Baby Birds

by Megan

Hi, I am just about to start breeding cockatiels and budgies for the first time. I have done a lot of research and spoken to a few different breeders about it and feel that i can finally give it a go. I am not planning on hand rearing any of the chicks this time unless it is absolutely necessary but i would like all my babies to be reasonably friendly when they go to their new homes.

I would like to know at what age I can start taking them out for short periods of time to get them used to people and socialize them a bit. I have read many articles about this and most say that for both budgies and cockatiels about 12 to 14 days is a good time to start handling them for about 10-15 minutes a couple days a week. Is this true or do i need to wait a bit longer.

Comments for Baby Birds

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Oct 10, 2010
Baby Birds
by: Mary

I have bred budgies and I found that you should wait two to three weeks and only hold them for about 5 minutes a day and you need to clean their feet every day.

Oct 09, 2010
Baby Birds
by: Linda

First of all, be prepared in every way to do handfeeding using a syringe. You never know what is going to happen, and sometimes parents are unable to feed their babies because they don't know how. Birds who have been hand-reared and have imprinted on humans do not understand they are birds and will not feed their young. It happens all the time, so do not discount this advice. I had a pair of Cockies and neither one knew how to feed their babies. We were prepared and had handfeeding formula and right sized syringes on hand plus had learned the correct way to hand feed because it is a learned skill that needs practice.

Babies have to weighed every day, weight written down, and if a baby does not gain weight everyday, then there is an infection in all the babies, and they will need the services of an Avian Vet in your driving area. They will also need to be banded so you can write down their information each day. All these considerations are part of breeding birds, and if you think you cannot afford to do what it takes, then you don't need to breed at all. Anyone can breed birds, and it is what happens once the babies hatch out that counts.Some commercial breeders and "bird mills" do not ever take birds to Avian Vets, nor do they feed high quality food because medical services and high quality wholesome food takes too much out of the profit margin. For some people, birds are a way to make money. Allow me to inform you, there is NO money in breeding birds if it is done correctly with the bird's welfare in mind.

I would not handle the babies much until they are fully feathered and weaned or close to weaning for their own health and well being, except for weighing them each day with a gram scale, and this will be enough handling. Unless you have to handfeed them, I'd leave them with their parents most of the time. You may have to hand feed the two youngest Cockies because the two older ones will not allow them to eat. Be prepared for this before they are here because after is too late.


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