Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Hatching.... and hatching!


To try to continue where we left off....

Friday 20th July – Above is Daddy Sky, with Lizzy2 (top) and Philip – then Pip flew off and I thought shame I wanted to take more photos, I heard the rustling and crackling of leaves behind me and turned to see him take a crash landing to end up behind the tank that holds the oil for the house. So lucky I was there taking photos, or I wouldn’t have even known he was there and been able to rescue him and I don’t think he’d have been able to fly up from there.

The place where the tank is has got very boggy with all the rain we've had, you can see how my foot sank in - not a nice place for a sweet little dove to end up in!

Sun 22nd – We had guests and a BBQ in the garden. The doves hate change – they didn’t like the big umbrella for the garden table, or the people, and wouldn’t come down to feed all day. I tried putting grain out in the yard but only a few pidgies came down. It also seemed to upset Happy as he came off the nest about 3pm, having only done two and a half hours of nest duty instead of six! Poor Jose! I’m hoping they will all settle down tomorrow.
In the evening Pip put himself to bed in the day box, so was easily shut up, and later on Lizzy2 managed to put herself to bed in a side compartment of the cote. So I was pleased that another night will pass with the babies safe.

Faith3, the poorly one who I thought would die, is still alive and hopefully getting better. I have been taking her out a few times a day to give her little sippers from  a shot glass. She didn’t drink very much in the beginning, but now seems to take more. She is dreadfully thin though, with her breastbone sticking out in a way I have never seen before.

Thin dove, breastbone showing

Monday 23rd – First week of Jose’s eggs completed! I'm really not sure if Sky is feeding baby Pip. He doesn't seem to be doing very well, and doesn't follow Sky around like Lizzy2 does.

He is easily caught, so I mixed up some of the Kaytee Exact that I had bought for Jasha, and made some tiny pellets and fed him. This seemed to perk him up and he flew to the roof so I decided that until I saw him regularly feeding himself, I would feed him. I didn't see him around all the day and when late afternoon came I was getting worried. So I grabbed the net, popped my car keys in my pocket and set out to search. I was quite prepared to drive around a bit, but first port of call is always the back of the unlet old building used as offices near us. Oh dear, oh dear, there was baby Pip on the grass next to the wall, obviously another crash landing. I brought the little thing back home - goodness knows how long he'd been there, in the hot sun, maybe all day! I tried to give him water but he died in my hands within five minutes. I felt dreadfully sorrowful and neglectful - I wish I had searched for him earlier. I could hardly believe he was dead, poor baby, and sat watching tv for a while still holding his little body wrapped in a cloth.

Faith is doing ok though. She comes out of the closed in part, and sits on the slope in the sun. It occured to me that maybe I ought to wash her nether regions as she has constant diarrhoea. I found her underneath parts very clogged up indeed, so since then I have made sure they are as clean as possible. I don't want to attract flies to her, specially when the weather is warm.

Dove's cloaca (bit messy due to diarrohea)

Tuesday – Uneventful dovie day but the first time since end of May  I think that Fennie has not spent the night here. I missed him in his little place under the gutter. Lizzy2 put herself to bed in the cote as she has been doing. She’s a canny little thing, sticking close to her daddy Sky in the daytime. She didn't seem to miss Pip, but I felt his missing presence in the cote dreadfully.
Wed 25th- Fennie was there for the morning feed! I think we can say he has made a full recovery. He's certainly in there quickly when the peanut treats are thrown!

Thurs – We have a family wedding to go to on Saturday, and I feel I will have no alternative but to keep Happy in from when he comes to sit on the eggs at lunchtime on Friday, as, if I let him out, he won’t be able to get in to sit on the eggs the following day. I don’t want to do this, but I can’t think of any other way round the problem.

