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My two cockatiels (I think they're born 1-2 days apart, according to the breeder I bought them from) are now 4 weeks old, and they have feathered wings + tails, but there are still pin feathers on their backs, wings, and head. I feed them every 5 hours.
  1. I move them to a cage at sunrise and back to their brooder at sunset. When we take them out to spread their wings and walk about during the day, they nibble everything. My fingers, shirt, the floor, the cage bars - you get the idea. Is now a good time to introduce them to other foods, and feed them formula every 5ish hours? I was thinking of putting down steamed veggies (carrot, green beans, corn) spray millet, and soaked coatless sunflower seeds on the floor of their cage for them to discover.
  2. Should I get rid of the brooder and keep them in the cage all the time? They flap their wings a lot and I'm worried they might fly off and wander about the room without anybody noticing. (I'm using a clean box lined with wooden shavings on the bottom as a brooder for them to sleep in at night. I also keep them in a warm room, 30-35C approx.)
Thank you in advance! And if you know the answer to at least one of these questions please do share.
 

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At four weeks old they're ready to fledge, so you can keep them in the cage all the time. This is also the time that they start learning to feed themselves, so yes you should give them soft foods to nibble on. Millet spray is an excellent food for learners - they can pick it up more easily than other seed because it's attached to a stem and doesn't move around much when they try to grab it. Baby cockatiels learn best by picking up food from a flat surface instead of a bowl, so spread the food out on a table top if you can. Give them a shallow bowl of water that's big enough for them to get in and splash around. They will learn to drink water this way.

It will take about a month for them to become so skilled at feeding themselves that they don't need any help, and in the meantime you need to keep offering formula. But they may become rebellious, and not want to hold still while you syringe feed them. At this point I switch to offering them formula on a spoon instead of from a syringe. I don't tip the formula into their beaks, I hold the spoon level and let the chicks do the work of picking it up with their beak. At first it's necessary to sort of shove the spoon against their beak so some formula goes into the mouth, to teach them that there is food on the spoon. But they learn quickly. After they're done eating, they clean themselves by shaking their head and flinging bits of formula everywhere, so choose the feeding location wisely. I usually wait until the chicks are weaned and then wash the walls lol.

I do hope that you've been properly trained in handfeeding, because it's easy for things to go wrong.
 
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