I think I have found Anzac a mate. Went through the Quokka (our version of the Trading Post) and found a few ads for turks. The first lot of people I rang were selling them for $25 each but when I rang them they didn't sound so knowledgeable. So I rang the next ad who advertised them for $45 and he seemed to know his stuff and is only selling females as all his males are sold. So he's hanging onto them for me so I can go have a look on the weekend ;D
I the guy is breeding normals he will more than likely have the sexing right. Usually you can pick the cocks from the time they 1st feather in the nest. If some of those males are still there you will see the difference yourself easily enough.
Anzac now has a new mate, Matilda or Tilly (the turk) for short I am so glad to have found the guy I bought Tilly off. He had some great aviaries and breeding many types of grass parrots so he knew his stuff. He had all his aviaries set up in a courtyard style with big plants in the middle with a retic system. Very well set up and very clean. It's funny as Tilly is so much more settled than Anzac is. She settled nicely in the aviary with the canaries and she just happily sits on the perch when you walk past, check on them where as Anzac still flies around. She is a little older than him, she's 6 months and I assume she has had her first moult as she has much stronger colours than Anzac, but I think Anzac is going through his first moult now. I have almost set up the other aviary for them and they'll probably go in on the weekend. Just as well really as the other aviary is getting bombarded with parrot poo, I forgot that bit about parrots I also managed to score some very nice canaries off the breeder as well as his wife breed canaries for only $10 for the canaries and $40 for Tilly so bit of a bargain really.
Next question for Mike or Greg, do turks need cuttle bone and grit for their diet? The aviary they are in atm with the canaries is dirt based so I have never fed grit to the canaries before and Anzac and Tilly are in there atm. Their aviary is cement (well urban stone) based so they won't have access to sand. So do I need grit containers and cuttle bone as well?
The jury is now out on grit. Parrots husk all their seed, so can digest without the aid of grit, but different grits can contain different minerals which some species may require. None of my neophemas get grit supplied any longer, and they are in suspendeds, so have no access to either dirt or concrete. Cuttlebone on the other hand I always supply as it is a good source of calcium. Pigeons, doves, poultry, pheasants & quail etc all eat the seeds in their diets whole, husk and all, so need a grit of some type to help break it down. If you dont already feed it then your canaries would also enjoy it. Bests Greg
As Mike said - terrible pics!! In the depths of the blurr, it looks like the bird closest to the camera may have an orange/red shading on the back. If that is so she is probably a dilute opaline. In contrast to Mike, I actually love the opalines and breed them in both green & dilute (yellow). Once you see good red fronted red backed opalines, either green or dilute, you will remember the sight. These days both males & females will usually have the red shoulder patch, and both, in the good ones have a red front right up to the chin. Good dilute opalines are actually pretty hard to sex - I have mine DNA'd in many cases, but I find them far from scruffy. Go to blucalypt.webs.com/turkshoodeds.htm for a few pics of mine. These birds have the red on shoulder, front & back right from the start - it is very apparent even in the pin feathers of chicks. Hen opalines tend to have more colour on their backs than the males. Straight dilute or red fronted dilutes have no red on their backs at all, and the hens only have a red belly, with a yellow chest. These days there are several lines around of these where the hens are carrying some signs of red shoulder patches. Bests Greg
Thought this would make you laugh ;D The guy who was selling the 3 "hen" split opalines, guess what they must have had a moult and there are now 2 cocks and 1 hen here's the new ad
I rang some-one yesterday and he has been breeding turks for 15 years and although he said he had about 15 young atm he wouldn't be able to sex his yellow split opalines probably till around Easter. At least he was being honest
Well I have found a mate for Tilly ;D I am picking him up tomorrow. He's "just" a standard turk and the guy selling him is also selling smokers, elegants, and IRN so hopefully he has nice birds. He only wants $25 for him so seems reasonable. We are going away on Wednesday to Darwin so I'll put him in the communal aviary (with Tilly) till we get back so our house-sitter has one less animal to worry about and then they can go in their own aviary that has been set up just before Anzac died :(. Now for names. Plus I definitely will be picking up some worm out gel tomorrow as well.
So Tilly has her new mate, Billy I have noticed that like Anzac, my dead turk, that he is quite flighty too as compared to Tilly who is very quiet in the cage. When you go near the aviary he will fly immediately while Tilly just sits on the perch and checks you out. For the turk owners out there is it a male turk trait is it that happens that Tilly is a quiet, settled bird? I have their aviary set up for them so they will be leaving the communal aviary (with the canaries) on Saturday. Will that settle him more perhaps?
