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Urgent Help please, 5-week-old baby pineapple conure won't syringe feed

Janessa

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Janessa-Belle Amanae
Just yesterday, I got a 5-week-old pineapple conure from a local breeder. Before I brought her home, the breeder told me to give her a syringe of formula around 8pm. When 8pm arrived, I prepared her formula, (the temp was about 38-39° celcius), put in in a 10mL syringe, and introduced the syringe to her. But she showed absolutely zero signs of wanting to eat or being hungry. She refused to open her beak and did not look enticed by the formula at all. I did not expect this as I've hand fed a baby conure before, and he would always perk up right away at the sight of the syringe. Since yesterday, I've been having to "force" feed her. I gently pry her beak open and insert the syringe, squeezing about half a mL into her mouth at a time. I give her frequent breaks in between to allow her to swallow. But she does end up spitting up a lot of it. The overall process takes about 20 minutes each time. I'm not sure what to do. I'm a minor and I've been seriously contemplating calling the vet for advice but my mom thinks I'm being ridiculous and tells me to continue feeding her the way I've been feeding her, but it just doesn't feel right. I've already contacted the breeder and asked if she's ever had a difficult time eating but he said no. I have no idea what could be wrong as her behaviour isn't indicating anything either. She acts pretty normal. She's still very young so obviously she sleeps a lot but when she's not sleeping, she's usually preening herself or playfully nibbling on our fingers/jewelry/clothes. Please help me.

Any tips and advice would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Mockinbirdiva

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Nessa, it would be kind of the breeder, as well as responsible, to offer to take this baby back and finish the feedings. That would be my primary suggestion. Hand feeding by new owners does not create a stronger bond as most people think and in your case with the force feedings you may very well be creating a lack of trust with this baby towards you. When you finish reading my reply call the breeder back and ask them to finish the feedings. They should agree without a problem. The last thing you need is an emergency with possible aspiration from force feeding, injuring the beak or a rapid drop in weight/ sickness.

What are you keeping this baby in? Photos are always a plus as well as any other information on how you keep the container warm.

Lastly, not to negate what your mother says..... but if you are not comfortable with the situation then contact the breeder and have them finish the feedings. Better to be safe than sorry if you lose a tiny life. You do what YOU think is best.
 

camelotshadow

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5 weeks is too young. The breeder should have weaned the bird before letting it go. Ask them to take the bird back until it is eating on its own.

8PM? How many feedings a day is the bird on. 5 weeks would likely be more than once a day.
 

Janessa

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Janessa-Belle Amanae
Nessa, it would be kind of the breeder, as well as responsible, to offer to take this baby back and finish the feedings. That would be my primary suggestion. Hand feeding by new owners does not create a stronger bond as most people think and in your case with the force feedings you may very well be creating a lack of trust with this baby towards you. When you finish reading my reply call the breeder back and ask them to finish the feedings. They should agree without a problem. The last thing you need is an emergency with possible aspiration from force feeding, injuring the beak or a rapid drop in weight/ sickness.

What are you keeping this baby in? Photos are always a plus as well as any other information on how you keep the container warm.

Lastly, not to negate what your mother says..... but if you are not comfortable with the situation then contact the breeder and have them finish the feedings. Better to be safe than sorry if you lose a tiny life. You do what YOU think is best.
Thank you so much, this did help. I was thinking about possible aspiration the whole time whilst feeding her but I just couldn't let her go without eating because of the fact that she's so young. I will definitely take your advice into consideration. My only concern is that the breeder is very far from us and we'd have to drop her off. I'm not entirely sure if my parents would be willing to go back as they haven't been very understanding of this situation, and unfortunately I don't drive. But obviously her life is more important than any distance. I'm keeping her in a pretty large container/bin with some bedding and a small blanket that I've placed in the shape of a little "hut". She likes it in there and cozies up to the blanket. She seems like she's pretty warm. Nonetheless, it's already late where I am so I will probably hold onto her for another day and maybe hopefully things will turn around. I'm just really not sure why she's behaving like this if the breeder said she wasn't having any problems feeding. But I've noticed she's also pretty quiet and I don't know if I should be concerned of that. Thanks again for your advice though!!
 

