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I'm kind of hoping for a male because I'm nervous of the egg laying issues and males seem less complicated but either way I'm in love! I just assumed the light markings may mean female.
I can't help you with sexing, but I just wanted to chime in and say that I was also afraid of having a female, but now I'm so glad I do. Hormones don't have to be a huge issue if you stay on top of the light/dark period, and remove access to things the bird becomes overly attracted to. It also seems like (anecdotally) female 'tiels may be more cuddly, although that's certainly not to say that a male couldn't be affectionate. I've been lurking on your threads, and I wanted to say I think you're doing a great job. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #63 ·
Here is a better attempt at getting those last few feathers in the pic.
What I see is that the last few shorter feathers closest to the body are solid but the one between the solid and the spotted has one dot on it.

Rstiels, can you take a look (forgive the image because it is a hard shot to capture) and give me your best guess based on what you see.

Enigma, good to hear that the female bird isn't as complicated to raise because I was nervous.
I do know that this little one is as affectionate as can be (it's walking across my keyboard as I type this):D and it takes every opportunity possible for a good snuggle! When I go to the cage it just runs right out into my hand... sooooo cute!!!:love:

Hand Headgear Feather Fashion accessory Ear
 

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It looks like it may be a male. If a female the spots would be more distinct...but being split to pied may be the cause of the faint spotting on the feathers closest the body. If it is the pied split that is doing this then it can be either sex....but right now my 'guess' would be male.

The baby has turned out very nice...you did a great job with him :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #65 ·
Thanks for everyones help here! The baby probably wouldn't have even survived if I didn't have all the info from you all! I won't totally breathe easy until he's fully weaned and flying with coordination! He's close to the flying stage and that's just as nerve racking as when he first came home with us :eek: I hear Tiels can be crazy-dumb flyers at first eeek!
I'm hoping we can keep him unclipped and see how that goes.
This week my goal is getting him on a three feeding a day schedule (he's still crazy over his formula!! Loves the syringe) and get him eating more than millet. He loves water from my finger but doesn't drink any on his own either.

rstiels, thanks for your guess! I'm going to raise him as though he's a boy and if we have to do the gender switch later so be it ;) I'll let you know if your guess was right on when he's a bit older and we are more sure. I understand what you're saying about the pied possibly altering the spots so we shall see later whether indeed he is a bonafide boy.

Again, I'm so glad you've all been here through this. Raising a baby tiel is NOT easy!

Willow :)
 

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He's close to the flying stage and that's just as nerve racking as when he first came home with us :eek: I hear Tiels can be crazy-dumb flyers at first eeek!
I totally hear you on this. My rescue girl is currently learning to fly. She's four years old, but she was clipped before she was allowed to fledge, so she flies like a maniac. I try to make sure that my curtains are closed, and that she's not in a room with any mirrors when I take her out. Other than that, I think the most important piece of advice I can give is to just try not to freak out yourself when the bird takes off. It's totally anxiety-provoking, but if you start running after the bird or yelling at it to be careful, it's just going to spook more and be more out of control.
 

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The "learning to fly" stage will be safer if you restrict flight opportunities to a fairly small room that doesn't have a lot of hazards in it. In a small room, a bird can't build up too much speed before it's forced to turn, so the impact won't be too hard if it crashes into something. Cover up hard surfaces like windows and large mirrors so the bird doesn't try to fly through them.

Thirty-eight babies have learned to fly in my back bedroom, which is about 12x14 feet. There have been lots of crashes and there have probably been some bruises but no serious injuries. With the first clutch I took them out to the living room sometimes, which is much bigger and lets them fly through several other rooms in a straight line. But I quickly figured out that this was dangerous and stopped bringing fully flighted babies out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #69 ·
My sweet Xiang is still alive and well.... whew! He is eating seeds now. He loves to forage around the bottom of his cage and eat. Weird thing I have noticed is that he does this right after his feedings. You would think he would be full but it is during that time he seems to have the most interest in eating. He does it other times in the day too but mainly after his feedings.
When I give him his last feeding for the day I can feel some seeds still in a clump in his crop. At first I thought it was a slow crop issue or sour crop because I didn't think he was actually eating the seeds he was foraging in.
So now I wonder if it is OK to still feed him the same amount when I feel the seeds still in there? Can it hurt him if I feed him on top of seeds??
He now weighs 73 grams and I feed him 7-8mls in the morning and 6 at lunch and then 7-8 in the evening. He is now in his larger cage and exploring all the different levels of perches. He has a rope perch, concrete little perch and then a natural perch (that is his favorite) and a wood perch.
He is flying in the cage but so far hasn't attempted to fly outside the cage.
As soon as I open the door though he flips out of there so quickly into my hands. I need to start training him to wait until I say he can come out.

