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Zebra chick abandoned - hand rearing advice?

Discussion in 'Bird Breeding' started by Phoenix24, Aug 25, 2013.


  1. Phoenix24

    Phoenix24 PetForums Senior

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    I posted this on another forum but someone here might be able to help.

    My female zebra finch just kept on laying eggs (on the floor, everywhere), so in the end I gave her a nest to lay in and excluded the male as he is an obsessive builder and tends to disturb the nest so much the eggs get damaged (long story).

    Bizarrely the female kept laying until she had a clutch of 10. I left her with them because I didn't expect any to hatch (sleeping on them at night, not brooding in the day, then finally incubating them properly) and one day, to my surprise found one had hatched, and she was still incubating the rest.

    I think its been about 3/4 days, and this morning I found an egg plus the chick on the floor, which I can only assume she knocked out by mistake. The egg was cold, and the chick was too but still alive, I warmed it up and popped it back in the nest, but it was clear that the female had abandoned the nest as all the other eggs were cold (I broke open a few and found dead chicks inside a couple).

    She didn't go back to tend to the chick, and when I put the male back in (hoping his fatherly instincts might kick in) he didn't want anything to do with the nest after he had a look in.

    So now I have this very small chick and i'm reluctantly going to give it a go at hand rearing. I've not had a lot of success with very small chicks in the past, but I have had a lot of practice recently with hand rearing.

    My main questions are which formula is best and frequency of feeding, and implements for feeding such a tiny thing? I have at my disposal right now EMP, which I have given a few soaked crumbs to the chick, given with tiny tweezers and a took pick (but its crop wasn't empty so i've left it at that for now), and I have Kaytee Exact formula. I can order a more suitable formula if it makes it through the bank holiday weekend, but having read other posts I can't seem to find a consensus. I have used the Harrisson's neonate mix before, but i'm happy to try something else if the experts on here suggest it! I have a very small crop tube, but at the size the baby is now i'm not sure its small enough, so shall I continue with the toothpick?

    Any help appreciated, thanks.
     
  2. poohdog

    poohdog PetForums VIP

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    You've got more bottle than me with tiny chicks.I usually leave these things to nature as the percentage survivors is so small.As for the correct mixture I've no idea but would expect Google to provide an answer.Mashed hard boiled egg provides plenty of protein but whether suitable as a continuous all round food I don't know.
    It's a shame you let so many eggs accumulate as the one chick plus maybe two other eggs might have kept her interested.

    As for male zebras, they are well known for 'sandwiching' eggs and will keep building if the nest material is available.

    Have you tried a small syringe without a needle?
     
  3. Phoenix24

    Phoenix24 PetForums Senior

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    I honestly didn't expect any of the eggs to hatch - she's had a few clutches now that have completely failed, if I had known this time was going to do anything I might have removed some.

    I have some 1ml syringes but they are too big. I have been getting crumbs of the soaked EMP onto the tip of the toothpick and that just about works for fitting inside the mouth.

    I don't expect it to make it, but I will do my best. *gulp*
     
  4. poohdog

    poohdog PetForums VIP

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    Good luck....
     
  5. Phoenix24

    Phoenix24 PetForums Senior

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    I'm afraid the little baby died this morning. I think he got too hot, as he was fine at his first feed at 6am, but then I covered him over to snuggle him down and obviously he couldn't get back out again to cool down.

    I guess I learn something new every time I get a baby to raise.
     
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