Saturday, December 28, 2013

No new chick today. 


I was surprised, but only a little, this whole bus trip has been one surprise stop after another. consider this:   Budgie pairs will try to have a third clutch, right after the first two, in one breeding season. However, if they have successfully reared chicks from the previous two clutches, they should be stopped from starting the third clutch for health reasons, to prevent burnout, weak chicks, etc.

Yes you read that right, a THIRD clutch.  When Mrs Dr C stumbled upon that lost and forlorn little blue bird out in the woods last summer we never imagined we'd arrive at this point.  Ever.  We certainly had no plans to breed parakeets, and a second clutch, never mind a third is not part of our no-money-down-get-rich-in-your-spare-time plan. 

So you can imagine I read on with renewed interest and found that keets are opportunistic in this regard.  Because they are native to arrid interior Australia, they have the innate ability (and instinct) to breed prolifically when conditions are favorable. 

This explains Kemit the Green's Lothario behavior.  Something I have not mentioned to this point is that he is very intent on getting in Billy Hollidays pants (feathers?) seemingly everytime she comes out of the net box.  I puzzled over this and even searched the 'net' for information on the sexual behavior of keets, but found only G rated material about breeding.

At first I thought perhaps he was just a sex crazed teen (we got him from the pet store where he was raised) and I knew someone like this when he was a teenager. 

So I am conflicted.  There seems to be no pill, or diatary additive, no chastity belt, or other mechanical means to solve this problem.  It appears to come down to one of two things: either you separate the birds, or you remove and dispose of the eggs as they show up.  I didn't mention but after she layed the first clutch but before she began incubating them in earnest, I did try to separate them. 

I put him in the small cage and put it right next to the flight cage which I left her in.  Oh-Em-Gee!  You would think I was pulling their toenails out.  Screeching and frantic flight in both the cages!  She'd fly over to him, clasp the bars and then slide down to be beak to beak with him.  He was calling to her constantly.  This lasted for exaclty one day; I put them back together.  Of course she's in the nest box now 23 hours a day so the problem is not quite what it was, but anytime she's out for more than two or three minutes he goes into his 'display'.  She's not very interested, she pecks at him and then heads back to the nursery.  But I am thinking ahead to when these chicks are weaned at 6 to 8 weeks of age, and I don't care for the prospect of another 10 weeks of this, not to mention another batch of keets to place.

That leaves egg snatching, and I'm not real wild about that idea.  I know it is an animal husbandry practice but I wonder when she would stop producing eggs?

So, what to do about Mr happypants? (you have to admit, he is pretty good looking)

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