of birds out and about and competing which is what we need.

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Its been a while- in fact it's been a whole 24hrs since I had to wear a black armband but hey that's progress.

 

I had a good start to the day checking the boxes and seeing that I still had two tiddlers under the dilute hen I skipped off to do a few hours of gardening for a friend and had my fingers crossed all the time.

 

Thankfully it was just half a day and I was back by two to make sure things were good and to touch base after the show with a few people. I caught up with Nic to talk the demise of one of my birds, with ian around how I plan to use what I have left to its maximum advantage, with rick watts as I missed him at the show and to organise a last moment safari to see mick hodges in Margate wihich as the crow flies is ten miles but twenty mins by car!

 

Ian gave me a kicking worried that I had too many birds with different lineage until I convinced him that I didn't and its all part of the master plan- so fingers crossed it all comes together or I'll be hiding the beano down the trousers!

 

I also went to micks and whilst we are both beginners we have both done it before and it was good to swop notes from the concept of juicing veg and using the juice in the softfood rather than watch veg go offing the flight to the pros and con a of pairing for colour (mick) an pairing for content(me) which explains why I have grey and grey greens coming out of my ears and mick has a rainbow- I think I've convinced him to look at the content as he has some nice birds from different backgrounds and he can either pair in families, styles, colours or just pot luck and I'm hoping its style first as I really want this part of Kent to become a stronger region in the future and as has been proven in stoke and Hampshire that if you work together you can multiply your success.

 

I've a chat organised for thursday with another fancier over historical lines and where they have ended up and I'm father excited to have the time to chew the cud- such is the joys of gardening and believe me after weeding and shoveling gravel talking is all I'll be able to do but such is the joys of friendship!

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Its a funny old game this budgie business.....

 

Today I was in the shed early changing over the water after giving them a probiotic yesterday rather than the ACV as they both hangs the PH of the water I thought why not give them a boost as the weather is playing up at the moment and again today off to do some gardening.

 

Well, its a good job I've kept a blog as it seams I was scratching my head at the dilute not feeding the. Hicks only to see above that its a new chick and that yes she has hatched out number three which is good news.

 

I've also candled the spangle pairs I put down to see how I care trying to combine different feather types and styles- apprentice feather engineering if you will- and although I lost a hen in one pair I can report that all of them have fertile eggs- any ting between one and three but that's good news. The concept here is that they are wide soft feathered birds with good shoulders and I've put them to Marchant/Adams cocks from Gary Shep so if they turn out monsters I can use them in the 100% H&M line that I have and if it doesn't work then its into the pet shop and a trip up to stoke next autumn.

 

But it is exciting to be expecting again- I've six chicks in the link that in crossing my fingers for (three each from both of rat birds parents with different partners) and I've seven in the feather trying to cledge and wean at the moment from the Adams pair which is not bad for a first round and she is now on three eggs!

 

However- the pair in one hasn't done anything but they are staying together- the co I will do the business but the hen is one of the large lethargic types that has a small window of opportunity so I don't want to miss it and if I have then they can stay there until it comes around again.

 

And the pair below I'm convinced is an internal layer and if nothing happens this weekend she can say good bye to her mate and he will be used elsewhere after he puts some weight back on- poor buggers worked himself to the bone trying to fill eggs for three weeks that never come- but hey what a way to make a living!

 

So potentially at the weekend I've got three cages ready in the block of twelve that are free, I've got one next to the juniors that's free making four and if I build a new six inch plynth I could have another three making seven but to be honest I don have seven pairs ready to go down at the moment.

 

My Marchant grey cock is in a moult, my ball cocks are almost ready but the hens are just starting to colour up so I could go eArly and make sure i don't miss them or I could pair them early and leave it a week before putting up the nest boxes- decisions decisions! But what I did note was when I had the hens in a communial cage for a week they all came along- must be the oestrogen!

 

So there we are as always is out pairs down to act as fosters who all have eggs ready to hatch towards the 20th (hope I don't run out of rings!) but the damn show birds are messing around and not laying! I guess I won't be turfing the original feeders out into the flight but trying to time the show birds so they act as cover and have a 4th round!!!

 

I'm sure it will all become clear in the end.

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"I would have gotton away with it if it wasnt for you pesky kids!"

