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Thread: Single parent

  1. #1
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    Single parent

    Hey guys,

    As you might know, we lost our beloved Luna last week. Luna and Chico we're very loving and liked to get it on a few times a day.

    I was cleaning Chico's cage and had a quick peak inside the nest box to check on the eggs. She's since laid another 2 eggs so we have 4 in total now, and we're making sure she has all the cuttle bone, food, greens and water she needs. She has a ravenous appetite and so far seems to know what she's doing. She's keeping the nest very clean and releasing HUGE droppings once every 36 hours or so. On inspection, 2 of the eggs have developed webs of blood vessels and seem to have an embryo inside, although I couldn't see a heartbeat, so I'm assuming these are fertile? The other 3 came around a week after the first every other day - I'll keep an eye on these for fertility.

    My concern is that because we lost lulu, Chico is now a single parent. She's ultra protective at the moment, and I'm concerned about the period between, and the size of, her droppings. I fear that parental instincts and responsibilities are going to pay detriment to her own wellbeing.

    I'd be grateful of any advice and reassurance - naturally I'm still very sore about losing Luna and would just break if I were to lose chicken as well.

    Thanks,
    J.

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    Re: Single parent

    I am so sorry James and know I would be a mess with worry as well. I know the dads usually feed them Moms who stay in the nestbox sitting on the eggs and once the babies are born they feed the babies. I wished I could say it will be OK but I know without Luna poor Chico is going to have do it herself. I think at first if you keep the food very close to the nest she should be able to handle it but once the babies start to get bigger you might need to step in and feed the babies as well. I would call a breeder and see what they would do and also ask if they could teach you how to feed a baby bird. The breeder might even be able to help you with how to make sure Chico is going to be OK doing this on her own.

    I missed that Lula had died on your last post and I just took a look at it and are you sure that it was PDD? This is highly contagious which could have passed to Chico. I really hope not and hope everything is going to be OK. I cannot even imagine the pain and worry you have first losing Luna and now Chico is alone with the eggs. I am so sorry you lost your Luna and sending you a big hug and all kinds of strength to help Chico with these babies. Truly my thoughts are with you and only wished I could help you.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: Single parent

    Thank you boomer. The vet carried out a post mortem and confirmed it to be PDD, although the first time he'd seen it in a cockatiel. This is a highly respected and reputed vetinary hospital. He said there is no way of knowing if your bird has the virus unless it's either too late, or 3 blood tests are carried out which all come back negative. At 200 a pop, and a low income, it's a really nasty situation to be in just to get peace of mind.

    Anyhow, I've started to really read into hand raising the chicks. The actual feeding seems straight forward enough, it's just the measurements, temperatures, cleanliness and time commitment that will be a test, but I am up for it.

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    Re: Single parent

    I am sorry, it must of been tragic to get the results back. I cant blame you for not having the tests done on Chico and hopefully it will all turn out good.

    It would be great if you could find a aviary or a pet store even that has hand fed babies so you can see how it is done. Sometimes seeing is the easiest way to do it yourself. I watched a breeder feeding a tiny lovie baby and also a big macaw baby and it was fascinating to see. I am happy you are getting ready to step in and help raise these babies. I wonder if it would help if you fed Chico and then she could feed the babies. You would be doing the job that Daddy luna would have been doing and let Chico do her job of feeding the babies.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: Single parent

    Hi, James. I feel Chico will be fine. Yes, you may have to help her, but for the first egg that hatches, she will have two days before the next egg hatches, which will give her time to get used to feeding. It is good that there is a week between those eggs being laid, because then she will only have the 2 eggs at first, that hopefully hatch. Quite honestly, hens do most of the feeding. Go on youtube and search for....handfeeding new baby cockatiels. There is great info there. And Deanna has provided great info for you as well.

    I too am sending you hugs. Hang in there with her. Hens are very loving towards their hatchlings and also protective of them. Do keep us posted.
    Last edited by maxollie; 03-08-2018 at 02:48 PM.

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    Re: Single parent

    Thanks for the advice, I will ask a local breeder for some tips.

    I am still concerned about the period between her droppings (if you could call them that) - she hadn't been in the last few days so we encouraged her out and she literally sprayed everywhere. It was like diarrhoea, and she did this 3 times in 5 minutes. I wonder if we didn't encourage her out if she would have gone on her own? I'm worried about the effects this might be having on her health.

