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Cockatiel Breeding Do you want to learn about breeding cockatiels? Ask questions and share advice here.

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  #1  
Old 04-06-2017, 08:20 AM
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Default Seed, sprouts, and others questions...

I didn't know whether to post this here or in Food and Nutrition. I've posted here, since my questions pertain to the babies.

My three cockatiel babies are 26, 23, and 21 days old today! They are being parent raised, and all are doing very well, besides the youngest is developing a little slower than the oldest two did. He was only 3 grams when he hatched! I think the parents have been doing an awesome job for their first ever clutch.

Mom and dad have 24/7 access to Roudybush pellets. I'm home all day, so every couple of hours, they are fed fresh soft food. I alternate between mashed sweet potato with nutriberries, homemade bird bread, veggie chop with cooked beans and grains, and cooked frozen mixed veggies (corn, greens beans, peas, and carrots).

Before the babies, I was giving one tablespoon of seeds to each bird at 7 p.m., and then they go to bed at 11 p.m. I stopped feeding the seed until the smallest was over a week old, because I noticed when I would feed it, the babies would poop out whole seed. Since I've given it back, I have still noticed some whole seed in their poop, though not as much as before. Why are they not digesting the seed? Also, I didn't know how much more to be feeding them, so I give them a heaping tablespoon each of seed. How much should I actually be feeding?

My birds really love fresh sprouts, but I haven't given them any since the chicks hatched, because I read there is a concern over the bacteria. When can I start feeding sprouts again?

The oldest two babies had their first nibbles of millet yesterday while I had them out for play time. I get them out at least twice a day. I couldn't tell if they were actually cracking the seeds, but they had fun nibbling at it. Lol. What foods are okay to start letting them try to eat on their own when I have them out?
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  #2  
Old 04-06-2017, 11:35 AM
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Soaked or lightly sprouted seeds are an excellent weaning food for babies, because they're soft and easy to handle. If you're growing your own sprouts and never have problems with bacteria and mold, you can keep on offering them throughout the breeding period - there's no need to stop when you've got babies in the nest.

You can offer fledglings anything that you'd offer the parents. They'll learn to eat the soft, easy to handle foods first, but with practice they'll figure out how to eat the harder stuff too. Millet spray is easier for them to eat than loose seed, because it's attached to a stem and doesn't slither out of their grasp as easily. Chicks don't understand the concept of food bowls and learn faster with a foraging-style presentation. So spread food out on a flat surface like a table top or plate so they can pick around in it, and hang up leafy greens so it looks sort of like a plant is growing there.

Providing a shallow bowl of water will help them learn how to drink. They'll start out by playing in the water and will discover that they can drink it.

I'd expect the chicks to be able to grind up seeds at this age so I'm not sure why they're not doing it. Maybe their digestive tract hasn't had enough practice with hard foods yet? I'd give them access to it anyway. The parent birds usually pre-digest the food more thoroughly with young babies and do it less with older chicks so the babies gradually get used to doing more of the digestive work themselves. Some parents start feeding hard seeds too early, but they all start doing it eventually.
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Old 04-07-2017, 12:46 PM
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Thanks as always tielfan!
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