Ask Lafeber


January 5, 2022

Cockateil babies

What is a good age I.e weeks to remove some babies from the nest so they can be hand raised and friendlier


Hi Matt,

Most people pull them between 2-3 weeks, but closer to 3 weeks. If you wait too long, they are too aware and will reject the hand feeding and just want their parents. Keep in mind that each chick is a day apart in age, so the last chick can be a week or more younger than the first to hatch, depending on how many there are. In that case, it’s best to start with the older chicks and then pull the younger ones when they are ready.

Another thing to try is co-parenting. This is where you handle the chicks but let the parents keep feeding them. It depends on how tolerant the parents are. Typically you start taking one chick out of the box at a time, for a few minutes, a few times a day once the chicks are about 3 weeks old. If the parents get too upset or aggressive, you can’t do this. But if you just do one at a time, often they will let you. Never handle a chick that has just been fed. Don’t let the chick get chilled. The chicks will grow faster this way – they always do best with the parents feeding them. But they will be tame since you have been handling them. You can increase the amount of time as they get older, and once they leave the box, you remove the box and handle the chicks regularly until the parents have weaned them

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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