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New Budgie Owner Here- Need help with nest

Nonna

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I adopted a bonded pair of Budgies. I had no intention of breeding or anything like that, however, they came with their cage and all accessories, which included a little nest in the cage. I was not educated on the mating habits or hormonal cycles of Budgies, and Duchess laid 9 eggs starting on December 9th. One of the eggs got pushed out of the tiny little nest, and I was worried, so I purchased a wood nesting box, added lots of shredded, unprinted, newspaper, and moved the eggs to the new nest. Duchess is very happy with the new nest. However, I discovered afterward that a concave nest is better than flat. (Why do people even sell the flat ones!!!) In addition, 2 eggs have hatched, and Duchess has moved most of the bedding and now the baby chicks are laying on the hard wood surface.
I read the thread here about what to do in that case, and I have cocofiber liner. Adding the liner is going to require removing the nest from the cage and jostling the chicks a little. I know this is not good. But the risk of splayed legs is probably worse than the risks involved with removing the nest - right? I need some reassurance. I'm so worried about this whole situation!
 

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Emma&pico

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:hello: @Zara will be able to help
 

orphansparrow

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Yikes! It does indeed sound nerve-wracking. I know that someone here can help you...
 

Zara

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Why do people even sell the flat ones
Nothing wrong with the boxes as long as they have adequate bedding.
Shredded paper like you have is not good enough - it is flat and not crinkly so it is not helping combat splayed legs and also paper harbours bacteria and can grow mould quicker.
Coco fibres are dangerous as they can tangle around legs.
Best bedding is aspen shavings. If you can't get aspen, buy coarse pine. Avoid fine pine (can be easily ingested or inhaled) and avoid cedar as it is toxic.

The nesting box should be attached externally to make entering easier. Internal nestboxes are just a nightmre - awkward and difficult. Often cages need to be cut to attach them externally if there are no feeder doors you can use.
I can see on your cage there is a guillotine feeder door on the front, so use some L hooks to screw into the front of the nest box and then attach it there to that feeder door to avoid cutting your cage. Use a ziptie to keep the feeder door securely open.

Create a bowl with some unscented kleenex or kitchen paper in to put the babies in while you empty the nest box, fix the screws and attach it to the cage front. Don't mess around when you start, have everything ready and get on with it so it is over without creating drama and prolonging any stress.

edited to add a picture of the L hooks;
These are very small and can be screwed in by hand, the L part will face down and hook onto the bars of the cage.
 
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Nonna

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Nothing wrong with the boxes as long as they have adequate bedding.
Shredded paper like you have is not good enough - it is flat and not crinkly so it is not helping combat splayed legs and also paper harbours bacteria and can grow mould quicker.
Coco fibres are dangerous as they can tangle around legs.
Best bedding is aspen shavings. If you can't get aspen, buy coarse pine. Avoid fine pine (can be easily ingested or inhaled) and avoid cedar as it is toxic.

The nesting box should be attached externally to make entering easier. Internal nestboxes are just a nightmre - awkward and difficult. Often cages need to be cut to attach them externally if there are no feeder doors you can use.
I can see on your cage there is a guillotine feeder door on the front, so use some L hooks to screw into the front of the nest box and then attach it there to that feeder door to avoid cutting your cage. Use a ziptie to keep the feeder door securely open.

Create a bowl with some unscented kleenex or kitchen paper in to put the babies in while you empty the nest box, fix the screws and attach it to the cage front. Don't mess around when you start, have everything ready and get on with it so it is over without creating drama and prolonging any stress.

edited to add a picture of the L hooks;
These are very small and can be screwed in by hand, the L part will face down and hook onto the bars of the cage.
Thank you. I will work on this on Saturday as it is the only day I will have someone to help me. This particular thread Splayed legs 101 - What is it? How to fix it? | Avian Avenue Parrot Forum here on this forum said to get cocomoss fiber, so that is what I bought. Now you're telling me that is dangerous too? I'm at my wits end here. There is so much conflicting information on the internet. Multiple bird care websites recommend paper bedding, so I did that and it is clearly not adequate. It's so frustrating. I agree that external mounting would be so much easier. I am concerned about moving the box though. Will Mama be okay with that? I have heard that messing with the nesting box too much can upset the parents and cause them to abandon the nest.
 

Zara

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This particular thread Splayed legs 101 - What is it? How to fix it? | Avian Avenue Parrot Forum here on this forum said to get cocomoss fiber, so that is what I bought. Now you're telling me that is dangerous too?
Most of the links suggest wood shavings as first choice for bedding.
Aspen is the top choice - it is usually shredded not too large and not too fine and powdery making it soft and comfortable without having powder or small pieces that can be ingested or inhaled. Wood shavings are IMO the best in terms of hygiene too.
Coco fibres are like our hairs but worse, and if you've ever seen your bird get their foot or toe tangled on a hair you will know why we avoid it with the bedding. Chicks are unable to break free, can often make it worse, and can result in toe or foot amputations.
If you haven't opened the package, you may be able to return it.

Multiple bird care websites recommend paper bedding, so I did that and it is clearly not adequate.
If a chick appears out of the blue, it is ok to use shredded paper, preferably the crinkly stuff. It is good for people who find injured birds and other small animals while they seek help. Using paper if you find an unexpected chick is better than doing nothing while you get things in order and go to the shops to buy wood shavings. So it depends what the situation is to what is recommended. If we are talking about someone planning to allow their birds to breed, most often than not you will be told by experienced people to go and buy wood shavings. Those same people would advise someone who unexpectedly finds a bird to use shredded paper until they can get to the pet shop (if it's their birds chick) or rescue (for wild birds).
I hope that clarifies why you are seeing multiple answers.

