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Old 07-14-2019, 08:25 PM
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So we decided to get a cockatiel!

So we had been thinking about getting a bird for our family for a while, and we explored some other options (a couple weeks ago we had a post about us visiting a BFA who was looking for a new home) but we decided that might not be a great idea because she had some issues and I'm the only one in the family with any bird experience.

We went through someone a friend knew and highly recommended instead! And long story short, we brought home a tiel this week who unexpectedly only wants to eat seeds and is sick. The vet called yesterday and said her WBC was elevated and her liver enzymes were high, but said she was pretty sure the liver was due to whatever underlying infection she has and should return to normal once the infection clears up. Her cultures came back negative and the vet said she didn't think it was psittacosis.

She's on clavamox x2 a day for 10 days and I am pretty upset, worried and unhappy. She's only 3 months old and seems awfully small - she's about 70 grams and we're weighing her daily as we've started a diet regime we outlined with the vet to wean her off the seeds. I had some questions about her behavior though as I've never had a bird this young, or a cockatiel in general?

1.) She constantly makes this weird growly noise. I sent it to another friend who's raised tiels before and she said it's the "hungry begging baby" noise. She definitely has food. We've been offering her fresh veggies three times a day, as well as a 50/50 pellet/seed mix (3 tsp of each was the vet's recc, although she basically has unlimited access to pellets and then a second bowl with the seed mix). Is she really hungry or is the begging behavior also an attention thing? At 3 months she should definitely be weaned, but should I offer her some hand feeding formula just in case she's regressed a bit?

2.) Any ideas for bird toys similar to a keyboard LOL? It's her favorite "toy". No interest in her other foot toys anymore now that she's found it. She's in LOVE.

3.) How much weight gain should I be seeing in a baby her age? She's very very petite at 70ish grams, and that seems to fluctuate daily 3ish grams up/down (lowest has been 67.2 grams today, highest was 71 but that was on the vet's scale which may be more generous than mine). I've been trying to do the same time each day but I've also tried doing it multiple times during the day and taking an average too just in case. We've only been doing it for the last few days as she is new to our home of course, but I ASSUME that in addition to maintaining weight we should also be looking for an overall gain since she is a baby.

4.) Poop! Hers is kind of sad and REALLY wet. I think it might partly be the veggies as when she was pooping on the way home (it was a looooong ride) it looked extremely normal, and didn't get super wet until after she started having veggies every time I fed the kids (so basically breakfast/lunch/dinner). Also the color has gotten really light every once in a while, although I was told it could be the clavamox and the vet tech didn't seem concerned.

I'm super worried about her and I can't tell how much of it is just me being paranoid (I'm a worrywart) or how much I should really be concerned. The techs and vet didn't seem too worried - I didn't even see the vet when we went to pick up the clavamox, a tech gave it to us and showed me how to give it to her. I've seen this vet before for a sick game bird (a quail) and I know for a fact if it were more serious she'd take much more extensive measures. I did get chewed out for going through a breeder which I guess I deserved. I just had several people with more bird experience than I (not here, but people I know locally) telling me that I wouldn't want a rescue or rehome since we have kids and that a baby would be easier or that it might end up being sick (HA!)
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:40 PM
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Re: So we decided to get a cockatiel!

Oh is it just the luck to start off in the deep end! Poor baby! Till she gets over the infection I'd let her have more seeds , unless you see her eating the pellets real well. It's a lot to be in a new home and sick, and trying to convert to a new diet, that's an aweful lot to ask if a new bird. I'm a big fan of probiotics. Especially since you are giving antibiotics. They sell bird probiotics at the pet store, just sprinkle on food , do not add to wster. Or you can offer a small amount of live culture yogurt with no artificial sweeteners. When I open a yogurt I offer some to mine and they like it and eat easy, I don't store and feed the left overs to risky. You can offer half a teaspoon of yogurt once a day while in antibiotics, then once or twice a week after that. Wishing your new birdie a speedy recovery. And happier days ahead!
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Old 07-14-2019, 10:18 PM
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Kirby - OWA Cricket - pied male tiel
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Re: So we decided to get a cockatiel!

Yes! We ordered Benebac and it arrived today so we’ve been adding it to her veggies. I was thinking the same thing about seeds. Just worried about her liver levels.
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Old 07-15-2019, 02:05 PM
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Re: So we decided to get a cockatiel!

If she is a young bird she will be fine on seeds a little longer. It's more important nit to stress her system. Foods high I. Vit A help immunity like hot red chilli peppers, or any yellow orange or red pepper, they can eat the secs to. Usually birds eating seeds only have low vit A levels and low vit D levels. You can use a safe very secure travel cage and sit with your bird in sun and part shade 15 min three times a week I think is enough to help...
Some boiled or scrambled eggs will help with vit E ( I think). Leafy greens left as whole leaf tend to envite nibbles.
How's your bird doing? Do you have a name, maybe I missed it..
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Old 07-15-2019, 06:20 PM
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Re: So we decided to get a cockatiel!

