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Old 11-28-2016, 10:49 AM
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And my budgie flock doubles in size!


For the last year or so my female budgie has been laying eggs. It's dangerous for them to constantly lay eggs so about 6 months ago I figured out the combination to get her to stop laying - high quality fake eggs and a budgie nesting box. When I first got everything set up a way she liked, she sat on the fake eggs and stopped laying her own.

She sat on the nest for about three months and then abandoned it for two weeks and then started laying again. When she'd lay an egg, I'd replace it with the fake egg and after about 10 eggs, she stopped laying and started nesting again. At first I'd do a check in the box every day but once she'd not laid any eggs for a couple of weeks I'd just check once a week when I was cleaning.

Well last night I woke up to odd peeping sounds. "Hmmmmmmm" I thought, "either she has developed asthma or there's a baby in there". This morning I waited for her to come out to eat and had a peek inside - TWO babies!! And one egg that's obviously going to hatch.

My flock has just doubled! I don't think I'm going to help her with the hatchlings (they're so tiny, I'd be afraid to pick them up anyway) and just let nature take its course. She's a first-time mom so she may know what to do or she may not. She doesn't let the males into the nesting box so she'll be doing it all herself.

Anyway, it was sure a funny surprise!!
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Old 11-28-2016, 11:21 AM
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While I can appreciate it's hard to accurately measure the total size of a flock of budgies accurately in mass or volume, surely you meant that it doubles in membership or population, right?

(Yes, totally pointless nitpick. Isn't that still what we do here?)

And congratulations.
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Old 11-28-2016, 11:42 AM
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Congratulations! Also, could we get some pictures in here as proof? :-)
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Old 11-28-2016, 01:23 PM
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Yes, pictures are required.

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Old 11-28-2016, 02:51 PM
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Sure, I'll post some pictures. What's a good image sharing site that other don't have to sign up to be able to see your photos?
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Old 11-28-2016, 04:59 PM
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https://www.flickr.com/photos/568215...posted-public/


If that link works, you should be able to scroll through the pictures.
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Old 11-28-2016, 05:22 PM
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It works
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Old 11-28-2016, 05:48 PM
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Cute little squabs!

I was wondering what those green bits were down in the nesting area - maybe lettuce. Then I realized, duh, they're budgie feathers!
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Old 11-28-2016, 09:10 PM
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nice photos, thanks for posting - really decent set up, love the playtop.
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Old 11-28-2016, 11:35 PM
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How wonderful! I hope the little guys make it.

You have an amazing set-up for your birds. How fun for them.
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Old 11-29-2016, 12:23 AM
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They won't stay featherless pinkies for long!
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Old 11-29-2016, 09:18 AM
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I've given our budgies a nestbox twice. At about 7 - 10 days I pull the chicks and hand feed them the rest of the way. I've handfed larger parrots; budgies are probably not good birds to learn on.
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Old 11-29-2016, 09:49 AM
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The squeakers are still alive this morning. Amazing lungs for such tiny creatures!
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Old 11-29-2016, 10:05 AM
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Thanx for pics. They should be fine if they make it out from the shell. Lots of healthy food and water for the parents will help them not get too depleted from feeding the chicks. I have an outside aviary for my budgies, its always hard to throw away the eggs, but I learned that leaving the nestbox in there not only causes babies but too much fighting amongst the females who want to use it, even if none are laying eggs.

Last edited by Section Maker:Jupe; 11-29-2016 at 10:06 AM. Reason: fix
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Old 11-29-2016, 11:01 PM
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The babies are doing well so far. She's feeding them and eating more than I've ever seen her eat in the 7 years I've had her. It's amazing to me that she knows what to do with these squeaky, pink, rubbery things. Their crops are full but I don't know what she's doing with their poop. I've checked in the box a few times for messes but there aren't any. I'm proud of her, she's an excellent mommy. She nestles them side by side and then stuffs them underneath her. It's all super cute.
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Old 11-30-2016, 12:27 AM
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Alright now. We need more pictures!
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Old 11-30-2016, 05:54 AM
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Their crops are full but I don't know what she's doing with their poop. I've checked in the box a few times for messes but there aren't any. I'm proud of her, she's an excellent mommy. She nestles them side by side and then stuffs them underneath her. It's all super cute.
Check on the cage bottom directly below the nest hole. Budgies usually drop their chick's feces out of the nest to keep the interior tidy (at least mine did).
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Old 11-30-2016, 11:21 AM
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What's in the bottom of the nest? They are prone to developing splayed legs if they're on a smooth flat surface. A hollow in built up soft material is best.

