The vet did gram stains of her fecals and of her crop. Everything looked good. She palpated her throat. It felt normal. She was not dehydrated. The vet did the normal well-bird exam.
Ashlynn has gained quite a bit of weight, too. Four weeks ago her breast bone was somewhat pronounced. Now it is not.
The vet feels that she is simply stuffing herself too full. She explained that they can bring food back and forth from the gut to the crop - similar to, but not exactly like a ruminant does. When Meridith wrote that what I was describing was similar to what birds of prey do when they eat a huge meal because they may not eat again for a few days, Ashlynn was doing that, but that is not the way parrots are really designed to eat.
Ashlynn and her clutchmate both started eating really, really young, and I remember the folks at the store telling me that the two of them would stuff themselves so full that they could barely get enough very thin handfeeding formula in them to keep them hydrated. This was when they were still not fully feathered. She must not know how to regulate herself well. She doesn't seem to know that she is full. Basically, she is a glutton.
The vet said that I will have to regulate her pellets. She has been eating too much. Perhaps this is because she got off to that bad start of not eating for several days when she first came home. Then I gave her the pellets she wanted, the kind that I don't think are good for her - the ones full of sugars and dyes, for two full weeks. I let her have as many as she wanted because she had gotten so thin. I was also offering the kinds I want her to eat in a separate bowl. She had started to eat those from the other bowl, so I was attempting to switch her to the organic pellets I feed everyone else. I was giving her only the pellets I want her to eat in the mornings and then giving her a small portion of the stuff she likes but I don't prefer to give her in the evenings. She must have decided to eat all of the organic pellets and then, when she got the ones she wanted but hadn't had all day, thought she had to snarf them down right away or maybe they would disappear or something.
So her pellet intake will be strictly limited from now on. And also, I will feed her in small portions. For the rest of this week while I'm on vacation I think I'll feed them in three separate portions, but eventually I'm going to have to go to only two portions of pellets a day. Everyone else I just always have pellets in front of because they are good about it.
I had noticed that there was a time there when everyone seemed to be eating very little, and then, for the past couple of weeks, everyone's appetite seemed to increase and all of them were eating much more than normal. I was scared I was starving them or something. The vet said, "no". They are getting enough and more than enough.
So I will be buying a scale as soon as I can get it ordered. Additionally, I'm going to be more careful of the portion sizes. The vet also said that eating is a flock behavior, and a social thing, and so perhaps they all have begun to eat too much together as their own kind of social club activity.
I feel really stupid. The vet said I was just being a responsible owner to notice the behavior and watch her poohs and all.
The thing that bothered me the most was her pooh sticking to her vent. The vet could see that her feathers around that area were soiled, but she really examined her good and did fecals and said she is ok.
My vet has birds herself, three large cockatoos and a cockatiel, so she takes her avian practice very seriously.
I still believe she had been somewhat dehydrated earlier, but the extra pomegranite had helped with that.
I want to thank everyone on this forum for your responses and your suggestions. I hope I don't repeat my mistakes