Posted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 11:51 am Post subject: handrearing the "beginners" guide!
a basic run thru on hand rearing is really essential when breeding birds, u never kno when u will be thrown in at the deep end.
luckily i had seven days to read up and ask advice before hatching as my hen abandened her eggs not the chicks.
u might not get this time and a chicks life could be in your hands... what would u do in this situation??? dont know? well neither did i but luckily i new a pet shop which had staff who had hand reared kaks.
GOOGLE not advisable always different advice but youtube was great for hand rearing vids!!!
now here is what i learned...
incubation.... (if incubating) temp at a steady 37.5 c humidity 40-50% turning eggs 3-4 times daily for 18 days , at this point stop turning eggs and raise humidity to 60-80%"not sure what best humidity is but these are top and bottom end of guidelines thanks google" this will prevent the shell sticking to the chick and restricting it's movements "wont get out of shell"
to do this i just placed a cup off hot water inside instead of cold which was used for the first 18 days.
hatching.... chick hatches and still looks wet on down dont remove it untill it's at least nearly dry then add to ur brooder, remember chick is still feeding off the remnants of the yolk for first hours of life, how long for well peoples advice varied again "google" i went for 6 hours before first feed and this was fine.
brooding... for this u will need the following.
margerine tub... brooder
low watt light 25watt ... heat source
reptile thermometer ... well if u dont know what this is for i give up
kitchen towel ... bedding
i will post a link showing this basic brooder at the end.
when brooding keep the temp at a constant 36.5 for first 3 weeks then slowly decreasing as bird gets older.
feeding ... for this u will need.
scales which weigh to the point of a gram... very important will explain
glasses or tumblers ... to make your feed in
medicine spoons ... to measure powder food
syringe ... for feeding
spoon with ends bent up to make funnel ... for feeding
thermometer ... check food temp with
kitchen towel ... clearing chicks beak of food
surgical gloves ... prevent contamination for bird and YOU
firstly measure your boiling water and food and mix simple, then place in the thermometer and wait till food reaches 60 degrees c this way it wont cool past the 38 degrees which it needs to be when it's in a small amount ready for feeding as it cools quick in syringe and on spoon.
too hot or too cold is bad and will cause sour crop.
i chose to use the syringe to feed as i couldn't get hang of spoon method which is recommended for beginners.. i advice u try both and see which suits you.
dont grab chick try and persuade it into your hand you wont believe how fragile they are.
weigh the chick and calculate 10% of the birds weight.. this is how much u will need to feed the chick.. simply weigh the made up formula.
then support the head and place the syringe next to the chicks beak .. i use the chicks left hand side of the beak and direct the food to its right side avoid its wind pipe limiting chance of chick drowning. the chick will bob his head back and forth this is your que to start pumping the feed as its closed its windpipe to feed, not too fast tho.
at the bottom of the chicks neck is it's crop which will swell up think of this like a hamsters cheeks, the bird stores food there slowly feeding it thru to it's stomach, will take a couple of hours to empty keep an eye on this if it doesnt empty properly this could be a sign of problems.
your feeds need to be 2 hourly for three days then increase to 4 hour by end of week also after 3 days the chick should go 6 hours thru the night but keep a close eye as personaly i think it depends on how well the chick is doing.
gonna go and feed the blighter now if ive forgotten anything i will add later
also any quastions just ask but remember im not an expert this is solely a guide to my expearience. _________________ thanks brucie.....
these are brilliant guidelines, very informative i'm hoping mine breed soon however i am in the process of ensuring the diet they are on is sufficient after a few months i'll get the nesting box...thank you.
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