It just goes to show, you always need to be prepared
Posted 11 November 2010 - 04:58 PM
They laid a total of 8 eggs, 7 developed. I checked on the chicks every couple of days to make sure they were being fed and were growing. Like all large clutches, there were some that grew faster than others, but as long as the chicks all had full crops when I checked, I didn't worry too much.
It became apparent last week that two were severely behind. I started checking the clutch 2 times a day to make sure they were being fed. They still were until this last weekend. In hindsight, I should have purchased formula when it was apparent that they were behind, but since they were still being fed, I thought interfering at that point would be worse for them.
I pulled out my handfeeding supplies and purchased formula on Sunday. The bigger of the two chicks that were behind didn't like feeding from me. I could get a mouthful in here and there, but no feeding response. The parents were still feeding that chick so I had to leave it up to them, I'm not confident enough to force feed a chick, especially one that small. The smallest chick however, was thrilled to get a fast warm meal.
The bigger of the two chicks died on Monday. My help was too little and too late.
The smaller of the two has been on 3-4 feeds a day, depending on how much it takes before it won't beg any more. I feed first thing in the morning, when the others are being fed by the parents, start checking the crop around 11 since I have to wait until the crop is completely empty. When the crop is empty, I give another feed, this is usually around 4 hours later. I continue this until bedtime for me which is right after the last feeding (around 9 at night).
Little bub is already stronger and showing good signs of growth. I've been able to preen out the sheathes on the wing feathers so bub can keep warmer. I don't have bub in a brooder, but I keep him/her inside the nest with the siblings. They are keeping bub warm and there has been several times when I get to the noonish checks where the parents have fed bub again, now that he/she is stronger and bigger.
I'm hoping that bub is fully feathered before the siblings all fledge, but if not, I do have the supplies to make a small brooder to keep bub warm.
For those that think handfeeding a chick is a great way to make a bird tame, this is not the case with finches. They are tiny and delicate, almost more so than parrot chicks. I only intervened because it was apparent that without me doing so, both of the chicks would have died.
Posted 11 November 2010 - 05:12 PM
Now bub hears the microwave and starts begging. I can't wait until handfeeding is over though. I'm still scared to hurt bub. I check the temprature of the water 3 times before I even think of mixing it into the powdered formula.
Posted 12 November 2010 - 04:12 PM
Posted 12 November 2010 - 05:16 PM
Posted 13 November 2010 - 06:02 AM
The smallest one is doing well. It is growing and getting stronger every day. I got the brooder set up today since it isn't fully feathered and the siblings are fledging. As long as there is at least one other check in the nest, I'll keep it in there.
Posted 17 November 2010 - 05:59 AM
don't be so hard on yourself about the little finch that didn't make it. The others are right...there was probably something wrong with it anyway. You did your best.
Also, don't be afraid of hand feeding. I had seven eggs hatch in my finch cage and two weren't getting fed. (Actually, they were getting crushed by their brothers and sisters as well), so I took them out and hand fed both of them. I used the 1 cc syringes and egg powder food as well. I am sure you already have one, but a digital baby thermometer was the best thing ever! Once I got the system down for mixing and temp it was pretty easy.
My little ones also vigorously tried to put the syringe down their throat if I wasn't getting them food fast enough! I ended up feeding both of them all the way until they could feed themselves because we had so many brothers and sisters and they were still tiny. I am glad to report they grew up to be beautiful adults and have both mated with other birds. The little female just had her first baby the other day!
So, good luck. It sounds like everything is going great and don't be afraid to hand feed if you need to.
Posted 18 November 2010 - 03:43 AM
I do find it funny that it begs every time it sees me, full crop or not. The crop still is emptying as it should and it makes me feel bad when it is begging and I can't feed it again because there is still formula in the crop.
I'm going to move the siblings and parents into the big finch cage this weekend. I'm hoping that the other male will start feeding the chicks as well. I'm trying to shake up the pair, they have already started courting dances and with a baby on the way, I don't want to have too many finches to worry about!
Posted 18 November 2010 - 10:35 AM
We will be having baby mania at my house too. After making them take a long period of time off to let the females rest, I finally counted up the months it had been since they mated when one of my females tried to mate with her mother and her mother thought it was a good idea! Wow! So, I got a nice dark brown male for my dark brown and white female and let one of my new males from a previous clutch try his hand at baby making with some new females. I will be interested to see what I get! (I'm hoping for good deep brown colors with bright white crests or pies.)
I too went out and bought a big bag of formula after reading your story. I am now prepared for a blizzard if it occurs!
I am so excited for you about your new babies coming! I looked at some of your breeders with gouldians and they are just lovely! What great color.
Posted 24 November 2010 - 10:16 PM
Baby is almost fully feathered now. Started pecking at my rings and looking for things to nibble on, I hope it starts to wean soon.
Posted 24 November 2010 - 11:04 PM
About a week or so ago before a feed:
After the feed:
Posted 26 November 2010 - 03:14 AM
So far, two of my societies are taking care of an egg laid from the two finches that I had to hand feed. Those two never learned how to use a nest because at the time there was no room for them. So, I put the fertile egg in with another pair that hadn't laid any eggs and they are fostering this new baby so well. My husband decided the new baby name should be Finch, so that is what we are calling it. Right now, he is getting bigger and stronger everyday. He is still in the nest and just opened hi eyes two days ago. It is exciting watching a few of his feathers come in already. I am sure he is going to fledge soon....which always makes me nervous.
The mom and dad of Finch are in another cage going to "finch school". They are learning how to be real finches from their mother and another un-related finch. It is going well, and it looks like they laid more fertile eggs so we will have babies from them soon too.
I am most excited about my new deep chocolate brown male, whom I call Spice. I have put him in with my chocolate and white female, cocoa (I know, we all have food names here just about!) and am hoping for deep brown babies. The new male also has an amazing song so, I am hoping the babies learn his call.
Christie.....how many babies do you have now? I just love them at this age don't you? Thanks for the pictures...really made me smile!
Posted 26 November 2010 - 04:30 AM
I'm hoping they don't lay any more eggs this year. I'm now 6 months pregnant and didn't plan on breeding at all this year. I just couldn't let the hen lay on the bottom of the cage, so I gave them a nestbox, but as soon as the last chick fledged, it was taken away.
Posted 26 November 2010 - 08:21 PM
Posted 10 December 2010 - 05:28 PM
Posted 11 December 2010 - 05:33 AM
Spoiled little bird...
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