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Pictures New Red Faced Mousebird Mommy - Help!

Blom90

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Hi Guys!

I have read basically every post and browsed every website (I think) on mousebirds and haven't found my answer yet.

We found a young red faced mousebird on our farm on Saturday and decided to keep it. Well, I think it is a red-faced when I compare photos of mousebird chicks anyway. I have cared for it for 6/7 days now and it has grown so attached to me already that I can't do anything without it wanting to sit on me. It even has it's favourite poop spot (and is VERY fussy about it :rolleyes:), favourite sitting spots and food preferences. My father calls him "Poop & Chow" :laugh:

I'm just wondering how old it is (see photos).
He was already trying to fly when we found him, so considering what I've read I'm guessing that he must be between 2 and 3 weeks old. But the thing that confuses me now is this: I went to the pet shop yesterday to find out what food and a cage would cost. The guy there told me that he raised a couple of mousebirds and they start flying at about 10 weeks and the parents stop feeding them at 12 weeks. I am fairly confused now (and maybe he confused a mousebird with some other bird, I don't know). So please clarify this to me. Is there some way to guess their age like by the length of their tails or something? Even with Suzanne's photos of the blue naped mousebird I had a hard time guessing. This is my very first bird pet, so I'm not very clued-up. Can someone help?

Thanks!

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Birdiemarie

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Welcome to the Avenue! I don't know anything about mousebirds but am loving the last pic! :laugh: :heart:
 

RoxieW

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I don't know anything about mouse birds. Hopefully someone will come along soon to help. But what a cutie!!! I do love that last picture !! :faint:
 

sunnysmom

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Welcome! One of our members, @srtiels knows a lot about mousebirds. I think you can contact her through her website too. Although it's a website for tiels, I think she's equally knowledgeable on mousebirds. Just Cockatiels! - HOME
 

Kimberla

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Awwww! Love the pic that looks like he has a Mohawk!! I don't know anything about them either, just loved the pic. :)
 

Chopper

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He is really cute - love the last picture. I don't have any info for you though.
 

zoo mom

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@waterfaller1 has a mouse bird maybe she could help answer your questions. He\she is a cutie.
 

iamwhoiam

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Welcome. Don't know about mousebirds but he is very cute.
 

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Amy Pierce

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What a cutie, and you are so lucky to have the pleasure of raising him :) I have only worked with Speckled Mousebirds, but I think you are definitely right about IDing this one as a Red-faced. Can I ask what you are feeding this one at the moment? I would also say he/she is about 2-3 weeks. I had a little Speckled I raised from about 2 weeks, and his tail and crest were both shorter than your little guy's. Unfortunately, my little one had a neurological issue, and he didn't make it past 2 months :( But he was so precious to get to know, even in that short period of time! At the moment I have one female adult Speckled. She was brought to me to rehabilitate, but was raised as a pet so that wasn't possible. She is an absolute sweetheart though, loves attention and being with people. I recently bought a flight cage so she is living in that, but before she was in a smaller cage. It was fine for her as she spent most of the time out anyway, and only went in there to sleep/eat. The only thing with a smaller cages is that their tails tend to get VERY scruffy, and need to be washed quite often. When they are in a bigger cage it isn't a problem :)

I started slowly weaning my baby mousebird at about one month. Before that he was on a mix of Kaytee formula and Purity (baby food) fruit and veggie flavours. It took me a while to find the right balance of food for him, as only hand-rearing formula was too strong, and pureed fruit didn't provide enough nourishment. Once I learnt of the formula and baby food mix, he absolutely flourished :) Weaning was quite tough, as I had to try ignore him when he begged for food and had to leave him to "discover" his fruit on his own! It wasn't easy as all I wanted to do was baby him ;) He was fully weaned by 2 months old. Again, this is just my experience with a Speckled, so a Red-faced might be different :) Due to my baby's disability he was never able to learn how to fly (he had a sort of neurological twitch, which caused him to be a little unbalanced, and was never as strong as a healthy bird would have been)

According to my "Roberts: Nests and Eggs" book, the nesting/fledgling period of Red-faced Mousebirds is approximately 14-20 days, meaning that the young usually leave the nest at around this time, at which point they will still be fed by their parents while learning how to look after themselves. Keep in mind this is a book about birds in the wild, so a bird in "captivity" may be slightly different. It is a good reference though :)

Wishing you all the best with your special little bird :) Please feel free to PM me if you need any other info. Please keep us updated on his progress! Looking forward to getting to know you and your little guy :)
 

Blom90

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Hi Amy,

Thanks for the reply.