Her name is Cricket. She seems ok. Doesn't love the "clavamox hug" but she's taking her meds way easier than I thought she would. She's not happy unless she's sitting on someone so her various playstands etc are unexpectedly gathering dust, oops. I'm not sure if it's because she's a baby or because she's sick or if she just prefers the company. She's yelling at me right now because I wanted to have a minute to sit and finish my lukewarm coffee and I had the audacity to put her in her cage for a moment. ^__^;

Also, we aren't sure if "she" is a he or a she! We did send off for a DNA test (although I understand you can sex tiels once they are older?) and we'll find out soon.

ETA: Definitely a young bird. She's only 3mos. I've never brought home a bird this young; it's a very different experience, honestly a lot like having a second toddler. My almost 2 year old is torn between fascination and mild jealousy.
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Old 07-15-2019, 06:25 PM
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Re: So we decided to get a cockatiel!

Congrats Ravvlet! I'm sorry to hear the circumstances this baby has fallen into but I'm so glad you're here to help her. I am excited to see the journey you progress with her! My Luna isn't much older than your new girl and she also loves to hang out with people lol. She does go on her playstands often but she much prefers being on my husband or me.
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Old 07-15-2019, 08:55 PM
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Re: So we decided to get a cockatiel!



Here she is, eating her dinner veggies. We give her a little plate of veggies/sprouts mixed with her pellets (her breeder was giving her Zupreem Fruityblend, but we also have Harrison's HPF and TOPS that we mix in) and millet whenever we feed the kids, so breakfast/lunch/dinner. The millet keeps her interested, but she's pretty good about chowing down on the veg too. The veggies are part frozen chop mix we got from the local parrot store and part whatever I've got on hand (today it was broccoli, fresh sprouted greens, sprouted quinoa, veggie-based pasta and some orange peppers).
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Old 07-15-2019, 09:02 PM
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Re: So we decided to get a cockatiel!

What a real beauty Cricket is!!!!! Look at her/him Chow down on those goodies!!! Everything I see in this picture shows what a devoted parront you are;!!! What a lucky bird!!!
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Old 07-16-2019, 12:11 AM
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Re: So we decided to get a cockatiel!

Hello Cricket!!! What a cute thing "she" is My BB was 4.5 months old when he came home with me ( a little over three years now) I also got him from a breeder who breeds many other birdies. The breeder had Beebs eating Zupreem fruity blend pellets and his "own" concoction of seed an was trying veggies and fruits. BB has an on again-off again problem with bacterial infections ( poop EXTREMELY watery) and I had to give him antibiotics also. THAT was a MAJOR PITA! Luckily for me,when he saw the syringe,he'd bite at the tip,and SQUIRT in went the meds.
But after a few days,he'd know what was about to happen and would fly (in a panic of course) and get soooo stressed out then end up HATING me...he wouldn't even come to me!
The second time he had to go thru this,I made sure Doc Kristin gave him a good clipping so he couldn't get away...He still go real p.o. at me but was pretty forgiving in a few hours

Now Amy (30 y.o. BFA) has some sort of cyst we are dealing with,and he is getting the same meds your Cricket is getting,but a much larger dose of course (0.5ml) and I wont even TRY to hold him to give the med. Besides the antibiotics Amy gets heart meds every morning for the rest of his life..like us humans sometimes get,he has plaque build-up in an artery.The first time it was fairly easy. We have a game where he holds onto his perch stick and I can flip him upside down and swing him back and forth..plus he will lay on his back in the palm of my hand. Sooo you'd think a little "squirt" would be easy,right??? both feet are busy holding onto the perch,he is already on his back in the palm of my hand,no restraining towel needed...right???
The first time I put the syringe to his beak,like Beebs,he bit the tip and SQUIRT! All done! Welllll..he learns FAST! The second time,he bites the BARREL of the syringe...then kicks at it with one foot knocking it out of my hand! Had to come up with another idea lol.
Amazons are foodies..love to chow down. So before he gets breakfast I cook and English muffin ( for myself) break off a piece and squirt the heart med (.11ml) into a "nook and cranny" and cover it with a dab of almond butter and its gone in a flash! He waits at his bowl for it lol. But now his antibiotic is 0.5ml,quite a large dose to put on an English muffin or piece of bread. The bread gets soggy and he says ICK and throws it away So now I squirt it into his breakfast and night time snack and I pray he eats it all.

Anyway...SORRY I DIDNT MEAN TO HIGH JACK YOUR THREAD!! Cricket seems lovely..she is still young and what your describe are youngster things.
What mutation is she/he?? I know with Normal Grey tiels ( like BB) if it is a male,after they molt their baby clothes,their head and hat (crest) will turn yellow and a chicky will be grey with some yellow.
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Amy my beautiful Blue Front. Who was four months old when she picked me to go home with to her "forever" home in 4/1990.. DNA'd MALE in 2015
Jonesy, a cute Goffin 'too
that had to be rehomed :-(

And a Grey 'teil, BB...a.k.a. The Beebs
that was 18 weeks old 5/20/2016,






Rest in peace,my precious Smokey..4/2015 at 28 years young
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Old 07-16-2019, 10:39 PM
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Re: So we decided to get a cockatiel!

Cricket has seriously the grossest liquid poo sometimes. Oh gosh, I can’t imagine having to convince a BFA to take oral meds. We actually were considering taking in a rehomed one but neither of the ones we met had been to a vet as far as we knew and that was a big fear for me, haha. I guess we ended up having to deal with it on a smaller scale anyway. Oops!
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