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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone!
My husband and I just got a brand new baby parrotlet this weekend (we are still pondering a name but leaning toward Pickles!)... We have 3 other parrots in the house (sun conure, turquoise conure, quaker) so we are not new to the needs of parrots in general. When we got our other 3, they were fully weened 8 week olds.

However, we got our new little guy from a breeder at a bird show. We knew he was young, as the breeder said 7-8 weeks in age, and he advised that the baby was fully weened, but still enjoyed an evening feed of baby food from a spoon. He gave us a small ziplock baggy amount, and said it should last a week before he gives up the final night feeding.

When we got home, he didn't move a single step from his spot when we set him down, which we expected. In the morning, he still hadn't moved, hadn't touched his food (in the same dish that came from the breeder) and hadn't touched water. When I put my hand up to the cage to check on him, he immediately came to life, bobbing his head up and down and begging for food. We mixed the baby food on a spoon, and he was ravenous, eating until he was full.

Our main concern though is our little guy has still not eaten a single bite of food OR water on his own, 3 days later. He has millet in his cage, which he picks at but does not eat, and 2 different sources of food and water. He is eating this baby food every 2-3 hours... which we thought is a bit much since everything we read suggests a little guy his age def doesn't need that many feedings. When we don't feed though, such as waiting a little longer, he will chirp and headbob incessantly until he either is fed or falls asleep.

We have more baby bird food on the way, but to try to make the powder last, we tried soaking pellets in water and mushing them up for him, which he will take.. but only if they are 100% mushed. He refuses to chew or try a pellet. If we hand him anything - seeds, millet, pellets, etc - he will either outright refuse, or hold it in his mouth and drop. We think the breeder might have fibbed a bit when he said he was fully weened... esp since little guy did not eat from his dish at the show at all either.

So, does anyone have advise on how to work on weaning him? Is it a normal thing they do on their own? How often do these little guys eat? - Again he acts as if he's starving after only 2 or 3 hours. Our goal is to wean him onto the small/fine version of the same pellets our other larger birds thrive on.

Thanks for any advice anyone can share, and here is a photo of the little guy!

Bird Hand Computer keyboard Finger Computer
Hand Bird Gesture Finger Thumb
 

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Hello and welcome to the forum! Wow - he’s such a beautiful little guy! I swear he is smiling in that first photo, and why not? He’s a súper lucky little fellow landing in your flock - case in point your efforts to feed him. Unfortunately, I have no knowledge at all of the weaning process or of very young baby birds. However, we have other members who should definitely be able to help you out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We've done a lot of reading (and bought more baby bird formula!) and it seems the best way is kind of self-led weaning. Over time he will become less interested in the formula and more interested in seeds. Today he has eaten an entire piece of millet! Little piggy :)

Thanks for the warm welcome Ginziputzi!

We bought him a new cage that will be here in a few days thats 2x the size of his current cage, since we also noticed he likes to try to fly from perch to perch in there. Still pondering a name!

If anyone still has advice for new parrotlet owners though, please feel free to share!
 

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We are so happy to have you join us. We love new babies! And he had a whole piece of millet!! Wow wow! Good boy! So proud! So yes, I guess this will be a bit of a longer process for you but the bonding opportunity will be amazing.

i am attaching a post from a very experienced member that contains some excellent information for first time owners. I just had a peek and it also has a bit on weaning that might be interesting for you. It was your comment that you had bought him a bigger cage that made me think if this article. With very young birds, you should keep them in a smaller cage at first because they’re terribly clumsy and can really hurt themselves. Many members put a towel on the bottom If the cage to pad any falls. I am doing this now for my old lady Kiwi - but not because she’s a sweet, clumsy fledgling! Have a read - there’s some good stuff in there.

Looking forward to joining you on this lovely journey with these feisty little birds!

 

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Here is another article to keep handy. It will never replace a vet visit in the case of illness or injury, of course, but it can help you in the event something happens. Nothing worse than having no clue what to do in a tense situation.

 

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Welcome to the flock. Love the pics.
Try something warm and mushy. Cooked noodles come to mind. Even warm bread, maybe wet. Anything with energy and birds like carbohydrates as much as everybody else.
He is young and lost everything. His parents, his nest mates, his flock mates.
He is very young to be removed from his home. Sounds like he has not fledged yet, maybe regressed a little. It happens with young birds. It is one of the reasons I recommend people keep parrotlets about 10 weeks. Being as young he is I would be concerned about his temperature. Make sure he stays warm. Is he perching well? Is he sleeping on the cage floor or perched. If on the floor I would maybe put some nesting down at first. If perched I would make sure the floor is padded.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi there Ozzie!
Little guy is perching well, though he is clumsy when reaching to step up onto our finger... he did a little flip and tumbled today. We have had a kitchen dishtowel doubled up on the bottom of his cage to give him some padding for his tumbles and also to make it a little easier to walk , since the cage we had for him seemed a bit big for his little feet.. he kept slipping through!
We have a little snuggle sack for him to keep him warm.. he hasn't yet learned that he can go in it by himself at bed time, so we've been giving him kisses good night after eating, and putting him in the snuggle sack where he stays all night until morning. He loves napping during the day underneath my ponytail on my neck, or under our hand like a little burrito :)

The warm noodles seems like a great idea! He is eating a fair bit more on his own now... last night he seemed interested in the bread I had, and I offered him a tiny piece and while he didn't eat it, he did nibble it a bit. He still has absolutely no interest in seeds or pellets, but as of today, has only required the morning feeding so far, and has gone to town on a piece of millet. When we offered a mid day feeding, he said No thanks!

Hopefully eating millet only for now, until he explores his other food options is alright.

We did get his new cage in the mail today, but I think for now we will still be wrapping the ledges in a cloth padding, since his little feet are still so small. It should act as padding too if he takes a little tumble :)

For now, he likes to perch on our shoulders, nuzzle under our hair, or be held like a little burrito while he naps! <3

Wood Gesture Finger Thumb Nail
 

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Sounds like you folk have it well in hand. Millet is appropriate at this point. Let him have as much as he wants 24x7. It is chicken soup for the soul of a stressed parrotlet. Lots of good, quick energy there. Add variety as you can but I would not be stressed about it at this point.
The head bob “begging” in baby birds is normal. I got my Rio at 10 weeks and he kept bobbing for a few months. It gets less and less as the instinct fades.
My guys are very flock oriented. They tend to prefer to eat with us or when we are close. It is a security thing. Since this little one is so young you might want to try that and see if it helps.
Another thought. Start weighing him daily and keeping track. Issues will show up in a weight drop there many time before you notice other stuff. Also the weights can be helpful to the for the avain vet to know when you do his first wellness visit.
 
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Another thought on foods. Baby birds beaks are not strong yet. Some common seeds are too hard for them to remove the shell. You may want to try some nuts / seeds that have the shell removed. Maybe shelled sun flower seeds, shelled walnut or pecans.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you for the suggestions, Ozzy!
We have not yet seen the little guy drink water, so we are a little worried as today he almost entirely refused formula. Hopefully he will try it, but we were thinking of trying a little water on a spin just to help him out. Side from having multiple sources of water, is there anything else we can try to hydrate him? I was thinking perhaps a piece of apple.
 
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