Posted: Fri Nov 25, 2005 3:44 pm Post subject: Interesting observations with our mating pairs
I have recently made some observations and thought the results may be of value to our members.
We purchased a pair of Black eyed clear yellow Kakariki (the Europeans call them Gold Checked) and placed them in one of our breeding aviaries.
They went to nest and raised 4 healthy babies. All was fine until the young fledged. The cock bird imediately killed one youngster and attacked the others. We removed the young and hand reared them until they were totally independant. At the time I was at a loss to eplain why the cock bird turned nasty.
A second batch of eggs was produced and this time 5 young were killed in the nest at around day 7. The remaining chick was removed and hand reared. We suspected the hen this time but could not be sure as the cock bird was continually in the nest as well.
The third batch had very similar consequences with only one chick making it to day 7. This time we pulled the cock bird and the hen did raise the chick solo. But she abandoned it several days before it fledged and so it was also pulled and hand reared.
After a 3 month break we placed the pair back together in their original aviary. The hen sat on 7 fertile eggs and they hatched approx one week ago. We lost one chick which died in the shell but every moring when I check we have 6 healthy babies with full crops and a very observant mum not too far away. No signs of aggression and the cock bird has not entered the box at all. He feeds mum at the box entrance and sleeps in the second nest box which has always been there but never used by either the cock or the hen until recently. So why the change?????. I was completely stumped until I checked my records.
During the very first clutch I introduced a new pair of Kakariki into an adjoining flight. At the time I noticed the 2 cock birds displayed an instant dislike for each other on the wire partition. Our aviaries are double wired and there was no risk of injury so I ignored the aggression and left them to settle down. However, before the last clutch of eggs was laid I removed the pair from the adjoining aviary and replaced them with a pair of Yellow Kakariki. This pair is very quiet and their was no aggression from either pair. So far we have not lost any chicks either. I am wondering whether the aggression displayed by the cock birds led to the killing of the chicks as a vent of frustration or as a defense mechanism to stop them from being hurt once they fledged. Either theory is interesting.
The other consideration is that the original neighbours were cinnamon pied whereas the new neighbours are yellow, which is the same as the hen in the breeding pair. It is well documented that birds have keen eye sight and I wonder if this also has some part in what transpired. It will be interesting to see if these chicks are weaned all the way by their parents. I will keep you updated.
Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2005 12:16 pm Post subject: Re: Interesting observations with our mating pairs
I am wondering whether the aggression displayed by the cock birds led to the killing of the chicks as a vent of frustration or as a defense mechanism to stop them from being hurt once they fledged.
I know of other parrotspecies who can be so overprotective that they turn their agression towards the chicks. e.g. checking the nestbox by the breeder, (agressive)visual contact with other congener/species.
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