by Heike Ewing Ott
Weaning a baby parrot takes patience and an understanding of the process. The following article contains some tips from a post written to the Quaker Parakeets Mailing List. Be sure to check out the other articles on this site for more information on weaning parrots.
He has a good feeding response for the first 5 or 6 CCs, then he just looses interest. He’d rather snuggle <G> I can coax another 2 or 3 cc down him, for a total of about 8 CC per feeding. I think that at 5 CC he just gets his hunger satisfied and would rather do something else. He likes to eat the formula that falls on the table before he goes back to the syringe.
Been there, done that. Parrotlets do this in a big way. The easiest way to reassure yourself is to weigh Buddy daily. If he starts losing weight, then you might have a problem. (10 – 15% wt loss during weaning is normal.) Eating the food off the table is a *good* sign..you might try offering the formula in a small bowl or from a spoon…the novelty might keep him interested longer.
He is eating millet spray and cockatiel seed. I can see and hear him crunching away on these.
Good, but limit these..you don’t want to create a seed junkie. Try cheerios, Life cereal, puffed wheat and rice (not sugared), no-sugar-added granola, crumbled-up rice cakes, unsalted crackers, cooked brown rice, etc. Get creative! The more variety, the better – just avoid sugar and salt. (Don’t worry about fat at this age).
Don’t try to force him to eat more, IMHO. When he starts fighting you and you try to “force” him, it could damage the trust bond and create a tendency for him to be mean or fearful later on. Don’t just “stop” feedings, either, until it’s pretty obvious he doesn’t want or need them. My thing was always to check the crop…if the crop is 1/2 full or more, skip the feeding, if not, offer the formula. I didn’t drop the last (night) feeding until the bird’s crop was FULL for at least 3 – 4 nights in a row, though.
Since he’s eating seed, should I introduce veggies and other stuff, and stop the middle feeding now??
It’s never too early to introduce fresh fruit and veggies. I offer them as soon as the baby starts picking at any kind of food. But, I wouldn’t take away the middle feeding until he doesn’t really want it any more, or until you are sure he is eating substantial quantities of other things. You can also start offering pellets now – the rainbow colored ones taste good and the colors are inviting. Several companies make weaning pellets and an “adolescent” pellet that are good. I’ve had good experiences with Exact, Zupreem, Scenic, and L&M pellets.
Thanks for your opinions!
You’re welcome, and note that they -are- just my opinions. There are as many ways to raise a baby as there are people who do it, and what I say is not gospel…just what’s worked for me. 🙂