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Limiju 03-07-2014 08:39 AM

Help! Underweight cockatiel baby
Hi everyone, I am new to this forum and I need help with my baby cockatiel, already named her Angel.

I had to remove Angel from her/him nest 12 days ago, as her father died, my handsome Lutino "Big Boy" and the greatest father. Her mother did stay for a little while until the other male cockatiels hanging around decided they wanted to be her new mate and had attacked Angel and bit her face. Just to let you know I have a large aviary it is 12x16x18 feet. I have had my aviary for 5 years and have 24 cockatiels and have never had this problem. They have been successfully breeding, once a year with no problems.

I took the nest box and the mother and put them in a separate cage and I left her alone with Angel. I did keep checking on Angel as I didn't think she would survive with her wound but if there was a chance her mother would feed her. Well I left for about 5 hours and her mother had no interest, so I took angel in and started hand feeding her. Angel was 3 days old. Well Angel survived all that and I am still hand feeding her.

My problem is last week friday I was getting real low on the Kaytee exact and went to the 4 pets stores here in the Cayman Islands and nobody has any baby food in stock. I asked the pet store who also breed birds what should I feed her one and they told me they have been using Zupreem fruit blend and mixing it with hot water until a pudding and giving it to theirs. Since that Angel has not been putting on the weight. She is 14 days old and this mornings weight was 31g and I just think she is so small. Her feathers are starting to come through and she is very alert and excited when it is feeding time.

Does anybody know what else I could try her on to increase her weight? I feed her 5 times a day until her crop is full and leave her to sleep from 12am to 7 am.

I am growing very attached to her being that I am watching her grow and I have never handraised a cockatiel baby let alone any baby at this age. I have parakeets and lovebirds also, which I have handfed the lovebirds when there has been problems and been successful with that. And if a baby parakeet has problems I have two surrogate parakeet mothers who gladly take them in. Very lucky!

Please help me find something better for my Angel to eat. Thank you.

Limiju 03-07-2014 12:24 PM

Re: Help! Underweight cockatiel baby
1 Attachment(s)

Picture of Angel after 2 days in my care

Limiju 03-07-2014 12:27 PM

Re: Help! Underweight cockatiel baby

Angel after second feeding for the day. Could someone let me know if I am giving her enough food?

Limiju 03-07-2014 12:30 PM

Re: Help! Underweight cockatiel baby
1 Attachment(s)
Attachment 10551

lisascannell 03-07-2014 03:35 PM

Re: Help! Underweight cockatiel baby
Hi I am no expert and it's been a while since I handraised Rocky but the crop should be full after a feeding and stay full for about 4 hours. If the crop emptys too quickly it could be that the formula is too runny, which happened with Rocky a bit. I used to add some weet bix to bulk it up a bit.

crimson 03-07-2014 04:00 PM

Re: Help! Underweight cockatiel baby
it sounds like you're very attentive with your birds, you are to be commended!!

switching from Kaytee to Zupreem will only cause intestinal upset to your baby.
I know your in a pinch to feed him something, and only going by what the store told you.
you can feed him baby cereal, the more natural the better, Milupa is one of the better ones, it's rice based and easier to digest.
the link below has a recipe for making some, which can be time consuming. now I wouldn't put peanut butter in it myself, but use the rest of the ingredients.
the cockatiel cottage site also has a growth and weight chart, so you can compare.

As long as he is growing, he will catch up later:) he is adorable!!!

Handfeeding Formula Recipe for Baby Cockatiels and baby birds, baby cockatiel hand feeding formula recipe
Just Cockatiels! - HOME

Cockatiel Cottage, Cockatiels, basic care and general information on the cockatiel, cockatiel information, cockatiels basic care, diet, nutrition, pellet diets, health, illness, behavior, taming, behavior problems, biting, sickness, symptoms of a sic

Limiju 03-07-2014 04:39 PM

Re: Help! Underweight cockatiel baby
Thank you Crimson,

I have been looking at their web site and looked at the growing chart. That's whats making me so worried about Angel. By there account she should be around 45g going into the 3 week and my baby is only 31g this morning (14 days old). I will change her food to making her the homemade receipe. Its seems maybe more nutritious than the Zupreem fruitblend for adult birds crushed up.

