Illiger Macaw Baby Weight Query

Christina Jones

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Hello all,
I was wondering if you could help? I've picked up an absolutely beautiful baby illigers macaw last week. I've noticed her droppings are a little on the watery side (and don't look as formed as my past Hahns macaw adult) and she weights around 180g, which seems light compared to the average 260g i see on a google search (maybe i shouldn't trust google?), she is also a good 5cm at least shorter than the average size online. I figure she just has some growing to do. I've got an avian approved vet appointment to register her and a general health check. I'm wondering if i should be looking at getting her seen sooner? Or is it perhaps normal for baby parrots to weigh quite a bit less than the adult weight. She's just over 4 months old and been on all-solid foods for just over 2 weeks. Advice muchly appreciated!
 

dianaT

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Hi, She is still very young at 4 months old. Has her diet changed since coming to you? Is she fully weaned or are you offering a warm feed in the evening. I am sure other members will be along with advice.
 

Christina Jones

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Hi Diana, Thanks for the quick response. The breeder weaned her before i picked her up, which was staggered to a hand feed and own food then down to solid food for a good week or so before i picked her up. I made sure to get the same food she was on from the breeder to keep things the same so she has a seed mix but i've also got some Harrison's high potency in there. She was also getting fruit added to the seed mix which i know she really likes but i've pulled it to be used as treats as she won't take any kind of seed or nut from me as treats so i'm using it for training. I've not tried warm feed in the evening, i've tried warming some veggie chop mix i made but she's not shown an interest.
 

DizzyBlue

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Hi and welcome to the forum :)
Baby weight will vary a tad when first coming home they get really active and start to tone up spend lots of time nosing around and being distracted. Stick to what your breeder advised that the bird was weaned on to and to that you can start to introduce new foods do not be tempted to just change the diet completely the danger is always they don't recognise it and hence don't feed. et your bird settle a while before you start pulling items to use as treats and naturally training is asking for the expenditure of energy etc so will burn off calories babies are usually all over the freaking place burning off calories anyway lol.
Ring up the breeder you purchased your bird from and ask what the final weight was that he/she has for your bird.
Defo step away from google! By the time you have finished googling you will have rising damp in your nostrils combined with the lesser spotted poldka dottie syndrome :yikes: you will just scare yourself daft basically :)
Birds can have an average weight naturally but each bird is an individual some a little lighter than others etc. Not all humans at 5ft 6 are the same weight nor the same shape.
African greys babies hens weigh heavier than cock birds until they reach approx. day 21 and by day 28 the boys over took and were a lot heavier. Did a bit of a weight graph thingy a few years back with a breeder on chicks that were all dna sexed at the end so we knew which bird held which weight.
Depending on where you look on google depends on what results you find … Beauty of birds says 265g adult weight Wiki says 260g, seaworld at 300g, birdwatch journals have them as 250g ….
I have three afrcan grey hens in my flock all three are totally different in weight one is huge and more cock bird sized and weight is also that of the cock bird instead of the hen sizing but she's not over weight and is a big bird, one hen is a right little dinky and less than the average weight for a hen bird she's more Timnah sized than African grey but she's fine weight wise for what she is... Of the three of them only one is the average size and weight for a hen african grey. Some stock breeding birds throw bigger chicks than others …
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
Hello and welcome, I am sorry I cannot answer your question regarding weight of your young bird. if your breeder has kept records of the weights of his birds at different ages this will be the best guide. the information on the illiger's that I have dose not give me there weight even at fully grown
 

Roz

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Baby birds (4 months old) certainly are not fully grown. Kobe my Pionus who I got at about 4 months old definitely weighed less than his current weight. Sorry I can't remember how much less, but I watched it go gradually up (I used to write his weights on my calendars) until he has leveled out at the weight he stays at now. He is small for his species anyway (he was the runt... the last egg). Also moving to a new home, your Macaw might be eating less for a while as she settles in. I wouldn't worry about her weight... she will gradually put more on. As DizzyBlue said, weight varies within a species anyway. At a show I was astounded at the difference of size between two fully grown Blue-fronted Amazons. One was huge compared to the other.

Keep offering fresh fruit and veggies which are an important source of vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Vit A in the form of beta carotene is especially important. It is found in brightly coloured fruit and veggies, like sweet potato, squash, carrot, peppers, chillies, broccoli, kale, papaya, mango, orange melon, etc. You could see if she will eat mashed sweet potato. To get baby Kobe eating it, I used to press peas on top which he liked. I also introduced him to sprouted grains and legumes early on which are the mainstay of his diet now.
 
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Roz

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I should add, can you feel her keel bone? Is it prominant?... which would tell you if she is thin for her size. An avian vet will be able to tell you if she is underweight or not.
 

Christina Jones

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Thanks guys for your reassuring posts! I'll still take her in for her first check up and make sure everything is okay, the avian vet comes well recommended :)
She definitely loves fruit and I don't have any trouble getting her to eat that but shes not so keen on nuts/seeds. Maybe i should put the fruit back in with the seeds until she eats more of the seeds? I've not had a true baby bird before and figure i might just be doing things abit wrong. I bought some sweet potato/squash to mash with abit of coconut milk and some peas for my dinner this week which I can share with her. shes not bothered too much with the other veggies i've tried to sit and eat with her so far but i'll keep at it! I've got some scales and im keeping track of her weight too. Shes so freakin cute I just don't want to screw up and miss something D: Thank you again for your support <3
 

Michael Reynolds

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I always keep a record of each of my flocks weight and recommend others to do so, well done for keeping an eye on her weight. it can be the first sign of a problem. One other thing we love photos on this site.
 

