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?
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