Regurgitating Month Old Monk Parrot

Articus

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Hello, new user and minor here. I've recently acquired a baby Monk Parrot/Quaker Parrot which I've now learnt is a terrible responsibility to give a child.

They are currently 32 days old, active, gaining weight each day (Currently 92 grams) and nibbles onto seeds. The only problem is that they regurgitate whenever fed. It all started when we switched formula for the little one. After regurgitating, I quickly switched back to its old formula which seemed to stop the problem but now it's returning again and getting worse. They also seem to wag their tongue after regurgitating before doing it again.

My parents refuse to take them to the vet as they do not believe in the vets of my country able to cure a bird much less any creature that's not a dog or cat. I've checked for symptoms of sour crop, no signs except regurgitation. Poops well, crop empties quick (Mostly from regurgitation) and is well hydrated. I also clean and disinfect her cage daily to avoid any bacteria build up.

I've also ruled out feeding them too fast or overfeeding them (I feed them 5 ml slowly and give them a little break before feeding them again with a total of 15 ml three times a day, making sure their crop is empty before feeding). I'm currently begging my parent to buy a thermometer as I know the food temperature is very important for a young parrot but my mom currently thinks I'm just being too needy.

From what I've learnt, they do not come from an ethical breeder and was gifted to my dad because no one wanted buy it. It was twice the size of its sibling that hatched on the same day though.

The only possible cause I could conjure up is that I have to force feed them as that was what I was taught to. I've tried tamer ways to feed them with a spoon or dripping a little food on their beak from a syringe but they refuse both ways. I opted it be better for them to get some food than none at all so I still ended up force feeding them.

Right now, my father just tells me to try feeding them glucose mixed with water to see if that helps. I'm really stressing out on what's wrong with them and hope that someone has a possible answer. Thank you
 

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This absolutely infuriates me how some adults can be so irresponsible and careless. I had similar experience with my parents. I'm very proud of you for being a minor and yet having a much higher sense of responsibility. Also it is such a terrible thing from the breeder to do - giving an unweaned chick to someone else could be the chick's death sentence...

I highly suggest if you have Facebook to try to reach out to some groups like "parrot problem solving 101" , they could guide you to further good groups, maybe some vets could help you there as well. If you can, try to ring a vet at least from your country and try to explain the situation.

It's good that you switched to the old formula, in general you shouldn't switch their formulas. Also you're 100% right, please get a thermometer, the food should be at a specific temperature, not too hot, nor cold. I really hope someone with more experience could help you further and I am praying that your little feathery friend gets better...
 

LaManuka

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Hello Articus, welcome to the Forums :)

If you are unable to go to a vet, are you at least able to approach the seller or breeder of this bird for assistance? Unfortunately hand-feeding of baby parrots is not as simple as many people would have us believe and even experienced people sometimes get it wrong.

Unfortunately I do not have any personal experience that I can offer you. However, while you are waiting for other more knowledgeable members to respond, I offer you the following resource which was written by one of our highly respected members who is a breeder of parrots, and hope you may be able to gain some useful information from it...

http://www.parrotforums.com/breeding-raising-parrots/74363-so-you-bought-unweaned-baby.html

Some others of our membership will hopefully weigh in with some more practical information for you shortly. Thank you for reaching out and i wish you and your parakeet all the very best!
 
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Laurasea

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I so hate hearing about these types of babies as likely they were poached from the wild!!! It makes me so sick that people are robbing nests. I think its as high as 80% of nest robbed baby parrots of any species end up dead. That is before they even get sold or passed off to people. Who then struggles to raise snd many more die........

I think you need to decrease the amount of food you are offering. You could be overv
filling them. Keep other food available to start abundance weaning.

