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Our feral pair had 2 oops babies. Both eggs hatched and both chicks are doing great. Getting fat and huge already! Both chicks are roughly the same size.The parents (both of them) are doing a wonderful job of caring for the chicks.The babies are almost 1 week old.They were born easter weekend..I have some questions for ''down the road''........

* When do chicks wean from parent feeding and begin to eat on their own? What is best to feed the weanling chicks?

* At what age is it safe to begin handling the babies,to begin the taming process? Will mom or dad refuse to feed them,if I handle them?? When should I band them? What band type is best for pet birds?(slip on,snap on or coil)

* Should the nestmates be seporated when they get older if they are a cock and hen?? If so what age??? If both are paired in a pen as juviniles,along with unmated unrelated birds, how likely would it be that they would ''pair up'' if given a choice of an unrelated mate?? Would this be harmful to the babies,if they did pair up,if i missed an egg,and they had a baby together??

How can I tell a cock from a hen,when they are young?? At what age should I try and determine gender?

What age are they considered independant from the parents??

Thanks in advance.
 

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There are different situations in different lofts then there is a book answer but for me I really try not to handle the babies unless I really have too (banding) about 6 or 7 days into the process of babies. Pigeon milk for me was 8 or 9 days sometimes lucky 10 days the more the better--important part of life here...When babies bird are on hand I support a good pigeon seed mix with different varieties of small seed:wild bird seed and finch seed but leave the regular mix down as well. I also give them romaine lettuce but it depends on the time of year and also I sit out there until everyone is finished with it and I pick it up immediately--I am fussing at this point because I don't want to attract flies or anything on the fresh foods. right now no flies --good for giving little extra"s like this... Parents can abandone their birds for different reasons so I don't really handle them much until babies are eating on their own because I don't want any extra work and problems for myself by having to feed them but as they grow I do a kind of spot check on things-mouth and naval and a good general take a look at things. I do not separate my nest mates because there is still time for them to get mature and if unmated cocks and hens are available they tend to pick out ones about their same age and they usually pick well and if they pick wrong then I separate and pick for them (no inbreeding for me).. I do have a pair that is brother and sister (ops) and they had two babies that are just fine--both looked like the father..6 or 7 years old now...and their babies were fine as well....nothing unusual here for me......I consider them independent from the parents after they get through crying or motioning from their parents that they want more food and they are eating and flying on their own but I noticed that the father even after weaning time is giving the babies lessons in things they might have to be aware of and one example is sexual in nature--sharing mouths and getting low by baby doing and things of that nature...and other things too--learning process here... It is difficult for me to tell a cock from a hen but I go strickly by behavior when they are young and suppose what one is or not--sometimes I am wrong and have to change their name. All this stuff is debateable because people have different experiences and also there are book answers as well but in my opinion independence starts when they eat and fly and jump around and ignore the parents but I also feel that they know who the parents are and might treat them like they do other birds fighting etc but there seems to be still a connection of some kind there--can't really explain---and parents will eventually fight them off and make them get their own nest box---this is independence to me.. I answered your questions the best I could according to how I do and I am sure other people have different experiences and know hows---The most important thing for me in regard to babies is to get them to full term where they are weaned by their parents and they begin their own independent life and with this I am a real cautious type of person and I don't bother them too much knowing those parents for any reason can abandone them at anytime and I have never had it happen but I know it does sometimes...Banding for pet birds I don't know about because wild birds babies I leave unbanded and the rest I go according to my clubs (mookee's or racers or whatever I have but I have not had a baby in years because I am not breeding at this time) I did the best that I could with your questions...c.hert
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
There are different situations in different lofts then there is a book answer but for me I really try not to handle the babies unless I really have too (banding) about 6 or 7 days into the process of babies. Pigeon milk for me was 8 or 9 days sometimes lucky 10 days the more the better--important part of life here...When babies bird are on hand I support a good pigeon seed mix with different varieties of small seed:wild bird seed and finch seed but leave the regular mix down as well. I also give them romaine lettuce but it depends on the time of year and also I sit out there until everyone is finished with it and I pick it up immediately--I am fussing at this point because I don't want to attract flies or anything on the fresh foods. right now no flies --good for giving little extra"s like this... Parents can abandone their birds for different reasons so I don't really handle them much until babies are eating on their own because I don't want any extra work and problems for myself by having to feed them but as they grow I do a kind of spot check on things-mouth and naval and a good general take a look at things. I do not separate my nest mates because there is still time for them to get mature and if unmated cocks and hens are available they tend to pick out ones about their same age and they usually pick well and if they pick wrong then I separate and pick for them (no inbreeding for me).. I do have a pair that is brother and sister (ops) and they had two babies that are just fine--both looked like the father..6 or 7 years old now...and their babies were fine as well....nothing unusual here for me......I consider them independent from the parents after they get through crying or motioning from their parents that they want more food and they are eating and flying on their own but I noticed that the father even after weaning time is giving the babies lessons in things they might have to be aware of and one example is sexual in nature--sharing mouths and getting low by baby doing and things of that nature...and other things too--learning process here... It is difficult for me to tell a cock from a hen but I go strickly by behavior when they are young and suppose what one is or not--sometimes I am wrong and have to change their name. All this stuff is debateable because people have different experiences and also there are book answers as well but in my opinion independence starts when they eat and fly and jump around and ignore the parents but I also feel that they know who the parents are and might treat them like they do other birds fighting etc but there seems to be still a connection of some kind there--can't really explain---and parents will eventually fight them off and make them get their own nest box---this is independence to me.. I answered your questions the best I could according to how I do and I am sure other people have different experiences and know hows---The most important thing for me in regard to babies is to get them to full term where they are weaned by their parents and they begin their own independent life and with this I am a real cautious type of person and I don't bother them too much knowing those parents for any reason can abandone them at anytime and I have never had it happen but I know it does sometimes...Banding for pet birds I don't know about because wild birds babies I leave unbanded and the rest I go according to my clubs (mookee's or racers or whatever I have but I have not had a baby in years because I am not breeding at this time) I did the best that I could with your questions...c.hert
Thank you for the info. I guess I will snap band them at a later age,since I have no idea how large they will be (sizing wise) and they are simply banded for my records and if they were to get loose by accident (god forbid) someone would know they were a tame bird.They are almost 7 days old now,so too late to order in slip on bands.When the parent birds start asking them to leave,then I will switch them to an adjacent pen,near their parents.
Im not trying to really breed them.It kinda just happened.Honestly,they are so darn cute when they are hatched!!! Any pij babies that would occur,for whatever reason,I would be keeping.As far as sexing them,I havent a clue.I'm likely going to use unisex names for them,so whatever they turn out-the name stays. lol.
I have a fairly small diet mix right now,parakeet seed,wild bird,black oils and pigeon grain mix,along with game bird crumbles,and free access to calcium,minerals and grit.I add a vitamin to the water 3 times a week.Fresh water at least 2 x a day.
 

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Sounds like just a wonderful set up and yes that is one thing that I miss in my loft baby birds because they are so very cute and your birds are very lucky to have a good grandparent like you lol c.hert
 
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