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Go Back   Talk Budgies Forums > Budgie Talk > Budgie Breeding


Budgie Breeding Before breeding any species, it is important to learn as much about the animals, their personalities and the best practices to follow for responsible and ethical breeding prior to making the commitment to take on the responsibility.
Thread Description:Hen not feeding youngest hatchlings

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  #1  
Old 11-27-2016, 03:59 PM
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Default Help me interpret the crime scene and save a few chicks

I have a breeding pair in their own cage. I've had them since they were babies 3 years ago from different lineage. About a year ago, the hen conceived a plan to achieve parakeet world domination through reproduction and would try to have a clutch without even a nest box. To date, she has had 3 clutches. The first had 3 eggs and 3 chicks. The second was 5 eggs and 1 chick. To meet her magic number of 3 chicks, she laid 8 this time. When hatchling #4 emerged, she sat on it and smothered it. I decided it was just an accident...

The Crime
Hatchling #5 emerged and it seemed all was well. Later that day, I heard strange chirping from the cage. There was blood everywhere. The male is now missing a toe. I assumed the awful sound was him and moved him to the aviary thinking that he just got in the nest box one time too many. Then I heard the sound again. I found the hatchling had been thrown out of the nest box and fallen through the bottom of the cage to the newspaper. I swooped in to try to save the little guy. It was cold and had an empty crop. So I fed it and warmed it before placing it with the mother and took out the largest chick to hand-feed since I couldn't possibly keep up with the needs of a day old hatchling. The hen accepted the hatchling, but didn't feed it!

I initially blamed the male for the baby getting thrown out of the box since he is now missing a toe. Am I wrong? Was it the hen?

The Dilemma
Hatchling #6 emerged last night and hasn't stopped chirping. It has an empty crop. The hen has just 3 total now. One 2 week old, one 1 week old, and this day old chick. Why won't she feed the youngest? I'm just not equipped to feed a chick that young and incubate it. Removing a chick didn't seem to help. I could take the 2 week old chick and hand-feed it with the 3 week old one. I don't like taking them out before week 3 in the winter though. They need that cute downy coating to survive. Would taking out a chick help? Is there ANYTHING I can do to save the hatchling? The other 2 eggs are not viable. So she's done with this clutch. Should I just remove the eggs too?

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Old 11-27-2016, 04:12 PM
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I'm very sorry for your predicament.

Do you currently have another pair breeding at the moment that could possibly foster the youngest chicks, including the hatchling?
This would be the best option to ensure the safety of your chicks as well as the chances of their survival.
There could be a combination of factors that has made your female budgie to react the way she did, as for her not feeding the hatchlings, she may have run out of crop milk.
Clearly she is not at the right frame of mind to raise these chicks and they are at serious risks of being abused and neglected.
Given the circumstances, it's imperative that you get all of the supplies (including a brooder) to raise your chicks or else tragedy can struck again.
https://talkbudgies.com/budgie-breedi...ing-guide.html

I really doubt it was the male's fault, most likely he was trying to protect the chicks and he ended up getting injured. How is he doing now?

Due to this tragic outcome, it's best that in the future you no longer allow this hen to breed and this is even despite her wish to do so.
From your description, it's very likely that your budgie is a chronic egg layer, since she was so determined to nest and lay eggs even without being encouraged to do so.
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Old 11-27-2016, 05:57 PM
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Hi there,

I agree that this is a very difficult situation. Aluz has given you the very best possible advice.

If you can, I would also talk to a local breeder or your avian vet so you can get more information as well as proper guidance on hand feeding very young chicks

Please be sure to update us on how things go! I'm hoping for the best
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Old 11-27-2016, 07:13 PM
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Thanks Aluz. The male is doing fine and is having a party with the other birds in the aviary. Looks like he just lost the last 1/8 inch of his toe, but it is still amazing how much these little guys bleed (I'm sure people on here have seen similar from trimming accidents). Silver lining is it is one less nail to trim and it hasn't slowed him down at all.

I'm now hand-feeding yesterday's hatchling along with the others since I found her pushing it to the side in the nest and it was cold. I didn't want a 3rd victim, so I pulled out the whole clutch and left just one in with mom that is a week old and she is feeding it. The last egg hatched an hour ago. I'm probably going to have to hand-feed today's hatchling too. I'm tempted to put the 3 week old one back in with mom too. I have concerns about having a clutch of human imprinted birds with the others in the aviary from prior experience of them not getting along with other birds so well and preferring humans...but the bond between clutchmates is so much fun to watch that I don't know if I could split them up.

Anyway, I didn't want to be in the breeding business. I read through the pros and cons in the forum and decided to let the bonded pair try it out. That's when I learned it's really the hen's plot for world domination through numbers and not something that she needs to be doing. Now I'm rethinking the arrangement and will not be returning the male to the cage and will be removing the nest box.

I will look around and see if anyone locally has a brooding hen to foster the newbies. Otherwise I'll just continue handfeeding and keeping them warm. I just need to make it to the 5 day mark on the youngest and we'll be fine I think.
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Old 11-28-2016, 06:02 AM
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It's good that your male is doing so well, considering the stressful situation he has been through.

At this point your female is very likely exhausted and extremely overwhelmed from raising these current chicks, especially if this is her 3rd clutch in a row.
And given the violence towards her mate and the clear neglect on the youngest chicks, even the older ones are at risk of being attacked and neglected.
If I were in your shoes, I would not trust her to tend to the older chicks.
It would be best for you to take charge in raising all of the chicks if you are unable to find a breeder who can foster them.
As for your chicks' potential at being more human oriented and not suitable to be on an aviary environment, you can keep them as indoors pets or you can sell them to good families looking for friendly and tame pet budgies.

Since from your description the chances of your female being a chronic egg layer are high, it's extremely important to discourage further breeding behaviour leading to consequent egg laying. From now on, it's best that she is housed solo on a cage and no nesting areas should be available on the cage.
The detailed information on this link should be useful: https://talkbudgies.com/budgie-breedi...want-eggs.html

I'm wishing you the best of luck with the chicks.
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Old 11-28-2016, 08:21 AM
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I completely agree with aluz.

Your poor female is probably completely exhausted and depressed at this point in time.
Please do everything in your power to help prevet her from laying in the future.

Good luck in the hand-feeding of the chicks.

Best wishes
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