Friday 27th – Happy went in to sit on the eggs later than usual – at 1pm. I’d been getting a bit worried! But that was nothing to how I felt when he came off the eggs, and expected to be let out of the hutch. I felt physically sick keeping him in against his will! First he waited patiently at the wire door, then he fluttered around in and out in the wire cage – flying up and trying to find a way out. My husband wasn’t sure I was making the right decision – he felt it might be better to let Happy out, and leave Jose to manage the eggs all day tomorrow on her own. But then, of course, Happy would be coming to the wire cage, and wanting to get in to do his egg duty, and I feel that might be more upsetting to both of them. Pigeon fanciers keep their pigeons in, as and when it suits them, not the pigeons! But of course those birds may have been bred in captivity.... unlike feral Happy. Oh dear, maybe the whole thing letting Jose have babies was a bad idea. I am even more dreading tomorrow, when I have to take the blue plastic sheeting off, Happy realises it is morning, and he STILL can’t get out! I don’t know what time I will be home... the wedding is only a day event, not an evening do, but it’s about an hour’s drive away. My new neighbour has kindly agreed to give the doves a couple of feeds, so I might ask her, if I am late, to let Happy out. And then I’ll have the worry... will he come back after his enforced confinement....

Sat 28th – Happy was not happy he couldn’t get out this morning, but we had to set off early to avoid potential delays due to the roads around being used for the Olympic cycle route so having left my neighbour written instructions on what to do in all eventualities, and if she feels confident to let Happy out... we set off, and I had to leave the dovies to it. I always worry and stress about the doves when I have to leave them, but then I do get wrapped up in the moment and forget about them, so obviously I enjoyed my nephew’s wedding and we were blessed with a beautiful summer’s day for it. I was home by 7pm and A, my neighbour, had let Happy out and on checking my phone I realised she had kindly sent me two progress report texts which I had missed as too busy enjoying myself at the wedding.

Sun 29th – Happy came back as normal in the morning, with no hard feelings and we carried on as before. He went in on to the eggs at about 10.45 am and came out at 4.30pm. All the time I have been keeping a day to day log of when he wants to come in and sit, and when he wants to come out – to help me be around at the right times. It’s not easy but I’m managing! Later that day I found an egg shell – almost a complete egg – on the wet patio. Sky and Summer’s eggs have hatched – or at least one has!

And later I managed to get a photo of the new baby, and as yet unhatched egg. This is unusual as the doves rarely leave such a new baby unattended.
Newly hatched dove and unhatched sibling egg

Mon 30th July’12 – Happy went in at 10.58am and came off at 5.40pm – long day today for him! And then after only an hour’s break, he went back on the eggs again for a while. I saw Sky emerge out of the cote with an egg shell in his beak – shame I didn’t have my camera, I’ve never been around to see that before. He flew to the roof and let the shell drop.

Tue 31st July – Happy is bringing more sticks to the hutch! I have calculated the eggs should hatch on Friday, so maybe he thinks he is improving the nest and making it as comfy as possible for his expected babies! It’s awkward for me though as I have to watch him, and let him in and out. Hopefully this phase won’t last very long. I’ve never seen any of the doves that have nested in the cote do this, it seems a bit odd.

Wed 1st  – August 2012 already! Happy did 12 noon to 5.45pm. You can see how the timings change and how difficult it is for me – I can’t really go out in the mornings til he has settled in on the eggs, or if I do go out, briefly, I try to be back by 10am latest. Jose seemed to want to sit in with Happy so she cuddled next to him, they look so sweet!

Thursday 2nd – I saw a small piece of egg shell in the main part of the hutch this morning. Maybe something is happening!!! I didn’t think they were due til tomorrow!
See small piece of shell on the right - I was so surprised!

Again the happy couple sat in the nest together in the afternoon, and later on about 6pm when I peeped as they were changing over, I saw a tiny new delicate little baby! Honestly I would never get used to this, however many tiny squabs I saw – it’s such a miracle, and especially so for Jose – my flightless dove has a baby!
Flightless dove with her new baby squab - less than a day old!

Friday 3rd – Today I saw the baby again, and the, as yet unhatched, egg. Happy still seems to be doing roughly 5-6 hours in the nestbox. I have a feeling this egg won't hatch...

