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Kakariki, Care, Breeding, Ecology, and Conservation :: View topic - Dying young and dead in shell
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Dying young and dead in shell

 
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camille
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Joined: Jul 23, 2011
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:49 am    Post subject: Dying young and dead in shell

Hi,
I have been able to breed other type of parrots,but I`m finding it very difficult to breed kakarikis so I am asking for your help to help me if possible.
About two years ago I bought my 1st pair of kakariki a goldcheck male and a dominant pied female.They quickly laid 5 eggs and 4 were fertile.However they all died a few days before hatching.I thought that it was because they were 1st time parents.But this continued for 9 clutches containing 5 eggs each without ever hatching one.Lately I found that the young were dying at an earlier stage but although dead she still continues to incubate the eggs.I have tried everything from giving vitamins,extra calcium supplements,increasing humidity and also put them in a huge aviary outdoors but to no sucess.
Now I bought a 10 month old cinnamon kakariki and paired her with the same goldcheck male.Again this 1st time mother laid 8 eggs all were fertile,however 3 died in the shell and 5 hatched each other day one by one.Only to die about 2 days after they hatch with full crops.The first one to hatch lived for 4 days but died also.What could be the reason to such a big disaster?Could it be because of the warm weather?about 33 degres celcius.Or I am beginning to think that the male produces weak chicks?
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Steptoe
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Joined: Oct 06, 2004
Posts: 4515

PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 3:33 pm    Post subject:

Weather forget...we breed with frost on the ground...as we speak chicks hatching and coming out of nest boxes.
The come summer temps up in the 30s here , the guys in aussie well into the 40s.

I dont have any majic ideas but maybe something below could click or fall into place....

Kakariki are the most hardy, tollerant and easy of birds to breed...the greatest and committed of parents... it is common for 1st time parents to only hatch a couple eggs...

I have been experimenting over the last 3 to 4 years with 3 pair that we raised in avairies.....to find out how hard and how many eggs, healthy adults they can produce non stop....with good diet.
Each pair is coming up to the 130 healthy adults each.
BUT, every pair once they hit about 110 /120 ...what you describe with the eggs is spot on.
They lay their 6 to 9 eggs, a couple (I have a therory) are 'hot water bottles' for young chicks...the rest grow to healty adults.
But the last 3 batches, and this is all 3 pair only 2 or 3 hatch....thu they do /are being raised to healtny adults.
As to chicks dieing....never had that issue...out of nearly 1000 chicks in the last decade lost 3.....and 3 or 4 after fledging , during weaning lost or 4
The latter 2 or 3 due to damge falling out of the nesting box, the other defective..

We do not have any mutations or hybrids, all are wilds...and from our breeding stock...both red crown and yellow crown species.
So we know their parentage going back several generations, know how raised, and what diet...and know their ages

We start birds breeding ....we put in holding flight and let them select their own mates, starting about 3 months....and once they do that , depending on what season, they start laying between 8 and 12 months.

Quote:
But this continued for 9 clutches containing 5 eggs each without ever hatching one

So solid breeding non stop, no breaks they have been doing this for around 2yrs + ?

Are u 100% sure of their age?
Now Diet....what is their diet?

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Gee
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Joined: Feb 05, 2011
Posts: 222

PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:48 pm    Post subject:

Camille,
Sorry to hear you have no luck breeding kakariki. That must suck big time!
There could really be a zillion reasons for it.

Have you spoken to a ( aviary)vet about this?
he/she could check the eggs to see if anythings wrong.
A blood/ dropping test on the adult kakariki could tell you a lot too.
Could save you a lot of time and vexation.

Have you concidered trying to mate your female with another male?
He could very well be the reason for chicks with birth defects.
This could be your short cut to the solution.

If you dont want to consult a vet who specialises in birds and If you don't want to buy another male, we could try help you on here.
In that case we need more info.

Like Steps asked: how is their diet like?
Were the youngs that did not hatch fully grown?
Have you opened an egg and noticed a bad smell,and I mean VERY bad smell?
The ones that did hatch, did they look ok?
Have you had any problems with mice?
Does the male wear a ring? and if so, have you asked what happened to his brothers/ sisters?

You say you increased humidity... have you checked humidity using a hygrometer? If so.. how high/ low was it?

