When to stop handrearing

by Jolene
(South Africa)

I have had my Sun Conure since the age of 5 weeks, I have been handrearing it, it is now 9 weeks old.

My question is - when do I stop handrearing it? I have had different advice on that. Also do I still need to feed it three times aday. Our vet said that I should start weaning it off the Avian porridge already. For the past week I have only been feeding it twice a day now (Morning and evening) and leaving water and seeds in the cage for it.

Please let me know if this is alright.

Comments for When to stop handrearing

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Sep 16, 2011
When to stop handrearing
by: Linda

First of all, you cannot just offer dry seeds and expect bird to start eating everything it needs.

Weaning is a process, and please do not wean him onto a low quality seed diet. You can find several organic pelleted diets on this site with Harrison's being the best. It would be okay to offer several kinds, so bird has a change in shape and texture while weaning.

The weaning process is as much mental as it is physical, and to just offer dry seeds is not the way to do. You will need to get organic pellets and soak them in a little water so they are not mushy but softer. This food has to be changed out within two hours or it will become rancid. As bird eats more of it, less wlll be thrown out until you can offer it dry. I suggest you go ahead and get some of the organic pellets we have here to get him started. Most pet shops selling birds will have mostly junk pellets, so order here as it will save you money and vet bills as time goes on. I buy mine here for my two Amazons, so not asking anything of you that I would not do.

You cannot start cutting down too far on the handfeeding unless the bird is eating the weaning food. Weaning birds won't eat dry seeds. They have to also be soaked in a little water to soften them up some. If you want a healthy bird and less avian vet bills, get him weaned onto organic pellets. A high quality diet will provide the building blocks he needs to grow strong bones and bright healthy feathers and skin.

Do not offer ANY people food during this period. Offer a little fruit and veggie, but keep it down to only 10-15% as your goal is to wean him onto the pellets. The seeds do not need to be fed at all, so do not get him weaned onto them because then you'll have to take a lot of time getting him onto the organic pellets. Organic has no dyes, sugars, preservatives or other dangerous chemicals and provides high quality nutrition. The price is higher than seeds and junk pellets like Zu-Preem and Lafaeber's, and the savings in avian vet bills will make up for that in one year.

Keep us posted and thanks for writing,

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