We raised an accidental hatchling to adulthood. Scritch was a great little bird, full of personality. She'd crouch on my shoulder at night and whisper into my ear while I was on the computer.
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Old 11-30-2016, 11:29 AM
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All this budgie talk has me considering hanging a nest-box.
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Old 11-30-2016, 12:19 PM
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What's in the bottom of the nest? They are prone to developing splayed legs if they're on a smooth flat surface. A hollow in built up soft material is best.

We raised an accidental hatchling to adulthood. Scritch was a great little bird, full of personality. She'd crouch on my shoulder at night and whisper into my ear while I was on the computer.
They're in a budgie-specific nesting box. The sides are smooth wood but the bottom is a bit rougher and in the centre is a little dug-out nest shape. I have soft, white nesting material in it but she always pushes it away. Do you think the semi-rough bottom is OK for them?

I actually have two boxes so what I'm going to do for cleaning is have one box clean and ready to go, put the babies in it and then I can clean the other one without rushing. I'm also going to remove the 4 remaining eggs today and quickly destroy them. I don't know if they're fertilized or not but I just don't think she'd be able to feed a large batch by herself and I want to give the two the best chance of surviving.
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Old 11-30-2016, 01:15 PM
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This is one of the stupidest questions ever. Why does she lay so many eggs? Do all those eggs get fertilized at one time via the male?
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Old 11-30-2016, 05:08 PM
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This is one of the stupidest questions ever. Why does she lay so many eggs? Do all those eggs get fertilized at one time via the male?
She's an egg laying maching! This last egg laying go around she laid 16 eggs. When she lays them I take them out and put them in a little cup on my desk and there are 10 in there. She laid another 6 in secret.
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Old 11-30-2016, 06:59 PM
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Alright now. We need more pictures!
As you wish! Here they are with very full crops. I've removed the four other eggs to give these two the best chance at survival. I touched their warm little bodies and nearly squee'd to death!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/568215...posted-public/
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Old 11-30-2016, 07:10 PM
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As I understand it, the dug out area is the key -- our vet wanted the babies to have support on the sides and room underneath for feetsies. We were shown how to make "sock donuts" for that purpose. I would be inclined to let your budgie mom do her own thing.
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Old 12-02-2016, 07:17 PM
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I held the babies for the first time today (for a quick check-over) and I couldn't believe how hot they were! Here's a new picture:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/568215...posted-public/

Momma is doing an excellent job. She really wants me to hand-feed her right now so I'm happy to oblige. It's interesting to see the things that I'm feeding her end up in their crops. I can see a bit of green in there which is from the vegetables she's eating. I was a bit worried about picking them up if it would bother her. They squeaked but she didn't seem to mind at all. She's pretty trusting of me and with all the hand-feeding she's used to being very close to me.

All in all a fun but also a bit stressful experience having these babies!
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Old 12-02-2016, 08:04 PM
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That's so neat. They're gorgeous birds. I was surprised to see that they're so naked. My only experience with newly-hatched birds is with chickens, and they're adorable and fluffy and bright-eyed about an hour after they're out of the shell.

I'd love to see them grow; please keep us posted!
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Old 12-03-2016, 04:06 PM
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Oh, geez. Hearts and feels. This is such a sweet thread. Thank you for keeping us updated on your tiny miracles!
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Old 12-04-2016, 07:36 PM
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Near disaster! Still don't know if the crisis is averted or not. I noticed yesterday that their peeping was becoming less frequent and quieter and just sounding weaker. I checked on them and their crops were just about empty so I started to get a bit worried. Mom seemed like she just couldn't get enough food into her and she was starting to act a bit panicky.

