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bird breeders in South Africa



Name: Margien Matthews
Country: South Africa

Hi Norma,
It seems that you have your hands full with all those gorgeous birds!  My daughter,Kristina, (age 13) begged me to let her take home a nest of wild baby birds that had been swept into her school courtyard. The parents had abandoned the nest.  I was reluctant because the baby birds were tiny, hardly any feathers, and we have no experience of breeding. However she persuaded me that everybody needs one chance in life….
To cut a long story short, five weeks later we are left with “Buffy”, a Cape Sparrow, who is very cute and seems to be thriving. He has been fed on Pronutro through a syringe just about non-stop and has been in a box with a light.  Now he has graduated to a small cage with a box and his teddy bear to sleep under.  He sits on a perch, jumps onto our fingers and is extremely friendly & cute.
We are desperately trying to “wean” him but he is very reluctant to try seeds. We’ve bought the budgy size seeds and crushed them; sometimes he pecks and crushes seeds but mostly he wants his cereal through a syringe or off a finger. We’ve also tried to mix the Pronutro and the seeds but this hasn’t really worked. His feathers are a bit straggly & he’s still quite bald in places so we are worried that he is not getting sufficient food or the right food.  We phoned an avian vet who only has a 2kg bag of food available for R125 but this is far too much food.  Are you able to advise what we should be doing to get Buffy strong and fit? 
We thought the next steps for Buffy would be to find a suitable aviary for him, although my daughter is very attached to him.  We have 4 hand-reared cockatiels and we’ve put Buffy’s cage close to theirs so that he can get an idea of how birds feed – so far this has not had much effect….. 
Many thanks in advance for any advice you can give us
Margien Matthews

 Hi Margien,

Some pet shops sell wild bird seed, I managed to buy 1kg of wild bird seed.

Start by cutting down his feeds, normally baby birds are fed 4 to 5 feeds a day.
I take the chicks normally at 3 weeks, just before it is dark, (when they have their pin feathers).
In this way I only start feeding the next morning. As their crop must be empty so that no bacteria can develope.
Then I feed only every 4 or 5 hours, (depending on the species). After about 4 weeks I cut the feeding down to 3 feeds, I place some seed in a dish and sprinkle some on the floor. Then by 6 weeks I cut it down to 2 feeds, then I only start feeding at 10.00am, it usually has them eating the seeds.
By 8 weeks they are only on 1 feed, which I give at 7.00pm. This is to make sure they do not go to bed hungry.

By 12 wk's of age, ( from hatching), they have developed their strong wing muscles, and are flying.
Also they are usually fully weaned.

My birds even after weaning still get a little tit bit from me. Especially if they are good.

I hope and pray that you are successful and that your little feathered friend has many years of happiness.
Remember that if he can, he will test your patience, by crying for your attention. You have to stay firm, if you want to wean him.

Best Luck

An update on Buffy today Monday 14.12.09

I received an email from Margien today, she informed me that Buffy, although was fine this morning, was found a half an hour later, dead in his box.

My condolences to this family in their hour of sorrow.



Date Added: 2009-12-13

Name: Gerald

Hi Norma,
"Cloe" is doing very well thanks.  In fact my male Cockatiel "Clumsy" likes her too.  I have put them into one cage and they seem to get on. 
As soon as I have downloaded my photos from my camera, I will send them to you.
Have a great day!

Date Added: 2009-12-11

Name: Gerald
Country: South Africa

Thanks Norma, 
Thanks for lending great advice. We are so chuffed with Max.  He goes to everyone willingly and especially likes landing on heads.
Well each day has been a joy so far so I will keep you posted as to his progress.
I will send you pics soon.
Best Regards

Date Added: 2009-10-14

Name: Gerald who bought one of my baby male Sun Conures
Country: South africa

Hi Norma, 
Our little one has been finally named “Max”.
He is adorable and we love him to bits.  He has settled in very nicely and is always wanting to get out of the cage when he sees me. Not sure if this is a good thing.  I battle to get him back into his cage after playing with him. 
I know you might have one or two books on birds, so would it be possible for you to send me a list of food items/ingredients that I may feed Max?  I have been giving him apple as well as a dried fruit and nut mix as a treat.  During the day he gets a seed and vitamin mix.
Hope all is going well otherwise....I look forward to hearing from you.
Thanks again

Date Added: 2009-10-14

Name: R
Nice site. I really enjoy birds.

Date Added: 2009-09-21

Name: Dawn Deyzel
City: Arcon Park
Country: RSA
Hey mom, you do us proud. Love the website. I really am proud of you. Love you lots.

Date Added: 2009-08-16

Name: Aldeleen Retief
City: Johannesburg
Country: South AFrica
Hi Norma! This is wonderful! Great to see that yo now have a permanent home here on the web! Its a great initiative! Im looking forward to looking around! Greets Aldeleen

Date Added: 2009-08-06

Name: Kerrie
City: Joburg
Country: SA
Hi There I love your web-site, it has lots of useful information and lovely stories.

Date Added: 2009-08-05

Name: Keven
City: Leeds
Country: UK
Hi Mum Lovely site and it is nice to see it all take off. Lots of Love

Date Added: 2009-08-05

Name: wendy
City: henley-on-klip
Proud of you!!!

Date Added: 2009-08-05

Name: Debbie Booysen
City: Joeys
Country: SA
Website: N/A
Hi Norma, Your website is stunning! Just to let you know, Zazu is our BEST friend EVER, we love him to bits and he keeps us very occupied and keeps us laughing. x

Date Added: 2009-08-05

Name: Carly Richards

Hi Norma,
I hope you are well.  Many thanks for the mail - I think your website is wonderful, I love the recipes - infact I think I am going to make the carrot & apple casserole for Chicken (my Sun Conure) this weekend!  I will keep watching for new content.

Date Added: 2009-08-05

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