I'm so sorry to hear about your little birdie. It's so sad when they don't make it. They are the cutest things with the sweetest ways of doing things and communicating. Right at this moment as I'm typing my Muis is cleaning his feathers on top of my keyboard, making it a little hard for me to type. He loves the heat that comes from my laptop. They do like to be stroked a lot! I was really surprised to see how much a wild bird can crave attention. He would sometimes rub his little head against my hand to be stroked or put his head on one of my fingers and close his eyes to show that he wants to be stroked on his crop area. Also, when he is hungry and I don't react fast enough, he would nibble on my fingers or jump up onto my hand and make such a racket as if he's trying really hard to get my attention. He is so funny - when he's had enough to eat he would literally hop away from the spoon as if running away from it. Do you need to feed your bird about every half an hour too? Mine is constantly hungry and poops more than he eats, it seems :bored: He is also not really eating by himself yet. He would bite off bits and pieces from flower petals (sometimes after a mighty struggle :rolleyes:) but still wants to try and swallow a fruit whole when I hold it for him to eat from. I'm guessing that this gets better with weaning (8-10 weeks)? The guy at our local pet store said he raised a couple of red faced mousebirds and his birds were usually completely weaned at twelve weeks.

At the moment I am feeding him Purity (Four Fruits flavour) and also tiny pieces of fruit, flowers and berries that I can find, like:

Peaches
Apples
Banana
Tomato
Grapes
Rose petals
Hibiscus
Waterberries

He absolutely loves the waterberries, Purity, peaches and tomato. He would show me very quickly if I'm feeding him something he doesn't like or feel like eating at that moment (like banana). I also realised that pureed fruit and fruit pieces aren't enough. That is why I tried Purity - it seems as though it has enough nourishment, but I'm trying to feed him other foodstuffs in between. Mine also flourished after eating Purity for about a day, it's as if he suddenly got all his life and energy back :) I also want to baby mine and feed him all the time. My boyfriend says I'm spoiling him too much :smuggrin: but honestly I'm looking forward to seeing him discover the fruit on his own and bite pieces from it. I left half a berry in his basket with him when we had to go to the store and when we got back he had eaten it... So I think he gets it when I leave it with him and don't respond when he begs for food. It's really hard, like you said. I even want to take him with me to the store.
I need to know something else - how do you know when it is a male or female? I read that the male and female of the red faced species both look the same. So I'm not sure how to tell :o:

I'm having the same problem with my little guy - his current makeshift cage is a plastic basket and his tail feathers are almost always dirty. I'm planning on getting him a nice cage on Friday, already got my eye on one.

Thanks for the info, it really helped me! Right now he is about 4 weeks old, at the most (the photos were taken last week). So now I have a better idea of when he will be weaned and what to feed him. Thanks again! :grouphug2:
 
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Amy Pierce

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Hi Amy,

Thanks for the reply.

I'm so sorry to hear about your little birdie. It's so sad when they don't make it. They are the cutest things with the sweetest ways of doing things and communicating. Right at this moment as I'm typing my Muis is cleaning his feathers on top of my keyboard, making it a little hard for me to type. He loves the heat that comes from my laptop. They do like to be stroked a lot! I was really surprised to see how much a wild bird can crave attention. He would sometimes rub his little head against my hand to be stroked or put his head on one of my fingers and close his eyes to show that he wants to be stroked on his crop area.
Thanks very much:hug8: My little mousebird was exactly the same! And my adult female is also SO cuddly. This is how I'm trying to type right now:
IMG-20150129-01753.jpg
She's sitting inside my jacket, getting some warmth on this cold day:D
They do definitely love attention, mine also loves having her head scratched and will sit by my fingers while I type to show me that she needs more loves:D

Also, when he is hungry and I don't react fast enough, he would nibble on my fingers or jump up onto my hand and make such a racket as if he's trying really hard to get my attention. He is so funny - when he's had enough to eat he would literally hop away from the spoon as if running away from it. Do you need to feed your bird about every half an hour too? Mine is constantly hungry and poops more than he eats, it seems :bored: He is also not really eating by himself yet. He would bite off bits and pieces from flower petals (sometimes after a mighty struggle :rolleyes:) but still wants to try and swallow a fruit whole when I hold it for him to eat from. I'm guessing that this gets better with weaning (8-10 weeks)? The guy at our local pet store said he raised a couple of red faced mousebirds and his birds were usually completely weaned at twelve weeks.
Don't worry if he isn't eating on his own yet, he will get the hang of it :) They tend to act as though they are more incapable than they really are, and the fact that he ate the berry when you were out just goes to show it :D My baby used to do the same, he would try take a big piece of fruit instead of smaller bites. He would also sit by big slices of fruit and put his wings out and "beg" the fruit as though it was going to hop into his mouth on its own:rolleyes: I was at my wit's end trying to wean my little guy, but I had to learn that it was necessary for him to do it in his own time, and also that I had to try and "harden" myself in order to ignore his begging:D So don't worry, it will happen eventually :)

