The good news is that it will be back to the low 30's on Monday and Tuesday before warming up again. The birds are being constantly showered and to date have survived very well. We have a clutch of 5 young babies that are removed from the aviary every morning and fed every couple of hours. They are returned just before dusk and mum and dad feed them last thing at night and again first thing in the morning. That is what is known as sharing the load. The parents seem quite happy with this arrangement which shows how smart Kakariki really are.
I was wondering to what extent those temperatures affect the incubating proces. Last year (it was late spring) we have had temperatures around 37-38 C what is extreme for our climate. I heard several breeders were surprised as the chicks hatched earlyer.
I also wonder what will happen when there is a sudden cool off. e.g. from 40C to 18C. Assuming the hen not started to incubate.
That is an interesting question. We have a second pair that was sitting on fertile eggs. The hen left them on Thursday when the temperature became to hot for her. On Friday night the first egg hatched. Unfortunately the chick died tonight as we could not get it to take any food. But I removed and tested the other eggs and they are still alive.
We purchased an Egg Buddy at Christmas time. This machine measures heart rate of the chicks inside the shell. It is very handy as when the heart beat is up around the 350 it is a sign the chick is starting to pip the shell. When I checked the eggs tonight the heart rate had dropped on the remaining eggs which shows the chicks are not trying to hatch.
The chicks that we remove every day are kept in the nest box but placed in an air conditioned room. This makes the chicks huddle together as they would in normal conditions. It seems to have little effect on the chicks.
As for the eggs I dont think big changes in temperature affect the eggs too much as we often have birds that stay off their eggs for long periods of time and yet the eggs still hatch. I think the hens have a good sense of understanding what the eggs need at certain times to ensure they hatch.
We also had high temps...highest for Dec in 70 yrs.
This month had a great variance...high teens thru high 30s (Day /aviary temps)
We have a female yellow sitting (lost the male not heat thu) When checking eggs she usually remains on them, on hot days when we check she is at the other end of the nesting box.
A red pair, when hot she comes out of the nest, leaving the eggs.
We have noticed clutch sizes are smaller 5 to 7 eggs (previous 7 to 9)
With 2 to 3 eggs not hatching.
Also a couple clutches that are infertile (yellows)
These where laid during high temps in Dec.
Kaka-riki...I thought we used push limits with parents and chicks:
Swapping eggs between nests
Moving nests from 1 flight to another.
1 pair would feed the chicks as we held them up in our hands outside the nest.
Accidental have a mother or father 'escape' into the next flight for a few days, then return.
In each case, never have we had a parent(s) abandon eggs or chicks.
The chicks that we remove every day are kept in the nest box but placed in an air conditioned room.
What is the reaction of the parents during the day?
We find to drop temps in aviaries simply quick hosing down the floors walls and nesting boxes does the trick (not suspended, concrete floors with pumice sand) Instead of continuous spray. _________________ My Spelling is Not Incorrect...It's 'Creative'
I hope none of you full on breeders have lost too many birds through this heatwave (none would be preferable).
I mainly breed budgies & have lost a number of them this summer & also a couple of Bourkes' & 1 Kakariki.
Several times in periods of extended heat some of my birds (not just Kak's but also Quakers and Bourkes) have abandoned their eggs. Upon examination all the abandoned eggs were close to hatching so I can only assume they were literally cooked. Any newly laid eggs did not seem to be affected and the hens continued sitting.
We have been lucky here with the weather. We even had some light rain yesterday. Very few days so far near to 35. Hottest month though is usually Feb, temps often hit close to 40.
Fortunantely I have no kakariki in the nest now, last chick fledged yesterday and no eggs. Kakariki seem to know not to nest in Feb. My conures and Senegals are laying now but there boxes are very well sheltered and large. I had some cockatiels abandon eggs when days were about 35 but that aviary is relatively unsheltered with a pitched metal roof that traps heat. It will be moving soon (under trees) as soon as our other building projects are complete.
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