Ask Lafeber


March 15, 2023

Baby cokatiel

The first baby died due to the mother and father not feeding them I saw this morning a new baby but still there no interests in the baby what can I do to help


Hi Andre,

If this is their first clutch, this is very common. First clutches almost always fail because the parents are learning and make mistakes. Most don’t even hatch the eggs on the first try. It’s heartbreaking to lose the chicks, but they are not likely to survive even if you tried to hand feed them. Cockatiel chicks rarely survive when fed from day one. It’s important that the parents have a lot of food available to them. A nutritionally balanced diet like pellets – a loose seed mix is not adequate – leafy greens, chopped veggies, some fruit and an egg food. You can cook an egg with the shell washed, crushed and cooked with the egg or buy a commercial dry egg food. If they only have seeds, they are not getting the nutrition they need and if they do feed the chicks, they tend to stuff them with seed and it gets impacted and won’t digest. If the parents are under 2 years old, they are too young to breed and unlikely to feed chicks. After this clutch, remove the nest box for at least 6 months before letting them try again. Or if they aren’t old enough or on the right diet, let them get over 2 years and convert them to a better diet before trying to breed them again. But again, even if everything was perfect, first time parents rarely are successful raising chicks. They need to learn and hopefully will do better the next time. If a pair fails with 2 or 3 clutches, then they should not be bred again, because some pairs never make good parents.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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