If you compare a cat having kittens, to a bird having a hatchling… well, there really is no comparison. The cat was seriously hectic. Lots of activity, mewing, placenta, embryonic sacs, and the ingestion of said objects (I still vomit a little in my mouth every time I think of it). Not to mention 8 weeks of constant mewing, the fleas the mother brought home with her (a reminder of her dirty weekend), finding homes for said kittens and the momma cat eating their poop. blech.
With the birds… not so much. So far, it’s been stress free. Completely stress free.
It all started about 2 weeks ago. The birds had been fighting relentlessly. I thought it was because 1 pair had a nest and the other pair didn’t. The odd thing was, the nest had been in there with the original pair – they showed NO interest in the nest. The newer pair took right to the nest and set up shop. FAST. To stop the fighting, I was going to do what any normal parent would do – put the nests next to each other and FORCE them to get along (for the love of GOD!). Because the cage is enormous, the best thing to do is to take one thing down from one side, put it in the middle, go to the other side and retrieve the said item. I voted this job to Michael. He stuck his hand in the cage and removed the nest from the side of the cage, he put it in the middle, and as the cage rolled, three little eggs almost fell out of the nest. I immediately started jumping up and down and screaming with delight “eggs! eggs! eggs! there are eggs! in there!!!” So he put the nest back where we found it and promptly told me to stop screaming like a little girl! Helloooooo
She laid about 6 eggs or so, I only know this number because we found 5 eggs on the floor of the cage. I read a few websites and found that once she laid the eggs, the gestation period was about 12-15 days (give or take). On Saturday, we were on about day 16 so I figured I’d clean the nest of all the unhatched eggs – because I assumed the birds would be horrible parents. They were barely in the nest, choosing to spend their time dive-bombing the other pair of finches. As I picked up the nest to take it out of the cage, I looked inside and found the tiniest hatchling moving around. I put the nest back and immediately started jumping up and down!! A baby! In the nest! The finches aren’t stupid! They’ve managed to hatch an egg… in between all the fighting – where’d they find the time?! It’s amazing! I can’t believe one hatched!
He/She has no feathers and looks sort of like this. The only difference is our little finch has this yellow thing around it’s neck. It reminds me of those neck things you use on long road trips – or on the airplanes. Basically, it’s a repository for food. It’s big and yellow and deposits food in the birds tummy when it’s parents are out foraging for food. In our case, it deposits food when the parents are out fighting with the other pair of finches.
Apparently, according to the nutritionist at Petco, we must have a happy place for our finches. Most hens do not lay eggs and when they do – those eggs do not hatch. To have an egg hatch, in a home setup… with nothing special – is, well… special. 🙂 Pictures to come when the little fella is more presentable.