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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 01-03-2017, 12:29 AM
Cockatiela Cockatiela is offline
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Default Do I hand feed or leave with the parents ?

Hi everyone,

My cockatiels have 1 chick which they were raising really well until yesterday.
They are in a plastic basket on the floor of the aviary and both the male and female had been sitting and feeding during the day and night.

From the beginning I had a problem with ants getting into the nest so I have always had a shallow dish of water under the nest. But yesterday, the ants seemed more desperate than normal and were still able to cross the water, so I got a really large dish and filled it with water and put the nest in the middle.
This seemed to stop the ants.

However, the female didn't go back down to the baby for the night and a huge storm came through and the temperature dropped from about 37C / 98F to about 26C / 78F. I watched the baby until about 8:00pm but the rain was blowing in on it and I thought it would die from the cold so I brought it inside to our laundry which is quite warm.

The chick survived the night and I put it back in the aviary at about 5:00am, but the male didn't come down to feed it until about 8:00am. It is now almost 3:30pm and the female still hasn't been down. I think she has abandoned the chick ...

I'm wondering what to do now as today is about 27C / 80F and the parents haven't sat on the chick all day.

The chick is about 12 - 13 days old but I would really like the parents to raise the chick as I have no experience with hand feeding.
Do you think she has abandoned the baby ?
Or can I just bring the chick in at night to keep it warm and return it in the morning for the male to feed ? Or is this not enough food ?
Yesterday, the last time I saw him feed the chick was at 6:00pm.

Thanks for your help!
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  #2  
Old 01-03-2017, 01:23 AM
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At this point I would suggest hand feeding. The parents don't seem to be sitting on the baby for whatever reason and with the temperature drop, I would be worried with the baby dying.

As for hand feeding, there's several links in the sticky library that you can refer to. The first sticky I found should cover most of your questions. It's found here---> http://talkcockatiels.com/showthread.php?t=18189

I prefer feeding with a spoon, myself. There's a LOT to cover when it comes to hand feeding, but the three most important rules are always mix formula fresh, keep formula at least 102-106 F and by all things holy, never microwave your formula! It can cause crop burns. .

I'm sure the others will have more to add or say. Keep us posted on your situation
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Old 01-03-2017, 02:05 AM
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Well, I have Vetafarm formula, a digital thermometer, a heat lamp and a spoon / syringe feeder.
I'm scared to feed the chick because I don't want it to die from eating too much, too fast or too slow !!!

I just saw the male feed it again and it is now 5:00pm. Doesn't look like the female is interested in going down to the baby tonight though, so I will have to bring it in tonight.

If the female doesn't go down, do I feed the baby at 11:00pm ?
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Old 01-03-2017, 05:56 AM
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Okay, good news ! The female was on the nest (well sitting on the edge because I was near), so as far as I know she is keeping the chick warm. It's 9:00pm now, so hopefully she stays there until the morning !!
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Old 01-03-2017, 10:25 AM
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So changing the environment (adding the huge water bowl that wasn't there before) is definitely turning your hen off. Some tiels will abandon a nest if there is a change, because the environment is no longer safe.
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I'm scared to feed the chick because I don't want it to die from eating too much, too fast or too slow !!!
That's not really an issue. The issues to worry about are the baby aspirating on the food. As the baby gets older, it will be harder to pull it for hand feeding if issues arise. I do suggest that you find a breeder in your area who can show you how to hand feed properly so that you're prepared if you do have to do it in the future.

My next suggestion is to get a regular nest box that you can hang on the cage. Tiels don't normally nest on the ground as this is considered dangerous and makes them easy prey. Also, an open nest box can leave the babies open to the elements as you have discovered and removing the baby can cause the parents to abandon it. Plus, ants obviously. It's best to have more boxes than pairs, this way they don't fight over the boxes.

Fingers crossed the baby does OK!!
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:50 PM
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It's 11:30am and the baby is still alive and the parents have fed the chick. The crop is quite full and I can now see pin feathers coming through on the wings and a tiny little crest forming. I'm amazed at how fast this has come through since yesterday !

The parents still aren't sitting on it during the day, however it is 29C / 84F today, so maybe warm enough ?
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Old 01-03-2017, 09:26 PM
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It does sound like it may be warm enough that the baby doesn't need the parents to sit with it now that it's getting pin feathers in.
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Old 01-08-2017, 05:02 PM
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The chick is very lively now and has full pin feathers on it's wings, a little crest and a little tail is forming.

How long can I handle the chick for ?
And how often can I pick it up from the nest to hold it ?

Also, if I were to bring it inside and the parents see it's not in the nest, when I return it, will they still look after it or would they abandon it ?

Thanks for your help !
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Old 01-08-2017, 06:19 PM
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You need to block the nest so they can't see the baby is gone. I always block the hole and hold the babies while the parents are out eating.

At first, 15 minutes at a time is a good place to start. You want to get the baby accustomed to you without chilling it. I picked mine up a couple times a day to be handled.
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Old 01-12-2017, 09:05 PM
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Thanks for your help Roxy Culver.

We have been going through some very, very warm days here...
Yesterday was 39C / 102F.
Today is 36C / 97F.
Tomorrow will be 40C / 104F.

As you can see it's quite hot here, so I don't think the chick will chill.
Actually the parents haven't sat on the chick during the day for ages.
The pin feathers are starting to open so hopefully it will leave the nest soon !

Also, the chick is panting so much because of the heat.
From about 9:00am to 4:30pm, it pants and pants.
Am I able to give it water or do I leave it to the parents to keep the chick hydrated ?
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