Egg food for baby parakeets

Discussion in 'Caged Birds - Finches, Canaries, Cockatiels, Parro' started by Duck Drover, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. Duck Drover

    Duck Drover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It has been many years since I raised caged birds but we got some parakeets in trade for a rooster and then added more to start a colony since I have a huge bird cage. We just had our first egg hatch and there are three more eggs in the nest. I know they hatch days apart but this first one needs to be fed and right now I have not looked to see where I can purchase the egg food for baby birds (never count your chicks before they hatch).

    I have some now frozen quail eggs that went through the incubator and came out clear so I am wondering if I can used them to make my own egg food for the babies. I hatch quail for a wildlife rescue so I take the clear eggs back to feed the wildlife but I am also donating my own clear chicken and duck eggs for the wildlife so I think I can use some of these (large number of clear eggs versus fertile eggs). I am thinking that because the quail eggs are nore nutritious and have more yolk to white they might be a better food source for the baby parakeets than the chicken and duck eggs but I have plenty of my own eggs I can feed, however my own quail are not laying yet). I have plans to buy quail hatching eggs when I can find some since there is so much room in my incubator or else put my chicken rails back in so I have more room to hatch chicken eggs.

    If I use the quail, duck, or chicken eggs to make egg food for the baby parakeet(s), should I hard boil and mash them or just give the mama the whole hard boiled egg in her nest box? The other females may eat the egg first if I put it in the cage since the mama is still sitting on three more eggs and the hatchling. I can put the mashed egg in a bottle cap or something she can eat it out of or just let her eat a quail egg cut in half and placed in the nest box so she can eat the yolk out of the white and eat the white as well if she wants it.

    If the powdered egg food is superior to egg yolk I can look for some locally. I have vitamin enriched seed to offer her too so I want to give her some in the nest so she gets it without sharing with the rest of the birds not needing it right now since they are not laying or sitting (although one hen layed an egg that broke on the cage floor since she dropped it from the perch instead of using an empty nest box so I am looking for another egg from her in a nest box). I have 3 feed bowls in the cage but she rarely leaves the nest so I would like to give her something to make sure she has the butrition she needs to feed her baby and continue sitting on her remaining eggs.
     
  2. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

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    There are lots of recipes online for home made egg food. They need something else, like bread crumbs, mixed in as too high a protein level is bad for the chicks. The parents will cope just fine without the egg food though and the male should be feeding the female at the nest, or she may nip out once or twice a day for him to feed her.

    Do check that the baby is being fed, especially if it's the parents first time. If it isn't being fed sufficiently you may have to take over (if that's possible) and use a hand rearing formula to raise it yourself. Or supplement with the hand rearing formula but leave it in the nest for the female to keep warm. It's my first year with birds in an aviary and I've had 2 baby society finches abandoned (unfortunately the 3 others in the clutch died) which I successfully hand reared, and I'm currently hand rearing 3 Java finches who just weren't thriving. I don't think the male was helping out in the least and the poor female just wasn't coping.

    Another thing I read on a canary website is that you can boil seed for 20 minutes and feed it out as that softens the seed making it easier to digest. Or you can soak seed to give them - soak normal budgie seed for 4-6 hours then strain and rinse. I dry mine on paper towels then put it in a bowl for them out in the aviary. Make sure to change it every day, washing out the bowl, as it can spoil quickly, especially in hot humid weather.

    You will just have to do enough for everyone to share as you may upset and stress your female by adding a strange 'thing' (dish) to her nestbox, which could make her abandon or attack her babies. It may help to get your other birds into breeding condition too.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Duck Drover

    Duck Drover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I tried giving her the quail egg poached and she did not touch it. I saw recipes online with other stuff added but she does have a good seed mix already. I did not mix anything in with the egg I offered her but I have it where all the birds can get it now so I will see if any of them will eat any of it.

    I thought I was getting the male with her when I got her but apparently another female was in the nest box instead. The owner just gave me her nest box and eggs with her since she was already sitting. I thought she had 4 eggs under her but there are 4 eggs and a chick in there now. She has raised babies before so she knows what to do. She just does not have the father to feed her and help feed the babies now. The guy I got them from has about 20 parakeets so I am not sure he will know who the father is without the hen showing love.

