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  #1  
Old 27-04-2017, 04:01 PM
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Harris21 Harris21 is offline
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Default Not feeding chicks???

Hi all can anyone advise,

My Harris's have this year managed to hatch 2 chicks out of clutch of 4.
(Last years laid 6 eggs, first 2 found broken on mews floor, next clutch of 4 incubated by female but failed to hatch)

So was well happy when I found out I had 2 hatched, however, I noticed 1 dead yesterday, the other looked strong & alert, but today it looks like this chick is on its way out. (Looks weak & listless)

I think the female is not feeding the chicks? Is this common in inexperienced birds?? Should I have removed the other eggs?? Is she trying to hatch the other eggs thus neglecting the chicks??

Any sensible advice greatly appreciated

Cheers
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  #2  
Old 27-04-2017, 04:07 PM
Shaun Bannister Shaun Bannister is offline
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Default Re: Not feeding chicks???

Pull the chick try putting it back when its stronger ( risk) or socially imprint it ( fine if done correctly) or give it someone else to put in with their regular breeding birds
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  #3  
Old 27-04-2017, 04:34 PM
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Harris21 Harris21 is offline
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Default Re: Not feeding chicks???

Thanks for the advice Shaun, decided had nothing to lose in pulling chick & feeding it myself.

Though when I went to remove the chick it had disappeared! I guess she realized it was weak & dispatched it.

Maybe next time she will rear them.
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Old 27-04-2017, 05:32 PM
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BradazTheFalconer BradazTheFalconer is offline
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Default Re: Not feeding chicks???

That's a shame but probably a big learning curve for the parents.

Bradley
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Old 27-04-2017, 09:23 PM
Shaun Bannister Shaun Bannister is offline
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Default Re: Not feeding chicks???

I have a female first few attempts she killed the chicks i cured that by only feeding stripped food prior to and for several weeks after hatching as i believe she was killing them mistaking them for day old turkey poults which i use i suggest you give stripped and deyolked food only from around pip time it helps make their minds up for them


Shes currently got 2 eyasses it will be her 3rd successful clutch all being well


Whats the male like ? sometimes it takes a while for them to click so dont give up hope i fly mine together as it helps the bond in due course ,she will probably recycle try to give her as wide a berth as possible
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Old 28-04-2017, 12:09 AM
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SloeHawk SloeHawk is offline
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Default Re: Not feeding chicks???

Hi Scott

It’s not always a smooth ride breeding any hawks or falcons, people will tell you that breeding Harris is like breeding chickens, but that’s not always the case.

If you budget will stretch to it get a camera in there the result will be the same but you will know if either parents are feeding them or which one is killing the chicks.

It takes the whole guess work out the job.

Good luck for the future

Clive
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Old 28-04-2017, 06:57 AM
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Harris21 Harris21 is offline
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Default Re: Not feeding chicks???

Thanks for the advice & replies guys.

I will get myself a camera so I can keep a closer eye on her & hopefully intervene quicker if she's neglecting the chicks next time.

It's a learning curve for them & me, but it's great to be able to reach out & get advice / benefit from others experience.

Hope you all have a successful breeding season

Cheers
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Old 10-07-2017, 04:28 PM
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Harris21 Harris21 is offline
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Default Re: Not feeding chicks???

Hi all,

Just an update on my previous post might be of interest to anyone thinking of breeding Harris's.

After failing to rear the first clutch my Harris's 2nd clutched. Another 4 eggs, but this time all of them were fertile, 1st clutch 4 eggs 2 hatched.

2nd clutch I had 3 eggs hatch in close succession, all seemed well female appeared to be attempting to feed at last, & brooding chicks & last egg.

Nearly a week had past since last hatching, I was down to 1 chick, but it seemed to be doing well.

The other 2 chicks 1 died/ was killed? The other was fine until 1 day I noticed it was at side of nest & not being brooded. It was trying to get back under the Female, but was being blocked by a stick.

Not wanting to intervene too much I moved the stick to allow the chick to get back to the female. That evening I found the chick in the birds larder decapitated! I guess she thought it was weak?, was she freaked by my moving stick?

Now 1 chick & 1 unhatched egg left.
It had now been nearly a week since last egg hatched & I was starting to think the remaining egg was unviable so decided to remove it.

