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Kakariki, Care, Breeding, Ecology, and Conservation :: View topic - 1st time breeders, Kaks to eat the eggs?
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1st time breeders, Kaks to eat the eggs?

 
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Piper
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Joined: Aug 06, 2005
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 8:44 pm    Post subject: 1st time breeders, Kaks to eat the eggs?

Hello all,

About 5 months ago my wife and I decided to get a pair of Kaks and start breeding, and about 5 weeks ago we started getting out first eggs. First 2, then a couple of days later another and over the period of about 8 days we had 6 eggs. 2 eggs hatched after 21 days, one chick survived and the other died after 2 days. On that same day another egg hatched and that chick also died a day later. That was the last egg to hatch and then only a few days ago (2 weeks after the first egg hatched, the other 3 eggs have dissapeared. We believe eaten by the Hen, as she ate a few eggs which she had layed before these 6. So now we have one very healthy almost 3 week old chick, which is great, but I have some questions for those who may be able to help.

Is this normal for the eggs to be scattered over an 8 day laying period?
Does anyone know why the other 2 chicks would have died? The weather is great in Adelaide (australia) at the moment, nice and cool. I think if it was desease the other chick would have it aswell, but it is strong. I think maybe because it is this pair's first ever clutch, they may have been learning and possibly neglected the other 2.
And thridly, is it normal for Kaks to eat the eggs, if they are no good?

I would appreciate in any info or feedback on this.

thanks

Brad
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Kaka-riki
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Joined: May 30, 2005
Posts: 363

PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 9:51 pm    Post subject:

Brad,
It is normal for Kakariki to lay their eggs every 2 days. Clutches can vary in numbers, and it is not unusual for the hens to lay up to 12 eggs in a clutch. The average (we have found) is 8.
Your other questions are a bit harder to answer. It is not good to find eggs being eaten. It would be a good idea to find out whether it is the hen or cock bird eating the eggs. Once this habit starts it can be hard to stop and it could be why the chicks were also found dead. It sounds like you may have a rogue bird and these traits are not common.
There are a few things you can try. Firstly, do you have more than one nest box in the aviary. If not, it could be that the hen wants to go back to nest and is having a clean out. The other suggestion would be to check their diet and make sure both their feed and calcium intake is up to raising a clutch of young. If the answer to both the above is yes, then the next trick would be to replace the next batch of eggs with some fake eggs until the hen has finished laying. Then you can replace the fakes with the real eggs and see how that goes.
Your comments on the weather in Adelaide also lead me to believe that the literature you have read on Kakariki have stated that these birds love the cooler weather. That is true but the nights are still very cold and it has been a damp winter. The chicks still require a lot of warmth and if the parents are leaving the nest or moving away from them in the box at night this can also have devastating results. We reduce the internal size of the box during the winter months and remove the smaller compartment as the chicks get older. If you require any additional info I would be happy to help any way I can. For info we are also in Adelaide.
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Piper
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Joined: Aug 06, 2005
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 12:59 pm    Post subject:

Thanks very much for your reply.

Yeah the egg eating is a bit odd, I will go into more detail.

When the hen layed her first egg ( a couple of months ago now) it was just one egg and then it disapeared and we assumed something had eaten it. We checked for rodents and found no signs. Then another egg came, on it's own and once again it also disapeared. we just assumed it had been eaten as there was no sign of any shell either inside or outside the box. From memory this happened once more and we contacted a couple of shops and they also advised it may be a lack of Calcium in the diet, so we put a calcium block in and then about a week later she started laying again and this time no eggs were disapearing, and 20 odd days later they started hatching. So we thought it must have been the Calcium deficiency that was causing the problem. Then the last 3 eggs in the clutch did not hatch and I was just about to remove them (thinking they were no good) when they had been eaten aswell. I sort of figured this may have been natures way of dealing with useless eggs. Or as you said, cleaning out ready for another clutch.
We are using a standard breeding box from a shop (20cm Sq bottom, by about 40cm high) I have put plenty of material in the bottom, and the single chick has faired very well in there, so I assume the temp must be ok, but I will keep a close eye on that.
I have got another breeding box ready to go in, I was just going to wait until she had learnt from her first clutch. But by the sounds of things I should get it in straight away.

I would be really keen to chat with another breeder in Adelaide, so if you are keen send me a personal message and I will give you my email address.

regards,

Brad
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