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Greta Doesn't Work Nights


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#1 Siobhan

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 10:06 AM

Greta's setting her eggs and has stopped laying new ones. One of them does have a yolk, but I don't expect it to survive because she goes to bed at night and leaves them alone and cold behind the curtain on the floor. She won't set if I put the eggs in her cage, and we all let her be while she's behind the curtain setting them, but about an hour after I put everyone else to bed and cover their cages, here she comes and wanders around in circles looking concerned until I go get her and take her to her cage. I've been leaving a low light on when I put the others to bed but apparently she still can't see well enough to get to her cage by herself. That or she likes having Mom give her a ride and a kiss goodnight. LOL She eats and eats and drinks and drinks before she goes to her swing, and again in the morning. I put food and water on the floor by her "nest," and she has eaten some of the food, but apparently saves her serious eating for when she goes back to her cage.



#2 Allee

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 01:42 PM

I know it's natural but I still feel for her. Kisses, Greta. :) :) :)

I know how you feel about chicks. The only baby bird I ever had was a cockatiel that was given to me after she was crippled in an aviary. Her name was Monet.

#3 Siobhan

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 02:38 PM

I was going to leave her cage door open so she could go back to her eggs after she had something to eat and drink and instead she climbed up on her swing and said "PEEP" very firmly when I didn't shut her door and put her cover on immediately. I speak Cockatiel and I knew quite well what she wanted, so I obeyed. I didn't know whether I wanted her to successfully hatch or not, and if she does, I'll of course keep the baby, but if she doesn't, that's okay, too. LOL Eight really IS enough, though lately I feel like I only have seven since we only see Greta briefly in the morning and at night. 



#4 LindeeV

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 05:33 PM

Years ago we had two cockatiels that we were *told* were both females, and we would routinely find eggs in the bottom of the cage. We weren't sure who was laying the eggs, and nobody showed any interest in them, so they would go in the trash. Because they weren't fertile.

 

Lo and behold, one morning there was a baby chick hanging upside down from the grate at the bottom of the cage, peeping his little heart out. The tiels had NO interest in him, and we hadn't put anything like a nest box, a washrag, or a bassinette in the cage, so he was totally unexpected. Since they weren't interested, we put him in a margarine tub under a light and bought baby bird food and did the every two hour feeding thing for weeks. He was progressing quite well, and we had gotten very attached and even given him a name, and he caught an infection and died within hours. We took him to the avian vet, but it was too late to save him.

 

The lessons from this story were:

 

1. Sometimes two female birds aren't actually two female birds. There was apparently a boy bird that was masquerading as a girl.

2. Cockatiels lay fertile eggs even if you don't offer them a nest box or anything comfortable to nest in.

3. Somehow, baby birds manage to survive even the harshest circumstances. They are quite resilient.

4. It's easy to get VERY attached to a nekkid little baby bird, and hard to lose them. sad.png

 

After that episode, our two female cockatiels lived in separate cages. wink.png



#5 Siobhan

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 09:04 PM

Oh, I know for sure Freddie's a boy and I'm pretty sure Johnny is, but they don't like Greta and she doesn't like them. I would think if they were planning a family, they'd be a little more congenial. Each bird has his/her own cage, but they're all out and flying around all day, so anything could happen. I am prepared for an egg to hatch, but I think Greta will take care of the baby and I won't have to. I don't see how I could, with a full time job.



#6 Allee

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 07:31 AM

Lindee, what a cute story!!! I got attached to the chick just reading it! Sorry the story didn't have a happy ending.

Now I want Greta's egg to hatch.

#7 LindeeV

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 06:59 PM

If Greta's egg hatches, Siobhan will have to quit her full time job and be a stay at home bird granny. That, or carry GrandBirdie in a little box on all of her newspaper interview appointments. That would be a story worth writing about!!! tongue.png



#8 Siobhan

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 08:18 PM

If I quit my job, we'd all starve, so I guess that means Grandbirdie will have to go to work with me.



