by Heike Ewing Ott
The truth is that some baby parrots wean faster than others. What do you do when your parrot doesn’t wean when you think it should? Should you ever force it to wean? For this breeder, the answer is an emphatic no.
I have tried to wean my bird .. but I have had no luck. I have tried seeds and pellets, and a combination of the two, but he just starves himself until his second hand feeding. What should I do?
You WAIT! Wait for your baby to be ready. How old is your baby? Bear was hatched the middle of Feb, which makes her about 18 weeks old, and she is just about almost weaned. Weaning is stressful, traumatic, and hard on the bird’s body. It’s NOT something you want to force your bird into. I have had cockatiels, who are *supposed* to wean at around 7 weeks, wean anywhere from 5 weeks to 14 weeks! Each bird is an individual, yours will start eating when HE is ready, not when you are ready!
Enjoy the hand-feeding while you can; it is one of the sweetest times you will ever have with your baby and it will never come again.
Also remember that your bird’s body is still growing and developing, and at least if you are hand-feeding you -know- that the baby is getting all the nutrients it needs. Often when they first start eating they are quite selective and may short- change themselves nutritionally. The more growth that can be completed while still on the h/f formula, the better IMO.
Also, you might try offering a greater variety of more appealing foods. I start with fruit loops, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, cheerios, breads, pasta, Kashi cereal, mashed potatoes, corn, popcorn, cooked bean mix, etc. Warm, soft foods like cooked cereals, mashed potatoes, warm bean mix, vegetable soup or stew (watch out for salt, tho!), etc. will be more appealing to a baby that is making the change from liquid to solid food. Soaking a small amount of pellets in warm apple juice or applesauce and feeding it with your fingers or from a spoon may help with the transition, too.
Hey, take it easy on your baby…and on yourself! There’s no deadline.