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Lib

Chick Mortality

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Lib    0

Hi Everyone,

 

I was just thinking about beginner breeders (my daughters are very interested in budgies) and wanted to get peoples views of generalised expected live chicks per clutch.

I will give you an example of what i am trying to say.

If you have 2 healthy birds that produce 5-7 eggs and all of them hatch would you expect all 7 chicks to survive or should you expect a % of mortality in chicks.

I thought it would be a good thread for people wanting to give breeding a try to put some discusion out there as everyone who breeds know you can get some heartache and i thought this could give people some insight so as not to loose heart.

 

Here is some of this years experience:

I have had a reasonable breeding season this year up until now where i have had large clutches but few surviving chick eg: 6 eggs 6 hatched 2 surviving. 6 eggs all clear given one foster chick,

7 eggs 7 hatched 4 surviving chicks (my first attempt breeding of show line), 6 eggs 3 hatched 3 surviving chicks.

 

3 months ago i had almost 90% survival rate for every clutch some raising 5 chicks.

 

What have other peoples experiences been.

 

Lib

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**KAZ**    0

I wouldnt expect the losses you are having percentagewise per clutch. I think you need to assess why this is occurring.

 

An article of interest http://forums.budgiebreeders.asn.au/index....showtopic=22377

Edited by KAZ

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Lib    0
I wouldnt expect the losses you are having percentagewise per clutch. I think you need to assess why this is occurring.

 

An article of interest http://forums.budgiebreeders.asn.au/index....showtopic=22377

 

Since joining this forum my birds are healthier than they have ever been thanks to the fantastic advise you can get here.

What would be the suggestion to find out if there is an issue.

Avian vets have said to me previosly that birds lay a large number of eggs for the very reason of being survival of the fittest so i assumed that this was normal.

Maybe because i breed outdoors intead of a breeing room??

Or is there a certain food that would assure all vitamins are recieved.

I do already give vitamins in water, wormed, fresh vegies a good mix of seed, they are in a open aviary recieving sun, they have preventative meds for cocci and other potential bird diseases as posted on this forum, sprayed for lice & mites aviarys get cleaned weekly.

What else would people suggest, it would be interesting to see if we can an increase in chick survival, might be a good research topic.

 

Thanks,

Lib

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**KAZ**    0

More info would help Lib....on each particular situation where you are having deaths of chicks....like at which age or stage of development, weather conditions, parents sitting or not, being disturbed from nests or not, age and experience of parents etc etc. Lots and lots of things come into it.

Maybe with more info we can brainstorm it out and help work out any issues.

I may have to go off shortly...my husband has had a heart attack and I will be off to be with him again at the hospital. But I am sure you will get more answers and with all the info pulled together there may be a solution or not as the case may be :laughter:

Cheers kaz

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GenericBlue    0

yeah id say that somethings up their lib as i get maybe only one two to eggs not hatch out of up to 7 to 9 eggs

and usually if chicks die its due to me

and my husbandry of them

eg ive dropped a few eggs with chicks few days two hatch and stuff like that

its called impatiance if a eggs late i tend to put to my ear to see if i can hear baby

some times i hear put it back and if no change in 24 hours i will listen again if no sound and egg darkened i will help it

sometimes im right and save a chicks life other times im wrong or i drop egg and thats not good

 

i prommised myself yesterday that for now on i dont listen to any eggs

if their late and i see black spot quiet large i will open but if not

i dont tough ever again

apart from that besides the odd chick not being fed i need to move

all eggs bar one mabe two hatch and live

 

if i have weak chick hatch i know somethings wrong and act straight away to figure out what

but only had happen once

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clearwing    0

The question is which chicks are dying, the older chicks or the new born. When I have large clutches of fertile eggs, I like to foster out the older chicks to other pairs, which stops new borns being squashed by older siblings. If older chicks are dying in nests I would treat all pairs with psitavet. On average I would only lose about one chick out of 20 that hatch. Good luck Clearwing

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nubbly5    0

There are many reasons why chicks die in the nest. Newborns not being fed, too many in nest of different sizes as clearwing stated, disease, poor mothering (crappy hens or disturbances in the night) causing chilling, diseases from yellow belly to psittacosis and french moult.

 

I would lose probably somewhere around the same as clearwing but I have not actually ever analysed it - probably should.......

