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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For the last week, my 2 babies have been going to the floor and getting scalped. Because of that I've decided to put them on a cage and put them on the floor for the first time. Their underwings were not yet completely filled with feathers. It was their first time to spend the night on the floor. They have food on the cage. I've checked them this morning and they were still fine. When I checked them this afternoon I found both dead! Their poops were normal. The temperature last night was probably in the lower 60's, but there was a cold wind. What do you all think happened? Did they die because of the weather? They were doing fine and eating the afternoon before. The only change I did was putting them on the floor for the first time. Did I wean them too early? They are either between 3 weeks old going close to 4 weeks. I find this puzzling. Now, I feel guilty separating them from their parents.
 

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I probably wold have removed them and brought them inside and hand fed until they were older. Once the head pecking starts, the babies need to be removed.
 

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I'm sorry they didn't make it. I agree with Charis, in the future it's probably best just to bring them in. It seems like once they are targeted (head-pecking) they are in trouble. Are you certain they were eating on their own? When were they taken from their parents? I don't remember any of my babies eating on their own at three weeks, but then again I don't remember a lot of stuff. . .:rolleyes: I don't see how they would have starved in one day, especially with normal poops, or frozen in that weather as they have been left alone by parents at night for a week anyway. Sorry again, hope you figure it out.
 

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I am so sorry to hear of your loss.

None of my babies have ever weaned at 3 weeks - all were still sneaking at least one meal a day from their parents until they were between 5 and 6 weeks. Also, I supplement a feeding a day too in order to make sure they are getting enough food. I'm really sorry about your babies. That really stinks, I know how it feels to lose a baby - it's heartbreaking. I do agree with the others, next time isolate any babies getting scalped, either lock them in the nestbox with the parents or bring them in the house and handfeed twice a day until they are weaned.

:(
:(
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thanks guys! I've done this before isolating and weaning birds earlier than usual. My earliest at one time was between 2-3 weeks old. My birds learn to peck on food around 2 weeks old. By the 3rd week they usually can eat by themselves. I only put them on the floor for the first time. It was their first night on the floor. They have food in their crop before I put them down there. I was not expecting the results. All I notice is those underwing feathers are still not there which I believe is one of those criteria before weaning. I was thinking that they got chilled, but I really don't know the real answer. These babies were jumping from 4 feet high to the floor, but obviously they can't fly back up. I have nesting pairs on the floor which protects it vehemently. So they get scalped. I thought these babies will learn their lessons and not to jump down again, but they didn't. So I decided to isolate them from their parents and put them on a cage by themselves. I see them eat on their own. I watch my birds often and long. Obviously their parents feed them still. So they eat on their own and get feed by their parents as extra.

What sucks is that these are supposed to be a gift for my friend who has been waiting for almost 2 months to get them. He even provided the leg bands. Now they are gone. They are supposed to be pick up next week.

What also sucks is that I found a copper bb bullets on some tail feather on my other bird. Apparently someone is shooting my birds in the air. It also doesn't help that today a remnant of hawk kill was all-over my loft. It was crazy day today: Two birds dead, 1 with bullet, and one with a reminder of death.
 

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I am so sorry to hear about the devistation.

I appreciate your care and concern over the young, but it has been my experience that youngsters between 2 to 3 weeks of age are just not emotionally mature enough to mingle with older birds and able to fend off any attacking birds.

They are still learning how to eat and preen and flutter about (and they are still growing) , it is usually around the 4th week their interests start peaking about the world around them, and then they become more social creatures. I have removed my youngsters from the coop for an hour and longer as they get older. But they are isolated together in a sort of school environment with water/food but after an hour or two they go back to mom and dad. Once they are fully weaned at around 4 weeks of age then they should be seperated together where older birds can't take advantage of them. They learn to socialize and mingle with other birds their age which prepares them for future interaction with older birds.
 

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Thanks guys! I've done this before isolating and weaning birds earlier than usual. My earliest at one time was between 2-3 weeks old. My birds learn to peck on food around 2 weeks old. By the 3rd week they usually can eat by themselves. I only put them on the floor for the first time. It was their first night on the floor. They have food in their crop before I put them down there. I was not expecting the results. All I notice is those underwing feathers are still not there which I believe is one of those criteria before weaning. I was thinking that they got chilled, but I really don't know the real answer. These babies were jumping from 4 feet high to the floor, but obviously they can't fly back up. I have nesting pairs on the floor which protects it vehemently. So they get scalped. I thought these babies will learn their lessons and not to jump down again, but they didn't. So I decided to isolate them from their parents and put them on a cage by themselves. I see them eat on their own. I watch my birds often and long. Obviously their parents feed them still. So they eat on their own and get feed by their parents as extra.

