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I apologize upfront if this enrages anyone. I am not an experienced bird keeper and am truly heartbroken at what happened. I am writing this to learn for my mistakes.

I managed to find a breeder who had a 2 parrotletd (m & f) for hand feeding (my mom in law knows how to handfeed). Immediately we saw how small the female was in comparison to normal parrotlets. She wouldn't eat pellets so we kept on giving her baby food. She was always quite sleepy and always rested her head on the male. We tried to gradually stop the baby food but she had a seizure (I think) - she couldn't fly, her toes curled up and she fell at the bottom of her cage. After this episode we managed to save her by handfeeding her again but we noticed her droppings were very wet. Just this week she was eating pellets, flying around and all seemed normal until today she couldn't fly and was all puffed up. We gave her water with vitamins against diahrrea but she instantly took a turn for the worst and died in an hour.

I can't help blame myslef for her death. I am not sure if she was stunted beyond saving or if I didn't help her as I could.

The male is shouting for her but we are giving him double the attention to help.him get over her death.

Please help me understand what I could have done better. I'm not always financially equipped to see a vet.
 

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I am very sorry for your loss. She may have had medical issues, which is why she was so small. That is good that you are giving plenty of attention to the male. How old were your birds when you got them and were they fully weaned? Were you also feeding any seed blends?
 

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I'm sorry for your loss, ty not to be too hard on yourself. Honestly in this situation I think it's a large responsibility of the breeder they should not be giving or selling birds that are not already properly weaned. Often people think they can handle it and don't realize how difficult it is and it's the breeder responsibility to know better. She may have had a health issue or problem with her genetics. Typically a hand fed bird should go from formula, to millet/formula, millet/seeds/fresh foods and then pellets later if the owner chooses but pellets are not necessary if you feed seed or vitamin fortified seed and plenty of fresh foods. If the male is still doing well I'm inclined to say she maybe had a disadvantage from the start. It also sounds like she was exhibiting some type of illness and only a vet can help determine what if that's the case. Birds decline fast, you have to get them in right away. Watch the male for signs of illness and be prepared to take him in right away if you notice signs of illness and a wellness check at about 10+ weeks old is always a good idea
 

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This is information I found from my avian vets web page. According to them, the incidence of pediatric maladies (sicknesses, diseases) has decreased 98% at their clinic since California passed a law making it illegal to sell unweaned birds. So far, it appears that California is the only state with a law like this. As far as I could find, in other states, it is only illegal to sell unweaned birds in pet stores, is that right? In my opinion, other states need to do more. Other countries too, for that matter. It helps to save birds lives! We need to stop the selling of unweaned baby birds from happening everywhere.

This is California State Law. Summary of this important bill as it applies to the sale of avian species in the pet industry:

1. This law became effective September 1, 2004.

2. Definition of a "weaned psittacine": The individual bird must be able to eat independently and sustain its weight for a period of two weeks without any human or parental assistance.

3. No pet shop, breeder, or person may sell an unweaned Psittaciforme bird to the general retail public.

4. A pet shop of five or fewer employees may not possess an unweaned bird on their premise unless the pet shop employs at least one person per pet shop location who has completed the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council's (PIJAC) Avian Certification Program. (This certificate should be posted on the premises)

5. A pet shop with six or more employees may not possess an unweaned bird unless the pet shop employs at least two people who have completed the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council's (PIJAC) Avian Certification Program.

6. A vendor may not sell an unweaned bird at a swap meet or bird mart.

Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty of up to one thousand dollars per violation.
 

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I'm sorry for your loss!
Ultimately, some birds don't survive to adulthood. A parrotlet that was visibly smaller than the others sounds like she was not destined to make it.
Weaning a bird yourself is a challenging task. For the male, make sure you have a gram scale (a kitchen scale that does grams works) and weigh him every morning so that you can tell if he starts to lose weight. You need to make sure that he is maintaining and gaining weight consistently. Normal adult parrotlets seem to be about 28-34 grams, but most importantly you need to watch that he doesn't lose weight. If he starts losing weight or showing signs that he is not getting enough nutrition from the pellets, then he will need to be handfed. How old is he? My parrotlet was slow to wean, and didn't fully wean until about 10 weeks old.
I see from the forum that you are not located in the United States, and so I know that your access to parrotlet food will be different than mine and it is hard for me to know what you have access to. However, as a general rule, parrotlets should be fed food for a medium-sized parrot instead of food made for budgies/parakeets or any small birds. It is important that they have some healthy fats in their diet, which is not something that tiny birds usually need.
It is helpful to have a good relationship with an avian vet, but again, I don't know what your access to one is. There isn't much that can be done for a parrotlet surgically, so most avian vet bills are for basic care and medicines instead of very expensive procedures, but I know that costs do add up quickly. Hopefully the boy will be healthy. Keeping track of his weight every day will help you to know if he is healthy and detect any issues when they are small and inexpensive to treat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi friends,

Thank you so much for your advice. I'm writing from Malta in Europe. We got the female (Nina) when she was 4 weeks old. Breeder said all other babies died due to firework noises and the mother was not feeding Nina so we took her to start handfeeding ourselves. We offered her spray millet and pellets but she only started to take them after about 2 months of handfeeding. As soon as we thought she was weaned she becomes more lethargic, puffy and forgets how to fly with seemingly seizure episodes (2 in total).

