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Dangers of Abundance Weaning?

Mintforest

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What I did was to start to cut out one feeding. The middle one is the one I cut out first.
I'd start by offering just a small amount of formula, then offer the diced up real food/pellets/whatever you're weaning onto. Eventually lunch was just real food

The morning feeding was the next to go, the night feeding the last.
yes that was my plan as well. Currently I work about 4 days a week, my work starts late so I have time to train and feed him a full portion in the morning about 8am. 2pm my husband feeds but he’s a little skittish so only able to get about half a portion in, then I’ll do a night feeding 8pm for a full portion. It makes sense to remove the middle feeding when he starts wanting less and maybe I’ll feed the night feeding slightly earlier.

What does your bird weigh(with empty crop)? 10% of that weight is the amount you should be feeding per feed.
He weighs 67g (+/- 0.5g) first thing in the morning, and usually 75g after his night feeding. He’s a cinnamon conure, keel bone feels good, not too prominent but still palpable. He’s also flying so that will help build his muscles.

Right now he does eat all the food I offer him, pellets he would eat if I’m around, but the ones I place in the cage mostly go to waste, I’ve not seen him eat in his cage before (have a camera set up to observe him when I’m not around). I’m using different containers to help him grasp the idea that that is food. But right now I try to get him to eat pellets when I’m around.
 

Zara

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He weighs 67g (+/- 0.5g) first thing in the morning,
So each feed should be 6.7CC - you can offer a little more, an extra CC if he´s wanting it.
Sounds like he´s on track right now with the three feeds. So just continue as you are.
Those pellets and adult foods should be offered as soon as the formula feeding has finished. Wipe him down to clean any spilled formula, then offer the veggies ,pellets, whatever you have chosen. Or a mix of the two. He has already filled his crop mostly, so being realistic, there´s no point offering a huge plate of food, but a few bits and pieces for him to try is the idea. Eventually he will start eating less formula, and wanting more aduilt foods after.
You can also offer some adult foods half way between formula feedings as the crop empties down, offer a couple of pellets, or a pea. A ¨snack¨ if you will. Just a little something to try out. explore :)

Currently my gcc would eat a full portion, the first 5-7ml he would be very quick with it, after that he slows down but if you put the syringe into his mouth he will start eating again.
This is fine.
As long as he eats the portion of his own free will.
 

Mintforest

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So each feed should be 6.7CC - you can offer a little more, an extra CC if he´s wanting it.
Sounds like he´s on track right now with the three feeds. So just continue as you are.
Those pellets and adult foods should be offered as soon as the formula feeding has finished. Wipe him down to clean any spilled formula, then offer the veggies ,pellets, whatever you have chosen. Or a mix of the two. He has already filled his crop mostly, so being realistic, there´s no point offering a huge plate of food, but a few bits and pieces for him to try is the idea. Eventually he will start eating less formula, and wanting more aduilt foods after.
You can also offer some adult foods half way between formula feedings as the crop empties down, offer a couple of pellets, or a pea. A ¨snack¨ if you will. Just a little something to try out. explore :)


This is fine.
As long as he eats the portion of his own free will.
Great! Thank you so much for the patient explanation!! This is really a big help!
 

Mintforest

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Once you are sure he´s not eating the full feed, or only half, take away one feeding, as Becky said above, remove the middle feed first. Then when you go down to one feed, it must always be the night feed as the one feed per day. It´s important that a bird goes to bed on a full crop.
Hi Zara, two weeks later and I’m back with more questions, would really appreciate if you can advise me on this.

my baby is weaning himself, his weight was 67g before weaning and now stabilizing at 62.5g with lots of flying. He takes his chop, pellets need some encouragement (I feed him by hand and he can take 1/3 teaspoon each time. I’m using Harrisons super fine).

what confuses me is that he still begs for formula, the head bob and also eating my finger, but every time when the formula is ready he will only take one mouthful and that’s it he refuses any more. Then 1 hour later he may come back to beg abit more. I guess it’s a confusing time for him as well. I’m still offering based on his schedule, 8am, 4pm and 8pm, each time he takes about 2ml

My question is, at this stage should I offer some formula every time he begs just as comfort food or just cut down on feedings and when he begs offer pellets instead? And is there anything I could do to encourage him to eat more pellets in his cage? He will take pellets from my hand and eat for a good half an hour but inside his cage he eats less (I do still find some powder showing that he’s eating, and I see him eating in my cctv, but the amount he eats is little compared to what he eats with me feeding)

thank you so much!!
 

