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General Health Care Remember to use common sense and consult with an avian veterinarian.

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Old 12-17-2011, 04:48 AM
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Underweight cockatiels

hello guys.
I have two cockatiels, 2 and almost 3months old each. What i'm really concerning about them is...
"they are too skinny"
the older one, 2months and 3rd weeks old lutino, is 75grams and younger one, 2month old normal pearl, is 70grams. I've googled standard cockatiel weight chart and my birds have to be almost 90grams at their ages.
They are currently eating formula once or twice a day and trying to crack various seeds themselves. (actually they eats seeds)
BUT they're too skinny.
Here's some background story.
I am the second owner and ex owner of my cockatiels had never raised any kinds of bird so she was struggling hand feeding baby birds. Finally she gave up rasing baby birds and they came to my place. When I adopted these kids from her, they were almost starved to death. I put TONS of effort to keep them alive and i'm pretty sure they are in good shape now.

How can i make them gain standard weight?
I mean not just "fatting up".
Please give me your tips and know-hows.
(and sorry for my bad english, its not my first language.)

Last edited by kartlight; 12-17-2011 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 12-17-2011, 05:24 AM
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Re: Underweight cockatiels

Could you try handfeeding them more? If they are just starting to eat hard food then they may not be getting enough yet. It may take a bit for them to get the hang of it. Also, don't just feed them seed, offer a high quality pelleted diet and plenty of fresh veggies and some fruits Good luck
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Old 12-17-2011, 05:31 AM
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Re: Underweight cockatiels

Thank you for your fast reply!
I've tried offering veggies and fruits but they refused it. maybe they are not familiar with those kind of foods.
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Old 12-17-2011, 11:09 AM
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Re: Underweight cockatiels

When they keep seeing those foods they will become familiar with them. It helps a lot if they see you eat them as well.

I would continue hand feeding them for now. I would also talk to my vet. It could be since these 2 had a bad start in life, they may just be smaller than average their whole lives.
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Old 12-17-2011, 12:04 PM
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Re: Underweight cockatiels

When they go to see the AV have him show you how to check and see if they're over/under weight.I would disagree with not feeding them some sunflower/saffron seeds. Also check into breeder formula pellets (higher fat content).If your still syringe feeding them try weaning to the spoon with mashed fruit /formula mix.Birds that age can't hold as much in their crop as younger birds and may need more feedings per day until weaned.For sure get them off the syringe and feeding themselves.If they were malnourished at an early age they could be stunted and never grow much larger, a AV can help you determine if they're truly under/over weight for their size.
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Old 12-17-2011, 12:47 PM
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Re: Underweight cockatiels

mashed fruit formula sounds really helpful.
Actually, I'm feeding them with spoon but i'll try your tips.
thanks very much!
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Old 12-17-2011, 12:50 PM
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Re: Underweight cockatiels

and also, wheather they eat fruits and veggies or not i shall keep hanging those foods arround them.
thank you so much.
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:36 AM
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Re: Underweight cockatiels

That question is hard to answer since I haven't hand raised any baby birds. Perhaps they aren't ready to eat fruits and veggies yet? Hopefully someone here can tell you, or I'm sure the vet can.

It also may not hurt if they truly are small to let them have hand feeding formula longer than normal. I did have a horse born prematurely and I left him with his mother for 9 months. Most people pull them at 3-6 months. He did turn out to be a normal sized horse for his breed, even though he was just horribly tiny at birth.
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Old 12-18-2011, 01:12 PM
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Re: Underweight cockatiels

Quote: Originally Posted by kartlight View Post
hello guys.
I have two cockatiels, 2 and almost 3months old each. What i'm really concerning about them is...
"they are too skinny"
the older one, 2months and 3rd weeks old lutino, is 75grams and younger one, 2month old normal pearl, is 70grams. I've googled standard cockatiel weight chart and my birds have to be almost 90grams at their ages.
They are currently eating formula once or twice a day and trying to crack various seeds themselves. (actually they eats seeds)
BUT they're too skinny.
Here's some background story.
I am the second owner and ex owner of my cockatiels had never raised any kinds of bird so she was struggling hand feeding baby birds. Finally she gave up rasing baby birds and they came to my place. When I adopted these kids from her, they were almost starved to death. I put TONS of effort to keep them alive and i'm pretty sure they are in good shape now.

How can i make them gain standard weight?
I mean not just "fatting up".
Please give me your tips and know-hows.
(and sorry for my bad english, its not my first language.)
English is fine.

The weights of the tiels are average & i wouldn't worry to much about them putting on a lot of weight at this stage. Although a little on the light side. Don't forget they are very young & won't reach a good weight until they are about 12 months old. If the birds have been malnurished it will take many months for them to put that weight back on.

If you feel they are to skinny feed them a good quality of cockatiel seed, the sunflower will help put on the weight but will take some months. You could chop up hulled sunflower seeds finely & put about 1/4 of a teaspoon in the formula every day or two.

To check for your self feel the sternum or breastbone & the pectoral muscles on each side you are checking to feel where the keel is protruding like a knife blade, a danger sign, & whether the pectoral muscles are convex, meaning rounded out, they should be or flat slightly concave or very concave, severly chronically ill & weak bird.

Cockatiels are not fruit eating birds although they do enjoy apple. I mostly feed my tiels, a small parrot seed mix, sprouted seeds, a few pellets, they absolutely love dark green leafy veg, grated carrot, peas, beans & corn on the cob. Keep up with the hand rearing formula untill such time as they don't want it any more.
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