Baby Green Wing macaw refusing formula at 11 weeks old - Talk Parrots Forums

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post #1 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-04-2016, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
 
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Baby Green Wing macaw refusing formula at 11 weeks old

I have a baby green wing macaw. His name is Robert (wife named him). He is about 11 weeks old. Got him from a friend as a gift. He told me he was about 8 weeks old at the time and I have had him for about 3 weeks. I am not really sure of his age. Can you judge by the pictures?

I have 2 issues.

2 days ago he hasn't been taking all of his Kaytee Exact hand feeding formula for baby macaws. He usually takes about 90cc 3 times a day. I add 4 drops of Bragg's Apple Cider Vineger and 2 drop Multivit CH to his food. He weighs about 1035g at 11 weeks old. He started refusing formula after he has had about 45 - 60cc. I also noticed he is not doing the head bobbing (begging for food) as he used to. Sometimes he doesn't bob at all. He has been panting a bit after playing alot and I took him to vet today who said he has respiratory infection. He gave me antibiotic to feed him orally for 5 days 2x a day. He started refusing food before I gave him the antibiotic.

Second issue, I caught playing with his poop. I caught him 3 times. Don't know if he is eating it but it scared me. I decided to cut up some banana and give to him to see what happens. He ate it all up. This puzzles me. I just fed him formula again and he wasted half. But right after he had a good bit of banana. Also tell me if his poop looks ok.

Other than that he is playing alot and following me around the house. He nibbles on my toes and is always playing with his toys. He isn't acting sick in any way. He is active about 10hrs a day and sleeps about 14hrs a day.

Posted pictures below.









Videos in youtube.


Can you assist me?

Last edited by chad84; 04-04-2016 at 05:52 PM.
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post #2 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-04-2016, 06:02 PM



 
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Hi Chad welcome to the forum, I've no experience with hand raising or feeding chicks but I'm sure a few others on here do.

I will tag them for you and hope they come and give you some information quickly. Good luck. BTW Robert is a cutie.


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post #3 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-04-2016, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks. I eagerly await.
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post #4 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-04-2016, 06:56 PM
 
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His poops look good to me, maybe a bit dry but it's hard to tell on the towel. I would start offering him soft foods at this point, he may be weaning himself a bit - they'll slow down as they get older. I'm rusty on my timelines for weaning, it's been many years, but try offering pellets soaked in hot water - wait until it's cooled a bit but still warm and he might gobble that right up! You can also mix some formula in with the pellets as incentive. When we hand fed that's what we would offer in the morning and then put normal dry pellets and seed in for the rest of the day. He may just play with it but it's all good learning for him he's SUPER cute! I'm jealous! The best thing you can do for him is weigh him every day and if he loses 10% of his weight then he needs a vet


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post #5 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-04-2016, 07:47 PM



 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
His poops look good to me, maybe a bit dry but it's hard to tell on the towel. I would start offering him soft foods at this point, he may be weaning himself a bit - they'll slow down as they get older. I'm rusty on my timelines for weaning, it's been many years, but try offering pellets soaked in hot water - wait until it's cooled a bit but still warm and he might gobble that right up! You can also mix some formula in with the pellets as incentive. When we hand fed that's what we would offer in the morning and then put normal dry pellets and seed in for the rest of the day. He may just play with it but it's all good learning for him he's SUPER cute! I'm jealous! The best thing you can do for him is weigh him every day and if he loses 10% of his weight then he needs a vet


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Thanks for helping here Jenny!
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post #6 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-04-2016, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
 
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He finally ate some food. 60cc of formula. But I had to mix it in with some vanilla yogurt. He did head bob for 45cc of it and the rest i put on his tongue and he swallowed.
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post #7 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-04-2016, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
 
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I ordered the pellets from zupreem. The natural one.
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post #8 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-05-2016, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
 
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He finally ate some food. 60cc of formula. But I had to mix it in with some vanilla yogurt. He did head bob for 45cc of it and the rest i put on his tongue and he swallowed.
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He finally ate some food. 60cc of formula. But I had to mix it in with some vanilla yogurt. He did head bob for 45cc of it and the rest i put on his tongue and he swallowed.

I wouldn't offer too much yogurt to the bird especially the vanilla type as it has a lot of sugar. The plain greek yogurt would be better but again it wouldn't be good to offer too much yogurt as it could cause very loose droppings.


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post #10 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-05-2016, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
 
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I wouldn't offer too much yogurt to the bird especially the vanilla type as it has a lot of sugar. The plain greek yogurt would be better but again it wouldn't be good to offer too much yogurt as it could cause very loose droppings.
It was a one time thing to entice him to eat his formula.
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post #11 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-05-2016, 12:32 PM



 
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It was a one time thing to entice him to eat his formula.
No worries, I'm glad he ate it and you can feel better knowing he's eating something.