Zara

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should I offer some formula every time he begs just as comfort food or just cut down on feedings and when he begs offer pellets instead?
Ok, so your bird weighs 62.5g so each feed should be around 6.5CC. 2 is not a lot, so drop the middle feed and just do morning and night feeds. (side note: if they pull back, I always offer one more time just to be sure they are done with that feeding session, sometimes they will eat more other times they do not want more).
After the formula feeding is done, offer adult foods right away for him to explore.
Throughout the day offer adult foods- dry food plus veggies.
If he begs between feeds, you can offer some adult foods on a little plate or on the flat of your hand.
You can try having various bowls in the cage with different foods, small amounts in lots of places and see where he likes to go and eat, then set up the foodbowl there.
 
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Mintforest

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Ok, so your bird weighs 62.5g so each feed should be around 6.5CC. 2 is not a lot, so drop the middle feed and just do morning and night feeds. (side note: if they pull back, I always offer one more time just to be sure they are done with that feeding session, sometimes they will eat more other times they do not want more).
It’s been about 3-4 days where he won’t finish 5cc of formula at each feeding.
He will eat the first cc fast, second cc alright-ish and then refuse to eat any more, 5-10min later if he begs I warm up the formula with a water bath and try again, at this point he won’t want any (beak closed and really pulling away or even flying away)

so now when he plays I spread pellets around his play area for him to pick at. Veggies and carrots/pumpkin/a little fruits etc made available to him in the mornings, he will eat those with no problem. He does love seeds and nuts and will eat them continuously, but I don’t want him to wean onto a seed diet so seeds and nuts I still keep strictly as treats during training.
 
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Zara

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I warm up the formula with a water bath
Don´t reheat formula. It must be made fresh every time.

It sounds like rejecting the feed, so defo reduce one, so it will be just morning and night. Offering adult foods right after every formula feed.

so now when he plays I spread pellets around his play area for him to pick at.
That´s good. My little ones love foraging around and exploring new foods on a table top too :)

he will eat those with no problem.
That´s great. You could try offering more veggies in the evening with some pellets sprinkled on top.
You could try offering some soaked warm pellets after formula feeding too.
Try things different ways and see what works for you :tup:
 

Mintforest

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Try things different ways and see what works for you :tup:
Thanks so much! It’s great to have your advice and it gives me so much mental comfort!

we were out this afternoon and saw him eating pellets in the cage, looks like he’s on the right track!
 

BrianB

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Firstly thanks to everybody for this very useful thread, I’ve read this again and again for the past few months and each time I’ll pickup something new and useful.



BrianB may I ask something really silly. How do you observe that they don’t want formula anymore? I currently have a 7 week gcc, handfed 3 times a day. He takes all the new food that I give to him, pellets always available, he eats here and there but never enough to fill him up, veggies I’m trying a new one every day and he’s not rejected any yet. Nuts and fruits in very small amounts as treats.

I do notice that you guys mention they take less formula over time. My biggest question is how to observe that he doesn’t want to be fed anymore after a certain amount? Currently my gcc would eat a full portion, the first 5-7ml he would be very quick with it, after that he slows down but if you put the syringe into his mouth he will start eating again. What cues should I be observing?
Sorry that it's taken me so long to reply. I didn't see the notification for this.

