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Re: Handfeeding & Weaning

Posted by Fran on 9/30/05
(3) Comments

    On 9/29/05, Dawn wrote:
    > I posted on this website a few times and got great
    > responses to my questions and now I am looking for more
    > advice. I have an umbrella who was hatched 1-10-05. She
    > is still handfeeding once a day as well as receiving her
    > pellets, safflower seeds, fresh veggies and other various
    > foods. I am trying to get her off of the one feeding and
    > get her to eat on her own but am not having much luck. I
    > was told to buy a gram scale to ensure that she is not
    > losing weight while I am withholding the formula. How
    > weight is too much for her to lose?? The first time I
    > weighed her she was 1.475 lb/oz. She has since lost less
    > than a 1/2 once but she cries to eat. It is not a loud
    > or even a painful cry. It is a low, sad and pitiful cry.
    > When I give her the handfeeding she bobs like she has not
    > eaten in weeks. I haven't gone more than two days without
    > the baby food. Someone please help. Is she wanting the
    > handfeeding because of the comfort level. Am I ok to let
    > her cry, is she overweight, underweight. Please help. I
    > am one of those unsuspecting people that was sold a U2 by
    > pet store at a discounted price because I agreed to hand
    > feed her. I love my bird dearly and want the best for her
    > so I am begging for help. I have tried contacting the
    > stores but they are not much help.

    Dawn, I don't have any personal experience with weaning a
    cockatoo (my umbrella was an adult when she came to live
    with me) but I have found an article that may help you.
    (link below) Hopefully someone will post with some hints
    that have worked for them. Cockatoos are more "emotional"
    and tend to be more needy. I think this is an important time
    for you and your 'too to establish a relationship and help
    the bird develope the emotional tools she will need in her
    lifetime. The weaning period is very important, therefore
    you don't want to wean too abruptly (as many breeders do).
    NOrmally Umbrellas weigh between 450 and 800 grams. Mine is
    on the small side at 520 grams. If you convert pounds to
    grams that will give you an idea of her weight and you can
    monitor her loss. On one feeding a day, I don't think she
    should be losing, but maintaining. Now is also a good time
    to get established with a good avian vet.

    I think it is good that your bird is being weaned in a
    loving environment with you. Make sure you are meeting her
    emotional needs with cuddling and attention as you decrease
    the feedings. I'm glad you have found this wonderful bird
    and all the best to you in providing her with a caring home.
    Please post with your progress. Check out this link.