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Should he be weened by now?

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Tabaneske
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Should he be weened by now?

Post by Tabaneske » Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:22 pm

My little guy Buddha was hatched on the 9th of October. I thought he was weening but he isn't taking any interest in any of the food I have put out for him. He needs 3 feeds a day, because if I put him on two feeds a day he almost dies.... I have had two close calls with him and now I think he should be eating by himself. He is over 60 days old now and his nesting box sibling is eating on his own now.

What can I do? I was hoping by Christmas he would be eating on his own so I didn't have to take him to my mothers to care for him.

It's kinda getting ridiculous now, and to be honest I am at the end of my rope with this little guy. He frustrates me so much. Sorry if that sounds mean, but pregnancy hormones make me so cranky, and this heat doesn't help either...

Is my boy just lazy? I don't want to hand feed him for the rest of his life....

Thanks in advance for any advice.

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Tabaneske
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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by Tabaneske » Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:48 pm

Thank you for your support. It helps me push through. I just wish he would at least try some of the food I leave out for him.

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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by Skyes_crew » Sun Dec 22, 2013 7:53 am

You have done an amazing job with Buddha. Without you he would have never survived in the first place. Try this...mix some bananas in with his formula. At first mash it smooth. Then slowly let it get more chunky. Feed it from your fingers if you have to. Once he's got the hang of that, try the mashed lentils, sweet potatoes, and corn. It's ok if it comes from your fingers. He will eventually want to eat on his own. But remember he was a bit behind his nest mate so he has a bit of catching up to do. To entice him further, cook up some zucchini, sweet potatoes and carrots until they are very soft. Mash them all together with some millet seed and roll the mix into balls. Let him pick at that for a treat. Cooked spaghetti squash is another fun treat for them. Cut the squash in half and lay it face down on a baking pan and cook it till its soft, but firm. Then use a fork to separate the meat. It actually looks like spaghetti lol and they love to play with it. Pregnancy hormones are tough. I went through them 5 times lol. Just tell yourself...I wouldn't abandon my own child in his/her time of need...so I won't abandon this little one. You can do it!!! :D
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Tabaneske
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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by Tabaneske » Sun Dec 22, 2013 6:24 pm

Thanks. I'm sure he will get there.

Great suggestions for feeding ideas. They sound irresistible for the birdies. I will try them out. :)

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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by Craig_&_Cat » Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:06 am

I hope you are having some good progress with your lil' one now?

We just got our new lil' one, we think she is about 4 weeks old (body and tail pins are opened and head pins just starting to open).

Anyway, we got the chic a few days ago from our breeder and he said he had the chic down to 3 feeds a day, which I'm sure was fine. But she just didn't seem very lively compared to most other chics I have hand raised (this is my first IRN).
So I started to feed her 4 times a day again and within a day I noticed a huge response, she was so much more alert and lively to the point she started to stand up on her feet and run to hide etc, whereas before she would just splay her legs out and kind of waddle, didn't seem as interested in anything just getting the food till she had enough (less than 15ml) then hiding again.

Just today I decided to give her some cooked peas and corn (squeezing the inner parts out of the husks) to my amazement she loved them, started by taking them from between my fingers then eating them off the feeding mat.
***The peas have two halves when removed from the husk and I then splits these in two again. The corn comes out as mash.

I write all this as a suggestion for you to try, upping the feeds back to 3 or 4 smaller ones a day to bring the alertness level back up then start the weening process from scratch.

Good luck and hang in there! You will be rewarded in the end.

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Tabaneske
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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by Tabaneske » Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:21 am

Thanks for your post Craig_&_Cat.

My boy is now at 3 feeds a day, and still demanding whenever I walk into the room, expecting to be fed, when it's not time. Every time he sees me, he just bobs his head up and down real fast expecting to be fed. He also chirps whenever I am in the room wanting food as well. He has not even touched any of the food I put out for him. He won't take it from my hand, he just wants to be fed the formula.

This single bird has gone through 2 1/2kg of formula now, and he is now starting to frustrate the hell out of me.

