Raising The Young:
Breeders can and should learn quickly to check the condition of their young birds. After a few days, the young should have a bright color and feel substantial in the hand. A bird that feels lighter than the rest is bound to be in less than perfect health. You can check how the birds are eating by noting the condition of the crop. Before feathers appear, you can see right into the crop through the skin, and I would say the least attractive crop is best! A bulging crop means that the young are well-fed and--in most cases--that they are healthy. If you come across a crop that isn't as full as it should be, take one or two birds out of that nest and place them into another where they will get better care. The skin of the bald young, which some people don't find very attractive, should be shiny as satin. After the feathers appear, the quills should feel sturdy as soon as they are a centimetre long. Also note that a healthy young bird has quills on its topside, just above the tail, and these also should be resilient. As soon as feathers appear, one can see which color the bird is going to be. But an experienced breeder will be able to predict the color much sooner. The color of the naked skin gives him the clues. And eye color also makes a difference. If the eyes are red, then you can be sure the bird is an albino, a Lutino, or a fallow. As soon as the young are independent, they should be separated. Be sure however, that the young truly can take care of themselves and no longer are being fed by the parents. Give them a roomy aviary, where they can climb and fly about to their hearts' content as they develop further into the totally healthy birds you want.
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Hamilton & District Budgerigar Society Inc.