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What to do for a stunted baby?

Discussion in 'Breeders Boulevard' started by ~birdybea~, 11/22/09.

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  1. ~birdybea~

    ~birdybea~ Rollerblading along the road Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue

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    One of my eight baby budgies seems to be rather stunted. He's just not growing at a normal rate (if at all). His younger sibling has over taken him in size, and the youngest baby is catching up fast. It's really disheartening to watch. I've had to feed him twice today because mum hasn't got to him, though he's always screaming for food when i check on them. Despite having not tried hand rearing formula before he positively guzzled it down when i offered it to him. Here are some pics from a week and a half ago, and tonight.

    [​IMG]
    I started suspecting something was off around this stage, his pins were starting to come through, but his head seems too big for his body and his cere is protruding more than usual.

    This is him tonight. As far as size goes he's not a lot bigger, but he has a few more pin feathers.
    [​IMG]

    And with his younger sibling
    [​IMG]
    Clearly the younger one is already bigger with more pin feathers.

    [​IMG]
    And even the little one, four days younger, is catching up.

    I'm not sure what to do. :( I asked a co-worker and he said he'd had a budgie like this before. It stayed small and when all it's siblings weaned it continued to want feedings, so he started hand feeding it. But it never started eating on its own. In the end he had to bring it into work and have it put to sleep as hand rearing it for life wasn't possible and the vet felt it would be kinder.

    Surely there must be something i can do? :(
     
  2. Billie Faye

    Billie Faye Biking along the boulevard Avenue Spotlight Award

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    You can do your best with it and give it lots of love...
    I really can't tell you it will survive and lead a good life...I'm sorry but have seen them make it for a short time (under a year)...their organs just don't develope properly...JMHO:hug8:
     
    Last edited: 11/22/09
  3. ~birdybea~

    ~birdybea~ Rollerblading along the road Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue

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    I thought as much. :( I hate some aspects of breeding. But little Whitey will be loved and cherished however long he's here. Snuggled to pieces too, as all my little bubba's are. :heart:
     
  4. Ede-bird

    Ede-bird Jogging around the block

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    Being "Loved and cherished and snuggled to pieces" is alot! The quality of life is not measured by the length of it, but by the amount of love in it. :)
     
  5. I suggest you do not breed the parents again. They might have some hereditary genetic defect they pass to a percentage of their babies and I am sure you don't want this to happen to another innocent baby bird.
     
  6. Abby

    Abby Walking the driveway

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    I'd get him out now and start hand feeding. If you can get onto him early then there's a small chance that you may be able to get him up. It's a chance but one that I feel is worth giving a go.
     
  7. ~birdybea~

    ~birdybea~ Rollerblading along the road Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue

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    Is formula really any better than what the mum can give? I've always been told that HR bubs grow slower than parent fed.
     
  8. Abby

    Abby Walking the driveway

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    When mum isn't able to do the job properly then it's the best alternative.

    I had a clutch of GCCs last year. I left 2 with the parents and hand raised the other 3. By the time all 5 were weaned you couldn't tell the difference physically.

    In this case you taking over may be the best thing for this babe. I leave my guys with the parents for the first 3 weeks (talking mainly cockatiels and bigger) whenever possible. I do believe that that first 3 weeks at least gives them a really good head start. That's just the way I breed my birds. However, there have been times I've had to interfere earlier when the babes health was at risk.
     
  9. ~birdybea~

    ~birdybea~ Rollerblading along the road Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue

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    I'll have to consider doing that. At this point i might keep it in the nest and feed it several times a day, just so i don't have to worry about warmth.
     
  10. Abby

    Abby Walking the driveway

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    I think that's a good idea. If you can keep supp feeding as often as possible and mum's ok with that then it's going to be less work for you and better in some ways for the babe having siblings with it.
     
  11. atvchick95

    atvchick95 Biking along the boulevard

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    I don't hand feed budgies unless i have to but with my tiels and lovebirds I've done both - Hand fed and parent fed... I've done it at the same time Leaving 1 or 2 babies for mom (depending on how many she had) and to be honest the ones I hand fed Grew up bigger and Faster than the parent raised ones, and The parents were doing it all right! - could just of been the birds their self I don't know

    in your case. It can be something internal that can't be seen visually--

    I can't remember if the parents to these guys were 1st timers?

    I've had it happen a couple times with 1st time parents a baby or 2 just wasn't thriving as much as the rest, even with just 4 babies But grew up to be fine

    but at this rate of slowness I'd be inclined to start hand feeding him/her.