I decided to give it till this morning before I would intervene and when I checked on them, their crops were empty, they were acting very weak and slow and quiet so I decided I'd better try feeding them. I managed to get a few mouthfuls of the egg mixture into both of them but it was extremely stressful for them, for me and for mom who had to be locked in the cage while I attempted the feeding. I did this one more time with the same, barely successful, stressful results. There may have been a few tears.

I decided I needed to think about what would be the best option for them and for me so I went for a walk in the mountains with my dog for a big old think-fest.

I decided that the quickest way to have her abandon them is for me to keep interfering with them so I'm just not going to anymore. The solution I came up with is to focus on getting food into her. So I chopped up into teeny tiny budgie bite-sized pieces, eggs, zucchini, bread and peas and hand fed her bite after bite (which took a really long time!). I've been doing this almost constantly for the last few hours and now the babies are well-fed and loud again - phew!

Fingers crossed that this works!!
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Old 12-04-2016, 07:44 PM
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Near disaster! Still don't know if the crisis is averted or not. I noticed yesterday that their peeping was becoming less frequent and quieter and just sounding weaker. I checked on them and their crops were just about empty so I started to get a bit worried. Mom seemed like she just couldn't get enough food into her and she was starting to act a bit panicky.

I decided to give it till this morning before I would intervene and when I checked on them, their crops were empty, they were acting very weak and slow and quiet so I decided I'd better try feeding them. I managed to get a few mouthfuls of the egg mixture into both of them but it was extremely stressful for them, for me and for mom who had to be locked in the cage while I attempted the feeding. I did this one more time with the same, barely successful, stressful results. There may have been a few tears.

I decided I needed to think about what would be the best option for them and for me so I went for a walk in the mountains with my dog for a big old think-fest.

I decided that the quickest way to have her abandon them is for me to keep interfering with them so I'm just not going to anymore. The solution I came up with is to focus on getting food into her. So I chopped up into teeny tiny budgie bite-sized pieces, eggs, zucchini, bread and peas and hand fed her bite after bite (which took a really long time!). I've been doing this almost constantly for the last few hours and now the babies are well-fed and loud again - phew!

Fingers crossed that this works!!
Fingers crossed in solidarity, FG! I know this is stressful and you're doing the best you can and brainstorming how to do even better.
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Old 12-04-2016, 08:12 PM
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Fingers crossed in solidarity, FG! I know this is stressful and you're doing the best you can and brainstorming how to do even better.
Thank you! And yes, so stressful!
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Old 12-04-2016, 08:22 PM
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...
I actually have two boxes so what I'm going to do for cleaning is have one box clean and ready to go, put the babies in it and then I can clean the other one without rushing. I'm also going to remove the 4 remaining eggs today and quickly destroy them. I don't know if they're fertilized or not but I just don't think she'd be able to feed a large batch by herself and I want to give the two the best chance of surviving.
What happened to the third egg you were sure would hatch? I guess that never happened?

Watching thread with interest - I'll never have pet birds so this is my chance to watch them vicariously.
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Old 12-04-2016, 08:56 PM
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What happened to the third egg you were sure would hatch? I guess that never happened?

Watching thread with interest - I'll never have pet birds so this is my chance to watch them vicariously.
I ended up taking all of the eggs out. I stressed about doing that but now I'm so glad that I did. With her having trouble feeding two I don't know how she'd manage three or more.

She's never been super healthy. When she came to me, she was severely underweight, was lacking feathers and had two broken toes. It's taken a lot of effort to keep her alive over the years! She's still underweight (even thought my other budgies are pudgy to just plain fat). She's gone from thinking I'm trying to kill her to hand feeding, crawling on me and pulling my hair so I quite like her.

