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Ive written before about my baby tiel, who was underweight…

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I've written before about my...
I've written before about my baby 'tiel, who was underweight (64gr) when I got him, cried all the time (hunger) and his crop seemed always empty no matter how much I fed him. I've weaned a couple clutches before (successfully) so I know I have the right consistency, temperature, etc for the formula...I got some excellent advice from this site, including a referral to a qualified avian vet that I desperately needed. Seems this baby was much younger than the 12-13 weeks he was supposed to be and he definitely comes from a bird mill (the information on his band was total gibberish, among other clues). The vet knew all about the store this bird came from, and his office even has a custom blend of medication (antibiotics) to treat the particular bacterial infection these birds typically come with (his tests confirmed that was it but I don't remember the name). I finished the baby's treatment (a white face pied) on Monday. He now weighs 74 gr, much better and his crop seems to be emptying more normally. He is a small bird for sure, and his tummy looks a lot less swollen:-) My concern now, is that he is still needy, insecure, and crying a lot. I hand feed him twice a day (7-10 ml Harrison hand rearing food), and right after feeding I either put him in front of his pellet dish (Harrisons' fine which he nibbles) or in front of pasta, or beans, or Cheerios, or greens. He eats the Cheerios, shreds the pasta and runs away crying from the beans. Shows only minor interest in millet. He also does this if I try to offer him some of the food I'm eating (running away crying). His wings are trimmed, the cage size is adequate and he has toys that he can chew and knock around (loves the bird-kabobs). He chews on his cuttlebone, and calls for me when he hears me coming up the stairs but does not scream (and no complaints from the neighbors). He doesn't constantly call out for me or cry if I'm not in the room. I do work close to home from 8 to 4 PM, but then I am home all evening (also morning routine which he does with me) and he is out with me from the second I get home (I live alone) and he will be included during (safe) weekend, activities, tucked in a bird carrier for outdoor stuff. In the evening he curls up in the crook of my neck, grinds his beak and goes to sleep. He has his own bird-safe spot, of course, so I don't risk injuring him (!) but he does sleep near me at night, curled up between the paws of a big stuffed tiger. He happily goes to others (my dad, my neighbor...) He just started to pick things up with his beak to check them out...
To make a long story short, what could be his deal with food? He cries when it's offered, runs away, then comes back, jabs at it (from a safe distance LOL) but still crying. If he sees me eating, he cries desperately, but if I offer, again he runs away. If I don't offer, he cries. He seems terrified of new foods and I wonder if it's somehow linked to being improperly weaned? If so, is there anything I can do to help him? Sometimes he still also cries for no reason and amount of distraction will stop him. Eventually he stops, and it does seem to be decreasing now that he's healthier. Could it be he just needs more time to be a baby, and to adjust to not feeling badly all the time (like a delayed babyhood?) Thanks in advance!
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Bird Veterinary
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Answered in 2 hours by:
6/24/2010
Bird Veterinarian: Dr. Bob, Veterinarian replied 8 years ago
Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7,940
Experience: 35 years in general practice, including avian.
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Hello, I'm Dr. Bob.
What an interesting case!
It sounds as if you've got the threat to Chiku's health under control, but in the meantime you've created a controlling little monster!
All of our pets are more interested in training us than we are in training them.
From your description of his behavior, it sounds as if this little guy has gotten used to the idea of having you at his every beck and call, and would like that situation to continue. You've been well-trained and he likes it like that!
Up to a point you can't give these little guys too much attention, but beyond that point, they can become real little pests for our attention. The problem lies in determining that "point". Gradual withdrawal of your attention on a consistent basis is the answer.
Keeping his cage covered will limit the stimulation he gets, and also allow him to rest which is always a good thing. Consider this as giving him a "timeout". If he gets too obnoxious, cover him. This action is harmless and usually effective, in breaking the complete control he's developed in your relationship.
He normally should be covered 12- 14 hours daily, but extra "timeouts" won't be of any detriment to him whatsoever.
If you should have further questions, please let me know.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Relist: Inaccurate answer.
I got a good answer, but it's not the problem I'm facing, I'm afraid I wasn't clear in what I needed...I'm not unsatisfied, but I feel that a behaviorist might be better...
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