Monday, May 28, 2012

Mite Infestation Survivor?

After forcing this Stafford chick's mouth open with one hand and locking my thumb to keep its mouth open, I force fed some ABBA Green 92 dissolved in hot water both yesterday and today, finally around 4 pm it finally started begging and its parents started feeding it again!

So I am hopeful that just maybe it will be a Survivor!!

The pest strips are really doing a good job at eliminating the mites. I decided to wait to do the flock treatment with ivermectin till I can do all of the birds at once.

Received a comment that "pest strips don't work."  Let me hear from you.  Do pest strips work to get rid of mites?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Big Bird Has Big Trouble - Mites

Having raised birds growing up with my mother and banding my first at my own home in 1982, I have never had this problem before.

Chicks look pale and lethargic and do not seem to beg to be fed. A couple of weeks ago I notice these symptoms and since the mother was not a good feeder, I blamed her for losing her chicks. Then a nest of four banded fully feathered chicks look fine one day and the next two were dead. Then another nest and each time I would hand feed the chicks and they would die. I tried different hand feeding formulas knowing about the Exact recall,  I had lots of theories but nothing worked. Overall, few nest were effected.

A couple of days ago, I started itching and finding small red spots on my upper body. Immediately I accused my family of using too much laundry soap and was sure I was allergic to it. I took extra showers and benadryl and the spots would disappear only to reappear later. I demanded that all my clothes be rewashed with no soap! My daughter who normally washes my clothes was sceptical. Why now she asked, nothing has changed? I explained it takes time to develop these things.

Then today, the lovely nest of two Staffords and one fostered border which I posted last was in trouble the non-crested Stafford chick and the border chick were dead. At that point, I finally saw mites! I suspected mites but couldn't find them. I should have taken action when the first nest had the problem...

I jumped in the car and ran to Lowe's and bought Hot Shot pest strips and Sevin dust. I hung the pest strip and dusted between the nest pad and the nest with Sevin dust. All non-breeding birds are going to get a dose of ivermectin in the water today after I finish the post.

Looks like breeding season is going to be over. I do have the three nests which are only a couple days old and I will let any setting set but this will probably finish me off. Hope I do not lose anymore chicks. 

Talked to a friend, a long time breeder who had this problem for the first time this year and he said that someone he knew went to the Doctor twice before figuring out that his red spots were the aviary mites too.

Another interesting observation is that the nest that developed the problems were only those not getting KD powder in the water or in the case of the stafford and border nest, I had just taken them off it the day before. I normally use KD in the water after all eggs hatch but have not when another hen is sitting on eggs in the same cage. This time I had stopped the KD, to give some vitamins in the water and the problem showed up immediately, even by evening I noticed the chicks not begging; Hind site is always better....Just makes me sick!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Find the Fostered Border Chick

With one Border chick hatching early and getting a big start over its brothers and hopefully sisters who hatched one and two days later, I fostered a newly hatched Border to a nest of two Staffords.

Which one is the Border? Explain how you can tell and what to do if you can't tell. Let me hear from you!!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Borders Love Baby Bok-Choy

Lovely baby bok-choy is available now at the farmers market. My Borders and other birds are so crazy about it that I am going to farmers market  on Wednesday and Saturday!
Momma Border is doing a great job feeding her babies and loves to stuff them with greens.
Today, her three chicks were banded. It is always a relief to get chicks banded as at that point, I will give the hen quite a variety and supply of greens. Only a couple more day of aphids, it reached 92 degrees.

Favorite Stafford Chick

I have great hopes for this 2012 Stafford Mosaic chick. Great head, full neck, and charming markings. Can't wait to see the mosaic pattern after the baby molt!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Exact Hand Feeding Formula Product Recall

Kaytee has recalled some lots of their Exact Hand Feeding Formula Baby Birds and Hand Feeding Formula Baby Macaw. The company stated that baby birds being fed these formulas run the risk of kidney failure when ingesting these products.

The recall is for a limited range of dates and not all lots. Lots that are recalled are published on the kaytee web site. Check the best before code (date) to determine if your lot is effected.

Foraging For Borders

A rape plant in my flower bed is coated with aphids!

Most of the year the conditions are too hot or too cold for an aphid bloom but the timing is just perfect for this nest of Borders.

Proud papa Border can't wait for me to get out of site to try some aphids!

Momma keeps an eye on me and is not happy to be photographed! Her look is a warning "Don't push your luck!"

But seeing the aphids, she quickly hopped down and started filling up with aphids to feed her babies!

I will only have aphids for a few days and I sure don't want to get these plant sucking bugs on my orchids but I just could not resist giving the excellent mom a helping hand!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Today's Aviary Happenings

Nest of four German Rollers, handsome dude in the father, welcomed number five today!
This Stafford hen is laying again but her nest of five is still weaning.....
Remember the Border hen who tried to mess with Big Bird? She managed to hatch one dark and one capped chick but the fighting continued. Her two chicks and another border chick seen in the foreground were fostered to a Stafford pair, their three chicks are in the rear!
The Stafford chick who is being raised by a village is now banded and doing well!!

Lucca is back from six weeks of "college" with a professional trainer!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Five Is A Crowd!

 When five chicks grow up in the same nest it soon becomes very crowded!

A simple solution is to add a second nest close to the other one.  Quickly, some of the chicks will move to their new home. It is interesting to see them switch back and forth even though they are too small to leave the nest and run around the floor.

Three chicks now more comfortable in the old nest.
The two largest chicks have chosen the new nest!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

It Took A Village For This Stafford Chick

The small chick in front was doing poorly being the only chick in its parents second cycle. It was not growing and felt cold whenever I checked it and in spite of my efforts to supplement feed it. So I moved it to this nest of four. None of the parents were color feed last year.

The cage had one crested male with two hens, the one with the four chicks seen above and a second hen sitting on infertile eggs. To my surprise, after a time she decided to help out and now she works hard to help feed the nest of five. (None

"Do I really want to be an Auntee?"

Auntee  is a great feeder!