Off-Season Breeding & Penguin Update~

If you’ve been following the TWFA updates for this past season, then you’ve heard me gripe about my finickiest new mutation, my pairs of Penguin Zebra Finches.

What exactly makes them finicky? To start, on average they lay 1-2 eggs per clutch and will lay about 1-2 times per breeding season. They’re fragile breeders, finicky eaters and also more susceptible to illness which means it’s a good idea to keep them fat, exercised and on a consistent, balanced diet. Did I mention that they’re a challenge which I am crazy enough to enjoy? The babies they’ve produced this year have been some of the cutest and quickest to be adopted. 

It has definitely been a journey to bring them all into prime breeding condition to say the least! Both Penguin pairs have been thoroughly rested since their last clutch of babies, and have been moved to the aviary’s year-round breeding cycle. This schedule is reserved for pairs that lay 1-2 clutches each year and take breaks of up to 6 months in between.

After some nest changes and settling into the new house with a new view of the outdoors, I have returned home from a week of absence to find 5 freshly laid eggs in a newly built nest made of natural organic materials as well as pieces of their fresh millet branches. Always a happy find here in the aviary! The other Penguins are still deciding between a nest box and a cup-style, still carrying supplies here and there without any real building going on.

A slower than usual process
All of my Penguins get more natural light and less synthetic so they are not overstressed or overstimulated during their light breeding schedule. They also receive their high protein foods after they begin laying which assists them during the parenting process. I’ve also been introducing multiple nest options since these pairs are new to the aviary and to breeding so as anyone can guess, some nests are favored over others. All of these precautions do make for a slower breeding process but that is their “flow” which is always the goal here, to find their favorite environment and to replicate it in the most natural way for the rest of their lives.

Hand raising Penguins
I will be removing a couple of these eggs for hand raising as planned in the next few days which I am really looking forward to again. After over a dozen have come and gone this season I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of them! I’m sure Miles will be thrilled as always to get a couple of new little siblings, they are his favorite to cuddle with. This will be a challenge as this is the most fragile mutation (in my experience thus far) but of course I welcome it.

lbcfw

A preview of 2014 – Lightback CFW!
We’ve also got a rarity in the juvenile aviary in preparation for next season ~ Lightback CFW (pictured right)! I can’t wait to see what this little cutie colors into. He’s already started his babbling, which is a good sign he is a male as I’m hoping for of course but nature is always able to surprise. As you can tell I will be focusing on a lot of white variations, living up to the TWFA name.

Other young juveniles of the off-season
Also new in the aviary are a couple of BC CFW juveniles, and a freshly fledged Phaeo male hopping around as he explores his cage today. All of these mutations are also on the off-breeding or year-round cycle and have already been spoken for.

Also new in 2014 ~ TWFA offspring in Snohomish
We have been researching a local independent pet store which has expressed a desire to provide TWFA offspring for public adoptions in the Snohomish area so these off-season babies have been promised to them pending a little more research. This local store is one of the “exceptions” to the usual ideas of pet stores with flight cages for their Finches and ample room that resembles the space available in aviary cages here. They also have a very large & loyal fan base of customers who regularly visit and adopt. They even have a rigorous researching process for all breeders which is very impressive to me (esp. in comparison)! I am still looking into and speaking with them so it will be pending until further notice. However it’s an exciting opportunity for people to get to know the TWFA name and the quality of our offspring in another part of Washington.

Thanks to everyone for continuing to follow along with our antics & updates in the aviary!~

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