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Discussion Starter #1
Nasty subject I know.

I know of two different pairs of birds, owned by two different people. In one pair the male is the aggressor, the other the female is the aggressor. One parent will become aggressive, kill one of the babies (seemingly without any human interference) and feed it to the other babies it seems one parent will kill, but I think both eat the dead baby. The babies will continue to be killed one at a time untill there are no more, normally several days apart. Is this a protein problem, or a case of really bad abusive preening on the babies that gets carried away? I know of several birds like this, and I am sure somebody on here has had a similar problem because I know of 2 people with pairs that do this and I don't know that many people. I told this guy to pull the remaining baby and leave the good parent with the baby to look after the baby, and consider retiring the problem bird from breeding. I was thinking of some possible causes:
Lack of Protein
Lack of Salt (When chickens don't have salt they will peck one to death)
Lack of amusement (abusive preening carried away)
Mental problems, perhaps insanity? (seems quite unlikely)
Or perhaps something else.

I don't think this occurs in the wild, and I was wondering what unnatural condition causes this behavior. Has anybody found the solution to this problem?
 

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I'm not a breeder so can't help you with personal experiences. Hoping some of the breeders check in here and can give their opinions.
 

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Sorry I know zip about breeding also...there are some in here somewhere if you can find them...lol. Hope you find your answers ...good luck.
 

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This does seem like it could be a diet issue. I don't breed so it is only a guess. But I know animals can do strange things when they are vitamin/mineral deficiant
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Solution:

Hi;

I figured out the issue.
A guy I know had the same problem with some eclectus parrots he used to raise. The female would kill her young as soon as they hatched.
After much consideration I am sure I know the problem.
Closest I can figure it is that disturbing the parents causes them to become territorial. When the bird is riled they will attack any other bird. including their own babies. They will reject their babies if they have had too much interference in their nest. This is very common, and I knew this.
I knew of a guy who bred parrotlets, and he would open the top of the boxes, and about half of the pairs he had killed their own babies, or at least a few of them. So I knew "do not open the lid" is good advice.
What I didn't know about them is that if they become agitated, or something makes them upset they can often harm their own babies.
After they have a fit of rage, and kill their baby, they will then pick apart or destroy anything in their territory (cage/nestingbox). This leads it to look like they are killing them for a reason, when in fact it is unrelated to the actual killing.

One of the pairs of these problem parents decided to nest, and they began to let the eggs smash in the grate, so I advised him (the guy who has them) that he might as well give it a second try, as the eggs being laid will get laid in the next few days anyways, and then they at least have a shot at living, though not a very good one. So he gave them a box, and moved them to a different part of the house where it was more relaxed, and she rarely went into territorial fits of rage. This time she made an excellent parent, and raised her own babies just fine.

In short, they need their space, their territory, and people to leave them alone when they are nesting, and this means no looking in the box (except maybe once with a flashlight) but never open the box, and just provide them with food and water, let them do all the work until you either pull them or let the parents finish the job.
Put them in a quiet part of the house, leave them alone for that season.
Birds that have killed their babies before can easily be pushed into doing it again, so just back off. They actually make very good parents when left alone, nearly all problems I see are from people interfering too much in the bird's raising of babies.

Well so much for these unfriendly birds.
I have noted that friendly pet birds almost never reject their babies or kill their young when they are handled, or the box is open.
I however don't like to push them as I have seen what happens with other people's birds.

Happy birding.
 

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just a quick question what about when it comes to ringing them ? and also would it work if once the parents had left the box to close the lid when neither parents are in there and be as quick as possible ? and doesnt the ring have to be fitted once they are 10 days old or something and obviously this would require a few openings of the box, would like to hear just a bit more advice i liked your post :D
 

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I understand also that occasionally it is just inexperience in brand new parents. They don't understand what has happened. I don't breed, just what I've read...
 

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I breed with 8 pairs. Once I ring a baby I never return it to nestbox. There are breeders who coparent chicks. They remove 2 chicks, handfeed them and then return them to nestbox. Then they remove 2 more. They feel that it helps take stress off parents if the clutch is large and helps to socialize the chicks. I'm not brave enough to try it.
 

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yeh mary your right there i would not do that i think you would have to know the parents really well and they would have to be very tolerant to except that i was more along the lines thinking about ringing for parent raised chicks cuz i plan on having 2 pairs of parrotlets for breeding and a few conures and i dont intend on hand feeding every single clutch, just a thought, ive also heard that when the parents are rung this helps if you ring there babies as they do not see it as a foreign object im sure i will come across some more advice about ringing when parent raising before i breed anyway
 
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