Once someone successfully bred his pair of parrots, he will have to deal with the new hatchlings, at least if he took care of them by himself rather than the parents. Doing this is not that bad or cruel, and actually, some parents in captivity harm and sometimes kill their new babies, so there must be interference from the owners to save the babies from getting harmed.
So as an owner who is taking care of the babies, you should know what do baby parrots eat and how to hand feed them, and the owner should know how to wean a baby parrot as it is one of the most important phases in the bird growing process.
Any delay in weaning young parrots can lead to a parrot depending on baby food and not being able to eat what grown parrots eat. And in this article, we will dive into everything about how to wean a baby parrot, what is the best time for that, what to do with an old parrot who hasn’t weaned yet, and many more.
And without further ado, let’s get into this.
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How to Wean a Baby Parrot
Weaning a parrot is a simple process, and it plays on making the bird depend on himself to discover and explore the new food that he should stick with rest of his life. In the wild, the parents usually assist their hatchlings. Therefore, the owners must provide help for the baby parrot to get used to seeds and nuts.
And because you are on this page looking for a way to wean your baby parrot, I assume that you already know how to feed it with baby food formula, and I am assuming also that you know the hunger call that your baby parrot makes when it’s the time for food or when he sees the food in your hand.
Basically, you know when your parrot is hungry. And this is very important during the weaning process. You don’t want your parrot to starve, especially on the early weaning days.
In the early days, delay food and replace it with seeds and nuts, so the bird can explore the food.
So, after your baby parrot is ready to be weaned, and after you see the signs, you can put the seeds bowl inside the baby parrot cage, and let him explore it.
In the beginning, the parrot will start picking on the seeds, won’t eat them. But he will learn to crack it and maybe eat small quantities of it.
He won’t feel full out of cracking and discovering food at the beginning, so you will have to feed him baby food as you used following the normal schedule. Knowing the hunger call of your baby parrot can help determine when it’s the time for feeding him.
In case you don’t know what is the hunger call, you can follow the feeding schedule as normal.
After a while, you will start noticing that your parrot is not calling for food, as usual, so the bird is eating seeds almost as a grown parrot does. You can try to hand feed the bird and see if he rejects it or not, and if he does, then the parrot is almost weaned.
Try to hand feed him for the next few days to see if he will eat from your hand or not.
How to Know if The Parrot is Ready to be Weaned?
Some experts wean the parrot after he reaches a certain age, and this age differs from one breed to another.
And for me, I look for 2 important signs that can tell me if it was the time for weaning the parrot. Sing 1 is to wait for the parrot to grow a full set of feathers.
Sign 2 is to observe the parrot for any changes in behavior. There is a certain behavior every baby parrot does when he grows and gets ready to eat seeds and nuts as the main diet.
And it appears as the parrot is trying to pick on the ground, just like he is trying to pick seeds from the ground like the chickens do when they eat.
This sign can happen before the feather is fully grown, so if you see it, then you know your bird is ready. So, when you see these 2 signs, start performing the process mentioned earlier.
How Long Does it Take to Wean a Parrot?
In most cases, the weaning process can take up to 2-3 weeks before the parrot fully depends on seeds and nuts as the key ingredient in his diet. During this period, the food bowl should be inside the parrot cage all the time.
How Do You Wean a Parrot into Pellets?
You can use the process here, and instead of using seeds and nuts, you can use the pallets. And if you ask me which is better, I recommend weaning the parrot into seeds and nuts first as it is their natural food. And later you can add the pallets to the diet.
What Could Go Wrong?
Weaning the parrot can occur with a few mistakes. The first one is thinking that baby parrots need wet food at the beginning of the weaning process. Something like mango or mashed potato.
And this is wrong. Parrots do not need this. All they need is a bowl of seeds and their usual formula (only at the period of 2-3 weeks), no need for wet food. Baby parrots can switch to solid food using their powerful beaks, so there is no need to feed them wet food.
The second common mistake is to not assist the parrot through the weaning, and this may lead the parrot to grow totally dependent on baby food formula, which is not healthy for them.
The third common mistake is trying to wean the parrot with mashed potato or any type of wet food, and this is a mistake that can lead the parrot to cannot eat the seeds.
So here is what to do with an unweaned old parrot.
How to Wean Old Parrot?
Weaning an old parrot differs slightly from weaning a young parrot that is ready to pick and crack seeds.
So before that, I want you to notice if your parrot is cracking the seeds or not, and if he does, then it is better than a parrot that cannot crack the seeds. Don’t worry, the process is the same for both but it may take longer for the parrot that cannot crack the seeds.
There are few things you need to do to wean old parrot.
1- Is to bring the seeds and nuts and partly grind them using the food processor. You can add a little water to the mix, but the most important thing is to not fully grind the mix.
Put the mix on a plate inside the parrot cage all the time. This is the best way for the parrot to discover the food, and learn how to crack it in case he doesn’t know.
Let him play and explore as long as possible, and if the parrot spoiled all the food, repeat the process, refill the plate again, and put it on the cage’s base.
2- Is to reduce the amount of baby food formula or the wet food your parrot is used to. You don’t need to do this right away after putting the plate inside the cage. No, you can start the reduction after a few days, and, for example, you can start reducing 20% of the food, and after 2 more days reduce to 40% and so on.
By doing these 2 steps, you notice the parrot is eating the seeds from the plate, sometimes before the reduction of his normal food and sometimes after the reduction.
And When you see that, start using the ungrounded seeds and put them on the plate instead of the precious mix. keep the reduction as it is, you can increase the amount to 70% of your parrot meal. and start reducing again after the parrot gets used to the ungrounded seeds.
The process is about balancing the amount of wet food or formula you give to your parrot. You should keep your parrot a little hungry so you force him to eat from the seeds.
Besides that, gradual progress with these steps is the key. Don’t surprise your parrot the next day that he won’t eat what he is used to. No, you have given him food so he can play and explore the seeds, which is the major way for him to get weaned.
Weaning a parrot is a simple thing to do. When your parrot is ready to be weaned, you can introduce the seeds into his cage. In the beginning, he will play, discover, and crack some of them, so you still have to hand-feed him. After a while, you notice that your parrot fully depends on seeds and nuts.
And yes, that’s about it, I hope you find this article informative and easy to digest. Thank you for reading…