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Urgent Baby self-starving

Discussion in 'Bird Emergency Highway 911' started by ELRJ, 2/28/18.

  1. ELRJ

    ELRJ Checking out the neighborhood

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    Please help: I adopted a 5-week old lovebird from a breeder via craigslist which I'm calling Baby (for now). (Baby may be 6-weeks old). I've had tame cockatiels, a breeding pair and raised the babies by hand; and tame finch before... So I didn't think much of taking the baby at this age since the breeder was offering it; I just assumed I would take over the feedings no problems, 4x daily.
    I should have waited, I realize now how silly I was!

    I've had Baby just 36 hours, but s/he won't make a peep, and I have had the MOST surprisingly difficult time getting baby to eat.
    I can only suppose s/he is so completely freaked out by being some place new and away from her flock. Although she seems alert and even relaxed with me, she flat out refuses to eat.
    I'm preparing the formula carefully measured, and warming it to temp w/ a thermometer, and doing everything I know to do just right, but I can barely get her to take a syringe, I'm using one that's just under 2mL/cc. I've been able to feed her about 1.5 mL per feeding by super gentle force. I don't want to stress her any more than necessary so once I get the first syringe-s worth into her (and much on her face and feathers), I'm returning her rest back in the safety of her room.
    I was thinking if I went up to 5 feedings a day perhaps it may make up for how little she is eating? I feel like the videos I see of birds this age being fed on youtube they eat loads more than she is.
    I have tried spoon feeding; also softened warmed sweet potato, apple, banana, and date. She clearly has no idea how to eat solid food, but despite me managing to sneak tastes into her beak she refuses even these sweets.

    I am hoping and praying patience, gentleness and space will give her time to relax but y'all I'm not a miracle worker and I am not up for this: she is not going to eat enough.
    (I have been encouraged her poops look normal; but I've only had her a short time.)

    Someone with time and experience could get her through this but it is beyond my skill!
    I've started to call Avian Veterinarians to see if I can surrender her to someone with skill.

    I'm trying not to freak out, but with my experience with birds I know how delicate they can be, and I never anticipated she would refuse to eat! (so foolish, I realize that now!!) Send us prayers and good vibes please! I've always wanted a lovebird and I am SO thrilled to have her, but this is scary!

    (the breeder is not responding to my attempts to contact them to return her)
     
  2. Jas

    Jas Rollerblading along the road

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    i have no experience with lovies nor hand feeding but i would take her in vet check to be on the safe side as there could be something more serious going on.

    You could play baby love birds begging for food from their parents on YouTube, maybe that will spark baby to eat as they can hear other babies begging.

    I would also start to weigh baby as well daily at least.

    really hope that she starts to eat soon, best wishes to the pair of you!
     
  3. sunnysmom

    sunnysmom Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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  4. webchirp

    webchirp Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Rescue Representative

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    Call the vet...she might need gavage feeding. Do as many feedings as you can to get food into her if she won't take large amounts. Someone here will chime in with the required amount.
     
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  5. ELRJ

    ELRJ Checking out the neighborhood

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    Thank you Jas for the idea of playing feeding sounds: I just tried it and it went a teeny bit better.

    I realize I am not triggering the feeding response! How can I help get her in the mood for food?
     
  6. SandraK

    SandraK Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran I Can't Stop Posting!

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    Can you give us a general idea of where you are? Your baby might not be the 6 weeks you were told and from the sound of it you will need all the help any one of us can give.

    It might also not recognize that you are trying to feed it. You might have to gently open its beak and put some food in its mouth to cause a feeding reaction. My experience from tiel babies only.
     
    Last edited: 2/28/18
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  7. lotus15

    lotus15 Cruising the avenue Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    Please find a vet or another local breeder ASAP who is experienced in feeding and can assist in person.
     
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  8. Tiel Feathers

    Tiel Feathers Cruising the avenue Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award

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    I hope you can get her to eat enough! Unfortunately it sounds like athat was a very irresponsible breeder. An avian vet might be able to help you. I hope she’ll be okay!
     
  9. Laurie

    Laurie Rollerblading along the road Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Veteran Vendor

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    I understand you are doing your best and it is frustrating but she really needs to each. I have never feed lovies only parrotlets and caiques. Each bird has their own particularities.

    I have a few questions:
    Was she being handfed before you got her or parent reared?
    Are you using the same formula?
    How warm is the formula?
    Is she fully feathered?
    Does she beg for food at all?
     
  10. Macawnutz

    Macawnutz Seriously Nutz! Super Administrator AA Advertising Exec Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    This and can we get pictures?
     
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  11. iamwhoiam

    iamwhoiam Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    Hope your baby will be OK. It's too bad that you can not contact the breeder. At least you already have experience with feeding but keep trying to contact the breeder. Are you feeding the same formula as the breeder?
    I used to tap the beak slightly with the syringe tip to try to stimulate a feeding response with babies who didn't initially want to take formula. I also made sure that the formula was the correct temperature and the correct consistency. I also added some baby food applesauce or peaches to the formula. Feeding small amounts frequently may be what you have to do right now. Hopefully he/she will start eating more during each feeding.
    Be sure to monitor the baby's weight daily.

    I had difficulty feeding Scully. I wound up feeding him 5-6X a day initially. I did not expect that and had planned to only feed 3X a day. I would usually feed him first but then decided I would feed his brother first. He didn't like that, started crying and jumping up and down in the brooder. When I pulled him to feed him he readily ate the formula and then I never had any problems feeding him again. Although you don't have the option of another bird to feed first, maybe you could eat some softened food in front of him or pretend to eat the formula. It might sound silly but it couldn't hurt.
     
    Last edited: 2/28/18
  12. Birdbabe

    Birdbabe Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    You may have to tube feed, but you must be experienced to do this..he's too young to be weaned..the syringe and spoon isn't working? Sometimes if you rub the sides of the beak, it will stimulate the feeding response..I'm sure part of it is a new scary place..shame on that breeder! That baby NEEDS 1and a half to 2 cc"s a feeding,,,which is what your doing..not much more, but no less than that...the crop should be squishy and full, but, not bulging and overfull...a good rule of thumb is to put a couple drops of BRAGGS apple cider vinegar in the formula to help digestion and prevent sour crop..hope the little one " gets it" quickly and starts to relax and eat!
     
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  13. karen256

    karen256 Rollerblading along the road Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Veteran

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    It's a little late now, but weigh her as soon as you can. That will help a lot (and you might find she's eating a little when you aren't looking).

    I don't know anything about lovebirds specifically, but it seems like 6 weeks old might be when they are starting to fledge and will naturally eat a little less and lose some weight, even though they aren't weaned yet. The breeder might've thought she was weaned because of that, if they didn't really know what they were doing. That's why weighing them is good, since up to 10% weight loss can be normal at fledging.

    Also make sure the baby is kept nice and warm! The breeder might've stopped providing supplemental heat, but she had siblings to cuddle up with there. A cold baby will not have much appetite.

    And definitely, take her in to a vet for a checkup as soon as you can. There are so many things that can go wrong raising babies, the vet visit will be worth it for peace of mind even if she starts eating.
     
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  14. iamwhoiam

    iamwhoiam Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    How is the baby doing? BTW, do you know how often the breeder was feeding him/her or was he still being fed by his parents?
    Lovebirds might start to wean at about 5 weeks of age, but they are still being fed at that time and not fully weaned.
     
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  15. rockybird

    rockybird Rollerblading along the road Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Veteran

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    Hopefully, you got her to the vet asap. I hope she is doing okay. The longer she goes without food, the less the chance of recovery. I think taking her to the vet immediately is the best course of action.
     

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