She's just had another big feed and the babies are loud and moving around again. They're obviously growing as well, so maybe it'll all be OK.
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Old 12-04-2016, 09:03 PM
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Fingers crossed. I had pet budgies when I was a kid. They're awesome birds. I'm glad mama bird is tame and accepts food out of your hand and is feeding her babies.
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Old 12-04-2016, 09:27 PM
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Thank you! And yes, so stressful!
Toward the end of her life I was directly feeding my cat Pipsqueak (that I'd had since ~6 weeks and she lived to 18 yrs) extra calories and liquid; it felt like forever but was only a few months. There's no way to convey to them that you're doing this to help them live, though of course they understand they need food; you hate to stress them, to feel like you're breaking the trust they've had in you.
But that's the deal when you're the mommy; your actions aren't always popular or understood but at least your caring is evident.
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Old 12-04-2016, 10:13 PM
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The only alternative to feeding mom would be syringe-feeding the babies with baby bird formula - it's a powder you mix up sort of like powdered human baby food. But it's not easy to do properly. My spouse has nursed a couple of baby birds safely through early infancy, but he hasn't always been successful.

If you can get enough food into mom so she can feed them that's probably better all around.

With lovebirds and conures daddy helps out (we've had a couple male birds that helped feed nestlings of their own accord), but I don't know about baby cockatiels.
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Old 12-04-2016, 10:14 PM
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Toward the end of her life I was directly feeding my cat Pipsqueak (that I'd had since ~6 weeks and she lived to 18 yrs) extra calories and liquid; it felt like forever but was only a few months. There's no way to convey to them that you're doing this to help them live, though of course they understand they need food; you hate to stress them, to feel like you're breaking the trust they've had in you.
But that's the deal when you're the mommy; your actions aren't always popular or understood but at least your caring is evident.
It's always nice to read about other pets who have known love and compassion throughout their entire lives.

Momma budgie has had 4 huge meals and while I don't want to jinx it, the babies seem to have grown since this morning. They'll be a week old tomorrow.
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Old 12-04-2016, 10:18 PM
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With lovebirds and conures daddy helps out (we've had a couple male birds that helped feed nestlings of their own accord), but I don't know about baby cockatiels.
Well dad budgie has the mating part down pat but not only is he not feeding the babies, he see's the goodies I'm feeding her and tries to take it out of her mouth!
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Old 12-04-2016, 10:35 PM
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Well dad budgie has the mating part down pat but not only is he not feeding the babies, he see's the goodies I'm feeding her and tries to take it out of her mouth!
Time for a certain dad budgie to get a J.O.B.
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Old 12-05-2016, 02:26 AM
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Time for a certain dad budgie to get a J.O.B.
I suspect he's going to end up being one of those deadbeat dads!

How stressful! I know how it is to worry about and care for fragile creatures. I'm so glad things are looking up.
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Old 12-05-2016, 05:19 AM
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The only alternative to feeding mom would be syringe-feeding the babies with baby bird formula - it's a powder you mix up sort of like powdered human baby food. But it's not easy to do properly. My spouse has nursed a couple of baby birds safely through early infancy, but he hasn't always been successful.

If you can get enough food into mom so she can feed them that's probably better all around.

With lovebirds and conures daddy helps out (we've had a couple male birds that helped feed nestlings of their own accord), but I don't know about baby cockatiels.
With our budgies the male feeds the female, who then immediately feeds the chicks.

I pull the chicks at about one week of age and gavage feed (tube and syringe) them a commercial hand feeding formula. I keep the chicks in a small incubator that can be plugged into a car's cigarette lighter (I take them to work with me). Definitely simpler to allow the hen to feed, but unless the male is feeding her or the chicks, it's pretty draining on the hen.
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Old 12-05-2016, 10:14 AM
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Definitely simpler to allow the hen to feed, but unless the male is feeding her or the chicks, it's pretty draining on the hen.
I think that's what's happening. She's just having a hard time eating for 3. I'm being the surrogate dad for the time being. Seems to be working for now. Babies are looking good this morning. She seems to have more energy as well.

Last edited by FloatyGimpy; 12-05-2016 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 12-05-2016, 11:23 AM
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Good to see they are making it! Perhaps feeding the male too will help him get the picture. He should be doing almost all the work, and as they get bigger, more food is needed of course. Ive never had to hand feed, thankfully, as parents did there job well.
Its a great way to get the birds used to human contact though, if you wish to have hand tame birds. It really imprints them. good luck!!
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Old 12-05-2016, 10:31 PM
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If the fates would let me have a day without a crisis that would be greatly appreciated.