He should be atleast playing with the food, but nope, nothing. Every day I just find it sitting there exactly how I put it in the cage.

I am not going to hand feed him for the rest of his life, and I am almost at the point of giving up. I know that sounds cruel, but he is quite capable of eating seed, veggies, fruit and what not now. He is extremely lazy.

When I do feed him formula he takes a few spoonfuls and then pretends he wants more so I go to put it in his mouth and he moves away, so it spills everywhere. He wastes more food than he eats I reckon.

Please help me. I wish someone could come and wean him for me, I've had enough. My pregnancy hormones cannot take this any longer. (please don't worry, I am not going to neglect him or hurt him in any way. I am just fed up with his feeding behaviour.)

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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by Craig_&_Cat » Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:13 am

He sounds very cheeky, that should make for a very playful personality!

Have you tried feeding him some veg with your fingers? Holding a small amount between your index finger and thumb and move into the mouth as you would with the end of the spoon.

What is his response?

If he starts taking it from between your fingers try then getting him to stretch his neck to get to it, then moving a bit further away.
Finally moving down toward the mat then placing some in front of him and occasionally getting his interest again by finger feeding him a few.
Try doing this both before and after feeding the usual formula.

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Tabaneske
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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by Tabaneske » Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:40 am

I have been trying to feed him some things from my fingers, but instead he goes for my fingers and bites really hard and holds on. I could lift my hand up with him hanging off my fingers. He just completely ignores the food I am offering him and bites me instead. It's not an aggressive bite or anything, he just rather grab hold of my fingers instead of the food. I have tried numerous ways to get him to eat food, by putting it into his mouth when it's open, he just spits it out.

Any other ideas?

He hasn't bitten hard enough to break the skin, but it still hurts having this bird hanging off your fingers with his beak.

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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by Craig_&_Cat » Sat Jan 04, 2014 6:12 am

AAhhhh, with that I can now understand your frustration!
Nothing worse than a bity bird, hurting or not.

In an earlier reply someone mentioned mashing some Banana etc try things like that (sweet potato) as a substitute to the Hand Rearing Mix.
Only use the HRM as a top up after the fruit & veg (less fruit more veg).

When feeding the HRM after either successfully or unsuccessfully feeding the fruit & veg, try starting with a non bent spoon or ladle and making him somewhat eat for himself. The idea of this is to provoke a change in feeding habit which will hopefully open the door to getting him eating from you rather than you placing the food at his beak.

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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by Little Buttercup » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:54 pm

And did you try feeding him veggies with the spoon. When I was weaning Coco I put the formula in a tiny saucer, from my kids teasets, then she would eat it from the saucer and I would add the veggies to the saucer. I would also feed her apple from my hand. Try and keep a big slice of apple so he can't get at your fingers. Maybe you could put some formula on the apple to make him start eating it. Hope it helps you.

Ash

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Tabaneske
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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by Tabaneske » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:49 pm

Okay, so I tried some banana on his feeding spoon, didn't even put it in his mouth, he just touched it and moved away. Then I soaked it in his formula, it slid into his mouth, he instantly spat it out. Then I mixed it with his formula, any banana he felt/tasted he spat out instantly. So that didn't work....

I put a piece of banana on his feeding mat, he looked at it, then came over and bit my fingers instead of the banana. He just doesn't want to put anything in his mouth that isn't liquid and on a spoon...

Sigh...

Thanks for the suggestions so far. Any more ideas?

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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by Skyes_crew » Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:29 pm

How thick is the formula? Try making it thick and smooth like pudding. Mix in some oat groats and millet and let the seeds soften in the mixture. Also try using organic baby food as a replacement for water when making the formula. How old is Buddha again?
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Tabaneske
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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by Tabaneske » Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:36 pm

I was thinking about organic baby food to thicken it. He might not like solidish things just yet.

He is about 4 months I think now. His sibling in the aviary eats on his own now, and is happily chewing up my finch nests...

I may have to try some baby food... I thought IRN were good weaners, lol.

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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by InTheAir » Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:04 am

Can you socialise him with his sibling? Maybe he'll learn to eat independently from them?

