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When Should I Start To Worry About The Chick Being Abandoned?

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Posted (edited)

Hello! I’m new to the forum, I’ve been keeping budgies for about 14 years  I currently have 4, Jink a 4yr hen, Ikki an about 9 months hen, Jinora an about 9 months male (named him a bit too soon, but it stuck oh well), and Pidge a 19 day old chick. None of the older birds are tame, though they tolerate me working in and around their cages (Ikki has been separated since Jink got mean once the eggs were laid).

Jink and Jinora are a pair and decided to lay a clutch this year, despite my best efforts. So I did/am doing my research, and trying my best to give them everything they need. The first clutch was a failure, Jink accidentally cracked all the eggs but one, which was a dud anyway, partially caused by a poor nest box design (which I have since fixed) about a month after the first clutch she laid a second (I know they’re close, I didn’t have much say in the matter) 4 eggs, one cracked early on, one was early embryo death, one was a dud, and the last hatched Pidge.

All has been going really well Jink is amounting to a perfect mother (Jinora is a useless father), and I’ve been getting her used to me being opening the nest box she usually leaves, then goes back about 15 minutes after I shut the lid. I’ve been able  to briefly handle Pidge (no more than two minutes at a time, 2-3 times a day) for the last couple of days. 

Tonight however, Jink is sleeping outside of the nest box, I took a very careful peak and Pidges crop appears to be half full (I don’t know exactly when the last feeding was) I have formula on hand should I need it, though I wasn’t planning on hand feeding. At what point should I get worried that Jink has abandoned her nest? Is it something I did, I tried to be careful and not make her uncomfortable (she’s a pretty bomb proof bird, prior to this I could stick my whole upper body in the cage to rearrange toys and she wouldn’t care)? Is it just too hot in the nest box, the room they’re in is about 80°F? Or at this stage is it okay/normal for the hen not to sleep in the nest at night? During the day she’s been spending more and more time out, but she’s been going back in at night. How long can I leave it before I have to intervene and feed Pidge? 

Any breeding advice would be most appreciated. I’ve read up on it as much as I could, but I’ve never DONE it before. I should note, there is no avian vet in the area, I’ve checked, more than once.

TLDR: Hen sleeping outside the nest containing a single 19 day old chick, at what point do I start to worry, and when do I need to/should I intervene? And how?


The photo was taken this morning, I set Pidge down and a ‘grippy’ surface so I can better check is splayed leg is a concern, though there seems to be no problem navigating the nest box, one corner is certainly the preferred spot. 

Sorry for the long post, and thank you in advance for any advice you have!


Edited by Wholock314
Corrected last feeding information.

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