 

**** Kaz, hope hubby is not too bad. Give him our regards and wish him a speedy recovery from us!

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Lib    0
More info would help Lib....on each particular situation where you are having deaths of chicks....like at which age or stage of development, weather conditions, parents sitting or not, being disturbed from nests or not, age and experience of parents etc etc. Lots and lots of things come into it.

Maybe with more info we can brainstorm it out and help work out any issues.

I may have to go off shortly...my husband has had a heart attack and I will be off to be with him again at the hospital. But I am sure you will get more answers and with all the info pulled together there may be a solution or not as the case may be :laughter:

Cheers kaz

Kaz, wishing your husband all the best and hope is well very very soon,

 

Thanks everyone,

 

This is really interesting, hearing everones experiences

I will go through each nest.

Nest 1, 7 eggs, 7 hatchings, 1st, 2nd 3rd and 7th chick (fostered out) still doing well, 4th died at about 4 days due to deformitiy, 5th died at about 2 weeks 6th died at a couple of days old and seemed to have been squashed (this clutch compared to my other birds chicks are huge - my first show type birds). This pair now raising 3 chicks. (new pair never bred before)

 

Nest 2, 4 of her own eggs, 2 foster eggs - 3 of her own eggs clear 1 of her own hatched and both foster eggs hatched all doing well at this stage (young hen - experienced cock)

 

Nest 3, 6 eggs, 6 hatchings 2 chicks still alive. 1st & 2nd chick still alive, 3rd died last night for no apparent reason, 4 & 5th were dead one morning, again seemed to be squashed, 6th died the day afet hatching - (new pair never bred before)

 

Nest 4, 6 eggs all clear, 1 foster egg, hatched and doing well (7th chick of first nest)

Young hen-cock bird ?, i caught him about 1 year ago, may be infertile.

 

Nest 5, 7 eggs 1 hatching so far expecting another hatching tomorrow. This hen is young and when she started laying was eating her eggs, i took all eggs that she didn't break and put them in nest 2 which are the foster chicks that are doing well, she has since layed 7 more eggs and so far is being a really good mum. - experienced cock bird.

 

I don't handle eggs, i don't even candle them as i can usually see very early fertile from infertile without having to touch any of them. Nest have wood shavings in them. I generally don't touch the chicks untill they start to open their eyes unless there is an obvious problem.

I treat for cocci, psittacosis, worm, lice & mites but i have never heard of yellow belly if someone could let me know what that is.

The seed i feed the birds is of high quality from my local produce, i feed the birds fresh vegies 2 x a week & wild grass in seed which they love about 2 x a week. Eucalypt leaves when i can get them. When there are no meds in water i give them shell grit & cuttle fish. I also give vitamins in thier water, ocassionally.

Is there anything i have forgotten.

 

Thanks,

Lib

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**KAZ**    0

Dead chicks always look squashed by the time we see them or find them but it isnt the cause of death in most cases.

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Lib    0
More info would help Lib....on each particular situation where you are having deaths of chicks....like at which age or stage of development, weather conditions, parents sitting or not, being disturbed from nests or not, age and experience of parents etc etc. Lots and lots of things come into it.

Maybe with more info we can brainstorm it out and help work out any issues.

I may have to go off shortly...my husband has had a heart attack and I will be off to be with him again at the hospital. But I am sure you will get more answers and with all the info pulled together there may be a solution or not as the case may be :rofl:

Cheers kaz

Kaz, wishing your husband all the best and hope is well very very soon,

 

Thanks everyone,

 

This is really interesting, hearing everones experiences

I will go through each nest.

Nest 1, 7 eggs, 7 hatchings, 1st, 2nd 3rd and 7th chick (fostered out) still doing well, 4th died at about 4 days due to deformitiy, 5th died at about 2 weeks 6th died at a couple of days old and seemed to have been squashed (this clutch compared to my other birds chicks are huge - my first show type birds). This pair now raising 3 chicks. (new pair never bred before)

 

Nest 2, 4 of her own eggs, 2 foster eggs - 3 of her own eggs clear 1 of her own hatched and both foster eggs hatched all doing well at this stage (young hen - experienced cock)

 

Nest 3, 6 eggs, 6 hatchings 2 chicks still alive. 1st & 2nd chick still alive, 3rd died last night for no apparent reason, 4 & 5th were dead one morning, again seemed to be squashed, 6th died the day afet hatching - (new pair never bred before)

 

Nest 4, 6 eggs all clear, 1 foster egg, hatched and doing well (7th chick of first nest)

Young hen-cock bird ?, i caught him about 1 year ago, may be infertile.

