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New Babies, Help!
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penny144
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 8:57 am    Post subject: New Babies, Help!

Hi, I am a new owner of a beautiful pair of Lutino Kakarikis. They are wonderful and very active and playful.

I am looking for some help with handfeeding my babies. So far, I have about 5 or 6 chicks. Not quite sure, don t want to touch them, by fear that my birds will not like that.

I was advised by the local pet store to take the babies from the parents at 3 weeks old. The first egg hatched on January 4, 2008, my hen layed her last egg on the 24th of December 2007. So, obviously the babies have not hatched all at the same time! Im not quite sure, when I should be removing them from the nest.

Also, I was also advised to take them from the nest and recreate a environment (incubation of sortes), I was told to put them in another cage but to put a heating pad and add the same material that is in the nest, chipwood! Should I be covering this cage for the babies to keep them warm? I have the formula, not quite sure how much I should be feeding them? I have decided to use the method of feeding with a seringe, it seems like the simpliest method to use for a newbie like me!

Any advice would be appreciated from all of you. After reading the forum I can see that there is many experts here.

I feed my birds, lots of fruits and vegetables plus their normal foods. I also feed them chicken bones, lean meats! They are wonderful pair and I love them very much. I would like to help with making their babies healthy, socialized birds...

Help please!
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Tontana
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:18 am    Post subject:

w3c

May I ask why you wish to hanfeed your young?
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pabloc
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:40 am    Post subject:

Hi Penny,

first of all... I'm not expert at handfeeding. Just done so with an alexandrine and a few cockatiels and kakariki.

For me the experience wasn't very good, as only 1 out of 3 kakariki made it to adult, but I think it was due to mother being too weak (genetics) as deaths repeated at parent-reared chicks, and this particular hen is smaller than her daughters at weaning.

You can find a post in which one of the breeders says that if the hen is ready for a new clutch and chicks are around 3-4 weeks and with feather about to "bloom" he leaves them outside the nest so they don't soil the eggs inside the nest. So maybe kakariki chicks don't need so much heat as other species (I still think that it's a good idea to keep them "warm").

Regarding the formula... I used Kaytee Exact, which is the "best" (affordable quality) formula which other people in my area is using to raise everything from greys and amazons to cockatiels. This is not ideal, as each species have different dietary requirements. There are some posts around this forum in which a member speaks about a home made formula, I suggest you try to contact him/her, maybe is still around here. Otherwise... a my non-expert suggestion is using the "old trusty" Exact formula, and add to it some spirulina or other "healthy protein supplement", as kakariki seem to need a higher protein intake than the average parrot. How much? I don't know.

And feeding... just like any other parrot. Their head bobbing is not so strong as cockatiels for instance, so they are easy to feed. The only problem is that they are too much interested in everything since very young, so after they have had some formula, they dissapear to go explore the outside world, and you may have a hard time filling their crops. Maybe if you are proficient, a feeding probe is a good solution (although I suggest you let them a few ml of formula before, for taste and so).

Socializing... they seem to love play seek and hide and escaping from you and too they get crazy when they see you and they love to play with you and perch over your shoulders and head. Then... on the other side, they are not like a cockatiel that stays with you the whole afternoon asking for cuddling, they are too busy going everywhere to stop too much with you, and they aren't specially afectionate to cuddling (even adult pairs don't preen each other, or at least I still have to see it). They seem independant, but they need a lot of attention (you have some informations on how social they are around the forum).

I can't add too much more. For me, after trying cockatiels and alexandrines, and visiting many times a friend that usually has budgies, senegals and sun conures handfeeding (and I usually give him a hand that odd afternoon feeding some of the babies), kakariki are of the most funny and social since very young. I'm very willing to handfeed some more in the future, it's worth the effort!!!

Kind regards,

Pablo

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Steptoe
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:43 am    Post subject:

We avairy raise and find taming down after is just as good
We have friends who hand raise...what a lot of work, feeding every few hrs...lots of things
If its your 1st time and havnt any experiance ..leave them too it
BUT put a 2nd nesting box in with them ASAP...she may get agressive with the old chicks if she wants to lay another batch.
As the green feathers just appear the female will go to the new nesting box, lay and sit, the male will then feed the old chicks and also her.

Using the "quick search" box to the left hand feed and other words will come up with further detailed information on nesting boxes routines hand feeding etc.

Oh and we find chicks that are not handled in the nest tame better when weaned.

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pabloc
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 1:36 pm    Post subject:

Hi Steps,

well... I think you are right. I mean... we all have already seen that guy with the cowboy hat with kakariki perching all over him. And then I know that another belgian breeder kakariki are very tame as well (and he never handfed one neither).

