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Hello all,

I'm a first timer to this forum so I hope I come across okay. I'd like to present an issue I am having with my budgie chicks where they keep dying at the age of 2 weeks, so here is the following info:

  • Cage contains mineral block and cuttle fish
  • Water contains vitamin D3 and calcium
  • Seed has diatomaceous earth mixed in
  • Room is the laundry which is at a constant 21C (even within winter as a heat lamp is above the cage)
  • Budgies are fed baby spinach twice a day (can't get enough of)
  • they are also given veges (celery carrot and broccoli that is minced up). They aren't too keen on this as I ruined the mix with the last clutch by adding Paswell Budgie Starter of which they hated. Prior to that though they used to eat all of the veges.

Given that this has happened the second time around, something is clearly astray. According to the breeder that we purchased the birds from, this would now equate to this being their third clutch. Very different behaviour from second to third though with both the male and female being in the box almost constantly. This did not happen with the second where both the male and female were out of the box regularly, not for long, but still it was different, so I question whether this was actually their first clutch? Is there a conditioning to their new environment?

Anyway, we get to two weeks (just before the feathers start poking out of their skin) and they die. Two nights ago we made the decision to hand feed the two largest birds due to the first chick dying. They had a small amount of food in their crop which looked like baby spinach and we proceeded to feed them a formula mix at 37C. All was going well until the next morning they had died. Looking at them there is not obvious tell tale signs of trouble anywhere, they just look pale. Coming into the so-called third clutch we were suspicious of the mother having the capacity to feed them and still don't properly know here, which is why we started to hand feed the last two clutches. I have noticed that the formula contains soy and I read a number of years ago about a study in New Zealand of the effects with birds eating food containing soy. Have any of yourselves had affects from this?

My last question is to do with water. We supplement the water with D3 and calcium but the water itself is mineralised through our water filter system. I have heard this can have an affect, but I would think that if this is an issue then the chicks would be dying a lot earlier. So should I be using bottled water?

Any help that you could provide would be greatly appreciated as going through this again is devastating, and talking to kids about it doesn't help matters either. I bred canarys and finches when I was a child and I never thought for a second that budgies would be this challenging. Thanks in advance for any input.

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