He doesn't drink water yet unless it is when I give him it from my finger after his formula.

At night I still put him in his box to sleep. And usually he will get at least a couple hours of cuddle time per evening with me! Last night he got a bit more cuddle time and just LOVED it! He really is the most affectionate birdy I have ever seen!!

I hope I am doing things right??? Do you all feed even if there are seeds left in the crop and do you allow for seeds to be available at all times?

I will post updated pics soon :)
Willow
 

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When you feed seeds in the crop just feed 1-2cc of formula. if the seeds are in the crop consistently at each feeding then start eliminating the feedings.

If he is getting formula he does not need water.

If he is still sleeping in the box if you are still using heat and he is fully feathered he does not need heat anymore. You can start to let him sleep in his cage at night with 3 sides of the cage covered, and a night light on at night.
 

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It is really exciting as these little guys grow up! :) You have done an amazing job with him. One of my little guys, when he started to learn how to fly, would take off backwards instead of flying forwards. It was the oddest thing.. but soon he figured it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #72 ·
Thanks Susanne! I have not used the heating pad since his feathers all came in. I was nervous though to let it sleep all night in it's cage. Maybe I'll try that tonight then.
I read this after I just fed him. I felt a clump of seeds in there again. Around a thumb size amount. I doubt though he's eating anything more than the millet and smaller seeds. I was tired of picking out sunflower seeds from the cockatiel mix so I started feeding the budgie style mix until it's safe for sunflower seeds. I've been giving it pellets and a variety of human food (it hasn't eaten the human stuff yet either).

It never ever has refused formula though. I've read on here where people say their birds refuse to take the formula but so far this guy's never done that. He loves the formula!

And if I stop formula because he's eating seed, what about water or dehydration issues? Do I need to feed water until he starts taking it on his own? And how much water does a bird need?

Thanks!
He is just shy of six weeks (by two days) so is this too young for total withdrawal of formula?
Willow
 

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Do I need to feed water until he starts taking it on his own? And how much water does a bird need?
----------------------------------

Do not try to feed water with a syringe. It is so easy to aspirate a bird with thin fluids. As to the amount they drink...all they need is a few sips a day.

At 6 weeks old he is still a few weeks from being totally weaned. At this age he should be 3 feeding a day, ready to reduce down the middle feeding to work towards 2 times a day.

What you can do is when it is time to feed him feel the crop first. if there is anything in there just feed 1-2cc if he will take it. At the last feeding of the day you can give more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #74 ·
Ok great! Thanks.
I didn't mean with the syringe ;) I use my fingers and give a few sips after each feeding. I wash my hands well before each feeding. He loves the water after each feeding and goes for more from my fingers but never from the bowl.
I'll keep an eye on the crop fullness at each feeding and work towards removing the midday feeding by next week.
At what age do you trust with sunflower seeds? And what age do you offer little spray bottle misting?? Or should I just start putting a very shallow amount of water in it's bath dish? As much as I try to wipe/wash face after feeding, he still gets so crusty on his feathers around his mouth. The feathers feel rock hard :wacko:ick.
Willow
 

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Discussion Starter · #75 ·
Xiang is flying! It's just so darn cute! Whenever I put him down and step back from him he will fly and land on my arm! I'm training him to come when I call but often he just can't wait that long and takes off towards me!
Also he has begun rejecting his formula after a few ml so I give what he will take and make sure he's eating other things and not losing too much. I am concerned though about fluid intake. I have not noticed him drinking water yet. His poops are less watery too, more semi solid feeling like they were when the parents were feeding him.

He also started whistling for me and answering back to by whistles when I'm in another room :)

Every night I let him hang out when it's my time to relax and chill. He cuddles for a couple of hours with me and soaks up all the snuggles he can get!

He knows the step up command now too.

Pretty great for a little 6 1/2 week old birdie!

I'm really enjoying him, he's a great cockatiel. He's now eating a variety of seeds, lettuce, but so far hasn't touched his pellets other than to throw them aside! And he loves playing with all his toys and exploring his cage. I can't wait until he gets better at flying so he can explore the house. Last night he was flying in a different room than he's been used to and he slowly ran unto a wall and bumped his noggin'! But he seems fine... whew!

