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My 4 month old Cockatiel won't wean!

Alexi

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Alexi Evers Steenkamp
Hello everyone!

My name is Alexi (I'm new here) and I have a 4 month old grey cockatiel male named Nimbus.
My fiance and I have had him since he was 4 weeks old and have hand reared him ourselves mostly. We got him from a breeder in Johannesburg South Africa who seemed nice enough even though all her babies were being hatched and raised without parents. Once we got him we took him straight to our vet (Who we see often and know well because of my parent in law's older cockatiel) and got his blood work done and a clean bill of health. Currently he stays in a lovely big cage in my bedroom and is spoiled rotten with toys and attention, he's very co-dependent. We fed him 10 ml of hand rearing baby formula mixed with water until he was 3 months. When I read that most cockatiel's wean by 12 weeks I expressed my concern to my vet who suggested that I go down to half portions and see how it goes. Yet Nimbus still expresses zero interest for his pellets! He'll play with them and nibble at them but I don't think he eats enough to sustain himself. I won't feed him seeds because my vet and much of the research I've read says it isn't a good diet at all and the pellets are the best for him but he doesn't seem to like them. He loves rusks, apple, rice and breakfast biscuits (especially Breakfast biscuits) and all kinds of other snacks and adores the formula. We feed him once a day with just the 5 ml with water formula but he seems to complain about wanting more. Now, I will fully admit I'm probably a bit of a hypochondriac but he seems a little more fatigued since we've been feeding him less and often I end up giving him more.

Are there any tips or tricks to weaning him? I'm so afraid there's something wrong, or I've done something wrong, or maybe I've spoiled him and I'm at a loss at what to do. It's not that I don't mind feeding him myself, I'll always do it and I enjoy it but I am also a full time student and often work in hospital so there are days when time to feed him is limited.

My vet says not to rush him and that he'll wean when hes ready but of course I still worry.
Any advice is more then welcome!!:eeeek:
 

Birdbabe

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Offer new and soft foods in the morning when he's hungry, eat them with him, show him how yummy they are! They want what you have, does he try millet spray? At least that's something and babies seem to adjust to it quickly.
 

Sylvi_

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I can't offer much advice with weaning, but I do know that unlike many parrots; Cockatiels actually do need some seed in their diet.
You have to watch the portions of course, but I personally give my hen one tablespoon daily along with her pellets and chop.

I hope you find a solution, and I do recommend incorporating a small amount of a quality seed mix into his diet. :)
 

Tim

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I'm with your vet--offer him lots of options, continue to handfed him, and he'll let you know when he's ready. My caique took 18 weeks to wean--they normally take 12-14.
 

Monica

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If you feed him a pellet only diet, you could kill him with kidney failure....

Seed only diet, liver failure.



Part of the reason why he might not be weaning is because he's alone... hand raised cockatiels often take a little longer to wean than parent raised cockatiels do. When weaned alone vs in a group, this can yet again potentially prolong the weaning process.



Please go out and get some seeds! Better yet, try to find seeds without dyes or preservatives (i.e. not fortified) and sprout them! Sprouted seeds are *FAR* healthier than dry seeds are!


Add in vegetables, *some* fruits, cooked/sprouted grains, some cooked *healthy* legumes, and you've probably got a pretty good diet there! (i.e. pellets, seeds/sprouts, fresh foods)
 

sunnysmom

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Welcome to the forum! Some babies take longer to wean than others. And the pellets may simply be too hard for your baby to eat. I know opinions differ on nutrition, but like others have already said, I believe tiels do need some seed in their diets. Along with vegetables, etc. I feed about 50% seeds, 15% pellets, and the rest vegetables and grains. Millet spray, if you have it where you are, is a good food to help wean tiels. Below is a website with some helpful info.

Hand-Feeding and Weaning - Just Cockatiels!
 

Alexi

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Thank you all so much for your input!

Much to my terror Nimbus actually got very sick this past week and after many a trip to the vet, he's on antibiotics and as much formula food as I can get in him to get his weight up again. He's on the mend though now and once hes ready and healthy I will take all the wonderful advice given here <3 My fiance and I will also be adopting another cockatiel from a Vet friend of mine (Once Nimbus is healthy again) and hopefully the company of an already weaned cockatiel will do him good.

Thank you guys again!!
 

Tiel Feathers

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I'm so sorry to hear Nimbus was so sick, but I'm glad he is getting better. Post pictures when you get your new birdie!:)
 

iamwhoiam

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Sorry that Nimbus is ill. Hope he recovers soon. Remember to quarantine your new 'tiel from Nimbus.
 

Alexi

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Thank you so much everyone!! I really treasure all the advice I've received! Nimbus is all good and well now after antibiotics and a lot of tender loving care. We are completely postponing any kind of weaning efforts until he weighs a bit more especially in these cold months of winter (He has a special little heater now too) but, in saying that he has been nibbling fruit and pellets/kibbles quite successfully. I'm so proud of him <3

Thanks again to everyone!!
 

Monica

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It's possible the reason he wasn't weaning was because he was sick, so if he's on the mend now, he may be more likely to wean! :)


Glad he's doing better! :D
 

sunnysmom

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I'm glad he's doing better!
 
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