This has info on babies. Temperature is tge most important thing. https://hari.ca/hari/research-facil...cine-pediatrics-housing-feeding-baby-parrots/

I'm going to link information Ellen D originally provided for another member and species. It will apply to you and your baby to tho
 
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Laurasea

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info originally posted by EllenD


Since you've hand-fed other baby parrots before you probably have a better understanding/eduction than most people who come here asking these types of questions, but just to make sure and to save you from any serious issues, heartache, or tragedy that often happens when people take-on hand-feeding such a young baby parrot, I'm going to quickly run-down the most important and NON-OPTIONAL bullet-points that you must follow to a tee or your baby will become sick and suffer potentially fatal health problems:

#1.) The hand-feeding formula that you feed your baby Senegal must ALWAYS be between 104 degrees F and 110 degrees F, and must stay in that temperature range throughout the feeding. One degree colder and your baby can suffer fungal/yeast infections in their Crop and throughout their GI Tract, and this can cause Slow-Crop and Crop-Stasis. Even 1 degree hotter and it will cause burns on your bird's crop that usually cause severe infection and require surgery to remove the burnt portion of the Crop...So you must use a digital cooking/candy thermometer that has a metal probe you can place in the formula and keep in the formula throughout each hand-feeding. If the formula needs to be re-heated because it drops below 104 degrees F, do not microwave the already mixed formula because it will develop "hot pockets" that will burn your bird's Crop no matter how well you mix it; instead just microwave water or unflavored Pedialyte, whichever you're using to mix the formula, and then add it slowly to the already mixed formula...

#2.) At 3 weeks old your baby Senegal should have most of it's down feathers but very little to no outer feathers...I don't know if you have a real, proper Brooder that you are keeping your baby in, but if not then you need to at a minimum make a "homemade' Brooder that will keep the amibient temperature your baby is kept in within the correct temperature ranges...If the ambient temperature your baby bird is kept in is too cool they will develop the same fungal/yeast infections and problems as they do when the formula is too cold....If your baby bird does not yet have ALL of their down-feathers yet and still has bare skin exposed, then they MUST be kept in an ambient temperature between 90-95 degrees F at all times except for when you take them out for a hand-feeding or a short handling. Once all of their down feathers are in and there is no more bare skin exposed, but they still don't have all of their outer feathers grown in fully, their ambient temperature must always be between 75-80 degrees F. For a baby Senegal Parrot, who normally wean between the ages of 10 weeks old and 13 weeks old, they should be able to be transferred from their Brooder and into their first "Weaning" or "Starter" Cage around the age of 6-7 weeks old.

To Make a Handmade Brooder: All you need is a cardboard box that is large enough to have a front half and a back half with two different temperature zones, but not too large a box. You need an electric heating-pad that has an adjustible temperature, which will sit underneath the back-half of the box at all times. You'll also need an ambient thermometer that you can place/hang/stick in the back-half of the box, and this is what you will look at to make sure that the back-half of the box is always within the correct temperature range. Then you cover the back-half of the box with a towel or blanket to lock-in the heat in the back-half of the box, leaving the front half of the box uncovered and off of the heating-pad. Once you get this all set-up, turn on the heating-pad to low or medium and cover the back-half of the box, and wait for about 30 minutes for the temperature to reach it's max, and if it's not withint the correct temperature range then you turn it up a setting and wait another 30 minutes. Make sure you have a good, accurate ambient thermometer, the best and cheapest ones being the Accurite digital thermometers that you can just sit in the back of the box and that you can buy at any Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot, etc. for around $10-$15 (same for the digital cooking/candy thermometer with the metal probe, Walmart sells them for around $15 in the cooking gadget section)...Leave the front half of the box uncovered and off of the heating-pad so that your baby bird can go to the front of the box if they get too warm...Once your baby is around 6 weeks old or so, or when he/she has all of their outer feathers grow-in and no down-feathers are exposed, then you can move your bird into their Weaning/Starter Cage.

