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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all! OK so today we had some success considering it was both our bird and my first day of full handfeeding. At first I was not successful but I soon figured out why. I was nervous and didn't get the syringe right into its mouth good enough.
So the last two feedings rocked because we finally clicked.

But my next fear of course is overfeeding. While I know the chart says it should have 8ml per feeding, I read there should still be a little food left in the crop during the day right? So not totally empty. And when I feed it I am shocked at how fast and big it's crop gets.
The last feeding I got 6ml into it and then I stopped. I think maybe he/she would have taken more but I was nervous that its crop looked so big.
Can you experience people look at these pics and see what you think about the crop size. Should I go bigger and how do I know how big is too big!

Also above the crop is a red bump that was there when we bought the bird. I think it is the neck/voice box area but I do worry that maybe it could be something else. What do you think??



Bird Chicken Cat Tail Beak

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You should not be using charts as a guideline to handfeed. Many of these charts are a 'one size fits all' guideline that does not take into consideration of the size weight of the bird and if it is normal for it's age.

Rule of thumb should be 10% of body weight per feeding Having a scales that weighs in grams is helpful (weigh bird when crop is empty) to determine how much to deed. For example 8cc (ml) is the amount to feed an 80 gram weight baby.

In addition to amount the consistency/thickness is important for the chick to receive the correct density of nutrient content per feeding. Formula should be the thickness of baby food applesauce.

Temperature is also important (104-106 degrees). Too cool and it can cause problems and slow down digestion, and too warm and it can scald the throat and/or crop, which damage does not show for a couple days.
 

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It is a little scary watching that thing bulge and bulge and bulge. :eek: But as your baby gets older, you will see that it really doesn't seem to stick out as much or seem to be swollen as much because they use the food and nutrients up. You can still feed your baby more. I would make sure to give the baby its full feeding. It will be fine.
As far as the red mark goes.. I'm no expert on it as I have not encountered it yet.. but it almost looks like it could be crop burn. Meaning someone fed him formula that was too hot. Perhaps someone else can confirm or suggest another reason for it.
 

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but it almost looks like it could be crop burn.
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Crop burn would be lower in the crop.

Please don't try to feed more formula because it looks like the baby can hold it. What happens is the tissue stretch to hold the extra capacity of food, and this in turn puts a strain on the muscles and results in an overstretched crop. This can lead to other crop problems that can be difficult to correct.

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Edited because I just read the other responses! Thank god you don't think it is crop burn. I know if it was, it wasn't me but it still doesn't make me feel better either way because I read how painful the condition is.
Srtiels,
Your posts have been great! I have been reading them through the forum. Thanks for the reassurance it isn't burn. Whew. I will keep my eye on it. It feels hard and part of it's neck but i havn't seen other birds with it so I just wondered.

As for the feeding, I weighed it with an empty crop this morning and it weighed 2.75 ounces so I figured out this would be about 80 grams and therefore 8cc's but I would rather feed more often than overstuff. I just wasn't sure if she is asking for more if I should keep giving at one feeding if it doesn't exceed 8 mls.

When you read the many what if's and see the gruesome pictures, you sure don't want to make mistakes!

I will weight it again in the morning and see what feeding I should aim for. I just don't want to stretch the crop.
Thanks!
Willow
 

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The redness on the upper area of the crop could be a puncture mark from a toe nail or a plucked pin feather. Rather than guess you might want to go to a vet tomorrow and have the vet check the baby to make sure it is fine.

As to micro-waved foods...even if it feel fine to the touch there could still be tiny hot spots of particles in the formula that can cause serious damage to the tissue.

I'm not sure how many grams 2.75 Oz. is. I think, but am unsure that 1 OZ equals 30 grams. If so then you may be overfeeding just a little.

Another rule of thumb is also to never reuse formula. As it sits in the frig til the next feeding it can build up bacteria. Always mix enough for each feeding and throw away any excess. With a single bird I will use a small shot glass....weigh the bird to calculate 10% body weight. For example if the baby is 65 grams I will suck up 6.5cc (ml) of hot water into a syringe. The mix in the powdered formula to the right consistency. Place the glass in a warm pan of water and take the temp. of the mixed formula. By doing this you have no excessive waste of formula to throw away.
 

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Srtiels.. good to know it's not crop burn! I must admit though.. when I did research on that prior to finding you guys.. the pictures didn't look at all like yours. They most likely weren't as advanced. I wasn't suggesting to just go ahead and feed the chick because it looks like the crop could hold it. My apologies if it came across that way. I was basing my response on what was said the feeding based on weight should be. I was concerned that the baby would be underfed based on the feeding chart and also someone new to hand feeding that would find the crop getting bigger a bit scary. I know I did.
 

