Karen and I are semi empty nesters that are never happier than when we can bring some babies into our house, luckily we currently have quite a few in residence. The first ones are my two Barnies.
A lot went into these two cute little fluffy butts. My sweety,Karen, had got me 16 Barnevelder eggs from one of her customers in Utah. Once they were in my hands though things kinda went sideways. I’m still struggling with humidity control in my new Brinsea OCTAGON 20 advance incubator which I think is resulting in over or underdeveloped embryo’s that just don’t hatch. At 2 weeks half the eggs were clear, of the 8 left 6 hatched, 2 died within hours, 2 were fully formed but never hatched, and 2 had spraddle legs and lasted about a week leaving these two beautiful, healthy Barnies! Hopefully Karen will get me another batch of eggs next time she makes a delivery to Utah.
This is Tri-pod, he came to us from our awesome Vet, Doc Henderson. Doc is a true animal lover that shuts down his practice once a week to let the local Heaven can Wait group use his facility to do low-cost or no-cost spay and neutering. Tri-pod came to him after someone had trapped him to have his injured front leg treated, unfortunately by the time he got to into Doc’s care he had been left in the trap for over a week and there was no option but to amputate the limb. Tri-pod was very traumatized and in desperate need of some TLC and socialization. As happens quite often Doc’s daughter Katy called Karen and told her she had a project for her, usually this means they have a batch of feral kittens that are quite literally “scaredy cats” that after a couple of weeks around our menagerie calm right down and turn into the type of kittens that are easy to adopt out, not this time though. Tri-pod came home and spent the first couple weeks in the office just chillin out, we never saw him but the food bowl would be empty and fresh dubage in the litter box every morning.
On one of Lexi’s visits the office door got left open and Tri-pod promptly took up residency under our bed. He started venturing out in the evenings to let us know he was hungry and slowly gained enough confidence to venture out in the middle of the night to say hi. Now he comes out any time Karen has something to eat and joins right in the beggin que with the rest of the critters! Tri-pod has really grown on me and I sincerely doubt that he will be going anywhere.
Karen’s all time favorite exotic birds are African Grey‘s, she currently has 3, Magoo & Molly that are supposed to be breeding, and Sheila who is her absolute favorite. This evil looking creature is a baby that Karen is currently hand-feeding, she jokes that the babies she raises are priceless which most of her customers tend to agree with. Whenever we run into people who have purchased Grey’s from her they all rave about what wonderful birds they have. Karens secret is the attention and love she gives them, some people believe that squirting hand feeding formula out of a syringe into the birds crop through the bars of a cage makes the babies pattern on humans and therefore good pets. That may be true but Karens goal is to create companions not pets, so her babies are always fed while she holds and talks to them. They also get a lot of attention outside of feeding time so that they don’t just tolerate people that actively seek interaction.
Because of Magoo’s apparent incompetence Karen had to purchase the one baby African Grey she is currently feeding, the Quakers shown above though were hatched right here in our bird room. The first 2 hatched out just fine in the nest box and the parents are doing a good job feeding and caring for them. When they get bigger Karen will pull them to hand feed and socialize them. The little tyke in the second picture came from an egg that the parents had buried in a corner of the nest box but luckily Karen found. The egg was cracked and almost got tossed but Karen decided to do an eggtopsy and discovered that the baby was still alive! After carefully removing the shell with tweezers she tried putting the baby into the brooder with the baby Grey but raising the temperature to what the Quaker needed overheated the Grey. Luckily she thought of my incubator and it has worked perfect as a brooder, the fancy digital temperature controls came in handy. I, and I believe Karen to, did not expect this tiny little Quaker to make it but it’s 4 days later and the little sucker is still doing well. I am so lucky to have a friend, lover, and wife like Karen to share these things with. While I may not quite understand her fascination with parrots and cats, its for damn sure that she’s confused by my wanna be chicken rancher/farmer obsession but we both enjoy each others passion in our separate interests. And after all isn’t that what a relationship is supposed to be about?