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Old Saturday 11th November 2006, 22:48   #1
Chickadeedeedee
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A Bit Off Topic Please ...Orange Weaver Finch

Hi everyone.

This is a bit off topic but I would like your advice please. I have Orange Weaver Finches (Euplecies orixftanciscana) as pets. They have laid eggs and hatched chicks for me since the year 2000. They have either killed the chicks or destroyed the eggs every single year.

This year they laid eggs again and tossed them from the nest ... destroying them. I noticed I got a second clutch 5 days ago! I took the eggs out of the nest knowing there was a 99.99999999999999% chance they would perish at some stage based on past history. I have made a make shift incubator and as of today the eggs are still alive and who ever is inside is developing more blood vessels and growing! As they say in America: Whowoulddathunkit?

So after all this rambling ... do you think that I should get some surrogate finches to continue to brood and raise the Weaver chicks and what may be the best species to get? The Weaver eggs are a beautiful sky blue in colour. Or, do you think another species would destroy these eggs and again I would be without Weaver chicks?

I seem to be caught in a no win situation. If the eggs do hatch I think I could hand raise them as I have done with other species of finches and wrens.

Any and all comments and suggestions are tremendously appreciated!!!!!!!!!!!

Lydia
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Old Saturday 11th November 2006, 23:03   #2
matt green
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Sounds like you need to find some specialist advice,

Do you know of a breeder of these types of birds?,maybe a pet store could
put you in the right direction?

As a last resort you could try a bird/wildlife rehabilitation centre with the appropriate fascilities.

Matt
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Old Saturday 11th November 2006, 23:10   #3
Chickadeedeedee
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Hi Matt and thank you for taking the time to reply.

I have contacted a breeder of finches and they are stumped as far as what to do but have asked other breeders for me. Pet store people here generally know little about the birds they sell. I contacted a breeder of the species in California and am waiting for a reply.

I probably need to concentrate on the care of my Blue Jay, Grackle, Junco, Red Finch, House Sparrow ..... and the rest.

Thanks again. I'll keep you posted with the latest bird drama here.

Lydia
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Old Sunday 12th November 2006, 01:36   #4
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Hmm, can't help you there but as matt said, look for advice from professional breeders as they are the ones that will know most about these type of things. Though if you can hand rear them, I think his might be the best option for the hatchlings.
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Old Sunday 12th November 2006, 02:34   #5
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Not off topic at all, it's Birds!

I can't suggest anything Lydia, but think I'm right in saying that as you've churned out so many success stories in the past, that if there's no other way you know of and no other suggestions forthcoming then.....try your very best with your skills and do the job yourself!!!!

I do hope that all goes well though, whatever happens. The very best of luck to you...and them,

Sue

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Old Sunday 12th November 2006, 11:18   #6
Cathy H
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Hi Lydia,

I don't know if they may be able to help you, but I had a problem some years ago when our spur thighed tortoise laid some eggs and we needed advice. The only folk we could think of to contact was London Zoo. They were very helpful, although the eggs didn't hatch - it was a long shot anyway.

They also do lots of work on conservation and they know about lots of species. Even if they can't help, they may be able to point you in the right direction. You can find them on www.londonzoo.co.uk. Good luck, and please let us know how you get on!
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Old Sunday 12th November 2006, 14:08   #7
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Hi everyone and thank you sooooooo much for your kind comments and suggestions!

The biggest obstacle is to get them to hatch. I don't have a proper incubator that keeps the temperature and humidity at a constant level and turns the eggs automatically. Funny how the birds don't need all this technical stuff, ehh? They just know what they are doing!

It is going to be a long 16 day here until they hatch. As of this morning both eggs still look like the chicks within are alive and growing. Who ever walks past them slips a hand inside and gently turns the eggs a bit.

