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I recently decided to breed two pairs of budgies that I have. Both pairs have their own breeding cage set up. Half of the chicks in both nests end up losing their flight feathers.

I feed them seeds, fruits (mainly apple), and vegetables (mainly carrots) everyday. I give them boiled eggs 3-4 times a week.

I have a room reserved for my birds. It has an air conditioner.

I need advice on treating these chicks.
 

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Hi.
We need more information before we can try to help with this unusual situation, the first question is, are you sure the parent birds weren't related? 2nd question is, do you use full spectrum lighting near your breeding cages? 3rd question is, how old are the chicks? 4th question is, how many eggs per nesting box and how many of each clutch successfully hatched? 5th question is particularly important, have you looked for red blotches on the skin where the feathers have been lost from? 6th question is, how do the dropped feathers feel, do they feel fairly rigid or do they feel a bit dry and brittle? Finally, how are the chicks eating and are they lethargic?
Let me make a suggestion please, bathe your chicks feet in warm water to clean the gunk off their feet, presumably it's from the nesting box, it can affect the growth of the feet.
I'm really hoping another member with breeding knowledge sees this post because I'm slightly concerned about the feather growth on the tail. @Cody @StarlingWings
 

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The purpose of this forum is to promote the BEST PRACTICES in the care of budgies for their optimal Health and Well-Being
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Why are you breeding your budgies?
An individual needs to have a good background in basic budgie care and then do extensive research into the proper breeding practices prior to making the decision to accept the responsibility of the commitment required for breeding responsibly and ethically.

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You really need to consult with an Avian Veterinarian with regard to the budgie's condition.
It is definitely not normal and is likely from a genetic defect.


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi.
We need more information before we can try to help with this unusual situation, the first question is, are you sure the parent birds weren't related? 2nd question is, do you use full spectrum lighting near your breeding cages? 3rd question is, how old are the chicks? 4th question is, how many eggs per nesting box and how many of each clutch successfully hatched? 5th question is particularly important, have you looked for red blotches on the skin where the feathers have been lost from? 6th question is, how do the dropped feathers feel, do they feel fairly rigid or do they feel a bit dry and brittle? Finally, how are the chicks eating and are they lethargic?
Let me make a suggestion please, bathe your chicks feet in warm water to clean the gunk off their feet, presumably it's from the nesting box, it can affect the growth of the feet.
I'm really hoping another member with breeding knowledge sees this post because I'm slightly concerned about the feather growth on the tail. @Cody @StarlingWings
Thank you for replying and helping me. My English is a little bit sloppy.

To answer your questions,
1. I'm fairly certain the parents aren't related. I've bought them from different breeders.
2. I don't use full spectrum lighting. For a two hours a day, sun light enters threw the window but doesn't directly shines on the cages.
3. The chicks age varies between 3 weeks - 4 weeks old.
4. One pair laid 4 eggs. All eggs hatched. The other pair laid 5 eggs and all eggs hatched.
5. I spotted one of the chicks had two red spots where the feathers fall off.
6. I really don't know how how to answer you. The feathers don't feel dry.
7. The parents feed their chicks well. Their crops looks and feels full.

Here's a picture of another chick. This one is about 3 weeks old.
 

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Are you using individual breeding cages?
How long have you owned budgies?
Please excuse me jumping in, the original post says that he/ she has 2 breeding boxes, but half of the chicks in each nesting box have lost their flight feathers, as you know it's worrying that such young birds (3-4 weeks old are losing their flight feathers, personally I'd like to see a photo of both hens to see if they give any clues, because in the back of my mind I'm worrying about French Moult (Polyomavirus) we know that French Moult can be present but undetected in budgies, they can be carriers but show no symptoms, but the hens can pass the disease into eggs, I really hope that you are right in suggesting it could be a genetic problem, I'd hate it to be French Moult, but to me the tail feathers don't look normal either.
 

