Sunday, February 2, 2014

Who ARE You ...?

And what have you done with my cute little parakeet chicks?
Hard to believe it has been a week since my last post.  I think a week in parakeet years, especially adolescent parakeet years is like decades for us. Last weekend was how to take a bath  day.  As you can see they learned that lesson well:
Brave and adventurous #1.  The only way this bird could be wetter is if she were bigger.
Mr Greenburg lost interest in feeding the chicks once they were able to fly up in the cage.  They would beg him for food and for awhile he would just try to avoid them.  Eventually he began to peck them, to chase them off.  We decided if he could not be part of the solution, we would not allow him to remain in the cage and be the source of a problem.  So he was sent 'down to the minors' (to the travel cage in the back bedroom with Billie Holliday).
And that is when it became much more fun to have these four little birds. 
Granted we were still hand feeding them morning and night but they were at peace with each other in the flight cage and gave endless entertainment learning to fly, (more so learning to land!) nose diving into the feed trays and hanging upside down from the perches and figuring out how to extract themselves from their predicaments.  It is easy to see why so many keet keepers have a cage with a bunch of birds.  No worries, we will find homes for these chicks, but even so, they are fun to have at this stage.  Getting ready for move day, we are trying an experiment this weekend:
We have turned them loose in the 'flight room' (our spare bedroom draped almost completely in drop cloths) along with the adults to see if they can be weaned. 
(chairman wanted to help with the 'experiment' too)
We weigh them every morning and every evening.  The usually loose a gram or two in weight overnight, so we hand feed them in the morning, and then again before bedtime.  They have steadily gained weight day over day but in the last few days they seem to be evening out.  They would normally be weaned from parental feeding at about this time naturally, but with both parents out of the picture it is hard for us to determine when we should stop hand feeding them.  You would think it's just a matter of them no longer being interested in the baby formula.  But those cute videos you see on YouTube of the chicks gobbling up the formula proffered via the eye dropper of syringe, ...?  Well that is not quite how it goes around here.
Our chicks are still fairly wild and very much afraid of humans.  We have started employing the typical taming activities.  These duties have fallen to Mrs Dr C, I think she does not mind too much (BTW, keet cudlers wanted, enquire within!).
I want to EAT you!
So far so good.  They don't seem to have lost weight over the last couple days without hand feeding, we'll know for sure tomorrow morning. I won't miss those early mornings of feeding the chicks and having them spray it all over the kitchen.  Well, in some ways I will miss it.  

These family times have brought out Billie Holliday's dark side.

Any time any of the chicks land or are otherwise within her reach she lashes out at them with that strong, sharp beak of hers (don't ask me how I know how strong and sharp it is!)  And she does not let up until they fly, or fall or otherwise get out of her reach.  Mommy dearest indeed.

The rest of her time she is obsessed with trying to get into the nest box.  I have it sealed up and I should have removed it but I need to solder up a patch for the hole I made to mount it.  This is no surprise, less than five minutes after we put Mr G in with her they were 'doing it' so I imagine she feels some  urgency to nest.  We watch for eggs on the cage floor and if and when they appear we will remove them.  We don't plan to raise any more chicks, especially not with her as the mother.

And  what else does a rabid Seahawks fan do to while away the hours leading up to the big game?  Bake bread of course!  I was not too pleased with my loaves a couple weeks ago, so I wanted to give it another try.  They look good on the outsidem, but I give this stuff away so I always rely on my 'customers' to give me honest feedback in terms of taste, texture, crumb, all that bakers jazz.

By the way, for those of you who have been jonesing for a Keet post here is a little tip from Blogger land:
If you look in the lower right margin of the front page, you will see a gadget called Followers. Click there and join and you will get an automatic notice whenever there is a new blog post.  (I'd do that myself, but I have an uncanny knowknack for knowing when a new post is going to show up (donlt ask, trade secret) And don't worry, the NSA will not come knocking, but you may end up on the "Affiliates with Dr Codfish" list.

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