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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by Skyes_crew » Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:36 am

I was thinking that too Claire. Maybe a day out in the aviary with his sibling will boost his confidence in eating.
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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by Skyes_crew » Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:38 am

They are normally good weaners...but you always meet that one stubborn one lol.
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Tabaneske
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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by Tabaneske » Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:48 am

I will try tomorrow by taking him out into the aviary. I was actually thinking the same thing too.

Maybe his parents will feed him too. Both parents are molting, they look so funny.

We will see how he goes tomorrow, he can get some flight time in too.

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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by InTheAir » Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:50 am

Skyes_crew wrote:I was thinking that too Claire. Maybe a day out in the aviary with his sibling will boost his confidence in eating.
Give him a good breakfast in the morning and send him to ringneck school in the aviary. :D

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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by Skyes_crew » Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:25 am

Just keep a watchful eye for any aggression from the parents towards Buddha. They should be fine...but better to be safe.
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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by Skyes_crew » Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:25 am

InTheAir wrote:
Skyes_crew wrote:I was thinking that too Claire. Maybe a day out in the aviary with his sibling will boost his confidence in eating.
Give him a good breakfast in the morning and send him to ringneck school in the aviary. :D
:lol:
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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by JonoH » Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:37 am

Have you tried mixing in some crumbles or small seed into his formula?

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Tabaneske
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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by Tabaneske » Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:32 am

I haven't tried mixing seed in his formula yet.

Well I put Buddha in the aviary today, and mummy came over and wanted to feed him. Buddha didn't want anything to do with her. She was so persistent and I felt so sorry for her. She kept regurgitating and trying to put it in his mouth, but he just fussed and attacked her back. But she stuck to her guns trying, I applaud her for that. But to no avail, Buddha still didn't want anything to do with her feeding him, or trying to feed himself. He was more interested in trying to get to me.

I will say that he was only in there for a short time this afternoon because the weather here has started to heat up again, and I didn't want him out in the aviary all day in the heat when he isn't used to it, especially when he doesn't drink himself either.

I guess I will have to keep trying...

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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by Johan S » Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:45 am

I might get some lip for this, but in a case like that I'd feed Buddha only in the evening. In the morning there should be enough interesting food (fruit and vegetable) and some seed and water readily available. Some of these little ones will keep on begging for food until they learn what it is to fend for themselves. That means that they have to go hungry to get them interested in the food. You've got to be cruel to be kind, I'm afraid. This birdie is long overdue to be weened. :|

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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by Skyes_crew » Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:26 am

Is your aviary partially covered? If he has a place to seek shade and water available to bathe in and drink I would just keep putting him in with his sibling and parents during the day. His basic survival instincts will kick in and he will start to mimic their behavior. Johan is right that he is overdue to be weaned. He needs additional nutrition that he's not getting from the formula alone and maybe it is time for some tough love. Be strong...you're doing fine :D
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Tabaneske
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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by Tabaneske » Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:07 pm

Unfortunately, if I had him on a morning feed and a night feed only, after 2 days of this, he becomes extremely lethargic, like he is actually dying! I thought maybe feeding him a little less would make him kick in his instincts to feed, but nope, he ignores everything and just relies on me. I have had him nearly die twice, the second time, I had to actually force feed him his formula, otherwise he would have died. Have you ever seen a bird that a cat may have caught and you rescued it, and when you keep it in a cage so it can recover, but instead it becomes lethargic, has it's eyes closing, and it just lays there, like it's body is shutting down? That's what Buddha does on just two feeds a day for a couple of days. If I don't feed him the extra lunchtime feed, he does that.

I know you guys are suggesting what I think is right, because this is what I want to do with him, but I fear he is going to die with that suggestion. I know his formula is not giving him what he needs now because his feathers are not as healthy as they should be, and because his formula gets stuck on his feathers, he has lost a lot of feathers and are having trouble growing back.

He needs to start eating other food, because his nutrition is not right now. But he is so STUBBORN! I cannot continue to feed him, he needs to learn to eat something other than from me.

