Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The little baby is catching up!

Monday, February 23rd, 2015 - I think the babies are about to reach their top weight. Over the last 6 days our older chick has only gained 2 grams. The younger baby is still working on growing, gaining 14 grams in the same time period. They are still on 4 feedings a day with 15 cc per feeding. There are now only 17 grams difference in the 2 chicks. Keep in mind they are 6 days apart in age. I think our itty bitty baby is doing just fine!

I am anxious to get the DNA's. I sent them in last week but I will probably have to wait another week or so to get an email with results. This company I've been using lately is fine but just takes longer than I like since it's in Canada. Just looking at their skull structure, I'm guessing the older baby is a male and the younger baby is a girl. We'll see - I don't have a hat like Johnny Carson wore on his late night show when he did predictions!

We are starting to introduce veggies to the babies. I always like to change things on Mondays. It helps me keep track of what I'm doing. This week I moved them into a different brooder that will give them more room, but as of right now they're still confined in a container within the brooder. Next week we will give them the entire brooder to move around in and introduce pellets.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The youngest African Senegal baby is 1 month old to today!

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015 - Happy Mardi Gras! The youngest African Senegal is one month old today! It will not be long and we will have a hard time telling them apart. I guess this is a good time to talk about leg bands.

I know some people think they are too dangerous and a poorly fitted band is. However, a proper-fitted band with good information can be amazing information throughout a bird's life. The closed band should fit snug, like a wedding ring, but not too tight. Easily turning on the leg. They must be put on at an early age before the top of the foot is too large. I think it is a waste of time to band a bird with a band that is not traceable. One example: leg band # ABC 890 gains no useful information unless you happen to know who ABC is. I use bands from SPBE (Society of Parrot Breeders and Exhibitors). My identification number is 454. I like to use the current year on my bands and the individual number of the bird, which reflects which pair produced the chick from your hatch records. An example of how my band would look is: SPBE 454 15 10 which means that it's from SPBE, my personal ID #, the year, and the number that bird was in my records. Anyone, anywhere can trace that band back to me. Which has come in handy many times!

When we sell a bird, we keep a record of any information we know, including the leg band and who we sold the bird to. If my records are kept up to date, I can tell you the hatch date and genetics of that bird and who I sold it to. Who I sold it to can perhaps be the difference of someone getting their lost bird returned or not. In addition to being helpful for information, it's also good to have the info on the band written down to prove ownership should the bird ever come up missing or stolen. Over the years, Birds of Paradise has had several times that traceable bands have helped us get birds back to their owners. There are numerous sources for traceable bands. The Lovebird Society (LBS), American Cockatiel Society (ACS), and the American Budgerigar Society (ABS) are just a few examples.

Unfortunately, these Senegal babies will not be banded so I will have to rely on trimming opposite wings or mark under the wing to distinguish the birds as they become fully feathered. Usually this breeder does band but these babies actually hatching caught her off guard. I never put my bands on someone else's birds. In the case that the bird is not banded, you could get it microchipped. Another

I'll close with our babies' current weights. The youngest is now 101 grams and the eldest is 130 grams today.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Friday, Feb. 6th

Friday, February 6th, 2015 The oldest baby weighs 84 grams. Eating 5 feedings per day (7am, 11am, 3pm, 7pm, 11pm) 9 cc a feeding. Sleeping through the night is wonderful! Getting a faint hint of green in the feather shafts on its shoulders. The youngest baby weighs 53 grams! A long way from the 8 grams where we started January 20th. Also eating 5 times a day, 6cc at a feeding, sleeping through the night. Eyes are completely open now but color is not apparent yet.

Both babies are alert, moving around in the brooder. When I see them picking at the paper towel I will know it is time to start vegetables. We use the frozen mixed variety and some of our cooked crock pot mix that we sell. Most of the birds eat soft food well. If I have some left over broth, plain cooked pasta or any chicken/turkey, I'll mix that in with my vegetables for my birds. If I have any left over, I'll just refrigerate it in a Ziploc baggy or a container until the next serving of cooked food.

Monday, February 9th, 2015 the babies are almost a month old! The oldest baby has more green showing now. Even a little on its tail. In the last 3 days its weight went from 84 grams to 103 grams, a 19 gram increase. Food per feeding is up to 15 cc. The younger baby is doing just fine. Its weight went from 53 grams to 65 grams, an increase of 12 grams. I will post a one month old post on the eldest baby on the 11th.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

February is here and I'm loving these babies!

Monday, February 2nd, 2015 - These babies are really starting to grow. The youngest baby had a growth spurt over the weekend. On Saturday it was 29 grams and today it's at 39 grams. I am really encouraged by the increase in what the crop can hold. Just last Friday its capacity was at 2.3 cc and now I can feed 4 cc. The older baby had a good weight gain over the weekend also. Moving from 63 grams to 72 grams. This baby can take 6 cc at a feeding now. I will go to 4 hour feedings and sleeping through the night! There are 6 days difference in the two babies. The little one had such a slow start but looking at the weight gains for the last 6 days it has gained 20 grams. The older baby gained 18 grams for the same number of days when it was the little one's age. Both babies have their eyes wide open and are growing in some pin feathers. This makes me feel better and more confident the little one is healthy and will be fine. Originally I had the little one in a cool whip container by itself and the older one in another container. They were in the same brooder, just in different containers.I did this to keep the little one from getting squished and help strengthen its legs and neck. Now they're together in the same container huddling up to each other for warmth. They are too sweet!

Record keeping is so important. With all the babies I am sometimes feeding I get away from logging in my records. In looking back over the last 30 years, it would be interesting to see how many Senegals I have handfed and their weights at certain ages. All the different species I hand fed for that matter. I have some records here and there but certainly nothing comprehensive.

If you are starting to raise birds, develop a system. 3x5 notecards, computer programs, notebooks, anything that you can keep track of. You could learn a lot from your records. 30 years from now you can find that information interesting and educational to someone new that you are mentoring.