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Kim6116

Colony Breeding

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Just a question,

 

My little guys are all in breeding boxes and i have just been sitting watching the chicks moving around the breeding box, watching mum and dad and picking at seed and they seem to be at least trying to copy. I am wondering for the colony breeders out there, how the chicks learn to crack seed etc when competing with other birds in the aviary. I'm not trying to put you down or anything like that, its just another part of the learning for me.

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Ive never seen them 'competing' for food- more like the others show them, they all head onto the seedbowl and the babies copy them. There are always a couple of 'surrogates' that like to take them under their wing!!

The only time they would have to compete for food would be if you had an overcrowded aviary.

I'm not colony breeding but I have. Also have 2 pairs set up by themselves in a 8x4' aviary as the hens dont settle in breeder cages- it works well for me as they have alot of space and I am home all day. The non breeders are in another large avairy.

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When I had colony style aviaries ( not now ) ....Once the parents stopped feeding the chicks and they could forage for themselves I used to segregate the chicks into "kindie cage" where they were with a pile of other chicks to eat and play and not have to battle the bigger guys for perching space etc. Even now with breeder cages, once the chicks can forage for food and not rely on the parents they go into a kindie cage for awhile. Once I am happy they are doing well in their and gaining some weight, eating and flying well...they then progress into a youngsters flight aviary. I have just put some from the kindie cage into the fledgling aviary a few days ago and they are all having a blast in their. They stay in the fledgling aviary till they are past their first moult and doing well...then they go in with the adults at around 6-7 months of age.

The thing is ...in a colony of budgies there will be another budgie or two that adopts these youngsters and shows them around and how to find the food. There will also be some dangers from some budgies that dont like them in their way too, so it must be carefully monitored when all budgies are in together. The fledged ones must have their food in shallow trays at ground level. BUT care must be taken to avoid vermin getting into their food and water supplyu also as you will lose babies from contaminated food and water sources from mice.

Edited by **KAZ**

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The best thing about breeding cages is on the show side. The parents get to feed the chicks longer and the chicks put on more weight as they can't get out to flight about.

 

Mine are in the nest till about 4 to 5 weeks and then in the breeding cage until 6 weeks or untill they learn how to feed themselves. Then I place them in a nursary with other chicks untill they are 3 months old. They are then transfered to a juvinile flight untill they are 6 months old. It is at this point wether they are good enough to stay or to be shipped out. By this time they are very healthy and strong.

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Colony breeding has many hassles as many have said, but there is one thing that is an advantage I think. I also have some aviaries with one pair in them & as with the colony system, once they come out of the nest they stay out, mostly. The problem I have in the cabinets is that they seems to be late in leaving the nest & even after they leave I often have trouble with them going back into the nest, some seem to never want to leave & often the hen is with eggs again. So often I have to remove them before I would really like, otherwise they will addle the new eggs. So far most of the chicks seem to survive after being quite for few days in the young birdcage, they soon get used to it & join the flock. Most of my breeding cabinets are actually two cages & can be divided in two I’m thinking of getting some mesh dividers, especially for feather pluckers, so the young can be confined to one end, but still be fed by the cock trough the wire. I find in the aviary situation, colony or single pair, that I can leave the young longer with their parents, but it’s advisable to remove them after they are feeding well, as some hens can get quite vicious after a short time with their young & if left the young themselves are often quite nasty to the next batch that leaves the nest.

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When I colony bred budgies ( once upon a time ) the thing I noticed was, when the chicks fledged, they mostly flew right from the start and were more independant right from the beginning too. Not sooky like a lot of breeder cage babies are. However, they did face dangers from certain more aggressive adults.

Edited by **KAZ**

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With the chicks in the nest,once there tail feathers are about 10 or 15mm long.I put them onto the floor of the breeding cage for the cock to feed.I have a half closed jam tin in the corner of the box,so they can excape, if attacked.If a hen starts to lay & there is a chick still in the nest,I will foster to another box.But in most cases the chicks are out of the nest box. :P

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Young budgies are all individuals. Some are fiercely independent and seem to know instinctively before they leave the nest to chew and nibble ANYTHING so seed poses no problems at all. At the other extreme some will chase their parents for weeks begging for food, even though they are able to feed themselves. Being fairly smart and curious little parrots, budgies learn quickly where the food is by watching the other birds in the aviary.

 

Cheers,

KathyW.

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Like Macka I have a small box I call the BBBBB (Bruised and Battered Baby Budgie Box) It sits under the seed container. When the chick leaves the nest he can huddle in the box untill heis comfortible in the main area. The cocks continues to feed him and lets the hen continue her next clutch.

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