 

Ok not quite Velma but a scooby doo moment of discovery! I lost a Marchant grey cock the other day just after he hatched out a third chick with rat birds mum which was really bad timing and I couldn't work out why as he has a full crop and it looked like night fright- well, she lost the youngest chick yesterday and I thought with two chicks ill transfer them and give myself another breeding cage and reuse the dilute hen later- so tonight I have another chick hatch so she is back up to three and a long term single mum and then I here a thud in part if the shed I don't use. To cut a long investigation in a blustery sub zero garden the neighbours fence post touches the shed when it blows over- mystery solved but the fix is going to be a pain and I suspect ill have to wrap some cloth around it to soften the thud! I also put in a false egg to give the chicks some space and fingers crossed all Is well tomorrow.

 

 

I also lost my frustration with the pair in four and I returned the sky cock to the flight- where he is now busy chatting up anything that moves- so fingers crossed he will be ready in a couple of weeks for the main drafting of the A team- and I don't mean Mr T!!!

 

So its the final push for me. I've a few spangle eggs turning but not enough to make trouble, I've some sweetcorn and beetroot in the flights to turn up the activity levels before pairing and I'm watching the hen's cere's turn beige- never has beige and brown been in such fashion!!!

 

If the internal layer goes in the flight Monday I'll be ready next weekend for three or four pairs and who knows where that may stop- ill just have to work out the dates and then assume which of the three will play around/die/hit by lightening etc etc

 

Fingers crossed the luck has turned and I'm "on the up" I just need to find an embroiderer for next year as is the fashion ah tony :-)

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Well the weather has finally turned and its starting getting damp which means I need to find something other than gardening to occupy my days and under struck nagging from she who must be feared I'm going to be finishing a few DIY projects- apparently!!!

 

Other than that today was a hangs around day and I guess ill do a catch up-

 

Cage 1- after four weeks still nothing and I knew she was going to be a problem so ill just leave them together for a while yet.

 

Cage 2 has the dilute hen in that has lost her partner (it's the second that she has gone through!) and she has three chicks at the moment after losing one and fingers crossed they progress well.

 

Cage 3 has the lt green hen in and the grey green cock which are both Marchant birds- they are sat on three chicks which I know will be green series but we will just have to see if they are grey factor- in which case that makes him a double factor grey green.

 

Cage 4 has the light green hen in after I've taken out the sky blue cock- As a reserve hen I knew she would be a challenge and ill try again after the main breeding season

 

Cage 5 is empty and I might out some chicks in there for a week to check that that they are feeding before moving on.

 

Cage 6 has a cinn sky cock and a grey green spangle hen- she has laid four of the largest eggs I've seen- 50% bigger than a dummy egg and one is fertile so I've transferred in a full egg from eleven to try and help out.

 

Cage 7: this has the feeder pair in, they are raising three grey series chicks from my Adams gift pair and two of their own chicks- they are about 10days apart so it will be interesting to see what happens when they fledge- cue Mother Nature to play an ace card then.

 

Cage 8- this has the hen from abpair that was split up- the spangle cock was returned to the flight and another cock from pair 12 was out in with her- he is a cinnamon light green spangle and she is a cinn lt green so it will be interesting to see what happens here but one round, if any, max here just for her own self confidence

 

Cage 9- this has a yf grey cock and a grey spangle cinnamon hen which are sitting on a few eggs and one transferred from pair 12 when the hen popped her clogs- and as pair twelve were green I'd like to think I could tell the difference!!

 

Cage 10- this houses the Adams pair and they are raising the four chicks and they are in the bottom of the cage and starting to feed themselves so wil be moved as she has four eggs of which one has turned so its fingers crossed as always but a job for tomorrow.

 

Cage 11- this has a sky cock and a sky spangle hen which have laid plenty of eggs but she is a dirty hen and most of them are now soiled and I moved one that is fertile to pair 6 to see what happens but I've never had any luck with soiled eggs from dirty hens- if the chicks are any good I'll let them have another round and foster out all of them!

 

Cage -12 is empty after then hen died and I'm waiting until some of th nextbivase are fit before I do anything else.

 

So like always its fingers crossed, I've some chicks moulting out that are showing a radical change in feathering and I'm hoping its contagious! I'm feeding vegetables that are actually getting eaten and I'm thinking that the chicks responded better when they were at chest level so I'll be moving things around next weekend and getting ready and planning and plotting as always.

 

But sure as eggs are eggs the ideal pair won't be fit together at the same time, they will be besotted with the pet birds and when they do nest one will fall apart or die or the shed will be blown away in a gale- such is life lol

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We just knew it would happen!

