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Ok so a week ago I bought this beautiful Whiteface Tiel whom I named Sky and brought it to my house. He was 17 days old when I bought it, now he's 24 days old. This is the first bird that I have ever hand-reared, ever. So I have a lot of questions on my mind right now and I would like some answers from people who have had experience with hand-rearing cockatiels, thanks in advance!



1) Till yesterday (tiel at 23 days of age) I was hand-rearing Sky every 5 hours with this schedule : 8AM, 1PM, 6PM, 11PM, 8AM and so on.

He ate 7-9ml every 5 hours. But Yesterday, I noticed a great lack of appetite in Sky. He no longer ate 7-9ml per hand-rearing session. I was lucky if I hand-reared him 5ml every 5 hrs. So Sky went from 7-9ml to 3-5ml every 5hrs. Pretty troubling. Then I searched around the net and found a new schedule for tiels of age 25-34days.

It goes like this :

9AM, 7PM, 1AM, 9AM, 7PM, 1AM and so on, but feeding him 11-15ml per serving instead of 7-10ml. So basically, bigger meal but lesser frequency. With this schedule I managed to give him 10ml 2 hrs ago (7PM).

But I also read that Sky might be fledgling so he is shedding weight, so a more frequent but smaller meals schedule is more considerate. I read that it's up to me to decide the frequency of meals and size of meal, but the importance is that my tiel gets 20-30ml per day. Should I follow the bigger but lesser frequency schedule or the smaller but more frequent meal schedule? Thanks.

This is the food I hand-rear him :



2)Dried formula food on feathers?

So Sky is a bit of a freaky-agitated type when it comes to lunch time. It's difficult to hold his head down and he motions his head forwards and backwards into the syringe like there is no tomorrow. So, sometimes some fresh formula drops fall on his belly feathers and even near his beak and they dry very quickly. Now I found a technique to wash away the fresh food from the feathers but unfortunately it's a little bit too late. About a week ago, when Sky and I where new to each other and I didn't premeditate his actions before he did them, I would squeeze too much of the syringe and BAM, feathers full of dried formula. Also this formula becomes hard as rock as it dries. My question : Will this dry food go away on it's own? Because I'm afraid the dropped-on feathers will stay dormant and do not grow until his first molt (6-8months) because of the hardness of the formula. In the first picture you can see a bit of hard, dried formula near his beak.

3) Sky started getting out of his shoebox lately and exploring around. Now I don't want him to go exploring around in the middle of the night so I bought him a nice cage. Question : Is it too big for a cockatiel?

 

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1)I am not sure how often to feed, but you should be weighing him and giving him 10% of his body weight in cc/mL during each feeding. So if he weighs 70 g, he should eat 7 mL..99 g = 9.9 mL...etc.

2)Try holding a warm, moist wash cloth to the food-covered feathers to loosen up the gunk and then wipe it off. Do this after every feeding. Eventually it will all come loose.

3)No cage is too big for a tiel..as long as the bar spacing is under 3/4 it is not too big. But, there is a chance that the cage is too small. The minimum recommended cage size for a cockatiel is 18x18x18 inches..or 46x46x46 centimeters. That is Width x Depth x Height.
 

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As to time frequency, you should be feeding him three times a day...example would be 6am, 12pm, 6pm then he goes 12hrs at night. As bjknight said, 10% of the body weight.
 
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