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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let me just say that some people really irk me. I saw an add for two tiels that a man was pretty desperate to get rid of. He wanted rid of his girlfriends birds, cage and all and I mistakenly mentioned this to my mother. She is all too eager to shove money in my pocket and tell me to go get the little darlings as long as she gets to love on them and I get to clean after them. :love: So my husband and I drove over to the man's home to pick up the birds. They are absolutely lovely and look in pretty good shape but there was no cuttle bone, mineral block or much of anything in the cage with them other than a couple perches, food and water. Not only that but the most gorgeous little gray bird is sitting on the cage floor on an egg that she laid last night. It would have been nice if he had told me this before hand. Regardless they will be better off here than there even though I know that he meant well. He was just uneducated and I have to keep reminding myself of that.
So here are the facts and please step in to set me in the right direction where it's needed. I did set a nest box in the original cage. Tried to keep everything as close to the way he already had things set up but I added a cuttle bone and mineral block, millet, fresh greens (they aren't touching them) and a couple of toys. I put the egg that she laid the previous night in the nest box and showed her but she has pretty well abandoned it as I feared. It's been in the nest box without her for about two hours now and she's showing no signs of wanting to go in there at all. She is about ready to lay another egg by the way she looks. The birds are NOT related. The female is 3 1/2 and the "male" is only 1 1/2 purchased from separate places in separate counties. A friend of the family is willing to come show me how to hand feed if the need arises and he has 30 years experience with pigeons. I can't bring myself to boil the eggs or anything of the like. I have researched breeding for more educational curiosity than anything else and I have the emergency brooder components already. If she does continue to lay and they do seem viable then I will go and purchase the bird formula just in case. I feel as though I am forgetting something and any help/advice is welcomed.
I am sorry if I ranted a bit.
Here are the best pics that I could get being as the poor dears were already a bit stressed and I was trying to keep my distance.

The gray is the one that is laying

This is the very shy "boy" (?)
Thanks a million!
 

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The grey one is female obviously..and the pearl looks like a female as well.. but I'm not sure.

Edit:
Pearl: A male pearl will lose it's pearling and return to normal colorization after it's first molt. If you look carefully though, adult male pearls can usually be discerned by a mottled or dusty appearance on their backs, especially on the top of the wings. You will sometimes find a male pearl that does not lose the pearling, but this is very rare.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ah so the other one would fall into the pearl category? :D That may not be 100% to tell me that what we have are two females and I will still get all the hand rearing materials other than the formula all in one place by in the morning but it does make me feel a bit better about things. My knowledge is not as complete on anything as I would like to have it before having babies. I'll let her keep the nest box and see what she does with things. If they hatch then we have babies and if not then we don't I suppose. Too bad they don't make birdie birth control. ;)
Also I emailed the man that we got them from and asked him about her egg laying. Evidently she does this a good bit and "always has" according to him. Though that doesn't tell me much considering she never had the right things to really hatch a clutch.
Thanks!
 

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Yes it falls into pearl category. Like I said, I'm not 100% sure it's a female, but my pearl still has her pearls and she's 10 months old now, she's not layed an egg ever yet.

If your pearl is a male, expect to have fertile eggs (maybe) if it's a female the eggs won't be fertile because they can't be fertile without a male. (sorry I don't know if you know this) But yes, so you're prepared it's a good idea to get all the stuff before hand so you aren't having to rush around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for telling me that he/she falls into the pearl category. I am horrible at that and would have no idea. That is something that I haven't researched all that much. To me they all fall into the lovely category and that's that. I do have another pearl that is much more heavily and more obviously pearl but he/she, King Arthur, is only about to be 20 weeks so there's no telling. I was told when I got him/her and his/her clutch mates that he was a he but we shall see in time.
This particular baby who has picked a name (Ricky) has me wondering. They didn't have names when I picked them up. They way "he" picked "his" name was by saying Ricky over and over again. I know that there are female talkers so I'm left scratching my head. I was going to call the vet once they opened to schedule the vet check but I guess that will have to wait until she is done with the eggs either way but I'll still call and get the price quote along with most likely seeing about the DNA testing along with that just in case. Don't worry about stating the "obvious". I understand completely but yes I was aware there has to be a male for the eggs to be fertile. :D
 

