The Amazing Toucan Bill

Foster Birds

I recently brought another pair of my Galahs to my aviary and I plan to foster their eggs as well.  Their abilities as breeders is unknown but I plan on removing their eggs as soon as they lay and put them under Ringneck or Cockatiel pairs. 

By far do I prefer Ringnecks over Cockatiels as foster parents but I know Cockatiels can also do well too.  I study my pairs closely and know their habits well.  I use the Cockatiel pairs who work the box enthusiastically and also avoid using virgin pairs (haven’t laid previously) of Cockatiels.  Not a good idea because who knows if they’d goof up with setting on a much more valuable Galah egg. 

I find that hand fed Ringnecks are usually the best setters and calmer foster parents over parent raised birds.  Parent raised Ringnecks for the most part, can be flightier and more frightened when I enter the aviary.  I raised a few Ringnecks this year but my goal isn’t to sell them, as much as I am looking to set up some new pairs for the purpose of fostering.  Come time for Galah eggs, it would be nice to have enough pairs of foster birds so at least one or two Ringneck pairs would be in the correct cycle to foster.

Adult Ringneck with Galah it hatched

Adult Ringneck with baby Galah it hatched.

Janet with baby Galahs and Ringnecks.

From what I have observed of Red-rumped Parrots, I would like to try them as foster birds, but at this time I don’t want to get involved with another bird species.  My thought is that Red-rumped Parrots could be more stable and not as hyper as Ringnecks.

Looking forward to the up coming season, I have my eight pair of Cockatiels who are exceptional, proven birds and the four good pair of Ringnecks, ready for whatever happens Galah-egg-wise.  In order
to save any fertile eggs taken from the Ringnecks, to make room for a Galah egg, I will foster Ringneck eggs under the Cockatiel pairs.

I do need to situate the nest boxes differently before the season starts so I can examine the eggs oftener and without disturbing the Galahs, as much as possible.  I’ll need to figure out a method of constructing a sliding door to cover the nest box entry hole so I can look for the egg without getting bloodied fingers and disturbing the birds.  I had too many close calls last year and a few “connects” that made me very unhappy.

All in all this last season was thrilling and exciting and I learned many valuable things about fostering eggs.  Because I experienced some success with taking a chance on the foster birds, it gives me hope and excitement as I wait for the breeding season to get here.

You may reach Janet Nichols at this E mail address:

Janet welcomes questions and is delighted to discuss any and all aspects of raising birds.

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Copyright © 2011, Susie Christian