Thursday, October 29, 2009

When it rains, it pours

I thought this title was appropriate both because of our weather lately (it's rained almost every day for about three weeks now) and my breeding production! I just pulled EIGHT parrotlet babies from the nestbox. Yes, eight from one clutch! They are all such little cuties. The older ones should be ready to go home in about three weeks. The younger ones will need a bit more time. This was the first clutch for the parents and they did a wonderful job! I also have another pair on eggs.

We also have our first african senegal egg! Very exciting! Senegals are a small parrot from the poicephalus family. They are good talkers, playful and mischevious. I'm sure the babies will be a lot of fun! I will be adding a senegal page to my website shortly.

We still have one baby caique available which should be ready to go around the end of November. We also have more eggs in the nest. We are also expecting our normal green cheek conures to start laying eggs soon.

So I guess my breeding pairs did not think I was busy enough and decided to remedy the situation LOL!

Check out my website for more information about the birds we have for sale.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Taking It Slow

Hope everything is going well with everyone! Things are gearing up in the aviary. We have one pair of parrotlets with babies in the nest and another pair with eggs on the way. We are handfeeding two beautiful black headed caique babies (available for sale) and I expect more in the upcoming weeks. The normal green cheeks are rested and nest boxes are back up. One of my senegal pairs is showing nestbox activity. Check my website frequently for updates on what birds we have available for sale.

I wanted to take a minute to write about lineolated parakeets. They should really be called lineolated parrots as people confuse the term "parakeet" with "budgie". In the bird world, the term "parakeet" means long tailed parrot. Some examples of other parrots that are referred to as parakeets are quaker or "monk" parakeets,  plumhead parakeet, derbyan parakeet and alexandrine parakeets. These birds are all parrots and the alexandrine is a big bird. Including the tail they are about 23 inches long. Okay, so hopefully we got that cleared up.

Linnies are small parrots like I mentioned. They learn to talk quite clearly, hold food in their feet like their larger cousins and are very affectionate. They come in a variety of colors. Their natural calls are wonderful, these birds are not loud. They have calm easy going personalities.

Linnies like to take things slow. I find when handling them, it's best to give them time to think about what you are asking them to do. I also find with young birds, they do best stepping up on a hand that is turned palm up. The increased surface area gives them more security. If they hesitate before stepping up, be calm and just give them a second. You can bring your other hand gently around the back and gently urge them onto your hand to encourage them to move forward. Before long, they will be jumping on your hand to come out!

When you bring your new linnie home, it is best not to handle them too much in the first few days. I tell my customers to take them out once maybe twice per day (maximum) for a period of 30 minutes or so. If your linnie starts to get anxious after 20 minutes, just put him back in his cage. Keep your interactions with him short, slow, calm and quiet. Do not give him too much direct attention. It's best to take him out, put him on your shoulder and "hang out". Go do something quiet while he is on you such as work on the computer, do the dishes or fold laundry. Almost act like the bird is not on you. Be cool and let him observe everything.

I found that when people push their linnies to come out for long play sessions, or force them out of the cage several times per day to handle them during this adjustment period, linnies will become unsure of their new humans and may nip. If a linnie nips, he is telling you he is not comfortable with the way you are handling him. Best to slow down.

After about three days, your linnie will settle in and will want to spend more time with you. This is when they really start to warm up to their new people. It's like everything begins to "click". You will have years to spend with your new linnie. Giving him a chance to settle in for the first few days will go a long way towards establishing a long lasting friendship.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Information Tidbits

We have two black headed caiques for sale. They are about 10 days old at this point. We are accepting deposits to reserve them until weaned. Caiques are cool birds! Their bright colors and outgoing personalities make them very popular as companions. Check out my caique page on the website or feel free to email me for more information.

The Companion Parrot Quarterly is now online. This is an excellent information resource for parrot owners. This site also has message boards and articles. Check it out at

Sometimes I have customers who want to buy a bird, but only want a male. They are afraid that female birds will lay eggs and have problems. In cockatiels and lovebirds, sometimes chronic egg laying can be a problem. But in the majority of parrot species, this is not an issue. Most parrot hens need to have the right stimulation to lay eggs such as a mate, breeding diet, nestbox, etc. My pet yellow nape amazon hen is 16 years old and has yet to lay an egg! So unless you are pairing up birds to breed, gender is not an issue. More important is where you purchase your bird from. A bird that comes from a caring breeder that socializes their birds properly will have the best potential to be a great companion, regardless of gender.