Missing chick

by Sherry
(Stafford, VA)

My finches had two babies back in August that are thriving. Recently one chick hatched from another set of 4 eggs. A week later after I had seen it and hear it chirp, it was gone. The parents seemed to be just as perplexed as me. I looked everywhere to see if it had been tossed, looked for body parts,..found nothing. Could the older babies have done something? Should I be looking for a rodent or snake in the house? VERY upset and perplexed.


Hi Sherry,

It has been my experience that something, any number of things, can go wrong when there are juveniles and newborns in the same breeding cage. I think sometimes the parents get too stressed or just can't quite control their situation. I doubt that you need to worry about a snake or a rodent. They would have done a lot more damage and not just eaten a chick and left. My best guess is that the chick was tossed all the way out of the cage and you will find it on the floor near the cage or that it died in the nest and has been buried deeper down than you can see.
Hope this helps, Jeanie

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Dec 08, 2012
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thrown chicks
by: Danny uk

hi every one, i have put the same chicks back in their nest four times, when i found them for the first time i thought it would be a one off, but it happened for a third time. i blamed the cock bird, so i moved him to a seprate cage. to my surprise the hen bird threw the lot out, all four, as before there was only one or two chicks being thrown out. so i put the cock bird back in with the hen and he went straight to the nest and feed the chicks, belive it or not they all grew up strong and now have had chicks of their own. to this day i still think how lucky i was to keep them alive but at no stage was i going to give up on them. so find them early enough on the floor, warm them up by blowing warm air on them and luck just might be on your side. all the best Dan

Nov 10, 2012
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Found the chick
by: Sherry

Well, after looking and looking and going back and looking I did find the chick. It was on the opposite side of the cage and had slipped down to the tray underneath. Because it had passed and turned pale, it was hidden by the seed shells. I wish I knew if it had passed and got tossed or got tossed for some reason and died of the fall or exposure. It was the only one that hatched. So sad. Thanks for all your comments though.

Thanks for letting me in on the ending. It is sad, but this is not too unusual a behaviour with Gouldians. When Gouldians only have one chick, I've found that the parents won't raise it. They'll not work so hard for only one offspring. Hopefully they will breed again and have better results, but because they threw out this chick, you can be on the lookout for that to happen again. I'd put it at a 50% chance. Some of my pairs would repeat that behaviour. You can be prepared and save the next chicks by getting a few society finches and setting them up in a small cage with a nest. Societies don't need a lot of flight space. Be sure, if they lay eggs, to remove them or they'll be raising their own chicks when you need them to foster.
From my experiences, with similar situations, the chick was carried out of the nest uninjured by a parent and disposed of or hidden and yes, I mean hidden.
Best Wishes for a better next time, Jeanie

Nov 09, 2012
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pitching babies and missing babies
by: annie

I have had a parent bird throw the babies OUT of the cage onto the floor of the Bird Room. You might have not seen it or you have a dog or cat that may have picked it up. (that sound gruesome sorry but possible)

I too have found chicks tossed outside of the cage, but my worst experience was looking into my cage where there had been six juveniles and now finding there were only three very scared birds on one perch and a large black snake on the opposite perch in the cage with three distinct bird sized bulges in his body. He was so fat that he could not get back out of the cage. Had I not found the snake, I would never have believed it possible for him to get into the cage in the first place. Sorry, I know that's discusting too, but what a shock it was. Jeanie

Nov 09, 2012
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lost chick
by: terry

Look for rats. They can get into a crevice/hole that is smaller than you could imagine. I had a rat attack my outdoor aviary and, after hundreds of dollars in missing birds, I found the tiniest hole you could imagine.

Thanks for your comment, Jeanie

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