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Diet failure :( any tips welcome

Sparkles!

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Winston Churchill is pudgy. No, scratch that. He’s plain old tubby. He’s a chunk.
He always has been a larger bird, and to a certain extent we (his vet and I) believe that he will always be on the bigger side of Cockatieldom genetics. His healthy weight is normally ~145 g.
Due to his frequent severe night frights causing permanent damage to his flights, his vet has grounded him permanently. Not flying has kept him safe on that front but it’s been an uphill battle in regards to his waistline. His weight has ballooned, 176 grams as of vet visit today.
We have been (trying) working it off with very little forward motion.
He has been on a no nut, low fat pellet for nine weeks. Half of the normal seed ratio he has been used to, in favor of more low fat styrofoam pellets he regards as akin to being fed POW rations. He is only getting food that is weighed out and portions sized for the weight loss as prescribed by the vet. We have an exercise regime that’s also religiously adhered to. He has to move, move, move! to get to all his food/water/toys and we are still doing all the PT prescribed exercises to help the injured shoulders from his last fright a few months back. However this is a bird who has always been a super strong flighted bird and no real amount of ground based exercise has been able to compensate for his lack of flight.
He is the pain in the butt Tiel that won’t eat any fresh foods, so my usual tricks of using low calorie veggies won’t work.

So far there has been exactly 5 grams lost in this quest. 5. That’s it. His doctor is frustrated as well, knowing that the longer he remains this chunky the more at risk he is. Right now all lab values are normal. But who can guess if they’ll still be six months from now if we can’t get this weight off?

He looks like fat Thor sitting on the couch in that superhero movie. I feel like theres to be a birdy reality show called “My 200 gram life” and I will get a call asking when Churchill can star in it. If he were a human, I’d refer him to a band or gastric sleeve procedure!!

I have been very successful in getting weight off of older Amazons, Toos, and Macaws. But this porky tiel has me almost pulling my hair out. I welcome tips or tricks that have worked for you.
 

flyzipper

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Have Doctor Strange use the Time Stone to go back before the night frights and somehow address those. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Mainly said as a Thor tie-in, and to follow the thread (because I have no experience, but am curious where it leads).
 

Sparkles!

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Have Doctor Strange use the Time Stone to go back before the night frights and somehow address those. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
He’s had the frights since he was a baby. We do not know why. We cannot predict them and had zero luck solving them. I feel like it’s a bane of this species. He is the most afflicted I have ever encountered, sadly.
 

Hankmacaw

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I know it is a pain in the neck and takes up a lot of your time, but hand flying him can give him a lot of exercise - shoulders allowing. Hold him on your index finger and hold his toes with your thumb - then you can do the up and down flapping or running around the house flapping. It gives them lots of exercise - if he can handle it.

Also, don't put anything in his cage to eat other than veggies from the time he gets up for about three hours. If he is such a pig he will eat.
 

MR. Mango

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Try getting him to run by dragging a stick of millet or other treat in front of him letting him only nibble a tiny bit to encourage him
 

Hankmacaw

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I have the opposite issue and can barely get Ripley to gain anything! He still could do with another 15-20g!
Yeah, me too. I haven't had a bird that I didn't have to beg and cajole and then they still wouldn't eat.
 

The_Mayor

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Okay, this won't help a lot, but if you can do it, it might add a little to his exercise level. . .

Core Excercise.

No, but really.

My littles have a couple of ropewalks. They really like to sleep and hang out on the big one. It's 1.5" but proportionately it's so big for them that it doesn't sway even if one comes in for a less than graceful landing. Perching on it is zero effort for them.

They also have ropes that are around a half-inch diameter. Those start to swing if they so much as look around. So my birds are constantly adjusting their balance to compensate. I realize Sir Winston can't be very high off the ground, but is it possible to string a rope walk, using the thinnest diameter rope that's appropriate for his foot size, connecting his favorite places, at a height that he could safely hop up or down?

Also, please give him a head scritch from me, if he likes them. I'm sure this is a hard transition for him. And not just because of the food.
 

tka

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I have no advice, but would dearly love to see photos
 

FiatLux

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Ok so I trust you will take this as just a thought from someone who doesn’t know enough to know better (in meditation, beginner’s mind is a plus —in all things birds, not so much): is his food bowl stainless steel? Could he actually be loving his reflection and associating it with the food inside? It’s a crazy thought I’m sure but sparked by the fact that I had to move the stainless steel water filter thingy off the counter near Pitchounette’s tree stand because he was fascinated by it.
 

Sparkles!

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Ok so I trust you will take this as just a thought from someone who doesn’t know enough to know better (in meditation, beginner’s mind is a plus —in all things birds, not so much): is his food bowl stainless steel? Could he actually be loving his reflection and associating it with the food inside? It’s a crazy thought I’m sure but sparked by the fact that I had to move the stainless steel water filter thingy off the counter near Pitchounette’s tree stand because he was fascinated by it.
Okay, Pitchy is adorable. Of course he wanted the GCC in the reflection!!

Sir Winston Churchill is actually in love with a flat ceramic glazed dish that’s marketed as a cat food dish I think. Because of course he’d pick that as his girlfriend :wacky:
Often, he tries to drag her over to the window for a date to watch the peasant pigeons outside.
 

FiatLux

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Well there’s a hilarious image I won’t be able to shake for the rest of the day! I love Chubby Churchill and his ceramic girl. And I need a photo!
 

Sparkles!

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2DAD77D8-0A36-4008-A743-81161D6B8016.jpeg
“Stop telling people I’m fat, Mom!”
“But you are. Your dr told you that.”
“At least get my good side if you’re going to take a photo. I don’t want Pitchy laughing.”
 

Wardy

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Music

I used to play guitar before Mojo

now music on its own wont work you need to dance and encourge Sir Winston to join you, i listen to a massive amount of music and see a lot of different reactions from Mojo
if she is noisy and annoying i play Paganinni 24 caprice silence with the occasional whistle.
As much as it hurts me Shania Twayne come on the radio and she danced all over her cage whistling away
She gets on my shoulder and listen to Donna Summer i feel love and i bounce about whilst she squaks along

I could go on with all mannero f songs and different styles of music some makes her exceptionallly lively
 

FiatLux

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Oh my god stop it! He is PERFECT! Maybe he needs the vet equivalent of my doctor who has the good sense to call me “country strong”. Pitchounette does not see any treats and is therefore non plussed however.
 

Macawnutz

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Night frights are often a lack of vitamin A.
I have a bird that doesn't absorb Vitamin A well and we solved it using prozyme on his fresh foods. Not the best idea where trying to lose weight so maybe something to ask your vet about.

@Mizzely prozyme ;)
 

Sparkles!

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Night frights are often a lack of vitamin A.
I have a bird that doesn't absorb Vitamin A well and we solved it using prozyme on his fresh foods. Not the best idea where trying to lose weight so maybe something to ask your vet about.

@Mizzely prozyme ;)
@Macawnutz
Were the lab readings normal on that bird? Just pulled more blood, and everything was normal and in range for him. But I wonder if perhaps there’s a therapeutic level threshold necessary for night frights?
 

Shezbug

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Can you get him some decent guessing toys that make him work for every morsel of his food? If he has to forage properly for it then he will be moving much more and he won’t have anywhere near as much time to eat if he has to open drawers, pull levers, work out how to get food from each forage toy etc.
 
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