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Old 03-29-2018, 10:05 AM
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Re: So you bought an unweaned baby...

An excellent post by one of the best breeding experts we are so lucky to have on these forums. So informative!!

This is also an excellent read for those considering letting their birds breed and raise chicks. Many fail to consider that even when leaving chicks with parents, SO much can go wrong and you have to be prepared to raise an unweaned baby should it be neglected. Without the proper knowledge and equipment, unweaned chicks can and will perish!
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Old 03-29-2018, 10:11 AM
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Re: So you bought an unweaned baby...

Dani - thank you.

I brought home an eclectus in January (actually 2 - male and female) but the female has been crying non-stop practically. I feed her formula, I've seen her crunch the pellets in her cage (not sure she actually eats anything), and she eats the fresh foods I give her. But she continues to cry. Because of this thread I've done more research and I have found out that she weighs about 150 gms less than she should and that what I am feeding her (obviously I should be feeding her more formula) probably doesn't have enough nutrients in it.

I feel so bad. I knew she was hungry but I was feeding her and thought that was enough. Obviously it wasn't. Every week when I go into the bird store that I bought her from we talk about her constant crying but not once did the owner suggest (he's a friend so don't get too angry on site with him) increasing her formula.

I understood that there would be some digression in where she was in the weaning stages but - WOW - what an eye opener for me. Even though the food was there she was hungry.

After the research (and I kept searching because I didn't have an answer that was satisfying me) I found out the her particular species may not wean until she is six months old. That is the middle of April. So between the weight and the age I feel like I failed her - but I was trying.

I have no problem feeding my birds with syringes. In fact, five out of seven of my birds eat from a syringe if I want/need them to. I do that so if I need to medicate it will be easier - so I just practice it with them.

What I am still researching is - how long should each syringe feeding take? How many cc's should I be giving her? I know syringe feeding eclectus takes longer but I need to know how long it takes? I will continue to research but if anyone here has that information and you wouldn't mind passing it on to me...that would be appreciated.

Again, Dani, I thank you. And my baby (Lucy) thanks you.
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Old 03-29-2018, 10:35 AM
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Re: So you bought an unweaned baby...

Quote: Originally Posted by Dopey View Post
Dani - thank you.



I brought home an eclectus in January (actually 2 - male and female) but the female has been crying non-stop practically. I feed her formula, I've seen her crunch the pellets in her cage (not sure she actually eats anything), and she eats the fresh foods I give her. But she continues to cry. Because of this thread I've done more research and I have found out that she weighs about 150 gms less than she should and that what I am feeding her (obviously I should be feeding her more formula) probably doesn't have enough nutrients in it.



I feel so bad. I knew she was hungry but I was feeding her and thought that was enough. Obviously it wasn't. Every week when I go into the bird store that I bought her from we talk about her constant crying but not once did the owner suggest (he's a friend so don't get too angry on site with him) increasing her formula.



I understood that there would be some digression in where she was in the weaning stages but - WOW - what an eye opener for me. Even though the food was there she was hungry.



After the research (and I kept searching because I didn't have an answer that was satisfying me) I found out the her particular species may not wean until she is six months old. That is the middle of April. So between the weight and the age I feel like I failed her - but I was trying.



I have no problem feeding my birds with syringes. In fact, five out of seven of my birds eat from a syringe if I want/need them to. I do that so if I need to medicate it will be easier - so I just practice it with them.



What I am still researching is - how long should each syringe feeding take? How many cc's should I be giving her? I know syringe feeding eclectus takes longer but I need to know how long it takes? I will continue to research but if anyone here has that information and you wouldn't mind passing it on to me...that would be appreciated.



Again, Dani, I thank you. And my baby (Lucy) thanks you.


The general rule of thumb is 10-12% of her body weight per feeding. A CC of formula weighs roughly a gram, so just weigh her before each feeding. Do t be afraid to go a little over because she is currently underweight.

If she is crying, feed her. Even if she has eaten recently, just give her a few CCs to help her adjust to the fact that food WILL be available when she needs it. You havenít TRIED to starve her, you love her of course, but she has been starving.

As for how long it will take, donít be shocked if she needs feeding up to or even beyond 9 months. You have to understand that she will probably take longer than normal because of the trauma of having her formula restricted.

Eckies are one of the hardest species to properly hand feed; the fact that someone sold you one unweaned is appalling, and what you are saying about their lack of support for you makes me so frustrated! This is what I mean! People selling babies to unsuspecting owners and claiming it will be fine. Itís cruel to the baby and it is cruel to the new owner who just wants to give their baby a happy life.