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    Re: Single parent

    I would be worried too. Birds poo so often and for her to not go for that long sounds like the eggs in her are blocking her from going. I know nothing about females, especially the process they go through laying eggs. I would search for a breeder to talk to about this. We have a breeder here, Ketcha who breeds mostly lovebirds and if you PM him he might be able to advise you.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: Single parent

    Hens do have many more loose droppings when they are laying and incubating eggs. Have you noticed she is drinking lots more water now as well? This is because the inside of the egg, even though white and the yellow yolk, are made up of mostly water. And the water intake will make the droppings loose. It will be a good idea to encourage her out of cage more often. Hens are real sticklers about staying with their eggs.

    However, since Luna was diagnosed with that disease, my recommendation to you is to call the vet where you took Luna, and tell them what is happening with Chico. They need to know, due to the illness of Luna, and may want to see Chico. But, she has her eggs, and tbat would be a chllenge to take her in, so, hopefully, the vet could help you out by phone. And another question I would ask the vet, is if that disease Luna had, could pass to those fertilized eggs, and ultimately the babies. Maybe the Vet would have to treat those babies some way, when they are a few days or weeks old, to prevent them from getting that illness.

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    Re: Single parent

    They are reluctant to have another of my birds in at the moment due to my low income

    An update, I've encouraged her out again and it looks like egg 4 is also fertile, so potentially 4 chicks. I believe it is the end of her clutch now as she last laid 4 days ago.

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    Re: Single parent

    Yes, sounds like it will be four. Sadly, vets do charge lots of money for their service. We will pray for the best for Chico. You and she have a great bond, and she feels your love for her. You are an awesome caregiver, and I know you will watch her carefully. I sure hope these eggs will hatch, and that one or more will resenble Luna. Like you, I still feel sad about Luna. I was stunned to read about him. For now, keep on caring for Chico as always. I am praying for 4 hatched, healthy, babies. Please keep us posted.

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    Re: Single parent

    Just a little update. Chico's 4 eggs are coming along nicely so far. The earliest one seems to be getting close to hatching. We candled the eggs last night and we could see a wing and a leg/foot moving in the earliest one. We see 2 heartbeats in 2 other eggs and the latest one so far is still mostly a web of blood vessels. We've decided the first to hatch will be named after Luna, who sadly left us the same day the first egg was laid. I'm thinking about taking a trip up to a breeder to get some formula and discuss hand raising.

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    Re: Single parent

    Awwww!!!! That is soooo special. I got tears in my eyes just reading your update. I hope that all of the eggs will hatch, and that two will look like Luna, and two like Chico. You will love watching her being a momny. Hens are very attuned to their young. We will watch for updates.

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    Re: Single parent

    That is really sad Luna died when the first egg was laid. I hope the mom can handle the babies but you two are great to get prepared to feed them if she needs help.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: Single parent

    So we're in a bit of a pickle now. Unfortunately Chico has decided shes not ready to be a mum yet and has abandonned her eggs. Sadly one of the eggs got dented and the chick died as a result in the shell. I confirmed this by the eggs colour and lack of blood vessels and a blood ring being present. I was curious so opened the egg up before throwing it out just to get an idea about the size of a hatching. For the last 2 days we've improvised as best we can and put the other 3 eggs in a container on top of a radiator set at 22c. I am not sure about 2 of the eggs so have left them be, but the good news is we're still seeing movement in one of the eggs and believe it is nearly due to hatch. We're going to buy some formula tomorrow which means we'll be hungry for a few days, but id rather be prepared to raise the chick and just do the best we can with everything available to us. No money for an incubator, hardly anything for formula, jeez this situation hurts I will be heartbroken to lose all of the chicks

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    Re: Single parent

    I am so sorry she abandoned the eggs and no doubt it has to really make you so sad she did it. It is going to be a hard thing but its possible to hand raise them. Hopefully the breeder can set you up with everything and also give you good advice on what to do. I am sure you have watched lots of videos on hand feeding them and it such a precise thing you have to do to feed them right. I will be sending you lots of good vibes and thoughts and hope you can do this for her tiny babies. I feel horrible you lost Luna and now the babies in the eggs died, I would be very heartbroken as well. Big hugs to you!!
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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