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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there,
In a recent clutch of 3, the youngest by 3 days has been very slow to develop.
This is him/her 6 days ago at the age of 2 weeks
Just starting to open his eyes - which seems rather slow.

This is him/her today at 3 weeks with his siblings that are just 3 & 6 days older.

You can see the black band of follicles on his head that shows he has changed in the last 6 days.
He appears to being fed well by parents but seems too old to have hardly any feathers.

Has anyone experienced or seen anything like this before? If so did the baby eventually get it's feathers - how long? I'm hoping that he will develop sufficiently before the others fledge as they need to keep him warm.
 

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Wow they are beautiful it's hard to image them being so small like that... But they are so lovely... I am love with them I can't wait to see them a little older..
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Lyn and Susan - The baby is fine from a splayed legs point of view. In fact I had treated its oldest sibling for the condition and it was one of the worst cases I have ever seen. One leg was splayed out but the other leg both twisted and splayed and was quite a challenge to correct. I should have taken before and after photos in retrospect!

So..... has anyone experienced such slow development in a chick before?
 

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I think you will find this chick will fall into the 'failed to thrive' category of babies. I had a similar chick, the youngest of a large clutch, who despite being fed just didn't grow. In the end the parents stopped feeding it and I chose not to hand feed. This was at the 2-3 week mark from memory.

By the way, the siblings are gorgeous.

Please contact Lindsey. She will have an opinion.
Please not that it is in fact against forum rules to contact/PM staff, or any member, directly with budgie related questions.

This thread has been flagged, and when Lindsey has the time I am sure she will offer her knowledge to the discussion.
 

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As sad and heart wrenching as it sounds I tend to agree with Li in her opinion regarding this chick, if it does survive it will be compromised across all aspects, it's health and stamina, good genetics, and should not be allowed to breed it does reach maturity. Nature and the parents have a way of knowing a lot more than we do sometimes, The other chicks are stunning and look to be well developed and thriving I do feel for this little baby it looks very week and seems to be struggling to survive.
 

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The reason the chicks develop splayed legs are because they are lacking nutrients.
My guess is that the hen is plucking the youngest chick.
What are you feeding them?
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for your support and suggestions. I hope the little one survives but I certainly have my concerns. Like you Li, I unfortunately would not be in the position to hand feed if its mum stops. I have not noticed the mum plucking it at all Elma but will keep an eye out and I will put a perspex door on the nesting box so that I can check for this. She is certainly keeping it well-fed at the moment. The mum spends most of her time on the perch just outside the nesting box except when feeding or at night.

In regard to food, all my birds get seed mixed with vitamin and nutrient enriched pellets, liquid calcium in their water, fresh vegetables and each cage has cuttlefish and an iodine and calcium bell. In addition, breeding birds get egg and biscuit mixture twice a week. Any nutrient deficiency would be perhaps because the mum is not passing it on - although the splayed legs could also be caused by one of the other theories.
Rest assured Cathy that I if this bird does survive, it will be trained but never bred.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Now we have made it to one day short of 4 weeks - here is a picture - feathers are starting to develop slowly but by this age some chicks have started to leave the box - I think this one has a while to go if she makes it.

I believe the little one is probably a girl. Here she is with her siblings - her brother on the left is just 3 days older and the sister on the right older again. The big sister has left the box a couple of times.


Mum is still feeding and keeping them warm at night.
 

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I'm SO glad your little one is beginning to improve.
I pray she will make it and be able to enjoy a long and happy life. It's wonderful that Mum is continuing to care for her and she looks as though she has a good fighting chance at this point. Please keep us updated with regard to her progress. :hug:
 

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Bald

Since the chick is beginning to grow, it could be that mom may have plucked the chick. especially if it is the youngest. I suggest increasing the soft food to twice a day and include egg food and extra vitamins to stimulate the hen to produce the liquid in the crop milk. The hen usually feeds the smallest first. If she does not have enough liquid to go around the youngest is short changed.

The crop looks OK and there does not appear to be any gas in the crop. the chick does not look skeletal, all of which would indicate failure to thrive and immanent demise. It appears the chick has a chance.

Try the increased nutrient and soft food. Continue the liquid calcium. This is a great help for mom.. We give all of our parent fed families 2 and sometimes three fresh soft food servings each day and then during weaning reduce to 2 feedings for the chicks and continue to 10 to 12 weeks. At this point they get one soft meal but also lots of dry options available all of the time including millet spray.

this is a critical time for good calcium support. to help prevent weak legs and chest muscles. A chick that does not hold the chest up when in motion should receive a bit more calcium support. I have not seen this in print but observed in our chicks and the change when we give the hen more nutrients for the liquid crop milk. We feel the crop milk stage should get more attention when feeding parents as this sets the stage for later stages.

A tired hen is going to short change the youngest chick. The hen may not show the need but when we see the youngest chick behind, the first thing we do is increase the liquid crop milk resource for the hen as the older chicks can be come more demanding at the time when the youngest is still needing the liquid nutrient. We overload with the understanding that if mom does not need it she will hold back and we will discard 2 to 3 times a day to provide the freshest possible for the youngest.

Nature lets the youngest fall away if hen is stressed. So we try to counter act this before nesting and then add extra meals as called for during feeding. That slow chick is to me a sign that mom needs extra support to produce the highest quality chick. We are in a position to take the stress off the parents as opposed to the stresses on wild parents.

this is our opinion and not a law set in stone. It just works for us. Blessings, and Best wishes for the youngest to catch up and thrive. I hope this give a sense of the thought process behind our process.

Blessings, Jo A:pnn
 

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So glad to see that little one with that much new feather growth. Hopes and prayer's for it's continued health...:)
 

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I am pleased to see your little one looking so much better. I would definitely follow JoAnnes advice. Hopefully the little one continues to improve and is now on the road to become a gorgeous teen.
 

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The chick is a survivor and I hope continues to thrive. She is very lucky to have such a sweet budgie Mummy who is being so attentive. JoAnn has given excellent advice and we al are sending healing and loving thoughts .
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
OK - the unfortunate latest is that mum has laid another egg today(another drain on her body). I would have normally removed her by now and let dad do the feeding but he never seems to go in the box and I am not sure he will feed them in there. The little one is obviously a long way off fledging. My options:-

Remove mum to a separate cage and destroy the egg and hope that dad does the feeding job - at least with the other siblings feathered they will keep each other warm so that shouldn't be an issue.

Keep mum in the cage (and probably destroy the eggs as they are produced as I have no other pairs on eggs at the moment and don't plan to for several months).

What do others breeders think?
 
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