Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman
We are not breeders nor sellers of birds. Catherine had her hand at breeding small parrots like lovebirds, finches, and cockatiels about 30 years ago.
We will keep and raise these 3 juvenile budgies – all eggs from this point forward will be disposed of – tiny omelets, right?
Six years with zero egg production and a census that reached 10 adults in the aviary at one point
The aviary had been on the first floor but feathers and dust were too much to keep our collectibles showroom for humans, clean.
Now I awake in the morning to 900 watts of full spectrum lighting.
Our version of Lowell, Indiana Jurassic Park (velociraptors)
I have been remiss by not keeping everybody up with the lives of our current population of seven budgies.
A little backstory to start.
Bacon was more of a loner, having been our original wild-caught (feral keet).
The personality progression has been enlightening. In the beginning, Bacon was given to us by a man who saw the bird in a tree and asked for a ladder and a net to go try and catch it, and catch it he did and gave her to us.
Bacon was docile and finger-tame from the beginning but after a week, Bacon had recovered enough to show us that she was a very wild bird. If we let her out of the cage she would fly head first right into the window to get out.
We knew she needed a friend. So we acquired another parakeet, Eggs. The extra bird did help but we ended up with two twitchy budgies. To fix that we decided we needed two more budgies.
We acquired a pair of keets from Jason Crean at a Bird Show who turned out to be Toast and Jam. This new addition really rounded out the cage. Bacon was finally able to relax and enjoy being in the cage with the other birds.
We noticed that when Bacon was alone she ate okay, swung on a swing, and didn’t play much, but when Eggs came in she was more open to trying different foods after seeing Eggs eat them.
Then when Toast and Jam were introduced, they were very interested in playing with the toys in the cage. The previously ignored palm leaf toys and Olympic rings finally were being played with.
The Prevue Cal-Sea-Yum toy that had also been ignored now became a group favorite after Toast decided to remove the calcium stars that adorned it by slamming them into the cage bars and breaking them off to better eat at the bottom of the cage.
The four of them were good chewers, but nothing like they became when we added Biscuit and Gravy. Biscuit and Gravy showed the gang how much fun and how easy it is to destroy a wood corner shelf within two days. After replacing the shelf two times within a week we now have a small metal shelf in that spot.
A Better Bird Ep 10 Safety Check Your Bird Toys Twice Daily Before There’s An Accident ~ Video
After adding the fifth and sixth parakeets, any toys that had been in there previously for a year now became debris at the bottom of the cage. Wood toys were reduced to splinters.
We no longer had parakeets we had beavers. Their incredible chewing of everything wood, however, may have taken them down over time as they have since passed. The wood consumption in the cage has now slowed considerably thankfully.
We then adopted Chicken and Waffles.
Next came Elvis and Pricilla (Elvis has since passed)
Then Lucky who was brought to us all the way from Chicago by a customer to live with us.
We tried to integrate Lucky with the upstairs flock and she LOVED Barney but unrequited love and the loss of a toe to Barney’s beak sent Lucky to live in the gen pop aviary.
Putting things in perspective there are three males, Priscilla, Jam and Waffles, the other four are females.
Jam certainly takes charge on a regular basis.
He will “helicopter” and just stay afloat in the center of the cage “beaking” out orders.
It’s hard to say if everybody is listening and agreeing with him but he clearly is enjoying his swagger.
Biscuit, the bright yellow budgie also has begun to exhibit signs of feeling rather randy.
The other day I saw her with a small piece of millet spray (I cut them into pieces for easier sharing) in her beak with a destination in her mind.
I wasn’t sure where but at some point, she dropped the stems to the floor of the cage.
She too will helicopter in the cage during the day.
I can’t help but wonder if the empty millet stems were thought to be part of a nest-building scheme.
We are careful within the cage to offer no obvious places to be laying eggs thus discouraging brooding activity.
We also keep the lighting above the cage set on a timer for 12 hours on and 12 hours off to keep them from becoming broody.
When we get home from the shop, Catherine has gotten into the habit of adding the lettuce and water baths, one on either side of the cage.
The birds seem to be more interested in the lettuce than in heavy bathing but with the two baths, nobody seems to be getting crowded out of any water play opportunities.
Biscuit and Gravy who we acquired together, spend a little more time with each other than the others with Biscuit being a little bit aggressive to her forever cage mate, a bond that most definitely developed prior to our acquisition of them.
Biscuit will get a little pushy when they beak each other and Gravy will fly off for a minute but return for more beak smooches.
Eggs and Toast will be seen sharing a toy together on regular occasions.
Windy City Parrot’s flock census as of 11/26/2022
- Keto – African ringneck ~M
- Chili ~ Blue quaker ~ M
- Barney ~ Grey teil ~ M
- Jam ~ Yellow budgie ~ F
- Lucky ~ Green budgie ~ F
- Waffles ~ Blue budgie (yellow on the head) ~ M
- Chicken ~ Blue budgie ~ F
- Priscilla ~ Blue budgie ~ M (not a typo)
- Smoke ~ Purple budgie ~ F
- Bagel ~ Blue budgie ~ F
- No name budgie baby 1
- No name budgie baby 2
- No name budgie baby 3
It’s one thing to read content on the internet but quite different when you experience it firsthand.
Watching our micro flock of budgerigars has taught us more than we could hope for.
Having gone from no eggs over 6 years to 14 in a matter of days is its own rabbit hole.
Let’s start with painting the “macro moment” when after observing over several days, our cute little budgies are not monogamous at all but dedicated to the “greater good”.
Chicken severely injured her left leg when with her first run at brooding although it may have been the product of a hormonal jealous rage of an attacker.
We isolated her in a “hospital cage.
We unexpectedly learned that the feeding of hatchlings is a communal effort.
Waffles, clearly the dad to all 3 juveniles as noted by the yellow forehead mask, is a prolific eater/feeder which was not unexpected.
The surprise was Jam, Smoke, and Lucky rotating in and out of the feeding cycle to take the load off of Waffles.
There were 7 fertilized eggs total – 2 were broken early on and 2 never hatched.
Normally eggs hatch one per day (as laid) so we have a mismatch in baby bird sizes.
We finally decided to return Chicken to gen pop (we watch a lot of TV crime shows) where she still looks poorly but we thought loneliness was a bigger stressor than her not healing.
Jam the bright yellow bird has begun to express jealousy or resentment so I police the birdcage/aviary throughout the day.
Once all the babies have fledged we’ll be removing the nest box and rearranging the whole birdcage with the goal of achieving amicability among the small flock.
Written and Approved by Mitch Rezman and Catherine Tobsing
Introducing 3 new baby budgies ~ Video
We are learning about Mother Nature’s rules regarding
the correct “time” and “who” triggers fledging ~ Video
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