My pair of budgies, a green & yellow female (Miss Birdie Bird) & a light blue male (Keeterling Dudeifer) are the proud parents of two babies their first clutch. BB laid 5 eggs, but only the second & third eggs hatched (2nd & 3rd in order of them being laid). The babies are 19 & 17 days old. They are both feathering well and both are showing yellow feathers. Momma leaves the nest a lot more often now that the babies are growing, but she still takes good care of them. Daddy (I call him Keets or Dude for short) was very involved in the nest while BB sat on their eggs and then he was involved with feeding the babies. He doesn't go in to the nesting box much anymore. My hubs and I have both started to handle the babies over the past three days for a few minutes in order to begin their journey of becoming hand-tamed (or hand-raised) little budgies so when they are old enough and are ready to leave Momma & Daddy for good they will be happy, healthy, and suitable for becoming members of my baby brother's two sons. We are hoping that they are two males or females (if they don't become aggressive with each other since that happens more often with females) so that they can live together in one cage.
But here's my questions...
Should I put food (seeds, fresh fruit/veg, dry greens, or other
stuff) and/or water in the nesting box??
If I do, at what age??
How do I go about doing it safely and correctly??
And as of right now, I have lined the bottom of the nesting box with newspaper. It's not shredded, I just cut out a piece that's big enough to cover the floor and wrap around the edges and then I tape it on the underside to keep it in place. My thought was to help give the babies a little more traction to help in their efforts to keep their feet and legs under them and further reduce the chance of splay legs. The "floor" of the nesting box is an insert that can be removed so it can be cleaned. It has a depression at one end to keep the eggs from rolling around and help prevent splay legs. But, it's kind of slick even though it has a little bit of texture to it. The whole nesting box and the bottom insert are plastic. I've read that dry oatmeal can be used in the nesting box. Which seems like it would help the babies stay warm, it would be a bit softer than just a sheet of newspaper and it would make it much easier to clean out their mess each day.
Is it safe to use oatmeal (old-
fashioned or quick-cook) as litter
materialin the nesting box that two
19 day old budgie babies live in??
I know this was a long post with a lot of detail, but I really can't seem to find the answers to my questions by just Googling and I feel much more confident with answers I will get from people who understand the whole story. Thank y'all in advance for any help and info you can give me!!