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Relationships of Weaning and Fledging in Baby Parrots

Spreads for web Parrots 278 4

Complete Psittacine by Eb Cravens

We continue our recent article topics concerning parrots and flight with a closer look at the subtle correlation between weaning and flying in neonate psittacines.

When I was just starting out in aviculture some 40 years ago, a common practice was to keep weaning neonate psittacines with trimmed wings in a holding cage with various food dishes in order that they learn to eat on their own. Results using this technique were often mixed depending on the species of the birds, their age, and the levels of stress placed upon them by hunger and environmental surroundings. In addition, there was the obvious fact that the chicks rarely had a chance to naturally fledge and burn off calories from the rich baby formulas they were still being fed in the nursery.

The theory was this: Cut back the number of feedings, hence the amount of daily food the chick was getting, and it would eventually get hungry enough to begin to eat on its own.

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