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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was recently gifted a baby parrotlet. I named her Gisele and have been following the breeders advice as closely as possible. She was on her last week of hand feeding before the weaning process was supposed to start.
That was last week. The breeder told me to make sure that she had access to to several different kinds of food and to drop the feeding to twice A-day. Which I did. But Gisele is uninterested in regular bird food and didn't eat her midday meal despite encouragement. I noticed that she was lethargic and went ahead and grabbed her baby food. It took a lot of urging to get her to wake up. She finally started eating and perked up.
I do not think that she is ready to wean the way the breeder said. She is still tired and is currently cuddled into my chest. She is my 2nd parrotlet but my 1st was fully grown when I got him. I have never been around a baby this young. And this little bout scared the heck out of me... It was very similar to when my sister would get hypoglycemia...
 

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How old is Gisele? It is unethical for a breeder to sell an unweaned chick that is still at such at a fragile stage in their development. No bird should be sold until they are eating on their own. I am sorry that you have been put in this position. If Gisele is not eating you need to contact the breeder because they are at risk of being underfed and undernourished. You need to monitor their weight every day to make sure they are not losing weight. I really hope your baby is okay..
 

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Anya is correct! The breeder should have never sold you a baby parrotlet! In Florida, they can't sell a baby bird until it is 8 weeks old. A bird can starve in 24 hours! Keep feeding her her formula. Also, Please give us the name of the seed mix you are feeding her. Also, put a spray of millet next to her feeding dish. Millet is great for baby birds. I am sorry you and Gisele have to go through this. This is serious! Keep her warm and near water. Send us a pic if you can.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am not sure how old Giselle is... But I was told that she only had one more week of hand feeding before she would be ready for adult food.

She has been doing really good with feeding with The baby food that I was recommended but was was not interested in the adult food.

She is already a capable flier and does well getting around her cage.... I am honestly wondering if it is a regression rather than her not being ready...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
How old is Gisele? It is unethical for a breeder to sell an unweaned chick that is still at such at a fragile stage in their development. No bird should be sold until they are eating on their own. I am sorry that you have been put in this position. If Gisele is not eating you need to contact the breeder because they are at risk of being underfed and undernourished. You need to monitor their weight every day to make sure they are not losing weight. I really hope your baby is okay..
I am not sure how old Giselle is... But I was told that she only had one more week of hand feeding before she would be ready for adult food.

She has been doing really good with feeding with The baby food that I was recommended but was was not interested in the adult food.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Anya is correct! The breeder should have never sold you a baby parrotlet! In Florida, they can't sell a baby bird until it is 8 weeks old. A bird can starve in 24 hours! Keep feeding her her formula. Also, Please give us the name of the seed mix you are feeding her. Also, put a spray of millet next to her feeding dish. Millet is great for baby birds. I am sorry you and Gisele have to go through this. This is serious! Keep her warm and near water. Send us a pic if you can.

Dave
I have been keeping a small spray of millet available for her and a mix of pellets and seeds for her to go through Screenshot_20210726-225418_Amazon Shopping.jpg



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I noticed that you have tried to give her pellets ( RoudyBush). She probably will not go for pellets at this time. I couldn't tell what type of seeds that were in the Natural Garden seed pack. It looked okay. From your pics ( thank you), Gisele looks good. Feel her breastplate and see if it feels hard or bony. It should not be sticking out or rigid.
She looks like a real sweetheart! She is gorgeous!
Try ABBA 1200 or ABBA 1200 C, seed mix or Harrison's 1600 or 1600 C seed mix. I saw bags of these brands at my breeder's home.
Later, as your bird matures, you could experiment with all different kinds of seed mixes ( unless you want to go to a pellet). I do not like pellets, myself. I like to give the birds a variety of flavors, etc. Remember, your bird is called a small hook bill. When she is mature, you can introduce her to any cockatiel mixes. These are larger, but manageable seed mixes that parrotlets can eat.

Dave
 

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You should let your bird determine when to drop feedings, instead of a fixed schedule, since not all birds wean on the same timeline. Please do not recommend this breeder to anyone, since they sell unweaned babies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I noticed that you have tried to give her pellets ( RoudyBush). She probably will not go for pellets at this time. I couldn't tell what type of seeds that were in the Natural Garden seed pack. It looked okay. From your pics ( thank you), Gisele looks good. Feel her breastplate and see if it feels hard or bony. It should not be sticking out or rigid.
She looks like a real sweetheart! She is gorgeous!
Try ABBA 1200 or ABBA 1200 C, seed mix or Harrison's 1600 or 1600 C seed mix. I saw bags of these brands at my breeder's home.
Later, as your bird matures, you could experiment with all different kinds of seed mixes ( unless you want to go to a pellet). I do not like pellets, myself. I like to give the birds a variety of flavors, etc. Remember, your bird is called a small hook bill. When she is mature, you can introduce her to any cockatiel mixes. These are larger, but manageable seed mixes that parrotlets can eat.