I think it was last year that the hen who laid the eggs was killed by another finch of the same species. (SAVAGES!) I took the eggs out and within a day or so they were over heated and no longer viable. I speculate the other finch wanted the nesting site although there are 2 more nests hanging about than I have hens.

Thank you for the link! I'll contact them this morning. If I get some suggestions from a breeder or the Zoo I will be able to apply it toward next years Weaver drama. Personally, I am not holding too much hope for the success of this endeavour but one cannot succeed if one does not even try.

I'll keep you posted and thank you all again!

Lydia
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Old Monday 13th November 2006, 00:19   #8
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Hi again.

No reply from the Zoo people yet. One of the finch people replied and said that Society Finches will incubate and raise other finch chicks.

Who's going in search of Society Finches tomorrow?!?!?

L.
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Old Monday 13th November 2006, 13:13   #9
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Hi Lydia

You might find this finch website helpful. It also has a forum with a section on breeding. I'm sure someone there would be able to help you.

http://www.finchinfo.com/breeding.htm

http://www.finchforum.com/viewforum....34ae6fcbe64db5

Good luck.
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Old Monday 13th November 2006, 17:23   #10
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Can't really offer any advice, but just want to say good luck! From what you tell us on this forum you seem very adept at raising young' uns so hopefully it'll turn out well! No doubt it'll be a lot of stress, but also a lot of fun if you decide to hand rear.

Anyway, please keep us posted.
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Old Monday 13th November 2006, 23:46   #11
Chickadeedeedee
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Ooooooooooooooo! Thank you so much for the link!

Still no reply from the zoo people but our oldest son and I went shopping today and purchased 3 Society Finches to take over the brooding/ raising of the Orange Weaver eggs / chicks. As of this writing both eggs are still viable ! I'll wait a day or so to let the Society Finches settle in before I ask them to take over.

I fear that at some point things will get messed up and the eggs will die if we continue to try to incubate on our own..

The Society Finches are soooooooooooooooo sweet! Such a lovely song!

We shall keep you posted with this continuing drama.

Lydia
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Old Saturday 18th November 2006, 20:31   #12
Chickadeedeedee
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Thank you all for your good wishes! A brief update on the egg drama.....

The Society Finch,Lonchura domestica, is a very chummy bird. We purchased three, one male and two females. All pile into their nest basket at night and are always shoulder to shoulder although they have a large area to explore. They like each other's company!

Here is a site with more information about them:

http://www.peteducation.com/article....articleid=3339

I have not put the eggs in with them as they don't seem to be very broody / interested in incubation now. I *DO* hope they would help to raise the chick, should he hatch.

Sadly one of the eggs has failed to thrive and develop. The other egg is still viable and one can easily see a well defined skull and beak on this little life when the egg is "candled".

There is still a very good chance this little life will not make it to hatching as I have a very amateurish incubation set-up. But we continue to try our best and after all, that is all one can do. I'll take photographs of our precious little eggs and hopefully the newborn chick when he arrives.

I'll keep you posted! Thanks again for your concern.

Lydia
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Old Saturday 18th November 2006, 22:12   #13
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Hi Lydia.
I suppose the answer could be if one of the Society Finches laid eggs, then you could slip the other egg in with them, but I guess that will be too much to expect. Whatever your course of action, the best of luck. Everything that can be crossed is be being crossed for you.

All the very best.
Baz.
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Old Saturday 18th November 2006, 22:32   #14
Chickadeedeedee
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Hi Baz.

Thanks for your reply and concern and getting "cross" for my egg and me!

I slipped the non viable egg into the Society Finch nest basket hoping that maybe someone would get a hint and start to sit on the egg. Should the other egg hatch, the transition to raising the chick may be easier? Or so thinks my Chickadeedeedee brain.

Now off to Photobucket-land and try to upload more pictures to post.

Thanks again!

Lydia and her egg
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Old Monday 20th November 2006, 16:40   #15
Chickadeedeedee
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Hi Everyone.