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DyArianna....sadly some of the info on the internet as to handfeeding is very old and out-dated. I'd be skeptical of any site that says to feed up to 15cc. 10-12 years ago breeders were under the impression that the more you fed the healthier and larger the bird would be when weaning. Sadly these same people started having slow crops and crop stasis and could not understand why. The formula is designed with a specific nutrient density in the mix. When a person feeds 10% of body weight the chick is getting the correct balance of nutrients for proper growth. When a baby is fed in excess of 10% of body weight it is getting excess nutrients. many of these nutrients are the fat soluble vitamins that get stored in the body. As they accumulate they can cause heath issues, and in the extreme organ failure. Plus it was learned that excessive feeding contributed to liver problems and failure later on in life as early as 3-4 yrs of age.

It is sooo hard to resist the temptation to feed more because tiels are little beggars and will cry for more food even when full. Understanding that it takes a few minutes for what is fed to finially get into the intestines for nutrient absorption before the baby realizes it has actually been fed ans stops crying helps. It's kinda like tough...you have to feed the required amount and walk away til they settle down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Dyarianna, I understood what you meant. I thought by posting here you guys would know if it looked like the crop was just too full. But that feeding was not as much as she should be getting. So I was nervous to go further with a feed if you all saw it and said it was too full looking. I guess if she is OK and if the 10% rule is right then she/he should be able to handle a full feed soon enough but I won't push it if she is not wanting more or ready for it.

Srtiels,
Today I made the formula as per instruction on the package but that is probably for a clutch in mind and I have just the one so I was trying to think of the best way to reduce the waste and not refridgerate any unused. Now that I have seen how it should look based on the 1/4 cup batch made now I like your idea of using the syringe to get the right amount each time. Thanks for the tip!

So I guess the red mark isn't just a normal stucture of a neck :( It feels like the part that arches back and it is not weeping/oozing and she doesn't seem to mind me even touching that area at all. Actually she/he moves her head around to get me petting her. Hopefully it's not serious but I am glad it isn't crop burn!

Thanks for all the help! I know I am a pain but I don't want to do anything wrong.

Cheers,
Willow
PS- any idea what type of cockatiel this will be? The mom is a white face and dad pied I think. Can you tell this soon?
 

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Willow.. ask any questions that you may have. There are many here who can help you. And at the very least, you will educate others. :)

Srtiels.. I was just concerned that maybe they were afraid to feed what the baby should be getting based on the info given. 15 ccs?? Wow.. I guess with experience and being able to share information quite a bit has changed for these little guys. :) I couldn't imagine trying to shove that into my babies today.

As far as your baby being white faced or pied. My first question to you is do you see white fuzz or yellow fuzz on the baby around the pin feathers.. ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Dyarianna, I was afraid to give what the 10% requires. But it's my first day and the crop is such a fragile looking part of the body! I guess I will gain the courage and today the bird seems so different just in the past couple of feedings, so as her/his confidence changes and his ability changes, so will mine! ;) Still, it is good to have some reassurance.
Also the bird has yellow fuzz. And the older one of the clutch has some patches showing on the cheeks. Maybe in the next couple of days this tiels patches will show.
I am eager to know what kind of tiel we have.

I was just googling about red necks on cockatiels and from what I see out there, the actual bump is part of her body but the redness makes it stand out. It seems to be at the arch in the neck. I wonder if her skin is dry and maybe that could be causing it. She came from a home with wood heat and now we have this too.
I brought it in the bathroom during my nice steamy shower time in hopes the humidity would be good. How do you all give the babies the humidity they need without adding too much moisture that may breed germs/mold??
 

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If you have a yellow fuzz baby, it is not a white face. You will have to wait a bit more to see if it is pied or not.. :) I don't know about the shower.. I hope someone else can comment on that, but I think it's a bit too young for that.
 

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I used to feed by the chart also and although I have never had a problem with the babies , I have taken srtiel advice and started feeding 10% of there weight. It's been working great and no problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I didn't bring it *in* the shower ;) just in the bathroom in it's cage to allow it the extra steam!

I fed it the last feeding of the day. Srtiel, totally appreciate the tip on single batch making. I did it and it worked great!
Also I can't even believe the energy and strength the bird has in just one day. It ate the whole 8ml feeding in no time! Just guzzled like a pro. It's in my room on a heating pad under it's little cage and I can hear it making little chirpy sounds.

