Sunday, April 11, 2010

This Weeks Sharing Tips or Questions For Big Bird

Post your tips or questions that are unrelated to this week posts here.


Richard of Richard's Roost shared a tip on feeding fresh crushed hemp! Thanks Richard, I was looking at it at the health food store yesterday, think I will head back about get some.

Got a bird that is not holding its feathers tight? Offer it a dish of steel cut oats and refrain from feeding egg containing egg food. The next morning, you won't believe the improvement!!


What do you do in the colony breeding method when one hen is setting and the other is laying, do you put egg food in the cage?

Is it too late to treat birds ready for breeding for mites?

What do you do when parents single out a chick and refuse to feed it?

What can you do about a stiff hind claw? It is not a slip claw but it is stiff and does not grip the perch.


Anonymous said...

Question: what do you do when a pair continues to not feed one chick in particular. In this case, I moved the poor thing to another good feeding hen with chicks the same size. The chick begs, but once again, they are not feeding it. I am starting to supplement feed it today. It looks a week behind the others in developement and is now too thin.

Leng said...

Hi Linda, have you ever had young birds with a stiff hind claw? Not a slip claw but a stiff claw. This particular young bird can't seem to curl the hind claw to grasp the perch. I wonder if I did something to the claw when I banded this chick although I don't remember being forceful when I was putting the band on.

Linda Hogan said...

Sometimes one chick in a nest will be singled out and not fed by the parents. I have often wondered if they sense something is wrong with the chick and therefore do not feed it just like when eggs are infertile, an astute hen will toss them out of the nest.

Like you, I have tried moving the chick, often the adoptive parents will not feed it either, and done supplemental feeding. This year, I am using Kaytee Exact Handrearing formula when I absolutely must supplement. If you remember the story of the tame bird Wilbur from October, he was hand fed from day two and is a beautiful bird!

Hope is always there and yes I try to save them but alas nature has won most of those attempts.

Linda Hogan said...

If he is eating well etc, I would change his perches to clothes line cloth rope and see if he will learn to use it. If that does not work, I would use papertape (medical tape) to make a mold that forms the foot in a natural curve position.

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda,

I have an eldery friend, who has taught me a lot about canaries, and he is having trouble keeping up with all of his canaries and outside animals this year and asked me if I would set up six pairs for him at my house, take care of babies, etc. I'm very happy to help my old friend, but I have one reservation. He doesn't treat his birds for mites.

I will keep his birds separate from mine but I also may want to treat his birds for mites. His birds are ready to be paired immediately. Would it be safe to treat them with one drop of the Frontline Spray this close to breeding and laying eggs?


Linda Hogan said...

Unless I was aware of a mite problem, I would not treat them for mites.

Treatment with ivermectin would not be good as it could effect fertility when used this late. Frontline spray is less toxic and probably would be safe but my recommendation is don't worry about mites...Listen to birds breathing after dark for any clicking

Linda Hogan said...

The more I work with birds the more amazed I am that the birds know exactly what they should do! I guess birds in the wild do well without my assistance!!

When one hen is setting in the colony and the other is laying, I continue to feed the egg food till the second hen finishes. I also go ahead and add a dish of hemp seed for the setting hen. I have watched them and the laying hen will eat the egg food and the nesting hen will ignore it. It has never been a problem.

Both laying and nesting hens, and probably all birds, go for the hemp. This is not a problem for either.

Anonymous said...

Linda, as you know our hemp has been sterilized. I discovered last year that the health food store sells fresh crushed hemp in the refrigerated section. Crushing "denatures" thus satisfying the law. No sterilization necessary. My birds LOVE it!

Thanks for the answer about feeding. I posted it on the colony breeding original post. Are you trying to trick me :)

Anonymous said...


Stiff hind claw in Borders is HEREDITORY.

Never be tempted to breed from a bird that has stiff hind claw. Sometimes you will get some movemnet back by breaking the stiff toe, but they are never the same.

Bottom line, stiff hind claw young and parents OUT!

Anonymous said...

Hi Leng,

When I get a bird that does not grip the perch properly like yours, I remove the regular perches and use a wire clothing hanger. Cut a long piece of it and slide it from the top of the cage front (one corner) to the bottom in the opposite corner. The bird having no other place to perch will eventually learn to grip the thin wire because if it doesn't it will either keep missing a perching position or it will keep sliding down to the bottom. The lesson is quickly learned, in order to perch GRIP, and keep the GRIP!!

Hope it helps,

Leng said...

Thanks Linda and all for the tips. Anonymous, the parents don't have any problems with their claws but just in case... maybe I'll give the bird away to someone as a pet if the hind claw improves.

Shawn, a friend of mine recommended that I use a 1/8" dowel placed at 35 to 45 degree angle in the cage. I found 3/16" dowels and have been using that as perches for the past week. I tied one end of the dowel to the cage front with wires (dowel at about 35 degree angle) and left the other side free to move. Using the thin dowel has slightly improved the grasp but nothing significant yet.

Shawn said...

Hi Leng,

The dowel should also do the trick, but what I especially like about the hanger is that it is very thin and forces the bird to grip so that it does not slide down to the bottom of the cage. Have a go at it, I am sure that it will help also.