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My concerns regarding MYSELF owning a mousebird THUS far...

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Missi

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So I got to about page 70 in "Mousebirds in Aviculture" last night & already I have a couple of concerns I need to check before bringing one to my home.

The whole torpid issue scares me. If I only have one...how would it stay warm at night? We don't run heat in our house. SO I was thinking about it on my way to work this morning, I think I solved that issue: Ceramic Heat Emitters I used one for my leopard gecko. There is the problem of making sure it does not over-heat the cage bars, though, thus burning the poor bird. I could always look into those small-animal heaters like Carole got. Heating pads just worry me though. I don't know why?

Secondly...mousers like to eat in the morning & promptly before dusk. I will need to have fresh fruit/greens out for them at these times. HOWEVER, I work 8-5 Monday through Friday. Actually, I leave my house at 7 a.m. & get home around 5:45 p.m. I would keep dry pellets in the cage at ALL times, but how would I work the fresh food in the morning so it is all gone? Otherwise, it would be sitting in the cage all day until I got home. BLECH! I figured I could just chop a very small amount of fresh foods so I know the mouser would consume it all, but then how do I know it will be enough? I guess that is what the pellets are for? To hold it over until the next fresh meal?

I'm sure I'll have more questions & concerns as I read on in the book but this is all thus far. Any more questions & concerns I will post IN THIS THREAD for Susanne &/or Carole to answer/advise, please :hug8:

I tend to over-worry. I just want to make sure my animal companions stay healthy, happy & content.
 

srtiels

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Carole would be best to answer the single mousebird guestions, especially with the environmental heat since she is in a colder location than we are. She can also detail her feeding schedule for Gryphon. Also if you go to Yahoo and click on groups, do a search for Mousebirds. There is a group you can post the same concerns.


As to food, with babies I HAVE to have food 24/7 for access for the parents. since all my pairs tend to breed during our FL cooler or winter months, and mine are outside, spoilage is not as big or issue as inside or during hotter weather. I DO NOT chop any food into small pieces because I have learned that the more cuts on the fruit/food the more surfaces that will start to decompose, thus the potential for rapid spoilage and bacterial problems, especially if the surrounding environment is warm. And the mousers will not eat any fruit that is starting to turn. I offer as many things in large chunks or whole because I have learned those little beaks are quite effecients in biting and tearing off chucks of fruit. Dry pellets are available at ALL times, and when they are low on fruit they will eat pellets. I also soak my pellets in fruit juice...more for parents feeding babies, but even the non-breeding mousers love the soaked pellets.
 

Missi

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As to food, with babies I HAVE to have food 24/7 for access for the parents. since all my pairs tend to breed during our FL cooler or winter months, and mine are outside, spoilage is not as big or issue as inside or during hotter weather. I DO NOT chop any food into small pieces because I have learned that the more cuts on the fruit/food the more surfaces that will start to decompose, thus the potential for rapid spoilage and bacterial problems, especially if the surrounding environment is warm. And the mousers will not eat any fruit that is starting to turn. I offer as many things in large chunks or whole because I have learned those little beaks are quite effecients in biting and tearing off chucks of fruit. Dry pellets are available at ALL times, and when they are low on fruit they will eat pellets. I also soak my pellets in fruit juice...more for parents feeding babies, but even the non-breeding mousers love the soaked pellets.
This is good to know because THE BOOK states that you MUST chop all fresh food into bits that are able to be easily swallowed whole.
 

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NO...from personal experience I found this is untrue. Alot has to do with your location in the US. I learned the hard way by the loss of a baby. Babies hatched and the parents would not feed the baby, one died and the next on was not being fed. This was at the end of spring where the weather was warming up and chopped food within an hour or so started to get a winey smell to it. The mousers refused to feed the babies this. In a panic I put whole pieces and large chunks of food and clusters of whole grapes in the cage and they all chowed down. I have since done that. At the time all the other mousebird breeders told me I was wrong in doing this and they MUST have their food chopped and diced into little bite sized peices. I have noticed that one of those breeders that voiced the loudest opinion has updated his mousebird feeding routine to chunks of food but with herbs on it to delay spoilage. Also during that year I was the only one that had numerous babies.
I learned to watch, be observant, and the birds will let me know what works best for them.

My breeding practices also go against the book and other mousebird breeders, and they MUST have privacy and be left alone while breeding. Again I found this is wrong, and again dependant on how the breeder manages and interacts with their flock.
 