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hmmm that is really interesting.....hard to tell as Solace has mentioned males lose their pearls but not always...and females normally don't talk it has happened before....i guess DNA is the only way to now for sure...oh and if any babies pop out !!!! will be interesting to find out which it is!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm seriously considering doing the dna testing on the entire flock just to be 100% sure. I've heard that it is cheaper to do by mail than through the vets office but not so sure how accurate that information was either. So if you know of any of the by mail dna testing sites please do let me know so that I can comparison shop and/or get opinions on them.
 

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if the pearl is 1 1/2 you have 2 females

you need to remove the nest box

yes males sometimes keep the pearlings but no where near as many as they have when they're young also Males don't have the barring under the tail once they are about 6 months old So if there is barring (lines) under the pearls tail its a female
 

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They're both very pretty. Congrats on the new birds. It was really sweet of you to take them in and give them a better home. I'm sure they'll thrive under your care! :) Let us know when you find out for sure what they are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
*banging head on desk* The pearl, aka Ricky, has a pretty ragged tail at the moment so I can't see any tail barring or no. That is unless the edges of the tail feathers look as if they were traced in black marker counts. Ricky is pretty wild so cooperation isn't in the vocabulary and I'm having a hard time getting a good look anyway. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we have another lady among us. Our pretty mama is just not interested in the nest box anyway even though she looks like she is about to lay again. I know that it's a long shot that Ricky is male but I would be very upset with myself if I later found out that the eggs could have been fertile and I didn't give her a chance with them. Especially since she was laying them on the cage floor and sitting on them without the nest box at her previous home. If she ever gets in the nest box and sits on the eggs with no result then I will definitely take away the box and do everything that I can to curb those urges for her. Thanks atvchick95 I appreciate all the help I can get.

PtsRPpl2 Thanks so much. I'm a dolt when it comes to mutations and sexing. Not that I really care if they are boys or girls other than to prevent babies at the moment or perhaps entirely. I do make one mean birdie salad though and keep a clean cage er I mean bedroom.
 

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Female Pearls can have that effect where just the edges of the tail feathers are dark. If that is a male and it's 1 1/2 yrs. old then you have something very special and very rare. There would be no need to DNA your gray male from your previous post he is no doubt a male. That Whiteface you just posted if 3 1/2 is no doubt a hen. I would think that Pearl is a hen because a male Pearl that keeps it's pearling is (excuse the pun) as rare as hens teeth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
sweetrsue Thank you for clearing that up for me. I was hoping that the pearl was a female as I wasn't actually intending to breed and just adopted these two. Not that I would object to having a pearl male that kept his pearling. I do like rare things but even with all the reading I have done and the fact that I have everything to hand raise babies I still don't feel that it's something that I should intentionally do. Perhaps sometime in the future I will change my mind but for now I will keep the things I need just in case they manage to outsmart me.
 

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here is my male he turned one in July so he's 1 year 3 months old this is his back I took it a few weeks ago (sorry for the blurry pic he was moving on me )




here is a pic of when I first got him when he was 9 months old



But as you can see when I first got him he was full of pearls ( and I thought i got duped and was given a female due to the fact he was supposed to be Pied and nothing else lol) then my boyfriend brings him to me and I see he's Pearl Pied - and i'm like great we just got suckered and got sold a female but within weeks he proved me wrong and started whistling non stop LOL
 

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if they do hatch and you decide to hand feed then formula will not be needed till they are like 2 weeks old and after there weaned you can keep the spare formula in the freezer unless of course you have a situation like i had where the father started poking the crops of the chicks then i was hand feeding at 7 and 5 days old there is a sticky that shows you all stuff needed for setting up a brooder and what you will need for hand feeding that me and atvchick95 did
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
atvchick95 He is lovely! Only about one out of a hundred pictures that I take of the birds aren't blurry. They are all so energetic and can't be bothered with posing. I am glad that he indeed did turn out to be a he for you. They can be such little tricksters.

