Thursday, February 09, 2006

3 Weeks Later

Patchie and Silver's clutch consisted of five eggs. Out of those five, four were fertile. All four eggs hatched successfully this time around and the babies are growing like weeds! We chose names that reflect Ancient Greek mythology for each of the babies as my son and daughter are studying it in school and I've always been a big fan. The oldest is Boagreous, or (Bo) as he's nicknamed. Of course, we have NO idea if Bo is a he or a she, but who cares. :-) Bo just turned 3 weeks old yesterday. Already feathered out, Bo is a cinnamon and has a very pretty tawny hue. Not much yellow in the mohawk and his tummy is a lighter shade.. much like the dove gray Silver was when I first got him. No signs of pied markings that I can see yet but he's not done shedding all of the keretin quite yet.

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Next in line is Paris - Paris turned 2 weeks old on Saturday, making him or her 19 days old today. Paris has shed most of the keretin on the wings and is a cinnamon just like Bo but much the tummy, tail and neck keretin still remains so I can't see if there are markings beneath. Ahh.. and Paris has quite a bit more yellow in the mohawk. Paris is QUITE the eater and already outweighs Bo by a few grams. MOOOO! In the picture, Paris is 17 days old and already, he's got ALOT more of his feathers in. 2 days makes a huge difference in the lives of these guys. I have a hard time telling them apart right away but Bo has begun to chirp so when I hear a "Chirp" in greeting, I know its Bo. If I pick up the baby with the yellow-er Mohawk, I know I have Paris. LOL!

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Persephone is the next in line. Born the day after Paris, Persephone is 18 days old. It took quite a while for her to begin to prickle out and she still has all of her keretin sheeths on. I'm not sure but she's either a standard gray or a cinnamon. As you can see, Persephone is very well fed and currently, she's the fattest one!

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Lastly, is little Hektor except he's not so little anymore. In fact, he rivals Persephone is size by about 7 grams. Hektor was born 15 days ago. There is a span of six days between Bo and Hektor so I had concerns about feeding, but Patchie and Silver came through like champs and the whole lot of them were well cared for. Hektor developed a little slower, like Persephone, and has just turned into a pin cushion whereas Bo and Paris where well pinned by their age.

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Because of the age difference and because of the strain it was putting on Patchie and Silver, I pulled the two oldest babies from the clutch when Paris was almost 2 weeks old and Bo was just over. Immediately, the change in the two younger babies still remaining in the nest is amazing. They've put on tremendous amounts of weight and now weigh more than their formula fed siblings. Bo and Paris have had it a little rougher. Problems with slow crop have put a damper on things, but both are back on the right path now and eating what they're supposed too. Now to fatten them up!

Bo and Paris have really grown on me. (Obviously). I feed them four times a day, massage their little crops and worry over them as if I'd given birth to them. I'm aware that I'm going to have to part ways with some of the babies, so though I love the babies in the nestbox, I've tried to remain somewhat emotionally unattached to them as well. At least.. as much as possible! (LOL)! So I've sorta tried to think of it in terms of, "Their babies (Persephone and Hektor) and MY babies (Paris and Bo). Between the two babies handfed babies, I'll still have to make a choice but it will be easier (I think) to choose between two than four. I guess its my defense mechanism kicking in, but these guys are so damn cute I have to put up some kind of shield or my house would be populated with babies and none would EVER leave the nest. LOL I know of people it HAS happened to, but four babies would be way too much on top of my already HUGE flock. After I've made my baby choice, my tiel limit will have reached the max I'm afraid.

More updates later!