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Your Cockatiels Health Ask questions about your cockatiels health here.

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  #21  
Old 01-26-2017, 07:33 PM
maddienaidan maddienaidan is offline
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Originally Posted by EllenD View Post
While it's common for a new bird of any age to be nervous, not eat, and not be very active when they first arrive to a new home, something just seems very, very wrong here and I can't quite figure it out. Obviously a 12 week old cockatiel should have been weaned long ago, they are pretty much the same as budgies when it comes to the weaning/fledging timeline, and most are refusing all hand feedings and completely weaned by 7-8 weeks. Some may take a week or two longer, but 12 weeks is just way too old, and in my experience it's a strong indication that something isn't quite right. It also makes me feel like the breeder knew/knows there is a problem and most likely was glad to get rid of the 12 week old baby that won't wean...If I end up being wrong about this then I apologize, but better to question it (safe than sorry) than to have tragedy strike.

Do you know how many babies were in your bird's clutch? Were there other babies from her clutch left at the breeder's place, or just your baby? If there were any other babies left and you got to see them, were the others weaned? Did they look much larger than your baby? How did you find this breeder? Do you know her well or know other people that have gotten babies from her? Did she give you a health guarantee or a vet certificate with your baby?

I'm just trying to gather as much info as possible and think of all possible scenarios I've seen myself with either buying/adopting my own birds, or with the birds I actually have bred and hand-raised/hand-fed myself.

Did the breeder give you formula powder and pipettes, etc. or did you have to go out and buy formula, i.e. are you using the same formula the breeder used? As stated above, 3 feedings at 12 weeks is just too much. You may not understand how off this is because you're not familiar with hand-raising baby cockatiels or budgies, but since others of us are we know how wrong this seems. If most babies are completely fledged and weaned by 7-8 weeks (I'm even being generous here, my budgies and cockatiels were often weaned at week 6), then you can see how off 3 feedings per day at 12 weeks is...3 feedings a day should be going on at week 4-5. (Again there are definitely variations and slow-weaners, but not this slow).

Could you try to get a few photos of your baby for us to see? Like some close ups of her crop, preferably right after you do her a hand-feeding? With a full crop we may better see any issues, though I'm not used To a feathered baby still hand feeding. Just try to get some close up pics of her face, beak and cere/nostrils, eyes, feet, and just general feathers and body. Sometimes something will actually stick out, you never know.

Her droppings should be firm, and should have a dark brown/very dark green firm part and then a white part which are the urates. If they are ever watery, weird colors (specifically red or black, which indicates internal bleeding), bright green and runny, or have chunks of stuff or undigested food, there is something wrong. Constant puffed-up feathers, constant sleeping, being constantly lethargic, staying on the bottom of the cage, not eating or drinking, being unsteady on perches, leaning to one side, holding their wings away from their body and panting/holding their beak open for long periods of time, these are just some of the signs something is wrong. Even a baby bird or an adult bird in a brand new home should not just be sitting in one spot and not moving at all after a day or two, and certainly not be on the cage bottom like this. Watch her carefully, the not moving, not climbing, and just sitting motionless for 2-3 days now is a worry. Try to answer these questions and get those pics as soon as you can.

Just so you know why we're all very concerned and so you don't think we're overreacting (I don't know how much you know about the behaviors of birds so I'm covering everything I can), all birds instinctively hide illness and injury and do everything they can to not show that they are sick or in pain. In the wild birds are flock creatures and are also prey animals. If a wild bird in a flock shows signs of being sick or injured this can put the entire flock in danger of being preyed upon by predator animals, and the sick or injured bird will be left behind by their flock, and possibly attacked and even killed by them. It also makes that individual bird a target for predators, as they think a sick or injured bird will be easy to catch. These instincts stay with all birds, even captive bred birds. So by the time most birds actually show any little outward sign of being sick or in pain, the illness is typically very advanced or they've had the injury for quite a long time. Even owners that rush their birds to the avian vet the second that they first see a sign of illness, it's very often too late to save the bird and the bird dies. So being very observant and looking for any little action or behavior that is even a little off is part of catching illness early enough to help the bird and save it's life. Respiratory and sinus infections are probably the most common illnesses that birds suffer from and die from, and when one baby in a clutch is sick with a contagious infection (most are contagious unless it is a genetic illness), you can bet that every other baby and adult bird near that sick baby has also contracted the infection. So that's why I'm asking for as much info about your baby's breeder and siblings as you can give. We actually had a member that got an Indian Ringneck baby from a breeder last month and unfortunately the breeder was totally unethical and did not care one bit that his baby started showing signs of serious illness a few days after he brought the bird home (meaning the baby contracted the very contagious adenovirus it was diagnosed with long before he brought it home). It was quite obvious the baby had contracted the serious illness while at the breeder's home and most likely all the babies and adult birds in the breeders home had the same illness and needed to go to the avian vet immediately for either prophylactic antibiotics or more likely treatment for active infections. The breeder lied, saying all her birds were fine and his bird got sick after he picked the baby up, which she knew was not possible. This totally kind and committed member had his baby bird to 3 different avian vets in the first few weeks after bringing it home, with absolutely no financial help from the breeder or any concern from the breeder at all. He spent a fortune doing everything he could, but his baby died in just a couple weeks after bringing it home. The breeder didn't care and wouldn't show any concern for the other buyers that she sold other sick babies to. She only cared about money and didn't want to have people trying to bring the babies back for a refund or wanting vet reimbursement. I'm sadly certain other babies in that clutch also died, as well as her own breeders (though she probably took her own birds to the vet). So you just never know what you're getting, as we already talked about with selling an unweaned baby to a buyer with no hand-feeding experience, many breeders are very unscrupulous and only care about making money.

