Eclectus rooster killed its chicks
by Bruce Buchanan
(Corpus Christi, TX)
Hello, I am a breeder of Eclectus parrots with two pairs. We also have one pair of Red heads. I have been doing this for about 10 years and have had great sucsess and quite a bit of enjoyment. We hand raise our babies, they turn out to be quite tame and have made great pets for their new owners. Their have been problems over the years but we have learned how to deal with them. I have learned a lot about the Eclectus and am always interested in new discoveries about this wonderful breed.
I have never lost a chick in 10 years till last Friday. Friday night I got home and as I walked into the house I saw over a TV monitor that we use in our nest boxes that Jade a 16 year old rooster was killing his 3 week old chicks. He was ripping them apart. I jerked open the nest box but it was too late they were both quite dead. Jade had torn them apart in ways I don't want to speak of, it was much more then just killing them. He had just done this minutes before because they were both very warm and my wife said she had been watching Rose the hen feeding them about 5 minutes before I got home.
Jade has been with Rose for 4 years now and they have produced about 16 chicks that each time has been book perfect with no problems. In the past Jade has been seen feeding the chicks directly and pypassing Mom. (perfect father) Jades first mate of abou 9 years died of an anurisim and he was then put with Rose. Jade probably has produced over 100 babies with out this problem.
I have tried to understand if any thing has changed in our bird room or if any activity is different. The only thing that I can see is we moved the Amazon cage to a new position a little closer to Jades cage 4 weeks ago. I have now replaced that cage to its origional position just incase.
I can not remember beeing as depreesed as I am now for a long time. I figure that the biggest problem is that I can not concieve of this hapening and don't know what to do or think about this. I have always been able to reason out the problems of the past issues with my birds. I don't know how to proceed with this one. I at least I know that next time there are chicks in this nest box I will remove Jade from the cage and hope that Rose will feed them on here own till I can pull them for hand raising. A note that might be different about what my wife and I have done for years is, we remove the chicks from the nest box every evening for handeling starting at about 2 weeks. At about 4 weeks we start hand feeding them and returning them to the box for parent care. This has worked well for us and the birdes are just as tame as they come. When they are about 5 to 6 weeks we pull them to finish hand raising or deliver to a quite reputable pet store for finishing.
If any breeder has knowlage of this horrible thing please let me know. I am quite lost and depreesed.
Thanks for the ear load,