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Three day old Amazon chick


handrearing information 2015


We appreciate the visits from the people that log on to our web site, so in return we provide information on the likes of handrearing and other management issues collected over the years in an easy to understand format without delving too deeply into it all.









The following information is on chicks hatched in an incubator and so started from the egg.








We have recorded information on amazon handrearing for many years and the Amazona species is one of our favourite to handrear.

They are not hard to rear with the right equipment.
















As always, prevention is better than cure! With this we mean, if you do not make any mistakes, then the job is easy?
Before you race off and buy the latest "You-beaut" equipment, consider these facts:


The chicks are in small containers, so do not get a tall brooder as you will not be able to keep the temperature at the right level. Most of the time it is best to use a small incubator as a brooder if you only have a few eggs or chicks to do.






















We recommend the 'Brinsea' Polyhatch incubator, which takes 41 chicken eggs to give you an idea on floor space or an incubator/brooder similar in shape. If the egg spacers are pulled out, you have enough room for a container of water and about eight medium size take-away containers. This incubator is low cost, accurate and easy to clean. They do need two hinges on the back and a handle up the front which do not come with the machine but are easy enough to add.








Also, a warning


******** when the chicks are about 15 days old or older and when hand rearing the larger type of birds like : Amazons - Macaws - Eclectus - Gang gangs - Blacks - Majors etc., they like to beak and bob on the warming element so when the lid is lifted the chick performs a disappearing act and is actually hanging by the beak from the element! Take care then that the chick does not fall when the lid is opened.















Yellow-naped Amazon chick just hatched









At this stage you can either use a larger brooder or use a spacer between the top of the incubator and the bottom or use a cardboard box with wood shavings and a heating pad in an (and we stress) up-right position so the chick can move towards or away from the heat source as it wants to.




Young Yellow-naped Amazon chicks warming against heating-pad in cardboard box



Hand rearing is mostly the same for most species. After hatching we wait till the chick has passed meconium (the first 'dark poo'), after that you can start with an electrolyte like Hartmann's Solution. It is recomended that you dilute the solution by 50% with a good water source.



Yellow-crowned Amazon young chicks




The Vetafarm's 'Neocare formula' works well right from the start but needs to be used carefully. From our experience this product should only be used for the first 7 days. The reason for this is that it works too well or the chicks are growing so fast that it tends to put a strain on the internal organs.

The result we end up with is a burgundy red stain in the bottom of the container holding the chicks.

This is an indication of internal bleeding of some type, when you see the slightest staining stop using this product and move over to "Kaytee handrearing formula" or similar product of your choice. We have mainly encountered this with the Amazon species. Other bird breeders of different species have not reported issues with the product.

No harm is done if the Vetafarm Neocare formula is used only for the first week and changed to another product for chicks at 7 days young and on.











Young Lilac-crowned Amazon chicks











WARNING: never ever use rain water without boiling for five minutes!


Why? well rain water comes off the roof where dirt gathers and the wild birds can defecate, it then is collected in a tank and is incubated during summer to make a lethal concoction for neonates.







So we start hydrating and then with the 'Neocare formula', use this every 2 to 2.1/2 hrs for at least 48 hrs, you do not have to feed during the night if you can do the last feed at around 11.30 - 12 pm and the next at say 6-7 am. Take this advice from our experience, we have spent many a sleepless night or disturbed night playing 'sleep-tag' in the distant past and assure you that it is better to have a good sleep than to struggle to stay awake or get up three times during the night for nothing, stress out the next day and to be coping with sleep-deprivation.

It is more important that the chicks clean out completely overnight than to get an extra two grams on the weight chart.

The reason for this is that in the beginning it is easy to over feed and if the food is not going fast and smoothly enough through the chick then the end result will be sour crop or gut stasis. Both these cases are hard to turn around and if you succeed you will still often end up with a stunted chick.
Hand rearing from the egg is a long job that needs stamina and a plan of attack, the more rest you can get the better you will be able to cope. You are in for at least 9 weeks work, but the hard work is pretty well over after the first week. Most of the details can be learned from the weight information table.







The information here is based on Blue-fronted Amazon bred in the 2015 breeding season handreared on 'Neocare formula' and 'Kaytee handrearing formula'. There are many fine handrearing formulas out there and most will do the same job. The chick's hatch weight is between 10 and 14.5 grams. All weights are in metric grams.

These days we use 'Neocare formula' for the first 6 to 7 days and 'Kaytee' handrearing mix thereafter. The 'Neocare formula' is fed very thin to replace the Hartmann's Solution, hydrating procedure we used in the early days, with this method the chick receives some food from the start.







Always withhold feeding until the chick has passed it's first dropping and if the abdomen is dark in appearance this indicates the chick has still retained some egg yolk. Wait till this clears before feeding the chick and ensure the chick has plenty of hydration (clean water) during this time.







Age


0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41




Daily
Weight

0
2.7
3.2
5.2
6.3
7.5
8
10
11
11
13
10
13
12
9
13
14
13
10
13
17
8
15
5
22
15
20
8
8
8
15
3
24
8
15
-1
0
11
9
5
-3
8




Total
Weight

11.3
13.7
17.0
22.2
28.5
35.0
43.0
53.0
64.0
75.0
88.0
98.0
111
123
132
145
159
172
182
195
212
220
235
240
262
277
297
305
313
321
336
339
363
371
386
385
385
396
405
410
407
415




Food
in Mls.

0.6
1
2
2.5
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
11
12
14
15
14
16
17
17
18
20
21
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
32
34
35
37
40
45
46
47
49
50




Rearing comments


Clean hatch fed very thin Neocare mix.
Fed thin formula for first 48 hrs.
Fed weak food mix of Neocare.
Fed every 2.5 hrs. from 7 am to 12 pm.
Humidity 55% - Temp: 36 Celsius.
Feeds slightly thicker each day.
Brooder Temperature: 35 Celsius.

Brooder Temperature: 34 Celsius.
Eyes slitting
6 Feeds, brooder Temperature: 34 Celsius.
5 Feeds.
5 Feeds. Eyes open
Pin feathers showing through skin. 5 Feeds.
5 Feeds. - Temp: 33 Celsius
5 Feeds. - Temp: 32 Celsius
5 Feeds. Closed rung.
Moved from brooder to cardboard box. 4 Feeds.
4 Feeds
4 Feeds
3 Feeds
3 Feeds
3 Feeds
3 Feeds
3 Feeds
3 Feeds
3 Feeds
3 Feeds
3 Feeds
3 Feeds
3 Feeds
3 Feeds
3 Feeds
3 Feeds
3 Feeds
2 Feeds
2 Feeds
2 Feeds
2 Feeds, Transferred to a weaning cage
2 Feeds, soft food offered
1 Feed plus soft food till weaned



Three day old Amazon chick








Clutch of four.








 Blue-fronted 19 days old.












Blue-fronted 24 days old.








Blue-fronted young 20 to 31 days old.








Weaning diet started from here on plus one feed a day.

Maximum weight is gained around day 44 and after this the chicks are trying to prepare to become airborne. They will then eat less and exercise the wings more to build up the wing muscles.

Weaning food should be offered prior to this time so they get a taste before they reduce input.





We hope this has been of some help to you.







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