Sunday, 10 July 2016

All the babies are growing up fast

Sunday 10.7.16 – Here we are hurtling into July and Pan & Chino’s babies are two weeks old today. I can now distinguish between the two of them – Avery is the bigger, darker one, and Evangeline is the smaller, paler grey one.

This is when they were only probably about 9 days or so, with Avery on the right.

 And below, Evangeline, the little one, is on the right this time - so cute aren't they?

And here's Perelle and Appoline, from the dovecote, agedabout three weeks or so - I am beginning to lose track of all the ages! I took them out of the cote and put them in the old hutch to have a good look at them. Perelle, the spotty one, is in front.

Now Perelle and Apolline are four weeks old today -  together in the nest box.

During the past week I discovered they had lice – particularly on the underside of their wings.

Lice on underside of baby white dove wings

As you can see from the photo, these are like tiny little pencil lines but of course they live off the blood of the host, and as I want my babies to be as healthy as possible, I bought some Johnson’s Anti-Mite Extra spray. It says on it that it is suitable for pigeons, and I have used it in the past, so know it is effective.

Johnson's Anti-Mite Extra spray, suitable for use on pet pigeons
I will check again in a week, and can re-use if necessary. I expect Avery and Evangeline have lice too but they don’t show up like they do on the white birds. Maybe I should spray ALL my birds but I am reluctant to use things like this unless totally necessary.

 Above, a pretty brown unknown pigeon who decided to join in for a while, and below, Cloud, in her pretend nest and own habitat - she gets cross when I remove her for feeding, if she doesn't want to come out! Although I miss my Cissie, it is much quicker to hand-feed one bird twice a day than it is two.

Lottie only seems to be turning up once a day, to feed herself, and Lucky is doing all the feeding of the babies now. He is a pretty good father, in general, but for a couple of days he didn’t seem to be doing his duty so I gave the babies a few hand-feeds. And now I am giving them a few small grains on the ledge of their nest-box and they seem to be able to feed themselves, which will be a good head start when they fledge – which could be any time in the next week.

My cat Loopy seems to be around at odd times, so I hope these babies will be canny and not put themselves in harm’s way.

The wound on the underside of Robin’s wing has healed, and he can fly a little bit, when he wants to. Here he is with his dragging wing, poor thing.

Yesterday he flew to the low roof for the first time since his injury, 11 days ago.  I am currently putting him to bed in the old hutch, but he spends the day in the aviary with the others – and of course he is free to go into the garden when the aviary door is open. I’d hoped he might show an interest in Cloud, but so far he seems to prefer Primrose. She is only 15 weeks old, so a little young for settling down.

 Above, you can just see two pigeons, enjoying a quiet peck round the garden. This is Pan and Chino, having time out from the babies. Below, I let about a third of the raised bed go over to wild flowers as it seemed a shame to dig them up. I do have some carrots in the rest, but not sure they are growing very well. I am no gardener!
 Here I am crushing dried egg shells - then I add this to the raised bed as the extra calcium is good for the pigeons, and the soil. It is quite satisfying doing this, and my grandchildren love doing it too. I used to just add the shells to the compost but they take ages to break down, and one of my blog readers crushes egg shells for her white doves so I thought I would too.

Pan started bringing sticks to make a new nest in the box opposite Avery and Evangeline a few days ago.

 Chino and Pan snuggle up in the aviary. I took the photos through the little hatch opening

But when I went inside the aviary, Chino immediately stood up as she is still a nervous bird

Primrose was watching from the window in the day room. She is very much a home bird as I said before and after a short morning fly she comes back and spends the day at home.

The nest box already had a felt pad in it, and I added a handful of hay to Pan's few scrappy sticks. Yesterday in the late afternoon (laying time) Chino seemed to be making herself comfortable.

 And a bit later on - yes I could see an egg!

But, you say...... more babies?? How on earth will they all fit in the aviary if they keep having babies? Well, Darcy and Bronte are birds about town, or field, now - and despite being only 10 weeks old, they spend all day out and about, and only Bronte comes back home at night to the aviary, and is the last bird in! I see Darcy during the day, and try to make sure she (or he) gets extra food. I still don't know what sex these two are - or in fact what sex the older two, Pascal and Primrose are! Though I am pretty sure Primrose IS female. (P and P are about 3 months old now. So it is only natural that birds will move on - the females taken away by males looking for a mate, and the males looking for females and nesting spots of their own, though of course they might try to bring them back to the aviary. Pan is reasonably tolerant, but there is only so much space. Pascal of course will probably never be able to fly, and will always be my 'baby'. He is very sweet, with his silly little frilly wings, as he jumps up in the air, or off the edge of the raised bed, and tries to fly! He reminds me of Pookie, the rabbit with wings. Does anyone remember the beautifully illustrated Pookie books by Ivy L. Wallace?

Avery (left) and Evangeline have now found their feet, and often move to the front of the nest-box. Pan built them a very good nest, with lots of sticks, but although I am reluctant to pull it out it is very smelly now, and I'd rather do it before Chino lays a second egg, and the pair start sitting in earnest.

They get excited when they see their daddy, Pan, and flap about squeaking, asking to be fed!

This is one of the very nicest things about my new aviary - I can easily see the babies whenever I want to, and they will have more freedom than the dovecote babies; being able to move about on the shelf and learn to pick up grains right from the start. As you can see, the adults chuck the grains about everywhere, and though I have a little 'aviary' dustpan and brush and am forever sweeping up, it is always messy! And the poop! Goodness, where does it all come from? (don't answer that!). In the mornings I do some pooper-picking with kitchen paper, of the fresh poop where the birds have been roosting - and all this goes in the compost as very good for the garden - but it is impossible to keep the floor of the aviary clean. In the beginning it was like a lovely sauna or something with all the bright clean wood but that quickly changed! Of course the poop just dries up and crumbles away, and I do sweep the floor.

Below, Perelle on my lap after a little hand-feed top up. His dad Lucky, has a black smudge on his breast and a couple of  tiny black markings on his neck. Apolline appears to be pure white like their mum, Lottie.

 He fluttered off my lap to the ground, but he is not fledged yet, so I picked him up and put him back in the dovecote.
He waits on the ledge for Lucky to come back and give him the confidence to fledge!
Below is my Dolly, now three years old, and one of the very last of the 'old gang'. She was hatched in the cote, and is, I think, Lucky's offspring too (with his first wife Charm), but I must admit I would have to check that as I can't totally remember. Her sibling was Fennie, named after one of my blog readers, and Purplecoo mate. She knows me well and runs for peanuts - nothing else will do!
My tortoise, Orlando, gets very adventuresome and climbs up the wire netting of his run. Lucky I found him or he might have fallen off and landed on his back. I am not sure how long they can be on their backs, but it can't be good. Mind you, I am getting more used to having a tortoise now and am less worried about him.
One year old tortoise trying to escape!
To be cont.....


caroline moon said...

Lovely x

paper writing service said...

They are cute and adorable. I feel like touching and feeding them. It’s a good hobby and pets always become your companions. Keep posting us with their growth and new members.