At the moment I am feeding him Purity (Four Fruits flavour) and also tiny pieces of fruit, flowers and berries that I can find, like:

Peaches
Apples
Banana
Tomato
Grapes
Rose petals
Hibiscus
Waterberries

He absolutely loves the waterberries, Purity, peaches and tomato. He would show me very quickly if I'm feeding him something he doesn't like or feel like eating at that moment (like banana). I also realised that pureed fruit and fruit pieces aren't enough. That is why I tried Purity - it seems as though it has enough nourishment, but I'm trying to feed him other foodstuffs in between. Mine also flourished after eating Purity for about a day, it's as if he suddenly got all his life and energy back :) I also want to baby mine and feed him all the time. My boyfriend says I'm spoiling him too much :smuggrin: but honestly I'm looking forward to seeing him discover the fruit on his own and bite pieces from it. I left half a berry in his basket with him when we had to go to the store and when we got back he had eaten it... So I think he gets it when I leave it with him and don't respond when he begs for food. It's really hard, like you said. I even want to take him with me to the store.
The wide variety sounds great :) I found that with mine banana, paw paw and kiwi fruit are a favourite. Food with a lot of iron and vitamin C should be avoided, as it can lead to iron storage disease. I don't feed citrus except for the odd occasion. My female gets banana, paw paw and kiwi everyday, and then other fruits that are in season such as mango, pear, nectarine, peach, grapes etc. I always peel the skin of my fruits, as I have read that with some softbills, the skins can cause blockages. I'm not sure how prevalent this is in mousies, but I would rather just be safe :)
Is your little one pooping on his own? When my baby was very young I had to stimulate him, and he would stick his little tail straight up in the air when it was time to go ;) They learn to do it on their own pretty soon though, I probably only had to do it for a week or so.

I need to know something else - how do you know when it is a male or female? I read that the male and female of the red faced species both look the same. So I'm not sure how to tell :o:

I'm having the same problem with my little guy - his current makeshift cage is a plastic basket and his tail feathers are almost always dirty. I'm planning on getting him a nice cage on Friday, already got my eye on one.

Thanks for the info, it really helped me! Right now he is about 4 weeks old, at the most (the photos were taken last week). So now I have a better idea of when he will be weaned and what to feed him. Thanks again! :grouphug2:
Unfortunately Mousebird's are not sexually dimorphic, so you can't tell whether they are male or female by looking at them. I have had my female for nearly a year now, and for 9 months I thought she was a male:D then one day I found she had laid an egg! She does get quite hormonal though. If I place my hand over her and squeeze her gently, she "spazzes out" and shakes madly, making a "trrrrr" noise as she does. I think this is female behavior, but I can't be certain! She also has a hanging material nest in her cage, which she sleeps in at night, and sometimes if I'm in the room during the day she'll hop in their and making little "trr" noises when I come look at her.

Cleaning their tails can be a real pain at times :D Especially when they don't want to be bathed. Watch out for nits too, both my mousebirds had them and it took me months to get rid of my female's. Eventually I was having to sit and pick them out by hand (not a pleasant task!). Someone gave me parasite powder which is non-toxic and acts as a dewormer if eaten. I put that in her bathing sand every now and then and I think it also helped a lot. I would suggest not using outdoor sand for your little guy to bath in. I buy budgie sand from the shops and my mousebird loves that. Safe for them to eat and you don't have to worry about parasites!:)

Here's a pic of my two specials together :) They got along so well. They both have their heads down and eyes closed because they were both waiting for the other to preen them :D
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Blom90

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Those photos are so cute!! Muis loves to sit on my lap as well, although he gets frustrated with me easily and would jump/fly/climb up to shoulders or head.
I also remove the skins, I read that mousebirds can't digest fruit skins and seeds on Suzanne's website (mousebirds.com). She provides so much information there! I try not to feed him too much tomato because I think it contains a lot of vitamin C. I'm not sure, though. Gotta look it up...

He is definitely pooping on his own... He pooped on my head three or four times already today. I'm thinking of making a beanie for him to sit on my head without getting my hair all dirty. :laugh: he was pooping on his own since I found him, which is fortunate because I only read about stimulating him when I've had him for 5 days. Poor thing would have been so clogged up by then :o:

Thanks for the tip on genders. I'm actually hoping that mine is a male, but I think that both males and females get to that hormonal "teenage" stage some or other time.

