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African grey parrots parent rearing

flows

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I have acquired a pair of Congo African greys from a friend who could no longer care for them.Whilst he had them he always pulled the eggs and incubated them. I prefer to leave the chicks with my other pairs for a minimum of three to four weeks usually more. I have not got experience or a preference for incubating the eggs and hand rearing if I can avoid it. Do you think that it is a big risk to leave the eggs in with birds which usually have them removed? Do you think the birds will know how to rear the young or are they likely to die? I don’t know if it is relev but the cock bird is a nest box diver and growler and the mother is semi tame aviary bird. I do have an incubator and brooder if needed and my mother is experienced at crop feeding / hand feeding if I need her to step in. I would love any chicks to stay with the parents if possible but don’t want to take silly risks as I would be devastated if they die
 

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Zara

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Welcome to the Avenue,

If you have no experience in breeding, hand rearing, caring for neonates, then I would just boil any eggs laid, or switch for dummy eggs.

If you are experienced in caring for baby birds, then you can leave the eggs with the parents and let them raise their young - you must step in should something go wrong (parents attack chicks, chicks attack each other, parents not feed chicks etc).

It may be helpful to get info on the pairs history, prev. clutches, medical history from the vet etc from your friend.

@BrianB
 

Laurie

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Basically, if the pair has no history of incubating or rearing their babies then you can treat them like a brand new pair. Letting nature take it's course is the only way to know what they will do. You can monitor closely and step in if needed. If you are interested in a more natural approach to handfeeding (if needed) I would learn how to spoon feed or syringe feed rather than gavage or crop feeding. I would only recommend gavage feeding in an emergency for a bird who will not eat. Not as a time saving method for raising a baby parrot.

Sadly, breeding birds is not an endeavor where you will never lose eggs, babies or adults. It happens and you move on and learn from it (after you cry on your pillow and wonder why you do it at all). The best thing to do is learn as much as possible and find out about their history. I always leave the eggs or babies where I feel they have the best chance of thriving. The decision factors in my own experience and skill, best practices, veterinary advice and the history and behavior of he parent birds. In my case, there was a time when my day old babies where better off with their parents but now that I have more experience I do not hesitate to raise day old babies myself if I suspect there is an issue with the parent because I have more experience and can successfully raise them. If you incubate eggs you will need to know how to brood and care for day 1 babies as well. It is not as easy as taking care of older babies so make sure and be prepared.
 

BrianB

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If the parents have no experience in raising their own babies then they may not know what to do if you leave the eggs there to hatch naturally. They may kill the babies, or ignore them and let them starve. Those instincts to feed may just not be there and they don't know what to do. You have to let them try to see how they do. It may take more than one clutch for those instincts to kick in and for them to understand what they are supposed to do. The first clutch may be a disaster, or they might surprise you and be fantastic parents. You just don't know until you let them try.

Hand raising day one hatchlings can be terrifying, but it can be incredibly rewarding too. It's also a drain on your time and finances. Buying a professional incubator and brooder can cost you thousands of dollars. The peace of mind is absolutely worth every penny. Homemade incubators can work as well, but take a lot of trial and error to figure out because there are so many variables to consider. Is the temperature right, is the humidity right. Did I raise or lower the humidity at just the right time in order for the eggs to hatch properly?

If this isn't something you're willing to commit to 100% then it's best to just replace the eggs with dummy eggs and discourage them from breeding.
 

flows

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Basically, if the pair has no history of incubating or rearing their babies then you can treat them like a brand new pair. Letting nature take it's course is the only way to know what they will do. You can monitor closely and step in if needed. If you are interested in a more natural approach to handfeeding (if needed) I would learn how to spoon feed or syringe feed rather than gavage or crop feeding. I would only recommend gavage feeding in an emergency for a bird who will not eat. Not as a time saving method for raising a baby parrot.

Sadly, breeding birds is not an endeavor where you will never lose eggs, babies or adults. It happens and you move on and learn from it (after you cry on your pillow and wonder why you do it at all). The best thing to do is learn as much as possible and find out about their history. I always leave the eggs or babies where I feel they have the best chance of thriving. The decision factors in my own experience and skill, best practices, veterinary advice and the history and behavior of he parent birds. In my case, there was a time when my day old babies where better off with their parents but now that I have more experience I do not hesitate to raise day old babies myself if I suspect there is an issue with the parent because I have more experience and can successfully raise them. If you incubate eggs you will need to know how to brood and care for day 1 babies as well. It is not as easy as taking care of older babies so make sure and be prepared.
Thanks for the info, with day old babies do you have to crop feed them? Are they too little to spoon /syringe feed? I would prefer a natural approach hence me usually leaving my own birds with the parents as long as possible because they do a better job than me with the chicks.
 

Laurie

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Thanks for the info, with day old babies do you have to crop feed them? Are they too little to spoon /syringe feed? I would prefer a natural approach hence me usually leaving my own birds with the parents as long as possible because they do a better job than me with the chicks.
I syringe feed the day old babies. I use very slightly thinned formula, still not watery and a 1 cc syringe with a feeding tip. They are easy to aspirate if you do it wrong and need feeding every 1 1/2 to 2 hours. They do grow quickly so the time they can go between feeding increase after a few days but then the next one hatches.
 

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Just my humble opinion. I would not destroy the eggs. Find someone who can hatch them or raise the babies if you can not do it yourself. Also, if you're other birds have eggs or vabies hatching at the same time you may be able to let them foster the babies early on. This often works but not always. For it to work you need to have another hen with babies or eggs the same age, you can't just pop them in willy nilly.

Also, is it even legal to destroy African Gray eggs? They are an endangered species in the wild? I know this was not your intention, I am just adding it since it was suggested.
 

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I sure would enjoy raising some baby greys but I agree that the parents are generally better. I have never raised parrots but I have raised a bunch of wild birds as rescues. Generally I find even first time birds do a good job if their conditions are right and they do even better the next time. If I were in your shoes (and I am not, and your conditions may be different). I would let them try but like others said, be prepared to step in if needed. (if not you can always ship those eggs to me, I have an incubator. HAHA!) Interesting thought about the legality of not raising the hatched eggs. Never really thought about it that way.
 
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