 

Cage eleven had I've cold eggs this afternoon so I've moved what I think are the three fertile ones to another nest after warming them up. I've binned the rest of them that are quite soiled so I'll be deliberating if it was the hen being bullied by the randy cockbird, the dirty hen not a natutal sitter or my intervention at moving a single egg yesterday? Either way I've put in some fresh sawdust and I'll decide by next week her fate!!!

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It never rains but it pours!

 

It's been an absolutely horrid start to the day and so after checking them late last night I didn't check them until around ten today when the boss went off to yoga, things seem quite quiet in terms of the drama of yesterday.

 

The spangle hen in 11 has been back in and out of the box but I'm not holding out- in fact I thought to myself that I'll throw her and him back in the flight next week although knowing he fills eggs I may just use him on a grey green pied hen I have to fill the pet shop quota and see what he is capable of.

 

The dilute has hatched another chick so that is 5 from 5 eggs with on crushed by its sibling so with luck that will be four chicks raised- if the fosters hadn't messed around at the time is have options but alas I'm up the creak without a paddle at the moment.

 

I've released three chicks into the adult flight- three opaline hens so ill hope to lose them and rediscover them in a few months time. You can tell the difference in them from the month they have spent on the window side of the manshed at knee height- almost wild!

 

So I'll be making that part of the room breeding cages and keeping the babies opposite later in the season. The four sky chicks are already in the weaning pen and fingers crossed its a smooth transition.

 

Here's hoping for a mundane run up to the 21st when I appear to be having three pairs all ready to hatch a few out:-)

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Turning it on its head!

 

Now, we all know I like to shake the tree from time to time and to see what falls out of the sky in terms of something new as well as rediscovering something old.

 

So with that in mind I had a little longer in the birdroom today- in truth having seen nicks rapid progress on the build I was both inspired and a little green with envy in the same way that I was keen doing my build and then envious of the level of deans finish only to be having chats later in the year around how we then redo it to allow for ventilation.

 

While I was chewing the cud (and annoyingly letting my coffee go cold) I noticed how out of sync the feeders were with the pair below them- the pair below had 7 chicks of which the first four they raised and the next three the fosters looked after and then hatched two of their own. So the 4 blues are now weaned and the 3 greys are in the bottom of the fosters cage chucking seed themselves and in the next couple of days they can rejoin their siblings in the weaning cage.

 

However, the fosters reared the greys without actually hatching any of their own chicks so putting hatched chicks under the hen was a gamble but it worked and let's be honest it could have been a disaster- which is more like me. So she also has two chicks in the nestbox some 10 days behind.

 

So, and the point I was going to make- the pair below now have five eggs and the fosters haven't, the greys will be hatching around the 21st which by luck is the same as the spangles so I've got cover and so I thought to myself.....

 

Why don't I pick an exhibition pair from the flight as I think I've got 10 days before the fosters lay again and that could be ideal given I've a couple of problem hens in the flight to work through.

 

Talking of problem hens the light green from four (internal layer) has taken a turn for the worse- her vent has reverted back to normal but its as if she has a strop on! So I've put her in the flight to see if being sociable snaps her out of it.

 

And while were on the subject I've a grey cock that has raised seven chicks before the aged hen decided to make him a single dad has developed a cyst so I'm going to have to ensure that in my mind I pair him outside of the family and Ensure that the chicks (2 cocks 5 hens) are kept an eye on and again paired away- mum was a finer feather and in the flight I've a cinnamon hen with a longer feather so she may be ideal (as long as she stops playing upto another bird!) or I've got an opaline hen that's split yellowface that may just be good as well- we all know I like to chew the cud on decisions!!!

 

So there we are- I'm counting backwards for pairings and forwards for rings. The birds are getting plenty of vitamins from beetroot, sweetcorn and carrots in readiness for the breeding season and munching through cuttlefish- I'm giving it a good go but with only two cocks in the main family and one of them with a wing cyst its going to be tight!

 

Figure I'll have earned my stripes by April!

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On the plus side the window is shut, the heaters are set on 13 degrees and the pedastall fan is circulating the air while three 4inch fans extract it- seems to be about right and I can't wait to get the safari air selects from Marstin Nee up on the ceilings over the weekend.

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It seems strange to me to do things backwards. I out some foster pairs down on the 12th and they are due to hatch next week on the 21st together with the second round from the Adams pair but and here's the but- they went down at the same time as other exhibition pairs that down nothing and although I lost a couple along the way its a shame that I've got foster pairs and no top draw eggs or chicks to move over- but I'm sure an emergancy will present itself and they come in handy!

