Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Problem bird ... slow to grow up!

The baby Bourke in my left hand has been slow to learn to eat. In the nest he was much smaller than his healthy sibling, and his lack of growth worried me. Therefore, I pulled him to hand feed. He caught up quickly in size, flies okay, but he's still asking to be handfed when others his age are eating on their own.

I've cut him down to two feedings a day and I notice he "nibbles" in the seed bowl and at the bottom of the cage. He appears to be trying to eat, and maybe even succeeding sometimes. But, he still begs to be fed and eats a lot each time. He likes cut up green Kale and when I gave the tame birds shredded wheat cereal one morning (they wanted to share mine)... he ate some of that. So, there are things he can eat besides Exact handfeeding formula, but parakeet seed or even spray millet seem to be a puzzle to him.

All my birds love corn, but he won't touch it. I even squeezed it open and put it to his mouth. There's no reason he couldn't eat it ... just as easy as the Exact formula ... but he would have nothing to do with it! I've decided to call him Pipsqueek, or Pip for short. He does squeek to be fed and is a pip of a problem. Pun intended, smile.

Anyone else have a slow grower like this?


neversink7 said...

There were 2 splendid chicks that were slow. These are the ones I've had to pull to handfeed because they were being severely plucked by their parents. They were being fed, but I do remember their feathers looking wet at times, sometimes with a few seeds stuck on various places. So perhaps they were not feeding appropriately and the parents got sick of trying?? In any case, they are starting to eat seeds and millet and even nibble at veggies, but I'm still feeding them because I don't think they are eating enough on their own yet. My handfeeding time is not as fun though, since they were pulled pretty late. I wonder if sometimes these slow growers do start with problem feeding first. Hopefully, they will eventually catch up to everyone and be fine.

The Splendid Bourke Bird Blog said...

I'm with you there. I also hope our baby continues to practice eating until he successfully feeds himself. Maybe sometimes the parents know best. However, I will continue to "rescue" those that seem to need it. In the majority of cases, it's been the best choice and we've produced healthy adults. So far, however, this one is an exception to the rule and he's gone through as much Exact handfeeding formula as did three of his contemporaries. He's a spendy little critter, but very tame & sweet.