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Posted 7/3/2012 11:42:15 AM Post #3036
 

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I pulled a clutch of 5 quaker babies 3 weeks ago, and all are doing fine. The day I pulled the babies, I was surprised to find 5 instead of the 4 babies I had been counting weekly. A rather big clutch for the parents - they usually care for 3 or 4.

I had to do a lot of beak cleaning...their beaks weren't covered in feces, but with dried crop milk and wet pellets. I check the boxes once a week, and the week before everyone was clean. In the future, I'll check in more, but with my quakers it can be difficult to really get in the box and check everyone out - I'll do my best. Anyway, everyone cleaned up well and, although this was a bigger clutch for these parents, all were fat and healthy. The youngest of the clutch had the most buildup, and his lower beak was very pitted after I cleaned it. As he grows each day, it gets better and better, and the alignment is perfect. The upper edge of the bottom beak is slightly pale in color. I looked very closely at his feathers and he has two stress bars at the tip of his tail, which, after all my research, I have concluded that the time of stress was during his time in the nestbox. I hope so, anyway...because I also read that it is due to a period of starvation...and with me, these guys have never missed a meal.

I read and read articles where people state that stress bars are an indication of poor husbandry, and people shouldn't buy birds like that. I feel very very guilty. I obviously should have pulled them the week before, but I honestly did not foresee this happening, as all my parents are awesome with the babies, and have been successfully caring for their babies for several years now.

I guess my question is, has anyone ever seen such a buildup of crop milk on the babies? It's almost like the parents were throwing it all over trying to wean them. The reason I say this is, the babies all started to wean quite early. They are eating really well, weight is good, feathers are good except for the two stress bars...eyes are bright and they are all over the place playing. The 2 stress bars on the tail are really bothering me a lot, as is the littlest babies beak. Am I overreacting? If I find more than 4 babies next time, should I pull them at 2 weeks?
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