How To Catch A Budgie

Yesterday I blogged sadly about how one of my budgies, the female, Syrup, had escaped through me not noticing a door in the cage had been knocked slightly open.

syrup escaped2

She hung around all evening and we had fun watching her swooping around the place. She was still close by this morning, on the telephone wire, then the house roof – and then on the cage, nibbling at a millet stalk hung on the side.

Aha, we thought. We might be in with a chance to get our budgie back.

We worked through a few ideas and the best we came up with was to move Maple to the rat trap and have him as a decoy and rig up the cage so that a door was open for her to fly into to get at some tempting millet. My budgies adore their millet. Chris came up with a devious way of using fishing line and a reel that could be operated from inside the house by a budgie trap observer, i.e. Rors.

Maple wasn’t keen on being caught and sunk his beak firmly into my finger once I managed to grab him, but I can’t blame him. He was bundled carefully into the trap, since we can’t find the proper door, I tied a black sack over the open end. He was put out on the bench next to the booby trapped cage.

budgie trap1


All we needed now was for him to start calling to his mate and her for greed to come into play.

Chris and I took the dogs for a walk and left Rors poised at the operational end of the trap.

budgie trap3

And lo and behold, when we came back, we were rebudgied! She’d flown around for a while then finally popped inside for a quick snack, and Rors with his lightning reflexes activated the door release. And Syrup was back in the cage.

budgie trap4


Now we just have to get Maple safely back in with her… We’ll definitely be doing that indoors!

A Word About Birds

Oh dear, I’m down to one budgie. Every sunny day I carry the budgies’ cage outside so they can enjoy the sunshine and see what’s going on in the world. Today, I’m guessing that one of the many sliding doors in the front of the cage must have been knocked upwards during the short trip and, unfortunately, I didn’t notice. We only spotted it when Rors came over to tell me that he thought Syrup might be laying an egg in the nesting box as there was no sign of her in the cage. That was when we saw the open door. It was only open about an inch but that was enough for Syrup to slip through and be free. Maple was happy to stay inside. He was a bit agitated to start with and called for her, and she called back from the oak trees. She’s spent a happy afternoon flitting between the trees in the front garden, and occasionally landing on the telephone wire.

syrup escaped2

We haven’t got a hope of catching her so I hope she’ll stay safe in her new life as a wild bird. I shall go to Jardiland and get a replacement paramour for Maple later this week as Rors is very keen to help me build a budgie empire.

Other bird news is that TT aka Chickzillla, our first incubated chick, continues to grow at a frightening rate. He’s at his happiest perching on some part of Rors’ body as he plays on his tablet. We’ve been putting him outside in the guinea pig run, with added cat-proofing, to start introducing him to other chickens. We put the four turekylets in with him the first day, but all they did was cheep noisily for mum, Mrs T, who has been totally ignoring them while sitting on the nest of red turkey eggs she usurped off the more timid Rebecca and Rachel. They’ve moved over to some hen’s eggs. Anyway, there wasn’t any hen-turkey rapprochement – only one of the turkeys paid TT any attention and pecked him – and TT was far more interested in seeing what we were up to. He was only really happy when one of us was sitting near the run to keep him company. So thus far my hopes that we could integrate him in with the baby turkeys have come to nothing. His rechickening programme has a long way to go.

TT and the turkeylets

TT and the turkeylets

Today I’ve removed the red turkey eggs from under Mrs T. They’re well overdue, and a couple had been broken and there was a truly awful smell emanating from them. She’s now gone back to mothering the chicks. I’ve also taken the eggs from under Rachel and Rebecca but these have gone into the incubator. The girls have been sitting on them for a couple of weeks so we should be over halfway there incubation-wise. If it sounds cruel to be depriving them of eggs, it isn’t. They’ve been brooding on one set of eggs or another for over four weeks and are noticeably thin. When a hen or turkey broods they only leave the eggs for a short period every day to stretch their legs and find something to eat. It’s quite a strain on them physically. I’ve been putting handy pots of food and water for the turkeys but they still haven’t been eating as much as they would normally. They need a few weeks break from brooding to build their condition up and then, all being well, they’ll start laying again and eventually brood once more.

It’s disappointing not to have any baby Rouges Ardennes but it was a first go for all of us. All being well next time will be more successful.

TT and me!

TT and me!