Janessa

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Janessa-Belle Amanae
5 weeks is too young. The breeder should have weaned the bird before letting it go. Ask them to take the bird back until it is eating on its own.

8PM? How many feedings a day is the bird on. 5 weeks would likely be more than once a day.
Yeah, she's between 5 and 6 weeks old. A worker at the pet store told me the same thing while I was there purchasing formula. But I have experience hand feeding so I really didn't think there'd be any problems. I hand fed my green cheek conure when he was around 7-8 weeks old and had absolutely zero issues. She's on three feedings a day. Once early in the morning, then afternoon, and then night. So far I've fed her twice today but I'm scared to proceed with the third feeding. I don't know if I should but I also don't want her to go without eating considering she's soo young. But thank you for the advice, I've already received similar advice and am considering it!!
 

camelotshadow

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Seems like an irresponsible breeder. Likely the chick misses her clutch mates & is in a new home so that could be a reason.
Keep the chick very warm. Feed the same formula at the right temperature.

My mom fed some tiels with a spoon. Even though you have had some experience with a 7 to 8 week chick Hand feeding can just get complicated

Hope it works out with the feeding. Things can go wrong so fast with improper feeding or the baby does not eat.

If you try this you really need to consider getting a scale & weigh them to see if they are eating enough & maintaining weight.

Good Luck
 

Janessa

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Janessa-Belle Amanae
Seems like an irresponsible breeder. Likely the chick misses her clutch mates & is in a new home so that could be a reason.
Keep the chick very warm. Feed the same formula at the right temperature.

My mom fed some tiels with a spoon. Even though you have had some experience with a 7 to 8 week chick Hand feeding can just get complicated

Hope it works out with the feeding. Things can go wrong so fast with improper feeding or the baby does not eat.

If you try this you really need to consider getting a scale & weigh them to see if they are eating enough & maintaining weight.

Good Luck
Yes, that's what I was thinking too. When we first brought her home I sensed that she was probably nervous being in a new environment and I thought that was possibly why she wasn't eating properly. My mom also tried feeding her with a spoon and she ate a little but definitely not enough.

I just offered her some Tropican pellets that I softened into a paste with some warm water and it actually looks like she's eating it!! I do have a scale, I'll start using it to make sure she's not losing weight. I'll have to be super careful. I'm not even sure if I trust the breeder too much anymore to be honest because when I informed him of my situation, he also said that "she's just a baby and won't know when she wants to be fed you just have to feed her" and it wasn't much help at all.

Anyways, thank you so much!! I'm really hoping things will turn around ASAP :(
 

macawpower58

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If you can, video yourself trying to offer a feed.
The feeders on AA can give you some advice.
Perhaps you're not hitting the corners of her beak and so you're not getting a response?
 

Mockinbirdiva

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Thank you so much, this did help. I was thinking about possible aspiration the whole time whilst feeding her but I just couldn't let her go without eating because of the fact that she's so young. I will definitely take your advice into consideration. My only concern is that the breeder is very far from us and we'd have to drop her off. I'm not entirely sure if my parents would be willing to go back as they haven't been very understanding of this situation, and unfortunately I don't drive. But obviously her life is more important than any distance. I'm keeping her in a pretty large container/bin with some bedding and a small blanket that I've placed in the shape of a little "hut". She likes it in there and cozies up to the blanket. She seems like she's pretty warm. Nonetheless, it's already late where I am so I will probably hold onto her for another day and maybe hopefully things will turn around. I'm just really not sure why she's behaving like this if the breeder said she wasn't having any problems feeding. But I've noticed she's also pretty quiet and I don't know if I should be concerned of that. Thanks again for your advice though!!
If your baby isn't eating any formula then there isn't anything to consider other than insisting the breeder finish the feedings or you make a hasty appointment with the vet to make sure she doesn't get dehydrated or lose weight. These tiny beings can and do go downhill quickly. The breeder may be correct in that they didn't have any feeding issues but consider this: a very big change in environment is extremely stressful and you are not the face this baby recognizes as a food source. Often some young birds will refuse to eat for their new owner, especially when their eyes are open and nothing surrounding them is familiar. I don't know what you consider a large container/bin so I'd like to know the measurements ( it may be too big so I'm asking). What type of bedding do you have in this container? She may need an extra heat source ( as in a heating pad on the lowest temperature -wrapped in a towel and placed under one half of the container - under the container - not in it.)

