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**KAZ**

Chicks In The Nestbox

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For quite some time now I have modified the way I deal with chicks in the nestbox. Some parents have a hard time raising and feeding chicks and some chicks upon fledging go into a major sulk and stop eating on their own.

I changed the way I looked at things and decided to do things differently in ways to help parents with their chicks and to have robust healthy chicks who come out of the nestbox eating right from day one.

So, my method is when the average chicks in the nestbox are around 2 weeks of age...at pin feather stage and beyond....where they start to stretch and scratch and look around....

I add a millet sprig daily for the chicks...a whole one.

 

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Believe me the chicks start eating it and I need to give them a new one each day. Parents will eat some too, but because they eat it in the nestbox they automatically feed it back to the chicks. Suddenly you have better fed chicks, less stressed parents and easier and plentiful feeding going on.

This is all on top of the soft food and soaked seed and other foods in dishes outside the nestbox in the breeder cabinet.

At chicks aged around 3 weeks I pour a cupful of seed into the nestbox and it becomes their bedding along with whatever else is their bedding in there. As chicks will scrounge around in a nestbox anyway and generally pick up and try to eat poop, this way they are learning to search for, forage and find their own food. It doesn't stay their bedding for long. The next day it is gone and I do it again. You may use less for a smaller nest of chicks.

Today in a nestbox of 7 chicks, I removed the fully feathered ones to my kindie cage where the fledged babies go. With satisfaction I saw they immediately began to eat the seed. A food they recognised and knew what to do with.

Well....it works for me. Since doing this I have had no chicks sulk and not eat once fledged and none have gone backwards in size and development.

I employ this same method with my husbands parrots who are raising their babies. The Mums ( Princesses and barrabands ) get millet in the nestbox while sitting on eggs, and a little dish of soft food and millet once the chicks arrive. When the chicks start to get around in the nestbox and look around I do the same as I do with the budgie nests with millet and seed.

Like I said...it works so well, I will keep doing it.

:D

Edited by KAZ

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well it surely makes sense, that is excellent Kaz

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It's ironic KAZ, I myself have been trying this same thing for the last few days. My chick (only one) is 26 days old today and I have been putting millet in for some time now, but just recently started putting seed in because the hen was throwing out all the bedding to prepare for another clutch. So, for the chick not to have any bedding I figured what would seed hurt. The mum and the bub would eat it rather than throw it out. I myself have not "witnessed" the chick eating the seed yet but there signs that someone is eating (but that may be mum), not sure. So thumbs up :D to you on this, I have tired it myself and hope it works as well for me as it has for you. :D

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I have been putting millet spray in there nest for the last 2 yrs and yes it makes a huge difference I think.

 

But I was warned at our last budgie meeting that if you have any of those moths that hang around and get into your seed which I can't remember the name of them.

well they can get into your nest box also and lay there what evers and the baby chicks pick and around on the floor of the nest box and eat there what evers and it can cause french molt.

 

So we were warned if we see any of these moths any where that we must spray them and so on.

 

I have never seen any any my breeding room but last summer I did have a lot of moths in my avairy, they were in the drink water

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I have been putting millet spray in there nest for the last 2 yrs and yes it makes a huge difference I think.

 

But I was warned at our last budgie meeting that if you have any of those moths that hang around and get into your seed which I can't remember the name of them.

well they can get into your nest box also and lay there what evers and the baby chicks pick and around on the floor of the nest box and eat there what evers and it can cause french molt.

 

So we were warned if we see any of these moths any where that we must spray them and so on.

 

I have never seen any any my breeding room but last summer I did have a lot of moths in my avairy, they were in the drink water

 

The moths come when there is deep litter method in use in breeder cages...lots of seed husks lying around. BUT it doesnt hapopen in this case. The moth theory and french moult are just one theory of how french moult occurs and noone really has stumbled upon the actual cause of that so until they do .......

 

This works and the seed isnt in there long enough for moths as it gets eaten.