Oh, that is great advice! I was wondering where I could get clean sand and even thought of using cat litter box crystals. I didn't know about budgie sand. Thanks! Cleaning their tail feathers can be quite a job, yes. I can imagine that it can get tricky once the feathers are long and fully grown. Muis gets a little uncomfortable when I bathe him, but he's still pretty easy to handle. But they grow up so fast :(
 

Amy Pierce

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Suzanne's website helped me SO much :) In fact, when I first got my baby mousebird I contacted her about him being quite unresponsive (before I discovered the Purity/formula mix) and she told me about stimulating him to poop, which helped him to get better too :) I also would not feed too much tomato. My mousie doesn't like tomato so I don't feed her any :)

Hahaha I like your idea about making a poop beanie :D Luckily Nimh has pretty good manners ;) I'm sure your Muis will grow out of the pooping in hair too.

I've read that if all the mousebird species, the Speckled tends to be the most aggressive. This is certainly Nimh's case when she meets new people, she tends to bite a LOT! But other than that she is very loving and gentle with me. Hopefully your Muis doesn't have too much of a hormonal stage :)

What really helps is soaking a cloth in warm water, and then (if you can get your bird to sit still enough ;)) holding it over the tail feathers for a while. The dirt comes off pretty easily after that :) They do grow up fast, but they are just as lovable when they are big! ;) Although admittedly I would just die for another baby :( Please post pics of your baby soon!!
 

Amy Pierce

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@Blom90 you can also use chinchilla sand (They sell it at a lot of exotic pet shops). I usually buy from Pick n Pay, its about R25 a box, and you can reuse it quite often. I pour it on a tray, and let Nimh go whenever she wants :) I don't put it in her cage though, otherwise it gets messy too soon :)
 

Blom90

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Awe, I'm so glad she could help. Mine was also a little unresponsive the first two days, but just because of my lack of knowledge (poor thing). It felt so good when he started looking alive again! My little guy would try eating just about anything - even my tissues. Guess he's still exploring :rolleyes:

I really hope he will grow out of the pooping-on-hair thing, I have to wash my hair and clothes more often now :laugh: where did you get the information about the various species and their behaviour? It's so hard to find anything on red-faced mousies.

His tail has grown so much longer already, maybe about a centimeter or two. His beak is also colouring... I can't wait to see what it looks like when it's completely red!:) I got this vase holder from my mother, he absolutely loves it and would sit on it for about an hour just staring out the window or trying to communicate with his reflection in the glass.

Thank you for the chinchilla sand tip!! I was at the pet section at Pick n Pay the other day but didn't think to look for sand (duh). Thanks again!

What size cage did you get for your bird?
 

Liz

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Hi @Blom90 and @Amy Pierce,

Came across your exchange of advise and so forth! So nice to see other people loving these cute little birds. I just became a mommy again to a Speckled mousebird! Would love to share feeding and stories on our birds! My latest fell out of its nest just before a big storm. The people who picked it up couldn't find its nest so gave to a friend of mine who passed it on to me. I've had it for just under 3 weeks now and pulled it through from a very weak little baby to cute little juvenile now. Today was the first day it ate on its own. Mine loves Watercress the most! But eats mostly banana and papaya and kiwi.

I had a speckled mousebird see profile photo - for 4 years once and it only had one leg. It fell out of its nest right in front of me on top the Rotweiler dog who stepped on its little leg and broke it. I took it to the vet 12 days later and he "docked" it (said so on the receipt :) ) and since that day we were attached at the limb. So I was very happy to be given a second chance by chance to love one of these again.

I'm posting a couple photos of the new one before on first day got it and now almost three weeks later WP_20150216_006.jpg WP_20150216_006.jpg WP_20150216_005.jpg WP_20150131_005.jpg and you can see how nicely its doing!
 

sunnysmom

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@Liz - wow what a big improvement. He looks so healthy now! :)
 

Amy Pierce

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Hi @Liz ! Thanks so much for sharing your story with us :D its always awesome getting to know some new mousies and their humans ;) Congrats on getting your little one strong and healthy :D We would love to see more pics, so please feel free to keep them coming! I had a baby speckled about the same age, and he went everywhere with me :) One thing I have learned is that Mousebirds are notorious for trying to leave the nest at a young age. If they get frightened, they will temporarily leave about a week or so before they're supposed to, but will usually clamber around the tree/bush. Unfortunately, if they fall out, they then have no way of getting back to the nest, and thats how they end up being found.

@Blom90 , how is your little one doing? :) I'm sorry that I'm only replying now, like a genius I thought I had replied after reading your post, but clearly hadn't haha.:o: My mousebird has a fairly small cage that is "hers". It stays open all the time though, as she lives out in my bird room, and only goes in there to roost or feed. She was in a flight cage with a few other birds a little while ago, but was evicted after injuring a mannikin :eek:
:rolleyes: She's a sweet heart, but prefers that she gets all the attention! So while we wait for her own flight cage, she lives out and gets to fly around my bird room, and has a tambourine dove as a friend :D
Looking forward to hearing from all of you and your mousies!
 
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