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baby cockatiel refuses to eat if not handfed (51-days-old)


Checking out the neighborhood
hey!! writing from my phone, so please excuse any mistakes,,
i currently have two cockatiels, a lady and her 51-day-old baby. when the baby was much younger and they were temporarily not living with me (i was moving, so i left my babies at my dad's house to avoid issues both with the move itself and them getting hurt in any way) there was an irresponsible mistake and both mommy and daddy bird ran away. we found mommy around a week later, but daddy still hasn't been found (my dad's neighborhood is full of bird owners and big dog owner, so i'm going with optimism and believe someone caught him and is taking care of his dumb bum).
after coming back home, mommy bird rejected the baby so i kept handfeeding him. from what i've read he should be mostly eating by himself by now, and for the record he does eat! every morning i offer him seeds, fruits and veggies (he loves broccoli so mostly veggies), and he eats them for the most part, but for a few days now he's been much more rebellious: he eats close to nothing or nothing if i'm not sitting by him, putting him back close to his dish everytime he comes asking me for food. i still handfeed him at least once a day both because he screams constantly until being handfed and i worry he may not be eating enough on his own. i've tried feeding him and his mommy on the same dish so he could watch her eat and maybe copy but it seems to work the same; he eats a bit and comes asking me to handfeed him, i place him back.
is this normal? what can i do to make him eat on his own more easily?


Lil Monsters Bird Toys
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Shawna [she/her]
51 days is still a baby! Totally normal to still be asking for handfeeding until they are 8 to 12 weeks old (some longer).

Food is not just for hunger. It is for comfort, love, reassurance. Feed that baby ;)


Sprinting down the street
The typical weaning age for cockatiels is 6-9 weeks. Of course if the baby refuses to eat on it's own then it's not weaned; they can't be forced to speed up the process, so for now just enjoy the extra bonding time.