Weight Change should I be concerned?

Oct 13, 2021
50
25
Parrots
2 Cockatiels
Hi, so I have 2 cockatiels one has had a lot of nasal infections in the last 2 years they are believed to be around 22 years old, it's been about 6 months since their last suspected one (they had alot of fluid when scratching their nare and sneezing).


He weighed about 102 grams in March. I've been weighing him 1-2 times a week as our vet advised to keep him on genta equine, so when I nebulize him I give him a weigh. From March his body weight fluctuated between 102-108 in June his lowest weight was 105g on the 1st and 109g on the 29th, when the 1st of July he hit 110g, and on the 29th of July he was 116g, which was a record all time high for him. he maintained 116g into August and hit 117g on the 10th, he when went down to a stable 115 from the 19th of August and was still 115g on the 30th.


However on the 1st of September he hit 114g, then on the 8th 113g, and now on the 11th he is 111g. You can visually see he is not as big as he was, and while this weight is still a good weight, this seems like a very sudden drop. over the space of 13 days he has lost 4g. I don't really want to take him to the vet unless necessary as it really really stresses him out. This is from my calculations a 3% loss in weight over the space of 12 days. We have just had a sudden weather change going into Autumn.


Is this kind of fluctuation something I should be concerned about? Oddly enough during peak moulting he hit 117g, I would have thought his weight would go down during a moult not up? Now his moulting is pretty much over I would have thought his weight would be going up not down.
He still has his appetite and is eating, the only minor behavioural change i've noticed is very rarely he will sit on these ledges in his cage to sleep rather than the perch but he still uses perches like 95-99% of the time.
 
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saxguy64

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Good on you for regular tracking of his weight. It really is the best indicator of health changes aside from noticing behavioral changes, but those generally don't happen until later.

Lots to consider. Typically, any time there's a weight change of 5% or more, it's cause for concern, so in your case, 5-6ish grams. The big trick is consistency. Weighing during the day has inherent inconsistency, because of when he last ate or pooped. A full vs empty crop, or bowels can definitely affect his weight by several grams. Many of us recommend to weigh first thing in the morning, after his big morning poop, but before feeding. That helps take variables out of the equation.

Another thought. Age and activity level. Sometimes more senior birds slow down a little. Less exercise, same calorie intake... Heavier bird. Or, if he's flying MORE than previously, he could be strengthening those muscles, and muscle mass is heavier than fat. Not sure of his exact situation on those things, but food for thought.
 
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Oct 13, 2021
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25
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2 Cockatiels
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Good on you for regular tracking of his weight. It really is the best indicator of health changes aside from noticing behavioral changes, but those generally don't happen until later.

Lots to consider. Typically, any time there's a weight change of 5% or more, it's cause for concern, so in your case, 5-6ish grams. The big trick is consistency. Weighing during the day has inherent inconsistency, because of when he last ate or pooped. A full vs empty crop, or bowels can definitely affect his weight by several grams. Many of us recommend to weigh first thing in the morning, after his big morning poop, but before feeding. That helps take variables out of the equation.

Another thought. Age and activity level. Sometimes more senior birds slow down a little. Less exercise, same calorie intake... Heavier bird. Or, if he's flying MORE than previously, he could be strengthening those muscles, and muscle mass is heavier than fat. Not sure of his exact situation on those things, but food for thought.
Hi Thanks for the input, he normally never really flies but he has flown a bit the last few days. Sounds like I am at that point now where it is on an edge. In all honesty when he hit 115-116g that seemed very high for him. I know vets wise the highest he weighed after recovering from an infection was 112g. I weighed him at 11:25, today so he should have had the morning poops out, which I guess could count for a drop. When I weighed him and he was 113 that was 5pm so I guess he could be heavier then as he had been eating all day. I might try weigh him again tonight or like 3pm tomorrow and see where he is at. I haven't weighed him regularly until the start of this year, so maybe seasonal is coming into it too.

In all honesty the last period where he was 116g, he looked the biggest he has ever looked in 20 years.
 
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wrench13

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THey will fluctuate as has been pointed out. Key is weighing at the same time everyday, so those outside influences are minimized.
 
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So I weighed him last wednesday, and he was in the 111g to 112 range. I've left it until today to weigh him again as it stresses him out and I didn't want to be overly paranoid. He is 108g-109g today the scale fluctuates a bit if he goes to fly off it does go as high as 111g. However even if I hold it withim in on it it says in that 108-109g fluctuation. Admittedly i've only been able to get him out and weigh him at 5pm.