I will give an update.

JerseyWendy 03-07-2014 04:47 PM

Re: Help! Underweight cockatiel baby
I just wanted to tell you: HATS OFF TO YOU! If this is your first time taking care of such a super young one, you are sure taking all the effort and doing a fine job! :)

MikeyTN 03-07-2014 06:54 PM

Re: Help! Underweight cockatiel baby
Switching formula during middle of hand feeding isn't a good thing but what is done is done. The baby will get through it and be fine on the new formula. What's the thickness your feeding? Don't mix it too thick as they'll absorb the moisture and leave the formula behind. Is the crop completely empty before you feed??? Some babies can get behind so don't always follow the chart! I've taken malnourished babies and it takes them longer to catch up.

Limiju 03-07-2014 07:11 PM

Re: Help! Underweight cockatiel baby
Thank you jerseywendy, it is the first time and bit frightening. The first week I was jumping out of my sleep to feed her and check on her without setting an alarm. I have calmed down now but still don't feel I am out of the woods yet. But thank you for yr kind words.

crimson 03-07-2014 07:25 PM

Re: Help! Underweight cockatiel baby
I agree with mikey, you need to make it the correct consistency.
too thin, and they don't get the required nutrition and will end up with feather issues.
too thick and they will have intestinal issues.
mix it well, with NO lumps what so ever. around 105 degrees, yes that's hot, but not TOO hot or you will burn his crop.

the growth chart is just an average, there are many other factors to take into consideration. the size of the parents, their parents, how their nutritional needs were met, genetics, overall health etc....

once you start feeding him the baby food, he will pick up again.
just remember to keep everything as clean as possible.

my 3 babies were born early in January @ 3-4 weeks this is what they weighed:
oldest: 63g
all underweight.

do you know what they weighed @ 2 weeks?? l@@K oldest was just 21g!!, middle was 27g!!, and baby which was just 11 days old was 23g.....shocking weights!!!!!!...I was horrified, once I started hand feeding they picked right up, I fed them 5x's per day

now they are almost 8+ weeks and their current weights are: 87g,84g,79g, still on the lean size but all are maintained their weights when they were being weened and are now eating on their own.....

don't worry!....just keep an eye on him.

Limiju 03-07-2014 07:29 PM

Re: Help! Underweight cockatiel baby
Thank you Mikey for your advice. I am so glad to know someone else has been through the malnourished stage of a baby bird and can tell me they can pull through. Couldn't really find answers on web sites besides that she was malnourished at that weight for her age. No fixes or what I could do or if they lived through it. You have kind of put me at ease to know it will be ok and she can catchup. Really thank you for that.

MikeyTN 03-07-2014 07:59 PM

Re: Help! Underweight cockatiel baby
Not a problem, when someone like me who's raised over hundreds of babies you will see all kinds of things happening.

Here's my question though, how did the baby get that way to begin with? What was your feeding schedule when you started at 3 days old?

Limiju 03-07-2014 10:58 PM

Re: Help! Underweight cockatiel baby
I fed Angel every 3 hours thru the night for the first 4 nights which took me to the Friday. I guess my mistake was having to change her food as well as changing my schedule to every 4 hours from 7 until 11, 5 feedings also on that Friday. I do feel responsible for her being underweight and trying to fix it. I am back to feeding her 6 times a day since Monday morning when I noticed weight wise she hadn't been increasing her weight as dramatically as she had been doing the previous week.

I have been looking for information since Monday on underweight or stunted growth as she may have only put on 1 g to 2g between days. And finding something else I could feed her which would be more nutritious. Then I came across this forum yesterday and hoped for help or info where someone else could have been in this same predicament and see what they have tried.

