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Cockatiel Chick Feeding and Nest Cleaning

Raptor40

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Hello!

I had posted a week and a bit ago about taming cockatiel chicks, as some new chicks had begun hatching.
The eggs had all hatched, which was great, but I took a few wrong turns with the nest-care, as I was under the impression that I wasn't meant to touch the nest at all until the cockatiel chicks were old enough to leave it. I would still lift the lid up to check on the chicks, but didn't want to disturb the nest itself. I found out about a week in that two of the five chicks had unfortunately passed away (I'm assuming one a few days earlier, but parents were sitting on it so I couldn't see it beforehand), and I eventually made the decision to remove the father and chicks and fully clean the nest out. Turned out to be a good idea in the end as the nest was covered in maggots. As a general question, how often do you guys recommend cleaning nests?
I had also taken a chick out to hand-raise, as he was very little and looked very weak compared to the rest of the chicks (I assume he was the youngest). I was worried he'd end up passing away too if I didn't take him. I have been feeding him Vetafarm Neocare and he has been taking to it quite well (although he's still quite small compared to the other chicks). The food says not to feed chicks between about 10 or 11pm until 5 or 6am to let the crop clear out, but I hadn't been sure about this and have still been feeding him every 3 hours or so overnight, as I had often read that chick's his age must be fed every 2-3 hours at all times. Is it sensible to leave him unfed for that period of time to let the crop go down (he is probably about 6 or 7 days old) or should he still be fed overnight?

Sorry about all the questions, I just want to make sure I do the best for the chicks.
 

Zara

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how often do you guys recommend cleaning nests?
How old are the chicks now? If they are a week old, then every few days is ok, as they gets older you will need to clean it every two days, and just before fledging daily. You can figure this out by eye; you will see the poops start building up, and the older they get the more they poop. It´s important to keep the nest clean and dry. Unhigienic nests can lead to chick deaths. Be sure to dig a little in the bedding to make sure it is clean underneath and not damp or poops hidden.

Vetafarm Neocare
I haven´t heard of this brand, so I can´t give an opinion on if it is good or not.

Is it sensible to leave him unfed for that period of time to let the crop go down (he is probably about 6 or 7 days old) or should he still be fed overnight?
The easiest way to explain this is:
The crop must empty completely at least once per day, the best time for this is overnight.
If the chicks crop empties in 3 hours, then you are ok to feed every three hours during the night.
If the chicks crop takes 6 hours to empty, then wait 6 hours during the night.
During the day, if there is a little left in the crop at feeding time, that is ok, but it is very important to allow it to empty overnight.
 

Raptor40

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How old are the chicks now? If they are a week old, then every few days is ok, as they gets older you will need to clean it every two days, and just before fledging daily. You can figure this out by eye; you will see the poops start building up, and the older they get the more they poop. It´s important to keep the nest clean and dry. Unhigienic nests can lead to chick deaths. Be sure to dig a little in the bedding to make sure it is clean underneath and not damp or poops hidden.


I haven´t heard of this brand, so I can´t give an opinion on if it is good or not.


The easiest way to explain this is:
The crop must empty completely at least once per day, the best time for this is overnight.
If the chicks crop empties in 3 hours, then you are ok to feed every three hours during the night.
If the chicks crop takes 6 hours to empty, then wait 6 hours during the night.
During the day, if there is a little left in the crop at feeding time, that is ok, but it is very important to allow it to empty overnight.
Thank you so much! I've changed his feeding so that he has the 12-6am break, as I know his crop doesn't empty completely over the 3 hour period.
 

Shezbug

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@Zara they have that brand here where I live. I believe it’s made here and is the easiest brand to get as everywhere stocks it and every vet recommends it.
I don’t have the Neocare but Burt eats two of their pellets and I am certain that the Neocare was for sale at my vets.

Ingredients list 2F3601D1-0EF4-4BE4-ADB8-4FF1695A7F2B.png
 

Zara

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@Zara they have that brand here where I live. I believe it’s made here and is the easiest brand to get as everywhere stocks it and every vet recommends it.
Fantastic! :)
 

Shezbug

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I’ve often wondered if the vetafarm compares in anyway to the other regularly named brand pellets.
I buy it and use it because it’s easy to get all the time but I’m not certain if it’s something I’d be better off replacing with other brands.
I’d be interested to see some of the brands and the vetafarm put into a most preferred to least preferred list by those who know more about pellets and bird health.

Would you be happy after seeing the ingredients to use this brand for your baby birds @Zara? I know this formula is not the same as the pellets.
 

Zara

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Would you be happy after seeing the ingredients to use this brand for your baby birds @Zara? I know this formula is not the same as the pellets.
I´m extremely loyal to Nurtribird. It is a popular choice amongst lovebird aviaries here in Spain, it was recommended to me by the breeder I bought my first two birds from and when conversing with my vet, he said it is one of the best available on the market here, along with a couple of others (but I can´t remember the names).
I use A21 for my little ones, but I did use A19 which had a slightly different composition when Adelie was abandoned as I stupidly had no formula on hand and the store had none in stock as it was Christmas.
Here´s the composition for the A21:


Composition


Bakery products, vegetable protein extracts, oils and fats, derivatives of vegetable origin, minerals, various sugars, yeasts, organic acids, psyllium, mannan-oligosaccharides (1000 mg/kg), lecithin

Analytical constituents

Protein 21%, Fat content 9%, Crude ash 8.50%, Crude fibre 1.50%, Lysine 1.25%, Methionine 0.54%, Tryptophan 0.24% Threonine 0.70%, Calcium 1.15%, Phosphorus 0.60%, Sodium 0.40%, Magnesium 0.14%

Additives/kg

Nutritional additives
Vitamin A 7200 IU, 3a160a β-carotene 4.35 mg, Vitamin D3 1500 IU, Vitamin E 85 mg, Vitamin K3 3 mg, Vitamin B1 7.50 mg, Vitamin B2 16 mg, Calcium D-pantothenate 20 mg, Vitamin B6 6 mg, Vitamin B12 0.03 mg, Vitamin C 60 mg, Niacin 80 mg, Folic acid 1.50 mg, Biotin 0.28 mg, Choline chloride 790 mg, 3b202 (iodine) 2 mg, E4 (copper) 10 mg, 3b503 (manganese) 100 mg, 3b605 (zinc) 95 mg, E8 (selenium) 0.20 mg

Zoo Technical Additives
Bacillus subtilis C-3102 (DSM 15544) 22.108 CFU | Endo-1,4-β-xylanase (EC 3.2.1.8) 3000 EPU
 
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