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So I've lost most of the clutch of Hershey's and Snowball's. Not really sure what is going on this time. New boxes, different (kaytee bedding) bedding this year, FSL lighting and cuttlebone, good diet (same diet from first time.) All the eggs hatched. That's what's getting me. So I'm wandering...is Hershey a bad mother? The first time they had the help of Fuzzy so I'm thinking, did Hershey actually do anything? Are these babies starving because Snowball is trusting her to do her job? I checked her droppings...they are normal (I compared them to srtiels site:D). So now I'm lost. I've been assist feeding, but last night I got home later then usual and I think that's why I lost the 3rd baby. Any ideas? All the babies look totally healthy (great intestines, chirping, everything) til I find them gone. Their beaks are bruised which I know means they were weak and mom/dad got frustrated and tried to feed them anyways. So confused...
 

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Is it possible that there's some kind of infection in your flock that doesn't bother the adults but is affecting the babies, and they become too weak to feed? It would be a good idea to get a necropsy on the latest baby and/or a vet exam on the parents. The first step in preventing future problems is to identify what's going wrong and fixing it. If your babies were healthy and well-fed otherwise they wouldn't die just because you were late with one assist feeding.

How did the babies' physical development compare with the normal development in Susanne's article at http://justcockatiels.weebly.com/watch-me-grow.html ? That baby was bigger than average so your chicks would probably weigh less, but the feather development and general growth should have been similar.

P.S. Another possibility is that a lethal gene is involved. Lethal genes can sometimes make a healthy-looking individual die suddenly and unexpectedly.
 

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They never got old enough to develop much, the two I have left are only 2 days and one day old. They did grow (the 3rd one lived to be three days old) but I don't know. Luckily I do still have the baby's body, so I'll take it to the vet today. I wasn't very satisfied with the last two necropsies they did for me (pretty much told me what they found but couldn't say what had caused it or give me anything to help the rest of the flock). But I have to figure out what is going on here!
 

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I'm so sorry that's terrible. I hope you find the problem. I remember all the problems you had last year. It's so sad ...
 

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This year is so strange... Srtiels had mentioned in my post about the possibility of erratic weather playing a part. I'm thinking that may be a big thing here as right now it is 49 degrees out! Fahrenheit of course! At night it will drop to the low 20s or teens.. but we really should be having a lot colder weather.
 

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Roxy....I'm not sure what is happening. Can you go back a couple generations to find aout anything about their background. Keep in mind that even if they were bought from different people, who did those people get their birds from? There could be a possibilty that they might be related.

Aside from the above, I have learned that a vitamin E deficiency is the main cause for weak chicks. Grrrr...The USDA changed their site. But I found a link on it where you can see what foods (it's a human foods site, but many foods we give are birds would be listed) contain Vitamin E: http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=22114
 

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Aside from the above, I have learned that a vitamin E deficiency is the main cause for weak chicks. Grrrr...The USDA changed their site. But I found a link on it where you can see what foods (it's a human foods site, but many foods we give are birds would be listed) contain Vitamin E: http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=22114
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Thank you! I'm going to do some research on this and use it. From what I know of their history, Hershey came from a breeder in Rancho Bernardo, CA. Her parents were not like to like (he gave me a card and I lost it in the move, its in a box somewhere in the house). Snowball came from a pet store in San Diego, but the breeder knew the owner of the pet store (I met him in their parking lot to pick Hershey up) SO there is still a possibility of them being related. The only reason I doubt this is because they have FIVE healthy chicks. Vit E deficiency sounds like it might be possible. I'm going to look into it in any case. Also taking the baby for the necropsy on Friday, I ran out of time today and tomorrow I wont be home all day thanks to school. To be honest, I don't expect these chicks to make it since their siblings didn't, but hopefully I can find out what's wrong and have successful future clutches.
 

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Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E according to http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=111 This news is going to make a lot of cockatiels very very happy.

If your tiels eat pellets and Nutriberries they would get some vitamin E there too. I hope the problem is something as simple as this and all your future clutches are happy and strong.
 

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OK...from what I am learning Vit. E is a fat soluble nutrient that gets stored in the liver. Protiens and lipids are also formed in the liver and are then transported thru the bloodstream to the follicles in the ovary, which form yolk spheres and fluids with nutients.

You might go thru the breeding record list of nutrient deficiencies to research the nutrients in all foods given.
 

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So I was doing some research (with Casey's help:D) and it turns out sunflower seeds are high in Vit. E. Not one of my birds eat sunflower seeds, I always end up throwing those out when I change their bowls. So, how do I get them to eat them?
 

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Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E
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Yes, very true. And another point, it is the body fat that stores a reserve of the fat soluble nutients. If you have a breeding hen that does not have fat reserves (this does not mean an over-weight bird, but a bird deprived of foods containing fat sources in the diet) then when she needs to draw on these nutrients they are not there, thus it can have an impact on the egg or new hatchling.
 

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Have you tried offering sunflower with the shells removed? Some tiels have never learned how to crack off the shells.

Once the shells are off it's easier to use the standard tricks: sprinkling the seeds on top of a food that they really love so they have to touch the sunflower to get the good stuff, holding it in your hand for them to eat, spreading it on a table and tapping your finger in it like a pecking bird, and pretending to eat it yourself. Or maybe REALLY eating it yourself - sunflower is delicious.
 

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Haha tielfan, yes it is!!! Guess I'm buying a bag of only sunflower seeds tomorrow and shelling them. I'll keep a bag of shelled seeds in their room and add it to their food every day. Tricky lil buggers I have!
 

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There's an easier way to do it if you have a natural-foods grocery with bulk bins. They usually have human-quality raw unsalted sunflower seed with the shells already off, and you can buy as much or as little as you want.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
That's great to know thanks!!! Gonna check out the store tomorrow in between classes! So this makes me wonder...formula has vit e in it right? So by feeding it to the babies am I helping them at all?
 

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formula has vit e in it right? So by feeding it to the babies am I helping them at all?
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This is like closing the gate after the horse escaped. The deficiency affects the chick during development and prior to hatch. I have to check but it has to do with tissue and muscle, which would include organs in the growing body.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
So it might not save them at all, only prolong their lives...seems like each one lives one day longer than the last. And this could be affecting ALL three clutches. Crap, why are my birds so lazy?
 
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