As a side note; Iím not sure what pellets you are feeding but you need to be sure they have NO artificial vitamins, minerals, colors, etc. so anything ďfortifiedĒ is out. Eckies have a unique digestive system and cannot expel the extra artificial nutrients. This leads to hypervitaminosis which can be deadly. You might already know that of course I just would feel terrible if you didnít and I didnít mention it. Even pellets with eckies on the bag such as roudybush are usually not safe for eckies.


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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 03-29-2018, 10:38 AM
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Re: So you bought an unweaned baby...

More wisdom from the master!! Great tips.
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Old 03-29-2018, 10:41 AM
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Re: So you bought an unweaned baby...

Lol I assure you I am neither an expert nor a master, I am just OBSESSED with research and Iíve had some great people invest in my education.


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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 03-29-2018, 10:53 AM
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Re: So you bought an unweaned baby...

Quote: Originally Posted by SilverSage View Post

The general rule of thumb is 10-12% of her body weight per feeding. A CC of formula weighs roughly a gram, so just weigh her before each feeding. Do t be afraid to go a little over because she is currently underweight.

If she is crying, feed her. Even if she has eaten recently, just give her a few CCs to help her adjust to the fact that food WILL be available when she needs it. You haven’t TRIED to starve her, you love her of course, but she has been starving.

As for how long it will take, don’t be shocked if she needs feeding up to or even beyond 9 months. You have to understand that she will probably take longer than normal because of the trauma of having her formula restricted.

Eckies are one of the hardest species to properly hand feed; the fact that someone sold you one unweaned is appalling, and what you are saying about their lack of support for you makes me so frustrated! This is what I mean! People selling babies to unsuspecting owners and claiming it will be fine. It’s cruel to the baby and it is cruel to the new owner who just wants to give their baby a happy life.

As a side note; I’m not sure what pellets you are feeding but you need to be sure they have NO artificial vitamins, minerals, colors, etc. so anything “fortified” is out. Eckies have a unique digestive system and cannot expel the extra artificial nutrients. This leads to hypervitaminosis which can be deadly. You might already know that of course I just would feel terrible if you didn’t and I didn’t mention it. Even pellets with eckies on the bag such as roudybush are usually not safe for eckies.


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Hi Dani - I figured you would still be in bed...being in Hawaii. So I wasn't expecting a response so fast.

I meant how long does it take at each feeding. I have since been researching since I was on this thread and I have found that other ekkie owners are having the same problem that I do. The first 15 ccs go down quite well. Then the 2nd 15 ccs take a little longer and by the time I get to the 3rd 15 ccs (she weighed around 350 gms the last time I weighed her) she is beaking the syringe all over and getting into her mouth...well let's just say she has to have to sponge bath by the time we are done. And she gets one. Lately she has been wanting more so I've been giving it to her.

Oh - and I read that they may need to be burped...just like you would a human baby.

If it takes until she is two to wean her I have no problem. I even give the male ekkie some every night as well (he is four months older). But he clearly tells me when he is done. Beak closed and he goes back to his favorite perch.

I don't do too many pellets. But I need to get a different kind. One that has less vitamins. I do not want to kill her or give her any more trouble than I already have.

The pet store owner is open for suggestions. I take full responsibility for taking this bird before it was completely weaned. I wanted the experience of the feeding formula in the evening. I new I might have to do so in the morning for a few weeks (it has been 8 now). I didn't think about the difference between the species of the ekkies and some needing longer weaning time. The owner may not know that either. He says I read too much on the internet. Ha!! Nevertheless, I will be chatting with him soon.

Again, Dani, - thank you.

Last edited by Dopey; 03-29-2018 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 03-29-2018, 12:48 PM
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Re: So you bought an unweaned baby...

Quote: Originally Posted by Dopey View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by SilverSage View Post

The general rule of thumb is 10-12% of her body weight per feeding. A CC of formula weighs roughly a gram, so just weigh her before each feeding. Do t be afraid to go a little over because she is currently underweight.

If she is crying, feed her. Even if she has eaten recently, just give her a few CCs to help her adjust to the fact that food WILL be available when she needs it. You havenít TRIED to starve her, you love her of course, but she has been starving.

As for how long it will take, donít be shocked if she needs feeding up to or even beyond 9 months. You have to understand that she will probably take longer than normal because of the trauma of having her formula restricted.

Eckies are one of the hardest species to properly hand feed; the fact that someone sold you one unweaned is appalling, and what you are saying about their lack of support for you makes me so frustrated! This is what I mean! People selling babies to unsuspecting owners and claiming it will be fine. Itís cruel to the baby and it is cruel to the new owner who just wants to give their baby a happy life.

