SOUTH WEST BUDGERIGAR CLUB (MANDURAH) INC

HANDY HINTS

The following information is included in good faith with the aim of assisting fellow enthusiasts.

BABY WASH CLOTHS/WET ONES: a necessity in the breeding room. Use for wiping hands and cleaning up birds. The gentle aroma does not affect the birds.

VASELINE: very useful for smearing inside rings if the chick has lost it's ring, or when one is caught off guard and a chick has been missed in the box, or grown quicker than anticipated. Only a small amount is required and be careful not to get it on your fingers or the chick's leg, otherwise, everything becomes slippery and the chick is even more difficult to ring.

TOOTHPICKS: use the wooden variety and bite the tip off, so it is not too sharp, and use to hook the claws through the ring when ringing a chick. These are very good for coating the inside of a ring with vaseline as above.

DETTOL CREAM: handy for treating cuts or wounds ensuring it doesn't get into the eyes of the bird.

NIGHT LIGHT: a 25 watt blue globe is ideal as a night light. It throws sufficient light to enable the hen to return to the box during the night.

PERSPEX DOORS ON NESTING BOXES: this has saved many a chick from `down plucking' and `feather plucking'. It is imperative that when the perspex door is fitted that you remain in the breeding room until the hen and/or cock have been encouraged back into the nesting box. The sudden increase in light tends to frighten the cock and hen away from the box so it is imperative you check they have fed their chicks to avoid the death of one or more chicks from starvation. Once the cock and hen have adapted to the light the hen will generally round up the young and keep them at the back of the box. In many cases she has been known to totally clean the bran/nesting material out of the nesting box, beak full by beak full - maybe when she has completed this task she is too tired to pluck the chicks! Just remember to replace the bran daily so she has something to keep her occupied. If possible leave a small gap between the perspex and top of the nesting box, or drill holes in the perspex or side of the nesting box, so air can circulate in the box - the box can become quite humid if we experience a hot day. I have had a wonderful success rate using this method - make a note in your records, against the hen or cock, so you can use this method again if it has been previously successful.

EGG BISCUIT: as well as being popular in soft food mixes place in a small container in the nursery cage for the youngsters who have difficulty realising they have to feed themselves!

NATURAL YOGHURT: at room temperature this can be fed, depending on the size of the youngster, on a toothpick for a very young chick or a teaspoon for the older chick. This can also be a life saver for those youngsters who fail to recognise they need to learn how to feed themselves and spend most of the day squawking for the parents to feed them.

WORMING/LICE/MITE/SCALE TREATMENT: if you use the dot on the back of the head method this is a great opportunity, when you catch up all your birds, to check each bird for swollen ring legs, lack of weight, signs of scale on the beak or legs and basically just to check their general well being and at the same time you can update your records. This can be time consuming if you have a big flock of birds but if you spread it over several days the end result is worthwhile, especially, if you locate only one bird with a swollen leg. To ensure you donít miss a bird use a system eg. catch up all the same colour or all the same variety so you have a record of the birds who have already received the treatment.

LAUNDRY DETERGENT SCOOPS: ensure they are thoroughly washed and totally free of any detergent. The long handled ones are ideal for using in a sick cage - they easily slot through the wire if you don't fill them to the brim. They can be used for seed or water and then disposed of when the bird recovers.