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Old 09-22-2018, 08:03 PM
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Exclamation How do I know if one baby isn't being fed? Please help

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Hey everyone,

I'm getting a little worried. This entire day I've been checking on the three babies we have here from my conures and I think the middle one is not being fed. I'm not sure if I have bad timing because I do hear the sound of my birds feeding them but I checked them this morning and his crop wasn't that full and just now compared it to the other two babies and his was definitely empty.

How do I know if the baby is being rejected??
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Old 09-23-2018, 03:56 AM
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Re: How do I know if one baby isn't being fed? Please help

You can keep an eye on their weight using a gram scale. Do you have hand feeding formula in case you need to step in? And all the necessary supplies for raising a chick(s)?
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Old 09-23-2018, 12:59 PM
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Re: How do I know if one baby isn't being fed? Please help

You need to get yourself a digital kitchen scale, if you don't already have one, and start blocking-off the nest-box at the same time each day (the best time is first thing in the morning, early enough that it's before any of them have been fed) and weighing each of them with empty crops, and writing it down. They should each continue to gain weight, or at least not lose any weight, until the point where they fledge, as it's normal for them to suddenly lose a bit of weight during fledging, then they'll start gaining again. But as young as your chicks are, they should be gaining weight each day and not losing any.

It's possible that you're just not seeing the parents feed this one particular chick, as sometimes the parents do feed them at different times, based on how/when their crops are emptying. But if there is an issue with this chick's health, for instance if he has a crop infection or some kind of congenital issue, it's quite possible that the parents will reject him.

This is why you always need to be prepared to have to remove a chick or all of the chicks from the nest box, put them in a Brooder at the proper ambient temperature, and have the equipment, supplies, and knowledge to hand-feed them formula. Sometimes the parents simply stop feeding the chicks for no apparent reason at all, sometimes they literally kick them out of the nest box. It can be because there is something wrong with the chicks, such as illness, disease, there are too many chicks in the clutch, etc., or it can be simply because they just want to stop. Either way, this is why you cannot ever just rely upon the parents raising/feeding chicks up until they are weaned, as over 50% of the time something goes wrong and the breeder/owner has to take over.

Start weighing all 3 of your chicks every day at the same time, and if this chick isn't gaining or is losing weight, then you'll need to take-over feeding him; as long as the parents aren't being aggressive or hurting him, and continue to keep him warm, then you can allow him to stay in the nest box and just block it off, feed him, and put him back in. If the parents start hurting him, plucking him, kick him out of the box, etc., then you'll have to set-up a homemade Brooder at the appropriate ambient temperature and actually raise him. But hopefully it won't come to that.

In addition to weighing him, I would be checking his crop many times throughout the day to make sure you're not just missing him being fed. At their age they should be fed between 4-5 times a day by the parents or you, so you should be able to catch him with a full crop many times throughout the day; if he never has a full crop, chance are you're going to have to start hand-feeding him formula and take-over for the parents. Sometimes the parents will again start feeding the chick once you have started hand-feeding them and they see him with a full crop again, but most of the time you'll have to continue feeding them on a schedule, every day up until they wean...But start by weighing all 3 of them every morning at the same time with empty crops and checking him many times a day for a full crop.
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Old 09-24-2018, 10:05 AM
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Re: How do I know if one baby isn't being fed? Please help

Thanks for the advice EllenD.

Sorry for not updating sooner. I see that they are feeding him and he does have a sort of full crop during the day but it's not like 100% full. I'm tracking weight and hoping I won't need to feed him myself but I did purchase everything I would be needing for feeding as soon as one hatched.

The parents are still preening that baby and stuff but I don't know, I guess I'm just anxious.

Actually one of the babies came out of the nest yesterday. I walked by and was wondering why Booger was wondering around the cage floor before noticing it was actually the little one. I didn't want him to stay alone outside so I placed him back in the box for the night but I'm sure I'll find him out again today. Would you say it's a good idea to take them all out and make them an open nest outside as itzjbean suggested? I don't think he was kicked out because they were down there with him preening and feeding him. And I had seen him poking his head out since last week and last Friday he had a leg braced on the nest opening like he wanted to jump out.

The second baby (the one I'm worried about with his crop/feedings) is a month old. Just in case I do have to start feeding him how many hours between each feed should it be? Since you said 4-5 times a day I'm thinking every 4 hours or so?

Last edited by beetory; 09-24-2018 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 09-24-2018, 10:37 AM
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Re: How do I know if one baby isn't being fed? Please help

Just some more details. When they're out for us to handle them the baby is like, he's active so I just don't know. Like, I know birds can hide it when they are ill and I'm sure babies will do this easily as well.

How many days can I risk not knowing if he is being fed well enough? It's been two so far since I noticed something might be slightly off. I don't want him to starve to death.
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Old 09-24-2018, 06:15 PM
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Re: How do I know if one baby isn't being fed? Please help

Most of us wear by our avian vets... do you have one?
If not, here are some links.
Certified Avian Vets
https://abvp.com/animal-owners/find-an-abvp-specialist/
If none are near you...
Avian Veterinarians
http://www.aav.org/search/custom.asp?id=1803
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Old 09-24-2018, 07:36 PM
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Re: How do I know if one baby isn't being fed? Please help

Get a scale...weigh the babies daily. You should be doing that anyways even if you think they're all being fed.
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Old 09-27-2018, 09:41 AM
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Re: How do I know if one baby isn't being fed? Please help

Any update here? Have you been weighing them daily? Are you having to feed him?
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Old 09-27-2018, 10:51 AM
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Re: How do I know if one baby isn't being fed? Please help

Sorry for being slow on updating this. it's been a bit crazy and upsetting.

The baby is being fed and he is gaining weight but I noticed he was bobbing his head a lot like he wanted to regurgitate. I saw him do it successfully once. I took him to the vet because I didn't think this was right but they couldn't find anything nothing wrong with him. It's strange.

He has a lot of energy and strength, for example he's come out of the nest with the bigger one every day and he climbs the walls of the cage and I've spotted him perched on one of the second highest perches with his mom. He does beg for food too but... he also sleeps a lot?

I've been spending a lot of time crying about this because I'm so confused. I don't know what's going to happen anymore.

The other two babies are super healthy too. Even the youngest one which is 5 days younger than the first and still doesn't have all his feathers is jumping around and playing and even trying to perch on the biggest sticks in the cage. I feel like he does more to keep up with the older two.

I don't know what to say.

I think we might lose this baby and I'm trying with what I can do but I don't see what more I can do but wait. It's been over a week since he started acting weird and he's still here. I know that probably doesn't mean anything, I know he can die tonight, but whatever the case he looks happy right now.
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Old 09-27-2018, 11:56 AM
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Re: How do I know if one baby isn't being fed? Please help

Sometimes there is nothing you can do, and sometimes you have to do nothing and everything works itself out.


You've done all you can: you are monitoring, making sure the parents have everything they need to do a great job (and I am pleasantly surprised just how well you've all been doing!!) and even got the little one to the vet on a hunch and a few observations instead of waiting for some sort of "major crisis".


There are forward children and slow ones on this planet- as long as nobody is getting hurt or miserable.. let them develop at their own pace.
Maybe your middle chick just needs a bit longer to get started (or maybe there is something wrong no-one can fix for him).


Try to stay postive and know you have done everything you could, now it's up to the bird and maybe a Someone that protects baby-birds all over the planet.

Last edited by ChristaNL; 09-27-2018 at 02:22 PM.
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