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RE: Scarlett, My new baby!

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Posted by: PHIggysbirds at Wed May 13 23:22:37 2009  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by PHIggysbirds ]  

Sorry I took a few days to post we were having a family emergency so I didn't get a chance to check messages, but everything is fine now so here I am LOL!

I do have a few questions for those of you who are a little more experienced. She's six weeks old, when I brought her home, she was 5 weeks. Is that a little soon for her to be taken away from her parents?? You will get many opinions on this, many take the babies away form parents at anywhere from 3 days to 3 weeks. Usually they are at least left in the nest for a few days to get fed by their parents at first but the longer they are left in the harder it is to switch to full handfeeding. That being said personally I would much rather breeders try a co-parenting approach where the chicks are left with their parents and just supplemented food by the caretaker and socialized. It seems to make a more well rounded bird. Then they both will trust humans but also learn to not see them as another bird which can sometimes lead to problems of over bonding, switching bonded ties when hitting sexual maturity or having dominance issues. Also since birds usually leave their parents when young they have the natural instincts to leave or separate themselves from their original caretakers be it human or bird. But again that is just my opinion

Currently I am hand feeding her Kaytee formula three times a day, when can I start weaning her and letting her try fresh fruits and veggie? Some will tell you to start offering them at a younger age but many say around 8-9weeks. This is about the time they will "start" to fledge. In the wild this is when the parent would start teaching them to find their own food. You can try offering foods in the aquarium or cage at around that age. It helps your baby get used to the sight, smell, texture etc of the food. This doesn't mean he/she will start eating it immediately but will at least start checking it out. You can use small bits of pellets, to mouth and "feel", small bits of veggies (I wouldn't use as much fruit as it can cause loose stools), even small bits of cereal like cheerios etc (not as much of the cereal but a bit to check out and try. If using fresh foods watch how long you leave it in the cage as it can start to spoil especially when warm. For full weaning I would say it will take around 16 or more weeks to abundantly wean for a more well rounded bird instead or force weaning at an earlier age, many birds will want to be handfed longer and actually it isn't a real problem as long as they can and do eat on their own as well. My adult african greys still love a bit of warmed food (not baby formula but real food such as sweet potato mash) on a spoon fed to them

She has a comfy, cozy little bed in a reptile aquarium lined with a towel and under a heat lamp(it's the same setup they had her in at the pet store). When can I take the heat lamp away and put her in her cage? As soon as your baby is fully covered with down the heat lamp can begin to be moved farther away. Don't move the lamp so far as to create a drastic drop in temp but enough to drop temp a few degrees. Once your baby is getting down covered or more feathered a slow steady decline in temp shouldn't be a problem but a drastic drop can be. Make sure digestion and eating stay consistent for a couple days then again move lamp farther to drop a couple degrees(if going really well you could even move it a bit each day. Keep doing this until your baby is used to room temp depending on how warm you are keeping the area this may take 2-3 weeks. By the time of fledging (hopefully a couple weeks before) your baby can be in a real cage although at first I would suggest using a smaller temp cage with a perch low to the ground instead of just suddenly moving baby from a safe little box (aquarium) into a huge cage he will be lost in. If he must go directly into the larger cage try first putting the aquarium inside the larger cage (if it will fit through the door) to get him used to the look of the new cage. Maybe place him in the cage for a short time during socializing and talk to him touch him, before putting him back in his usual aquarium. Eventually you can switch to the larger cage fully when he seems more used to it and doesn't seem so lost in the big cage. If using a small cage, even better and you can wait until he is actively climbing or flying to them place him into the larger cage.

Thanks in advance for any advice! ( i would love to add a picture of her, but have no idea how, so some guidance on that issue would also be appreciated!) If you go to the top of the page where it has a link saying "photos" it will take you to the albums. You can login and load pics into the albums. Once you have pictures in the albums and you login to post a message you will have a choice at the bottom of the page where you type messages to add images from the Photo Gallery. Hope that helps. If not let me know and I will try to explain better.


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  • You Are HereRE: Scarlett, My new baby! - PHIggysbirds, Wed May 13 23:22:37 2009

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