If you are feeding her in bright light you might try taking her to a much lower lighted room where it's quiet... but light enough so you can see well what are doing when you offer the formula. This often helps to reduce the stress of you as a strange food source. BEFORE you feed her in the morning get her current weight on your gram scale ( do you have a gram scale?)... record that weight and do this every morning before you feed to get the most accurate weight.

Photos of the container and a video or series of photos of you feeding would be beneficial for us to offer any other advice. Even though you said you've hand fed before..... the temp you are currently feeding at could be bumped up to 40-41 degrees celsius. This could be another reason she is refusing to eat... it's not warm enough. Hopefully you are using a reliable digital thermometer. Anything fed under 38 celsius can slow the digestive process in the crop... causing it to slow down and bacteria can grow quickly... it's a whole host to more problems.

I hope this information will help your baby get over the "hump" of not accepting formula from you. Ultimately, the breeder is at fault for selling an un-weaned chick even though you may have told him you've fed before. Unfortunately, if something happens to this baby and it dies the breeder can place you at fault for improper care. I hope he took the time to show you his methods of feeding with this baby but somehow doubtful he did. Good luck... stay in touch... we'll do what we can to help.
 

Janessa

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Janessa-Belle Amanae
If your baby isn't eating any formula then there isn't anything to consider other than insisting the breeder finish the feedings or you make a hasty appointment with the vet to make sure she doesn't get dehydrated or lose weight. These tiny beings can and do go downhill quickly. The breeder may be correct in that they didn't have any feeding issues but consider this: a very big change in environment is extremely stressful and you are not the face this baby recognizes as a food source. Often some young birds will refuse to eat for their new owner, especially when their eyes are open and nothing surrounding them is familiar. I don't know what you consider a large container/bin so I'd like to know the measurements ( it may be too big so I'm asking). What type of bedding do you have in this container? She may need an extra heat source ( as in a heating pad on the lowest temperature -wrapped in a towel and placed under one half of the container - under the container - not in it.)

If you are feeding her in bright light you might try taking her to a much lower lighted room where it's quiet... but light enough so you can see well what are doing when you offer the formula. This often helps to reduce the stress of you as a strange food source. BEFORE you feed her in the morning get her current weight on your gram scale ( do you have a gram scale?)... record that weight and do this every morning before you feed to get the most accurate weight.

Photos of the container and a video or series of photos of you feeding would be beneficial for us to offer any other advice. Even though you said you've hand fed before..... the temp you are currently feeding at could be bumped up to 40-41 degrees celsius. This could be another reason she is refusing to eat... it's not warm enough. Hopefully you are using a reliable digital thermometer. Anything fed under 38 celsius can slow the digestive process in the crop... causing it to slow down and bacteria can grow quickly... it's a whole host to more problems.