 

I've made a pair up today to try and time it with the next round from the DF spangle and the grey pied/Ino in cage 7. He is a grey cock that sired 7chicks earlier and he has developed a cyst on his wing that he knocked and so I've decided to administer a little ronistat S over a few days to try and manage the swelling. She is a cinnamon grey green hen with a better stance and I'm hoping that the cinnamon feathering will soften up the feather on the chicks and as he is split opaline I should get some useful chicks- opaline hens and split cinn cocks to put to all those opaline hens I keep breeding!!!

 

However- I forgot to uncover the nestbox bob hole for a few hours and when I did the hens attitude changed drastically and she is very feisty to say the least- so I've put in a chick hide just in case the cock gets a little henpecked

 

I also caught up the ball line birds to see who's fit and who's fit for nothing and as always the ideal pairings won't happen due to moults and sulks so it will be a question of the fittest hen with a complimentary cock and see what happens.

 

But having lost a couple of birds it's focused my mind- if the right bird came along for the H&M/spruce/Adams/wilson line great but if not then ill just have to work those I have harder and wait until feb when last years chicks are ready to be used- checking in the flight I've a couple of useful birds but they are a little behind and I fear it will be march/April for the cocks at this rate.

 

I've a safari coming up at the end of the monthocally to someone who ironicly given the miles ive put in to get key birds has the same lines!!! Ok so he is a few yeas in front so it will be good to see what's what

 

Two days double digging coming up so think of me when your nice and warm inside- on the plus side I've just ordered a new toy- trouble is its for cutting brambles and hedges!!!

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Things always happen when your not expectng it!

 

Today I was a little worried about the new pairing so I reached out to the previous keeper of the hen to see how she had performed before and the proof may just lay in the detail and he always put her in a couple of days before the cock so I've taken him out and put him with some of the weaning chicks and a touch of ronistat S to try and temper any infection in the wing cyst and I'll try again on Saturday- never a dull moment!

 

Apart from that its all the same- the dilute hen in two is rearing the four chicks if which 2 I've rung, the pair in three are raising their three chicks of which one is a grey which means that one of the parents has to be split blue but I've no idea who, as I'm breeding for quantity at the moment and then crossing over the line for quality ill take every one that I can get to the perch.

 

Other than that I'm waiting for the star birds to come fit and then with luck we're away as at the moment I'm walking on ice with one line of birds and some upside would be nice.

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It's been a couple of busy old days so ill start the recap with the existing pairs-

 

The pair in three do indeed have a grey chick which looks like an opaline yf grey! Yep another yellowface from two green series birds!!! On the plus side the two other grey greens in the nest are ok- nothing dynamite but an opaline hen and a normal so for me that's a bonus as it means two more hens for next year.

 

The dilute looks like she has a nest full of grey chicks? I've rung them all now but strange to me that the green/grey green pair have a grey chick and the grey green dilute/grey pairing are at the moment all greys but its very early days so they could be anything.

 

I've split the pair up in one free five weeks and I have out the cock down with a hen he raised some chicks with earlier in the year that carry some nice feather and blow- a bit skinny but you can't win them all.The hen is In the flight and still wearing the problem hen badge.

 

I've also split up the pair in 8 as she is retaining a huge egg and there is no way if she passes it that she will want to lay a while clutch of them and the over riding factor was a cold nestbox which for me speaks volumes!

 

So now for the news-

 

As we know I've re-made a pair from earlier in the year that's an alan Marchant opaline grey hen and a cinnamon sky cock that's got anhinga degree of spruce in it but bred by Nic- they produced three yellowfaced chicks earlier in one round so I'm hoping that she is a little keener now and I get a few more of the same.

 

I've also made another pair of a grey green dominant pied hen from Barry Matthews and a cinnamon grey cock that's again part spruce- he had one chick that wasn't what I was looking for but with another hen who knows what may turn up.

 

Now, both of these pairs are in the new stack of cages under the window and with new nest boxes so I guess these will need numbering or ill just call it the west wing! But what I'm trying to do is generate some space so that I can juggle cocks later without having the hens facing eachother across the room. Either way I had some help from my 11yr old so let's see if it falls apart by march?

