Eating - handfeeding

by Ahmed elghoul
(Australia)

Hi I have a 4 month old alexsandrine parrot hasn't been eating like she used to, when I used hand feed her please if u can help me out ASAP and what is recommended to feed her at this age because I still give her a syringe occasionally but through force

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Nov 20, 2012
Eating - handfeeding
by: Linda

Hi again, and I think you explained yourself very well. Your bird is sick if she if not eating the food in her cage. At her age, she should be weaned or in the weaning process.

I still recommend you have her examined by an Avian Vet because there is a reason she is not interested in her food.

Once she has been checked out by an Avian Vet, you can introduce her to organic pellets like Harrisons found here. I don't know if you can get them into your country, but try and find an organic pellet which means they have no preservatives or other dangerous chemicals and dyes. You will need to wean her off any seed food because seeds are not a very good diet, and if they are there most birds eat them and leave the more healthy foods.

So, for now, have her examined by an Avian Vet because this sounds like symptoms of illness. If she is eating her formula, then continue it while waiting for an appointment.

Other than that, I don't how else to help you. A bird that is not eating enough is usually sick. She is old enough to be weaned or in the weaning process while still being handfed at least twice a day. Maybe you are feeding her too much, so cut handfeeding down to twice a day and you may also wish to soak her food a bit so it is softer for her. You will have to change any wet or raw food out every two hours because wet/raw food becomes rancid in a shorter period of time and this includes soaking pellets or seeds. When I say soak, I mean a little water and not have the food swimming in water. Just enough to barely moisten it, and the food will soak up all it needs. This has to be changed out at least every two hours, bowls washed and fresh food put in.

If I were you, I'd get on into the avian vet's and have her weighed and tested for infections because if she is sick, she will not eat like she should because she is not hungry. If you are still feeding her more than a couple times a day with formula, she is not hungry and needs to be backed off from the formula

I hope this helps, and an exam by avian vet is a must before you go any further here because a sick bird does not want to eat or drink. An overfed bird also does not want to eat or drink as much.

Linda

Nov 20, 2012
Reply for alexandrine
by: Ahmed

Hi thank you for replying straight away maybe I didn't explain this properly last night but I have pellets and nitru grain in her cage and a seed mix that's just hung up and she nipples on them just fine but doesn't drink any water. It's only that she doesn't really like her formula anymore is she to old for this now and is whatever I have in her cage enough for her to survive on her crop does not get full unless she has a syringe other then that it is always empty. Does that sound normal to you is there any other foods I can introduce to my parrot.

Nov 20, 2012
Eating - handfeeding
by: Linda

Your bird should be weaned by now. If she is refusing food, it means she is sick. You will need to find an Avian Vet in your driving area. Avian Vets are the only vets licensed and trained in the care of birds. Dog and cat vets do not know how to diagnose or treat birds and usually make incorrect diagnosis and incorrect dosages of meds. What they usually do is ply you with this and that meds hoping one of them will do the trick. This does not work with birds because since they have no fat, any overdoses or incorrect meds have to be processed directly by the liver and can have fatal results.

Take her to avian vet and explain problem. Have them do a throat swab to check for bacterial infection which is the most common and some baseline bloodwork to see how organs are functioning and to pick up a viral infection or other problem through the blood.

It is important to move on this immediately. Continue to feed her several times a day using the syringe or a bent spoon if necessary. Once birds get too sick to eat, they must be fed to keep their strength up and prevent dehydration. So you are doing good, now just get her to an avian vet as fast as you can. You can find avian vets by going through some of the vets in your area to see if they know where one is. You can also use your phone book or call the Vet Association in your country to be directed to one.

Let us know how this goes and time is a factor here because your bird will only get worse the more time it takes to get her into a proper avian vet's office.

Thank you for writing, and I hope she gets better soon.Thank you also for doing the right thing with her by making her eat whether she feels like it or not. I had to do this with a sick Amazon years' ago. She was very sick, taking meds, but went off her feed. We had to feed her 4 times a day whether she wanted it or not. Make sure you do not choke her on the food. Put only enough in mouth that can be readily swallowed and then do it again and again until you see the crop becoming full. Once crop is full, you are done for that meal. If bird is very sick, then feed small amounts several times a day and do not worry about filling up the crop at each feed. We had to do that because the feeding, under these circumstances, is stressful, so play this by how your bird is feeling. Get to vet soon too or she will die. Take care.

Linda

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