December 30, 2009
Budgies / Parakeets continued

Proper Care of the Chicks

The male will feed the hen, and the hen feeds the chicks, youngest first, until they are about 3 weeks of age. Then the male takes over some of the feeding until the chicks are weaned, which is around 5-6 weeks of age.{{more}}

If you want the chicks to be tame, handle them each day for 10 minutes once they turn 2 weeks of age. Make sure your hands are clean and warm. Also shield the chick’s eyes from bright light as the nest box that they are in is dark inside. This protects their eyes until they are ready to venture out on their own, which can occur anywhere from the age of 3 1/2 to 4 weeks. After that you can take them out for longer periods of time and work on finger training them.

Problems with Breeding

Failure to Lay Eggs

A failure to lay may be the result of the cock or the hen being out of breeding condition. Not only do they need to be at least one year old, but their condition, including hormones, must also be right to breed.

If the pair does not lay after three weeks, consider taking them out of the breeding cage and trying another pair, or replacing them with different mates.

Infertile Eggs

One possible cause for infertile eggs is that the hen laid the first clutch too soon, before the cock mated with her.

Make sure all the perches are stable and do not wobble or roll.

If the pair produces two clutches of infertile eggs, remove them from the breeding cage and consider trying them with different mates or waiting until a later date to try again.

Eggs Thrown from the Nest

Make sure there is a concave area in the nest so that the hen can sit on all the eggs without any of them getting away.

If the hen is young (one or two years old) refrain from breeding her for another year. Hopefully she will lose the habit with maturity.

If the hen continues to discard her eggs from the nest, replace her eggs with dummy eggs or white marbles. After she incubates these for a week or two, remove them and allow her to lay another clutch hopefully she will have lost her egg-throwing habit.

If egg tossing continues to be a problem, you can use her to foster other chicks, but you won’t be able to breed her.

If you have more than one breading pair in the pen, sometimes, another jealous hen is the culprit.

Cracked or Punctured Eggs

An egg with a crack or puncture will probably kill the baby.

Cracked/punctured eggs are often a result of the hen’s nails being too long.

Unfed Chicks

You can tell a newly hatch chick is being fed by looking at the crop (below the neck) to see if it is full of a milky liquid.

• If the hen does not feed the chicks, try putting an older baby from another pair into the nest. The older chick’s cries for food will stimulate the hen to feed her clutch.

For further information,
contact: Dr. Collin Boyle
Unique Animal Care Co. Ltd.
Tele: 456 4981