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NO...from personal experience I found this is untrue. Alot has to do with your location in the US. I learned the hard way by the loss of a baby. Babies hatched and the parents would not feed the baby, one died and the next on was not being fed. This was at the end of spring where the weather was warming up and chopped food within an hour or so started to get a winey smell to it. The mousers refused to feed the babies this. In a panic I put whole pieces and large chunks of food and clusters of whole grapes in the cage and they all chowed down. I have since done that. At the time all the other mousebird breeders told me I was wrong in doing this and they MUST have their food chopped and diced into little bite sized peices. I have noticed that one of those breeders that voiced the loudest opinion has updated his mousebird feeding routine to chunks of food but with herbs on it to delay spoilage. Also during that year I was the only one that had numerous babies.
I learned to watch, be observant, and the birds will let me know what works best for them.

My breeding practices also go against the book and other mousebird breeders, and they MUST have privacy and be left alone while breeding. Again I found this is wrong, and again dependant on how the breeder manages and interacts with their flock.
You HAVE proven those things to be wrong, Susanne! You're right! I guess softbill husbandry is so new that we will not take EVERYTHING we read to heart &, as you said, let the birds let us know.


Susanne, I feel, in my heart, that I am not comfortable keeping a single mousebird. I feel they are too social & that is just my gut feeling & opinion for myself. I have no problem with people who want to keep a single mouser. However, I am afraid to keep 2 species of opposite sexes together because I do not want them mating, thus creating hybrids. Can I keep 2 males together? Say, a male BN & a male WB? Would they be content & not fight?
 

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YES!...you can most certainly keep two of the same sex together. I have noticed that when not breeding many of the same sexes hang out and interact with each other.
 

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srtiels

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And there you have it!
-----------------------------

Yes, if you watch them approach food they will sometimes cock their heads sideways, look at it, sniff it, and if it tastes funky they will shake their head, spit it out, and rush off to wipe off their beaks.
 

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I have gone back and forth about whether or not to get Gryphon a friend. On the one hand, I worried at first about the heat issue, but resolved that with this very safe pad. It has a heavy duty protected cord, it sits on the outside of the cage, and it cannot get hot, just warm. It's only 25 wts...so impossible to 'overheat'. The biggest reason I hesitate to give him a friend, is the sweet relationship we have. I don't think we would be as close if he had another mouser. I also wanted to see how he would do with the honeycreepers as buddies. I might still try that, as they have basically the same requirements, and that would give Gryphon more room to stretch out.:)
 

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I have gone back and forth about whether or not to get Gryphon a friend. On the one hand, I worried at first about the heat issue, but resolved that with this very safe pad. It has a heavy duty protected cord, it sits on the outside of the cage, and it cannot get hot, just warm. It's only 25 wts...so impossible to 'overheat'. The biggest reason I hesitate to give him a friend, is the sweet relationship we have. I don't think we would be as close if he had another mouser. I also wanted to see how he would do with the honeycreepers as buddies. I might still try that, as they have basically the same requirements, and that would give Gryphon more room to stretch out.:)
That's a great idea! :heart:
 

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I don't have mousebirds, but I find them really neat. So I will only chime in about the heating.
I just bought two of these for my Amazons, who live in a larger room that would be expensive to keep really warm at night here in Colorado.
Once I figured out how to use the dang cage mounts I have been happy with these. With Amazons I do need to remove the heaters from the cage when they are allowed out of the cage or they would be chewed.
Avitech Exotic Birds - Supplies, Equipment and Nutritional Supplements for Birds!
 

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I would be afraid those have the potential to overheat a mousebird. Look at the wattage, and the price. My little heat pad cost $30, is only 25 wts, and is totally encased in hard plastic. We don't usually have too much cold weather here in FL. Just a few nights here and there. This week we are breaking records in over two decades for cold duration.
 

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Debbie, where in Colorado are you? There is a man in Denver that has some mousebirds and other softbills.

As to these heat panels, are they flouresant bulbs under the plastic panels?
 

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The heaters I have are just 35 watts.
I don't know what would be safe for the little guys, but they are great for my 'zons.
They do not have any lights in them. They are just radiant heat from what? They are very thin, I guess electric current. They have a textured plastic front.
When they've been on awhile they are still very comfortable to touch with my hand, they do not get very hot to touch at all.

I am west of Denver, this is a great area for having birds, lots of resources and avian vets.
I don't know the folks in the softbill community in Denver, but I really love learning about them.
 

Missi

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NICE Debbie! Thanks for the link!:dance4:
 
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