Tag Archives: African Grey Parrot

What’s up wit dat?

Spring has sprung and my incubator is cranking, 20 of the first 24 I set hatched. I did lose one after the hatch, no clue about why, so there are 19 little fluffy butts eatin, drinkin, poopin, and growin in my new-found brooder.

What a mess of chicks

What a mess of chicks

Lexi waiting for her new favorite chicken to hatch

Lexi waiting for her new favorite chicken to hatch

Lexi swears that this little guy looked right at her when he popped out of the egg and said "momma"

Lexi swears that this little guy looked right at her when he popped out of the egg and said “momma”

The new brooder is working out great!

The new brooder is working out great!

So far my list of barnyard critters is limited to chickens and ducks, I have wanted to branch out into bees but my sweety Karen is adamant that ain’t gonna happen. It always gets pointed out how many chickens I have, in fact just last week I got asked “what in the world are you gonna do with all of those baby chickens?” See if you can spot the irony in the situation when you look at the following pictures taken at the time that silly question was being asked.

Tuey's new baby "Gooey"

Tuey’s new baby “Gooey”

Gooey and her bottle

Gooey and her bottle

Gooey and Annabelle

Gooey and Annabelle

Karen says that Gooey is the foundation of her new venture into making goat cheese and goat soap. Gooey is now two weeks old, walks on a leash, lives in a kennel in the living room, drinks her milk from a 2 liter pepsi bottle with a nipple on it, runs to karen when she hears her voice, head butts the fridge to tell you it’s time for her bottle, and goes for car rides “just for fun”. Yeah goats are so much more practical than bees.

Gooey a week ago

Gooey a week ago

Gooey Yesterday

Gooey Yesterday

Isn’t it amazing how much Gooey has grown in just one week? She drinks about a third of that 2 liter bottle three times a day along with eating hay and weeds in the front yard. Lest you think “Tuey” just went off half cocked on this goat thing she did do a pretty good job of researching and choosing the proper breed of goat. Gooey is a Nigerian Dwarf Goat, she should only get about 20″ tall and weigh somewhere around 75 pounds when fully grown. From what I have read the “dwarf” part of their name is just a label that has been hung on them because they are small. They weren’t bred specifically for size but just turned out that way as a result of breeding for good milk production in a harsh environment. Nigerian Goats are one of the best goats for feed to milk conversion and have sweet milk that is very high in butter fat. Obviously Tuey weighed these factors and made a rational decision rather than falling in love with a “cute little goat” at a feed store in Escondido. Tuey would never track down a breeder of “cute little goats” and convince them that she was an expert at bottle feeding animals and could be trusted with a week old baby. Additionally Tuey would never pester a breeder of “cute little goats” so much that he made he regular phone calls to update her on the status of her becoming a “goat momma”. Yeeeeeaaaah Tuey would never do something like that…..would she? Of course she did! Thats what Tuey does, and in truth one of the things I love so much about her. So you would think with my indulgence of Karens fascination with Nigerian Goats and African Grey Parrots (last count was 10) a few little bees wouldn’t be such a big deal.

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Remodel

In my ongoing battle against the evil egg-eaters infesting my flock I engaged in a remodeling project of the hen house today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

All of the nest boxes have been relocated and raised, as shown above there are now boxes on both walls instead of just along the one. The two blue ones are new, I’m hoping that their deep dark interiors will be less inviting to Nosy Nora’s looking for a snack. One of my White Cochin’s were caught pecking at golf balls in one of the relocated nests, she is now in isolation over in the Juvenile Pen. Ironically “isolation” is filling up quickly, along with the three hens I have caught red-handed pecking eggs there are four hens that were hanging out in the hen-house looking just a little to guilty and three “hens” that are in fact roosters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This “fancy pullet” that Karen picked up from a feed store in Escondido was busy fighting with the criminals in lockup today, I’m not expecting “her” to start laying anytime soon. The pretty red hen on the right is very sweet but she ended up in lockup because she shows a bit to much interest in the nest boxes. For some reason my egg production in lockup has been very high, 5-6 a day, while in the hen-house I’m still lucky to get 1 and usually find 4-5 broken ones. That is what prompted me to change things around, I’m thinking that for some reason the new environment in lockup is breaking the egg breaking habit.

Karen has sucked Alexa into the baby nurturing obsession! Karen is already trying to subtly trying to inoculate me to the idea of her keeping that little baby African Grey, she thinks she’s being sly getting Lexi involved and oohing and awing over it’s white toes. Apparently that is some kind of significant genetic marker, it looks like alopecia to me. Her teeny tiny Quaker that she rescued is still hanging in there, it’s siblings are twice as large but Karen tells me that is due to the parents feeding them more frequently than she does.

Today was a good day, watching Karen share something she loves with our Granddaughter Alexa was a great start and even though it’s very muggy here a day working with my chooks is always a good day!

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Litl-Uns

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?

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The Carrot and The Stick

These little Fluffy Butts were hatched last weekend. Their mommas are Easter Eggers, Cochins, Barred Rock, Black Sex Link, Rhode Island Red or maybe just Mutt.

One week later and all you can tell for sure is that their daddy is my Black Copper Marans. Which is good seeing how all I have is two BCMs, the rest went to the Santa Ria priest a couple months ago.

It’s so warm  HOT here that these chicks might get to go to the Juvenile pen as early as next weekend. I have found that, if the weather allows, my chicks socialize better and are generally healthier if I get them into an outdoor pen as early as possible.

 

I haven’t planted any carrots yet but my flock sure like the greens from what I believe were the safflower seed in the sprouting mix that Karen gave me from her stash. I think I’ve mentioned on here before that my Sweety has a supply business for exotic birds, she also has quite a few parrots and the like that are her “babies”.

 

 

I have always suspected that one of those “babies”, an African Grey Parrot named Sheila, might rank a little higher up in the pecking order in our family than Karen admitted. First off Karen has always been Alpha around here and for a few years I actually thought that I was her #1. It wasn’t but a few years after our 3rd son was born that it finally sank in that I actually ranked #4 behind those 3 boys . The rankings of our three sons; Michael, Thomas, and Brian are dynamic. Mikey could cement the Alpha position by getting busy and knocking Erin up, but I digress. I had always thought I had a firm hold of the #4 spot until I came home Wednesday to find a 4’x4’x6′ tall cage for Sheila right where my favorite chair and reading lamp had been.

 

Was this the stick trying to knock me down a notch? I think not.Why? Because Karen shows her Love and affection in so many ways; driving to Utah to get me those “special” eggs when we both know that I have way to many chickens already, finding a new place for my chair and reading lamp, not putting my chair out for trash day, bringing me little surprises back from her feed store forays such as Coturnix quail, and most of all by Loving me enough to be secure being who she is. I find that I have very few knots on my head from that stick and really have quite a surplus of carrots in my life.

 

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