Just me again. The egg drama continues. The Society Finches are interested in each other but don't care about the egg in their nest. Oh well.

The viable egg, now named Bill ( ), continues to change daily. There is more of a solid body developed and a skull and beak seen by candleing him. We think that he is due to hatch this week but since his incubation has not been ideal, perhaps there would be a delay? I don't know! We never got this far with incubating an egg.

There is still a good chance that our beloved blue egged Bill will not hatch too. All we can do is try and had we not tried we would not have had this experience either. (Or Society Finches! )

I'll let you know how we're doing when I know something.

Lydia and Bill
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Old Monday 20th November 2006, 16:54   #16
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Hi Lydia,

Don't know whether incubation CAN be delayed once it's under way but Looking at our only Weaver Finches (House and Tree Sparrows, P. domesticus & P. montanus) the incubation period is 11-14 days so maybe that span allows for interruptions in the actual incubation.

Keeping my fingers crossed for ........ how do you know that it's not Wilhelmina? (though, thinking about it I had a female dance teacher called Billy)

Hope Mike's knee is holding up, I'll be in touch presently.

Bill (me, not the egg)
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Old Monday 20th November 2006, 21:40   #17
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Hello there Mr. Moss.

I think, or so I understand, the beginning of incubation can be delayed but once it starts it cannot be interrupted. I went to the wild bird food and supply store and made several purchases. While there I asked the store owner about my egg.

I explained my attempt at incubation and Bill's progress but wondered if the incubation could take a day or so longer if the conditions were less than ideal. He seemed very knowledgeable about finches and other wild birds and had himself hand raised several species of birds to release when they were ready.

He explained that outdoor weather conditions will sometimes vary greatly during incubation. Too hot, too cold, high humidity and so on. The brood patch temperature may vary between the male and female who incubate the eggs. As long as there is growth within the egg, all is well. He said to allow 2-3 days past the calculated hatch date. If the chick does not hatch it may be that the incubation process caused weakness or developmental abnormalities and it is Nature's way to cull him from the species.

I hope that the chick named in your honour does hatch and grow wise and strong. I shall update you from the delivery room. LOL!