Just had to update you all on the many forms of progress. I'm so proud of Xiang!
 

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What I do for my babies is crush some pellets and sprinkle the powder ontop of there fresh foods. I find that way they get used to the taste of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #77 ·
Thanks for the idea Debbie! Xiang is starting to really explore different foods. He's totally weaned now and is doing great but still has no interest in the pellets from what I can tell. I will do what you do and see if it works!
:)
 

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View attachment 11047

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Well this morning I weighed the bird and no change in weight from yesterday. No gain :( The poop looks great still, the bird is actively wanting its food and it seems to have more energy and even more strength/stability but it is skinny. And this morning it did not fully digest its food as you can see in the images (I hope images show it because it is hard taking good images).
I debated whether to feed it with a small amount left in its crop but it just had a great poop when I was examining it so it was still digesting. And I worry if it doesn't eat, it will die!
So I watered down the formula to a thinner consistency. I made sure the temp was at least 105 and I put it right back in the box to keep it warm.
I also fed it only 6mls. It went after the food like crazy so it is not rejecting food at all.

I guess next step is the applesauce if it looks like the crop could go sour right??

The red mark on the neck seems to be no worse, maybe better looking. It feels like part of the neck stucture like the underneath of the crook of the neck. And it is smooth, not weeping and no scabs. Perhaps an old injury to the skin or the colouring because of the lack of feathers and fat there?? Anyway it doesn't seem to bother the birdie when I touch it.

I spoke with another much more reputable breeder yesterday (oh if only I knew things before!) and she explained her many issues with the breeder I bought this bird from. The person is a bird collector of unwanted birds, he advertises and collects birds and abuses and mistreats (even keeping overflow in a barn) and then he purges the bunch and gets more again. I went as he did a big purge. A "hoarder" personality with no regard for the birds at all. Not a licenced breeder and not respected among fellow bird lovers in the area at all according to the breeder.
Apparently that guy has been doing this for many years, using a local online network to get the birds and sell them. The good breeder doubted that the baby would have lived or not been injured anyway with him because he allows his birds to become lame or ill and doesn't treat them. And the worst was that the good breeder had called me because many months back I put in my name for one of their birds and finally they had some bred but I had no idea and it was too late. Anyway we both agreed that regardless, this baby is better off out of there. If it did live with the bad breeder, what would he do with it after if it was not sold?? Overbreed or abuse maybe!! grrr... I didn't realize the "bird industry" had nuts who exploit animals too!!

I am worried I will fail this bird and I am actually wondering if I should hire the other breeder to finish taking care of this little one- if they would (they may refuse and they live about an hour away and I dont want to shock the bird)!
I need to get it gaining weight though and I need to keep it healthy!

Today it is 21 days old and only weighing 2.25 ounces or 63.8 grams. And that is with a little undigested food in it.
Do I still have hope that I can do this or do you see me failing bigtime?? Please be honest because I am worried...
I’ve been told and I have experienced hand feeding of baby cockatiels for years. I was taught to let the crop empty completely before adding another feeding. The reason for this is that the food in the crop can sour; this obviously is called sour crop. overfeeding causes the food in the crop to spoil and then the bird stopped eating. You’re better to let the bird digest the food then feed it. Be very careful of the temperature. You should not use a microwave to heat because it causes hotspots. I always put a glass container into hot water to bring the temperature up to 105 to 109°.If you burn your bird crop shame on you.
Are use a human electric thermometer and test every batch before I feed it to a chick. Good luck and breeding cockatiels it’s a very rewarding hobby
 

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Thanks for the idea Debbie! Xiang is starting to really explore different foods. He's totally weaned now and is doing great but still has no interest in the pellets from what I can tell. I will do what you do and see if it works!
:)
It’s very difficult to get a bird to go to pellets. A poll on my diet is not recommended because I know people that have had lots of problems with nourishment because they can’t get everything in a pallet. I don’t care what the advertisement says. The bird needs variety, my cockatiels love broccoli and thought frozen peas and corn, I don’t use the canned stuff because it’s for sodium.A good cock until seed mix it’s also my recommendation. Katie products have been excellent over the years
Enjoy the wonderful bird hobby
 

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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.
I am a sucker for mine and he screams like I am starving him after his crop is full. But I have learnt that if I give in to him his crop will not empty and I am left a nervous wreck waiting and wondering if it will really empty. I have to walk a way! Lol
 
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