    I have a mating pair and that hen layed an egg on the floor that broke (she may have layed it from the perch into the wire) so it is possible she layed another egg in the mama's nest but she has two other boxes to choose from and I have only seen her in one of them (it was built for a quaker parrot so it is bigger). The rest of the parakeets are females now so I will need some males. I should have some baby boys if she hatches and raises 5 babies.

    I could try soaking seed for her to feed so they are more digestible for the baby. I will see if I can check the crop but that will require me to handle it and I did not want to upset her. The powdered egg food is what I used to hand feed cockatiels but I just gave it to the parakeets dry to eat and regurgitate for the babies. I thought the babies need higher protein than the seed so that is why I wanted her to have it to feed to the baby. I am hoping she can use the quail egg like the powdered egg food but if she does not eat it the baby will only be getting partially digested seed from her that has not already been partially digested by the father.
     
  4. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

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    Do keep an eye on her and make sure she's coping. Going it alone is tough. I'm amazed she hasn't abandoned her eggs with moving house and losing her mate.

    The thing is if she's not used to eating a certain food then she's probably not even going to try it. You might need to find some commercial egg food and try feeding it to her dry, even mixed in with her usual seed to encourage her to eat it. I feed my birds dry egg food powder as they don't seem to like it wet and it goes so clumpy and sticky it must be like eating wallpaper paste! You could try chopping up hulled sunflower seeds (no shells on them) and adding that to her seed as sunflower seeds are high in protein and fat. Do put feeding bowls very close to her nestbox, while giving the other birds some further away, and seeing as she seems to be able to cope with changes very well, I'd add a small bowl in her nest, or even sprinkle a few seeds in a far corner (where babies can't poop on it).

    I have a pair of Bourkes parakeets raising babies at the moment. I have no wet food in the aviary other than the soaked seed, which isn't really wet. And when the female comes out she likes the regular budgie seed over anything else.

    I would get a small pot/bag of hand rearing formula to have on hand in case she needs help feeding the babies. You could supplement them with a couple of feeds a day to take the strain off the mother. There are many different brands and they are all pretty good. Vetafarm, Kaytees exact, Zupreem, Harrisons, Rowdybush - there are heaps and they are all good, it will just be what's available to you and the easiest to get. You won't need much so find the smallest amount as it is expensive. Vetafarm have a very, very good video on YouTube about how to mix up hand rearing formula. You will only need about a teaspoon per baby and each chick should have a separate feeding utensil, and portion made up fresh each time. Shot glasses are great for this job and you can sit them in a bowl of hot water to keep the food the right temperature. I use glass eye droppers as I find them easy to sterilise after each feed.

    Any unused hand rearing formula can be stored in the freezer indefinitely in case you need it again.
     
  5. gpop1

    gpop1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Food is generally the least of the problems. Scrambled egg is a nice treat if the hen will eat it but the chicks don't require it. The only thing I would add is a calcium source like cuttle bone. Do not put food In the nest box as that's asking for problems. Parakeets don't keep a clean nest.

    The problem is going to be with the other hen that's in the same cage. Once the chicks start begging other females will investigate which will cause the mother hen to spend longer protecting her box reducing her feeding time. A hen that's looking for a nest box may evict the mother hen then kill the chicks as the nest has proven to be a safe place to hatch (this is why I don't have any parakeets in the aviary's anymore, English budgies are a lot less aggressive but if confined in a cage with only one nest box I wouldn't trust them either). Now its not uncommon for a male to show interest and feed the female even if the chicks are not his so don't panic if a male shows interest but if another female shows interest then I would suggest removing the other females until the chicks fledge.

    You are also probably looking at a staged hatch which will result in large and small chicks in the same box. A experienced hen will not struggle to raise them but a young hen may. With a lot of experience you can step in and hand feed the larger chicks allowing the female to spend more time with the younger chicks but there are so many things that can go wrong it may be best to accept that some are better than none and just allow mother nature to decide. If a chick doesn't beg it doesn't get feed so its hard to tell if a hungry chick has a problem or if the hen has a problem keeping up. Either way I would have a small container of hand feeding formal just in case it was needed.

    p.s hand feeding is a job and once you start you can not go back so jaeg advice on assisting with out removing chicks from the box is the best idea. Once removed don't plan on leaving the house for more than 4 hours until they wean. (I have 5 hand feeding chicks in the house at the moment and I so looking forwards to the last one be fully weaned)
     

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