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Your Budgie's Health Learn about avian health and vet care. This forum does not substitute for veterinary expertise.
Thread Description:Failing to thrive?

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Old 04-08-2015, 11:26 PM
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Default Bald Baby - has anyone experienced this

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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Old 04-09-2015, 03:27 AM
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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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Old 04-09-2015, 03:58 AM
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I'm sorry I can't answer your question regarding the slow development, but I am concerned about its legs. Does it always stand with one leg out to each side? Or can it put its legs underneath him? If he is developing splay legs we can give you advice about that.

Last edited by milipidi; 04-10-2015 at 05:33 AM.
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Old 04-09-2015, 09:10 AM
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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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Old 04-09-2015, 08:10 PM
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Hoping for the best for that little bird.
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Old 04-10-2015, 05:24 AM
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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.

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Originally Posted by SusanBudgies View Post
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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Old 04-10-2015, 05:38 AM
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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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Old 04-10-2015, 07:33 AM
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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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Old 04-10-2015, 09:33 AM
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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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Old 04-14-2015, 08:29 AM
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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.

Last edited by jak; 04-14-2015 at 08:48 AM.
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