It started snowing here a few hours ago and we rarely get snow so when we do, usually a tree will come down or something else will happen and the power will go out. I started wondering how I'd keep the darn babies warm with no power and decided I'd better go get some of those hand warmer thingies. So off I went to the store. There were three cars in ditches, two firetrucks and general mayhem all over. (I'm on Vancouver Island, we don't understand snow...)

At 4:30 out goes the power. This is the absolute worse time for the power to go off as this is when she really eats and eats - I assume in preparation for the night. Starting at about 5:30 she comes up about every half an hour to eat, then back down to feed the babies. It's also pitch black by that time so how can she fly up to eat if she can't see.

Well she was starving by 6:00 so up she came. I had all the flashlights on and I held my phone over the food so she could see but I didn't have enough hands to hand-feed her as well. Then she flew down in the dark to feed the chicks. The house kept getting colder and colder and the babies were crying and while I'd made a warm little nest for them in case I needed to warm them up, I had no way to feed them without power to boil water.

Finally a 7:20 it came back on. She came shooting out of the nest to the food dish and in between bites of seeds/pellets I fed her little mouthfuls of the mix I've made for her. She ate like a maniac and then went back to feed the babies and she's been up 4 times in the last hour. There we are, she's stuffing as much food into her face as she can and I'm cramming eggs and zucchini into her as well, and there's her idiot husband, feeding the other male!!

The lights keep flickering so I'm just trying to get her to eat as much as possible.
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Old 12-05-2016, 10:54 PM
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Feeding the other male
WTH is wrong w/ you man
You don't need a wingman when you literally have wings
I can't even.

May I suggest you boil up some water while the power's on? Also, do you have candles handy?
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Old 12-05-2016, 11:15 PM
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The handwarmer things consume oxygen and may or may not be too warm for the babies. Mama and her fluff, inside a nest box, will probably be adequate for the night. The most important thing is to get enough food into all of them.
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Old 12-06-2016, 12:50 AM
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Feeding the other male
WTH is wrong w/ you man
You don't need a wingman when you literally have wings
I can't even.

May I suggest you boil up some water while the power's on? Also, do you have candles handy?
The male that the dad was feeding? He's...well someone once called him 'obese'. But he still flies around so he's fine, he just doesn't need to be fed.

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The handwarmer things consume oxygen and may or may not be too warm for the babies. Mama and her fluff, inside a nest box, will probably be adequate for the night. The most important thing is to get enough food into all of them.
The power was off again for a little over an hour. I'm just going to stay up for a while in case she wants to come back up for food. It's almost 11:00 and the other two are looking at me all bleary-eyed but her schedule is all off and I don't want to turn out the lights in case she's hungry again.
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Old 12-06-2016, 04:25 AM
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The male that the dad was feeding? He's...well someone once called him 'obese'. But he still flies around so he's fine, he just doesn't need to be fed.
So, he's a...pudgy budgie?

Fingers crossed that mama keeps getting food into the little guys and your power stays on.
  #48  
Old 12-06-2016, 10:37 AM
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FloatyGimpy is offline
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Well everyone made it. What a stressful, long night. The power would go out for an hour, come back on, repeat. I turned the lights on at 4 this morning so that she could make up for the lack last night. She was happy to start early.

Years ago I had a large fish tank and the power went out for 4 days. There was a wood stove there and for 4 stinking days, I took water from the tank, heated it on the stove and then put it back in the tank. I did this every 2 hours for 4 freaking days. Up the stairs with water, down the stairs with water. Not 1 fish or frog died. A friend who had a larger tank than I did lost all of his fish.

If the power goes out for that long again, we're going to a hotel!
  #49  
Old 12-06-2016, 11:48 AM
Nawth Chucka is offline
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Maybe you should build an ark to have on hand, just in case...
  #50  
Old 12-06-2016, 11:53 AM
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FloatyGimpy Budgies
FloatyGimpy Budgies
FloatyGimpy Budgies

Ah, I can't even make it to 5 without messing up.
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