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Budgie Breeding Learn about and share your own experiences related to breeding budgies.
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  #1  
Old 03-20-2011, 03:05 PM
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Default Hand feeding and raising baby budgies

Hand feeding and raising a baby budgie is ALOT of work!

For those who are thinking of hand raising babies in the future and would like an idea of what all is involved, or who just like to look at pictures of little fluffies! I have here what I do in raising baby budgies until they are weaned and ready for their new family!

Please Note:

This thread is not to encourage people without hand feeding experience to try it, but to give others an idea of all of the work that goes into it and how the babies grow and mature! If you are interested in hand feeding, please contact a experenced breeder or your avian vet to show and guide you on how to do it safely.
This is not something to do without guidance when you have no experience. When I started that is exactly what I did... learned from experienced ones what to do. Reading is no match for an experienced hand. It is very easy to hurt or kill a baby doing things the wrong way so please do things responsibly!


(3 week old babies)

Once the babies are pulled for hand feeding they need to be kept in the family room where they can get constant attention! This way they are very used to the normal activity that goes on, and are very calm and happy to be in the busiest part of the house where people are.



Each baby is with mom and dad in the nestbox until they are 3 weeks old. During this time they are getting lots of nutritious food and crop milk from mom to build up a healthy immune system and get a good start! At 21 days old I take them from the nest box and they are moved into the nursery box.

The nursery box is a simalar size to a nest box and stays warmer than the outside air by up to 10 degrees. They will stay in the nursery box for about a week or so until their feathers come in completly and they can keep themselves warm. It is filled with lots of soft shavings and sprays of millet so they can start to try cracking seeds, which is alot harder than you would think!



(One of my nursery boxes)


Babies very quickly dirty whatever they are in, so every day all of the babies are moved from the nursery box and it is emptied, disinfected, dried, and refilled with fresh shavings and millet.

Depending on how many babies are in the box this needs done multiple times a day to keep everything as clean and sanitary as possible to prevent bacteria from growing, which can easily make a young chick very sick.



(A full nursery box!)


When they are 3 weeks old they will need to be fed every 4-5 hours. This is a slow process at first as they are not used to using a spoon and need to get some practice... and it usually ends up very messy to begin with!

After each feeding the baby needs to get cleaned up, snuggled, talked to and loved. This is when they really gain trust and bond with us and is extreamly important! This bonding and careful care is what will make them grow into well adjusted, trusting and very tame adults.



( A 3 1/2 week old baby being fed )


Hand feeding formula needs to be mixed fresh at every feeding, and needs to be at the perfect temperature! If it is too hot it will burn them, and if it is too cold they wont be able to digest it and it can make them sick. I also add pro-biotics and suppliments such as cinnamon and cayanne pepper to to the formula to keep them healthy and strong.



( Mixed and ready hand feeding formula )


Each morning they need to be weighed with a digital scale, and records kept to make sure everyone is gaining weight and growing properly.



( 3-4 week old babies getting weighed )


When they are about 4- 4 1/2 weeks depending on the baby, fully feathered, and starting to try to climb out of the nursery box I move them into the nursery cage. Here they have lots of new foods in shalow dishes on the floor that are easy to reach, and toys to play with to keep them occupied and to explore. By this time they are getting very strong and active, and are constantly flapping their wings every day to strengethen their muscles so they can start to fly soon.

Each side of the nursrey cage is covered with plexi-glass to protect them from drafts as they are still very young at this point, and to help keep in the mess they absolutly love to make and watch me clean up!



( My nursery cage set up and ready for new babies )


At 4-5 weeks they really start to eat new foods and begin weaning themselves.

I abundance wean all of my babies, which means instead of taking feedings away from them to make them hungry and force them to try whatever food then have, I give them as much variety of food as possible such as pellets, veggies, egg food, fruits, whole wheat pasta, and spray millet to encourage them to eat on their own!



( 5 week old babies eating together )


With such a variety they soon start refusing hand feedings when I offer them, and by this age depending on the baby they are usually on 2 feedings a day.



( Mixed egg food with Zupreme rainbow pellets, yum!)


At 6 weeks the babies are weaned and eating lots of foods on their own. In the next two weeks after this we work on step up training, coming in and out of the cage, talking, and playing. It is also during this time I make sure they are confident in eating on their own, and taking care of themselves. They spend as much time as possible out playing with me and my husband and exploring our home safely.



(Out playing and exploring!)


After weeks of cleaning, training, feeding and lots of love they are fully weaned, confident, very at ease and bonded to people, and ready for a new home at 8 weeks of age!



(8 week old baby)

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Last edited by CuteLittleBirdies; 03-21-2011 at 01:30 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-20-2011, 03:07 PM
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Amazing thread! I think it is very useful Well done
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Old 03-20-2011, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by i love Budgie View Post
Amazing thread! I think it is very useful Well done
Wow you replied fast! It was hardly up! Thanks

p.s love your siggy its adorible
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I am still looking for more photos if you would like to offer them! Do You Have Any Of These Mutations In Your Flock?

Please post budgie related questions you have on the forums rather than sending me a PM. That way others can benefit from the information and chime in too
  #4  
Old 03-20-2011, 03:11 PM
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Wow you replied fast! It was hardly up! Thanks

p.s love your siggy its adorible
Thanks

I have super speed

I forgot to say, karma for you
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Old 03-20-2011, 03:14 PM
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Thanks

I have super speed

I forgot to say, karma for you
Thanks for the karma! And yes... you must hold the world record for fastest replies dont you?
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Old 03-20-2011, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by cutelilbirdies View Post


Thanks for the karma! And yes... you must hold the world record for fastest replies dont you?
Maybe ... I need to spread karma around so won't be a sec
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Old 03-20-2011, 03:16 PM
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Love this thread, thanks for posting. Do you feed them thru the night too every 4-5 hours? Do you wait until the oldest one of the clutch is 3 weeks old or start pulling them out as they reach their 3 week mark?
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Old 03-20-2011, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by i love Budgie View Post


Maybe ... I need to spread karma around so won't be a sec
Lol!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glyconut View Post
Love this thread, thanks for posting. Do you feed them thru the night too every 4-5 hours? Do you wait until the oldest one of the clutch is 3 weeks old or start pulling them out as they reach their 3 week mark?
During the night they go 8 hours without a feeding so their crop can completly empty, as their crop empties from the top first and whatever is at the bottom they digest last. This keeps them from getting what is called "sour crop" where the food at the bottom goes bad and makes them sick.

And yes I pull each one individually as they reach 3 weeks of age, sometimes it will vary a day or 2 before or after but I try and keep it to 21 days if possible

Thank you for looking!
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I am still looking for more photos if you would like to offer them! Do You Have Any Of These Mutations In Your Flock?

Please post budgie related questions you have on the forums rather than sending me a PM. That way others can benefit from the information and chime in too

Last edited by CuteLittleBirdies; 03-20-2011 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 03-20-2011, 05:16 PM
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Great thread, we need more stickies like these in the breeding section...would help newbie breeder a whole lot!
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Old 03-20-2011, 05:32 PM
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I nominate this post to become a sticky!! and I love the pic with Julio and his siblings sitting in the food dish goofballs!!
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