I hope this information will help your baby get over the "hump" of not accepting formula from you. Ultimately, the breeder is at fault for selling an un-weaned chick even though you may have told him you've fed before. Unfortunately, if something happens to this baby and it dies the breeder can place you at fault for improper care. I hope he took the time to show you his methods of feeding with this baby but somehow doubtful he did. Good luck... stay in touch... we'll do what we can to help.
Hi again!! Thank you so much for all the helpful advice. Her name is Nevada by the way, I forgot to mention that. About two hours ago, I gave Nevada her third feeding and it went sooo much better. I do agree that this has probably been a massive, stressful change in environment for her, but I think she might finally be getting more accustomed to us and her surroundings. She actually responded to the sight of the syringe and I was able to feed her without much struggle. I didn't have to resort to "force" feeding her at all, which is a huge relief.

The bin I am keeping her in right now is approximately 8 x 11 inches and four to five inches in depth. Not small but not massive either. The bedding is simply a couple layers of paper towel that I change out regularly to keep it clean and sanitary. And I actually do use a heating pad exactly the way you've described.

During this feeding, I upped the temp like you said and I think it helped. I also happened to feed her in a dimmed area which I believe might have helped as well now that you mentioned it. I will continue to do this and see if things begin turning around. I'm hopeful that they will after tonight's feeding. The breeder never actually demonstrated his feeding method as he had already fed the birds before I arrived there, but he briefly explained it, and did so once again after I contacted him again yesterday. I do have a gram scale and weighed her in an hour or two before her third feed. From what I could gather, she was around 73 grams. I will make sure to weight her again tomorrow morning before her first feed.

I'll see tomorrow if I can get photos or videos of her being fed.

I am feeling a little bit guilty because I feel like I could've done more to make this go differently but unfortunately I can't go back in time. I will definitely stay in touch and do my absolute best to ensure that Nevada is happy and healthy. Thanks so much :)
 

Janessa

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Janessa-Belle Amanae
If you can, video yourself trying to offer a feed.
The feeders on AA can give you some advice.
Perhaps you're not hitting the corners of her beak and so you're not getting a response?
I actually tried this during her third feed tonight after reading your reply and I'm almost certain it helped. Thank you!! Her third feed went super well. She actually responded to the syringe this time and I didn't have to "force" her to eat the formula. I will try to get a clip of her eating tomorrow morning.
 

Mockinbirdiva

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Hi again!! Thank you so much for all the helpful advice. Her name is Nevada by the way, I forgot to mention that. About two hours ago, I gave Nevada her third feeding and it went sooo much better. I do agree that this has probably been a massive, stressful change in environment for her, but I think she might finally be getting more accustomed to us and her surroundings. She actually responded to the sight of the syringe and I was able to feed her without much struggle. I didn't have to resort to "force" feeding her at all, which is a huge relief.

The bin I am keeping her in right now is approximately 8 x 11 inches and four to five inches in depth. Not small but not massive either. The bedding is simply a couple layers of paper towel that I change out regularly to keep it clean and sanitary. And I actually do use a heating pad exactly the way you've described.

During this feeding, I upped the temp like you said and I think it helped. I also happened to feed her in a dimmed area which I believe might have helped as well now that you mentioned it. I will continue to do this and see if things begin turning around. I'm hopeful that they will after tonight's feeding. The breeder never actually demonstrated his feeding method as he had already fed the birds before I arrived there, but he briefly explained it, and did so once again after I contacted him again yesterday. I do have a gram scale and weighed her in an hour or two before her third feed. From what I could gather, she was around 73 grams. I will make sure to weight her again tomorrow morning before her first feed.

I'll see tomorrow if I can get photos or videos of her being fed.

I am feeling a little bit guilty because I feel like I could've done more to make this go differently but unfortunately I can't go back in time. I will definitely stay in touch and do my absolute best to ensure that Nevada is happy and healthy. Thanks so much :)
I'm glad to hear the night time feeding went better for you. I like the name Nevada! As I mentioned, it's not unusual for some babies to refuse feedings from a new person given the extreme changes in environment where nothing is familiar to all they've known. Hopefully she will continue in a positive feeding response. It shouldn't be a struggle at all. Do keep track of how many CC's of formula she eats at every feeding.