Lydia

~~~~> Mike goes to work two legged and comes back with three as he needs a cane for support. But it is far better than using crutches which he was doing when he returned from Ecuador.
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Old Tuesday 21st November 2006, 10:41   #18
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Hi Lydia,

Think we may have got our lines crossed a bit, probably my fault as I didn't say it very well.

Incubation can (and often is) interupted, mainly where either the work is done by one parent and not fed by it's mate, or where both parents share the work but are slow to 'take over'. In some pelagics the eggs will stay viable even when left unattended for several days. In more common occurance male Blackbirds (T. merula) will occupy the nest while the Female feeds but not actively incubate so that although their natural warmth will prevent the eggs from chilling the embryo development will slow down. While in many species the eggs are left entirely uncovered for short periods while the sitting bird feeds.

On the other hand I agree that once the embryo starts to develop it's development is continuous, but not necessarily at a constant rate, this will vary according to the above. There's also the case that in birds where true incubation doesn't start until the last egg is laid, partial development may start in the earlier eggs due to the warmth of the laying bird ;in fact in these species the precise period of incubation will vary from egg to egg within the clutch. The amount of possible damage to the embryo from lack of warmth also varies from very little in the earliest stages to being critical towards the end of incubation.

This is not arguing with what your store owner told you, just introducing other factors.

Regarding abnormalities in the embryo, D and me have some personal experience here. D used to keep Homing Pigeons (as pets) and we (mistakenly) let a sibling pair mate and incubate. One morning D found one of the eggs (they always lay 2) on the floor under the nest box; it seemed undamged and we assumed that one of the parents had accidently kicked it out during a shift-change so D put it back; it wasn't clear how that could happen as there was a rail along the front of the box opening but...... 2 days later there was an egg on the floor again (impossible to tell whether the same one) and again it went back in. About a week after the chicks hatched D found a chick on the floor, groused about careless parents and put that back. End of incidents except that when that chick grew we found that it couldn't stand properly, it had deformed legs. Later we discovered that the other chick from the brood was subject to 'fits'. We always assumed that it was the inbreeding that had caused the problems but it was interesting that the parents could tell (apparently) that the embryo(s) were not normal. We left the pair together but ever after that they sat crock eggs (or a golf ball).

I am now all agog to hear about a sucessful hatching! Come on Bill, go for it!

Pleased to hear that Mike makes progress.

Bill.
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Old Tuesday 21st November 2006, 15:29   #19
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Hello again Bill and Good Afternoon.

Great information there about the variability in incubation! And the birds outside make it look so easy. We don't have wind or rain in the house, as of this writing at least, and we are having a struggle with our one little blue egg. Bill, the egg, fits inside my wedding ring with room to spare!

Isn't that amazing that birds *know* when a chick or egg will not survive? They abandon the one and use their energies and resources to ensure the others in the clutch survive.

L. and the other Bill
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Old Sunday 26th November 2006, 00:53   #20
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Oooooooooooohhhhhhhh Noooooooooo! .....

........NOT AGAIN ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Mr. Weaver has been a ~VERY~ busy fellow! He has woven a new nest plus finished about 3/4 of another! <not sure what kind of smiley to insert here!>

He has a total of four potential brides.

I firmly believe it is time for me (after 48 years) to start drinking!

I'll keep you posted .......again.

((O Lord, help me!))

Lydia
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Old Sunday 26th November 2006, 14:16   #21
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Lydia, that is good news. I'll keep my fingers crossed for even better news, that there will be a flutter of baby wings for you and Mr.& Mrs. Weaver, in the near future!
Have the first one on me!
All the best Lydia
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Old Sunday 26th November 2006, 14:19   #22
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Hi Lydia, what are you putting in the food or water over there. Do stop it or your nerves will be frazzled!!!!

Good luck!!

We'll be watching, waiting, and praying that everything goes OK.
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Old Tuesday 28th November 2006, 02:25   #23
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The Drama Continues ....

As the Egg Turns.

Hi everyone.

Mr. Weaver destroyed the lower nest and is starting another, which is typical for him. One of the hens is missing for a few days. She is in the nest higher up in the free flight room. Since she is actually incubating her egg(s) we will not interfere as we did with the last clutch which was not being incubated.

So we wait for the sounds of chicks now.

I think it may have been last year that one of the hens was murdered while incubating her clutch. **The SAVAGES**!!

As far as being frazzled .... I've been to the hospital emergency room twice over the weekend for migraine headaches. I finally got a medication that kills the pain within 15 minutes. (For about $20.00US a tablet, it BETTER work! LOL!) I certainly do not blame it on the Weavers. Just life as I know it here.

I'll update you when I know something to tell.

Lydia
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Old Tuesday 28th November 2006, 07:01   #24
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Hi Lydia,

Those Weavers sound like their own worst enemies; who needs predators?

Does the male simply tear the nest apart and leave the debris lying around or does he unpick the old nest and re-use the material for the new one?

MIgraines! Ouch indeed. I 'only' get the jazzy lights, not the headaches I'm happy to say. I had a friend who used to get the whole shebang and had to lie down in a dark room for a day at a time. You probably already know but keep off the chocolate and the cheese.

Bill.
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Old Tuesday 28th November 2006, 18:36   #25
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Hi Bill,

The Weavers ARE their own worst enemies! The male breaks down the nest completely and reused the materials at another site and starts the weaving of the nest basket all over again. Sometimes a female will join in but the male does most of the work. If he sticks to it the nest can be finished within 3 hours.

LOL!!! I think if I had the luxury of being able to lay and rest for a few hours I wouldn't need to be taking tablets!

Talk to you later.

L.
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