Yup, she layed a sixth egg last night and our concern is mounting. Six is a lot of eggs for a little blue bird to sit on, six chicks is (or could be) an awful lot of hungry mouths to feed. And of course, if all these little embryos become colorful little birds, I suspect that six will be a challenge to give a way. (yes, that is a hint)
I'm anxious because she laid her first egg on December 1st, and the latest addition arrived last night (the 13th). If they all hatch, and that is certainly a big if, but if they do, it means that number one will be almost 2 weeks old when number six joins the party. Checking out the babies down at the pet store aviary in Centralia I know that these things grow like sunflowers so that the last (and I really hope number six is the last) will be at risk with five older siblings ranging up in age to almost two weeks senior.
I am a realist in these matters so I know that parts of this could go badly, actually this whole thing could go sideways. But I do feel a certain responsibility to do all that is possible to get these little orbs hatched, grown, and placed in loving homes. In part I bring this up because I want to alert you the "Legions of Keet" to the fact that there may well be tragedy along the way. We are doing our best to arrive at the most positive outcome; Mrs Dr C diligently attends to the hygenic requirements, she feeds and changes the water daily, doese the food with vitamins, the cage liner is changed about twice a week, she routinely changes up the toys to assure that they (mostly Mr G now) have plenty of diversion. I do my best to provide high quality but constructive criticism, I seek the inscrutable wisdom that the interweb holds, and I talk with the birds daily, advising them when they stray a little too far from the directions in the keet owners manual. I even vacuum occasionally!
Just be advised that all the best efforts aside, I sometimes get the sense that we may not be entirely in control of this production. They are cute, and commuicative but I sense they have some things in common with Chairman the cat when it comes to taking direction. In fact I had a revelation last night: It occured to me that when my wife brought that one little blue bird home, our lives took one of those proverbial forks in the road and now I sort of feel like the neighbors when they attempt to take their unruly St Bernard out for a walk; Not really in control, more like just along for the ride.
After the last post Jay asked how much work raising the chicks would be and if it will require dropper feeding (see the comments section). Well Jay if it isn't obvious by now, let me pull the crutain all the way back and say I*don't*know. I've doctored and cared for a fair number of animals in my time but (except for a semi-tame crow that terrorized our kids when we lived up in Roslyn many years ago, and the chickes we raised for eggs, and meat) this is my first close encounter with birds. By the way, feel free to add comments here! Advice and encourgement is always accepted and we know from experience that free advice is always worth every penny paid.
As for the dropper feeding I have certainly read (and reread) that part with at least a bit of apprehension, so I get the concept. While I have absorbed that part, I have also read, out loud, to Mr Grenburg the part where the male steps in and helps the female feed the growing clutch, ... several times. He seems to pay close attention. Of course I stand pretty close to the cage when I do this so he will appreciate the gravity of the subject. But the look in his eyes leads me to beleive that either he is taking this reading part very seriously or, perhaps he is wondering where these humans get their bizarre notions.
What is it with these lower order animals anyway? Don't they appreciate the skill and wisdom we humans have applied in the management of this planet?
PS: Bike centric fans, don't cancel the feed just yet, bikeish content is just around the corner. And just to share a note of Christmas Consumer Cheer, Twin Six has their wool jersey's and other cold weather tech gear on sale. Tell them Dr Codfish sent you and you'll get a big discount!