Magpies are small wild birds that some people have taken the liking of and have domesticated them as pets. Animal lovers’ keen ness to this wild animal could be caused by their relatively low maintenance care and eccentric personalities. Most pet Magpies are kept in small cages, and are adjustable to both busy and quiet environments.
Due to their endearing features, Magpie owners would often breed their pets to raise more of their own. On average, a Magpie can reproduce up to 5-6 eggs a week. When raising a healthy litter, there are multiple factors you’d need to keep a careful eye on. So, without further ado, here are several factors to consider before raising your own Magpies!
1. Full Commitment
Though Magpies are generally low maintenance animals, pet owners are still required to pay full commitment and care towards raising them. The amount of commitment should not be exclusive to being there when your magpies fall sick – or any other serious drawbacks that may test your energy and patience. Animal lovers should be reminded that these animals require just as much love and affection as any other living beings would. Therefore, it is crucial for any pet owner – let alone Magpie breeders – to prepare the right mentality before raising some of their own.
2. Designating Living Spaces
Though some Magpies would only require small living spaces, pet owners should still designate a good amount of living space for these Magpies to move around. Some pet owners would resort to their whole backyard for these animals to live in; just as long as they are kept far away from any predators. However, if you prefer to utilize an enclosed space for their safety, be sure that the surface is layered with hay for easy cleaning of messes.
On the same vein of safe enclosed spaces, most pet owners would resort to cages for their Magpies to live in. These cages are often hung in their backyards or garages – places that are exposed to natural sunlight but have sufficient shade and cool wind. Magpies require 15 hours of sunlight daily to reproduce healthily.
3. Constructing Cages
Most Magpie cages are constructed with open wires that allows cool wind to pass through. Furthermore, the ideal temperature should reach around 20-25 degrees celsius: with a humidity level of 30-80%, light exposure of 25-40 watts on day time, and 40-50 watts on night time. These elaborated requirements are regulated with battery or solar powered heating installed in these cages.
The general rule of thumb states that a Magpie cage would take up to 1m square for 90-100 magpies. This would inhabit around 60 10-day-old magpies per square meter.
4. Choosing The Right Breeds
Before expecting, pet owners should invest on the right healthy Magpie parents to produce an equally healthy outcome. The requirements might be elaborated, as most breeders would look for different requirements for different needs. Some would raise Magpies as pets, whilst others would breed them for other purposes:
- For Magpie Egg Consumption: Choose healthy female magpies that are clear from any dangerous illnesses.
- For Breeding Their Meats: Choose the rejected litter
- For Magpie Reproduction (mostly kept as pets): Choose fertile female Magpies and healthy male Magpies that are of mating age.
Regardless of their purpose, most breeders would invest on Coturnix Magpies (Japanese Magpies) for several reasons: they produce the most eggs (up to 6-8/week – with one a day), their meats could be consumed, and are generally low maintenance to care. Alternatively, breeders would invest on Coturnix Jumbo Magpies to produce bigger eggs with bigger offsprings.
Coturnix Magpies comes in different colors: tuxedo and a combination of white and brown. Nevertheless, there are other popular Magpie options too: such as Scaled Magpies, Gambel Magpies, or Bobwhite Magpies.
5. Quantity and Gender
The ideal ratio of your first Magpie batch would be 2 females to 1 male. This is to ensure a fast reproduction of eggs that could be harvested as soon as possible. Additionally, the rough quantity of an ideal first batch depends on the outcome the breeders intend to have: if you plan to breed Magpies for their eggs, the value of 5 Magpie eggs is equivalent to 1 Chicken egg. With this, you could estimate how many females are needed during the production.
It is also wise to separate your male Magpies from their other male peers, to avoid any competition and fight. All male Magpies are territorial, and could harm other male Magpies when unsupervised.
6. Post-Hatch Care
Once your Magpie eggs are hatching, be sure to isolate the newborns in a 37.7 degree celsius location. Cold newborns would resort to staking on each other for warmth, which could be dangerous and a risk to suffocation. To help them adjust to the room temperature, reduce the temperature by 3 degrees each day.
7. Raising Newborns
In a 60x90cm cage, you could raise up to 100 newborns for the first 10 days. As time passes, be sure to expand your living spaces. Make sure to dedicate around 1 meter of area and clean water for them to drink everyday. Clean the living spaces too to avoid infections and diseases: newborns are very prone to catching them.
Additionally, you could start feeding them solid food when they reach 6-8 weeks old. You could consult your local pet shop or any other professionals to prescribe them with the right nutrients, or you could save up some money and browse other articles online to make some of your own. Once they’ve grew out of 8 weeks, they won’t have to depend on the formulated food source anymore
8. Feeding and Diet
Older Magpies are usually fed a wide variety of food. Although pet shop pellets are an option, most breeders would feed their Magpies vegetables, nuts, and small insects as cheaper alternatives. Though it may depend on the breeder’s preferences and circumstances, it is wise to consult medical professionals for advice on feeding your farm the right nutrients.
9. Routine Check Ups
It is crucial for any pet owner to invest time to sign your pets to routine check ups. Usually, most Magpie breeders would regulate their Magpies’ health within their enclosed living spaces. Common practices these breeders would do are the following:
- Sanitation and Prevention: routine sanitation of living areas would help drive Magpies from any potential illnesses and diseases.
- Medical Control: don’t forget feed the prescribed dose of medicine to your ill Magpies.
- Feeding: though feeding frequency may vary for different Magpies, younger magpies should be fed every morning and afternoon – as opposed to their adult counterpart, who would only require feeding once a day every morning.
- Vaccination: vaccinate your Magpies to prevent any unwanted illnesses. Magpies are often prescribe vaccinations in the form of eyedrops, and are given at the age of 4 years and 7 days old.
More so, it’d help that you appoint routine check ups for your Magpies to medical professionals. This could prevent any potential and or existing health drawbacks from fostering and growing increasingly harmful.
So there you have it, some factors to consider before raising your own Magpies! However, do note that these are just some basic factors, and there are more that needs to be considered when you raise your Magpies. Therefore, prior research and consultation with professionals are heavily advised.