Sunday, May 16, 2010

Goings on

Isn't this baby gorgeous! This is one of our turquoise/pineapple green cheek conure babies. They are almost weaned and will be ready to go home soon! We also have sweet pineapple green cheek conures available. Green cheek conures make wonderful pets. They are cuddly, playful and not loud. They are also great family birds as they are very social and will interact with multiple people. One of our favorites!

We also have five parrotlet babies in the nest. We got a variety of colors from this pair in their last clutch so we are excited to see what hatches out this time!

Sprouting for birds: Well, I am back on my sprouting kick LOL! Birds love fresh sprouts and they are so easy to prepare. They are a powerhouse of nutrition and closely resemble the natural diet our birds would eat in the wild. There are many pre-mixed sprout mixes you can buy, but you can make your own mix very inexpensively. The mix I am using now is black oil sunflower, safflower, wheat berries (hard winter wheat berries are better to sprout than soft wheat berries), mung beans, whole (unhulled) millet and whole oats.

I use the sprouting jar method. It is easy to make your own sprout jars. I use a mason jar and a piece of needlepoint canvas cut it to fit the mouth of the jar. The holes are the perfect size to allow proper draining while keeping the contents of the jar contained.

I rinse my seeds well and then soak them overnight. The next morning, I drain and rinse them well. Then during the day I rinse them maybe twice. I allow them to sprout on the counter for one day and then put them in the fridge. I found this prevents spoiling in our humid Texas weather. Rinse the sprouts and allow them to drain thoroughly before feeding. I use up sprouts within two to three days.

I make one "universal" sprout mix for my birds. Everybody from the parrotlets to my amazon eats the same mix. I find it is easier that way. Weaning babies also receive the same mix and relish their sprouts! There are a lot of good articles on the net regarding sprouting. Carolyn Swicegood (a well respected eclectus breeder) in particular has lots of information on the subject of sprouting for birds.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Busy, busy, busy!!

We are earning our birdseed here at the aviary LOL! I just pulled five pineapple green cheek conures from the nest for handfeeding along with three lineolated parakeets. All the linnies are reserved at this time. We have another clutch of pineapple green cheeks which I will be pulling any day now as well as two senegal babies! My blue quakers are in the nestbox so I expect they will be laying eggs soon.

Check my website at for current updates on our babies here at the aviary.

Upon closer inspection the other day, I noticed the tail feathers and wing feathers on two of my pineapple babies were a different color than the others. Turns out they are pineapple/turquoise mutations! Both the parents are visual pineapples, but obviously there is some turquoise in their background. Absolutely gorgeous!

Wild Baby Birds:

This time of year I get phone calls from people who have found a baby bird and do not know what to do with it. Wild baby birds need frequent feedings all day long (every two hours from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM). They also need to be introduced slowly to the wild (called a "soft release") the correct way to ensure it's survival. There is more to it than just feeding the bird and then turning it loose! Please do not attempt to care for wild baby birds yourself. Most people do not have the time or knowledge to do it correctly. Remember, it is the bird that will suffer from incorrect care. Here are two places you can contact if you need to relinquish a wild baby bird (and/or any other wild animals such as baby squirrels, raccoons, etc.)

Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition: (TWRC):

Texas Parks & Wildlife:

*Your local vet may also be able to refer you to a wildlife rehabber in your area.