Russell Woodford <>
peter crow <>
Mon, 10 Dec 2007 22:30:39 +1000
It is probably best with young Magpies to not do all the things Chris
suggests but to leave nature take its course as so often the adults
will continue looking after the bird without any human interference.
i sometimes wonder if all the taking care of very common birds
(Magpies) isn't more for the satisfaction of the carer than for the
real good of the common bird.
On 10/12/2007, at 4:48 PM, Russell Woodford wrote:
Begin forwarded message:
From: " Chris Lloyd" <>
Date: 10 December 2007 3:36:53 PM
To: "Russell Woodford" <>
Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Magpie Chick
Just a couple of quick points on magpie husbandry:
Diet should be premium mince steak and either Vetafarm's
Insectapro or Wombaroo Insectivore (most large pet shop should
stock one of these) in a ration of 60:40. Add some calcium at
about 1% of the weight of the other two. The bird should get at
least 3+ hour sunlight per day. Usually they are fed on demand
which will depend on development stage. Feeding is done by placing
a ball of the above mix on the end of skewer dipping it in water
and pushing it over the tongue and down the gaping throat. The
ball size should be about 3/4 of the width of the gape. 2-3 balls
each feed and allow it to sleep. Feeding is between roughly an
hour or so after sunrise and up until an hour or so before sunset.
It will eventually need transition to live food but this may be
assisted by behavioural exposure.
Housing: This will depend on development stage. If it is fully
feathered and perching it should be reared outside and exposed to
all elements with some basic shelter. It is important that the
substrate not be abrasive (concrete or similar) but rather leaf
litter, and that any perches are greater in diameter than it
digits when closed. If not perching then it should be inside at
night while in plastic ice-cream sized tub with kitchen paper on
the bottom. If the bird is not fuly feathered it is not
thermoregulating and will require some thermal support through a
heat pad or similar particularly at night.
Behaviour: The bird will need consistent exposure to other
magpies. This may mean some agonistic behaviour but this is to be
expected in a territorial species. If the bird is not caged and is
consistently attack just protect it in a cage but contimue to
allow some interaction or at least sight of adult magpies. This is
critical to a successful release otherwise it will become
Disease: "Bumblefoot" a bacterial infection of the soles of the
feet can be an issues if inappropriate substrate or perches are used.
Many ground foraging chicks can present with "Gape worm" this
nematode will appear as white threads or nodules in the mouth and
throat. This needs to be treated with "Ivermectin" (sheep
strength) or similar.
Avian Pox is possible if mosquitos are active and will present as
reddish white lumps on the exposed skin of the legs, feet and
face. Protect the bird from mosquito strike and apply some
betadine or saline wash to the lumps to reduce the secondary
Please feel free to get in touch if we can be of use. Ciao
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