#3.) As far as the hand-feedings go, at only 3 weeks old your baby Senegal MUST be fed every 2-3 hours INCLUDING OVERNIGHT! They cannot go 6-8 hours overnight without being fed every 2-3 hours until they are between 4-5 weeks old. So you unfortuantely have to set an alarm for every 2 hours and get up every 2 hours, check his/her crop, and if it's just about empty at 2 hours then that's the interval that you'll feed them at for the next week. If his/her crop is not almost empty at 2 hours, then check it again at 3 hours and it should be almost empty, and that will be your feeding interval...

During the daytime and during the night until he/she is at least 4 weeks old (before they can go a full 6-8 hours overnight without being fed), their Crop should be almost empty when you give them their next hand=feeding, but won't be completely empty. The only time their Crop will be completely empty between feedings will be at their first morning feeding at 4 weeks, when they can go a full 6-8 hours without being fed...At only 3 weeks old they cannot go any longer than 3 hours maximum without being fed 24 hours a day, and that's why their Crop will never be completely empty at any time of a hand-feeding...Again, at 4 weeks old he/she will be able to go overnight for 6 hours or so without a hand-feeding, and their Crop will be completely empty first thing in the morning when you give them their first hand-feeding of the day; otherwise, during the rest of the day their Crop will be almost empty between hand-feedings, but not quite.

As far as how much formula you should give them during each hand-feeding, I never really go by a "set amount" based on their age as some breeders do...I always go by the size and feeling of their Crop, which you need to always be looking at and feeling lightily with the pad of your finger. At the end of all hand-feedings, their Crop should look very large and round, and when you feel it very gently with your finger (don't ever push on the Crop, just lightly run your finger over it), it should feel like a very full balloon that still has a little bit of 'give" to it. It should not feel tight, if it does then you are feeding them too much formula. And you cannot expect them to stop their feeding-response at the correct time; usually they do actually stop eating and stop their feeding-response and start rejecting the syringe close to the correct time, but not necessarily...YOU CAN NEVER, EVER TRY TO FORCE MORE FORMULA INTO THEM, WHEN THEY'RE DONE THEY'RE DONE, BUT YOU CAN STOP GIVING THEM ANY MORE FORMULA BEFORE THEIR FEEDING-RESPONSE STOPS AND BEFORE THEY THINK THEY ARE DONE, BASED ON THE SIZE AND FEEL OF THEIR CROP.

It's extremely important that you fully "Abundance-Wean" your Senegal, which means that you allow HIM/HER to make the decision when a hand-feeding is removed, and when the amount of formula in each hand-feeding is reduced. If YOU make the decision to remove a hand-feeding each day, or to reduce the amount of formula in each hand-feeding, this is called "Force-Weaning" your baby bird, and it usually results in severe, life-long Neurological and Behavioral issues, as well as serious and sometimes life-threatening physical medical problems...So allow your bird to tell you when a feeding will be rejected or the amount of formula per feeding will be reduced.

Typically the amount of formula they eat per hand-feeding and the number of hand-feedings per day will stay the same until a Senegal Parrot is between 5-6 weeks old, at which time he'll start eating more and more solid food, thus eating less formula. I would typically start putting millet-sprays inside of the Brooder at the age of 4 weeks-old, so that they start learning what solid-food is and will start picking at it and eventually eating it. At 5 weeks old I place a bowl of either pellets of seeds, whichever you are planning on weaning him onto as his daily "staple" food, inside of the Brooder, and once they start eating a good amount of the pellets or seed-mix (or both if you like), then they'll start to Abundance-Wean themselves. At the point where you move them into their Weaning/Starter Cage (when their outer feathers grow-in and no down-feathers are exposed, around 6 weeks old or so), then you're going to also start giving them a bowl of fresh Veggies, dark leaafy Greens, and a very small portion of Fruit every day as well, so that they'll learn what they are and to eat them.

Eventually you'll get to the point that they'll be eating a hand-feeding first thing in the morning and just before bed, and they'll be eating their pellets/seed-mix and fresh Veggies and Greens throughout the day...Then around the time they fully-Fledge, they'll eliminate the morning hand-feeding, and will basically be fully Abundance-Weaned, for a Senegal this will happen between 11-13 weeks old. They will typically continue to beg for a hand-feeding at night just before bed even after they are fully Abundance-Weaned, and this is called a "Comfort-Feeding", and it can continue for a week or two after they actually fully-wean. This is normal, it's not that they're hungry, it's just a comfort thing...
 