You also have to understand that every day your baby spent at the breeder's home cost that breeder money. When you breed birds and are only concerned about profit, you ideally want the babies weaned and fledged as soon as possible and as young as possible, and want them sold and gone as young as possible. This is why more and more unscrupulous breeders are selling unweaned babies to buyers that have absolutely no experience at all with hand-feeding, hand-raising, fledging, clipping wings, etc., and they also don't have the correct equipment, supplements, medications, or most importantly knowledge of certain common issues that arise when you are hand-feeding baby birds that can be potentially fatal if not properly taken care of, such as slow crop, crop infections (like yeast infections), crop stasis, respiratory infections, impactions, weight gain issues, etc. It's not their problem once the baby is gone and they've been paid. I very rarely made a profit when I bred cockatiels, but I did it because I enjoyed it, it was therapeutic for me, and it was wonderful being able to provide kids with a baby cockatiel that was hand-raised and hand-fed from 2-3 weeks old and had been to the certified avian vet twice before going HOME, and the result was a healthy, tame, loving baby cockatiel that kids could immediately handle, pet, and bond with for life, rather than buying a kid a bird from Petco or PetSmart that was mass-bred in a bird mill, never saw a human until it was packed into a crate and put on a truck to go to the pet store, and was absolutely terrified of anyone and everyone that got anywhere near it. Most young kids will not take the months and months it takes to tame one of these birds, and they usually never bond with the bird and it ends up in a rescue, or sold over and over again on Craigslist...

So we all want to help you out and help your baby out, and being overly concerned is better than the alternative.

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This is after she ate. I forgot to weigh her before i fed her. After she is 50 g

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  #22  
Old 01-26-2017, 08:22 PM
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tielfan tielfan is offline
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That looks like budgie-sized Zupreem Fruitblend pellets. It usually takes a while for cockatiel chicks to learn how to eat pellets, but this small size might be easier for her. She's a cute little whiteface chick.

Holding food in your hand for her to eat is OK. When a handfed baby goes to a new home, it seems to comfort them to eat from someone's hand. It probably makes them feel like someone is taking care of them in this strange new place.

Encourage her to eat vegetables too. My chicks will nibble on leafy greens quite easily at this age, and corn kernels (cut off the cob) are also easy for them to eat. Lightly sprouted seeds and grains will be easier to eat than hard dry seed. There's a thread on sprouting here: http://talkcockatiels.com/showthread.php?t=9019
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  #23  
Old 01-26-2017, 08:36 PM
maddienaidan maddienaidan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tielfan View Post
That looks like budgie-sized Zupreem Fruitblend pellets. It usually takes a while for cockatiel chicks to learn how to eat pellets, but this small size might be easier for her. She's a cute little whiteface chick.

Holding food in your hand for her to eat is OK. When a handfed baby goes to a new home, it seems to comfort them to eat from someone's hand. It probably makes them feel like someone is taking care of them in this strange new place.

Encourage her to eat vegetables too. My chicks will nibble on leafy greens quite easily at this age, and corn kernels (cut off the cob) are also easy for them to eat. Lightly sprouted seeds and grains will be easier to eat than hard dry seed. There's a thread on sprouting here: http://talkcockatiels.com/showthread.php?t=9019
Interesting about sprouting. So i can do this with the millet? I am going to continue to hold food in my hand several times a day for the next few days. She is still adjusting to her cage and us

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  #24  
Old 01-28-2017, 01:51 AM
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All of my cockatiel chicks (except Zoe) generally wean between 8 and 12 weeks, with 9 being the average but they've always weaned by 12. She may have been a tiny bit stunted and taking longer to wean? Zoe took a LOOOONG time to wean and at 12 weeks she was still eating a lot of formula.

Feed her formula for as long as she wants it but it really shouldn't be too long before she weans herself off, especially if you're giving her lots of other options. I've found that mine tend to wean themselves pretty abruptly, like one day they'll be eating the usual amount and the next day they want almost none of it.
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Old 01-28-2017, 02:49 PM
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Yes, you can sprout regular birdseed like millet.
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  #26  
Old 01-29-2017, 10:27 AM
maddienaidan maddienaidan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaenne View Post
All of my cockatiel chicks (except Zoe) generally wean between 8 and 12 weeks, with 9 being the average but they've always weaned by 12. She may have been a tiny bit stunted and taking longer to wean? Zoe took a LOOOONG time to wean and at 12 weeks she was still eating a lot of formula.

