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How young is best to start

1218 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Animalzoo

I've currently got 10 babies ranging from 7 - 21 days old all with their mums and dads doing extremely well and being fed. They are in a colony environment.

I'd like to eventually select and separate one as a pet and tame him/her. When I say pet, I mean not to breed from and be my buddy in the house with me all the time.

I toyed with the idea of separating one very early (like now) to hand feed knowing the bond would be strong however never having done this before I'm reluctant when there is peace and calm among the group and everything is going well by their mums. I could kill the poor little thing not doing it right!

At what age do you think would be good to separate a youngster to begin bonding and taming? I do have hand rearing formula and am prepared in the case of an emergency but I'd feel happier once they are weaned. Would I be loosing out on better bonding opportunities waiting for them to be 6-8 weeks old as opposed to 3-4 weeks?

Also, is there anyway whatsoever to sex a baby from 4 weeks ish?

Thanks all, my first post here and looking forward to chatting with you all.

Sue. x
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Hi again,

You can start safely handling the chicks as soon as they are 10 - 12 days old. You can gently pick them up just for a few minutes when doing the daily nest checks. As time goes by and the chicks feather up more, you can spend a little more time with them. You must be careful to not interfere with the mother's feeding schedule. By doing this the chicks will get used to being handled and by the time they reach weaning age (3.5 - 4 weeks old) you can start to spend more quality time with them, helping them out with weaning by offering them all kinds of food and also cuddling and playing with them.

Parent raised chicks can and will tame up easily if they are handled from an early age and you really won't have to pull them out of the nest to hand feed when the parents are doing a good job at raising them. The quality time spend with them when it comes to training/human socialization must be done in a consistent manner so that the bond strengthens and solidifies.

Yes, in most cases it's possible to determine gender at 4 weeks old (sometimes, depending on the cases we can even tell gender earlier).
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