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Pekin Robins

  • Mark Powis
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3 months 1 week ago #1901 by Mark Powis
Pekin Robins was created by Mark Powis
Finally I have managed to breed my pair of Pekin Robins. I had the original pair around 5 years ago and the closest i got to breeding was that they had one nest of chicks which died at around 4 days old. They has a couple of rounds of clear eggs and then i lost the hen who had looked unwell for several months and did not respond to any medication she was given.
I replaced the hen with a 2020 bird and 4 months later the original cock bird died. I did not know the age of the original pair but they were at least 8 years old.
I then purchased a young cock bird in early 2022 and i knew they were likely to be too young to breed last year.  The aviary is 12ft x 7ft x 6ft and is two thirds full with well established shrubs. The Pekins share the aviary with a pair of Red Whiskered Bulbuls and their 4 chicks from two rounds.
I had fixed two wire baskets and one wicker nest pan in various spots in the shrubbery and noticed a very neat coconut fibre nest had been built in the wicker one which is around 3ft off the ground in a conifer hidden by bamboo.
A few days later i noticed one of the Pekins sitting in the nest and decided to leave well alone and hope for the best. 10 days later I increased the live food and added mini waxworms, size 4 brown crickets and regular waxworms. All of the livefood was taken quickly by the parents except regular mealworms and frozen Calci worms which they seem to be indifferent about. Buffalo worms were also ignored.
A few days later both parents were visible in the aviary so i decided to take a peak at the nest without touching it. There were 3 chicks visible of different sizes.
I left them alone and kept up the live food the quantity increase surprised me a little and i have provided 1500 crickets and around 800 waxworms in the last 2 weeks. As they share the aviary it is difficult to tell how many the Pekins eat and how many the Bulbuls snaffle. I have been putting dishes in various locations on the floor under the shrubs as the Pekins spend most of their time in the shrubbery.
  Around 7pm on the 1st June I heard the parents making alarm calls and spotted two of the chicks on the floor which concerned me as it would be dark shortly later. I did try to pop them back in the nest and they both sprang back out. The nest seems far too small for 3 chicks and the parent. I left them to sort themselves out as there are lots of  low branches in the shrubs for the chicks to scramble up. The next morning the 2 chicks that left the nest were ok but the smallest which was left behind in the nest was dead.  There is an obvious difference in size between the two chicks so I'm assuming the parents begin to sit after the first egg meaning the chicks hatch at different stages? 
I have kept the live food topped up and now the Buffalo worms are eaten daily. Both chicks seem to be doing well although I don't see them much. The younger one did seem a little unstable but seems to be improving and they both spend most of the time perched hidden in the shrubs.
The hen is back in the nest and sitting so I'm leaving well alone.
I am very pleased as my father kept Pekins for many years when i was young but never did manage to breed them even though he tried all sorts of things to get them to settle. Sadly he is no longer here to see the young Pekins but its a little nod to him and this challenging hobby that my father introduced me too.

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