He does still have an appetite but he has had when he has had bad nasal infections before. Right now there's a dry skin like build up which seems to be the norm for him but no excess amounts of discharge or anything of that nature as of yet.
This is just over 5% in two weeks. Is this something that should concern me at this point? It does seem like a gradual drop off but still I am concerned. My mother who technically "owns" the bird isn't one to take him to the vets unless there's something visually wrong...

I know we have just got into Autumn so i'm wondering if this is a factor? I've been giving him toast, pasta and sweetcorn, green beans and so on. What's deemed the best bulk them up food?

The last time he was in this weight range was June, he was 106G
 

wrench13

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Toast and pasta are not great for him. SHould be an occasional food not an every day food. Sweet potatoes or yams are good for him and help bulk up.
 
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Oct 13, 2021
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Toast and pasta are not great for him. SHould be an occasional food not an every day food. Sweet potatoes or yams are good for him and help bulk up.
It is a once or twice a week deal with them. I have tried them on sweet potato but they did not take to it at all. I'm thinking about peanuts now as a protein source. They normally have the living world premo seed, some standard mix, a bunch of nutriballs and then some red millet when they come out, green beans, broccoli, apple that kind of thing with toast and pasta once or twice a week max.

I have tried them on pellets but they refuse to eat them even when it's the only thing in their cage.
 

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Hi, @Cockatiellover66. I hope your two 'Teils are doing well. I love Cockatiels, too. I had one briefly and he made a big impression on me. He was quite a charmer. He was a lone Cockatiel here, and in trying to find him a same-species companion, I found a Cockatiel lover who already had 5 'Tiels and she wanted him. He instantly bonded with one of hers. He is a happy fella.

Here are a few thoughts and ideas.
  1. You probably don't always have to take him to the vet to get a consultation. For some things, sure. But, I often do follow-ups by phone with my avian vet. Sometimes she requests it at the exam. I value her time, so I try to get my questions lined up and do more listening than talking.
  2. It can be easy to fall into the trap of trying to "game" the scale. Noticing a trend of weight loss has clearer meaning if all else is kept fairly constant. If we try to feed weight-gaining foods when we notice a downward trend, we could be clouding the value of the weight tracking. However, your vet may advise you to do just that anyway. Just be sure to share diet changes along with the weight tracking.
  3. Converting to pellets can be hard. I shared some of my thoughts on this here: https://www.parrotforums.com/threads/are-these-pellets-ok.96357/
  4. Peanuts are a legume, not a nut, and there are caveats for parrots. https://petkeen.com/can-parrots-eat-peanuts/
 
OP
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Oct 13, 2021
50
25
Parrots
2 Cockatiels
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #9
Hi, @Cockatiellover66. I hope your two 'Teils are doing well. I love Cockatiels, too. I had one briefly and he made a big impression on me. He was quite a charmer. He was a lone Cockatiel here, and in trying to find him a same-species companion, I found a Cockatiel lover who already had 5 'Tiels and she wanted him. He instantly bonded with one of hers. He is a happy fella.

Here are a few thoughts and ideas.
  1. You probably don't always have to take him to the vet to get a consultation. For some things, sure. But, I often do follow-ups by phone with my avian vet. Sometimes she requests it at the exam. I value her time, so I try to get my questions lined up and do more listening than talking.
  2. It can be easy to fall into the trap of trying to "game" the scale. Noticing a trend of weight loss has clearer meaning if all else is kept fairly constant. If we try to feed weight-gaining foods when we notice a downward trend, we could be clouding the value of the weight tracking. However, your vet may advise you to do just that anyway. Just be sure to share diet changes along with the weight tracking.
  3. Converting to pellets can be hard. I shared some of my thoughts on this here: https://www.parrotforums.com/threads/are-these-pellets-ok.96357/
  4. Peanuts are a legume, not a nut, and there are caveats for parrots. https://petkeen.com/can-parrots-eat-peanuts/
Hi Thank you very much for this post.

I've recently got back into work after an extended leave so I have ot been able to keep as much as an eye on him as I would like. He is 104G now ha sbeen for a week. He seems to be stable at a sligghtly low weight, he is eating and so on. He has had a little bit of liquid sneezing but nothing like when he had his infections. I am just gonna see how it goes if he htis 100 i'll take him to the vet. The problem is the vet we use currently is not great their solution is always to bring him in and stress him out. They also apparently have to see him every 6 months to be able to prescribe anything.
His Brother was last weighed months ago and has lost 20g, he was 135g which was overweight but he has always been like that sinc ethe day we got him. He is now at 115g, they are both moulting however, so I am thinking it may be that. Especially considering they've both dropped weight around the same time and started moulting around the same time.
I am mildly concerned about the frequency of the liquid but I know they do a normal clearing of the nose which produces a thin liquid, and it certainly has not been thick yet.
 

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