What vitamins have you been giving, why and how?

How often do you clean the cage/ aviary/ nests?
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camille
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Joined: Jul 23, 2011
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:05 pm    Post subject:

First of all 10ks for you quick replies.

So solid breeding non stop, no breaks they have been doing this for around 2yrs + ?
Whenever I tried to give them a break by removing the nestbox,they still continued laying on the floor(smashed eggs) non stop,like chickens.

Are u 100% sure of their age?
The female is 4 years now and the male 3 years.I know this because they are closed ringed.And the cinnamon female is definately 10 months as the breeder from whome I bought it is a friend of mine.

Now Diet....what is their diet?
I gave them fresh fruits and vegetables daily (apples,peaches,melons,grapes,boiled corn,peas,carrots,lettuce ecc)+a parakeet mix (millet,grains,sunflower seeds)

Were the youngs that did not hatch fully grown?
the first four clutches they were almost fully grown,they were in the process of starting to absorb their yolks.However in the last clutches they were dying at very early stages.for example from 5 eggs in 4 I was finding blood rings and only in one I could be able to see a young which was probably 10 days old.

Have you opened an egg and noticed a bad smell,and I mean VERY bad smell?
The eggs from the first female did not contain any odor but yes the 3 DIS from the second female did have a very,very bad smell.Also I noticed that the yolk color of the dis was green.

The ones that did hatch, did they look ok?
Yes,they were perfectly healthy and very lively.The last one that hatched for example was very healthy and chirping.Less than an hour later I checked again and found him dead.

Have you had any problems with mice?
Definately not.

Does the male wear a ring? and if so, have you asked what happened to his brothers/ sisters?
He does wear a ring but it is imposiible to know about his brothers and sisters as he is an import from holland.

You say you increased humidity... have you checked humidity using a hygrometer? If so.. how high/ low was it?
No I did not measure it.I tried to increase it by spraying some water in the box daily.But I am pretty sure that humidity is not the problem.If so other eggs from different parrots would neither hatch.

What vitamins have you been giving, why and how?
The vitamins are omni-vit and calcium calci-lux(oropharma products)
I have been giving them according to the instructions with water.The reason was maybe I was thinking that maybe the young were not strong enough to develop.Trying always to do the best possible.

How often do you clean the cage/ aviary/ nests?
About once a month.But the droppings and dirt falls in a tray beneath them that they cannot reach.Nests with every clutch.

What I will do now is buy another male and wait for them to lay.
Sorry if it is much to read.Thanks
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Gee
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Joined: Feb 05, 2011
Posts: 222

PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 12:16 am    Post subject:

Not too much to read at all Camille, I really am interested.
I learn from your questions and answers too :)

Buying another male is your best bet I think.
Keep us posted. Don't hesitate to ask again if the prob still occurs even with the new male. Till then I'll let this rest while keeping my fingers crossed for you!

About diet: please check the sticky in general care called "what do you feed your kikes"

Some REAL interesting info and darn good advice there. Compare it with what you are feeding them right now. Maybe you can learn from it.. or add info so we can learn from you.

Enjoy your weekend Camille,

Dutch greetings,

Geertje
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Steptoe
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Joined: Oct 06, 2004
Posts: 4515

PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 12:26 pm    Post subject:

Diet sounds ok, I would cut back on high sugar fruits...dont bother boiling corn....From your diet Protein Iron phosphourus are missing.
Calcuim need phospouris, Iron/Protein needs Vit C to be absorbed into the body.....everything balances on everything else.

This was an early mistake we made which resulted in only a couple if at all eggs hatching, and small off spring....takes a good 6 months to build up the diet to get results.

Yes read the thread "what do u feed..." make use of ALL your scrapes for finner preparation and the bones, carcasees , left over meat, gristle from your dinners....including your KFC leftovers.
Chop the meat /bones up into 1/2 pea size with a good sized cleiver.
1 good sized chicken carcass, chopped up amounst 30 odd kakariki at least 0nce a week.
I can not emphasis the protien/iron enough...kakariki in the wild spend a lot of time on the ground and breaking open rotten logs to get to grubs.
Another part is brocolli and cali stems....best source of phosphours
All our parrots get the same diet....kings, crimsons, burkes, turq, quail, cockeils.