The only "similar" experience that I had was last season that the 3 kakariki chicks came really near when I entered the aviary, and my breeding birds get used to me very fast, and come to feed despite I'm nearby. Pity is that now due to job I'm away and I go home only a few weekends a month. Maybe it's easier to tame them when they are younger. Then I know the case of a guy from a Spanish forum that after a few days of letting his kike fly freely around the living room, finally perched over him and was curious about his big ears Laughing

Handfeeding is a very hard job, and maybe with kakariki is not really needed, but if you are already handfeeding other birds, for me it was a really nice experience to raise them (and was really painful loosing 2 of them, you really get attached to them, they are way too funny since very young). Then another good thing they have when handfed is that they cry out loud whenever they hear anyone around to claim their share of playtime. After a long time they keep tame (the hen that made it to today is around 8-9 months and although kept in an aviary she still comes like crazy to play with you).

Just my 2 cents!

Regards / Pablo

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penny144
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 1:50 pm    Post subject: My babies

You guys have a lot of interesting information for me, this is great. I like to read up on all these things and have been reading a lot. But there is nothing like experience...

Yes you may ask why I would like to handfeed my young. After reading a lot, and asking around to experience people like at my local pet shop. They all say the same thing, that it is better to handfeed your young. They say that it makes a better socialized bird and better pet.

Now, what I am hearing here is that might not be necessary! I guess I would also like the experience, in case any of my babies need me to step in at one point. I am also fearful that my hen is trying to lay another clutch, they say to remove the young at that point since she can become aggresive with her babies.

So far they have been ideal parents, but you never know! I want to be ready in case in need to intervene.

Also, out of the 9 egg layed three are remaining in the nest. Can they still hatch? Should I leave them there if I remove the chicks to handfeed them or should I just get right of them if they are no good?

thanks again for all your help...
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Steve
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 2:11 pm    Post subject:

in my experiences, don't hand raise kakariki unless you have lost the parents.. kakariki can easily be tamed after they have been handraised.. go in and handle them while they're in the nest.. but leave them there.. the parents will do a good job and your birds will be tame.. without spending hours upon hours feeding them
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penny144
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 2:29 pm    Post subject: What if the hen layes a second clutch?

You think I can still handle them in the nest without disturbing the parents? I should leave them in the nest and just socialize them, how soon can I start handling them? Can I take them out of the nest and put them back in without any problems with the parents?

I am just very worried about my hen laying another clutch and the parents abondonning the young afterwards. I was under the impression that it was better to handfeed them, it just makes for a better bird?

Also, do you know if I can clean the nest box? It is pretty dirty, can I change the chipwood in there? Or wil that be too much disturbance in the nest for the parents.

My birds love me, they are very close to me. I don t think they would mind me taking the babies, but not sure if I should be disturbing the nest to clean it out!

thanks again for your info!
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Steve
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 2:45 pm    Post subject:

check the photo album.. I think step has pictures of the birds feeding their young.. in his hands.. kaks are so versatile and generally speaking excellent parents
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Steptoe
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 4:04 pm    Post subject:

Your pet shop most proberly deals with breeders who do it for the money, and pet shops like to sound they know stuff when in my experance u are either talking to someone who has never been near a avaiary or breeds fish in their lounge
My sulphur crested was adult and raised in the bush...wild, the kings raised in large avairiees with little or no human contact..the male about 5 yrs old, the crimsons where a couple yrs old avaiary raised, our house king avairy raised ...
The reason for commercial breeders or hobbist breeders hand raise is to get more eggs in one season off a female to sell more birds, for more money , for more intensive labour..
The rest of the ppl who hand feed do it because they enjoy it (I dont see how..midnight feeds etc) or are doing it because they have been told it makes a more social bird...
Yes a hand reared bird is more social, and more emotional depenant, and when u spend a lot of trime at work or go on holiday u have plucking and other scitophrenic problems.
A Wild or avairy breed then build trust, you co habit with them, they do their thing, you yours and inbetween enjoy each others freindship and company...

Quote:
check the photo album.. I think step has pictures of the birds feeding their young.. in his hands

Yep..these are avairy breed and raised parents , seen a couple seasons of breeding, and trust me... not all our parent kakariki will feed the chicks in my hands, most dont, but most dont mind me showing them there babys and come down to sit on my hands with them.

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Tontana
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 2:02 am    Post subject: Re: What if the hen layes a second clutch?

penny144 wrote:
You think I can still handle them in the nest without disturbing the parents? I should leave them in the nest and just socialize them, how soon can I start handling them? Can I take them out of the nest and put them back in without any problems with the parents?

I am just very worried about my hen laying another clutch and the parents abondonning the young afterwards. I was under the impression that it was better to handfeed them, it just makes for a better bird?

Also, do you know if I can clean the nest box? It is pretty dirty, can I change the chipwood in there? Or wil that be too much disturbance in the nest for the parents.

My birds love me, they are very close to me. I don t think they would mind me taking the babies, but not sure if I should be disturbing the nest to clean it out!

thanks again for your info!


It is, of course individual, but as many says in this thread as well as in others in this forum, kaks are very tolerant. If they love you as you say, then it shouldn't be a trouble, but you must of course show your birds respect and don't handle the young too much.
I would say that you can start to handle them when they are about three weeks, however, not to much, it must never be uncomfortable for neither the parents nor the chicks.

