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Discussion Starter #1
i'd like to introduce you to the reasons why i've joined your community
and have spent a considerable time this weekend browsing the forum

last week i noticed we had a feral pigeon in the corner of our balcony
there is an established flock on the roof of the flats opposite, i guess about 40% of them are mostly white

"she" (i think girls do the night-shift - can somebody confirm?) appeared to be nesting and surprisingly tolerant of the activity around her...
this balcony is effectively our front porch
i assume she didn't realise this when she set up home with her mate
well as she has to put up with us walking past her everyday i thought i'd try & show her that we are "safe" and have taken her offerings of nest material and water

i've called her Luna

she is slender and graceful, all white apart from a spot near each gorgeous dark eye and a shadow on the very tip of her tail
at about 13:00 there is a shift change
this chap turns up - i have called him Apollo

he is big and handsome with red bars and amber eyes

our balcony is closed on 5 and a half sides - so a bit like a cave
it is also somewhat cluttered - it is used much like a shed, so i hope it provides them a safe home from preditors

more pics:
Luna ~ Luna nesting ~ another of Luna nesting ~
Apollo ~ Apollo nesting ~ Apollo showing wing markings ~
where the flock roosts 1 ~ where the flock roosts 2 ~ where the flock roosts 3
 

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I couldn't help myself...I watched your entire slide show. Absolutely lovely pictures. Your Rat family is very cute and quite charming. Looks like you have a ton of them. My older sister is a huge fan of Rats and from just 2 ended up with over 50 in a very short time. She that she put in her pocket and went everywhere with her. They have all passed on now but they were greatly loved and pampered much as yours appear to be.
The Pigeons...what can I say?! I think they found the right balcony to make their nest. Wouldn't be a bad idea to replace the eggs with pretend ones, if they aren't too developed. And yes, the hens do take night duty.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Charis - hi, wow you checked out my photobucket! well thx for stopping by...good job i didn't link to my flickr photostream, there are over 1000 pics there
the rats aren't all mine & many have gone to "rainbow bridge", but i've had 39 in 21 years - just now i have 4 living here
rat lovers experience the same kind of prejudice as pigeon fanciers i guess "eww aren't they dirty/diseased etc" :(
Charis said:
Wouldn't be a bad idea to replace the eggs with pretend ones, if they aren't too developed
sorry i haven't quite caught up with all my pigeon facts yet...what will happen other than we won't get squabs this time, will "our" pair try again here or move on?
just now any eggs must be less than a week - i put the silver caddy there on tuesday, Luna wasn't there then
if i did have some pretend eggs when would i replace - shift change...and what would i do with their eggs?

is the plot that keeping them here sitting on fakes will keep population down -if one was to shoo them away they'd just try someplace else? or is it because the amount of activity will affect the rearing; kinder to stop the process now?
i already have some ornamental stone eggs about the right size, but will they feel too cold/heavy...and do they need to be plain white? i know pigeons have good eyesight and are clever!

being a member of the national fancy rat society i am aware of responsible breeding issues, but wouldn't have thought to intervene with wild bilds - in spite of any bad reputation

so hey i'm open to advice :)

btw it's 18:40 here now and Luna is already back <3
 

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... is the plot that keeping them here sitting on fakes will keep population down -if one was to shoo them away they'd just try someplace else? or is it because the amount of activity will affect the rearing; kinder to stop the process now?
Hi

I have had a pair on my balcony for over 5 years now. Though they did slip a couple of broods past me, I have otherwise replaced with plastic eggs regularly. Keeps 'em occupied and off any other balcony.

John
 

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That's right about the population and the fakes will help. The couple completes the incubation cycle which gives the hen's body a chance to rest. They probably should look like Pigeon eggs.:D
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thanks John D and Charis

so if i can get the fakes - how many days before it is "too late" to swap?
and when to do the replacement - shift change?
 

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You need to do it within the first couple of days. I would just put my hand under whom ever is on at the time and change them out. Would be best to warm them some first so they don't notice the temp difference. Keep your hand over the pretend eggs...put them in the nest and pull the others out, hopefully without the birds actually seeing the exchange.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
thanks so much
i'll let nature take its course with this brood then; any eggs could be nearly a week old now
and i'll order in some fakes...so i'm prepared should Luna & Apollo decide to stay :)
 

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Welcome Rattie, Luna and Apollo are gorgeous and quite lucky. Your ratties are darling, I had a rat rescue for a long time and though I don't have one at the moment, one will surely find me soon. I'm sure I'll always have them, they are so sweet. I was at the pet shop earlier today fawning over them and convincing myself not to get one, same as always. :rolleyes: Thanks for caring for Luna and Apollo, and we look forward to more pictures! OH and those icicles sure look CHILLY! :D
 
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