    Keeping in mind it may or may not make it But that would be the same outcome staying with mom and dad as well. Specially if it is something internal

    One of my lovebird pairs I hand fed both of their babies one was born with Splayed leg. Was doing great was doing just fine when I fed it his nightly feeding, Got up the next day he was weak, didn't want to eat, couldn't hold his head up on his own.... he was gone moments later

    I think he had internal issues that finally took his little life.
     
  12. Prince Toasty Buns

    Prince Toasty Buns Jogging around the block

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    I am in agreement with those that have said to start handfeeding the stunted baby. Keep the formula on the thin side for awhile. If you leave the baby in the nest with a full crop of formula, there is a possibility that if it is piled on by the other nestling or parents, the formula could come up some and aspirate the baby. If I were in your shoes, I would remove the 3 or 4 youngest ones and handfeed them all. Of course you will have to set up a brooder to keep them properly warmed but if you are allowing breeding and will again in the future, then you should have this equipment at the ready already.

    I also suggest to purchase a book called Handfeeding & Nursery Management. In it you will find tons of advice. A must have in my opinion for anyone that allows breeding and even for any birdkeeper.

    The book says that "stunting syndrome is caued by malnutrition" and there are different causes of malnutrition. One of them can be bacterial or fungal infection. It also says (among other things) that "in some cases the addition of digestive enzymes to the formula can help a bird with its growth" if stunted.

    I myself have been handfeeding for many yrs., mostly crop feeding and I don't have this problem. I don't advise crop feeding though until you learn how to properly do it from a very experienced person, maybe try and find a local breeder to teach you.

    Anyway, whether you feed with a spoon, syringe or crop feed, I suggest you get some Nystatin asap (liquid fungal med, pretty safe) and add some to the formula. Can help, can't really hurt. An avian vet would probably be your best source or a local breeder.

    Another option would be to find that local breeder and if she/he is willing, they might just take the baby from you (especially if they are already handfeeding other small babies) and wean it out. I would not expect it back of course and you might even give them a donation for doing this for you. Of course you would want to find a very experienced reputable breeder, not just anyone. Good luck to the little one.
     
    Last edited: 11/23/09
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  13. Birdbabe

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

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    your doing the best you can, and everyone has great input. I had a stunted cockatiel baby like that. It took lots of work but he did eventually grow up and he is now 8 years old....but sadly he dosent fly due to a deformed wing, but he gets along just fine now with his eating, preening, playing...he just spends alot of time on the floor and the lower perches. Good luck with the liitle guy, he sure is cute.
     
  14. srtiels

    srtiels Rollerblading along the road Mayor of the Avenue

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  15. ~birdybea~

    ~birdybea~ Rollerblading along the road Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue

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    While i have the equipment i'm not really feeling up for that just at the moment. If it was absolutely necessary i would, of course, but i don't see that it is. If i half fill bub up with formula mum usually tops him up. How is a crop filled with formula different to a crop filled with mush from the parents as far as aspirating goes?

    He was actually OUT of the nest box this morning, sitting in a low sided food bowl trying to eat (but he's too little). I can hear mum feeding the bubs now, and if when i go up there again after breakfast he's not fed i'll top him up.
     
  16. Abby

    Abby Walking the driveway

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    Unless you've been shown how to crop feed properly in person and done it under supervision it's not something I'd take on. Doesn't take much to screw up and end up with a dead babe. I've been through crop feeding with another breeder and I still avoid it like the plague. If bubs is feeding from mum and taking whatever method you're using then I see no need to crop feed.
     
  17. ~birdybea~

    ~birdybea~ Rollerblading along the road Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue

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    I'm not a fan of crop feeding except as a way of getting food into a sick bird. I don't know how to do it myself and can't see myself being comfortable with it any time soon. It is something i expect i'll learn at work eventually though.

    Little Whitey is a piggy when it comes to food. He's more than happy to take formula off a bent spoon. I think he'd eat past full if i let him. As it is i fill him up about half way so that he's still crying for food. Mum usually tops him up then. :) At night before bed i fill him all the way up so that he's nice and full and ready for sleepies.
     
  18. Abby

    Abby Walking the driveway

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    Honestly Belinda, it sounds like you have it all under control, or as much as possible. Only other thing I'd suggest is weigh him every second day just make sure he is putting on some weight. You knmow the routine, before first feed in the morning.
     
  19. ~birdybea~

    ~birdybea~ Rollerblading along the road Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue

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    Will start doing that! :) Good tip. I think i ought to weigh the eldest too, she's just starting to wean and the parents are feeding her less.
     
  20. robin's my baby

    robin's my baby Rollerblading along the road Avenue Veteran

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    so what happen to te little baby
     
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