We had to deal with that kind of problem with our pigeons. They abandoned their young when they were just three weeks old and they started on a new clutch. We had to hand feed the young and yes, it was fun and very cosy - in the beginning.
But this became a large problem. First, the birds grew very dependent on us, they didn't quite know how to act as birds...seeing that, it simply wasn't fun anymore. And it became too much for us to hand feed every single clutch. So in the end, the pigeons found a new home.

Ironically, the reason to why our pigeons couldn't take care of their young, most likely were because they had been hand raised themselves.
And what can I say? Birds like that shouldn't be breed on.

There's huge discussions about hand raising in the swedish forums, and there's some great articles about the backside of it. If you want, I can translate some of them for you.
But some of the main things that they discuss is - how parrots seem to loose their ability to raise their own young after generations of hand feeding as well as the parrots mentality - the young doesn't get the chance to learn how to be a parrot, bluntly said. And, the parents, who devote so much time, love and care on their young does of course get upset by having them taken from them.

I haven't found any research about the matter (guess I could poke the ones that wrote the articles), tho I do not doubt these articles at all. After have seen the incredible devotion and interactions between my hen and male and their young, I can only imagine what the results would be if I took that important time away from them.

So. Bottom line. If your kaks do take care of their young - let them handle it. If the worst case scenario would happen, then I guess you'll have to hand feed them.
The bonds you share with your birds shouldn't be the ones of dependency, they should be the ones of trust. If your hen and male does well, you'll have young happy birds which, if you devote time and patience, shouldn't be any problem to tame :)

Gosh it feels as if I'm only drivels, but I hope it helps you in some way.
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penny144
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 3:48 am    Post subject: Thank you so much, this is wonderful feedback!

Hi,

Gosh this is wonderful news for me, I really thought that I had to handfeed the babies for them to be good birds. I am so happy, cause I was kind of scared to do this without experience.

I am happy to hear that this will not be necessary, the parents are really good with the birds. But I am still affraid that they will abandonne the young if they start a new clutch. They have started breeding again, just recently and I only have one nest box. I tried to find another nest box, but our local pet shops here do not have these large nest box readily available. So, this is a problem for me! I did however have a smaller nest box which I have put on the cage to see if they will use it. But I really don t think they will...

Can I clean the nest, should I clean the nest? It smellls bad because it is getting dirty in there? The chicks are about 3 weeks now, would it be ok to take the nest down and clean out the chipwood and refresh with some new material and put everything back in its place?

Maybe this would be too harsh for the young and the parents! Anyways, I really appreciate all of your input on this. This is helping me a lot, I try to read a lot but as you probably know there is not that much information out there for Kakarikis. But this site is great, and has a lot to offer someone like me that is really new at all of this.

About 2 month ago, when my hen started to lay her eggs and since it is her first clutch and came to the site and found a lot of help to inform me on everything about laying eggs. Everything that I read here has developed under my eyes, watching the process. Someone gave me really good advice and told me to watch and learn. Which I did, it has been a truly rewarding experience to see them go through the process. It is amazing to me that they do seem to be doing so good with their young, even if they have not done this before. All by instinct, I never would have imagined that my hen would have layed 9 eggs, or even that 6 of them would have hatched...

Thanks again for all you info, I am learning a lot here and really appreciate all of your help...
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Frieke
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:43 am    Post subject:

Kakarikiís can easily be tamed. When my young are 3 weeks old, I take them 2 times a day out of the nest box. At first not more than a minute or so but as they get older I spend more and more time with them.

In the summer I put a chair in the aviary, put the young on my chest and talk to them and caress them. The parents who are tame come and sit with us and sometimes feed there young.

When the young leave the nest box it takes me about 10 minutes to leave the aviary. I have kakarikiís on my head, my arms, back, Ö

The kakariki mostly have a lot of young. Let say that the average here is 6 young so the nest box gets pretty dirty fast so I clean it 2 times a week. More if necessary.
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penny144
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 1:37 pm    Post subject: Cleaning the Nest!

Frieke wrote:

The kakariki mostly have a lot of young. Let say that the average here is 6 young so the nest box gets pretty dirty fast so I clean it 2 times a week. More if necessary.


Really, twice weekly wow! Well, I got to it and cleaned the nest. I have to say that my pair didn t even get upset. They waiting cliently until I brought the nest back. Almost as soon as I put back, they were in the nest checking on their young.

Well, you can be sure that I will take your advice and clean it out more often. I was pretty scared that the parents would get upset, but suprisingly they seem to trust me. I m not sure if someone else would have done the deed, but anyways thanks again for the info.

By doing this I got to see exactly how many babies, I have five three older or much bigger and two other smaller ones. I think the smaller ones are a bit younger than the three larger ones. Can t really tell if they are female or male yet, I think they are too small yet. They are so cute!!!!
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pabloc
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 2:09 pm    Post subject:

HI!

What about taking a few pics of the little babys and posting them? :?: Whistle Wink

Rgrds /Pablo

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