There has been a pigeon around with paramyxo. He is very beautiful – one of the type I call Joseph, due to the many coloured coat!  

I caught and confined him, but he just wouldn’t settle......

 ....and I decided that I couldn’t keep him in the hospital with Faith, as that wouldn’t be good for her, and mainly I didn’t want to bring paramyxo so close to the hutch and Jose’s new baby – so I fed him manually with peanuts and grain, which he accepted quite well and then set him free. He was around again the next day, and again I was able to trap him in the net, and fed him again before releasing him. I haven’t seen him since, which is a shame, but I just can’t be a one woman bird sanctuary and help all the poorly ones – it is just too exhausting and I have so much else to do!

Here's a close up of his beautiful colouring,
though you can't see the green and purple iridescence that well

Sunday 5th – This afternoon, A, my new neighbour, came over to have a peep at the baby. The birds have not yet rejected the unhatched egg, and it seems to have some cracking – but it’s too long surely for the little one to have survived.  I don’t quite know what to do... I looked on the internet and some pigeon keepers seem to remove the egg if it has not hatched by three days after the other – and that of course is now, as the first egg hatched on Thursday. The only trouble is – according to these same pigeon keepers – the baby uses the egg to lean against, as it would lean against its sibling if it had hatched, and if they take away the unhatched egg they replace it with a plastic one so the baby can lean on it! Goodness, I wonder how important that is – I do not have any plastic eggs, or anything remotely like one that I could use. I feel I must remove the unhatched egg tomorrow, especially as it looked like it was partially cracked, in case it attracts flies or jeopardises the baby in any other way. I hope this won’t upset Jose – she is not terribly keen on me even looking at her baby, whereas Happy is more laid back, quite tame now, and doesn’t seem to mind. It's Happy on the nest, and Jose, behind, in the photo.

And a close up

Faith3 is living her little routine of spending the night in Jose’s crate in the conservatory, and then going out in to the hospital by day. She is dreadfully thin, and still has the runs, but I have hopes still that she might recover. Sometimes she has a little walk around outside the hospital - she looks ok, but she can't fly.

Monday 6th – When I opened up the hutch in the morning, I removed the egg, despite much noise and peckings from Jose. It wasn’t in the least cracked so I put it back for the baby’s support and to please Jose. I presume Jose and Happy will reject it when they choose to, and I won’t remove it again unless I think it is a hazard. It was toasty warm of course, but I presume was always a dud one.
Jose, can I pleeeease see the baby?

Jose, is very reluctant to show off the baby, but I managed to get this photo later on!

And a close up!
White dove squab about 5 days old - beginning to open eyes

Tuesday 7th – I have named the baby Pearl – precious little one! He or she is getting so big! I’m trying to take a photo every day so you can see her progress.

Squab - about 6 days old, cuddles unhatched egg!

And Sky and Summer's squabs are now about 10 days old, and beginning to get spiky little white feathers. Their names are Spring and Autumn. I am no longer seeing their older brother or sister, Olympia, but Lizzy2 is here every day, though no longer sleeping in the cote.

The white kitchen paper in the front of the nestbox is my new idea for keeping the cote clean. Yesterday I put one in, and the babes pooped all over it, I removed it, and replaced - job done! Unless it gets scrumpled up by the parents' feet,it should work well.

Updates on all my babies soon!.... to be cont.


Fennie said...

Lot's of (mostly) happy goings on.
It is fascinating to read about your doves. Of course I am especially interested in Fennie. I do hope you will keep me informed.

I have now completed the 'Peace Mission' story prompted by Fennie's hawk attack and I am sending it off to the Choc-Lit short story competition. You get a mention, too, as the 'lovely woman who looks after us'

Faith said...

Does Choc-Lit imply chocolate is the prize? If so, if you win, I demand a share!

Lesa said...

Thanks again for the update on your friends! How I enjoy your adventures! Having only a few birds myself now, and only one wounded half-collar wildling, I enjoy your bird tending vicariously. Have a wonderful week!