Rearing and Rearing Foods
From hatching to fledgling is one of the most vital stages in a birds life if the nutrients are right
the youngsters will grow well and develop into healthy long lived Adults. In this article I will try to
give the reader a insight as to how I feed my own Adult pairs when rearing young.
I usually have chicks in the nest from mid October to around the beginning of June during the
colder months I heat my birdroom to a maximum of 60 degrees f and a minimum of 50 degrees f
although Javas will thrive without heat if you intend to breed outside the normal accepted breeding
season ie March through to July heating your birdroom will be a essential part of successful rearing
Javas will usually start to incubate there eggs after the third or fourth egg has been laid, but there
are always exceptions to the rule with some birds laying as few as four eggs whilst others may lay
as many as ten. The first chicks will start to hatch 12-14 days after incubation has begun, I usually
wait until the chicks are around three days old before offering the parents any egg food. The egg
food which I use is Either Canary Ce De or EMP I mix the egg food with soaked seed at the ratio
of 60% soaked seed to 40% dry egg food, I always put the egg food in dry as the moisture from
the soaked seed makes for a good consistency ( you don't want it too wet ).
If any of the pairs hatch more than six chicks I will try to foster them with pairs that have less once
they have been closed rung and the chicks are of a similar age, I have had pairs hatch as many as
The seed is only soaked and not sprouted, it is soaked for 24 hrs only and then rinsed under a sieve
and allowed to dry for a further 24 hrs. The soaked seed and egg food is fed in the morning and then
again in the evening (tea time), if kept in the refrigerator it will keep several days max of 3. Soaking
the seed basically starts of the germination process and this is when it undergoes many changes
and is at its best as regards vitamin content ect.
The picture above shows four young Whites that have just been closed rung.
The Foreign Finch mix which I use is topped up both in the morning and the evening whilst the birds have
chicks in the nest.
I like to add plenty of Niger seed to the birds seed mix when rearing and small amounts of hemp from
around 7 days, Some people may say that these oil and fat rich seeds are not good for developing
youngsters but I have never found this to be the case.
Green food is fed a couple of times a week mainly in the form of commercially grown Cress purchased
from the local greengrocers at the excellent price of 16p a punnet, expect to pay twice that if bought
from a supermarket.
I try to clean the birds feeding area every day whilst they are feeding young to try and avoid any soiled
or discarded egg food being fed to the youngsters.
Grit and Grated Cuttlefish is always available to the birds 365 days a year, I don't put my Cuttlefish
on the cage fronts like a lot of people tend to do I like to grate it into the grit pot as shown in the pic below
Grating the Cuttlefish is very easy using a table knife to scrape the surface thus creating a fine
powder which the birds love !
Mealworms can be another useful addition to the breeding birds but they can prove to be messy
as the javas tend to strip them inside out leaving the hard exoskeleton and just eating the soft
interior, Mealworms can be kept easily in a container full of bran or oatmeal, as there name suggests
they feed principally on cereals, they can be bought cheaply at your local reptile shop but you must
remember to add a slice of carrot or potatoes to keep them from drying out, having used them regularly
now for various species of birds I can say they are a very good additional source of variety
When the youngsters fledge it is most important that the floor of the cage is kept clean to avoid
any contamination of food stuffs. All of the aforementioned foods are offered to the newly fledged
youngsters although it will be some days after leaving the nest before they start to pick up for
themselves. One food which I offer newly fledged young is Millet Sprays and I usually find that
this is the first seed they begin to take.
The newly fledged young are left with the parents for as long as it takes for me to see them feeding
independently, I wont take away youngsters until I have seen them feed for themselves. When I do
take them away they are closely monitored for the next few days and those that are seen to be suffering
are put back with adult birds for a feed (top up).
Although Javas will raise a family on dry seed alone the best results are obtained when a variety of
foods are offered and any youngsters produced will be much healthier and fitter for it.