 

Nest 5, 7 eggs 1 hatching so far expecting another hatching tomorrow. This hen is young and when she started laying was eating her eggs, i took all eggs that she didn't break and put them in nest 2 which are the foster chicks that are doing well, she has since layed 7 more eggs and so far is being a really good mum. - experienced cock bird.

 

I don't handle eggs, i don't even candle them as i can usually see very early fertile from infertile without having to touch any of them. Nest have wood shavings in them. I generally don't touch the chicks untill they start to open their eyes unless there is an obvious problem.

I treat for cocci, psittacosis, worm, lice & mites but i have never heard of yellow belly if someone could let me know what that is.

The seed i feed the birds is of high quality from my local produce, i feed the birds fresh vegies 2 x a week & wild grass in seed which they love about 2 x a week. Eucalypt leaves when i can get them. When there are no meds in water i give them shell grit & cuttle fish. I also give vitamins in thier water, ocassionally.

Is there anything i have forgotten.

 

Thanks,

Lib

Does anyone have any ideas???

Ask me more questions if it will help. I am keen to work this out.

Lib

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Yellow belly is when a chick hatches with a yellow belly and will normally die within the first day of hatching... Do a search on here for it, that is a bit more info on it... :rofl: Search is up the top in the menu bar...

 

Alot of what you have written for the nests sounds like experienced hens or cocks... And maybe a little over crowding 5 chicks per nest... I find alot of hens can not deal with any more...

 

I'm sure others can help more...

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Houman    0

this sounds like alot of fun to me *but i dont breed* so i cant analize anything :s well good luck everyone with your analisis's*

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Lib    0
Yellow belly is when a chick hatches with a yellow belly and will normally die within the first day of hatching... Do a search on here for it, that is a bit more info on it... :rofl: Search is up the top in the menu bar...

 

Alot of what you have written for the nests sounds like experienced hens or cocks... And maybe a little over crowding 5 chicks per nest... I find alot of hens can not deal with any more...

 

I'm sure others can help more...

All the survivng chicks seem really healthy.

I have never noticed any chicks with yellow bellies but i will certainly look that one up.

I am at a loss as to why this is happening.

Before there are any more chicks i would like to get some answers, is there anthing that i can try that maybe i am overlooking.

Lib

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**KAZ**    0

Quite often chicks will die early if they are carrying a disease their immune system cannot cope with like french moult, psittacosis etc

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Kaz, dont chicks die sometimes too from using all the energy to hatch aswell... Could this be playing a role as well you think...?

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**KAZ**    0
Kaz, dont chicks die sometimes too from using all the energy to hatch aswell... Could this be playing a role as well you think...?

For sure. There are so many ways a chick can die. Just yesterday when I was busy with ken at the hospital there was an early hatching in a nest so the chick died. I discovered it today. Its when more than the average expectations in a nest that die that we try and figure out why.

Whoever said breeding was easy :rofl:

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I know... So many different factors affect the chicks when their born... :rofl:

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robyn    0

Hi Lib,

 

I only bred for first time last Aug. Had 5 cages. only lost one chick (not covered and frozen). Had 27 healthy chicks. Some clear eggs, one scatty hen left 5 eggs. No fatalities a couple of long feathered chicks but that's not an issue as in your case.

Everything your already doing sounds really good so why? What about temp. aspect of aviary etc..time of breeding. Any outside contaminates, overspray from garden insecticides e.g. wish I could be more help. Keep posting, as I'm sure someone may give you a clue. Good luck with it all.

 

An after- thought, how are your chicks you do raise? are they all healthy fit birds or do they have issues of any sort? If it's an environment issue they may give you a clue. :rofl:

Edited by robyn

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Lib    0
Hi Lib,

 

I only bred for first time last Aug. Had 5 cages. only lost one chick (not covered and frozen). Had 27 healthy chicks. Some clear eggs, one scatty hen left 5 eggs. No fatalities a couple of long feathered chicks but that's not an issue as in your case.

Everything your already doing sounds really good so why? What about temp. aspect of aviary etc..time of breeding. Any outside contaminates, overspray from garden insecticides e.g. wish I could be more help. Keep posting, as I'm sure someone may give you a clue. Good luck with it all.