Edited by KAZ

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I would be very surprised if the moths caused FM, we have a lot of problems with them at my place and I've never had a FM bird

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I would be very surprised if the moths caused FM, we have a lot of problems with them at my place and I've never had a FM bird

Correct...it is just one of the theories going around with older generation bird breeders.

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must remember to do that when the time comes to breed.... thanks for the tip.

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Actually it was an old breeder who told us, and for french molt {touch wood} I haven't had a case of it yet.

 

My nest boxes are cleaned regularly, never a build up of droppings as I like my babies clean. Plus I have false bottoms in all my nest box and I i have spares to swap when cleaning.

 

That's right Kaz they really don't know what causes it.

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I agree - When they are doing that EEEEKKK EEEEKKK noise LOL .. They are more alert - stretching their heads and being a sticky beak ... This is the time that they watch their parents and what they do .... So adding millet. seeds and etc to the nest box helps them learn to crack seed so by the time they fledged 99% of them will be eating seed on their own - HENCE not dropping in body weight suddenly ;)

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Ever since I have been putting seed in the nestboxes at 2 weeks old and older... the chicks who come out of these nestboxes always know how to feed themselves. It also takes the load off the parents a bit for the last couple of weeks.

I also did a test case where I didnt put seed in a nhestbox and those chicks upon fledging were more sooky and expected parents to continue feeding them a lot longer. The ones where seed was in the nestboxes were able to be moved into the kindie cage just 2 days after coming oput of the nestbox.

 

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and what lovely chicks they are KAZ. They don't choke on the seed at 2 weeks?

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Great photo's, just beautiful! I got my second egg today and your tips will be very useful if things work out for me. Great tip, thanks Kaz!

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and what lovely chicks they are KAZ. They don't choke on the seed at 2 weeks?

NO :P

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Thats great Kaz, Im going to give it a go as we have our first 3 babies. the other 3 eggs were clear but we have another 2 pair on eggs and waiting to see what happens with another 2 pair. thanks for the info.

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Good advice as always Kaz. I have used the millet before, but never the seed. Something we can all take on board.

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thats a great dicovery KAZ. I must try that with my next batch! :)

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Just bringing this topic up again. I had two chicks fledge this morning and both are feeding themselves the very moment they leave the nestbox. They are all fed seed in the nestbox from age two weeks, and it helps them figure out what food is when they leave the nestbox. Takes the pressure off the parents too in the later stages.

I was putting some seed into a nestbox last night for a group of babies with ages ranging 2 to nearly four weeks. The chicks in the nestbox that were just past 2 weeks of age were reaching for the seed and taking it and eating it from my hand. Interesting. Also noted that the older chicks around 3-4 weeks are feeding the younger babies in the nest.

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Edited by KAZ

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I have also found,thay a millet spig in the nest box,helps if the hen is a feather plucker.

I have had the odd hen that starts feather plucking & when I put the sprif in the chicks

feathers have grown back/

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I have also found,thay a millet spig in the nest box,helps if the hen is a feather plucker.

I have had the odd hen that starts feather plucking & when I put the sprif in the chicks

feathers have grown back/

Me too....works for mine as well Macka :wacko:

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good pointers :wacko: Will keep this thread in mind when the time comes to set up my own nest boxes...

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Did the same thing with my last clutch of this season Kaz. I too found that the chicks are very eager to eat when i put the fresh seeds in and immediately start picking at it. I too found the oldest chicks feed the younger ones and to me if a bird is feeding another bird then im quite confidant it is able to feed itself first!

 

I think this is definately a practice i will keep up from here on out.

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Did the same thing with my last clutch of this season Kaz. I too found that the chicks are very eager to eat when i put the fresh seeds in and immediately start picking at it. I too found the oldest chicks feed the younger ones and to me if a bird is feeding another bird then im quite confidant it is able to feed itself first!

 

I think this is definately a practice i will keep up from here on out.

Ever since I began doing this I no longer have those chicks that sulk and dont feed and go downhill once they are of age to fend for themselves.

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The chicks in the nestbox that were 2-3 weeks of age were reaching for the seed and taking it and eating it from my hand.

 

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