|These two are easy to feed because they are|
young. They're from different clutches.
If you have viewed other photos of past clutches being hand fed, you will notice how eager they are to eat. This time, however, I waited too long to hand feed. The ideal time is at three weeks, but events led me to wait too long.
I removed the five babies from their two nest boxes and three of the five were already fully feathered. Then we removed the nest boxes from their parents' cages. I've decided to limit the birds to two clutches each this year.
|Too old to begin hand feeding. He isn't eager to be fed.|
|Waited too long to begin hand feeding. This is the 2nd |
oldest Bourke of five. Notice his reticence. I ended up
giving him back to his parents to continue feeding.
I placed all five babies in a covered box with pine shavings under a paper towel that gets changed at each feeding. All three feathered babies resisted being hand fed, but two did give in with persistence. A light pink from Flame and Fuchsia absolutely refused to eat and after over 24 hours, I put it back in with its parents. They fed it and I removed it once more. It still refused to eat the Exact Hand Feeding formula, but did pick at a spray of millet I offered it. Eventually I gave in and left it with Flame and Fuchsia to supplement feed while it learned to eat on its own. It is the oldest of the five.
|Since feathered birds can fly, I moved the babies into this|
tissue box that they can get in and out of. It's inside a cage.
The two shown here are the two youngest still being hand fed.
Meanwhile, the other two fully feathered babies have been so much trouble trying to feed that I decided after two and half days to give them back to Rhett and Cherry too. The mated pair didn't hesitate to accept their offspring back, even though no longer in a nest box, which is gone now. That leaves the two youngest birds who readily took to hand feeding.
Below are the youngest two from both clutches. They are eager to be hand fed. Optimum age is about three weeks. If you wait too long, you lose the window of opportunity and it becomes more difficult. These two are eager to eat and even steal a little from one another.
Below are my two Lady Gouldian finches. Hatched in an incubator, they are growing rapidly. This photo is of them at nine days of age right after being fed.
|Nine-day-old Lady Gouldian finches being hand fed|
after hatching in a homemade incubator. Successful so far.