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I'm not clear if two breeding boxes mean individual breeding cages or if the individual is colony breeding.

Yes, I agree that pictures of both hens would be helpful and agree the problem may be French Molt. The tail feathers do not look normal to me either.
 

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Thank you for replying and helping me. My English is a little bit sloppy.

To answer your questions,
1. I'm fairly certain the parents aren't related. I've bought them from different breeders.
2. I don't use full spectrum lighting. For a two hours a day, sun light enters threw the window but doesn't directly shines on the cages.
3. The chicks age varies between 3 weeks - 4 weeks old.
4. One pair laid 4 eggs. All eggs hatched. The other pair laid 5 eggs and all eggs hatched.
5. I spotted one of the chicks had two red spots where the feathers fall off.
6. I really don't know how how to answer you. The feathers don't feel dry.
7. The parents feed their chicks well. Their crops looks and feels full.

Here's a picture of another chick. This one is about 3 weeks old.
Hello @Fogshadow
Thank you for answering my questions and please don't worry, your English is excellent.
Would you please upload the photo of the 3 week old chick, I can't see it.
Would you also please show us photos of the two hens that laid the eggs.
And lastly, it would be very helpful if you could upload photos of your breeding set up.
I know I'm asking a lot but it is absolutely vital that we have as much information as possible. Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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Hello @Fogshadow
Thank you for answering my questions and please don't worry, your English is excellent.
Would you please upload the photo of the 3 week old chick, I can't see it.
Would you also please show us photos of the two hens that laid the eggs.
And lastly, it would be very helpful if you could upload photos of your breeding set up.
I know I'm asking a lot but it is absolutely vital that we have as much information as possible. Thank you!
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Bird Beak Parrot Pet supply Feather

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Bird Beak Pet supply Parrot Feather


Hello @Fogshadow
Thank you for answering my questions and please don't worry, your English is excellent.
Would you please upload the photo of the 3 week old chick, I can't see it.
Would you also please show us photos of the two hens that laid the eggs.
And lastly, it would be very helpful if you could upload photos of your breeding set up.
I know I'm asking a lot but it is absolutely vital that we have as much information as possible. Thank you!
I don't know much about posting here. I posted the pictures of the breeding setup, the two hens and the 3-4 week old chick.

I've currently separated all the females from the males to prevent breeding. I'm working on building an outdoor avery so they can get some sunshine.

Water Liquid Product Drinking water Fluid
Bird Beak Pet supply Parrot Feather

Bird Parrot Terrestrial plant Feather Beak

Hello @Fogshadow
Thank you for answering my questions and please don't worry, your English is excellent.
Would you please upload the photo of the 3 week old chick, I can't see it.
Would you also please show us photos of the two hens that laid the eggs.
And lastly, it would be very helpful if you could upload photos of your breeding set up.
I know I'm asking a lot but it is absolutely vital that we have as much information as possible. Thank you!
Bird Parrot Beak Pet supply Parakeet

Bird Beak Parrot Pet supply Feather

Bird Parrot Pet supply Beak Bird supply

Bird Beak Pet supply Parrot Feather
 

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Hi @Fogshadow

In my opinion it is imperative that you stop breeding immediately, and separate the males from the females, looking at the photo of the young chick, I'm in no doubt you have a serious disease commonly known as French Moult in your birds, (Polyomavirus) it can be deadly and it is highly contagious, I know you said your English "is a little bit sloppy," but please read this, French Moult | birdhealth, you need to make an urgent appointment with an avian vet to have the disease confirmed, the vet will also give you firm advice on your options, I'm going to ask @FaeryBee to step in to give you further advice.
 

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Impeccable is 100% correct.
All females must be kept separate from all males on a PERMANENT basis

It is important you get professional veterinary assistance for the treatment of all of the birds you own.

NONE of your birds should ever be bred in the future.

