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So cute! It reminds me of Milo at that age! :grey tiel:
 

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They're so cute :D congrats!!
 

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Awww adorable!!! Just curious, why surrogate parents? I've had to use surrogates in the past (I had a hen that did almost nothing her first clutch and had two males raise her babies, then the second year I bred her, the males no longer wanted to work together and she kept killing babies. I had to give her last baby to my other hen and her mate to raise.) I'm always interested to here how things work out for other breeders.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the replies. :)

Awww adorable!!! Just curious, why surrogate parents? I've had to use surrogates in the past (I had a hen that did almost nothing her first clutch and had two males raise her babies, then the second year I bred her, the males no longer wanted to work together and she kept killing babies. I had to give her last baby to my other hen and her mate to raise.) I'm always interested to here how things work out for other breeders.
The actual parents are bad sitters and inexperienced. For a time, I had another hen that would sit in the box with them and this greatly improved the hatch rate. A few months back, that extra hen got rushed to the vet because her nose was bleeding, breathing in blood (not good) after getting attacked by the male of that pair forcing me to separate her from the other two.

I still give Godric and Rocky chances (the biological parents) just less of a chance. Godric lays six eggs usually that seems to be her number. Pikachu usually lays three eggs so I tend to foster three to Pikachu. I am a little afraid Godric and Rocky got too used to that other hen helping out. The three eggs they kept did not survive this time.

Something is kind of up with Pikachu and very few of her own eggs ever survive making it to hatch time. I don't know why that is and have tried everything to fix it. Changing the diet, adding heat pads, improving humidity etc. I never get more than one or (if I'm lucky) two biological children from Pikachu in a clutch at a time but her and Zero are good parents. So, I sit and wait until one of Pikachu's eggs goes bad, then trade the bad egg for a good one of Godric's. The fostered eggs I give to Pikachu almost always hatch which suggests to me whatever problem it is isn't behavioral.

One thing that stands out is, Pikachu's eggs are tiny compared to the eggs my other cockatiels lay; I have often wondered if that is a factor. I can't say for sure.

Another thing I notice is, Rocky and Godric's chicks look healthier and beefier overall. More like Rocky himself. I don't know if that's his own genetics contributing or if there are some bad genes between Zero and Pikachu.

I have also fostered to a single hen and hand-fed to supplement as well. That was okay, it seems like fostering to a full pair and immediate family yielded better results. However, my experience in this is limited. I do not have many sitting hens.
 

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They are just so dang adorable!!
 

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Yea I had to do that the last time I bred, the hen I had was used to the two males doing everything the year before, so she did almost nothing but her mate assumed she was because she was kicking him out of the box. Like you, I fostered the last remaining egg to another pair and it did fine there.

Pikachu's smaller eggs could definitely contribute to the fact that her babies don't hatch as often. Have you tried calcium supplements for just her to see if that helps?

And the babies look adorable!
 

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Yea I had to do that the last time I bred, the hen I had was used to the two males doing everything the year before, so she did almost nothing but her mate assumed she was because she was kicking him out of the box. Like you, I fostered the last remaining egg to another pair and it did fine there.

Pikachu's smaller eggs could definitely contribute to the fact that her babies don't hatch as often. Have you tried calcium supplements for just her to see if that helps?

And the babies look adorable!
Tried calcium powder, gound up mineral block, kale, broccoli, and brewers yeast. Though... now that you make me sit and think about it, the one time she did hatch out three she was very young and on a all pellet diet. Two of those three did not live through the first night. Nothing I have ever done made her eggs any bigger, at this point I believe that is impossible. A balanced diet does seem to increase the odds of an egg hatching, but only so much.

I love spending time with the chicks, never really like giving them away to other families. But it would be impossible to keep them all. I try to keep a set realistic number and pace myself. When the thoughts creep into my mind about keeping more, I just look at the price of a 40 lb bag of pellets that usually lasts me a year, think of what it would like to buy two of them and immediately change my mind lol. It isn't all fun and games, when clutches get abandoned its hard work. Something to keep busy.
 

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Another update. The blurry cockatiel in the background is their older brother. The cinnamon on the right is their biological mother. Getting closer to weaning they fly and follow me around begging for food now. I was doing a mission on Assassins Creed the video game the other day and they kept landing on my head haha.
 

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Tried calcium powder, gound up mineral block, kale, broccoli, and brewers yeast. Though... now that you make me sit and think about it, the one time she did hatch out three she was very young and on a all pellet diet. Two of those three did not live through the first night. Nothing I have ever done made her eggs any bigger, at this point I believe that is impossible. A balanced diet does seem to increase the odds of an egg hatching, but only so much.
Probably not but it can't hurt right? Do you also offer Vit D? Vit D helps in the absorption of the calcium. Honestly, it could be that she sits wrong. Egg size does vary from hen to hen and this could be a hereditary trait for her.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Probably not but it can't hurt right? Do you also offer Vit D? Vit D helps in the absorption of the calcium. Honestly, it could be that she sits wrong. Egg size does vary from hen to hen and this could be a hereditary trait for her.
I was thinking this was something hereditary as well.

Rocky and Godric laid another clutch. In an odd twist of fate, their oldest son (the oldest one I have at least) Vamp took over some sitting and feeding duties. That's Vamp there, doesn't quite have the full male plumage yet he's still pretty young. 8 months I think.
 

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Awww he's in training lol!!!
 
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