Your bin may be a bit too shallow in height and she may be able to get out of it when she's not supervised. You could use a container a bit larger and use some aspen shavings about 3 inches deep. It would be ok to top it with the crumpled paper towels for quick cleaning. It wouldn't hurt to have a digital thermometer to give you an accurate inside temperature of the container.

Copied and pasted the below from this link:




3 Basic Parts to a Brooder

3 Basic Parts to a Brooder


1. Small heating pads for babies can be found in most department stores. There are also similar heating pads available in medical clinics and stores that cater to athletes.


2. Plastic containers are easy to see through and clean, and usually come with a convenient top. In a pinch you can use a card board box and even a small picnic cooler.


3.Thermometers do not need to be expensive and highly accurate, but they do need to be consistent. Thermometers will be used as a guideline because you will determine the actual temperature setting by the body posture of the baby.


Baby Parrot Brooder 1


Baby Parrot Brooder 1



The easiest and safest method is to place the container ½ over the heating pad so you can have different temperatures available across the bottom of the container.


Several days before you need the brooder you should begin to find the temperature you need. Place the thermometer in the container and move it around to determine how the temperature changes on different parts of the floor. If the temperature is not warm enough you can place the lid on the container and/or wrap the container with a towel. Do not cover the entire top because the babies will need fresh air. As the babies grow it will be less critical to keep the temperature constant.

Always test the heat source at the lowest and highest possible settings to make sure you are aware of how the heat source can change with different settings.

The brooder needs to be placed in an area where there is little or no light and the room temperature is fairly constant.


Lastly - the breeder describing how to hand feed is not sufficient. They should have shown you with hands on feeding, done a more thorough job of detailing the correct temperature and the fact that some babies will refuse to eat from a new person they aren't accustomed to as a food source. Never did I ever sell an unweaned chick.... to anyone regardless as to whether they said they've hand fed. My babies never left here until they were eating well on their own. It's a sad practice but many breeders out there sell their babies before weaning. We see a lot of horrible results here on the forum from time to time.

I wish you all the best with Nevada with years of rewarding companionship!
 

Janessa

Moving in
Joined
12/19/20
Messages
12
Location
Canada
Real Name
Janessa-Belle Amanae
I'm glad to hear the night time feeding went better for you. I like the name Nevada! As I mentioned, it's not unusual for some babies to refuse feedings from a new person given the extreme changes in environment where nothing is familiar to all they've known. Hopefully she will continue in a positive feeding response. It shouldn't be a struggle at all. Do keep track of how many CC's of formula she eats at every feeding.

Your bin may be a bit too shallow in height and she may be able to get out of it when she's not supervised. You could use a container a bit larger and use some aspen shavings about 3 inches deep. It would be ok to top it with the crumpled paper towels for quick cleaning. It wouldn't hurt to have a digital thermometer to give you an accurate inside temperature of the container.

Copied and pasted the below from this link:




3 Basic Parts to a Brooder

3 Basic Parts to a Brooder


1. Small heating pads for babies can be found in most department stores. There are also similar heating pads available in medical clinics and stores that cater to athletes.


2. Plastic containers are easy to see through and clean, and usually come with a convenient top. In a pinch you can use a card board box and even a small picnic cooler.


3.Thermometers do not need to be expensive and highly accurate, but they do need to be consistent. Thermometers will be used as a guideline because you will determine the actual temperature setting by the body posture of the baby.


Baby Parrot Brooder 1


Baby Parrot Brooder 1



The easiest and safest method is to place the container ½ over the heating pad so you can have different temperatures available across the bottom of the container.


Several days before you need the brooder you should begin to find the temperature you need. Place the thermometer in the container and move it around to determine how the temperature changes on different parts of the floor. If the temperature is not warm enough you can place the lid on the container and/or wrap the container with a towel. Do not cover the entire top because the babies will need fresh air. As the babies grow it will be less critical to keep the temperature constant.

Always test the heat source at the lowest and highest possible settings to make sure you are aware of how the heat source can change with different settings.