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Articus

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Thank you all so much for the help! Unfortunately, things are getting worse with them. They've started regurgitating almost all the food I feed them and they've lost more than 5 grams of weight.

As I write this, I've just fed them their dinner and hoping the blanket I covered over their cage would dampen the noise and light in hopes that they'd be too busy sleeping to regurgitate. I'm planning on checking up on her in the middle of the night just to be safe. My father's suggested feeding her 5 to 6 ml of glucose water mixed with some bird safe electrolyte and vitamin C powder.

@Skarila
Thank you for the support and I also hope they get better soon! I'll be sure to look into the Facebook group!

@LaMunka
The breeder is my father's friend and so far they've only told him to make sure the temperature of the food is correct so I'd doubt he'd be much help. From what I've gathered he keeps the bare minimum for taking care of his parrot breeding pairs and offer breeding vitamins only. After that, he'd sell unweaned chicks declaring adolescent birds don't bond well with new owners and it's better to have the bird as a chick.

Unfortunately, most buyers believe him and so does my father. He also has a large problem with unsold weaned parrots having behavioural problems due to not socializing with them well and leaving their parents to take care of them and not checking in on them as much.

@Laurasea
Not sure if it's better or worse but he has a breeding pair of Monk Parrots though he has had a history of smuggling clutches of Alexandrines once. Thankfully, he has since abandoned smuggling parrots due to the fines if caught guilty.

I've read into all your information and have made sure they are in an appropriate temperature. The only thing left is hoping my mother gives into buying me a thermometer for their food temperature.

Currently, they have a bowl of mixed seeds and pellets I change everyday that they nibble and then throw away but I have caught them munching on an unshelled sunflower seed once so I'm hoping they're weaned early. I'll be sure to look more into abundance weaning though!
 

Laurasea

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You can offer veggies minced up to about pea size.

They are very likely to have sour crop it sounds like. A visit to vet is best thing.

Yiu csn offer a little live culture greek yogurt with Acidophilus and Lactobacillus listed. It might help if they have yeast overgrowth. About half a teaspoon to the formula once a day.

I'm going to message SilverSage as sge is our breeding expert.
 

WhiteFlight

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a terrible responsibility to give a child.
That is a very mature statement, considering.

Indeed quite the responsibility and your post reflect attentive care.

I will default to others here with their more recent experience caring for babies.
 
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Articus

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Their weight seems to be going up just as rapidly as they lost it which makes me hesitant to say as they might just as quickly lose the weight tomorrow. I've currently found a tamer way to feed them without shoving a tube down her throat which seemed to help them greatly in not regurgitating.

I managed to feed them 14ml in one sitting! Took quite some time and I've sat staring at them for 30 minutes now just to make sure they don't start regurgitating again. Hopefully this willingness to eat continues as I have to start going to school again which means 7+ hours of no supervision at home.

@Laurasea
I'll definitely try out the yogurt and adding more variety other than seeds and pellets.

It's most likely me being naive but I don't think they have sour crop as no other symptoms than regurgitation has been shown. I'll be sure to keep it in mind and carefully observe for even the slightest of a second symptom though.

Thank you for the help!

@WhiteFlight
Thank you for the support and I'll continue attentively to watch her health!
 
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Articus

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They're currently 1 gram away from their weight three days ago. They did not earn and lose any weight yesterday and still needs to be force fed which I'll take it as a bad sign.

Hopefully I can finally get my mother to buy a thermometer and some apple cider vinegar. I've done some research and concluded it is best to keep sour crop at bay, besides, it seems good for a bird's health in general when fed the correct amount.

@Laurasea
Thank you for the helpful link and I'll definitely keep this post updated! I agree with you on the Quaker Parrots too, they're silly little birds with big personalities.

