Mother plucking babies...
I'm posting for a friend.
A friend of mine has a proven pair of green cheek conures.
The mother started off really well. All the babies were doing great everything was going super great. Then when the youngest baby was 5 days old the problems started. She bite a whole in it's back. That baby got pulled right away and started to be hand fed. Everything again after that was going great. Last night there was a few pretty loud screams coming from the box and my friend noticed that one of the 2 remaining babies had blood on her wings. She witnessed the mother pulling the wing feather pins out. These babies are 1.5 and 2 weeks old. The last 2 babies have since been pulled.
This is NOT her first clutch but it is the first time she's caused this much harm to her young. Any idea's of what could be causing her to act like this? My friend is really stressing out.
Re: Mother plucking babies...
It is the best for the babies for them to be pulled from the nest. It is difficult to say why the mother has decided to be aggressive with them. On occasion you will find this to be a problem. It is good that your friend has taken on handfeeding them. I would say she will need to do so for the long term. And also to provide a safe cage for them. Since they are so small, she will most likely need to keep them in an area where it is warm, perhaps putting some pieces of flannel in the cage on the cage floor, or a warm water bottle placed in a corner of the cage to keep the cage warm. It should not be overheated however, warm is the best environment for them.
From research, and what I've read and learned about bird behavior, ALL mated pairs of birds, have one goal and that is to procreate and keep hatching more chicks. Nature has given them the instinct to mate and they are very determined to get those babies out of the nest and on their own so they can mate and start the breeding process all over again. It seems that this behavior happens in caged birds more than birds in the wild, because most exotic birds and parrots in the wild live in flocks, and do not lay eggs month after month, nor mate and have chicks month after month, but rather they have mating "seasons" where they breed, hatch the chicks, and perhaps a couple of times a year there will be new baby birds. Much like the behavior of outside birds in the Spring, and sometimes in the Fall. And I also feel that pellets which are man made and other food supplements that we can buy for our birds play a big part in their hormonal and breeding behavior.
Please keep us posted and let us know how she is getting along with her new babies.
Re: Mother plucking babies...
Amanda, this aggressive behavior may have several causes. I'll name a few for you:
- Cage is way too small for breeding. Birds need lots of room. Breeders especially. If they feel too confined it causes them to have emotional trauma which exhibits as aggression.
- Nutritional deficiencies. A bird that does not have a proper diet will be feeling ill and cranky. This results in aggressive behavior in some birds and passive behavior in others. After a while, the bird will be noticeably sick, but at first, the behavior changes to aggressive or passive.
- Injury or other illness being suffered by the aggressive bird.
- Hen is breeding too often. Some people keep the pair together all the time and don't provide sufficient sleeping time for the birds. If the birds don't get at least 12 hours sleep time, their bodies can trigger breeding urges. If the hen breeds too often, she will be 'worn out' and aggressive.
So, you might check to see if the birds' cage is too small. And I STRONGLY recommend a vet visit for the parent birds.
All seven of the flock are 3 years old already! Tubbie and Sweetie are looking forward to their 4th birthday. Pretty good for sparrows!
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