Bird room, should this work? (Light, hormones and eggs)

Feb 17, 2024
29
28
Tulsa
Parrots
Sunny (lutino budgie)
Sky (yellowface budgie)
Pixie (dilute budgie)
We got the probably boys, Sunny and Sky last Christmas for my daughter, along with the house looking cage (the larger brown one, not the white travel cage) and the promise of a larger cage soon (the long black rectangle). They are still young, both are going through their first molt and "male" is a best guess. When we went shopping for a lager cage, a beautiful bird came up to the glass when we tapped on it, and I promised Joe this would be the last bird purchase ever. If male, our flock is complete. If female, I get to breed (a dream I had as a teen - have only had a couple of birds since then).

Pixie JUST came out of quarantine yesterday. Today I introduced her, and it went well :). Once they'd had a little time to adapt, they all seemed much happier and more relaxed now they didn't hear birds calling in the other room. Plus, the boys don't have to share the living room with dogs and an active seven year old.

I want to breed , but not for at least a year. I've lost a female cockatiel to egg binding (she was just a baby, I was shocked she even produced an egg), and I don't want Pixie to risk this or waste calcium producing too many eggs and whatnot. I also don't want her to be lonely. So, the plan for the light, schedule, and room is this (along with nutrition, knowing where the avian vet is, no snuggy nest like toys, fake eggs if she does lay so she doesn't keep laying - open to other tips):

First of all, she didn't want to sleep in her old cage like I expected (here it is closer to the window and the vit D), so tomorrow I move the new big cage over there and put her current cage on top near the window, moving the play areas to the shady side. The light doesn't shine directly in the cage, they have a little corner they fit in just to one side of the window. It's a southern window, but there's a window unit under it so it doesn't get hot (I cover the cage against drafts at night and sleep with it off). I might install a UV light or two on the shady side, if that seems prudent.

The cage will be covered except between the hours of 12pm and 8pm (blinds drawn but a little nightlight so they can see a little in their cage, a little ambient sun sneaks in with the current window covering - oh, and the window is plastered with stickers so they can see it more easily for safety). That allows me to spend the morning with the dogs, get a few chores out of the way, then head to my bedroom/birdroom/studio. I quietly draw or work on other projects, while they have supervised play time with cage doors open (So all day I only shut them if I leave for coffee or to let the dogs out, lots of potential flight time). Today things got a little rowdy a couple of times, but they were easy to separate. That divider is cool. Being right in there, I can check for signs of aggression, courtship like preening beyond the head, nesting behavior, etc. What would you say is usually the first sign I might have a problem?

Tonight I'm using the divider to keep her on her own side of the big cage (she wanted to snuggle with them but will have to settle with seeing them), but if I see too much courtship behavior she sleeps in her own cage at night, above them, period. Especially preening below the neck. If things seem too hormonal, I intend to try putting them in separate rooms for a while, then when I reintroduce them I could not allow them out at the same time, would that maybe work? It would be great if they can all be in the most peaceful room of the house, esp. since I can make the days short. I suppose I could commandeer an area of the kid's room to put a cage in (prob the boys, so I can control her light to prevent eggs), but then Pixie still hears the others and gets sad, calls for them, and they call for her.

P.S. - The boys at one point decided they didn't want to try flying outside of their cage anymore. Probably related to the noisy living room and how they came clipped, so flying didn't get them much anyway. Meanwhile, they molted and now have several flight feathers they were not using. I've been offering time for them to come out with treats to tempt them, but no go. Pixie, however, does not care that flying while clipped comes with a quick plop. She wil climb to the roof on her little house, leap off as far as she can with a chirpy type cowabunga, then run up the ladder from the floor to the cage, and do it a few times more (love watching this). I just knew watching her would get them to try again, and it did. Sky has been flight practicing in the big cage, and finally seeing her he felt brave enough to come out and do three laps around the room, including zooming in tight around and behind me for a little challenge. Sunny is still staying in, but that was a fun thing to see :).
 

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