When I picked it up I noticed it had been cracked, from inside?. No noise, no signs of life but I returned it just in case, 2 days later I decided it must have damaged in nest or had died in shell.I thought I would remove it the following day, Last chick still doing well.

I went out in morning to get egg but female was feeding the chick so I left it, didn't go into mews could see from outside.

When I returned later, the female was sat on side of nest, but I couldn't hear the chick. I looked in corner of mews where the pair had been stashing food, there it was headless. Well I thought at least that's that for this season.

At this point I had decided the female is brooding the eggs not the chicks, as long as there is an egg to hatch & the chick is in close proximity she broods the chicks. As for feeding I think it was hit & miss.

What I did forget to say is that when I looked in nest to remove the last infertile egg, she'd hatched it! By my reckoning it took 3 days to hatch?!?

I left her with her chick after much deliberation, as there were no more eggs & she'd been feeding so I though she might have got it at last.

Next morning when checking I found 1 cold, lifeless newly hatched chick, I snatched it out of nest ( thought I heard a pip as I did & there was very shallow intermittent breaths) as female was sat on a perch unbothered.

I then spent next 2 hours with the lifeless chick sat on my belly while I watched telly, after couple of hours brooding, the little blighter stirred.

Today is day 2 of chick (dubbed "Lucky") in its imprint chamber, eating like there's no tomorrow - in it's case there very nearly was'nt.

So, out of 2 clutches totalling 8 eggs, I've had 6 chicks hatched,the oldest survived a week while there was an egg to brood, then done in when last egg hatched.

Hopefully this chick will fledge & become a great hunter like its parents, though I' m kinda thinking I'm the lucky one, as I could have ended up with 4 young harris eyasses!
I Will be splitting the breeding pair Early at end of this coming season! I have no intention of breeding as such & certainly don't want to be going through all that again in a hurry. Hats off to you guys who do breed commercially though.

ATB
Scott
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  #9  
Old 10-07-2017, 05:25 PM
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SloeHawk SloeHawk is offline
Clive Stancer
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Default Re: Not feeding chicks???

Hi Scott

All the things you saying in your tale of breeding can and will happen at some point.

The staggered hatch is very normal as they usually lay their eggs at 3 day intervals and normally the last egg can be 4 days.

A lot depends when they actually start incubation and not to be confused with just brooding them, if she starts sitting on the 3 eggs you will get 3 hatch all together in a 24 hour period and then the last egg laid can be 4 days later (maybe longer for a difficult hatch)

Also the decapitation of chicks is the norm but that not always because they have been killed by the parents, my belief is this can happen if a chick is weak and dies or dies from lack of experience by the parents and it hasn’t had enough food or sibling rivalry not getting enough food.

Usually I find the decapitated chick as far from the nesting area as possible which I think it’s the parents trying to hide the nesting site which in the wild would be much further from the nest but captive hawks are limited by the pen space they have, the other way of concealing a dead chick is for it to be recycled to the other chicks.

I think staggered hatching is also a survival of the fittest situation were the smallest will be eaten in times of hardship but in captivity with an endless food supply you would not expect this to happen….but it does.

Many breeders rarely tell you of the disasters they have each year but only the success stories.

Don’t get me wrong I get a great deal of pleasure out of breeding but you have to take the heart ache when it goes wrong.

Good luck with you last remaining chick, Imprinting Harris hawks is becoming more popular and I get odd requests for them, some turn out well adjusted hawk were as others can be screaming aggressive undesirable hawks.

Not try to tell you how to suck eggs but it’s very important when rearing an imprint to get the diet spot on and feed minced whole carcases and not just the nice breast meat they need the crushed up bones to for development.

It will be interesting to see how you get along please keep us informed, also don’t overdo the heating especially in the present summer we are having and usually they will not require heat after about 14 days unless we have a cold night.


ATB
Clive

Last edited by SloeHawk; 11-07-2017 at 12:53 AM. Reason: .
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  #10  
Old 10-07-2017, 06:52 PM
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Harris21 Harris21 is offline
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Default Re: Not feeding chicks???

Hi Clive,

Thanks for your advice, this whole episode has definitely been an eye opener!

I have imprinted a Gos in past but not a Harris so fingers crossed?
It's minced whole carcasses all the way, have seen angel wing, fixable but also preventable👍

ATB

Scott
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