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Kakariki, Care, Breeding, Ecology, and Conservation :: View topic - Chick not right, has anyone seen this before?
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Chick not right, has anyone seen this before?

 
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resmith76
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:02 am    Post subject: Chick not right, has anyone seen this before?

Hi, i am hoping to draw on the wealth of knowledge that this forum has, I have tried the search box option without any luck Sad

We have 4 chicks, all between 4 - 5 weeks old, 3 are big and strong and are almost fully feathered but 1 of them doesn't seem to be getting any bigger and although has a few pin feathers at the end of the tail and wings it is almost completely bald everywhere else, I can see a few pin feathers starting to appear but they seem to be under the skin duno

I wasn't expecting the chick to survive as it is significantly smaller than the others but its come this far and seems fairly strong and active just tiny and almost bald. Has anyone had a chick like this before, if so has it survived to adulthood?

The other thing is it has red eyes and the very few bits of feather I can see appear to be just yellow, mum is cinnamon pied and dad is green pied, I thought this mix would only produce green pied offspring? I don't believe the pair are related.
I am confused and don't know what to do for the best for this baby, its feeding well. I have not over handled any of the chicks and when they have been taken out of the box to clean it I have been very careful with hygiene issues, but I am worried I'm doing something wrong. can anyone help please?
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Steptoe
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:06 pm    Post subject:

We do not do anything re 'runt' chicks If they surivive fine if not it was meant to be.
In nature weak, or defective chicks die, but in capitivity the survival rate is way higher, more so when breeders remove them and hand feed.
If , and is quite likely, one has a runt chick, this could be a gentic fault, if the chick surives and is breed from a whole new defective blood line can be introduced and perpetuated.

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resmith76
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:22 am    Post subject:

Thanks Steps, I haven't been hand feeding but as it has survived this long do you think I should? Also do you have any ideas re the colour? I'm not sure where I picked the info up from but I thought this pairing would only produce green pied?
Would you mind if I ask another quick question? The other chicks are now climbing up and peering out the nest box, is 5 weeks too early for them to come out if they get out?
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Steptoe
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 5:08 am    Post subject:

Quote:
I haven't been hand feeding but as it has survived this long do you think I should?


If the runt is defective, it can srill survive after coming out of the nest in its own time...and can take serveral weeks/months for anything to become apparant....or it could be and usually be fine....
We only have one chick every few yrs that doesnt survive once out of the nest..

Mutations...unfortunately in NZ there are no more mutations, yet kakariki in the wild 100 yrs ago, it was very common to see several in a flock.
There for Im commenting on something I have no personal expeiance with,
Im sure Peter or one of the other members will comment on this

Quote:
The other chicks are now climbing up and peering out the nest box, is 5 weeks too early for them to come out if they get out?

Could be, hence wgy we have ex[erimented with nesting box depths in our avairies, and have found about 700 mm deep about right ..
As rule of thumb they should come out about 2 weeks before the iris is formed, when they are weanned by the Dad.

If they come out too early, and cant glide, sort of, to the floor, they can damage themselves....or if given a fright, panic and crash into stuff.
Our nesting boxes are screwed to avaiaty walls, they do not mind if the nesting box is moved closer to the floor, but stiill high enough so the occassional mouse cant get to it.

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Peter
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:06 am    Post subject:

It is quite normal for Fallows to develop so slow. It is a side effect of the mutation. Most striking is their shorter down when they are born. They really have difficulties to grow up. Survival rate is about 50%.

The right chick (red eyes) has shorter down compared to the others.


Fallow chick


Few weeks old, it died a few days later
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resmith76
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 8:30 am    Post subject:

Thank you both for your help, I think I will leave the chick as it is then and let nature decide, if he/she does survive it will have a home here for life anyway. It is feeding well and is fairly strong in itself, so I will keep my fingers crossed. I'll try to get a picture later.

Re the nesting box it is approx a foot from the bottom of the cage, the cage is a big parrot cage (that is almost permanently open so I have had to 'kakaproof' my house Wink ) but the cage is well off the floor and hopefully I won't have mice in the house Pray , I could put it onto the floor of the cage if you think that may help? I haven't measured the depth of the box but I would guess its only about 55-60cm deep,

Sorry about all the questions but I am hooked on these little characters and want to what is best for them.
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resmith76
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:08 am    Post subject:

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Steptoe
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 10:32 am    Post subject:

Quote:
Sorry about all the questions but I am hooked on these little characters and want to what is best for them.


Dont be sorry, I created this wb site for just this sort of thing, and due to the great support of other members like Peter over the last 5 yrs who like wise believe in the promotion and good care of kakariki ....we are sort of stuck with it :fun:

Plus with Peters huge experiance/post above I learnt a little bit more because of your question.

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resmith76
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:56 am    Post subject:

Hi, Just a quick update Laughing

I have been experimenting over the last few days and it has become apparent that it is the hen that is plucking the chick. I don't know if this will help anyone else on the forum but I think we now have everything under control. We have removed the chick and placed him/her in a homemade brooder during the day and we supervise all feeding that the hen does, luckily she is very tame so I can be quite 'hands on' if she goes to pluck its feathers. She is left to feed it and when/if she starts on its feathers we then pick it and cup it in our hands so she can still feed it if shes not quite finished but can't get to most of its feathers, like I said we are lucky she is so tame as she'll happlily sit on our wrists and feed the baby while its protected. It seems to work for us and I'm happy to say that even in the short space of time we have been doing this, we have noticed a huge improvement with its feather growth.

I really want to say again, THANKYOU for this fantastic site and everyones help.

Heres a picture of the hen, I didn't think about it before but she has dark red eyes (you can only see that they're red in certain light), so that must be where the chick has inherited it from, does that mean shes cinnamon pied with the recessive fallow gene? I'm sorry I don't understand these mutations as much as I should but I am always keen to learn!

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Peter
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 2:56 am    Post subject:

resmith76 wrote:

Heres a picture of the hen, I didn't think about it before but she has dark red eyes (you can only see that they're red in certain light), so that must be where the chick has inherited it from, does that mean shes cinnamon pied with the recessive fallow gene? I'm sorry I don't understand these mutations as much as I should but I am always keen to learn!



Yes, it is a Cinnamon pied split to Fallow. Both Fallow and Cinnamon are melanin mutations. It means that only black pigments are affected. In the Fallow mutation is some degree of dilution of these pigments in the feathers and tissue. Therefore the eyes are red.
In the Cinnamon mutation the melanin is brown instead of black. This leads to pink greyish feet and a Cinnamon looking feather colour. They are born with red eyes but change quickly into black. However from a particular angle, the eyes look dark red. Especially when you point a flashlight at it.

When the chick is of that age, it is better to remove the hen. The cock will take over the feeding.
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resmith76
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 7:28 am    Post subject:

Thanks Peter, I find all this fascinating, I used to breed ponies however the colours/mutations of birds are on a whole new level Think

The cock will feed it but he is a bit rough and drags it around when his beak is on babys, hence I have been experimenting with letting the hen feed it. The cock has the other 3 all to himself to take care of and hes done a good job, he just gets a bit over-enthusiastic Laughing and as this one is still so small compared to the others its not as robust.

What is the 'done thing' regarding breeding with this mutation, I guess what I'm really asking is, if there is a chance of throwing a fallow do most people breed from the bird again or avoid using it?
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Peter
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 7:45 am    Post subject:

I don't know of breeders who breed with this mutation. From my own experience I had the best results with split birds. Fallow x Fallow> none of the chicks survived. But I can't say whether this is universal or not.
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