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Other Birds Post your stories and pictures about your non-budgie birds in this forum
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  #1  
Old 05-06-2016, 12:23 PM
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Default Question about newly weaned cockatiel weight

I know of someone who is very worried about his brand new baby cockatiel. The bird was recently weaned (at a bird store) and came home about 6 days ago. I'm not sure how soon after supposedly being weaned he went home, but the owner's concern is his weight loss.

I hear that it is normal for a bird to drop weight shortly after weaning, before regaining it. How much weight is an acceptable drop? He was 97 grams at the store last Saturday, now Friday he is about 88 grams. I never noticed this drop in my own birds, since my birds were far enough past weaning by the time I brought them home.

Anyone experienced with weaning small birds? In this case a Cockatiel. Thank you!

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Old 05-06-2016, 01:37 PM
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Hi Julie,

Was this cockatiel hand fed or parent raised? How old the little one now?
While I'm not experienced with cockatiels, in my opinion that's a lot of weight to be dropped in less than a week.

I can see two options that would explain this: either the chick wasn't fully weaned and is still currently in the process of being self-suficient in terms of eating or the very recently weaned chick was sold too soon, wasn't confident enough and has regressed in terms of weaning due to the change of environment (new family, new home).
A little bit of weight loss and different fluctuations in weight are to be expected in actively weaning chicks, but after they get the hang of eating, there will be a steady weight gain that in time will stabilize.

It would be important to know if the chick is currently having trouble in eating the seed mix/pellets and other foods. In terms of seeds, spray millet is good for chicks to practice eating and so is canary and flax seed. If need be, the owner can also crack open a few sunflower seeds and offer them to the chick.
Egg food is vital in this stage, introducing other fresh foods would also be beneficial.
Depending on the chick's condition, additional hand feedings may be necessary.
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Old 05-06-2016, 02:20 PM
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Hi Julie

Upon weaning approximate average weight should be 100-110 gm

10% weight loss is normal to gain flight after that it is regained
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Old 05-06-2016, 03:55 PM
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Thanks for your answers Ana and chirper .

I don't recall exactly how old Dusty is now, but I found out today that the store kept him until he was eating for approx. 2 weeks on his own before letting the owner take him home.

Good news I also found out is that he brought Dusty to the vet right away for a new bird exam, and the vet called today with good news on no Chlamydia, and everything else looks good. Still waiting on more tests to come back. He talked to the vet today about his concerns, and she gave him some suggestions on getting him to eat. He says he is eating, so at least he is getting some nutrients. I'm glad to hear he is in touch with the vet and they are monitoring the situation. He has no problem taking Dusty in if that is needed.

Dusty is this person's fist bird. He was so excited, from researching birds and picking out the species, to having all the safe products and a nice cage all set up waiting for Dusty to come home. Exemplary new owner. I wish him all the best. Dusty is such a cute bird too.
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Old 05-06-2016, 05:07 PM
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That's really good to know and it seems Dusty's owner has the situation under control and will be having the vet's assistance if the food intake is not sufficient.
Hopefully Dusty will start eating more consistently as he settles in his new home.
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Old 05-06-2016, 10:14 PM
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Tiels are very needy birds. Mine came home at 12 weeks was abundance weaned and he still regressed. I used to have to make out of cage time center around food for a good 2 weeks because he would not eat at all if he was alone. Thankfully it was a habit he grew out of quickly. I imagine his new bird will straighten itself out once it adjusts to a new environment.
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Old 05-07-2016, 12:02 AM
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Thank you mekat. I wouldn't be surprised if that is what is happening with Dusty. I'm very lucky, the birds I have did not regress to a noticeable degree.
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Old 05-07-2016, 01:23 AM
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Now it also depends on what time of day the baby was weighed, if the store weighed him just before he went home he may of had food in his crop and all along the digestive tract, if he is weighed at home 1st thing in the morning his crop would be empty and so would most of his digestive tract... So the weight from the store may or may not be an accurate weight... Just tossing that out there.
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Old 05-08-2016, 08:03 PM
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Today, Dusty's owner reports that he has "discovered food" and is eating a lot! I think he just had new bird nervousness his first week. Thanks for all your help!
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Old 05-08-2016, 08:12 PM
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I'm glad Dusty is doing well! That's great to hear, Julie!
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