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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay i've been nervous since getting little Gelato because I'm still hand feeding him. Today I fed him a full meal this morn, and a little this afternoon.... i've held out since this early afternoon because I'm waiting until a little bit closer to when it's bed time for us.... and I look over and see him finally, truly eating from his bowl.

I have a huge mixture for him.... millet spray, pellets, and some various seed. I'm going to add more pellet to it as i go along... but I want him to actually get used to eating.

I knew he was hungry, he kept asking the dog to feed him. He had built up quite an appetite by playing all afternoon with his toys, perches, and torn up and wadded up paper towel!
 

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Catfish it reminds me of a book I read my son when he was liitle called "Are you my Mother?" LOL... Is he sweet and cuddley? And hungry?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
yeah i'm overly concerned with my pets... especially my true babies....

He is still eating food and begging, but it makes me happy to see him eating!

He is cute and loving, but he isn't as cuddly. He likes to sit on my hand and chew, which is fine. He sits on my head as well.... maybe as he gets older he will be more willing cuddle, but I still love the fact he wants to be on me or near me.
 

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Eating is good, It makes me feel so good that you are taking good care of him. He's a little hungry beggar watch out he may be a little spoiled beggar LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think I might be spoiling him, I've got to be firmer... no spoiled rotten birds.... spoiled adult birds who behave themselves, yes. spoiled babies that turn into 30 gram monsters, no.
 

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It is amazing to me how much and how often Chipper eats!!! They really play hard, then have to eat and eat.
 

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Congratulations Catfish on your new baby - He's adorable !

I must say I was a bit shocked the breeder let him go home without being fully weaned - I might have missed some of the story on him - why was sent home so young?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Normally he doesn't. he normally only lets people have them when they need a little bit of formula at night.... He's actually a very reputable breeder within the metro area... his aviary is his passion.

The main reason he let me, which I was suprised, was because I have lots of experiance working with birds at my job. I've syringe fed so many injured birds that have fallen out of a nest and other young birds. I know how to restrain and know about warning signs...which aren't that hard if you have any experiance or knowledge...

I know how to care for birds and already knew the different techniques available for hand feeding, the only one I'm not comfortable is the gavage method... I let the docs do that one.

Plus I have access to a reputable vet in my area whenever I need her, and I work with one of his friends that can also care for birds. We comunicated for a while before he made an offer.

Plus I think he realized I'm insanley neurotic when it comes to the care of my animals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
oh! and today he refused most of the syringe, maybe only ate about 2-3cc worth of formula.. instead he wanted to munch on millet, cheerios, and pellet... :D
 

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With you having experience with hand feeding that makes sense - I was just curious - you hear all these horrible stories about crop burn etc.

My first and only hand-rearing experience was with a canary that was ousted from the nest about 15 years ago - she lived about 5 years but was never really as agile and sleek as her clutch mates - the parents must have know she wasn't right but I loved her - she loved to follow me around and sit on my shoulder - wasn't very cuddly but was very tame.

Gelato is really cute - I'm sure you'll have a blast with him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Crop burn is when the temp of the formula is too hot and burns the crop... if the temp is too low the crop doesn't work right and it won't empty... it needs to be about 102-105.

I use a couple food thermometers... it takes about 10 mins before the formula is ready.... heating the water, mixing the formula, reheating the formula in the syringe, cooling syringe if too hot, reheating if cooled too much... it's a bloody pain in the arse, but worth it.

It should only be for another week or 2......
 

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Just hearing that is why you should tell people who want to breed these little babies that there is alot they need to know before they start. On another site I go to we had a huge discussion about backyard breeders who learn at the birds expense with bad outcomes many times. I know you have your hands full but I think you and a couple of others could really enlighten peple about just how time consuming and risky the venture could be. It's really interesting to read, maybe others don't know what their breeder did to raise their baby before they got it.:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
lol yeah, I have a new respect for breeders... i get a little stressed with just 1... imagine an aviary full of them!

I normally dedicate at least 25 mins for each feeding. Like I said before, temp has to eb between 102-105, given in small amounts. The fromula is a little thick, so you have to be careful giving it if there is a chunk that gets lodged and you force it thru... you could drown your bird. I like syringe feeding, but I have had lots of practice giving it slowly, so I don't feel that I am at risk of giving it too quickly... giving too much too fast can cause aspiration.... pnemonia... and most likely death. There is the spoon method, which I did once... didn't like it because it is too messy. I also assist with the gavage method, forcing a metal tube down into the crop and filling it. Most of the birds don't like that, we tend to do this for sick birds....It's quick, and safe, but a little a painful and very stressful imho

I'm supposed to weigh him every day to make sure his weight doesn't drop too much, hatching and weaning are the 2 most dangerous times for birds.... I won't lie, I weigh him about every 2-3 days at my job. I don't have a grams scale because I normally don't take the young birds home with me.

Because of his age I feed him only 2-3 times a day, a small breakfast and a little bit for lunch, and a full amount for bed time. I am forcing him to start to eat his variety of foods in order to get rid of the hunger pangs, which he is doing.

You have to offer some variety for the, cheerios are good starter food. You need to offer them in small dishes because their coordination isn't too good at this age. I will break the cheerios up some to help him.

I also have to make sure the temp at night in his cage remains 75-80 because he is fresh from the brooder. And like any good bird parent, I constantly monitor stool.

It's not hard work, just time consuming. . . if you have experiance with this type of stuff. If this was something that I just did without any experiance, I think i would be way stressed out and my Gelato would suffer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
well, he's now refusing the majority of his food. I am still feeding him 2x a day, but the amount has been reduced quite a bit. . .and a longer time in between meals, about 10 hours.

He likes his pellet/seed mixture, but has yet to discover the wonders of millet spray.
 
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