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Parrots/african grey

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Question
Hey there. We recently got an african grey parrot. She started eating on her own recently after she did not want the baby feeding anymore. Since this morning she stopped eating but she is her normal bubbly playfull self. Should we be worried and what may cause this to happen

Answer
---When it’s time to wean a bird it’s a stressful event, often for both the bird and the human.  
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Decreasing the ‘baby food’ while increasing the pellet formula (strongly suggested as opposed to an all seed diet, which is not natural for any Psittacine) and trying various fresh foods is important.  
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Sometimes adding plain water to the pellets to create a ‘mush’ is more well accepted than going directly to pellets.  Seeds should make up no more than (at most)  20% of their regular diet and fresh foods offered freely.  
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There are some interesting and creative nutritional suggestions and recipes here  www.4AnimalCare.org/birds  
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  It’s important to get regular weights on your bird as you’re weaning.  A gram scale is the most accurate when it comes to birds – not ounces.
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By the time you see an ounce lost – it’s more than 28 grams!  A weight loss of 5% warrants a vet visit within a day or two.  Weight loss of 10% is an emergency vet visit as supportive care may be necessary.
 
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I’d weigh every other day until the weight seems to stabilize at about a year old, then I weigh once a week at the same time and day, keeping a record.  
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Whenever a bird’s weight goes 5% below the average weight, it’s time to have a full health evaluation.
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 Force weaning by denying the bird feedings is never a good idea.  More details about specific weaning options are here:
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http://www.parrottalk.com/weaning.htm  
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Here are some options to add to or include with a pelleted diet:
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Offer ½ spoon of all natural, organic baby food (squash, yams, sweet potatoes, mixed vegetables) which many birds take readily; also try some pabulum or baby rice cereal and a few licks of natural (no artificial anything) yogurt.   
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Make an oatmeal using 2 tablespoons of all natural oats + 4 tablespoons of plain, hot tap water.  Let it stand for about 5 or 10 minutes until the water is mostly absorbed.  You can add ½ teaspoon of  no sugar added, all natural applesauce, either regular or jarred baby food type, which often makes the oatmeal more acceptable for picky eaters.
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 Chop up some fresh or dried fruits to add.  With dried fruits try to find ‘no sulfites’ on the packaging.  
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Rev. Dr. S.August Abbott

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

Organizations
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

Publications
Bird Talk Magazine articles about rescued and problem macaws.

Education/Credentials
Doctorate, Ordained Minister

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