Weaning Growth Chart For Parrot Life Stages
Daily Weight Monitoring
This daily monitoring is crucial to caretakers as the growth pattern will indicate the advancements to the next stage. Once the “plateau stage” is reached in this 1st stage of EPE, the chicks growth chart can be replaced with the weaning growth chart to record the weight as no more increase should be expected. It should be said that negative growth patterns (not associated with the expected gradual weaning weight loss) can also indicate a possible medical or nutritional problem. If such is the case, the nursery caretaker can be more proactive in making corrective changes.
For proper monitoring of the chicks throughout the Early Parrot Education stages, chick identification bands can be used to differentiate between chicks that are housed together.
Healthy chicks thriving under optimal conditions should have empty crops (ideal for accurate weight assessment) prior to the morning feeding, whereas the crop, although expected to digest its content, may not be completely empty during the rest of the day prior to another feeding session. Emptying a chick’s crop for weighing purposes should be done only if you immediately require an accurate weight for a health assessment or chicks require their crops to be emptied due to a crop disorder. Techniques used to empty the crop content safely should only be performed by a skilled avian nursery caretaker or avian health professional.
Monitoring During Different Parrot Life Stages
EPE Stage One – Introductory Stage
Handling chicks at this age can be challenging as nails are very sharp; these must not, however, be groomed for the caretakers convenience! Furthermore, chicks are awkward to pick up due to their large crops, clumsy bodies lacking muscle and strength, resting most of their weight on the upper part of their bodies and so handling can be potentially dangerous for the chicks unless a proper technique is used. Pressure should never be applied to the chicks’ abdomen or upper body region when handling. Chicks should never be rested on slippery surfaces during weighing, physical exams or feeding. Handling should be strategic to minimize handling when the crop is not empty. For example, chicks should be weighed when the crop is empty in the morning then transferred to a clean chick bin and then fed in this respective bin to prevent handling with a full crop.
EPE Stage Two – Pre-Fledgling Stage
As pre-fledged chicks mature towards the fledgling age, they gain more dexterity and confidence perching, and so a scale perch can gradually be introduced to facilitate weighing.
EPE Stage Three – Fledging Stage
Weight monitoring is combined with vocal and visual communication to reinforce the understanding of the commands Step-Up & Step down of the scale perch comfortably.
EPE Stage Four – Advanced Foraging Education Stage
Recording a fledgling’s weight daily is necessary to monitor the weaning progress and evaluate its health status.
EPE Stage Five – Fledgling Acquiring Independence Stage
Once the fledgling has successfully reached the 5th stage of Early Parrot Education and the weaning has completely and successfully been reached without any recent regression, the companion parrot weight monitoring chart can be used on a weekly basis.
EPE Stage Six – Feeding and Environmental Enrichment Stage
We believe the daily weighing is fundamental to ensure proper monitoring when a matured fledgling leaves for a new home. The routine learned in the earlier stages to step-out of the sleeping cage onto a scale perch to be weighed in the morning will also reassure the fledgling with a familiar activity.
We invite you to learn more about this topic in the Early Parrot Education section.