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What species are you incubating?

There are two types of bird species and, although the basic principles of egg incubation remain the same, it is important to understand the differences between the two. Hatching a chicken is very different to hatching a parrot, or hatching a bird of prey.

Precocial Birds – These are birds such as poultry and waterfowl, which are capable of moving around after hatching.

Altricial Birds – These are birds such as parrots or birds of prey, which are incapable of moving around after hatching, and require more, intensive care brooding.

So what are the five main differences between the two types of bird?

Precocial Birds

Altricial Birds

Hatch with their eyes open

Hatch with their eyes shut

Hatch covered with down

Hatch with little and sometimes no down

Leave the nest within the first two days of hatching

Incapable of departing the nest

Will forage for food within hours of hatching

Fed by parents

Eggs are turned less frequently

Eggs are turned more frequently



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