#9 Allee

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 01:14 AM

If I lived close enough I could bird sit for Siobhan's Grandbirdie. :)

Joe's been teasing me about a female Umbrella, we could name her Olive and name their chick Sweet Pea. He's sad for Popeye because he's outnumbered by the Quakers. :)

#10 Siobhan

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 09:39 AM

I'll be Popeye will be equal to the challenge eventually. I never thought of cockatoos as shy and retiring. LOL I checked the egg last night after Greta's shift was over and she went to bed and against all odds, there is something in there and it's bigger than it was last time I looked at it a couple of days ago. I'm stunned. You'd think spending the night on the cold floor -- and I do mean COLD, it's like a refrigerator -- would kill the poor little thing. It's far from being a chick yet, but it sure looks like it's going to be, and Greta went right back to setting it after her breakfast this morning. Now I'm a little freaked out and trying to plan what to do if it does hatch. I'm going to try getting some nesting material and a basket for her this weekend in the hope she'll use them. We can't let a naked baby bird be born on a cold concrete floor when I'm not here. In a basket, he'd be a LITTLE warmer, and maybe once there's a baby instead of an egg, I could convince Greta to move out from behind the curtain to somewhere I could get a space heater close enough. I don't dare put it behind the curtain. If my calculations are correct, we have at least a week and maybe two before it would be due to hatch. I think she started seriously setting the eggs about a week ago. She's shoved another out of the pile and is ignoring it and only setting two now, of which one is definitely not fertile. And while she's protective and charges me if I get too close, once she sees it's me, she smooths down her feathers and is fine, so I think if it does hatch, she'll let me handle the baby. That way it'll grow up to be tame. Of course, it may not actually hatch or survive if it does.



#11 msdani1981

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 02:33 PM

Can you put a towel down under the eggs? :)



#12 Siobhan

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 03:07 PM

I tried that. She took them off the towel and put them back on the floor. I tried paper towels. Same result. That's why I thought a basket with nesting material might work. She wouldn't be able to roll the eggs off a basket with sides and it might suggest a nest to her enough that she'd stay in it with them and she AND the eggs would be off the cold floor. 



#13 Jan Cullen

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 03:48 PM

I am about to check the 4 eggs that Rebel is sitting on.  1 is definitely infertile but not sure about the other 3 - the eggs are a week old and under.  I dont want any little suprises like last year smile.png  I think that Greta's fertile egg may need to be put on a heat source at night if she is not sitting on it.  You might have to check it out with a breeder.  Do you think one of the boys would sit on it overnight if you hooked up a nest box in their cage?  Pippin and Rebel share sitting duties - he chases her out of the box in the morning after he has had his breakfast - he doesnt sit on them for too long as she eats what she can and then runs back to the front of the nest box and hovers until he comes out.



#14 Siobhan

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 04:32 PM

Each bird has his/her own cage, and I tried various things to entice Greta to set the eggs in her cage. She rejected them all. Freddie went in her cage during this time and turned the eggs one day, but has ignored them ever since. If I move them, Greta ignores them and lays more. Johnny has not displayed any evidence that he even knows what eggs are, so I'm sure he wouldn't pitch in and be a good uncle. The idea was mainly to get Greta to stop laying eggs, and the only thing that has accomplished that is letting her sit on these behind the curtain on the floor. It's her own idea to go sleep in her cage at night and leave the eggs unattended, so if that one egg makes it, it's going to mean that's one seriously tough tiel. LOL At this point, as much as they've been ignored before she started setting them, and three nights alone on the cold floor while she enjoyed the comforts of her own cage, I'm really going to be surprised if that one hatches, and it's the only one that might be fertile. It's probably too late for incubation by other means. 



#15 LindeeV

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 05:22 PM

Could you put a bowl on the floor with some dried grass or hay in it for the eggs to sit in? Something deep enough she can't move the eggs out again?

 

It's amazing that chicks hatch at all, considering the erratic care some of them get. I never even saw the egg that our little chick hatched from, and never saw anyone sit on anything or show any interest. Apparently an egg just laid in a snuggle sack or got pushed in a corner and ignored, and the chick hatched and hung upside down in the grate for however long it was before we found it.  It sure didn't have any love or care as an egg.

 

You should put the egg in a tiny little manger and if it hatches on Christmas morning, you can name it Baby Jesus.

 

Baby Jesus, the cockatiel tongue.png



#16 Jan Cullen

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 07:04 PM

Lindee, you are cheeky biggrin.png  I got a good laugh out of your last sentence.  My Christmas surprise last year ended up being named Spike cos she was so spikey (and I thought it was a male).  It will be interesting to see if Siobhan has any little Christmas surprises.



#17 Allee

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 09:49 PM

That's fascinating, girls, and Lindee, I agree with Jan, that last sentence is hilarious!!

Does Siobhan know we are naming her birdie to be? And if so, is she O.K. with calling him, Sweet Little Baby Jesus?

I've been reading this text with a lot of interest. Are all the birds you are talking about, cockatiels?

Who has a female quaker who has been through the egg-laying process? I think I remember Siobhan saying Jade has never laid eggs?

Harry is acting like she did when I first got her. It looks like hormones to me. She acted exactly like this before she laid her eggs last time. See if this sounds like hormones to you.

