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How much does a baby eat?

277 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Anya
I’m a brand-new p’let mom with an 8-week-old baby bird, so I’ve got a newbie question I hope you all can help me with:

How much does a baby parrotlet eat?

Today was the first day I went to work and had to leave him in his cage all day. I left food and water in multiple spots in the cage, because I wasn’t sure how well he could get around, up, and down. I made some fresh chop and put about 1 1/2 tablespoons in a small bowl and left it in the bottom of his cage, thinking “he probably won’t eat this”. I had another bowl with the food his previous mom was feeding him, and I left the pellets my vet recommended in a feeder attached to the outside of the cage, about halfway up. I didn’t think he’dknow how to get to that height or hop in there to get at the food so I only put a couple of tablespoons of pellets in there so maybe he could sniff around and realize there’s food in there at some point…….

i get home from work today and ALL the chop is gone. Much of his previous mom’s food is gone. And he’s inside the feeder, munching on pellets.🤷‍♀️

I take him out of his cage, and he spends the next hour eating off a millet spring and snacking on some hemp hearts

Is my baby starving to death? What in the world is going on? Is he supposed to eat this much as a baby? Is “eating like a bird” a misleading phrase?

I’m worried about my baby….
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Parrotlets eat much more than you'd think for their size, and your baby bird isn't really any smaller than an adult bird. Tumi has the hobbit approach to meals as well - 1st breakfast, 2nd breakfast, 11ies, etc. Our job is to keep them fed and to make sure the fresh food isn't in there too long as that it doesn't grow bacteria.
YAY PELLET MUNCHING! You want to keep that going as much as possible, because converting an adult to pellets is frustrating.
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Welcome to new baby ownership. It is a wonderful time of life for your relationships.
A couple of things. Parrotlets eat more than you think. They throw around more than even that so much of what you see missing may be all over the place you did not notice as they have been tossed. Some of that is eating and some is playing. Sort of like a baby human does.
All parrotlets, once they trust you will tend to eat more around you than away. It is a safety issue and a flock friend behavior. Most of us eat around our little ones. My Rio eats at our meals during the day that is just family.
The question about starving or being sick is always there. This is why most of us weigh our birds regularly. Get a small scale you can put a little food on and tare it so you can measure them. Your little one should pick up weight for a bit and eventually get to a steady state. They are good at hiding illness but keeping a eye on their weight is one of the quicker ways of knowing our little ones are health.
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If your bird is eating - that is a good thing. It is when they are not eating that you have something to worry about. Parrotlets have high metabolisms. They use energy up at a high rate. And with baby birds, it is important they have enough food available 24/7 to provide them with energy to grow and develop properly. As Ozzie mentioned, a lot of their food gets thrown out of their bowls, uneaten. You need to increase the amount you are giving them to ensure they are eating enough while you are gone. You may get home very late one night, and you do not want them running out of food. Also, it is best to keep millet in the cage for the first month or two. It is especially good for baby birds. It is easy for them to digest, helps to maintain their weight, and it's a comfort food if they are feeling stressed.
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