Up to my eyeballs in eggs

In May, my year and a half year old cockatiel and her  22 old mate laid eggs. I was supportive and bought them a nest and I would retrieve the eggs from the far corners of my apartment. I was told the male was probably to old for the eggs to be viable. The professionals were wrong. I returned home from working my second job to find a chick had hatched. The next night, another hatched. The next day one hatched in my car as I drove down the turnpike and finished hatching at the parsonage. The last baby hatched some time in the next week. You see my life went sort of crazy and I epic failed at good bird breeding. I had people from mom's church feeding the parent birds (who were feeding the babies), but I know they probably ran out of fresh food and water at times. I know the daily cage and nest cleanings didn't happen.

When baby cockatiels hatch they are featherless (naked), droopy winged, eyes are closed and they resemble the bad guys from the Dark Crystal. By two months they are adorable, but they are pretty ugly for a while. Also, grown up tiels have crappy immune systems. The babies are worse. By all accounts these guys shouldn't have made  it, but they did.

We came home in Indianapolis, and they became cute. They learned to fly. They picked up bad habits from the other birds. Everything was going to plan...well everything but the fact that their parents apparently hate them.

Having baby birds has been a rewarding experience. It was fun to do once, and I learned so much about the care behavioirs it was well worth the money and time. It is a great deal of work. Baby birds go through food like you wouldn't beleive and bird food is expensive. Still, it was exciting to come home and see how they had grown since the night before. That being said, it also told me I didn't want to become a breeder.

I'm not sure if being trapped in that nesting cage for over 2 weeks did them in, or if they are just bad parents (Admittedly Weddnesday has been known to abandon the nest and Popcorn was molesting their only girl). Now they just ignore their kids...which is sad. However, I sort of figured that they had their clutch, saw that kids weren't their thing and we were over it. The day after I gave away their youngest, Weddnesday started laying eggs again. Mind you, I still have all 3 boys. They do not like the children they already have. Niether of them were huge fans of the naked, droopy and needing fed 24/7 phase. Why do this again?

The first set Weddnesday never sat on. Popcorn did, but she was breaking the incubation cycle. (Today's lesson: with cockatiels, typically dad sits on the eggs during the day, Mom does at night)  She eventually abandoned them at Thanksgiving. Once I put my Christmas tree up the commandeered by Christmas Tree box and laid  more. One started to hatch, but didn't make it (or Popcorn smothered it). Eventually, Popcorn abandoned those. Now, she has laid seven more.

Fact: If they were human they would have a reality show.
Fact: They may in fact be the worst parents ever.
Fact: I really just want my Christmas Tree box back (to throw away, I bought another box for the tree...it is not still up :-D)
Fact: She may just do it for the attention
Fact: She does a *horrible* job of defending her nest. Her daughter did a better job at 3 weeks old.
Fact: They really did have cute babies: any one want a baby cockatiel?
Fact: I don't  have children, so instead of what I think are cute posts about my kids so ones about the kids with feathers will have to do.


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