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Baby Cockatiel Stunted Growth - Help!

JasmineZ

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Hi Folks,
We recently rescued a tiel from a very bad situation. He/She has been on a course of antibiotics since and seen an avian vet. We have hovered over and had many sleepless nights caring for baby.

As time has progressed (Fitz) has been doing better and recently became a fledgling. Our concern is that from the poor start in life, his weight only ever reached a peak of 69. Since fledging, he has come down to 62 and has not gained.

I offer a wide range of foods, includingmillet, pellets, seeds, steamed veggies, pasta and brown rice. He loves the millet best (ofcourse). He’s happy, active, playful, preening, chirpy and an absolute sweetheart. But I believe he is stunted? How do I help him gain? Or is stunting permanent? I have provided crushed sunflower seeds in his food.

I also believe ‘he’ might be a ‘she’...

Because baby sleeps like a pancake, flat on her belly in my hand and grinds her beak happily before dozing. Does anyone else’s bird do this?
 

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Birdbabe

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What a beautiful baby! He or she may be stunted and never be a big tiel, but all in all should adapt just fine, baby will grow, maybe slower than normal, but will. Just keep offering good foods, it's normal for them to lose a little weight after fledging..do weigh him at least twice a week at around the same time, an keep a record of it, any concerns, consult with your vet.. that baby feels completely safe with you to sleep in your hand like that. Thank you for helping him. :heart:
 

Gokha

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Hi! How old is the baby (approximately)? Is he fully weaned?
i’d suggest giving him nutritionally balanced pellets with vitamins and minerals as main food source. If he had a rough start, he may have deficiencies, especially considering the antibiotics course, which can affect the immune system in general.
 

Shezbug

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What a cutie pie this one is!!
 

JasmineZ

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What a beautiful baby! He or she may be stunted and never be a big tiel, but all in all should adapt just fine, baby will grow, maybe slower than normal, but will. Just keep offering good foods, it's normal for them to lose a little weight after fledging..do weigh him at least twice a week at around the same time, an keep a record of it, any concerns, consult with your vet.. that baby feels completely safe with you to sleep in your hand like that. Thank you for helping him. :heart:
I weigh him daily. He came to us weighing in at 37g. The next day his stomach was pumped and he lost weight down to 32g. That night I stayed awake and just sat with him by the brooder watching. I was terrified we would lose him. I then started a regime:

5-6ml formula 4 times a day
2ml pedalyte solution for rehydration
1.2ml antibiotics before the morning and afternoon feed
Organic apple sauce and papaya extract added to food to help digestion

This was followed stringently for just over a week. Everything was sterilized before use and tested with a thermometer before feeds. We were trying to undo the damage the breeder had done.

His weight went from
37g
(Stomach pumped)
32g
34g
36g
43g
49g
51g
53g
57g
61g
64g
69g
64g (attempting time fly)
62g (unmoving thus far)

I’m so hoping that baby gains some more. I want him/her to have a long and healthy life. We love this little one so much and have fought to keep them alive.
 

JasmineZ

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Hi! How old is the baby (approximately)? Is he fully weaned?
i’d suggest giving him nutritionally balanced pellets with vitamins and minerals as main food source. If he had a rough start, he may have deficiencies, especially considering the antibiotics course, which can affect the immune system in general.
Breeder gave us zero information on age. He was only interested in money and didn’t have any concept that the little one was so desperately unwell. He mentioned he acquired the bird from another breeder, so this baby has been moved quite a bit unfortunately. No wonder it had a tough start. He had no hatch date or any details as to when the little one was removed from its parents. I have attached a photo of when we first brought him home. We assume he was around 3 weeks. He was tiny.
 

JasmineZ

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He’s n
Hi! How old is the baby (approximately)? Is he fully weaned?
i’d suggest giving him nutritionally balanced pellets with vitamins and minerals as main food source. If he had a rough start, he may have deficiencies, especially considering the antibiotics course, which can affect the immune system in general.
He is not fully weaned yet. He still has two feeds in the late afternoon and evening. He will not take a feed in the morning, but is is quite insistent in the evening, gaping openly and willingly for food. I have been giving him pellets partially crushed, but he prefers the millet. I’m trying to encourage the pellets though, as I know they are more nutritionally robust for him.
 

Shezbug

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Have you tried soaked warm pellets? A lot of babies will gulp them down if they are soaked and warmed a little. Just a thought.
 

Gokha

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Looks like 3-3.5 weeks old if it’s a normal growth rate. I’ve happen to see chicks to who are 5-6 weeks old, but for some reason still look like they’re younger. Saw your reply regarding the pellets, try soaking them in warm water, they’ll become mushy, and feed from a little spoon and eventually moving the spoon away, encouraging him to eat on his own. This is how I weaned my baby ringneck. Cockatiel’s are prone to fatty liver and obesity in general, so millet is not the best diet for them, more like an occasional treat :D when the vet examined my little ‘tiel, he said she’s a little overweight (unfortunately she can’t fly properly and has been on a seed only diet before i got her), so her best option to lose weight and get healthier is to be eat pellets for the most part
 

Vittror

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What a beautiful bird! Thank you for saving him/her! :heart:

that baby feels completely safe with you to sleep in your hand like that.
Yup! And also beak grinding is a good thing! It's a sign they're completely comfortable/close to going to sleep :)
 

sunnysmom

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He is so cute! Thank you for helping him. I'm not a baby expert but I believe it's normal for them to lose a bit of weight when they first start flying. Hopefully he will get his weight up some more as he grows. I have a tiel right now though who is an adult and only ways 72 grams. My vet says it's a healthy weight for him. He's just small.
 
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