I Can't Believe they Are Almost A Year Old!
Popcorn (my 22 year old male cockatiel), and Weddnesday (my 3 year old female cockatiel) decided about 14 months ago to start nesting. Despite all my best efforts to stop this, Weddnesday started laying eggs, all over my apartment. I asked my vet what to do. She told me to get a nest, and let this ride itself out. Popcorn was probably too old to fertilize them any way.
So I bought a nest box:
|Oh yay eggs!|
Weddnesday decided she was over it and abandoned the nest...so Popcorn sat on the eggs basically 24/7:
Weddnesday finally did return to the nest, and about 25 days after I bought the nest box, and I thought we were home free, I returned from a karaoke gig and heard an unfamiliar noise coming from the nest box. I poked my head in: I did not have a visual on the baby, but did see half an eggshell. Fantastic. June 3: Happy Hatchday One.
The next night, I returned home from another karaoke show. I looked in the nest box and now there were 2 broken eggs. Awesome. This is NOT what I needed. My dad was in the hospital. I was pretty sure the first hospital had sent him home while he was having a stroke, and I had no idea what was going to happen with him. I did not need baby birds. Happy Hatchday: Two
Now it is Saturday. After fighting with my mom about coming home, I left work early, threw some clothes in a laundry basket and was headed to Ohio. I needed to go home for at least a couple days to see Dad. I just had a bad feeling about things. I never wanted baby birds, but still I let the nesting happen. They were my responsibly The nest box needed to be cleaned daily and the babies would need hand fed. They had to come with me. As I drove to Wauseon, I thought I heard another egg hatching, but I thought maybe I was hearing things. I brought them inside the parsonage, and that is when my sister was like "wait...that is a third much smaller "cheep" (aka the "Feeeeeeed Meeeee" sound). We looked, sure enough one had hatched in the car. Happy Hatchday: Three
I was going to clean the nest box that night, but we never made it home. I didn't make it back to the parsonage until Monday. Amazingly, everyone was fine. People from Mom's church were caring for them, but it wasn't the same. I wasn't expecting them to clean the cage daily or to make special food for them. Honestly, when we returned to the parsonage the day after the funeral, I was ready for some heartbreak. Baby birds have no immune system. They are essentially ugly naked, droopy, and totally dependent on their parents and humans to care for them. I was the worst.breeder.ever in this regard. Yes, we had a few other issues to handle, but still these little guys never should have made it. I opened the silent nest box and not only found that all three were still alive...a fourth had hatched sometime between June 7 and June 11. That was Four/Spike/Blondie.
Sadly...I do not have pictures of this phase...however I can assure they are pretty darn hideous.
Once their eyes open, they start to get feathers....then really they just look like the bad guys from "The Dark Crystal"
Then as the feathers come in they are all quilly:
|Poor Four...she isn't strong enough to hold herself up yet|
One wanted his freedom a little too soon. He was strong enough to get out, but not quite strong enough to get back in:
|I'm FREE!!! Wait...I'm cold and hungry now...damn|
They eventually became cute:
|Get the camera out of my face...now|
|Seriously woman...put me down I know where you sleep...and I will wake you up at sunrise|
|One, Two and Three...if they only got along this well now|
They picked up bad habits from the other birds:
|Wow....look at them...can we do that too?|
Found some of their own trouble:
Um this isn't what it looks like...the boys pushed me into the junk food
And Four/Spike/Blondie even found a new home:
I still have all three boys...and really we are still looking for good homes for all three of them, it has just been hard to rehome them :-(.
One...still is trying to be the Alpha baby bird.
Two...really is beginning to think there was a mistake and that Weddnesday and Popcorn CANNOT be his parents. He is currently trying to convince my other pair of tiels they want to adopt him.
Three...Just really wants to be loved...even if it is by a parakeet.
I never want to breed baby birds again, but I am glad I did it once...and despite the fact that my life imploded, and that their parents hate them, the little guys turned out okay...ish.