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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi!
Chiribiri has finally begun to eat pellets* consistently as long as I feed them to him 🤦‍♂️ Which is progress and absolutely awesome!!
However, I've noticed he now eats fewer seeds. On a typical day, he'd consume about 2tsp. Yesterday I estimated he ate about a tsp, day before that about 1/2tsp, and two days before about 1/2tsp.
One might think pellets are replacing seeds in the diet, however:
- I'm hand feeding him crushed TOP's pellets, 1-2 tsp, unknown quantity is actually consumed (a lot ends up on the floor or across the room)
- He never ate fewer seeds on days we hit training hard (i.e. millet spray or cookies** via step up) and/or he'd go to town on veggies, there's always room for millet?!
- His poops are smaller, including the overnight mega bombs

He had a vet visit a couple weeks ago for nail/claw trimming, and weighed in at 28.3g on the vet's scale. I just weighed him to his chagrin and my relief, he was 28.1g.
It also appears he's going through another molt again, new pin feathers on his face (he's a monthly kind I suppose).


I am leaving in a few hours for a conference and will return Friday. Family will be staying at my house to care for him, and has instructions to watch the volume and keep hand-feeding pellets and millet as necessary. I've provided avian vet info as well, but I'm hoping there is no need for this.

He's active, singing, squawking, and happily engages with me as long as I bring treats - which may not be an immediate sign, these guys can mask symptoms.
Searching the forum is kind of scary, he might be sick - but how? Well, I left some veggies up longer than I should've last week, and also I accidentally fed him a little cookie that was beginning to smell off.
He could also be moody from the molt and weather change - we went from heat wave to chilly overnight and that next day he ate the least.

The interesting thing I've noticed.. he hops to his bowl, completes his usual happy choorping/chirping routine, takes a few seeds then squawks and flies back up to his safety perch. It looks like something may be startling him. I've reoriented everything in the cage back to his "comfort" (I move his seed bowl around to different places). He gladly takes food from my hands whether seeds, cookie, veggies, even crushed top's pellets.

Ugh, right before my trip, too. Should family take him to vet? My concern would be the vet will give him generic antibiotic and then he needs to be on it 7-14 days rather than take a gram stain or other test.

Hopefully family doesn't need to take him to the vet, and I can do so if necessary when I return. For sure I'll weigh him when I get back.

Any words of wisdom? It really does seem like the pellets are replacing the seeds... but.. with this progress I don't want to experiment and take away the pellet feeding right now?

Footnotes:
* he's always HATED TOP's, anytime I'd offer to him, he'd squawk and fly away, or if powdered over his seeds he'd refuse. Then all of a sudden he began eating the small crumbs from my finger! So we now play the pellet game 2-3 times daily and we go through about a tsp of the pellets. Recording showing proof to be shared when I return :)
** cookies are top's birdie bread baked with applesauce and seeds mixed in, he enjoys picking seeds out but was not eating the actual pellet powder part. I'm thinking after several months these cookies are what got him into trying the top's! I made a big batch and froze them several months ago, take one out to defrost, and keep it airtight. It is good for about 3 days before it smells off, this time was less than 48 hours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for that. BTW, "volume" here is not noise, but how much food he's eating. Sorry for the confusion ;)
I've taken pictures of the pellet crushing process and shared the steps in detail and on the phone. The particular family member that will be here has been mistaken for my twin in public, and Chiribiri has had no issues stepping up for millet and taking treats from him. I've no worries the process will be respected to the best of his ability.

I'm not sure what's going on, I don't think he's sick, maybe just being overly cautious. The concern stems from what looks like he's not eating enough, since the seed amount he eats has dropped off quite a bit. It's tough to gauge whether the crushed top's pellets are enough, he's certainly not begging, but his poops are really small. And again, in the past he'd still eat 2 full teaspoons of seeds even when I'd give him extra spray millets for being brave and stepping up (more millet that I care to admit, don't tell @FaeryBee 🤫).

I observed him more this morning , and it really is as if something's spooking him when he attempts to eat. Just a few seeds, squawk, he flies off and up to his safety perch. This is followed by very aggressive self preening (almost like a nervous tic). I've got the bowl of top's adjacent to it, he has eyed it a few times. It'd be nice of him if he'd just trust me, jump in and eat...🤡
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
@ChickWas I'm working on it. He's decided to be extremely terrified of my phone right now, and I need two hands to do the pellets with him (one to hold the dish); the previous videos I've shared I could do one handed. 🤷‍♂️
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Some success filming one handed. You'll see his body language is mostly on edge, he's generally very calm or eager when we play this game but the phone had him so conflicted. The TOP's video I had trouble picking up the smaller pieces with my fingers and ended up giving him larger ones which he drops. Bonus nutriberry video.. I tried these a few months back on recommendation from spicy pigeon, and Chiribiri was terrified of them. Something just clicked and he attempted to bite them today, and after a little help getting the first seed loose, and now it looks these are quite tasty! I should start a pictures/video thread in the right forum, will do that soon :p


 
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