The brooder needs to be placed in an area where there is little or no light and the room temperature is fairly constant.


Lastly - the breeder describing how to hand feed is not sufficient. They should have shown you with hands on feeding, done a more thorough job of detailing the correct temperature and the fact that some babies will refuse to eat from a new person they aren't accustomed to as a food source. Never did I ever sell an unweaned chick.... to anyone regardless as to whether they said they've hand fed. My babies never left here until they were eating well on their own. It's a sad practice but many breeders out there sell their babies before weaning. We see a lot of horrible results here on the forum from time to time.

I wish you all the best with Nevada with years of rewarding companionship!
All your advice has been so helpful. This is my first time actually posting on AA and I totally was not expecting so many helpful replies this quickly! It truly means a lot. Thank you! Nevada has been feeding so well. There is no struggle anymore. So far, she's been eating around 10 mL of formula during each feed. I've fed her twice since last night's feeding and her response has been so positive.

The bin I have her in has become too shallow so I will be setting up a new one. When I first brought her home, she wasn't able to climb out of it but now that she's become more energetic, with some effort, she's able to climb out. I'll definitely continue to use the heating pad and monitor the temperature of the bin with my digital thermometer.

I do believe the huge environment change is mainly liable of the feeding troubles I experienced when I first brought her home. I noticed that as she became more comfortable, her feedings grew much better and more consistent. And now they are going as they should've been from the start. You're right, I now realize that it is a horrible practice. I don't want to imagine what others have gone through. Thankfully, my situation has turned around and I am so grateful. But in the future, I will now most likely be buying weaned chicks instead, and finding trusted breeders.

Thank you again. Your Crimson-bellied Conure is gorgeous, by the way! Much love from myself, Nevada, and Tokyo!
 

Janessa

Moving in
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Canada
Real Name
Janessa-Belle Amanae
Just yesterday, I got a 5-week-old pineapple conure from a local breeder. Before I brought her home, the breeder told me to give her a syringe of formula around 8pm. When 8pm arrived, I prepared her formula, (the temp was about 38-39° celcius), put in in a 10mL syringe, and introduced the syringe to her. But she showed absolutely zero signs of wanting to eat or being hungry. She refused to open her beak and did not look enticed by the formula at all. I did not expect this as I've hand fed a baby conure before, and he would always perk up right away at the sight of the syringe. Since yesterday, I've been having to "force" feed her. I gently pry her beak open and insert the syringe, squeezing about half a mL into her mouth at a time. I give her frequent breaks in between to allow her to swallow. But she does end up spitting up a lot of it. The overall process takes about 20 minutes each time. I'm not sure what to do. I'm a minor and I've been seriously contemplating calling the vet for advice but my mom thinks I'm being ridiculous and tells me to continue feeding her the way I've been feeding her, but it just doesn't feel right. I've already contacted the breeder and asked if she's ever had a difficult time eating but he said no. I have no idea what could be wrong as her behaviour isn't indicating anything either. She acts pretty normal. She's still very young so obviously she sleeps a lot but when she's not sleeping, she's usually preening herself or playfully nibbling on our fingers/jewelry/clothes. Please help me.

Any tips and advice would be greatly appreciated.
To everyone who has generously left advice on this thread, thank you so much, your help has not gone unnoticed! Nevada's feeding responses have gotten much, much better. I no longer find myself struggling to feed her and I can actually tell when she's hungry now! I was not able to before. She is doing very well and eating around 10 mL syringes of formula three times a day. Nevada has also become much more energetic and comfortable in her new environment. I have reason to believe that the massive change in her surroundings is part of the reason as to why she did not want to eat.

Nonetheless, I did put to use a lot of the tips I read in all the replies and I believe everything I did truly helped her adopt a much better and healthier eating habit. Thanks to everyone again, I'm so grateful!

Much love from myself, Nevada, and Tokyo! <3
 
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