Despite having to take up 40 minutes per feeding session, Levy (My Monk Parrot's name) is an absolute joy to be with. They'd go frantic whenever I scratch their head, quaking and chirping (Or as my family likes to call it: Making goat noises), and would nudge their beak into my fingers whenever they want it rubbed. They might still be a chick but I can see quite a personality shining through and I really do hope they can get weaned quick and able to live their maximum lifespan.
 
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Articus

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Their weight is currently bouncing from 91g to 93g for the entire day. I'm not too worried as 90g is the minimum healthy weight for an adult Monk Parrot but I'm still hope it continues going upwards just as reassurance.

On the bright side: They have been acting quite active! They're mostly preening their own feathers and flapping a whole lot to get the wax off (Still having a hard time balancing on those twig legs though). They'd bite onto brightly colored objects and making new grumpy displeased sounding calls which I interpret as her voice changing (Still doing the goat noises when they're happy!).

IMG-20210501-WA0002.jpeg

A fussy jolly little bird who hates feeding time

IMG_20210501_093342.jpg

Them getting stuck between the sofa cushion and resigning their fate by snuggling deeper till I noticed them
 
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Articus

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Life is just a series of exhilarating ups and downs for my little Monk Parrot. Their weight has been going from 93g to 89g like a seesaw these past few days which always makes me on edge.

Their feathers are having white outlines, a sign of molting from my searches, which is probably a good sign.

Meanwhile, their legs are not standing like a normal birds. Even more worrying, they don't feel much of their legs as they showed little reaction to me applying pressure to them. They usually stand by laying on their leg joints and their toes are always crumpled together unable to hold onto a perch. I've scoured the internet for answers and so far, the only thing I'm able to do is take them out for a sun bath the next off day I get and add a little cuttle fish bone for boosted calcium. If those don't work I might just try taping them shoes to see if that'd correct their legs.

They've been sleeping more often too, hope it's not them becoming lethargic.

I can never really tell if they enjoy eating or not. They have no interest in a short tipped syringe, they've nibble on rubber tube syringes but absolutely hates having it down their throat. Once the syringe gets in their mouth, they'd bob their head in a feeding motion but almost immediately wants it out and tries to regurgitate before onto having a drop fall out of their beak and swallowing the rest in their mouth.

They've been causing me quite the stress but I still wouldn't trade them for anything. Hope the little tyrant is able to get better and hold onto a healthy body untill they are fully weaned.

Update: As I'm at the end of writing this, they have regurgitated quite the amount so I guess I'm back to square one
 

Laurasea

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young birds like these can't perch yet. Instinct jeeps them from moving around much right now. These are babies!!! Tgey would be in the best just getting fed snd growing. Maybe by next week they may start. You offer very low perches just an inch off of cage bottom.
Remember they would be in a nest, and they would not leave till they fledged and could fly. Make sure you are keeping warm enough.



Bsbues will drop a little weight right before they start fledging and trying to learn to fly. They are a very great weight. My 5 month old came to me at 92 grams.

When my breeder sent me pictures and video at this age they didn't do much, they weren't walking around, they'd flutter wings sbd beg fir food, msybe take a step or two but nit full standing up or anything
 
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Articus

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@Laurasea
Thanks for reassurance. I've just seen Monk chicks around a month old perch (Mine is currently 41 days old) and I tend to panic a little too easy.

Mine is an active one, they can't walk well but if left on an open surface, they'd start walking anywhere until tired. They don't beg for food but they do start being loud whenever I come back from school (Caught them having a screaming competition with my sister's Lorikeet twice now) and usually begs for attention then.


