Lori's Newest Clutch of Chicks

Today Lori surprised me with this beautiful photograph of the newest additions to her family. The ages of these chicks, starting from the back row are 12 days old, a morning hatch, 12 days old, a night time hatch, 10 days old and 8 days old. The 2 chicks in the front row are only 6 days old. As you can see from the photographs, the newborn chicks have barely any feathers on them and their eyes are closed. They look more like embryos than birds. By 12 days of age they have feathers and their eyes are open. Now they do look like birds. The growth process for cockatiels is rapid and they are weaned around 8 weeks of age.

As adorable as these babies are, please do not go out and buy an unweaned chick. The chance that you will seriously harm or kill the bird are quite high. Hand-feeding by the inexperienced is risky business and the chick's life is being put in danger. Unweaned birds are sold by lazy breeders who don't want to put in all of the hours that hand-feeding requires.They just want to make a quick dollar. A reputable breeder will not sell you a bird unless it has been weaned and eating on its own for 2 weeks. It's just a myth that hand-feeding a bird yourself will make it bond more closely with you. Research has proven that birds hand-fed and well socialized by the breeder will indeed bond with the new owner, making exceptionally good companion birds.

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