3 1/2 month old U2 will not accept hand feeding

by Chris
(Manassas, VA)

Lola the U2 cockatoo baby

Lola the U2 cockatoo baby

We have had our new baby for over a week now, and she has started to refuse both formula and monkey chow (syringe feeding). Her overall health seems fine. She is happy, inquisitive and "talks" to whoever is near by. She has not been crying for food. I also make sure she has mix in her cups in her cage, and am giving her grains/veggies, etc. twice a day. I see her play with her food, but it's hard to tell what she is actually consuming. I'm weighing her daily, and her weight has stayed in the 545g-570g range all week. Can someone please offer some guidance on what my next step should be? Many thanks!

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Feb 05, 2010
3 1/2 month old U2 will not accept hand feeding
by: Linda

Cockatoos usually take the longest to wean onto regular diet. In the wild, mothers will feed their babies up to a year while showing them what to eat and how to find it.

Your bird may very well be ill, and I highly recommend you take him into an Avian Vet to be checked for infections of any kind. Bacterial infections are the most common with babies and older parrots when they have been recently moved. Their immune systems become compromised, and they succumb to an infection.

The other thing is it may be time to get into full swing on the weaning process. Weaning is a process, and at first, birds play with food and rely on syringe feeding for the majority of their food.As bird eats more regular food, the syringes become two times a day, then one and then none once he is eating everything he needs in a day. This takes weeks or more time depending on the bird, so do not be in a hurry with this process.

Take him to Avian vet first, then get some organic, high quality pellets out here. Tracie carries several of the organic ones, and these are good, wholesome foods to start your baby on. Babies like different textures and shapes, so get a small amount of several of the organic pellets, so he has a choice and different textures, flavors and shapes to explore. You may have to soak the pellets some to make them soft for him at first. Just add enough water so they are a little moist and change food out every two hours without fail. You can also use a few drops of organic apple juice on them which is how I changed my adult parrots over to pellets from seeds. Harrison's also makes a wonderful Birdy Bread Mix and get the Sunshine Factor Organic Red Palm oil to put in it. The oil has to sit in warm water for a while so it becomes liquid, and refrigerate after opening. This is natural oil, not the hydrogenated mess we find in the grocery.Organic pellets also have to be refrigerated as they have NO preservatives.

So, take bird to Avian vet to make sure he is healthy. Then buy some organic pellets out here and get started on a real weaning program. Fruit and veggies should be a very small part 10% of overall diet, and NO PEOPLE FOOD SHOULD EVER BE FED TO YOUR BIRD. No people cereal, no people bread--just NO PEOPLE FOOD AS IT IS ALL HIGH IN FAT AND SALT.

Thanks for writing and keep us posted.
Linda

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