Humidity not an issue....we breed from cold frosty winter days, low humidity , to resently a nesting box which unknow to us was getting very wet inside because a leak in the flight....So wet (and maybe cold because early winter) that the female wings where always wet and rotted on 1 side.
The eggs hatched several days before discovering.....those same chicks are coming out of the nesting box now.....

Quote:
How often do you clean the cage/ aviary/ nests?
About once a month.But the droppings and dirt falls in a tray beneath them that they cannot reach.

Im not so sure this is good practice...we rake the sand, scrape any build up pile...thats it....birds do nibble at old dryed droppings, espec females when have chicks...I believe this is something to do with trace eliments and/or deases resitance/hardtness....
So Often when talking to other breeders who have issues...all species, those who are real fussy ablout htgene cleaniness seem always to be those who have and issue of some sort...as they have issues they get even more fanatical about cleaniness and hygene.

Hygene to me is not allowing /prventing introduction of deases between avairies and from introduced birds.....not so much internal or from what food comes out of the gardens.

Im also not a fan of wire based avairies, espec after seeing kakariki in them when visiting breeders in Aussie.
1/ The birds dont have a natural walk...they are very awckward even when on pertches
2/The wasted food they cant get to espec veg material dropped....wasted food means more work for me chopping more food up more often.
3/With the food dropping thru, they are tending to eat only short periods after feeding time.....rather than drop and eat a few hrs later.
4/As an idea to make things cleaner easier to maintain, yep the therory looks good, but I would still stuck to our setup....far less work, easier, less to dispose of, easier....

The top 3 I would be concerned about....

Quote:
The vitamins are omni-vit and calcium calci-lux(oropharma products)
I have been giving them according to the instructions with water.

Bluntly, bottom line here...It is my firm beleif that water additives are a complete waste of time and money....about as stupid as those ppl who think cannabis should be made legal for some sick ppl....
Mt thinking is like this..you have no control over the dosage, the strength of the dilution varies, the amount taken in varies hugely, and in the case of birds, the amount they drink, and when one works out the amount in that dilution.....
In captivity, we can only do our best to provide EVERYTHING our animals may need at thatpoint of time...So we provide a consistant varied balanced diet, and still cross our fingers......
The only supliments we give are a few (2 or 3 per bird ) optuim kitten/small cat biskets per week....dropped in on top of the veggies.
And a cap full or so of apple cider vinegar mixed in with the last feed of chopped veggies ( a basin of about 6 kg lasts about 3 maybe 4 days in the fridge or about 60 or 70 parrots.

What I suggest is to
1/ get that meat/bones into them
2/Supplement veggies by sprinkling a pinch of parrot chick hand feeding power over the food every 2 or 3 days for about 1 month
3/ A few good quality cat biskets once or twice a week for couple weeks
4/ get into the apple cider vinegar as above.

Trying to build up the birds quick here.
What sort of nesting boxes are u using?
We used to have shoe type with larger areas to so called prevent adults dropping down, walking on chicks causing damage....with experimentation we moved away from these getting far better hatching with more cramped boxes.
This was after observing and recording with CCTV inside nesting boxes

Im wondering here is eggs get 'lost' buried and die, and even chicks.

Another issue, which Im rather doubtful of is disturbance....the pairs who nest right next to the deck, BBQ, coffe table, front door, are used to coming and goings and very tollerant to being disturbed in the nesting box.
Those in the avairiesa/flights way from the house, tend to be very defenceive, even tend to bury eggs far more readly....hence we leave then to it
About every week to 12 days, water trays cleaned, seed trays replenished and a quick look in nesting boxs as the last thing done before leaving the flight...If I rem to check
Basically they are left alone.

If u are candling eggs, never candle more than once...maybe 2x IF really need to....the bright light/heat damges /or even kills chicks....
We used to candle occassionaly yrs ago....dont bother at all now.
And attutude of "what comes out of the nesting box is what nature intended"
and keeping in mind a breeder who gets over
75% of healthy weaned adults to eggs is doing ok...
getting 85% doing bloody well
Getting above that they are exaderating

We get on ave between about 80 to 85% overall.....

I dont have the answers, just suggestions ...not a single 1 off soln butrather a combination of several.

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