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post #12 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-05-2016, 05:26 PM


 
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While I have never hand raised a Macaw I have hand raised Sulphur Crested Cockatoo's and they usually start weaning at around 13 weeks, but from listening to others that do Macaws they are older than that when they start to wean. I really need to know the method you are using to feed him, and are you using a thermometer to check the temperature. You may be feeding too cold, especially if you are using a spoon to feed. It does sound like his food is cooling as he is eating some and then refusing, so the temperature may be ok for the first lot of food but cooling down too much for him to be interested in eating his full amount. The food being too cool may also explain the crop infection. When I feed with a crop needle the food should be no lower than 38C and no hotter than 41C, I usually feed at 40C with the crop needle, food can be slightly hotter with just a syringe and if feeding by spoon I feed at between 45C to 48C. Remember the food will cool slightly between getting it out of the container with the spoon and taking it to the baby. So you may need to put the container of food in a larger container with boiling water in it to keep it to temperature. If you don't have a food testing thermometer you need to go and get one immediately. I use the analog type and not the digital as I found they will give false readings as the battery ages. I bought one and threw it out after about 2 weeks and went back to the analog. The type I use are the ones they use to test the frothed milk for cappuccino.

I was always taught to feed at 38.5C and no hotter than 40C, but that is with a crop needle. When I started using a spoon to feed I found the babies were refusing the food about half way through. So I decided to experiment a little and found that when using a spoon the babies liked their food significantly hotter. So I just increased the temperature gradually till I found the one they liked the best and instead of being very sluggish feeders they were wolfing it down. With the spoon if the food is too hot they will usually spit it out and when it is too cold they will also spit it out. I have been hand raising for over 20 years now and I still use a thermometer at every feed, I never trust the old method of testing like they used to do with a baby humans bottle by putting some on the inside of the wrist or a bit on the lip. The ambient temperature of the room will effect how hot or cold the food feels. If the room is cool the food will feel hot and if hot the food will feel cool.

From the look of the feather growth your baby is nowhere near weaning stage and I know that Macaws will still beg for food at over 9 months. I am hand raising 2 Rainbow Lorikeets at the moment and they are nearly fully feathered and are still not ready to wean. Birds fledge before they wean in the wild or even if parent fed in an aviary. In the wild they have to be able to fly so that mum and dad can teach them how to forage for food.

Also when I mix up my hand raising mix I add a small amount of human baby food to the mix, the pureed type suitable for 3-6 months and I only use the fruit and vegetable ones that have no added vitamins (there should be sufficient vitamins in the hand raising mix, too much vitamin is just as bad as too little) except for Vitamin C as excess is just excreted out. So I use ones like pureed apple, apple and banana, sweet potato pumpkin and corn etc. It just gives them a different taste when feeding and I have found when I try to introduce those foods to them when weaned they already know the taste and will eat it more easily. The pureed apple is very good as it aids in the digestion of the food.

I do suspect that his feeding problems are related to the heat of the food you are giving him.
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post #13 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-05-2016, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
 
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I do use a thermometer. I give him around 105 to 108 fahrenheit. He ate well lunchtime and also tonight. he had 110cc. I added a little baby apple puree and he loved it. I use a syringe when feeding him (50cc).
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post #14 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-05-2016, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
 
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He ate 110cc tonight. I am understanding how to invoke his feeding response now even if he isn't begging. I show him the syringe and he opens his beak, then I use my thumb and index where his beak joins. And as soon as I touch his tongue, he bobs his head. So happy. Food is fed at 108 degrees for 1st 60cc and then 107.2 degree for 2nd 60cc.

Enjoy the pics below. I have so many more I wanna show you. He did alot of things from yesterday to today.

Been a few days since he ate his due. happy to see that nice round crop.





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post #15 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-06-2016, 07:44 AM Thread Starter
 
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I am uploading some pics. A before and after.

Before: 850g and 8 weeks old (when I got him as gift)
He was raised by parents and was not hand fed



After: 1052g and 11 weeks old (3 weeks of formula)
Started hand feeding after never tasting it and loved it

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post #16 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 10:35 AM
 
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I'm glad he ate so well for you! I know when we hand-fed, after the first syringe we would check the temperature just in case it cooled a bit too much while they ate. He's super cute!!


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post #17 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-08-2016, 06:31 PM

 
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He's so super cute! When I've handfed I've mixed peanut butter into my formula.
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post #18 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-08-2016, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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I love his cuteness too. Right now he is destroying a box he is playing with. Tearing it apart.
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post #19 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-10-2016, 01:50 PM


 
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Congrats to this cute and handsome baby!
I suppose it's your first time to hand raise a parrot baby.
You've done a great job.
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post #20 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-10-2016, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
 
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Congrats to this cute and handsome baby!
I suppose it's your first time to hand raise a parrot baby.
You've done a great job.
Yes its my first time and thank you!
It's a tough job. But my wife and I love him so much.
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