 

An after- thought, how are your chicks you do raise? are they all healthy fit birds or do they have issues of any sort? If it's an environment issue they may give you a clue. :rofl:

 

All the chicks that do survive are really healthy and strong, i have only ever had 2 chicks in 27 years that have had deformities and they died anyway. My breeding cabinets are outdoors as i don't have the luxury of indoor breeding rooms because we are renting for a couple of years but they are elevated of the ground and are free standing along the side of the aviary, morning sun, afternoon shade the floor is wire so all waste materials fall through the bottom onto the ground so everything is clean. As for sprays, i don't use them as i am all for organic/al a natural.

Maybe it is the outside breeding? the chicks are in a less controlled environment as far as temps/wind/rain so maybe it does come down to survival of the fittest when breeding out doors?? :laughter:

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**KAZ**    0

Any chance mice are going through the cages ? They can climb aviary mesh and access cages ? Because that would explain some deaths related to their droppings and wee in food and water and also hens getting off nests. Photo of setup would help work out a solution.

Edited by KAZ

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Lib    0
Any chance mice are going through the cages ? They can climb aviary mesh and access cages ? Because that would explain some deaths related to their droppings and wee in food and water and also hens getting off nests. Photo of setup would help work out a solution.
I suppose that would not be entirely impossible. I did try to make it as vermin proof as possible but some creatures are pretty tricky. I haven't noticed any visible signs of mice or rats(no droppings in nest boxes or chewing on cages)There are some photo's of my set up somewhere on here. I posted them not long ago but i am unsure of how you find them. I suppose ferral cats could be spooking the birds at night, that could be an option. Edited by KAZ

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Lib    0
Any chance mice are going through the cages ? They can climb aviary mesh and access cages ? Because that would explain some deaths related to their droppings and wee in food and water and also hens getting off nests. Photo of setup would help work out a solution.

Hi kaz,

just found picture's of my set up. Posted them just a couple of minutes ago

lib

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GenericBlue    0
Hi Lib,

 

I only bred for first time last Aug. Had 5 cages. only lost one chick (not covered and frozen). Had 27 healthy chicks. Some clear eggs, one scatty hen left 5 eggs. No fatalities a couple of long feathered chicks but that's not an issue as in your case.

Everything your already doing sounds really good so why? What about temp. aspect of aviary etc..time of breeding. Any outside contaminates, overspray from garden insecticides e.g. wish I could be more help. Keep posting, as I'm sure someone may give you a clue. Good luck with it all.

 

An after- thought, how are your chicks you do raise? are they all healthy fit birds or do they have issues of any sort? If it's an environment issue they may give you a clue. :)

 

All the chicks that do survive are really healthy and strong, i have only ever had 2 chicks in 27 years that have had deformities and they died anyway. My breeding cabinets are outdoors as i don't have the luxury of indoor breeding rooms because we are renting for a couple of years but they are elevated of the ground and are free standing along the side of the aviary, morning sun, afternoon shade the floor is wire so all waste materials fall through the bottom onto the ground so everything is clean. As for sprays, i don't use them as i am all for organic/al a natural.

Maybe it is the outside breeding? the chicks are in a less controlled environment as far as temps/wind/rain so maybe it does come down to survival of the fittest when breeding out doors?? :D

 

 

hay lib my breeding is all out doors

i cover my birds with a tarp at night to keep warmer and from wind and draft

draft is a huge killer of any age show bird i have experienced

why i wrapped my aviary in glad wrap

you could easliy do same

put a water proof canvas tarp on across the top of your breeding cages and roll down every night it has to cover from bottom of back of cages and around and down the frount you can ground it a few diffren ways with a lead pipe all way through the canvas tarp which you stitch on

or bricks sitting on top

how ever doesnt matter so long as no draft gets in

you must get up early to lift though like 530 am before birds awake or 600am latest i keep the tarp down on rainy days or windy cold days

and i try not to check boxes on cold days until a time that wind may die down

 

i hope you find answer chicks are dieing at all difrent stages so its hard to know with out really seeing

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robyn    0

Hi Lib

, Checked out your pics on breeding set-up. It looks like your cages have wire bottom and back plus door.

Is that right? If so, maybe it's very breezy and creates a " wind tunnel" effect? Might be a bit chilly for chicks when it's cold /or wet.

If you could put something at back and drop a shadecloth or similar blind at front at night it might help block the straight through draught ? Just a thought IF I have the right info. from pics. :)

 

 

 

 

P.S. FOUND YOUR PICS ON BREEDERS CHAT NOT HERE IS THAT RIGHT?

Edited by robyn

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