Let the 2014 Breeding Season begin!!

A very "Red" Phaeo male we are keeping for 3rd generation breeding. He is aptly named Strawberry for obvious reasons. (TWFA 2014)

A very “Red” Phaeo male we are keeping for 3rd generation breeding. He is aptly named Strawberry for obvious reasons. (TWFA 2014)

With a Breeding Season like we had for 2013, I should have expected that the following Resting Season would be eventful and full of surprises. It did not disappoint!

TWFA gets some special attention
We’ve been getting a lot of it lately!! And it’s always very flattering and very appreciated. First, a picture of the hand raised babies was shared by the Doodlebug Duds Facebook page. We sent them a thank you alongside a customer appreciation photo, and they thought it was pretty neat that one of their hand-made pet beds was being used by little birdies.

Next, my favorite blog and birdie blog Students & Birds published my guest article about owning Zebra Finches. Her site is so cool!! She’s always got such innovative ideas for her series posts and this one does not disappoint, featuring different bird species being explained in depth by a long-time owner. And lastly, GouldianFinch.gr shared my recent photo of the updated juvenile aviary. They are a great resource for different bits of Finch-related information and will post lots of pictures of different species & mutations on their page. I also want one of their Gouldian posters!

A LB CFW male enjoying the juvenile aviary. (TWFA 2014)

2014 New Mutations
Here are a list of the new mutations we’ve come up with during this “off season” with lots of luck and wonderful parents: Lightback CFW (pictured left), Very “Red” Phaeo (pictured top right), Very Black BF BC, Fawn Yellow Beak, Fawn Penguin (pictured bottom right), and a very Vibrant CFW (pictures coming soon!).

These have all manifested in our 2013 offspring and will be bred further for 3rd generation offspring. I was highly lucky to get these colors by chance! I had expected to wait until 3rd or 4th generations. It’s a true testament to the excellent breeding of my pairs from their original breeder. I will also be leaving a review for her shortly. It has been written for some time but things have been a lot busier than originally anticipated! Now there will be many photos to accompany it.

Penguin baby update
The 2 Penguin babies that were raised by hand are doing very well! As you can see they are very healthy and happy, currently going through their first adult molt. They’re both have very different personalities, and have been chosen for special homes. One is more independent and eating on her own while the other is very emotionally dependent and has not shown any real interest in anything that doe

sn’t come inside of a syringe. I will miss them when they’re gone! But I know their future families will really enjoy their especially close human bond.

The male & female hand-raised baby Penguin Zebra Finches. Here they are posing in front of my Valentine’s Day bouquet. (TWFA 2014)

Changes from the 2013 season
I have made a few changes since the previous season, some

can be found in articles that were recently posted and others I will mention here in this update. For starters, I have stopped advocating half or partial use of the Dr. Rob Marshall system. It doesn’t work unless used completely. I wrote an article on that change recently.

Another change I’ve instated after last season is from 30x18x18 cages to 24x16x16. I will need to change my care guides accordingly. The reason for this change is actually a fluke. In my previous experience, I only saw negative long term effects with this smaller flight size. At the beginning of last season, I received 2 or 3 orders of the 24x16x16 size by mistake. To

compensate, they sent another order of cages but again in the wrong size. I was up to my ears in these sized cages!! So I decided to use them. I was receiving a lot of new pairs so I didn’t have much of a choice at the time. After a few months I didn’t notice any negative side effects. 6 months and then 1 year after that and my flock still loves them. I still think that for Gouldians this would be much too small a size but for Zebra & Society Finches I think it’s just right, even for the long term.

My handsome bird! Mr Miles posing in front of my Valentine's Day bouquet. (TWFA 2014)

My handsome bird! Mr Miles posing in front of my Valentine’s Day bouquet. (TWFA 2014)

Another couple of changes I’ve made are related to diet. I took out Granulated Kelp Meal entirely, and continued Ioford/Dufo Plus year round instead. It has minimized health issues by 100%. I also stopped serving Avian Trio or Bee Pollen in finger trays. It was mostly going to waste and most preferred the F-Vite. Instead, I now serve the Avian Trio/Bee Pollen with egg soft food or any other chop or baked treats they get. They devour it much more this way.

One last set of changes I made was to the type of lights/feeders/waterers/substrate I used. I upgraded from the clamp lights to bar-shaped, from seed cups to vacation feeders with catch trays for husks, and from 1.25oz drinkers to 4oz in each breeder flight cage. I also started using the hypoallergenic Prevue cage paper instead of nesting materials as substrate. As a veterinary friend of mine quipped, “those hatchlings could fall out of two of your cages stacked high and there would still be a minimal risk of serious damage.” The nesting materials are very cute and very natural for the babies, but this cage paper is just as safe and a lot easier to manage/clean.

What happens now?
Well, now I get to post the new waiting list and begin the 2014 breeding season! All pairs have been established and placed in their individual cages, and any that are immature are being kept in the aviary until they’re ready to breed. We have made a LOT of changes in the bird room!! Each member of the flock is currently enjoying fresh cages with fresh decorations and brand new lights. The only thing left to do is to start giving them their new nesting materials so they can all begin building, laying and raising their young.

I’ll also be posting photos of the remaining resting season offspring: Vibrant CFW (adopted), BC CFW (adopted), Fawn YB (adopted), NG YB (available) & NG/CFW (available).  The “My Finches” page is being rebuilt with current photos of all the new bird room updates and detailed information about each breeding pair including current videos. The new cage setup will be posted separately soon.

Thanks for following!~

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2 Comments

    • Thanks Sarah! It’s really hard not to post them all at once right now!! But I will have plenty of photos & videos for the next post in a couple of days. 🙂 All of the resting season offspring & current tiny hatchling photos will be covered as well. It’s the type of busy I live for.~

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