Birds--General/Budgie Babies and hand feeding
Hello, my budgie will start laying eggs soon and I was wandering, if I were to hand feed the chicks not completely but once a day( my hen would do the rest ) would they become more attached or bonded towards me ?
It really varies by species, but this is what I have found for budgies: You should first let the chicks spend a number of weeks with their mother. Right after they hatch they get essential crop milk from the mother, which is full of antibodies and nutrients that help the chicks fight off disease until they can develop their own immune system.
During the first few weeks they need fed almost constantly day and night until they grow in size and can fit more food in their crop. They are also very small at first and it is much easier to harm them during the hand feeding process. Deciding on an age to pull them at is very important for their health and well being, and should not be rushed if you can help it.
Most breeders prefer to begin hand feeding at 2 or 3 weeks of age, and this is mostly a matter of personal preference. Some say that pulling at 2 weeks will make them tamer or more bonded. At 3 weeks you have the added advantage of not needing an added heat source, where as if you decide to begin at 2 weeks supplemental heat can be needed.
You can not start any later than 3 weeks though if you want the process to go smoothly, and for the chicks to take to hand feeding the easiest.
Hope that helps.