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Conure losing weight

Solvurr

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Solveig Eide
Hi! I'm not quite sure if this is the right place to post this, so tell me if I'm doing it wrong lol!

So 5 days ago, I brought home a pearly conure baby about 4 weeks old (breeder said he was "around" 3 weeks on the 11th, so I'm not sure exactly how many days old he is) to hand feed. (This is my first time hand feeding, but I have done a plenty of research and I have some family members who have done it before and they've helped me whenever I've need it.)
The first day, he wouldn't take the syringe, as he had been parent-fed up until I got him. The day after, however, he came around to it, and he's taking it without issue. The problem is; he isn't eating enough, and is losing weight. He weighed 79g when I brought him home, and this morning he weighed 69g. How do I keep him from losing weight when he doesn't want to eat enough?
From what I've read, he should be eating about 7ml per meal 4-5 times a day. He usually eats somewhere between 3-6ml per meal, so the last couple of days, he's gotten 6 meals to try and even it out a bit. He's started eating a bit on his own, eating some apple, kiwi and a bit of seeds.
Other than the weight loss, he seems to be totally fine. He's active, and isn't showing any signs of malnutrition. He's preening himself, cuddly and doesn't seem to be having any issues.
 

Shezbug

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Can you get this bird back to the breeder and get them to finish raising and weaning the baby?

The loss of weight is not good.

Can you attach some pics of your baby and your set up?
What temperature are you keeping the baby at and making its food?

I don’t believe your baby will wean for quite some time so correct feeding, housing and cleaning is still very important to your little ones development.
 

Solvurr

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I'm not able to get him back yo the breeder.
I give the formula at about 40°C - 42°C
He's currently staying in a little cage with a towel on the bottom for him to hide in when he wants, and I change the towel daily.
I give him the usual meals and a little bit of fruit and seeds after meals if he wants it.
When I feed him, he takes the food with no problem, but before he has eating enough, he decides he's done eating and refuses to take any more. Sometimes, he'll take a bit more if I wait a couple of minutes.
 

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Shezbug

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@BrianB might be able to offer some help
 

Zara

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I give the formula at about 40°C - 42°C
Food should be 40.5C, and not about
Use a thermometer to get an accurate reading. Some brands will formulate their powder to allow a 1 degree drop in temp you can feed it at, but need to check manufacturers instructions to know.

That first feed after removing the bird from their parents is the hardest. It´s common they won´t eat a full feed. But now, 5 days later, they should be eating a full feed. 10% of their body weight each time. Try dimming the light a little.

Your bird seems to be fully feathered. I would be interested to know what some conure owners think of age.
@webchirp @iamwhoiam @Monica @finchly
 

Solvurr

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Food should be 40.5C, and not about
Use a thermometer to get an accurate reading. Some brands will formulate their powder to allow a 1 degree drop in temp you can feed it at, but need to check manufacturers instructions to know.

That first feed after removing the bird from their parents is the hardest. It´s common they won´t eat a full feed. But now, 5 days later, they should be eating a full feed. 10% of their body weight each time. Try dimming the light a little.

Your bird seems to be fully feathered. I would be interested to know what some conure owners think of age.
@webchirp @iamwhoiam @Monica @finchly
He is mostly fully feathered, yes, only some wing feathers and tail feathers are still not fully grown yet. He is eating some solid food, thougg. Should I put a dish of seeds and pellets in his cage so he can eat when he wants? He also tries to fly sometimes, so I've been thinking that he's maybe a littoe bit older than what the breeder told me?
 

webchirp

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Seeds aren't going to give him what he needs nutritionally and giving fruit each day is going to give you a set up for yeast growth. You really should try to give him some pellets and nutriberries. Lafeber has a wide variety of products that can help although is this something that is available to you. Ten grams would worry me and I agree...he doesn't look 4 weeks old. Steamed sweet potatoes are really good for them. I'd try that as well.

This breeder has videos based on weekly growth if you search through youtube.

 

BrianB

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Seeds aren't enough nutrition or the right kind of nutrition for conures. This of it like sugary breakfast cereal and kids. Yes, you can feed them cereal 3 meals a day, but ultimately you're going to end up with a very unhealthy diabetic teenager. Please review the manufacturer's instructions on how to mix the formula and the appropriate temperature. Feeding cool formula will slow digestion and possibly cause crop stasis. The water/formula ratio changes as the bird matures. If you want a protein boost you can mix a small amount of smooth peanut butter with very hot water. Mix that until the peanut butter is totally dissolved and then add the formula according to instructions. In the past, I've done this once or twice to get a baby back on track with its weight. They never liked the taste but I managed to get it down them and the next morning when I weighed them they were right where they needed to be. Another trick I use is to keep a small cup of hot water next to me when I feed. I dip the tip of the syringe into the hot water then place it against the side of the bird's beak. This helps stimulate them to open their beak and start bobbing. It works for babies that are slow to eat or are transitioning from being parent-fed to syringe feeding. Check the weight every morning before you feed, and write it down in a notebook or something. This will give you an idea of how much their weight changes from one day to the next. Growing birds put on weight every day, but it slows down as they start to wean and will drop then increase again as they start to fly. They are burning fat and replacing it with muscle.
 