Feed her formula for as long as she wants it but it really shouldn't be too long before she weans herself off, especially if you're giving her lots of other options. I've found that mine tend to wean themselves pretty abruptly, like one day they'll be eating the usual amount and the next day they want almost none of it.
I found out she was last to hatch. Hopefully it will be soon. Thank you

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  #27  
Old 04-06-2017, 05:20 PM
maddienaidan maddienaidan is offline
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Just an update. She is a he. He has begun to moot and getting a white face. Anyway, he did not weaned until 17 weeks. He weighs 74 grams a bit on small side but he hasn't lost any weight but he's not gaining. He's active and healthy and whistling away!

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  #28  
Old 04-06-2017, 06:53 PM
EllenD EllenD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maddienaidan View Post
Just an update. She is a he. He has begun to moot and getting a white face. Anyway, he did not weaned until 17 weeks. He weighs 74 grams a bit on small side but he hasn't lost any weight but he's not gaining. He's active and healthy and whistling away!

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Wow, 17 weeks? That's something I'm not familiar with to be honest, I've never encountered a cockatiel that took that long to wean. Honestly I'm going to go ahead and say that he was no where near 12 weeks old when you got him, thus he wasn't anywhere near 17 weeks when he weaned. I actually just went back through this thread and saw the photos you posted of him when you first got him, and I just said to myself "That baby wasn't 12 weeks old in those photos, he looks more like 6 weeks old!" That's my guess as to why it took him so long to wean, and unfortunately it's not that uncommon for breeders to lie about their age. That makes the whole thing make a lot more sense.

I'm assuming you took him to an avian vet if you got him sexed? He is quite small for his age, it's good that he's not losing weight though. Watch him closely and weigh him every day. If he starts losing weight get him to his avian vet ASAP. Hopefully he'll have a little growth spurt soon. How is he eating? Is he tame? Does he like to be petted or let you hold him?

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  #29  
Old 04-06-2017, 06:57 PM
maddienaidan maddienaidan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EllenD View Post
Wow, 17 weeks? That's something I'm not familiar with to be honest, I've never encountered a cockatiel that took that long to wean. Honestly I'm going to go ahead and say that he was no where near 12 weeks old when you got him, thus he wasn't anywhere near 17 weeks when he weaned. I actually just went back through this thread and saw the photos you posted of him when you first got him, and I just said to myself "That baby wasn't 12 weeks old in those photos, he looks more like 6 weeks old!" That's my guess as to why it took him so long to wean, and unfortunately it's not that uncommon for breeders to lie about their age. That makes the whole thing make a lot more sense.

I'm assuming you took him to an avian vet if you got him sexed? He is quite small for his age, it's good that he's not losing weight though. Watch him closely and weigh him every day. If he starts losing weight get him to his avian vet ASAP. Hopefully he'll have a little growth spurt soon. How is he eating? Is he tame? Does he like to be petted or let you hold him?

"Dance like nobody's watching..."
He's a sweet heart! Loves to be with me and petted. He's very bonded to me I guess from hand feeding.I think you are right on age. He's has started molting and getting a white face and he mimics the songs I whistle so I'm going off behavior as for as gender. Also banging his beak on everything. Vet said he is healthy. I weigh him once a week. He eats well. His seed still having trouble getting him on pellets he will eat a little. He eats leafy greens and other veggies daily.

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  #30  
Old 04-06-2017, 06:59 PM
maddienaidan maddienaidan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EllenD View Post
Wow, 17 weeks? That's something I'm not familiar with to be honest, I've never encountered a cockatiel that took that long to wean. Honestly I'm going to go ahead and say that he was no where near 12 weeks old when you got him, thus he wasn't anywhere near 17 weeks when he weaned. I actually just went back through this thread and saw the photos you posted of him when you first got him, and I just said to myself "That baby wasn't 12 weeks old in those photos, he looks more like 6 weeks old!" That's my guess as to why it took him so long to wean, and unfortunately it's not that uncommon for breeders to lie about their age. That makes the whole thing make a lot more sense.

I'm assuming you took him to an avian vet if you got him sexed? He is quite small for his age, it's good that he's not losing weight though. Watch him closely and weigh him every day. If he starts losing weight get him to his avian vet ASAP. Hopefully he'll have a little growth spurt soon. How is he eating? Is he tame? Does he like to be petted or let you hold him?

"Dance like nobody's watching..."
I also adopted an older tiel that is terrified of me. People took him to pet store because they said he screamed too much. Poor guy. I have a deposit on another hand fed baby but he or she is staying until fully weaned. I'm not going through that again!

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