It seems like a totally different bird in one day. I hope it keeps up the great progress!
Willow
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I suck! I thought I would wake up to find a bird that gained weight! It has changed so much and been so happy and stronger looking in just one day.
When I weighed it yesterday morning with empty crop (just reviewed my notes) it weighed 2.75 oz = 77.9611 g and this morning it weighs 2.25 oz = 63.7864 g! :(
Now I also know yesterday we struggled with getting the amount of food in and the early in the day feedings were not good. But now the bird is a pro and things seem much better!
Otherwise it seems to be in good spirits, and resting well and not stressed anymore.
I hope it was just the first day home stress, it was its first day away from parents and fully on formula, first day eating from syringe.
So now that the bird is taking its proper amount per feeding and we know what we are doing together should I feed it in the four hour or five hour schedule? I am thinking that maybe I should check the crop at 4 hours and if it is only a little full give it the next feeding? And hopefully when she starts gaining I can slow down to five hours in a few days???
Also I think I will keep it in the room with the fire going to make sure she remains warm. Taking her in our room on a heating pad just might not be warm enough for her! I am going to get a thermometer to put in the cage too just to be sure.
I hope I can do better today. Do any of you experience weight loss on the first day of feeding??
 

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Do any of you experience weight loss on the first day of feeding??
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Alot of that depends on if there was food in the crop when you first weighed the bird....and the type of food. If the baby was pulled from the nest and still had parents food in the crop and the intestines this would be denser (and weigh more) than formula.

Age makes a difference too. When a baby gets to be fledgling age, meaning fully feathered and attempting to fly, it will start to lose weight to make it lighter to lift off.

As to the crop, with a new baby that you are unfamiliar with please allow the crop to fully empty between each feeding. It can be empty for 30-60 minutes prior to the nest feeding, if digestion is fast.

Take care with a heating pad. Make sure there is at least 2" of bedding on top of the pad and the baby does not have any direct contact with the heating pad. If the crop rests against a heating pad it can get scalded and contribute to crop burn. If the baby is young and bones are still growing and soft it can contribute to leg and foot problems later on.

Here is a link thgat shows the develpment of a growing baby. Note: Weights will vary per baby, but the development should be the same: http://justcockatiels.weebly.com/watch-me-grow.html

And this page may have some helpful info: http://www.talkcockatiels.com/showthread.php?t=18189
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That's awesome! Your images and development details at the link are great!
When we first weighed it it did have some food in the crop and it also had the parents food in it. Yes, I noticed the poop was really firm and actually big. It was something I had never seen before but as I started feeding it then the poops looked more as I imaged them. They have the urine, the urate(SP?) and the coiled or S shaped green coloured feces.
But according to the development chart of yours my birdie is a bit behind. And I noticed that the older bird hatched one day before mine (with the splayed leg) also looked many days older.
The good news is that the feeding is going good and actually now that she/he has the hang of it I find that I really need to be cautious because it just goes crazy for feedings!

I will let the crop to empty and then fill the 10% for now and see how it goes. I will resist the urge to plump it up with extra feedings if it isn't empty. So far though the crop is doing a great job emptying.

One thing I have noticed since last night though is some sort of odor. I am trying to figure it out. The poop doesn't have a smell from what I can tell. And I have smelled the birds breath and mouth and I can't smell it from that also. The bottom of the bird is clean. But when the cage is next to me (and I just cleaned it again this morning) I smell just a little smell of something. But it isn't offensive, it is just different. Can baby birds have a natural odour? I can't pinpoint it but I do worry about the sour crop issue except its crop keeps emptying well.

Anyway, I will keep my fingers crossed it catches up! I am determined not to fail this little sweetie! It already came from a rough start from a nasty environment :(

Thanks
Willow:)
 

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Smells can be an important clue to problems. For example a sour vinergary smell could mean some yeast in the digestive tract. many times supplementing the formula with 1/4 tsp of plain yogurt will balance the intestinal flora. Another smell to look out for is a musty earthy smell....this is an indication of intestinal protozoa or parasites (worms) City water can get slightly contaminated with protozoa, especially after rainy weather....do using bottled spring water to mix the formula would be a wise idea.

Watching the urates (white part) of the poop is helpful. The urates should always be white and have a firm creamy consistency. If discolored a yellow ochre or pale green this is an indication of a bacterial problem.
 

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Sounds like you are doing an awesome job Willow! Keeping fingers crossed for the little guy to gain weight for you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Great news! After smelling the birds poop, smelling her feathers, "bottom" area, cage, breath and anything else you can imagine I was determined to figure out what this underlying unidentifiable odour was.... and then I realized that under the table we set up for her, my husband tucked a little garbage can which had an old banana peel and a few papertowels with stuff on it! So all along it was this hidden can and not my precious bird!! :blush: Needless to say, the can is gone and so is the smell yippee!
I even sent hubby on a trip to get plain yogurt from the store and then discovered it! lol

And I weighed her at this feeding and she is gaining a bit today (or at least maintaining her weight!) so I am really hopeful tomorrow morning she will be up in weight and that Rstiels is right on with the theory that the heavier parents food was in her and it added to a false first weigh in.
Also the bird must have been too cool yesterday so now I am making sure her temp stays warm and stable.

Glad you're all here and embarassed to admit it was my garbage and not bird but relieved too!:D

Ahhhh.... I can just say this is more stressful and more work than when I had my kids!!
 
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