At some point in the young Eclectus parrots life, he must be weaned. In most cases, this means that he has to be weaned from hand feeding, although in some cases, he must be weaned from his mother.
Some Eclectus parrots wean sooner than others and it is normal for one of these youngsters to lose a little weight during weaning. The key to success is ensuring that he doesn't lose too much weight. It should also be noted that just as different Eclectus parrot breeds are ready to wean at different ages, some are more difficult to wean than their counterparts.
Weaning usually begins around three months of age, and in most cases, if you are getting your Eclectus parrot from an experienced breeder, he will be weaned before he is given into your care. In fact, if you are not experienced at weaning such a bird, you are advised to leave him with the breeder until he is indeed weaned. However, in some instances inexperienced owners are forced to wean their new Eclectus parrot.
First and foremost, you should not force-wean an Eclectus parrot. This can cause serious behavioral problems later in life. Experts agree that you should only start weaning the Eclectus parrot when he has signaled that he is ready to be weaned ?in his own sweet time. This is done by providing him nutritious soft foods in his cage that he can easily reach, and easily eat by himself. It is vital that you pay attention to how much food he has consumed, so that you know whether he needs additional hand feeding from you.
Pay close attention to the food bowl. Weigh the food bowl after you fill it, before you place it in the cage. When you remove the food bowl, weigh it again on a kitchen scale to determine whether the food was actually ingested, or just moved around and mashed up. Determine how much food was actually ingested, and then feed the young bird formula to ensure that he is getting the right amount of nutrition each day.
Weigh the bird as well. This can also typically be done on a kitchen scale. If he is losing weight, don?t panic. Do, however, keep an eye on how much weight he is losing. Weigh him daily and record his weight. If he seems to be losing too much weight, contact your veterinarian to double check the amount of nutrition he needs when he is being weaned, and make sure that he is getting that amount.
Again, it is best for the bird to be weaned before he ever leaves the breeder. It has been found that these birds are usually healthier, because breeders don't have to 'guess' how much additional nutrition the Eclectus parrot needs. Furthermore, when a young bird is weaned in what he considers his natural habitat 'that place where he was born' he is usually better adjusted and happier.