Looks like my father's back with more trouble though. He got his hands on two unweaned Javan Myna and Green Fruit Pigeon each. I'm not worried as he has had experience taking care of unwanted unweaned chicks his parrot breeder friend tossed to him (Unfortunately, as of now 3 has died, 2 of them were under my care for a lengthy time). He's looking to pass on a pair for me to look after and maybe keep the Monk company.
IMG-20210504-WA0003.jpg


A little backstory of how he got these two: My father works on a farm in another state that's a couple hours drive away in some forest where he mostly take care of chickens and fertilize fruit trees. He'd clear up the grass by mowing them and has found a couple of wild bird eggs. If the mower doesn't destroy the egg before he notices it, he'd bring the egg back to incubate with the other chicken egg incubators.

He's tried to rear a few that hatched out but they've all died after a couple of days. His co-worker thought he really wanted a wild bird pet as he does keep two rejected sun conures with behavioural problems with him on the farm (Also from his parrot breeder friend) so he ended up stealing an entire fruit dove nest.

My dad ended up somehow trading two of the fruit doves with someone for two Mynas and now we're here •^•
 
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Articus

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Good News: I was able to give the little guy a bath!

Bad News: They're emptying their crop through regurgitation again

I've tried several different foods, their original one, their new one, both of them mixed together. They aren't interested in apple puree or glucose water. As of now, I've settled with a bird safe baby cereal mix which they only regurgitated a quarter for their afternoon meal.

Their weight is currently dipping below 90g but not lower than 82g.

On another hand, my father bought back the Mynas and Fruit Doves. At least they're overjoyed whenever it's feeding time, I particularly hold a favor for the Fruit Doves as they'd nibble on my toes and fingers to ask for food which I find adorable (They also make very silent peeping noises and can fly a little which they use as an advantage to fly onto my hand and their sibling)

edit on the last post; Turns out my father's co-worker didn't steal the Fruit Doves nest intentionally, he found it while cutting down a tree and gave it to my father because he felt bad
 
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Articus

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Great News: I got a thermometer (Albeit an old glass mercury one I have to make sure my butter fingers don't break) and they didn't show the slightest sign of regurgitating and even seemed to enjoy their dinner!

I made sure to give them loads of praise for that. Hopefully they'll learn to enjoy and get excited every feeding time after this
 
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Articus

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They've been eating steadily the past 3 days and maintaining weight, I'd say they're officially cured!

They don't quake or open their mouth happily when they see a syringe but they'd nibble on it and I'll call it progress. Though I'd still make sure to watch their eating habits until they wean.

Thank you to everyone who posted on this thread helping the little guy!
 

Laurasea

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Looking forward to when the quakers are weaned by abundance.

Your are offering seeds, pellets, and minced up veggies for them to explore. Usually after a feeding is when they are most likely yo explore new foods. I know that sounds weird , but that's how they work. When they feel confident with food in their crop they will explore.

While they are babies its recommended to chop everything up to pea size. Babies are program to explore new foods.

So from now on offer a little veggies. They will grow up to eat healthy, which will keep them healthy and have. Romaine lettuce, Swiss chard, yes they like leafy greens! And leafy greens have lots of vitamin actually! So shread and chop and offer! A little cooked sweet potatoes, a little cooked and fine cut carrots, some bell pepper, red chili peppers, and other pepper are good. Go light on fruits, only offer 10% fruits.
 
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Articus

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Sorry for the lengthened radio silence. They're currently refusing their formula for the past few days now which I'm not too worried as I see it as a sign of them weaning themselves. Still have their milk teeth though.

Their beak strength is getting better and they feed off their solid food just fine (I still force them to eat at least a little formula for dinner though). They're also taking a really good liking to carrots! Not so much leafy greens though...

I reckon they're at their teething stage as the house's sofa and my fingers, or anything within their vicinity really, has become a victim of being their chew toy.

Their legs are also getting stronger! They're able to perch though their feet position aren't always correct but they have a pretty strong grip on my shoulder. Pretty close to learning how to fly too, the feathers under their wings are just about fully grown and their flapping sessions have gotten longer.

Averaging out at 95g and being really active in exploring the house at the age of 7 weeks (51 days), I'd say they're as healthy as they can be!
 

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