What sucks is that these are supposed to be a gift for my friend who has been waiting for almost 2 months to get them. He even provided the leg bands. Now they are gone. They are supposed to be pick up next week.

What also sucks is that I found a copper bb bullets on some tail feather on my other bird. Apparently someone is shooting my birds in the air. It also doesn't help that today a remnant of hawk kill was all-over my loft. It was crazy day today: Two birds dead, 1 with bullet, and one with a reminder of death.
2 to 3 weeks!:eek: whats the hurry? they need to be drinking and eating completely on their own, why put them through the stress of being hungry and forceing them to seek out sustenance.....just don't get it. If you did not see them drink they could of died of dehydration....something killed them, so either the stress brought out something or they died of dehydration and hunger.....ugh!
 

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Sorry, but I have to say that I don't get it either. I care too much for my birds to ever put babies that young in a cage on the floor. I seriously doubt that they were eating enough on their own at that age. But even if they were eating, they could very well not have been drinking. That'll do it. How stressful that must have been on them, and on their parents to watch their babies die, and they can't even get to them. The time spent on weaning them and making sure that they could drink on their own would have been well worth the investment in time. So sad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
I think there is misunderstanding here. I only separated the babies from their parent for one day and put them on the floor by themselves with a cage. The next day they died (alive in the morning, dead in the afternoon with food on their crops). They have been with their parents all this long. It is just that this week both were jumping off from their nest box and going to the loft floor. They then get scalped because obviously they can't fly back up. I've then decided to prevent them from getting scalped by putting both babies on a cage on the floor. My nest boxes are open.

The 2-3 weeks old babies I had last time is a different story. I did that because I have this bully cock that goes in somebody else's nest boxes and scalped the babies while the parents are on the floor. The bully cock tries to oust the babies. Yes, I was able to wean 17 days old babies at one time. I put the seeds along with combo grit on the same small container mixed. I also put some water on a small container that they can actually drink, too. I, myself, can't believe it when I see them eat and drink by themselves at that age. All 4 babies grew up and one of them is now a breeding hen and laid her first egg at 4 months old. Imagine that! I would not have done this if I know from observation that it will not work. I also did that as a last resort. Because of this previous experience I thought my current babies will fair the same. Unfortunately they didn't.

The lesson here is not to wean them too early. And all the blame goes to me. I was thinking safety for the two babies, but I actually may have accidentally killed them. I just don't get why they died in just one day of separation. They have feathers, but without the underwing feathers yet.
 

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It's hard to breed when you have bully birds, and don't have separations in your loft. Is it only one cock who does this? Maybe the answer would be to confine him when the babies are hatching. If it is only one bully, and he continues to do this, I wouldn't keep him. He's the one that should be in a cage, not these sweet babies. If I HAD to separate these babies from the others, I would bring them in and feed them myself. But it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to have to keep doing this because of ONE bully. Either lock him up during breeding, or get rid of him. Maybe you could remove him for a while. Keep him separate from the rest. Out of the loft. After a couple of weeks, put him back in. Now he's the new guy on the block so to speak. Maybe he will have lost his order in the pecking order. I know this sounds crazy, but often it works. Often it quiets down the bully. They stop thinking that they own the loft.
 

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I know you must feel bad....another thing you can do is some kind of nest fronts, or block the nest boxes on one half of the box with the "door" or opening the opposite of the one next to it, the cock bird will have a chance to block any bird getting in his box, and the babies would be blocked from getting out of the box. I had to do this as open nest boxes invites trouble, any bird can go in anothers and peck at the babies and eat the others feed, it is good to put a small crock of feed in the boxes so the babies can see the parents eat and the parent bird does not have to go far to eat and then feed his young...getting some water only takes a sec so that would be fine left where you usually put it. but what I have done is when the babies are getting older and being fed only three or twice a day I do put in one of those quart milk containers and cut a hole in the side and put their beaks in the water a few times a day just so they know, when they can fly up and down then I take it out and the weaning starts at that point.
 
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