Building an outdoor aviary is not advisable.
as stated, you need to keep the males and females permanently separated

Ensuring you have flight cages large enough to accommodate the females in one or more and the males in others is most important.

Do you know how many males and how many females you have at this time?
 

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Thank you @FaeryBee

@Fogshadow
Aswell as keeping your male and female birds separate for the rest of their lives it is important that you: -
1) never release any of your birds, doing so could harm other wild birds in the area
2) never sell or give away any of your birds
3) never introduce any other birds into your flock (of any species)

If your young chicks survive please be warned that they will never be able to fly (infected birds are called runners because they can only climb and run, no flight is possible) this means that you will have to make special provisions for the youngsters so that they can still get around for exercise, this could be ladders to help them climb or branches such as from an apple tree (please note that any branches you use must be pesticide free)
Hopefully the vet will give details of the diet your French Moult birds need (I will try and find something online) they will need a special diet because birds with French moult use massive amounts of energy because basically their feathers never stop growing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Impeccable is 100% correct.
All females must be kept separate from all males on a PERMANENT basis

It is important you get professional veterinary assistance for the treatment of all of the birds you own.

NONE of your birds should ever be bred in the future.

Building an outdoor aviary is not advisable.
as stated, you need to keep the males and females permanently separated

Ensuring you have flight cages large enough to accommodate the females in one or more and the males in others is most important.

Do you know how many males and how many females you have at this time?
Thank you for the advice. I've had budgies and many kinds of birds and never encountered this problem before. I've separated the females and males. I only have 3 Adult pairs at the moment.

Thank you @FaeryBee

@Fogshadow
Aswell as keeping your male and female birds separate for the rest of their lives it is important that you: -
1) never release any of your birds, doing so could harm other wild birds in the area
2) never sell or give away any of your birds
3) never introduce any other birds into your flock (of any species)

If your young chicks survive please be warned that they will never be able to fly (infected birds are called runners because they can only climb and run, no flight is possible) this means that you will have to make special provisions for the youngsters so that they can still get around for exercise, this could be ladders to help them climb or branches such as from an apple tree (please note that any branches you use must be pesticide free)
Hopefully the vet will give details of the diet your French Moult birds need (I will try and find something online) they will need a special diet because birds with French moult use massive amounts of energy because basically their feathers never stop growing.
Thank you for the advice. I'll make sure they have a good life. I haven't breed budgies in years. But never has anything like this happend with me.

I have a room dedicated to my birds. I have to keep pairs separated to prevent breeding. Will this affect my canary birds?
 

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Thank you for the advice. I'll make sure they have a good life. I haven't breed budgies in years. But never has anything like this happend with me.

I have a room dedicated to my birds. I have to keep pairs separated to prevent breeding. Will this affect my canary birds?
I've just done some research to answer your question, here is the answer you need "Polyoma virus primarily is a budgerigar disease but can affect any parrot and also a range of passerines species, apparently passerine is a term used to label over half the species of birds in the world which includes both finches and canaries, simply put, I don't think you should breed your canaries either.
All of this is extremely unfortunate, but you obviously have at least 2 adult female budgies which are carriers of French Moult, the 2 female birds you have bred has passed the French Moult onto the eggs and the outcome is your disabled chicks, all you can really do now is give your birds the best possible life, hygiene is very important as is the chicks diet, but please see an avian vet because they are the real experts.
 

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Hello and a late welcome to the forums,

You have been given great advice above by Impeckable and FaeryBee. Apart from seeing the avian vet for the chicks' health, it is imperative that you take all the advice given and stop breeding your birds in these conditions. Your budgies will be much healthier and happier if you do so.

You’ve come to a great place to learn even more about the best of budgie care practices! Please be sure to have a look around the forums’ many budgie articles and “stickies” to ensure you’re up to date on everything! If you have questions after doing so, please be sure to ask as we’d love to help.

Please keep us updated on your chicks' condition!

Best wishes! 👋
 
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