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Old 08-09-2019, 07:06 AM
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Question about weaning

So my Pionus is 14 weeks old now, from what I've read it seems like this is around the time for them to start weaning. And he is actively eating pretty much everything I'm giving him now, fresh fruits, veggies, seeds, pellets and some nuts, he drinks water on his own and he eats from my hand now too.

So when I told the breeder that I was still feeding him the formula twice a day he told me I need to stop soon and distract him by giving him some snacks. Well it worked so far, last night he skipped the formula when I fed him seeds and nuts and this morning was the bigger test since he starts screaming as usual. I prepared fresh fruits and veggies for him as he watched me and he started chomping on it, once again forgetting about the formula and then I interacted with him a lot.

Some seem to advocate that you need to give them whenever they ask for it untill they stop. But since he doesn't need it and already eats everything and my tactic seems to work, should I continue this way..
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Old 08-09-2019, 08:10 AM
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Re: Question about weaning

Don't stop the formula until he refuses until he refuses for a few days.

What the breeder told you is called 'forced weaning' and that's when the human decides when the bird is ready to be on big bird food.

Abundance weaning is when you allow the baby to decide by itself if it still wants formula and then basically feed formula until it refuses the feeding and instead wants to eat whole foods on his own.

Abundance weaning is much healthier for baby birds, giving them the option to comfortably wean at their own pace. When you force wean a baby it can work (as it luckily is the case here) but often times you have a confused, hungry baby who can't understand why he isn't being fed what he wants.

Both can work but in your case I would continue to offer the twice a day feedings until he consistently refuses one, then both of them. Sounds like you're doing a good job so far with the weaning process!
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Last edited by itzjbean; 08-09-2019 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 08-09-2019, 10:46 AM
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Re: Question about weaning

I see, the breeder believes it could potentially take a very (too)long time because he already eats actively on his own with lots of variety, so if he still begs twice a day.. He warned me that he could be psychologically dependent for too long. It is probably my inexperience talking here but I am having a hard time imagining the bird suddenly refusing formula and no longer begging for it any time soon. The setup at home makes it tricky too, the kitchen is part of the living room in my apartment so any time I'm taking a plate, spoon or want to boil water he recognizes the sounds as feeding time and he gets triggered throughout the day.

But as it is with my limited experience I could be unable to see problematic symptoms, so I will continue to feed him,hopefully he refuses sometime soon. He seemed to have higher level of aggression today so I did feed him and it calmed him down. I won't take risks with this issue, it's just a bit frustrating with conflicting information out there.

Last edited by 20brio19; 08-09-2019 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 08-16-2019, 01:12 PM
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Re: Question about weaning

Is increased drinking a sign of weening? The past few days he has been having long water drinking sessions after I refresh his water, before this I barely even saw him drinking at all, like he got it from all the formula.

He hasn't begged for it today, first time this has happened. He is very happy currently too.
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Old 08-16-2019, 03:13 PM
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Re: Question about weaning

Quote: Originally Posted by 20brio19 View Post
Is increased drinking a sign of weening? The past few days he has been having long water drinking sessions after I refresh his water, before this I barely even saw him drinking at all, like he got it from all the formula.

He hasn't begged for it today, first time this has happened. He is very happy currently too.
Yes this is definitely a good sign of weaning! Good job little birdie!
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Old 08-16-2019, 05:53 PM
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Re: Question about weaning

Davy weaned within three days. He was eating solid food a lot more and started barely eating any formula on his own. I offered him all he wanted, but he would start to walk away after a few syringes full. He still made his hungry noises three times a day and I would just feed him a bit of formula. On the third day he refused to eat formula at all. I think weaning via the abundance method works fine, but that might just be for African Greys.
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Old 08-16-2019, 07:20 PM
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Re: Question about weaning

As itzbean wrote, yes keep offeringery the formula. Even though he eats on his own. There is science that having the formula gives them the confidence to actually eat all the other food. The bird will start refusing formula on their own, they my drop one feeding, then drop all but last feeding or first feeding. They will refuse on their own when ready. This is a different age for each individual, even clutch mates. It's a time of rapid growth and development of the baby. And even when they self wean they may at first drop weight. Force weaning can lead to psychological and physiological damage often showing up as neurological damage. There is a lot of nutrition and micro nutrition that the baby might still require from the formula. As even our best feeding practice in no way comes close to nature. It is a lazy breeder or one after financial gain that would force weaning, regardless of how much he eats in his own. You are so close, please don't rush the finish.
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Old Yesterday, 01:47 PM
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Re: Question about weaning

I know little about the subject, but here's a link I saved which has a lot of good conversation. (Thanks, Dani!)

So you bought an unweaned baby...
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