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Hand Feeding / Weaning - 8 wk Sun Conure

KatyM5

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My fiancé and I brought home an 8 wk old sun conure yesterday. He’s hand fed many birds but never with the syringe attachment in place. The breeder has been using one, but didn’t advice against us using a regular syringe without the attachment - in fact, she said it should be fine.

So, couple of questions -

It’s taking baby quite a while to finish a feeding. We have to reheat the formula multiple times and I’m concerned that the temperature towards the end of one round is much cooler than the recommended range. Is this problematic? I’m very, very worried about sour crop. (No indication that there is any issue, just in general this a worry of mine!)

He/she doesn’t seem as interested in or impatient for feedings as we expected. Breeder said 2/3 a day - we fed last night and neither before nor during did the baby scream and carry on and loose his/her mind over food. We’re used to babies being quite excited for feeding time!

Stayed quiet all night and through the morning - didn’t start to get anxious for food and when we fed this morning it was the same thing. He/she is eating okay - weighed 111 g (empty weight) ate 10 ccs and weighed 119 after feeding.


* should I be as concerned as I am about the temperature/time of feedings?

* should we start introducing warm, mushy chop? Baby is said to be about 8 weeks and is interested in the formula drops on the towel and our hands. Breeder had introduced millet in the “baby box” - conures and ring necks but I prefer to avoid millet as a transition to real food as we will be feeding a seasonal chop and quality pellets.

Overall the baby seems to be doing very well! Pretty active, preening, very responsive, super cuddly, very curious, etc.

Just an anxious mom over here!
 

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Zara

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Hello Katy, welcome to the Avenue,

We have to reheat the formula multiple times and I’m concerned that the temperature towards the end of one round is much cooler than the recommended range. Is this problematic?
Use a bain Marie set up to avoid the formula getting too cold. Keep the thermometer in the formula so you can see the temp.

He/she doesn’t seem as interested in or impatient for feedings as we expected. Breeder said 2/3 a day - we fed last night and neither before nor during did the baby scream and carry on and loose his/her mind over food. We’re used to babies being quite excited for feeding time!
It is normal for them to not have a normal feeding response on the first and second day. A lot has changed, they could be a little frightened. Their feeding response should pick up.

I prefer to avoid millet as a transition to real food as we will be feeding a seasonal chop and quality pellets.
You can use the pellets and veggies to wean. Whatever the diet is that you would feed. If the breeder hasn´t started the weaning process. then it´s your choice of what food to wean your bird onto.

Some helpful info;
 

KatyM5

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Hello Katy, welcome to the Avenue,


Use a bain Marie set up to avoid the formula getting too cold. Keep the thermometer in the formula so you can see the temp.


It is normal for them to not have a normal feeding response on the first and second day. A lot has changed, they could be a little frightened. Their feeding response should pick up.


You can use the pellets and veggies to wean. Whatever the diet is that you would feed. If the breeder hasn´t started the weaning process. then it´s your choice of what food to wean your bird onto.

Some helpful info;
thank you!
 

Laurie

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I highly recommend the handfeeding video, since I am the one who made it :lol: Truthfully, it was intended for people in exactly your situation.

Temperature should not be a major issue with a bird this age but as Zara mentioned you can keep it warm with a warm water bath.

Has the baby started to learn to fly yet, the start of fledging and weaning coincide. Babies often need to lose weight to learn to fly so they may be less interested in food. Just keep offering the regular feeding 2-3 times per day. I do find that feeding a little later in the morning is good because since they are sleeping they don't burn off as much energy at night and may not be super hungry in the morning.

I am not sure if the birds wings are clipped. If they are not then please do not clip them. Hopefully they will not be clipped at all but if you do plan to clip them then wait until your bird is at least six months old. I raise caiques and I have noticed that they master flight over about the first six months. Learning to fly not only builds up muscles but also builds confidence, independence and visual and mental acuity. Depriving a bird of flight is in the learning stages will handicap them for life. Feathers will grow back but the opportunity to learn vital skills will have passed and will never be available again.

Start offering whole adult foods for the baby. You can offer pellets soaked in a little water to soften them. Mainly this is to make them more attractive to your bird to try since babies tend to eat softer foods first. They will play with foods long before they eat them.

At this point offering food is all you really have to do and the baby will do the rest.

Also if the breeder was feeding with a tube inserted into the crop then very likely your bird does not know how to feed quickly from the syringe. Just keep working with him and he will catch on. Crop feeding with a tube on the syringe is entirly different to syringe feeding directly into the mouth of the bird. If the breeder was crop feeding your bird has likely not had a typical eating experience. The tube bypasses the mouth entirely, the baby swallows the tube and all the food is quickly dispensed into the crop rather than the mouth. Basically, now your baby is learning to eat for real.
 
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