Friday, December 20, 2013

Artificial Incubation - Part 2

Hi Trisno,

I refer to your email of today's date and answer your questions below:

1. The movement of the chick.

When will be the best time for breeder to move the chick from the incubator or hatcher to brooder as the chick needs more humidity which may not be supplied by the incubator.

DDS: I transfer the chicks from the incubator to the brooder immediately after hatching or shortly before hatching.  As turning of the egg is not required during the last 2 days before hatching and as the initial temperature in the brooder is about 36 degrees, the egg that is about to hatch can be transferred to the brooder shortly before the chick hatches.

2. Temperature

What are the suitable temperatures in the brooder from time to time for the chick based on the hours or days after hatching. I assume the temperature will change based on the chick's age.

DDS: I sat the brooder temperature at about 36 degrees for the newly hatched chick and lower the temperature by 1 degree for each day thereafter until 32 degrees.  I do not lower the temperature below this.  If the chicks are cared for by the parents the mother will stop brooding the chicks from the 3rd or 4th day.  When I have chicks in the brooder, I keep them there until they start to feather at about 4 to 5 days old.

3. First hand feeding

When will be the best time for first hand feeding to the chick? And what food do you usually give the chick for the first?

DDS: The first 2 days are the most critical.  The breeder needs to ensure that the chicks are not over-fed.  It is more likely that the chicks will perish from over-feeding rather than insufficient feeding.  Wait 2 or even 3 hours after the chick hatches before feeding it.  Start with a white (newly moulted) mealworm.  Soften it by pressing it then remove and discard the ends.  Dip the mealworm in a light vitamin B solution (for the first feed) then feed it to the chick.  Feed the chick every 1 1/2 to 2 hours with mealworms (crickets etc) that have been dipped in water.  Other than this, there is no need to feed water to the chick. If the chick is healthy and eating well, you can practically see it growing slightly bigger with each feed.  Feed as much as the chick will eat each time. The healthy chick will instinctively raise its head to be fed in-between feeding times if it senses that you are nearby. Do not be tempted to feed it in-between the feeding times. If the chick is eating and digesting the mealworms well, it should eat about 1 1/2 mealworms by the 4th feed or so. I then start to feed small crickets together with/ or without mealworms. Soften the crickets then remove its head and legs.  I dip the cricket in a multi-vitamin, plus vitamin B, and mineral solution for the first 1 or 2 feeds each day.  I start adding guppies to the diet from the 3rd day.  The guppies need to be softened of course.  I add frogs to the diet from the 4 day.  I do not feed fish or frog  for the first feed in the morning and the last feed in the evening as the chicks may get an upset stomach.  The morning feed starts at 8 am or so and the last feed is at about 7 pm.

4. Other issues

I would appreciate if you could share any other information which must also be highlighted in the treatment of the newly hatched chick other than the above.

DDS: I have tried to cover whatever I thought you might need to know. If you have any other queries, please feed free to ask.

Btw, I have treated all my shamas in breeding with nekton e and s for one week full. To my observation during this treatment, it still has no further development and they tend to be more quiet and calm in singing. What do you think of this? 

DDS: The birds in the house are familiar with the songs of each other and there will probably be little change in the songs and display.  To test if the form has gone up you will need to introduce a strange shama to them.

For breeding aid supplement, do you buy in singapore or online purchase?

DDS: The Goodwill birdshop in Singapore carries the Vetafarm brand.  I also buy online.  For quite sometime I have been purchasing the supplements for myself and my birds from  I mostly feed my birds with human supplements nowadays that I get from  It is the best online store for vitamins and supplements.

Best regards,


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