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Baby vs adult treatment?

BirbFriend

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This is less about chick weaning than the time they're grown but before puberty. There's lots of advice out there on adult birds, and lots of advice on raising/feeding/weaning chicks, but kind of a void for that in-between period?

Example: I have a GCC that was an older baby/adolescent (6 mos) when I got her. She was branded 'mean' by the breeder, was located in a dark cage away from the other birds and I had to ask multiple times for them to take her out and they'd only agree to it if they did it toweled, so I think she was alone for a long time. Guys, this bird was so, so starved for affection, when it was feeding time at the pet shop she was the only bird in the store not going nuts because she was too busy getting head scritches. She's been with us 4 months and is a super snuggler and loves to sleep in your hair or under a blanket with you. I won't pet her below the neck besides her feets, but she will squish herself under your chin or against the palm of your hand and go to sleep.

Snuggling up against my hand, getting under blankets, these things are all hormonal triggers that I'd watch out for in an adult bird, but seem more like comfort seeking behaviors for her at this stage of development? I think about Harlow's monkey experiments and how she needs lots of affection to develop healthy attachment styles and overcome as much 'wire mommy' damage as possible.

For those of you who have raised birds from babies, can you give any tips?
Is there anything babies need more of? Less? Completely different?
 

macawpower58

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Check out this thread.

 

BirbFriend

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Not quite what I'm looking for. That's more about personality changes of the bird before/after puberty and people talking about whether they maintained their bond.

This is more like... do adolescent birds need more/less sleep than adults? Should the be encouraged or discouraged from exploring nest-like situations? Is it better to teach them to explore or to develop boundaries? Or both, but at different ages?

Kids have different needs than adults. Puppies have different needs than dogs. Etc.
 

Momof3litt

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I am interested in any responses to this also, although I suspect that there is little formal information in this area.

I asked my avian vet about this when I brought Argo (5 month old GCC) for his first check up and she had no resources to share on this topic.

For example, GCCs are cavity sleepers for their whole lives, not just during nesting periods. I suspect that this affects the "acceptable" level of snuggling/cavity play, but I have never been able to find any info about this.

Will happily share if I ever come across anything relevant!
 

Wardy

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Sleep wise you should be aiming for 12 hours a night with them no matter on age this is dictated by there enviroment not there age. Mine dont always get 12 hours occasionally will get 10 depending on circumstance.

All cavity seeking behaviour should be discouraged.


Whilst a 10 month GCC could potentially classed as a juvenile they are also possibly sexually mature and able to breed at this age.
 

Mizzely

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As far as I'm aware, once they are weaned, they have similar needs to their adult counter parts. They need more opportunities to learn, perhaps, and need more guidance as they discover who they are, but I've not seen anything about different needs as far as diet, sleep, etc.
 

Zara

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She was branded 'mean' by the breeder, was located in a dark cage away from the other birds
Aww, that´s incredibly sad.

Is there anything babies need more of? Less?
Birds that have just weaned are still in the transition to adult life and comfort is always reassuring - occasional feedings or snuggles can give them that. They don´t tend to seek it as much as they get a little older.
It´s important to always dedicate a similar amount of time to the birds from the moment you get them, so they don´t get plenty of attention or flight time as a youngster, and less as an adult.

do adolescent birds need more/less sleep than adults?
Not quite. They should be given the same sleep time as adult birds, but young birds that have just weaned will often nap during the day between burst of energy. So seeing them sleeping during the day is not uncommon.

Should the be encouraged or discouraged from exploring nest-like situations?
I leave a shelter in the cage while my birds transition through weaning into adult life before removing the box. Except for my eldest male (lovebird) he had his nest box for years until he got himself a girlfriend. He never put nesting material in it, tried to build a nest nor guarded it so it was never a problem, he would just climb in to sleep. It´s important to know what nesting behaviour looks like in the species we live with so we can recognise it and remove nooks and nests when we see it starting.

but I've not seen anything about different needs as far as diet, sleep, etc.
Exactly. Diet is the same as well as sleep. Though I suppose for newly weaned birds, they are still exploring and learning new foods. It is less frequent that we present something new to our adult birds.
 

Laurie

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I will chime in here. It is an interesting question. I have had several birds that I raised from hatching to adults. I can think of two that were parrotlets and I currently have 4 caiques who are nearly breeding age that I have raised since hatching. I also have 6 caiques who are nearly 9 that I have had since weaning.

Once weaned they have pretty much the same requirements as adults as far as sleep, food and attention.

They will behave differently sometimes. They may have more energy and play more. They will be more curious and less cautious. They may also for a time allow you to push past their limits without biting or pushing back. They may also allow more handling such as being cupped in your hand or moved to places they do not really intend to go.

As they get closer to adulthood you may notice that they are more independent and have more a mind of their own, they will let you know that they do not like something and they will be more persistent and stubborn. Also breeding age birds tend to be more afraid of change, more cautious and perhaps more assertive of what they want and do not want from you.

In every stage we need to be a good student of bird behavior and be alert to their changing habits, opinions and behaviors. We need to adapt quickly and always be in tune with the bird. What may have been something that worked, was enjoyed or tolerated with a younger bird may change and we have to adapt. Forget what they used to like and go with what's in front of you now.

I personally always recommend that if you know certain things will be a bad idea for an older bird or will not work long term don't make a habit of it now. Set good routines and boundaries when they are young and curb bad habits at an early age.

I hope at least some of this is what you are looking for. Best wishes to your and your new bird.
 

Just-passn-thru

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I will chime in here. It is an interesting question. I have had several birds that I raised from hatching to adults. I can think of two that were parrotlets and I currently have 4 caiques who are nearly breeding age that I have raised since hatching. I also have 6 caiques who are nearly 9 that I have had since weaning.

Once weaned they have pretty much the same requirements as adults as far as sleep, food and attention.

They will behave differently sometimes. They may have more energy and play more. They will be more curious and less cautious. They may also for a time allow you to push past their limits without biting or pushing back. They may also allow more handling such as being cupped in your hand or moved to places they do not really intend to go.

As they get closer to adulthood you may notice that they are more independent and have more a mind of their own, they will let you know that they do not like something and they will be more persistent and stubborn. Also breeding age birds tend to be more afraid of change, more cautious and perhaps more assertive of what they want and do not want from you.

In every stage we need to be a good student of bird behavior and be alert to their changing habits, opinions and behaviors. We need to adapt quickly and always be in tune with the bird. What may have been something that worked, was enjoyed or tolerated with a younger bird may change and we have to adapt. Forget what they used to like and go with what's in front of you now.

I personally always recommend that if you know certain things will be a bad idea for an older bird or will not work long term don't make a habit of it now. Set good routines and boundaries when they are young and curb bad habits at an early age.

I hope at least some of this is what you are looking for. Best wishes to your and your new bird.
Great sound advice @Laurie , I agree with you 100 % what worked before doesn't necessarily work now .

"Set good routines and boundaries when they are young and curb bad habits at an early age." so true ! Laurie
 
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