Solvurr

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Seeds aren't enough nutrition or the right kind of nutrition for conures. This of it like sugary breakfast cereal and kids. Yes, you can feed them cereal 3 meals a day, but ultimately you're going to end up with a very unhealthy diabetic teenager. Please review the manufacturer's instructions on how to mix the formula and the appropriate temperature. Feeding cool formula will slow digestion and possibly cause crop stasis. The water/formula ratio changes as the bird matures. If you want a protein boost you can mix a small amount of smooth peanut butter with very hot water. Mix that until the peanut butter is totally dissolved and then add the formula according to instructions. In the past, I've done this once or twice to get a baby back on track with its weight. They never liked the taste but I managed to get it down them and the next morning when I weighed them they were right where they needed to be. Another trick I use is to keep a small cup of hot water next to me when I feed. I dip the tip of the syringe into the hot water then place it against the side of the bird's beak. This helps stimulate them to open their beak and start bobbing. It works for babies that are slow to eat or are transitioning from being parent-fed to syringe feeding. Check the weight every morning before you feed, and write it down in a notebook or something. This will give you an idea of how much their weight changes from one day to the next. Growing birds put on weight every day, but it slows down as they start to wean and will drop then increase again as they start to fly. They are burning fat and replacing it with muscle.
I have ordered pellets, but they won't get here for a few days, and my local pet shop doesn't have bird pellets, only for rabbits and hamsters.
What you're saying about fat burning; do they burn a lot of fat when they start becoming more active, before flying? Cause he's pretty active, and he does try to fly sometimes.
I'll see if I can get some peanutbutter today, and try that. Do I want a very watery consistensy or thicker?
 

BrianB

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I have ordered pellets, but they won't get here for a few days, and my local pet shop doesn't have bird pellets, only for rabbits and hamsters.
What you're saying about fat burning; do they burn a lot of fat when they start becoming more active, before flying? Cause he's pretty active, and he does try to fly sometimes.
I'll see if I can get some peanutbutter today, and try that. Do I want a very watery consistensy or thicker?
I would use double the water you normally use and dissolve maybe ahalf teaspoon of peanut butter in it. Use that water to make the formula. The idea is to give the baby a quick boost of protein and fat but not overload them. You’ll probably throw most of the water away but it isn’t much to waste if you only do it once or twice while the baby is hand feeding.
When chicks start flying or at least trying to they are building muscle. They will burn off some baby weight and replace it with muscle. The general increase in activity will cause the weight to drop by a few grams, then it will go back up as the muscle mass increases. That isn’t something to be worried about just to be aware of and keep an eye on it. A baby conure dropping 10 grams in a few days is concerning.
 

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Looks older than 4 weeks to me.
Here's a video of some babies posted by a breeder:
As for feeding offer him pellets, seeds, millet spray, cooked veggies and small amount of fruit.
When birds start to fledge and wean they do start to lose weight although 10 grams is too much, IMO.
I used to add a very small amount of unsweetened baby food to my babies' formula. Usually used
some baby applesauce or peaches. Made it more palatable.
 

finchly

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Baby food is a great idea. I would offer cooked quinoa, mashed sweet potato, anything he will eat at this point.

Many times I get chick starter from the feed store and soak in warm water to soften, add smashed hard boiled egg. This is great nutrition when they need to build back up.
 

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Honestly, I would guess this chick is AT LEAST 6-7 weeks old! Not 4 weeks!


Which means that he, or she, should be eating quite a bit on their own and weight would be dropping in preparation of flight. I'm not sure how much weight is an "okay" amount for them to drop for "take-off" though....

But I would definitely recommend having food available to your chick in the cage at all times!

Sprouted seeds that you've sprouted yourself is a great option as well as a variety of vegetables! Pellets, preferably dye-free and sugar free, once you get them, too.


I guess I'd be *MORE* concerned if this chick was actually younger than he or she actually is. When in doubt, seek the advice of an avian vet! :)
 

Solvurr

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Honestly, I would guess this chick is AT LEAST 6-7 weeks old! Not 4 weeks!


Which means that he, or she, should be eating quite a bit on their own and weight would be dropping in preparation of flight. I'm not sure how much weight is an "okay" amount for them to drop for "take-off" though....

But I would definitely recommend having food available to your chick in the cage at all times!

Sprouted seeds that you've sprouted yourself is a great option as well as a variety of vegetables! Pellets, preferably dye-free and sugar free, once you get them, too.


I guess I'd be *MORE* concerned if this chick was actually younger than he or she actually is. When in doubt, seek the advice of an avian vet! :)
If what the breeder said is correct, he would be about 5 weeks now, but considering he said "around" 3 weeks when he first told me his age, he could be a few days older than that.
I don't have any avian specific vets, but there is one about an hour away that has a dexent knowlege about birds, so I'm gonna try and get a checkup asap, hopefully next week :)
I've put a dish with seeds, cooked sweet potatoes and some millet in his cage now. Should I also put a water bottle in maybe?
 

Solvurr

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Baby food is a great idea. I would offer cooked quinoa, mashed sweet potato, anything he will eat at this point.

Many times I get chick starter from the feed store and soak in warm water to soften, add smashed hard boiled egg. This is great nutrition when they need to build back up.
Should I mix the mashed sweet potato in with the formula? Or just make a mash for him to eat?
 

finchly

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I would offer it separately as a mash
Should I mix the mashed sweet potato in with the formula? Or just make a mash for him to eat?
 

Monica

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Yes, water should be available.

I would suggest an open source of water along with a water bottle if you plan on using a bottle.
 
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