She's taking frequent baths and when she's finished she sucks on the colored ropes on her preening toys with her eyes closed. It looks like she's practicing anger management techniques. She screams, "Aaack, Aaack,Aaaack, Aaaaack, Aaaaaack", over and over. She hasn't acted this way since June when she laid her last batch of eggs. Yesterday she had crimson food dye all over her beak, tongue and cheeks. She's had a new beak color every day for a week.

I have to completely drape Popeye's cage when she's out now, because she sits on his cage cover and squawks. I returned her to her own cage top a couple of times while she was out, for being aggressive to me, Zeke, and Popeye's cage. It makes her furious to be returned to her cage top. I retrieved her and took her to the living room, thinking she needed Mom all to herself. She worked on my hoodie strings for about half an hour while I sketched. She climbed halfway down my arm and said, "Go back". She likes to be carried on my shoulder. When she says, "Go back", I always answer, "Can't you fly?" Yesterday I didn't say anything, just got up to take her back. She looked up at me from my arm and said, "Can't you fly?" She was being so adorable, I decided to let her stay out with Zeke for as long as she could behave. Turns out, not long at all.

Patient Popeye under his draped cage said, "Hey Sweetie", first time I've heard him say that. Probably followed by, "You idiot, when do I get to come out?"

I put Harry on top of her cage and let Zeke out. I was playing with Zeke and Harry was being really quiet. I looked over at her, she was sitting on the door of her cage, feathers fluffed, red beak open, red tongue. She looked deranged. She flew at me, hit my head and skidded to a stop on Zeke's cage. Zeke flew to the back of his cage and plastered himself to the bars. I offered Harry my arm and she flew to Popeye's cage. I patted my shoulder and said, "Harry come here."
She bobbed her head yes and said, "C'mere, C,mere, C,mere, C'meee-er."
I said, "Harry please come to Mommy."
She didn't; she said, "Uh oh, c'mon, no, okay". Still sitting there. I held a dowel in front of her (never tried that before) she stepped on the dowel and climbed to my arm. I put her on her cage and told her, "Harry you need to go inside now, Sweetie." She started flapping, ready for take off again. I said, "Harry, don't make Mommy pick you up, time to go back. She ran to the back of her cage and said, "F___you! F_______you! F__you!"
All her feathers fluffed, red beak open wide.
I can't help it, it was funny. She was irate and in attack mode. I said, "Harry, do you have any idea how ridiculous you look?"
She didn't and she didn't care anyway.

She climbed inside her cage still grumbling. I put camomile in her tea but exchanged it for water before bedtime. She said several pleasant things to the guys while they were out of their cages, but as soon as everyone was inside with their bowls, Harry went nuts again, she squawked and squawked, planted her face in her food bowl, with her butt in the air, her foot on the rim, and squawked some more. She liked the amplification, so she did that for a while. When I went to tell her good night, she said, "peep, peep, peep, peep, peep." She does that when she's stressed. Finally she got quiet and slept. First thing this morning, she was right back at it. This is not normal behavior, she's always full of herself but she seems really nervous and insecure.

Do you think it's hormones or is she just nuts?She's pulling more feathers than normal too. :(

#18 Siobhan

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 01:21 AM

Harry's having quite a spell. LOL Jade has never laid eggs and we THINK Clyde's a boy, so I have no experience with Quaker egg laying. Greta has not emerged and asked to go to bed yet tonight. Maybe she's going to stay with the eggs tonight. I won't be naming the baby Jesus even if he/she does hatch and if it happens on Christmas. Perhaps Chris. That would work whether it's a boy or girl. Or Kris, for Santa Claus. If Greta will go to bed, I'll try a bowl for the eggs, but that didn't work when I had them in her cage.



#19 Allee

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 05:59 AM

Greta is working so hard to be a good Mommy!!

Cris is a very cute name. We should be ashamed. We're so sorry and we won't do it again. :) :)

That episode with Harry was very funny. It was like arguing with a naughty little girl, especially with her painted beak. Maybe when I replace her preening toys (yeah, that's gonna' happen) I should give more thought to beak color. As cute as it is, I feel bad for her too.

#20 Siobhan

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 10:07 AM

I stole Maggie's basket and put paper towels in the bottom and put Greta's eggs in it and put it all back behind the curtain while she was having breakfast. She did spend the night behind the curtain, but she was ready for her breakfast this morning. I hope she'll use the basket. There were five eggs back there so she's laid a couple more, but two of them were pushed away and she'd been sitting on three. I put all five in the basket, though. Maggie's basket is roomy enough to hold Maggie so it should be adequate and she's not using it right now. I'll buy her another one this weekend. If Greta will use the basket, I'll feel better about her and the eggs being on the floor.