I would say that Tily is probably quiet. Turks are much flightier than scarlets, but some individuals are notably quieter. The quietest I own is a cock, so that is the opposite to the males you have had. Most seem to quieten down after being housed in their permanent lodgings for a period of time, but I often notice this after 12 months or more. Keeping a regular routine will help.
As always thanks for the advice Greg, I'd be lost about owning turks if it wasn't for you guys. I was beginning to think Tilly was an exception. I don't mind them flying around, just worried they were getting frightened as most of my canaries are fairly settled birds as well. My other half was commenting how well both Tilly and Billy had settled in with the canaries and why did we buy another aviary. I commented we could always leave them there and buy another grass parrot species like the scarlets, he just rolled his eyes I guess for breeding Tilly might like her own cage. Onto the breeding aspect ( I know breeding season is a bit away yet) but what nesting materials will Tilly need? Might be putting the cart before the horse yet as we haven't bought a nesting box either yet.
I guess for breeding Tilly might like her own cage. Onto the breeding aspect ( I know breeding season is a bit away yet) but what nesting materials will Tilly need? Might be putting the cart before the horse yet as we haven't bought a nesting box either yet.
It may work out OK when breeding season comes around - canaries are so different that they would not be regarded as competition, and the canaries will quickly learn to keep away from the Turks.
I've always used wood shavings in nest boxes - a couple of hand fulls packed down in a Neophema box. They don't take any nesting material into the box, but just make use of what is in there already.
Thanks for that Mike. I actually bought the rope perch for the rats who don't think it's much chop either and just leave it alone in the cage so I may as just well leave it there then. Do you mean the wood shavings that pet shops sell for small animals (which by the way should NEVER be used on small animals as it causes all sorts of respiratory problems, bad pet shops for advertising it for rats, mice etc)
The turks should be fine with the canaries. We house 1 pair in our finch aviary every season with no problems. You can get the odd rogue pair, but we have never experienced this. Our turks pay the finches (and diamond doves) no attention at all. In fact the diamond doves tried to build a nest on top of the turks breeding box this year, while the turks were breeding - they were just ignored. Any untreated , non toxic wood shavings or saw dust will do the job. I use pine shavings in my boxes. All my neophemas are given a box around 300 mm high and 150 mm square at the base. I have noticed a few boxes being sold for neophemas which are only 250 mm or less high. I would stick with the 300 mm box. This gives the hen more security while sitting. Here in SE Qld the turks usually start thinking about breeding in August, a bit later than the scarlets.
Thanks Greg, I'll check out the box size as I haven't bought one yet. We still haven't put Tilly and Billy in "their" aviary yet as I still want to tweak it a bit. I could still leave them in with the canaries and maybe get some Scarlett's or Bourke's for the other aviary if I can get it past the other half, as I said in one of my first posts, bourbon normally does the trick It's amazing how the limit of numbers I can keep of my rats has crept up over the years from 7 to 13
The pic of the jade opaline cock is not my bird, it is a friends. What the pic really shows is the normal opaline pattern, but most cocks will moult out with less yellow on the back than the one in the pic. Normal & jade birds can be a bit hard to pick in photos, but yours could be jade, it is not uncommon. If your pair are jade, some of their young will be olive, some normal and the rest jade. Although I have a few jade opalines & fallows, they are not something I am concentrating on, it is the red backs I am really interested in.
Thanks for that Greg. With the way it seems to get turks in WA I was glad I stumbled across 2 bird breeders that seemed to know their stuff and got so far, touch wood, 2 healthy birds. Not really fussed if they breed or not, my canaries seem pretty hit and miss at it. I'll give them a nesting box and see how they go. But I understand the breeding aspect as my friend I breed some amazing marked pet rats.
Well finally after much delay, Tilly and Billy are in their new aviary together ;D They were relatively easy to catch and to get into the new aviary. I was little worried that they may not get along with just those two alone but they are fine. They seem to enjoy the taller aviary with heaps of branches to climb some reason they love to sit on the shelf in there, something the other aviary didn't have. Plus this aviary has an urban stone base which hopefully will be better than the sand bottom base in the old one. I noticed Billy particularly has become more settled now he's not around some of the more flighty canaries. So fingers crossed it all goes well for them. Thanks to everyone for all the advice they have given me to get Tilly and Billy to this stage.