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When to separate babies from parents?

408 Views 10 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Eiman
My cockatiels laid 8 eggs, 5 hatched and so far only two survived. The elder now is 15 days old and the other is about 12 days. Today I found both were on the base of the cage and they fell out of the box.
I wanna know when do I separate them from parents so that I hand feed them and teach them how to eat themselves.
Also, I wanna fully clean the cage and the box but I'm afraid that the parents don't recognise it anymore and stop feeding the babies inside.

What do I do?
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Have you ever handfed before? Feeding them at a very young age has its pros and cons. I will usually pull mine around 3 weeks old to handfeed, but you can pull them at whatever age as long as you know what you're doing. Why do you want to separate them from the parents if the parents are doing a good job? They will only begin to eat on their own when they are around 4 to 5 weeks old, but every chick is different so some will try eating solid food sooner while others won't until way later.
You don't have to handfeed them if you're cleaning the cage. I wouldn't change the cage around or buy a new one until the chicks are gone as they will most likely abandon their chicks if everything is changed or if they are put in a new cage. I would just do a quick clean of the cage, nothing too serious. I find the best age to start hand feeding is around 3 weeks. I've fed chicks at 4 weeks before, and it's hard to get them used to the syringe. When I've fed chicks at 3 weeks, they take it quite readily and are much easier to feed. Are they in a nesting box? At that age, they don't really walk too much. When they get to about 3 weeks, they are getting more curious and will walk more. Depending on if you handfeed them, they will be able to have space to walk. And if you decide not to handfeed them, you can still handle them when the parents aren't feeding them and let them out to walk and play.
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Depending on the size of the cage, you could remove the box when they are around 3 to 4 weeks old and let them live on the bottom of the cage. That way, the parents can still feed them, and they can learn to climb (as long as it's not too high of a climb). They'll also have plenty of space to walk around. That's what I've done with mine when I didn't pull them early to handfeed.
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