allen If they did hatch I would only hand feed if I had to. I would start handling them and do the fun stuff like cuddling but the feeding I would rather leave to mom and dad if possible. I recall seeing that post and I thought it was great by the way. All the components I already have in the animal first aid cabinet along with everything to hand feed except the formula. None of it has ever been used but I would always rather have what I might need and never use it instead of need it and not have it. My three human children have certainly driven home the point that it's best to always be prepared for anything. If they do hatch or even if they start to look like they are going to then I will go and buy some formula. Should I go ahead and put it in the freezer if I'm hoping not to have to use it?
 

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atvchick95 He is lovely! Only about one out of a hundred pictures that I take of the birds aren't blurry. They are all so energetic and can't be bothered with posing. I am glad that he indeed did turn out to be a he for you. They can be such little tricksters.

allen If they did hatch I would only hand feed if I had to. I would start handling them and do the fun stuff like cuddling but the feeding I would rather leave to mom and dad if possible. I recall seeing that post and I thought it was great by the way. All the components I already have in the animal first aid cabinet along with everything to hand feed except the formula. None of it has ever been used but I would always rather have what I might need and never use it instead of need it and not have it. My three human children have certainly driven home the point that it's best to always be prepared for anything. If they do hatch or even if they start to look like they are going to then I will go and buy some formula. Should I go ahead and put it in the freezer if I'm hoping not to have to use it?

First kudo's to you for having the majority of the things needed with out needing them yet :D

I just read a couple weeks ago if you put the food( rather its pellets, seed, formula) in the freezer it will keep it 4 yrs past its "use by date"

I just bout a new big bag of formula and it went straight into my fridge I haven't opened it yet, But i was running low, and not sure how much longer the 3 i'm hand feeding are going to take formula plus not sure if I'll be hand feeding any more But its there if and when I need it.
 

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It's good to be prepared. You never know when you have to step in and lend a hand. I thought I was going to be able to leave my last batch in with the parents but the ignored one baby and even when they did feed them they weren't keeping them warm enough to digest their food. I had to pull them when the youngest was 4 days old. They were all suffering from crop slowdown and had to be put in a brooder. I just use a critter keeper or a herp habitat (a small plastic container about 11 X 17 with a vented lid) with shavings in it and a heating pad on low under it. It works great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
atvchick Thanks. It is just my opinion but if you have two of any kind of animal you need to have all the things that babies will need way before you need to. Even with every precaution in place if the urge is strong enough things can/will happen
I'll have to remember that. I already keep the seed in the freezer. It made sense on that front since if you are saving seed to plant it tends to sprout better and keep longer.

sweetrsue I hate that you had to step in with the last batch but I know it was well worth it. I bet the critter keeper/herp habitat would work great. I just might have to invest in a few of those since the store right up the road carries them in in such varying sizes and the owner always cuts me a deal since I shop there so much. I've always been afraid of shavings even with the gerbils and rats. I was thinking of using the plain white paper towels or are the shavings better. I seem to recall some debate on the use of them.
 

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i agree about the formula i had some in the freezer for 6 months not thinking there would be an emergency but when my uncle called all in panick i took the chicks home setup a brooder and hand fed them reason is the father poked hole in there crop so i always say you never no
 

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The only problem with using paper is that it gets so nasty so fast. Many people don't know this but wood has natural anti bacterial properties. I saw an experiment done where they took a bacteria culture and spread a little on a wooden cutting board and a plastic one. The following day the culture on the plastic cutting board had doubled it's population. The culture on the wooden board was dead. Completely gone! Wood shavings also absorb more moisture than paper so they don't end up standing in poop soup. So much can accumulate in a day I just can't stand to see them walking in it. You have to avoid cedar and anything that is too dusty. Anything too big or too small but it works best when you have multiple babies.
 
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