21 day old Catablu hasn't opened his eyes yet.

by Amber Pickle
(Waco, Georgia, USA)

Hi, we pulled Jake approximately 8 to 10 hours after hatching. His parents are first time parents and hadn't fed three previous chicks, they passed after 3 days of hatching. We couldn't stand by and let it happen again, so we pulled him and took over.

His crop became toxic on day 8, he had an anal plug. We cleared it and put him on Kaytee Exact formula after flushing him. He is growing fine, getting more fuzz, his tail has started to pin.

Our concern is his skin seems to be thin, and his eyes are not open yet. He is very strong, he stands on his own and walks around looking for me at feeding time if I don't hold him quick enough. His droppings look fine and his crop is emptied every 4 to 5 hours.

Should we be concerned? Is there anything we can give him to bolster his growth process if necessary? I also give him a little infant applesauce mixed in his food 2 to 3 feedings a day.

Thanks so much in advance,

Amber Pickle

Comments for 21 day old Catablu hasn't opened his eyes yet.

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Sep 01, 2011
by: Tracy

What is wrong with you?? First these birds had not bred in how many years of being together and now when they start breeding it is Amber's fault???. You should be aware of all the facts before you throw your two cents in. The previous baby's died because of not being fed and Amber is not the type of person who can just sit back and do nothing because they should not have bred?? Any actual help from comments is what she needs not your judgement. She is doing her very best, try to be useful and compassionate with your two cents ~~~It's a much better feeling.

Editor's note: This is a family friendly site, kids read these posts, I will delete any more posts that are not family friendly.

Aug 30, 2011
More info on baby Jake.
by: Amber

I am not breeding my macaws. I had no intention of breeding them. We hadn't had them sexed. The parents 24 years old and 17 years old took it upon themselves to start breeding.

I pulled this baby because I couldn't stand by and do nothing knowing it would die. The closest avian vet we have to us is 2 and 1/2 hours away, the last time we took our cockatoo to him, the vet would not let us go back with him, this was a bird we saved from terrible abusive environment and he was only comfortable with us. Our bird died in his office of a heart attack.

Another avian vet experience in our area ended in a misdiagnosis. We begged them to check for egg binding, they refused. Our bird was egg bound, but recovered. All but two of our birds over the years have been saves (17), brought to health mentally and physically and placed in good homes.

We have never bred, and never wish to.

We have no incubator. We keep the baby at 85 to 92 degrees, with high humidity. We are only trying to save a life, not be irresponsible. A 2 1/2 hour drive, 30 minutes of it over a bumpy dirt road simply to take him to a vet that has proved unsuccessful to us, is not a condition I will submit my baby to.

I have stopped the applesauce, I began to understand that the formula has a specific balance. I will also try the brand formula you recommended. Jake's eyes are open now, and he is pinning out. His skin is also improving in thickness.

I appreciate your help Dr. B.

I appreciate your concern, Linda, however, I don't appreciate the death sentence you've pronounced for a precious life we're trying to save, or the assumptions you've made about our motives.

Aug 24, 2011
Baby bird not opening eyes
by: The Avian Vet

I will provide some advice here, but we should set up a phone consultation to discuss in detail your hand feeding techniques, routines, etc.

Are you weighing this bird every morning? If not, you need to start that immediately.

Kaytee is a poor hand feeding formula. The best made is Roudybush. I suggest switching him immediately. I see lots of yeast infections and slow crops on KT, but never with Roudybush.

What temperature are you keeping the brooder?

How often or many times per day are you feeding him? How much per feeding? Again, I need to know the weight to make recommendations.

Why are you adding the apple sauce. Hand feeding formulas are balanced and complete. If you add anything to the formula, this delicate balance is upset and nutrients will not be absorbed and assimilated optimally. Stop adding to the formula. It is not helping and may be causing harm. It will certainly decrease the growth rate.

It is possible that these two birds are not genetically compatible. Hybrid macaws should not be produced. This dilutes the gene pool, and even contributes to the extinction process of the pure breeds. We can no longer take macaws from the wild. The gene pool we have in captivity is all there is available to produce the pure macaws for the rest of our existence. In addition, if there are genetic problems associated with these birds, then the babies are not going to be healthy and thrive. As you have seen so far, you have lost three and now this one is not doing well. Even if it a behavior of the parents causing the death, it could still be related to hybridization, as no one can predict the behavioral outcomes of hybrids.

Based on the description of the baby, he sounds a bit stunted, which is common when babies are taken so young and not allowed to be fed by the parents at least for a few days. I understand why you did it, but that does not change the fact that he is growing more slowly than normal and is having problems.

He sounds like he is dehydrated, too. What was the humidity of the brooder when you first put him in?

There are many factors here that need to be addressed if you want to raise a healthy normal baby. Again I am happy to provide phone consultation. You will ultimately need to have this bird examined by an avian veterinarian. Preferably one with hand feeding experience.

Please let me know how I can further help.

Dr B

Aug 23, 2011
21 day old Catablu hasn't opened his eyes yet.
by: Linda

There is something terribly wrong with the baby, and why have you not taken him to be examined and treated by an Avian Vet in your driving area? Never, ever do home remedies and treatment on any parrot much less one right out of the egg because bacterial infections are very common with babies especially if parents were not examined, diagnosed and treated before breeding. There is something very wrong here, and it could be the parent birds are not well and are passing on whatever they have to baby. In case it is contageous, baby and both parents need to be examined so it can be taken care of.Hybrid birds carry a lot of recessive genes which can be passed onto their young. This is why we beg people to keep the gene pool clean and strong and not breed hybrids. Your baby is sick and may be permanently blind because an illness has been neglected or breeding is bad. Do not breed hybrids is the best remedy for weak, sick babies other than getting them medical treatment which is the law.

Taking this baby in is an emergency issue at this point. A baby who has thin skin and has not opened his eyes by this age is seriously ill and will die very shortly. Also, stop the applesauce as the bird is nowhere ready to wean, and the applesauce is interfering with the formula he's getting. Macaws have to be handfed up to and including 6 months. In the wild mothers feed them up to a year while teaching them to forage which would be what we call weaning. Also, you may wish to try a formula like RoudyBush which is found here as I've always had great results with it. Of course sick babies had already been diagnosed and treated by an Avian Vet too.

I'm sorry to inform you, but if you don't get him to an Avian Vet and quickly he will die. It does not matter if he is walking around or not, he is sick and has needed medical treatment all along. Please delay no longer in getting him into an avian vet and then the parents need to be seen also.

Until all these issues are taken care of, please refrain from breeding your birds because you are bringing life into the world only to suffer and die which is incomprehensible to me.

I'm not getting all mad with you, but I am questioning your motives for breeding when it only leads to death and disaster.

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