I have read about giving boiled egg yolk, cottage cheese and baby cereal and mixing it with hot water, but I wanted to see if this recipe would come up again by a couple of people, but I haven't been advised about that one.

I just want to give her the best chance to grow in to a beautiful healthy bird.

MikeyTN 03-07-2014 11:04 PM

Re: Help! Underweight cockatiel baby
The formula itself have enough protein and nutrients that you wouldn't need to mix that concoction. You just have to make sure your feeding enough. At 14 days old he should be able to do about 17cc of formula but depends on how big he is. If you want to feed less but feed more times that is perfectly fine to do. But you must make sure the crop sac is completely empty between each feeding. I'm so used to hand feeding I know the consistency I need to mix depending on their age.

Limiju 03-07-2014 11:58 PM

Re: Help! Underweight cockatiel baby
Hi Crimson, I do thank you for the information of yr new babies weights. It helps me not be completely frantic about her weight gain. I will continue to feed her 6x a day and start to introduce the formula on cockatiel cottage by slowly adding it to the fruitblend.

I just want to make sure I can give her something to help her grow properly. The pet stores say they will have baby food next month which is weeks away, so I do need to get her something which will give her what she needs.

If you don't mind me asking as you have just gone through this, when did you start giving them food to try on there own and what was it?

Thanks, I know its a bit early for my one, I just would like to know a head of time so I am prepared, not like now with not having enough baby food.

lisascannell 03-08-2014 01:01 AM

Re: Help! Underweight cockatiel baby
Well it sounds like you are very switched on and being proactive with your reseach. I'm confident your cockatiel will be fine. I'm not an expert I've only raised one bird but Mikey helped me with that and he's a healthy little boy now at 5 months :)

crimson 03-08-2014 08:01 AM

Re: Help! Underweight cockatiel baby
between 3-4 weeks of age I start giving them millet spray.
4-5 weeks start introducing pellets/seeds
5-6 weeks veggies, leafy greens,grains etc....

here are some pics of 2 stunted chicks that I had last year-both died @ 4 weeks of age weighing 23g each

Chance....3 weeks old- 21g

here is Chances sibling-Abbey- 18g @ 3weeks-

both later died.

I don't think your chick is stunted, just behind in growth.

Limiju 03-08-2014 09:35 AM

Re: Help! Underweight cockatiel baby
Thank you so much for the info on the intro to solid foods.

They look very cute. You must have a very big heart and love birds as much as me.

crimson 03-08-2014 09:52 AM

Re: Help! Underweight cockatiel baby
thakyou....oh yeah I do....broke my heart to watch those two suffer the entire time....I wondered if I was doing them justice trying to save them....but in the end it was meant to be....I cried for 2 days straight.

btw, mom had tossed both of them aside,after they hatched- something she had never done before.
I didn't know why at the time, now I understand that mother nature knows best.

here is the other sibling of the same clutch, first born at totally fine....she is now a mom!

this is Angus- pearl pied hen

Limiju 03-08-2014 11:06 AM

Re: Help! Underweight cockatiel baby
She is absolutely beautiful!!!!

I believe Angel will be the darker grey pearl pied, like her mother. And I am calling her a her as I read somewhere that if she is hissing at the young age it normally means she is a girl. I will see as she grows up.

MikeyTN 03-08-2014 11:20 AM

Re: Help! Underweight cockatiel baby
Here's something I've personally noticed, my momma birds that eats mineral block and cuttle bone feeds it to their chicks too and the pair that didn't do it have problem growth with their chicks. So I put another pair breeding with them and they have changed their ways and started eating the cuttle bone to feed their chicks too and now growing healthy. I have done several stunted chicks but I usually move them to a different pair to care for as they turn out better. But if I don't have another pair having chicks I remove them to hand feed and have successfully raised them. One of the girls I raised out of last batch was like that. She was about 45 days old before she fledge which is about 10 days behind. My chicks start flying around 31 days old.

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