Chicks will be less interested in food as time goes on. Let's say you normally give the chick 10 ml of baby formula. One day you might notice the chicks turn its head away from the syringe after 7 or 8 ml, and even if you try to give it the rest it doesn't want it. Some chicks may try to actively get away from you, or they may just clamp their beak shut so you can't get any more in. I continue making the same amount and figure that some feedings the chick may want more or less than the one before. It's a waste of food, but it's to be expected if you let the chick wean on their own schedule. I'm hand feeding two chicks for a friend. One is close to weaning and will only take 2 or 3ML now, while her sibling who is only 3 days younger is still taking the whole 10ML. She wiggles to get away when she has had all she wants. She may have only a few days left, or she may drag it on for another week or more. I leave that up to her. My greening was the same, though the refusal of food is a much bigger issue. One day she wouldn't take any hand feeding at all. I knew she wasn't weaned, but I didn't force her to take any. It was 3 full wasted meals of 100ML each. The next day she was really hungry and I gave her all she wanted. She did that just once, but each day after that it became more difficult to feed her and she wanted less and less. Towards the end, it became a physical fight to get her to eat. Once I could get her in my hands and get the syringe in her mouth, she would take some, but she would swallow about half of it and then shake her head and send the rest all over the countertop and my shirt. The last few days she would avoid me if I had the syringe in my hand, and if she expressed any interest at all, she would take just a few drops. She still cried for the food, but when offered it was very clear she didn't want it. The last time she had any hand feeding she acted really hungry and then held about 25ML of food in her mouth only to spit all over the place. I decided that last time. She cried for it each morning, but it was more a daily habit than a real desire. In the morning when I was making food for the other babies, I would give her something else like a grape, almond, or a piece of apple to eat. She never stopped asking me for whatever I happened to be eating, but she never wanted baby food again. While I made a conscious decision to cut her off of the formula, it was based on her behavior. Even after she was weaned I checked her daily to make sure she wasn't losing weight. There were small fluctuations each day. A few grams up or down, but averaging a steady weight. Throughout all of this, she always had fresh food and water in her cage. Some days I would see her eating pellets right after she had taken a syringe of formula. I do the same thing with conures. There is always a small dish of food and a shallow dish of water in the cage, even if they are still being hand fed. Their natural curiosity will drive them to pick at things so they might as well have food available to them.
 

aooratrix

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Katy McElroy used to raise cockatoos and wrote extensively about Sadie, a Moluccan she'd left with the parents to be a future breeder. She would solicit feedings long past the time some humans would've weaned the bird. At well over a year, she would solicit a feeding if she was scared, too. And I remember reading that some wild macaws would beg for food from their parents well after adolescence.

The only reason to be concerned, IMO, is when you have a bird that is past the target weaning range and has a high white count. Often, a sick baby will not want to wean. All birds are different. To decide, based only on a chart or someone's estimate, is wrong. A healthy baby will wean when they're ready. I don't do anything on a schedule except bed time and food. I don't want neurotic birds; however, they need to know that their basic needs will be met.
 

Mintforest

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Sorry that it's taken me so long to reply. I didn't see the notification for this.
Hi BrianB, thank you so much for the lengthy and detailed reply. Apologies for my late reply as well

some updates to my Lambo, it’s just as you described, he/she (not sure, DNA test planned next week woohoo!) started rejecting or spitting out the formula. Last time I posted we were still on 10ml, then it went down to 6ml, 4ml and now about 2ml. He’s almost 11 weeks now but still asking for formula and I would give it to him as long as he’s willing to eat. I find that he gets very frustrated and starts biting if he’s not had his formula, even if he eats as little as 2ml. He’s eating pellets well now, I’m still introducing veggies but as long as I’m eating he would have some. Even after a full serving of pellets he sometimes would still ask for formula and I would give it to him as comfort food.

his weight has stabilized at around 62.5g on an empty stomach in the morning, before weaning it was 67g, about a 7% drop. It’s been a little hard getting an accurate empty stomach weight in because he’ll insist on eating before releasing his huge morning poop (which is usually 5g+/-). But as long as he’s over 67-68g before poop I’m quite happy. I’m also doing a lot of flight training with him to make sure he gets his exercises in to strengthen muscles and boost appetite.

Overall everything seems to be on track thanks to this wonderful thread and your advice! Really appreciate it!
 
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