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Parrots/7 week old Ringneck parrot


On Friday i picked up my baby 7 week old ringneck parrot from the breeder.  She told me that baby Zoey has been eating 4 times a day (about every 6 hours).  When she will eat she does so just fine.  But, since Saturday night all she wants to do is climb on me and be snuggly rather than eat.  It has got to be quite the episode, I keep bringing her down to the table to feed and she climbs right back up (even with me trying to gently hold her).  I have even tried feeding her on my chest (which makes quite the mess on both of us, lol).  Should I wait longer to feed her?  When I got her up this morning she didn't beg and it had been 7 hours since her last feeding and she just wasn't interested. Her crop was flat.  Her stools are semi solid and of normal frequency.  I am worried that I not getting her to eat often enough.  Any suggestions?

------- When we bring a bird into our homes, no matter how old they are or what conditions they came from, we may have to start with them like they’re brand new.

It’s not unusual for some birds to be very friendly and cooperative the first few days or even week - they are totally dependent on us as new providers and they don’t want to be shunned, rejected or hurt.

Taking your time and letting the bird learn you, adjust to their surroundings and ease into sharing life with you – is by far the better choice.  Even if the bird never learns to truly trust, at least to live in peace, comfort and care is a huge accomplishment.

Here are some guidelines you can try, add or reassure yourself you’ve already done:


Start by providing the largest cage appropriate for the species of bird you have.  Include 3 different types of perches (suggested): 1 natural wood perch, 1 rope perch and 1 ‘rough’ perch for grooming (concrete, mineral, etc.). Never use those sandpaper perch covers. They do not provide secure grip and can result in injury; plus, they just don’t do anything worthwhile.

 Perches should be of varying widths as well, from where the feet wrap ¾ of the way around, to where the feet wrap ¼ to ½ way around.  The rope perch will likely be chosen for sleep/nighttime; the concrete/rough perch should not be placed where the bird is forced to stand on it without other options (such as to eat or drink).  They’ll choose the perch when they need it.

Approach the cage when the bird is calm. Be slow, keep your movements smooth and don’t raise your hands above your own shoulder level – or above the eye level of the bird.  Speak with a soft voice and give the bird time to calm down and accept your presence. If it doesn’t adjust relatively quickly, back away until it calms down – the last thing we want is for the bird to injure itself by flailing around in fear.  

  Remember, patience.

 As for the feeding, it's important to let the weaning progress.   Take a look here for food options - including some home made meals that are sure to win you major points with her  


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Rev. Dr. S.August Abbott


Certified Avian Specialist; Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council member; Own animal rescue org; National Wildlife habitat #66378; bird care, nutrition & behavior consultant; International Assoc. of Animal Behavior Consultants Associate; National Wildlife Federation Leaders Club member; published bird care, info and behavior articles and guides. Ongoing education in exotic bird behavior and nutrition I can answer behavioral, nutritional, environmental, characteristic/personality questions as well as general health and health care. No animal emergency can ever be addressed on the internet. We cannot see your animal, perform an examination, provide necessary care or medication. Please value your companion for the priceless, living creature they are; not for what you might have paid for them.


Certified Avian Specialist. For more than 30 years I've worked with veterinarians, protective facilities, nature centers, preserves and on my own in providing care and education with regard to multiple animal species, including raptors (hawks, kestrals, owls, etc) and marsupials. In recent years I've focused on parrots, usually rescued from abusive or less than ideal situations and helping educate owners as to proper care. Expert in behavior studies and modification of problem behavior.

4AnimalCare is the organization I run as an animal ministry; World Wildlife Association, Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, National Wildlife Federation Leaders Club and more

Bird Talk Magazine articles about rescued and problem macaws.

Doctorate, Ordained Minister

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