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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi it’s been awhile since I’ve been on. I breed parrotlets. I have 4 pairs. One of my pairs has over the last couple years have had the same problems, in each clutch they have chicks hatch and do well and chicks that are dead after hatching. I’ve been stumped as to why this one pair has had these issues, she’s a good mom to her surviving chicks and quite protective. It’s so hard for me to find the dead babes, 😔 I so want to figure this out . Anyone?
 

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I don't have an expertise in this, but I wanted to say I'm sorry you're dealing with it. Could it be a genetic problem with one or both of the parents? Again, no expertise, but since it's consistent problem with them that'd be my guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't have an expertise in this, but I wanted to say I'm sorry you're dealing with it. Could it be a genetic problem with one or both of the parents? Again, no expertise, but since it's consistent problem with them that'd be my guess.
Thanks for just reaching out, I appreciate it! ❣
 

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Dead chicks, That would be the part of breeding I would hate.
 

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That is a tough thing to see. It could be genetics. May I ask, " What is the physical condition of the chicks when you find them dead? " I know the sometimes the male will kill the chicks. Also, do you get to see them alive at any time?

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That is a tough thing to see. It could be genetics. May I ask, " What is the physical condition of the chicks when you find them dead? " I know the sometimes the male will kill the chicks. Also, do you get to see them alive at any time?

David
They look fine, normal, and no I haven’t seen any alive. It’s like they pip out and die.
 

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It might be difficult to get to the bottom of this one. I'm wondering if it could be that mom is not feeding all the chicks and keeping them warm after they hatch. How big are the clutches? Is the nest box large or small? How old are mom and dad?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It might be difficult to get to the bottom of this one. I'm wondering if it could be that mom is not feeding all the chicks and keeping them warm after they hatch. How big are the clutches? Is the nest box large or small? How old are mom and dad?
Unsure on the age, the person I got them from about 4 years ago didn’t know. When I check I always see the dead chick pushed off to the side, so wether she sets on them I don’t know..her clutches range from 5 to 8 eggs., this clutch was eight. I make sure they have plenty of calcium seed and pellet And veggies. Her nest box is the same as my other parrotlets .
 

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Unsure on the age, the person I got them from about 4 years ago didn’t know. When I check I always see the dead chick pushed off to the side, so wether she sets on them I don’t know..her clutches range from 5 to 8 eggs., this clutch was eight. I make sure they have plenty of calcium seed and pellet And veggies. Her nest box is the same as my other parrotlets .

Eight is a big clutch. I'm far from an expert on this but if you've noticed that this happens more with the big clutches, I think that may be the problem. She may be instincutally neglecting some of the chicks so that the rest can survive. You may want to find an experienced breeder to consult with for strategies to address it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Eight is a big clutch. I'm far from an expert on this but if you've noticed that this happens more with the big clutches, I think that may be the problem. She may be instincutally neglecting some of the chicks so that the rest can survive. You may want to find an experienced breeder to consult with for strategies to address it.
That seems possible...gives
me some things to consider. Appreciate your feedback..
 

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First off I want to say I'm terribly sorry, I know any death is very hard especially with babies but sometimes for reasons unknown they can fail to thrive even if you did everything right. I have no breeding experience but I do have a degree in biology and have working in avian conservation and from professional experience we look for the following things when baby birds fail to thrive:
  1. Examine the cloaca- you are looking for white discharge. This can either be from bacterial infection or from the kidneys failing to develop (there's unfortunately not a good way to tell which it is). If there is no discharge but the feathers around the cloaca look lumpy the chick has experienced some sort of stress this could be because they had a hard time hatching, mother or father intervened when they shouldn't have... stress is a very broad term I'm sorry it cant be more specific.
  2. Check the naval area- If the naval is closed the yolk sac failed to fully withdraw, that is a genetic mutation that occurs randomly, although some genetic pairs for whatever reason are prone to more mutations than others. If the naval is open that likely means infection.
  3. What position were the chicks in when they were found? If the neck is twisted back and up (we call it stargazing but the medical term is Torticollis) that's likely a bacterial infection causing meningitis. If they're on their stomachs, head forward, feet back, they likely choked which can be bacterial or just a genetic failure of the lungs to develop and expel fluid like their supposed to.
I would highly doubt that any of the babies had a bacterial infection based on the timeline but I wouldn't be able to know unless I examined them personally. It is possible for naturally occurring bacteria that don't harm adult birds to harm babies because their immune system isn't fully built yet. There are so many things that go into development in chicks that even science doesn't know. I know the weather has been doing some funky things this year all around the globe that is having an effect on domesticated birds- its a big question in veterinary science right now (granted my specialty is infectious disease and not veterinary science), age of the mother, humidity, clutch size, there are so many variables. If you really really wanted to know the specific cause of death you can submit the chicks to state diagnostic laboratories in the U.S. (I would also assume an avian vet could do this?)- they will autopsy the chicks and run pathological diagnostics for you and tell you the exact reason why. I'm sorry for your loss I hoped any of this information could help you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
First off I want to say I'm terribly sorry, I know any death is very hard especially with babies but sometimes for reasons unknown they can fail to thrive even if you did everything right. I have no breeding experience but I do have a degree in biology and have working in avian conservation and from professional experience we look for the following things when baby birds fail to thrive:
  1. Examine the cloaca- you are looking for white discharge. This can either be from bacterial infection or from the kidneys failing to develop (there's unfortunately not a good way to tell which it is). If there is no discharge but the feathers around the cloaca look lumpy the chick has experienced some sort of stress this could be because they had a hard time hatching, mother or father intervened when they shouldn't have... stress is a very broad term I'm sorry it cant be more specific.
  2. Check the naval area- If the naval is closed the yolk sac failed to fully withdraw, that is a genetic mutation that occurs randomly, although some genetic pairs for whatever reason are prone to more mutations than others. If the naval is open that likely means infection.
  3. What position were the chicks in when they were found? If the neck is twisted back and up (we call it stargazing but the medical term is Torticollis) that's likely a bacterial infection causing meningitis. If they're on their stomachs, head forward, feet back, they likely choked which can be bacterial or just a genetic failure of the lungs to develop and expel fluid like their supposed to.
I would highly doubt that any of the babies had a bacterial infection based on the timeline but I wouldn't be able to know unless I examined them personally. It is possible for naturally occurring bacteria that don't harm adult birds to harm babies because their immune system isn't fully built yet. There are so many things that go into development in chicks that even science doesn't know. I know the weather has been doing some funky things this year all around the globe that is having an effect on domesticated birds- its a big question in veterinary science right now (granted my specialty is infectious disease and not veterinary science), age of the mother, humidity, clutch size, there are so many variables. If you really really wanted to know the specific cause of death you can submit the chicks to state diagnostic laboratories in the U.S. (I would also assume an avian vet could do this?)- they will autopsy the chicks and run pathological diagnostics for you and tell you the exact reason why. I'm sorry for your loss I hoped any of this information could help you!
Wow, this is extremely helpful. I agree so many variables. I do know there is a avian vet here. I will definitely take your advise. On the chicks, one looked as if it was still in the egg, like it was stillborn, the other was stretched out a bit, possibly lived for a very short period. I have today three live chicks and look healthy with full crops. I’m so happy that she seems to be taking good care of them as usual. Thank you so much..❤
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