The male is almost 3 months old but he had a nornal journey and weaned succesfully. But i will buy a gram scale to check his weight.

What sucks is that for a week Nina was eating pellets, flying around full of energy so we thought she was gonna be ok, and then she suddenly died.
 

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How hard, and spending so much time nurturing her makes it really difficult. Were they from the same clutch? Maybe unlikely but I was almost wondering if she was a green rump parrotlet and not a pacific.. They are smaller and far more delicate as far as breeding and hand rearing. Kinda rare though so I don't know. This would kind of make sense as well because I really don't buy this story about The bird's dying from firecrackers. It may be that all the other green rumps from that clutch passsed because they are so delicate and the breeder was clearly inexperienced as well. Again, I'm so sorry. Try to remember you loved her as long as she was here and I'm sure she knew that despite her illness. *Edited for clarification
 
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Nina
Sorry for your loss
Looking at the picture of your bird is hard. I can't help but think you were set up to fail. Baby birds are extremely fragile and even very experienced breeders lose birds. You indicated that all her clutch mates died because of fireworks noise. I suspect there is more to that then you were told and frankly you had a bad clutch and it is only through your help she lived as long as she did. I doubt that no matter how much help or any change would have saved this bird. The only thing you could have done differently would be not get a bird this young and health challenged but that would have made it easier on you but I still think the bird would have died in others hands.
 
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This is information I found from my avian vets web page. According to them, the incidence of pediatric maladies (sicknesses, diseases) has decreased 98% at their clinic since California passed a law making it illegal to sell unweaned birds. So far, it appears that California is the only state with a law like this. As far as I could find, in other states, it is only illegal to sell unweaned birds in pet stores, is that right? In my opinion, other states need to do more. Other countries too, for that matter. It helps to save birds lives! We need to stop the selling of unweaned baby birds from happening everywhere.

This is California State Law. Summary of this important bill as it applies to the sale of avian species in the pet industry:

1. This law became effective September 1, 2004.

2. Definition of a "weaned psittacine": The individual bird must be able to eat independently and sustain its weight for a period of two weeks without any human or parental assistance.

3. No pet shop, breeder, or person may sell an unweaned Psittaciforme bird to the general retail public.

4. A pet shop of five or fewer employees may not possess an unweaned bird on their premise unless the pet shop employs at least one person per pet shop location who has completed the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council's (PIJAC) Avian Certification Program. (This certificate should be posted on the premises)

5. A pet shop with six or more employees may not possess an unweaned bird unless the pet shop employs at least two people who have completed the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council's (PIJAC) Avian Certification Program.

6. A vendor may not sell an unweaned bird at a swap meet or bird mart.

Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty of up to one thousand dollars per violation.

Oh, my! This is good information to know, absolutely. 8 weeks doesn’t sound enough to be weaned, considering they have to be eating on their own for 2 weeks independently.
 

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I apologize upfront if this enrages anyone. I am not an experienced bird keeper and am truly heartbroken at what happened. I am writing this to learn for my mistakes.

I managed to find a breeder who had a 2 parrotletd (m & f) for hand feeding (my mom in law knows how to handfeed). Immediately we saw how small the female was in comparison to normal parrotlets. She wouldn't eat pellets so we kept on giving her baby food. She was always quite sleepy and always rested her head on the male. We tried to gradually stop the baby food but she had a seizure (I think) - she couldn't fly, her toes curled up and she fell at the bottom of her cage. After this episode we managed to save her by handfeeding her again but we noticed her droppings were very wet. Just this week she was eating pellets, flying around and all seemed normal until today she couldn't fly and was all puffed up. We gave her water with vitamins against diahrrea but she instantly took a turn for the worst and died in an hour.

I can't help blame myslef for her death. I am not sure if she was stunted beyond saving or if I didn't help her as I could.

The male is shouting for her but we are giving him double the attention to help.him get over her death.

Please help me understand what I could have done better. I'm not always financially equipped to see a vet.
I’m so, so sorry to hear about your baby girl. I don’t think there was anything else you could have done for her, it sounds like you did your very best.
 
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