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Why the PEEPING?

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Old 02-14-2017, 08:39 PM   #1
sanguinaria
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Why the PEEPING?

Hello! I just got my baby a little under two weeks ago. He's about seven and a half weeks old and seems to be adjusting well to his new home... eating well, being social, exploring his surroundings... except for one thing. When he's with me, he's constantly peeping.

He's my first parrotlet, but I had other species for well over fifteen years and this isn't the normal calling that takes place when I leave the room or when they want to come out... he does those too, as is expected, but in those situations he quiets down pretty quickly. I've never experienced this before. When I take him out, it's a CONSTANT peep-peep as he sits on my chest or finger or shoulder, sometimes accompanied by a slight head bob and sometimes it's as if he's looking around for something.

Is this just due to him being a baby? Are they all like this? How do I make him stop? I want to hang out with him and I want him to enjoy being out, but the nonstop peeping is so irritating and I don't want to dampen our bonding process by constantly shushing him.
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Old 02-14-2017, 09:15 PM   #2
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That is begging behaviour - he is asking to be fed. If he is only seven and a half weeks and you have had him for two weeks, he was really probably too young and has regressed in his weaning. Is he eating? Do his poops look normal? Does his breastbone feel sharp? Not trying to scare you but that behaviour is a big red flag. What are you feeding him?
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Old 02-14-2017, 09:24 PM   #3
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Oh no, I was really hoping it wasn't regression. D: Could he still have regressed behaviorally if he's been eating on his own all this time? His crop is moderately full right now and his poops are frequent and normal-looking. He really likes his millet, fruits and veggies, and cooked grain mix. He also has a seed mix which he largely ignores and pellets (Zupreem) which might as well not even be there.

He definitely is a little skinny. When he arrived, he was 28g. I've been weighing him twice daily and he lost three grams over the first two days here, but he's maintained 27g for the past few days and I'm hoping he'll continue to gain.

Could his constant chewing (even while peeping!) while out also be a regression behavior?
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Old 02-14-2017, 09:47 PM   #4
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Yes, That behaviour too makes me think he is regessing in his weaning. My inclination would be to buy some handfeeding formula and try to feed him. Is the breeder close enough that they could help you? Have you ever hand fed before? It is a good sign that he is now maintaining his weight and it is excellent that you are weighing him. It has been years since I handfed but weaning is a psychological as well as a physical process. Oddly when babies start to wean, they will sometimes beg even harder to be fed, only to refuse more than a small amount. It is almost like they just need reassurance that you will still feed them. Will he eat something cooked like quinoa or chopped hard boiled egg? Those things are much easier to eat if he will eat them. Also spray millet is often a favorite with weaning babies and will encourage them to eat.

Sorry I am on my phone and having trouble reading - it sounds like you are giving him all the right things to eat but I would still try handfeeding him to be sure.

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Old 02-14-2017, 10:25 PM   #5
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Hello.

Listen to Grace. She is spot on! I read an article about this very thing a little while back. You could very well end up with a very dependent birdie. Plenty of millet, please. Put it everywhere you can! Millet breaks down and gives youngsters a boost in their metabolism and it is like candy to them.

Are his poops green?Black? Light green? Yellowish? Clear?

The chewing is actually grinding and it could get a little noisy. It is okay. Usually the grinding means he is content for the moment.

Do not ignore this! Listen to Grace or others who chime into this situation with advice.

David and Bogie.
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Old 02-14-2017, 10:39 PM   #6
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Grace: Hmm. I guess he may be having trouble with the psychological aspect of weaning then. A few days ago I saw that slight head bob and was terrified that he was regressing but dismissed it since he was already eating well on his own, but what you're saying makes sense and corroborates my earlier concern.

I've already put him to bed for the night, but tomorrow I'll offer some ground up pellets with hot water to see how he reacts. He really has no trouble eating the food in his bowls, but if he starts acting like a baby being handfed, I'll grab a bag of formula after work. Getting to the breeder for help would unfortunately be a bit of an ordeal, but luckily I learned to handfeed a while back.

Thank you for your suggestions!


David: Right now he has several millet sprays in his cage, all in various states of being eaten.

His poops generally reflect whatever he's been eating... usually they're greenish or light brownish but there's been quite a bit of blueberry poop going on!

The chewing I was referring to isn't the cute happy beak grinding, it's a total insistence on gnawing any bit of fabric he can grab! He's absolutely obsessed with shredding fabric. I wish I could put some in the cage with him, but the risk of getting caught in a thread is just too high.
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Old 02-14-2017, 10:46 PM   #7
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I have never handfeed a plet, only lovies and tiels, but the lovies were only beginning to wean at 5 or 6 weeks. I never let them go until they had been on solid food for at least two weeks so your little guy may not have been quite ready. The ground pellets and water sounds like a good idea. Do you have a pipette or syringe to feed him with? Good luck and let us know.
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Old 02-14-2017, 10:57 PM   #8
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Poor baby. I've got pipettes and syringes all set to go; hopefully this will be the answer!

Here's a picture of the little cutie. I'll let you know how it goes.

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Old 02-14-2017, 11:36 PM   #9
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Oh, he is beautiful! It is amazing how quickly you can fall in love with them. Jabba was anout ten wekks old when I got him and he was so cute eating. He couldn't crack sunflower seeds at first and would only eat the small seeds in the mix. I hope your little guy will be okay!
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Old 02-15-2017, 05:04 AM   #10
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He's adorable!
Tumi didn't wean until after he was 10 weeks old, not because he hadn't figured out grown up food but because it is fun and snuggly to be handfed!
As far as fabric shredding, that is because it is FUN! Parrotlets can be quite destructive creatures, but they are too cute to mind too much.
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Tumi and his mommy Dana

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