 

I've also made a pair in one which is a Jim Laurie opaline grey hen that's a little flecked and from his ball line and a mike ball grey cock that's clean- I hope that when he starts filling the eggs I can move him around the shed-

 

I couldn't decide if I move him every day or after the 4th egg but as the other hen isn't ready that answers that one! And I look forward to him doing the business- the hen was into the box within ten mins of being in the cage so ill have to make sure she isn't box bound but as she was making concaves in the flight litter I've high hopes- all this pride before the fall!

 

On the plus side I've a new chick hatched under the spangle and normal in cage Six- she is a big girl and he carries more feather so if it works great but if not its down the pet shop, I'm just hoping that she manages to rear the chicks ok as she is sitting on nine eggs-

 

Having said that the spangle/normal grey pair below them are also sitting on nine eggs and due to hatch.

 

Oh and the Adams pair are also on nine eggs and due to hatch in the next couple of days- I'll be juggling like crazy I just know it!

 

It does beg the question of should I just keep and use any hen that comes from these pairings as birds that lay nine fertile eggs a time are far and few between!

 

Other than that the first round chicks from the Adams pair are all weaned, the foster pair also have two of their own chicks ten days away from fledging and she has started laying the next round so ill have to keep a close eye on them but it also means I don't have anything in sync with them!

 

The pair i put together to be in sync with them is a funny old tale- the hen is so aggressive she tries to attack the cock, me and anything that moves and I need chainmail just to top up the seed! I'll find another hen in the flight and swop him over daily between them but at the moment he is in with the chicks and placed with her for an hour here and there.

 

I've also trimmed down the numbers in the flight as I has a call to take some to the pet store- a new relationship and when he saw the birds he upped his offer by 30% whic is nice and as its a question of payment in goods I know where I'll be getting the seed in future.

 

 

Phew- I think that's about it?

 

Oh, I'll have to put down another feeder/foster pair just in cage and I've a grey hen and a grey spangle/Ino that may just do the business.

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Arrrggghh I've just deleted the I by accident by hitting the back button!

 

Spangle day old chick lost (grey pair)

 

Grey cock not killed by hen (cage 4)

 

New pair together grey hen and grey spangle /Ino

 

And more tomorrow !

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Oh well here we go.

 

I can't believe yesterday that I spent ages writing the blog and then pressed the back button by mistake and if you press forwards afterwards its all gone- so I'll try and recap

 

Of late I've out a few pairs down- a couple of exhibition high hopes pairs and a few feeders. Of the exhibition pairs I've tried to catch the hens early so they grow into the role and the cocks by then will be fertile and welcomed.

 

In cage 1 I have a ball grey cock with a Jim Laurie hen that's from a ball family and although the hen was nesting In the flight and into the box straight away she seems to have gone off the idea! So I'll keep and eye on them for a week and if needed turf them out for a week and try again later.her pelvic bones are far enough apart to lay a hens egg and she is in good feather condition so its fingers crossed.

 

The other pair in four are the Marchant grey cock with a cinnamon grey green hen from Kevin Sykes H&M line from Gary Shep- she still attacks me when I out my hand near or in the cage but after introducing the cock for an hour at a time and then leaving him out for two days and then trying again it seems that he is off the cage floor and allowed perch space- when I peek through the window she is in the box and when I go into the manshed she is on the perch looking daggers! I'm actually scared of her!

 

The spangle saga.

 

If you recall I got some spangles for a softer feather and have paired them to some cocks split for my bloodlines to see if they pass it on or if they go to the pet shop.

 

Of the four pairs....

 

One hen died after one egg and the cock sat the egg until I transplanted it the next day- it hatched, the hen didn't feed it and it didn't survive!

 

One hen abandend her eggs and I transplanted them.

 

One pair of greys and the cock won't leave her alone- they didn't manage to keep the single chick alive so I'm hoping when more arrive ill shuffle a bigger chick in and out of the box

 

One greygreens/sky pairing have two chicks that are a day old- so its fingers crossed-as always!

 

I've out together a repeat pairing from a few months ago- the chicks look good and I couldn't decide if I wanted more of the same or half brothers- so I'm going for more of the same and then some half brothers later.

 

And I have some foster pairs down in the new bank of cages under the window- a greygreen Dom pied with a grey cinnamon ock (I know he is single factor) and he is spruce bred and its last chance saloon for him and I've also pIred a grey and a grey spangle/Ino that were gifts from ian Fordham back in march as foster parents to see how they do

 

I've broken up a couple of pairs- and I have some spare cages so who knows what the next few days will unfold- some sunny upside would be nice!

 

I really do need longer arms for these glasses!!!!

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