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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, we're new here and this is our first cockatiel. We didn't know it was frowned upon to get unweaned babies and the seller assured us that it was fine so here we are :( As much as possible I want to care for this baby to the best of my ability and give him everything I can despite being inexperienced however.

So far, things were except for a minor infection which the vet has already checked and helped us out with (this infection didn't any symptoms except his for his poop smelling weird). However, as our baby Pretzel enters his fifth week, his behaviour has changed a bit and we're not sure if this is a cause for alarm.

1. His appetite went down. We originally fed him Exact formula but the vet recommended that we feed him Gerber applesauce first since its easier to digest. He seems to dislike it and to get him to eat a bit more we would add a pinch of the old formula. He usually eats well however recently he only eats half of that per meal :( Today he was also crying for food less eagerly.

2. He's been pooping a lot more. His poop has lost the weird odor that made us figure out that he had an infection, but he's been pooping a lot despite eating less and we're not sure if this is okay. His poop is mostly normal in color but is sometimes very watery and sometimes more regular. Occasionally, it's sticky and gets stuck to his feathers.

3. He used to be really lively and adventurous, but today he mostly stayed in one spot and napped. Whenever he tries to explore a bit more like before, he just looks for a corner and hides there. He doesn't mind when we handle him and seems to relax a bit more when we do.

Additionally, he is on antibiotics for the infection (it is his 3rd day taking it, he has to take it for 5 days). Previously, we didn't notice it having an effect on him.

We're really worried about his feeding and we're wondering if it's normal for him to be like this or not. Today especially has been worrying because he refused to eat much even when his crop was empty or when we offered him Exact formula instead of the applesauce.

We also would like to ask when is it fine to expose him to water for him to bathe with? He's almost entirely feathered now.
 

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A five week old baby is not growing rapidly and doesn't need as much food as a three week old baby. But formula still needs to be a significant part of his diet. Applesauce does not provide enough calories and nutrients to meet his needs.

It's best to talk to the vet about his loss of appetite and low energy. The antibiotics should be improving his condition, but it sounds like he was worse today.

He is old enough that you can give him easy to eat foods so that he can teach himself how to eat. Things like millet spray, and soft foods that are spread out on a flat surface so he can pick at them. You can also give him a shallow bowl of water that is wide enough for him to wade in it. Wading in the bowl is how my cockatiel chicks learn to drink water, and also how to bathe themselves. But wait until he is healthy for the water bowl. You don't want him to get chilled while he is sick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
A five week old baby is not growing rapidly and doesn't need as much food as a three week old baby. But formula still needs to be a significant part of his diet. Applesauce does not provide enough calories and nutrients to meet his needs.

It's best to talk to the vet about his loss of appetite and low energy. The antibiotics should be improving his condition, but it sounds like he was worse today.

He is old enough that you can give him easy to eat foods so that he can teach himself how to eat. Things like millet spray, and soft foods that are spread out on a flat surface so he can pick at them. You can also give him a shallow bowl of water that is wide enough for him to wade in it. Wading in the bowl is how my cockatiel chicks learn to drink water, and also how to bathe themselves. But wait until he is healthy for the water bowl. You don't want him to get chilled while he is sick.
Thank you so much, I'll take note :)

He's better today in terms of the infection I think, his poop is completely odorless now and aside from being a bit watery at times there seem to be no other irregularities. However his appetite is still a bit down, but he does eat extremely well at night compared to afternoon. We're feeding him the formula again instead of the applesauce and this seems to have helped. I'll try introducing him to solid foods and to a bowl of water soon. I live in a tropical country so I'll time it with the hottest part of the day when he seems a bit better. We plan to see the vet again after the 5 day period for his antibiotics finish :)
 

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It's normal for them to eat more at night - they're storing up enough food to last until morning. You can offer him some solid foods now, but keep offering him formula too. It takes time for babies to learn how to eat efficiently.
 
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