I want to put him out in the aviary, but I am afraid he may die there too. without me there to watch him. He doesn't fly overly well, but he can fly and climb, so he can climb up if he needs to I guess. I just don't want the ants to eat him, LOL.

My aviary has a covered area and then the uncovered area is currently covered with shade cloth to keep most of the sun off the birds during summer.

So with this information, what do you guys think I should do? Do I risk dropping his feeds? Do I just put him out in the aviary during the day and hope for the best and maybe he will let mummy feed him? Am I trying to raise a bird that is most likely not going to make it anyway? I don't want to give up on him, but he is a big boy now, he needs to grow up and do what he is suppose to do. Be a fledged birdie.

Thanks guys so far for your help. I look forward for some more help to help me nip this problem in the butt. I don't want to give up on him now after all the hard work we have gone through.

One note though, I think he is going to be a one person bird. He doesn't like cuddles or scratches, he has a cow at my partner whenever he touches him, and his biting hurts. He bites me, even though he only trusts me. I don't understand. It makes me feel upset when he bites me. I have sacrificed so much for him, and he returns my love with bites and no cuddles. :(

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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by Skyes_crew » Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:21 pm

Do you have an avian vet you can take him to? At this point I would say he needs a custom formula mix to increase his strength. I have certain vitamins and supplements I use, but I do not want to advise something that may not be right for your specific situation. An AV would be able to better advise on what to feed him. He should also have a blood panel done. If he can't fly well at 4 months old, then there may be more going on than just weaning problems. Because he was small and behind in development, his immune system may have been compromised. I would not leave him in the aviary if he can not fly well. Keep him on the three feeds and get him to a vet. Keep us updated :D
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Tabaneske
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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by Tabaneske » Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:40 pm

He doesn't fly well because I haven't let him practice enough. Which is my fault, not his. For the small amount of time I have let him fly, he does fly well for that amount of practice.

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sheyd
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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by sheyd » Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:51 pm

Avian vet trip seconded

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Tabaneske
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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by Tabaneske » Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:42 am

Unfortunately for me, there are no avian vets in my area... :(

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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by JonoH » Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:48 am

Did you try mixing some seed or crumbles in with the formula? I find it helps them get used to having to work a little harder for their food and they get a taste for them also.

You could also try one of the 'avian delight' bird treat hangers in the cage.

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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by Tyeman » Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:20 pm

what formula are you using

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Tabaneske
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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by Tabaneske » Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:17 am

I am using Wombaroo handraising mix.

How much seed should I mix in with the formula?

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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by JonoH » Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:51 am

I normally use the passwell formula, just half a tea spoon or so to make the formula more of a porridge consistency.

Don't use seeds that require them to crack them open as if they swallow them whole it may do some damage, i normally use the passwell crumbles as they soften up in the formula and the chicks get used to using their beaks a little more.

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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by Tyeman » Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:43 pm

thats a good idea with the crumbles

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Tabaneske
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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by Tabaneske » Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:22 pm

Well the bushfires around here has lessened and we are safe for now, and the weather has cooled down a little, so now Buddha can spend the day outside in the aviary.

Mummy and daddy are following him around, encouraging him to fly, which is good. So hopefully they will encourage him to eat too.

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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by Little Buttercup » Sat Jan 18, 2014 7:16 am

Wishing you lots of luck!

Ash

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Tabaneske
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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by Tabaneske » Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:50 pm

I found Buddha dead this morning... I am a bad mummy... :(

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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by Skyes_crew » Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:34 pm

Don't be too hard on yourself. You tried your best. I had to put one of my chicks down this morning...it's all part of nature and keeping caged birds. Please don't stress yourself about it...it's not good for that baby you're carrying. You're not a bad mummy.
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Tabaneske
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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by Tabaneske » Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:45 pm

Thanks.

I just feel so terrible.

It feels terrible to lose baby birds.

Maybe I will try again next season, or maybe a different breed of bird to bring my confidence back up. This was my first IRN.

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Re: Should he be weened by now?

Post by Skyes_crew » Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:55 pm

See if you can find a local breeder to mentor you. It really makes a big difference.
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