As a side note; Iím not sure what pellets you are feeding but you need to be sure they have NO artificial vitamins, minerals, colors, etc. so anything ďfortifiedĒ is out. Eckies have a unique digestive system and cannot expel the extra artificial nutrients. This leads to hypervitaminosis which can be deadly. You might already know that of course I just would feel terrible if you didnít and I didnít mention it. Even pellets with eckies on the bag such as roudybush are usually not safe for eckies.


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Hi Dani - I figured you would still be in bed...being in Hawaii. So I wasn't expecting a response so fast.

I meant how long does it take at each feeding. I have since been researching since I was on this thread and I have found that other ekkie owners are having the same problem that I do. The first 15 ccs go down quite well. Then the 2nd 15 ccs take a little longer and by the time I get to the 3rd 15 ccs (she weighed around 350 gms the last time I weighed her) she is beaking the syringe all over and getting into her mouth...well let's just say she has to have to sponge bath by the time we are done. And she gets one. Lately she has been wanting more so I've been giving it to her.

Oh - and I read that they may need to be burped...just like you would a human baby.

If it takes until she is two to wean her I have no problem. I even give the male ekkie some every night as well (he is four months older). But he clearly tells me when he is done. Beak closed and he goes back to his favorite perch.

I don't do too many pellets. But I need to get a different kind. One that has less vitamins. I do not want to kill her or give her any more trouble than I already have.

The pet store owner is open for suggestions. I take full responsibility for taking this bird before it was completely weaned. I wanted the experience of the feeding formula in the evening. I new I might have to do so in the morning for a few weeks (it has been 8 now). I didn't think about the difference between the species of the ekkies and some needing longer weaning time. The owner may not know that either. He says I read too much on the internet. Ha!! Nevertheless, I will be chatting with him soon.

Again, Dani, - thank you.


I moved in July, I live in Georgia now

As far as how long each feeding takes, it can vary a lot between birds. For example right now Iím feeding baby ringnecks. I have one who literally opens his throat and just lets the formula flow in. I can feed him his entire meal in 10 seconds lol. His little sister takes a few swallows, stops to think, a few more swallows, etc. it takes longer to feed her than to feed all her siblings combined.

One thing to consider is how warm the formula remains during the feeding. It may be that as the formula cools she loses interest. Are you leaving the thermometer in the formula as you feed ?


Also, how often are you feeding her? 2-3 times a day is what I would recommend if she will take it, and usually the morning feeding gets dropped before the evening feeding.


As for burping, yes thatís a thing lol. But instead of patting the back like you do with a human, you massage the crop to get the air bubbles to the top and then squeeze it a bit to expel the air. I certainly wouldnít do that if you canít see the air bubbles as you can cause her to aspirate. She really shouldnít need it at her age


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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 03-29-2018, 01:29 PM
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Re: So you bought an unweaned baby...

THANK YOU for starting/writing this VERY IMPORTANT thread! I sincerely hope this will save the lives of some hapless chicks who end up in inexperienced hands (or even better, stop someone from considering an unweaned chick altogether). You are a shining example of a GOOD breeder, the kind people SHOULD be getting birds from.
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Old 03-29-2018, 01:41 PM
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Re: So you bought an unweaned baby...

Quote: Originally Posted by SilverSage View Post
I moved in July, I live in Georgia now

As far as how long each feeding takes, it can vary a lot between birds. For example right now Iím feeding baby ringnecks. I have one who literally opens his throat and just lets the formula flow in. I can feed him his entire meal in 10 seconds lol. His little sister takes a few swallows, stops to think, a few more swallows, etc. it takes longer to feed her than to feed all her siblings combined.

One thing to consider is how warm the formula remains during the feeding. It may be that as the formula cools she loses interest. Are you leaving the thermometer in the formula as you feed ?


Also, how often are you feeding her? 2-3 times a day is what I would recommend if she will take it, and usually the morning feeding gets dropped before the evening feeding.


As for burping, yes thatís a thing lol. But instead of patting the back like you do with a human, you massage the crop to get the air bubbles to the top and then squeeze it a bit to expel the air. I certainly wouldnít do that if you canít see the air bubbles as you can cause her to aspirate. She really shouldnít need it at her age


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Well, I truly am behind the times...by several months.

I'm sure that the formula does cool down I do not keep the thermometer in the bowl but I will now. I have noticed that she takes it better when I'm at the high end of the temp range. 108 vs 106.

I will increase her feeding numbers. I was feeding her once in the evening and sometimes an additional feeding in the morning on the weekends. I may have to sneak her in to the office for a few weeks in order to do the mid-day feeding. Not to worry. I have co-workers who have offered me their office space.

I won't try the burping - but I thought it was funny. She is fully feathered now so I can't see air bubbles.
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Old 03-30-2018, 09:20 AM
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Re: So you bought an unweaned baby...

This informative thread is now a sticky to keep it more visible for new readers.
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