Dave
I usually give Monet (my older parrotlet) about 35% fresh fruit/vegetables, 40% seed and 25% pellets. He really likes the seed mix!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You should let your bird determine when to drop feedings, instead of a fixed schedule, since not all birds wean on the same timeline. Please do not recommend this breeder to anyone, since they sell unweaned babies.
As it turns out, after talking to my mother who gave me baby Gisele, it might be her fault... I had mentioned I wanted a young parrotlet so that I could form a bond with them, So she told the breeder she wanted a baby. The breeder apparently specifically asked if she wanted to hand feed and she said yes... I'm not sure she actually knew what that meant...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The good news is she is completely back to normal and seems extremely healthy. We will figure things out one step at a time!
Bird Beak Feather Parrot Wing
 

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Great to hear things seem better.
That is a beautiful pic of her.
I suspect your ears are going to be an issue. Parrotlets like baby humans love to put everything in their mouth / beak. I had a lot of trouble with Rio chewing on mine because my hair is short and they stick out. The family bought me ear protection for Christmas because they were tired of seeing them scabbed over or bleeding. With all the jewelry on your I suspect Gisele is going to find them irresistible. You may want to find an ear protection method fairly soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Great to hear things seem better.
That is a beautiful pic of her.
I suspect your ears are going to be an issue. Parrotlets like baby humans love to put everything in their mouth / beak. I had a lot of trouble with Rio chewing on mine because my hair is short and they stick out. The family bought me ear protection for Christmas because they were tired of seeing them scabbed over or bleeding. With all the jewelry on your I suspect Gisele is going to find them irresistible. You may want to find an ear protection method fairly soon.
She has only pulled on them once. She seems to greatly prefer my necklace, she goes after it constantly. The little oddball likes sitting in the middle of my chest as opposed to up on my shoulder...
 

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I hope she is still eating well! Whether a person asks for a young bird or not, the breeder should ethically have made sure she was weaned before sending her home with you. Tumi was a SLOW weaner, and my breeder keep having to push back the date that I would get him because he wouldn't give up his nighttime feeding, but I was glad to get him from a place that cared about his health as the highest priority. Even when he FINALLY weaned, he was such a stubborn little dude that the breeder made sure to teach me how to handfeed him just in case, and would have kept him longer for me if I hadn't felt comfortable. (He just really liked to be snuggled and held to be fed, even though he was fine eating normal food.)

By the way, one of the most important things I did when I got Tumi was take him to my avian vet for a well-bird check-up. He ended up sick a few weeks later, and having that baseline checkup and vet relationship saved his life! I can't recommend the annual avian vet checkup highly enough! Birds hide illness until it is pretty much too late most of the time, so it is essential that you have an avian vet to keep an eye on Giselle and also to call with medical questions as needed. Once you are a regular client of an avian vet, you can call and they will help you as they can, often even after hours helping you through an emergency.

If she doesn't like your shoulder, I'd go with it! As Ozzie mentioned, those earrings look a lot like a painful bird toy if you aren't careful, so keeping her off your shoulder and on your chest or arm or knee will be the best way to keep her from being interested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I hope she is still eating well! Whether a person asks for a young bird or not, the breeder should ethically have made sure she was weaned before sending her home with you. Tumi was a SLOW weaner, and my breeder keep having to push back the date that I would get him because he wouldn't give up his nighttime feeding, but I was glad to get him from a place that cared about his health as the highest priority. Even when he FINALLY weaned, he was such a stubborn little dude that the breeder made sure to teach me how to handfeed him just in case, and would have kept him longer for me if I hadn't felt comfortable. (He just really liked to be snuggled and held to be fed, even though he was fine eating normal food.)

By the way, one of the most important things I did when I got Tumi was take him to my avian vet for a well-bird check-up. He ended up sick a few weeks later, and having that baseline checkup and vet relationship saved his life! I can't recommend the annual avian vet checkup highly enough! Birds hide illness until it is pretty much too late most of the time, so it is essential that you have an avian vet to keep an eye on Giselle and also to call with medical questions as needed. Once you are a regular client of an avian vet, you can call and they will help you as they can, often even after hours helping you through an emergency.

If she doesn't like your shoulder, I'd go with it! As Ozzie mentioned, those earrings look a lot like a painful bird toy if you aren't careful, so keeping her off your shoulder and on your chest or arm or knee will be the best way to keep her from being interested.
She is eating very well! She, as of 2 days ago, has started eating out of the bowl instead of insisting that I spoon feed or syringe feed.

I am in the process of trying to find an avian vet, unfortunately they are rather sparse in my area. So far I have had one that's not taking any more patients and another that charged a $100 a visit. I've got 2 more potentials that I will be contacting tomorrow to see if they have availability and are at a reasonable price point. I am in one of the areas that was very very badly affected by covid and we lost a lot of the businesses.

She is still showing a preference for being on my chest as opposed to my shoulders. It's pretty cute and since my necklace is a very thick chain she usually grabs on to it with her beak to steady herself. We are negotiating whether she is allowed to chew on my shirt collar or not.
Plant Flower Sleeve Petal Creative arts
 

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Got some bad news for you. You are going to lose the chewing on shirt negotiations.
 

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Yeah, you will lose on the shirt thing. My solution is to have to "bird shirts" that I can put over my actual clothing. We use old men's dress shirts, since the collar was fun to hide under when he was a baby bird and the buttons are SUPER fun to chew on.

My local avian vet's fee starts at $65 for a consultation (I'm in Atlanta, GA), but unlike my mom's dog the bill doesn't really go up from there since there aren't annual shots to get or lots of tests unless illness is suspected. Tumi goes in once a year to make sure he is healthy and to challenge the vet tech skills (healthy parrotlets try to bite the vet - avian vets have quite the skills to keep all their fingers intact every day). I know that prices vary in some regions, especially depending on demand. Avian vet practices rarely also see cats/dogs, so they have to make all their money on avians and/or other exotics which are less common and profitable, and if rent is high in your area there prices would have to be high. In all of Atlanta, there is only one avian/exotic practice that I have discovered, so they are covering the vast majority of the population of my state.
 
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