I am concerned about moving the box though. Will Mama be okay with that? I have heard that messing with the nesting box too much can upset the parents and cause them to abandon the nest.
It will always be a possibility...
You could try to get the chicks out where the nest is now, empty the paper and put shavings in and then return the chicks and wait until the chicks are a little older before moving the nest outside.
If your birds do stop tending to the chicks after a bedding change, you can crush the adults pellets up and make baby formula with it.
 

Nonna

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Most of the links suggest wood shavings as first choice for bedding.
Aspen is the top choice - it is usually shredded not too large and not too fine and powdery making it soft and comfortable without having powder or small pieces that can be ingested or inhaled. Wood shavings are IMO the best in terms of hygiene too.
Coco fibres are like our hairs but worse, and if you've ever seen your bird get their foot or toe tangled on a hair you will know why we avoid it with the bedding. Chicks are unable to break free, can often make it worse, and can result in toe or foot amputations.
If you haven't opened the package, you may be able to return it.


If a chick appears out of the blue, it is ok to use shredded paper, preferably the crinkly stuff. It is good for people who find injured birds and other small animals while they seek help. Using paper if you find an unexpected chick is better than doing nothing while you get things in order and go to the shops to buy wood shavings. So it depends what the situation is to what is recommended. If we are talking about someone planning to allow their birds to breed, most often than not you will be told by experienced people to go and buy wood shavings. Those same people would advise someone who unexpectedly finds a bird to use shredded paper until they can get to the pet shop (if it's their birds chick) or rescue (for wild birds).
I hope that clarifies why you are seeing multiple answers.


It will always be a possibility...
You could try to get the chicks out where the nest is now, empty the paper and put shavings in and then return the chicks and wait until the chicks are a little older before moving the nest outside.
If your birds do stop tending to the chicks after a bedding change, you can crush the adults pellets up and make baby formula with it.
Thank you so much for taking the time to help me! I will get Aspen shavings today. I was not expecting to have chicks, but I want to give them their best chance of survival and a good life now that they are here.
 

Zara

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You're welcome.

Sometimes the bags of shavings are quite large, but you will use a lot as the little ones get older and you have to scrape out the nest more often. Any leftover can be stored in a ziploc bag.

Please do post if you have more questions :)
 

Nonna

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You're welcome.

Sometimes the bags of shavings are quite large, but you will use a lot as the little ones get older and you have to scrape out the nest more often. Any leftover can be stored in a ziploc bag.

Please do post if you have more questions :)
One more question - The parents have been moving the paper bedding away. I am replacing with Aspen shavings today, but what should I do if they move the shavings as well? The thread here on this website says to put a cocomoss fiber mat at the bottom of the nest. I won't do that since you suggested that it's dangerous, but I just don't want these babies on the hard wood floor of the nest. Would a little pad of paper towels be appropriate in this case, or would that harbor too much bacteria? I'm thinking out loud here. Perhaps if there is a thick enough layer of Aspen shavings they won't be able to move it.
 

Zara

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They may kick a little out, but just try your best to replace what is taken out.
Have it a good few inches deep, press it down to pack it a little and then use a couple of fingers together, bent like a hook and press a little dent for the chicks to sit in, away from the door.
 

Nonna

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They may kick a little out, but just try your best to replace what is taken out.
Have it a good few inches deep, press it down to pack it a little and then use a couple of fingers together, bent like a hook and press a little dent for the chicks to sit in, away from the door.
I will do that. Thank you so much!
 

Nonna

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I am happy to report that the paper has been removed, aspen bedding placed, nest has been moved to the outside of the cage, chicks are back in the nest, and Mama and Papa immediately when to the nest afterward. All is well.
AND... there are 3 chicks in there now. One hatched last night.
 

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Emma&pico

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I am happy to report that the paper has been removed, aspen bedding placed, nest has been moved to the outside of the cage, chicks are back in the nest, and Mama and Papa immediately when to the nest afterward. All is well.
AND... there are 3 chicks in there now. One hatched last night.
Good news keep us updated @Zara is the window ok in the back or would a little blanket help I have no clue it must be so fun and exciting watching them grow
 

Nonna

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Good news keep us updated @Zara is the window ok in the back or would a little blanket help I have no clue it must be so fun and exciting watching them grow
Are you referring to the window of the house or the window of the nest? I thought some daylight was good? I mean, right now it's gloomy and dark all day, every day, but I do have a curtain there I can untie. I will for sure cover it this weekend when the temperature dips down pretty low.
It is amazing how fast they grow! They have full bellies. Mama and Papa are very attentive, and Papa eats all day, sharing his food with Mama, who obviously feeds the chickies.
 

Zara

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I believe Emma is refering to the nest.

Coverering it would be wise so the light does not damage the chicks eyes. They are very sensitive when they open. You could just tape a piece of cardboard (if you just tape the top it will make a flap) to the back or something like that so you can lift it to look inside for quick check ins.

They have full bellies. Mama and Papa are very attentive, and Papa eats all day, sharing his food with Mama, who obviously feeds the chickies.
That is great! Keep an eye on them to make sure this continues :)
 

Nonna

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I believe Emma is refering to the nest.

Coverering it would be wise so the light does not damage the chicks eyes. They are very sensitive when they open. You could just tape a piece of cardboard (if you just tape the top it will make a flap) to the back or something like that so you can lift it to look inside for quick check ins.


That is great! Keep an eye on them to make sure this continues :)
Okay. I will do that! Thank you.
 

Emma&pico

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Yes sorry the nest
 
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