DizzyBlue

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Don't get too hung up with the weight
Mine get weighed on a regular basis … once a month or so just so I have a vague idea as to who is getting middle age spread … oddly it's always me! So long as they are within a little above or below of their usual weight I am none to bothered .. if it starts to go up and up since my birds are fully grown I know that's time for us all to watch what we eat, dropping weight continually would be an avian vet visit for me
Introducing your baby to the avian vet is a great idea as the vet gets to know the bird when the bird is well and have a good idea there after of what they are like normally.
Was at the vets with MrP one of my birds very recently (to have claws seen too) … never seen a vet looks so down … Think he was hoping it wold be one of the others rather than MrP. MrP is lets just say errr not keen on anybody …. so everybody gets bitten and yes he is a tame bird …. just haven't found anybody he actually approves off including me! :risas3:
 

Roz

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Regular Member
Found some of Kobe's weights in some old diaries. When he arrived he was 234gms. Then he went down to 227gms, then over a year slowly climbed (with some ups and downs) to 245gms. Not as much fluctuation as I thought I remembered. Did you see the parents of your Macaw... they would be another clue as to how big yours is. As Michael said, we love pictures. Would love to see her! What's her name?
 

DizzyBlue

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@Roz :risas3: I just googled Kobe's species to see what weights are shown some right variations showing up

Wiki says Kobe should be exactly 250
Beauty of birds has a good scale and have anywhere between 200 and 260
Parrot Trust has a good variation as well between 234 and 295g
Pet Bird Page have 182-252g
So with just those variations you could say anywhere from 182g all the way through to 295g a variation of 113g … hmmm the weight of a second baby Kobe :pancarta:
 

Christina Jones

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@DizzyBlue hahaa that vet visit made me giggle. I hope my baby behaves. shes been good as gold so far even with my family who visited at the weekend :D Im getting her ready with a small towel to see if i can desensitize it to her by next monday, or at least a little will help her im sure! :D

I put the fruit mix back in this morning and shes eaten most of the pieces, and also had a really good go at the sun flower seeds and some other bits which is reassuring. She was eatting a worryingly low amount of food from the seed bowl when it was seeds only. I think that might be the trick. keep sprinkling a little dried fruit on top and then she goes for the seeds otherwise she doesn't touch them much. I'll check her weight tomorrow and just keep the fruit in there until shes eating more seeds and gradually reduce the fruit rather than remove it completely - that was probably my mistake there :< ahhhh

Thanks @Roz for your comparison there! clearly it's possible she is meant to be abit lighter than what google says xD ughhh i was proper panicking. The vet will confirm anything im sure but shes eating right now after i topped her food up so i think that's solved some of the issues now ahhhh.

I can definitely get a photo later! looks like i'll need to upload them to photobucket first. xD
 
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Roz

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Regular Member
:risas3: DizzyBlue - thank you! 245 was Kobe's top weight. He fluctuates about 10gms under. But the vet told me after having a good feel that he had never felt such a muscly bird with not an ounce of fat, but definitely not thin. I think Kobe secretly lifts weights after dark.

@Christina Jones I wouldn't change what the breeder told you to feed her to begin with, even if it is unhealthy. She needs to feel reassured that at least her food hasn't changed even though the rest of her life has. Then gradually add different food stuffs. If she is used to fruit and seed mixed together, then keep giving that to her for now. That's great to hear she is eating!

Photobucket won't let you share pictures free any longer which is a pain. Can't remember what others use here. I use Imgur.
 

DizzyBlue

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Can load direct to forum just select upload file and chose the picture you want to put up
If it says its too big then just email it to yourself and it will shrink to the right size and then upload it :)
@Christina Jones
 

Christina Jones

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I think this has worked? First time trying to upload an image, took a bit to find the right button to do it~

This one below might have come out abit big sorry!
Untitled.jpg

This is one of my fav silly one of her so far. She's crazy. (this is my old cage that was already built when i got home and it was later than i planned to get back so i couldn't build her new Santos play gym i got. Ive not moved her yet so she has a chance to actually settle) It also does have toys and a ball at the bottom to throw around just you can't see any from this angle xD
IMG_1164.JPG

Please let me know if the images didn't come through xD

Also, as another update, adding the fruit back in has made a big difference, i've been trying to weigh her food bowls and they were barely shifting in weight, i've come home today and its dropped from 160g to 143g and the fresh newspaper suggests shes definitely eaten the majority as there's not enough thrown out down there. Think i'll keep adding the fruit and seeds together. I have images of her poop to show the vet as well as some look concerning and some are perfectly fine, and it's been getting better as the week has gone on so im hoping that was just because she was settling in.

On that note - any suggestions on combining fruit with other foods you guys have tried that have worked?
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
love the photos, I was thinking Kobe may like the softer foods at the moment best so I would try her with some vegetables as well but remember soft foods can start to perish and if you are mixing with seed or nut you must treat the seed the same way as the fruit and change twice a day at least. Never use peanuts in there shells with fruit or veg no mater where its come from and how it has been stored, peanuts have a soft shell and can attract bacterial spoors, a moist shell will harbour bacteria from the air very quickly. Most parrots love them but unless they are properly treated and then stored correctly they can be harmful so many owners avoid them.
 

marley

Regular Member
You have a lovely bird there, please don't try to change the routine the breeder has given you for a couple of months at least then introduce new foods slowly. The change in her droppings on a daily basis are quite normal and some fruits do contain more water.

While it is a good thing to trace weights as said it is impossible to get a so called average weight, if she has a good covering of flesh on her chest and is active use that as a starting weight and check her weekly but don't stress over it. I would advise you keep in touch with the breeder if you have any concerns as they will know the bird better than any of us can.
 
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