As the end of May approaches, the third round chicks begin to emerge from the nest boxes and into the breeding cages. It is necessary to keep a watchful eye on the chicks at this time, although it is simpler near the conclusion of the breeding season since one of the parents may be removed and the other allowed to complete weaning the chicks.
At the conclusion of the first and second cycles, there is always the potential that an impatient hen, eager to begin another clutch, would force the chicks out of the nestbox, drawing blood in the process. When this occurs, she doesn’t seem to be able to stop, and we have battered baby budgie syndrome. I’ve heard about cocks assaulting girls but have never seen it myself.
I use all-wire cages, and 10 of my 30 cages are now vacant. Over the next few weeks, the empty cages will be hauled down from their screws on the birdroom wall, perches removed, and the mesh wiped with a wire brush to remove any hardened droppings. The perches are cleaned and stowed, and the cages are carried out into the garden and placed in the open behind the shed. During this period, they are weathered and gently sprayed with anti-mite solution before returning to the birdroom in November for the start of the next breeding season. The Correx plastic-type sheets are hosed out on the grass, then thoroughly scuffed with a yard brush before being put in the rear of the cages for the summer.
As the cocks and hens return to the flights, they are all dosed with Emtryl against trichomonas, and every bird in the flight is grabbed up and dabbed with Ivomec on the back of the neck. This is also a good time to stocktake, and each bird’s ring number, sex, variety, and color are taken down and compared to computer data.
Once the majority of the cages have been removed, the wall behind the cages may be washed, sprayed, and painted. There will be a few cages remaining in the birdroom for the difficult birds who are worth persisting with. There are always a few of them around, too nice to throw away yet unwilling to reproduce. Now is the moment for a last-ditch effort. The other half-dozen cages, on the other hand, have been relocated to one end of the birdroom.
The whole birdroom is meticulously cleaned before the display squad is chosen. Everything that can be moved is moved outdoors, and the walls, ceilings, and floors are cleansed and disinfected. Any repairs that are required are completed when the birdroom is reasonably empty. I now have aluminum flights that can be moved about, making cleaning much simpler.
When everything is back in place, the cage for the show team is moved into place. All-wire cages tear the tails, therefore I use a standard style cage for the show team. This is an ex-wardrobe split into two sections, with the young birds segregated from the adults.
The show selection process is currently underway. The first two rounds have gone through the first moult and are beginning to show their potential or otherwise, and the results of the breeding season’s hard work may be evaluated. Those that seem to be promising may be isolated and placed in the display team cage. Late breds from the previous year may also be inspected and sorted, and birds from breeding couples can be added when they begin to recover, and we are nearly ready for the start of the show season.
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