Aviculture
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Lovebird BIRD Log Day 6-10

DAY 6, Mar 1, 2017 WEDNESDAY

  • At one point in the feeding I gently got some sunflower seeds from the plastic bag under the cage and then I brought this inside the cage all while they were looking at me do so. I know it got them clinging on the side of the cages but it was quite clear that they saw what I was doing.
  • For me it’s also quite interesting to see the male being clever at times. I saw him pick up a sunflower seed he had trouble opening up and brought this to the water cup and started dipping in it while chewing every now and then. Come to think of it, between the male and the female, the male one was always the calmer bird.
  • Coming home late was kind of a problem of mine and I think this time I wasn’t able to leave enough food for them. I saw the broccoli stalk all chewed up and the swing perch disassembled, what do these birds do when I’m not here?!
  • I opened up the nestbox to coax them to go out and check the food. You know, if a bird has their sleeping time, they’re really serious about it. They weren’t even threatened by my fingers moving in front of them. Or maybe they’re just weak and hungry because I didn’t get to leave them enough food 🙁 I was expecting the Moringa fruit to be enough, apparently they still want their usual seed mix. AVICULTURE 101: Don’t drastically change food for your pets. Getting a new bird, make sure you know what food the previous breeder was providing.
  • There’s also the matter of how much is enough when it comes to bird food. I decided I’m going to start measuring the food I give them so that I won’t end up overfeeding them (because they tend to get really messy in the cage) or underfeeding them.
  • Seriously what goes on in that cage when I’m not around!?
  • Before they went back inside the nest box I chanced upon the two preening each other. Awwww. Should I leave a bath plate for them to wash in when I’m gone? I think I should buy an IP camera to check on them every now and then.
  • Also, inspecting the poop tray made me realize, my initial decision to tape together the scratch paper was a good one, just setting them on the tray leaves them in a disarray.
  • After six days, I think they’re starting to get familiar with me. 🙂 Now time to figure out how to manage the smell.

 

DAY 7, Mar 2, 2017 THURSDAY

  • When I woke up I saw one of them, I wasn’t too sure which one, outside on the perch. Was that the male one? Are they starting to prepare for breeding? When I did get up and moving, he/she moved back in the nest box.
  • AVICULTURE 101: When cleaning up the food bowl from seed shells, use a camera blower (one of those rubber blowers for cleaning dust). It helps.
  • Just to see if they’re not as scared as they were before, I play with my fingers in full view of them while they were in their cage. No panic flying! The familiarity is real! I’m not just imagining it!
  • After a whole day of being out, I come home to see that the moringa stalks that I left were stripped down into fibers! I also spot only the male outside the nest box! I’m suddenly very excited about this! Almost a week later and it looks like the birds are getting ready for their clutch, Wilbert wasn’t kidding when he said this is a proven pair. I mean, the signs were all there: the preening, the closeness the two exhibited.
  • I transferred the water container to a higher level because putting it almost near the base got it easily dirty.
  • The broccoli stalk seems to be a preferred snack/toy. Not too sure if they actually eat it or just chew it because I see lots of bits of it on the poop tray.
  • I guess I got too excited that I ended up filling their food tray with sunflower seeds only to realise that when it’s nighttime they won’t be feeding especially when they are already full from the meal I left for the whole day.
  • Still thinking about how to do digital monitoring over these birds because I want to witness some of their activites when I’m not around. I think this will give me an even deeper insight as to how they’re living their lives.
  • Just wondering though, aside from cuttlebone, what should I feed a breeding pair? Looks like I got some research to do. I’m just too excited! My first clutch EVER coming very soon!

 

DAY 8, Mar 3, 2017 FRIDAY

  • The news of them nesting got me all excited but also now that they’re starting to nest, the panicky attitude is back. Except this time, instead of flying back and forth around the cage, they head directly into the nest box. I figured I’ll deal with this concern later. I’m now more focused on getting them to have a very breeding-friendly set-up.
  • Of course to encourage them to breed I decided to buy stuff that I think they need. On top of that list was the cuttlebone (10php) which will provide them the minerals, particularly calcium, for the egg-laying. They did not eat from the chicken egg shell I left lying around (wtf is wrong with me!? Cannibalism??) so this proven food is more like what they needed. Also, I was not content with the DIY water container I hung on the side of their cage, the water dispenser in the pet store (White Gold) was looking really nice and sanitary to me. It only had a small opening for dispensing so no dirt or poop would contaminate the water supply.
  • Walking around the pet shop made it VERY tempting to buy bird toys. I know these toys can provide some form of entertainment for the birds but why do I feel like it’s really more for the humans than the birds? Maybe I’ll invest in toys someday but I think the stalks I left in the cage is more than enough.
  • When I got home I saw the food tray already empty despite my 4 teaspoons of mixed seeds. Looks like I need to up their daily dose.
  • When I got home I decided to check the nestbox and it seems like there’s even more nesting material now.
  • PREPARING to BE AWAY FROM HOME:
    • Since I have a dive trip scheduled for Saturday to Sunday, I had to make sure that my birds will be okay being alone.
    • Water containers all filled up
    • Food tray filled with 4 times as much food (I wonder if this is proper)
    • I cleaned up the poop tray and lined up the paper secured with tape. I no longer waited for the 5 day cycle
    • Moringa leaves were stripped from the stalks and placed in a container
    • The stalks were placed on the side for them to chew on and strip down
    • Placed one cuttlebone inside the cage
    • Swept the floor around the cage (there’s so much DUST!)
    • Sprayed the stand’s base with insect repellant to avoid ants
    • Secured the cages to make sure no unwanted escape happens
  • This will be my first time not to see them on a daily basis for a long period of time (1 day and 1 night), I wish I could’ve bought a surveillance cam but for now, I’ll trust that they have everything they need to last one day alone to themselves.
  • Hopefully when I come home on Sunday, I’ll see at least one egg in the nest box.

 

DAY 9, Mar 4, 2017 SATURDAY

 

  • More than a week of having these birds, I still have no names for them but definitely building an attachment to them. I’m a few hours away from home but I’m really wondering how my birds are doing.
  • Some thoughts in doing video surveillance of my birds:
    • Should I have some sort of dashcam? The good thing is I can keep video logs and other interesting activities that I don’t get to see.
    • Or should I get an IP camera? This way I can get a 24/7 realtime view. Do IP Cameras record and store their video captures?
  • I’m also wondering if how much a mess they have made. Thankfully no one from the house has called me yet about any issue. I’m quite sure I left enough food to last them two days at least.
  • Finally the most important question: Are they gonna have eggs?

 

DAY 10, Mar 5, 2017 SUNDAY

 

  • Finally back at home and I get to see my birds again! This is the moment of truth! Will I see a clutch? An Egg?
  • Much to my disappointment and gradual acceptance, there was no egg. In fact, some of the nesting material I initially saw… were removed. Why?! I thought the nesting was going to happen!
  • Realisation: you can’t hurry the breeding process. Especially if it’s a first time. You have to be patient and allow the birds to be comfortable. Setting aside my disappointment, I  started cleaning up the area as there was A LOT of bird dust, seed husks and other dirt.
  • I got to check their food tray and it looks like the amount of food I left was enough because there was a few more grams of seeds to spare. The Cuttlebone showed some bite marks on the edge but not really as much as I thought they would consume.
  • Not wanting to bother them anymore, I decided to call it a night and let them be as they went back to their nest box.

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