Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 7:32 am Post subject: Help with keeping babies alive
Hi, I have a pair that have had 3 clutches. !st one 4 eggs 2 hatched, I chick they feed for 3 weeks and I had to take the baby because it somehow got a broke leg when I checked it and parents left it when leg was fixed. The other baby they did not feed. 2nd one 8 eggs 3 hatched they did not feed any babies and eat most of the eggs, found them thrown out of nest, babies were covered with shavings. Now they are on their 3rd and I have found a egg in the cage with beak marks and nothing in it. I have a camera in nest there is about 6 eggs, and the female threw out all the shavings. Any help will be great. The male is very mean when they have eggs. They had that one baby and it was beautiful. I would like to get babies but don't want to handfeed if possible. Thanks Mary
This is classic behaviour of many species of animal.. including humans.
Where for after 2 or 3 generations young are removed to be raised elsewhere... the ability/ knowledge to raise the young gets lost...
Do you have 2 nesting boxes?
Another issue with many bird species.. is they will can, simply rool over one batch after another...Kakariki will do so all yr round putting out a batch every 8 to 10 weeks. BUT have to have 2 nesting boxes.
The hen lays in the 1st, just as the chicks start to get adult coloured feather appear, she moves to the next box, and lays.
The male tends the 1st batch chicks and feed the hen and chicks in the 2nd box. The 1st batch leave the nest.. the male weans them off, and still feeds the 2nd batch which are about to form adult coloured feathers.
The hen goes back to the 1st box lays
and just repeats.
If one box the odds are once the hen lays , ANYTHING in that nesting box besides the male is an unwelcome intruder and will be treated as such.
That is the norm...on very rare occasions... very rare, she will accept the old chicks, but chances are they will be treated as intruders as the new batch of eggs hatch.
Kakariki are a flock bird, but once they go to nest they become very territorial around the nesting box (s) even to other kakariki... both male and female.
With them spending time 'defending; can have a dramatic effect on hatch rates and raising of the chicks.. less stress the better.
Which IF the 1st paragraph doesnt apply, when they have their 1st batch, even 2nd.. leave them to it...
1st batch is generally small, 2nd larger ans 3rd around the norm 6 to 10 eggs.
A good rate of healthy adult birds raised to number of eggs is over 70% If get 80% that is real good/ best... my self and several other breeders have an opinion/ theory that not all eggs are meant to hatch...but several are rolled into the centre and act as hot water bottle to keep the young chicks warm on the very rare occasions the hen briefly leaves the nest
Once a pair have settled down to several batches .. they become very tolerant to ppl they know...and totally devoted parents.
So much so one can trap them in the nesting box with eggs/ chicks.. dismantle the avairy, move it 100 miles, reassemble and next day re hang the box , and let them out.. they will carry on as if nothing has happened.
One can remove the chicks for a day... say because of extreme temps in the very high 40s... return the chick next day and they will carry on
If some thing happens to one of the parents.. the other parent will finish off raising that batch.
One can add eggs from other species .. even large eggs/ birds like a king or crimson parrot, they will hatch and raise the chick very well.
So the main issues are several generations of hand feeding...interfering with a new couple on their 1st couple batches, and having other birds near to or in line of sight (from neighbouring flight) of the nesting boxes.
All that good, good diet, environment from frosty winters to low 40s summers with around a 80% healthy adult to egg ratio, one can expect about 120 good off spring, over 3 to 3 1/2 yrs...non stop, then the female fertility drops fast...at around 130/ 140 will be lucky to get 1 egg to hatch. _________________ My Spelling is Not Incorrect...It's 'Creative'
Thanks for the info, I do have other birds in site. I will move them. I did not have a 2nd nest box for the 1st and 2nd clutch but I did put one in for this 3rd. They did rest between the 2nd and 3rd clutch, I made them, as I don't want them going crazy with babies. I feed them very well, my husband says better than I feed him The male attacks me everyday as I feed but I have taught him to stay back or I keep the food out for 10 min. So now he waits but he hates it. I got 2 other pair and if they keep destroying the eggs I will put the eggs in the other pairs nest when they start. I have a incubator but I want them to do it on their own. They did it once I know they have it in them to do it again. Mary
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