But she's gained weight only because she was stuffed to the gills three times yesterday. If she still lost weight, there'd be something seriously wrong.
Husband Guy made a really good point that we've been freaking out and doing something different with her every day. That might have just made the situation worse. With what the breeder said yesterday and knowing (*knock-on-wood*) that cockatiels can live about a week with no food whatsoever, we should try something consistent for a while. We put seed cups and millet everywhere around her cage and left her home alone.
She has to get used to the sights, smells and situation of our house anyway. If by Friday she's not sustaining her weight, the breeder will take her back for a week. We can try to bring her home again the following week. If the same stupid thing happens, then we'll know that it's an environment thing and we'll return her to the breeder for a full refund. We'd rather her live well and be happy in someone else's home.
It could be that we're overreacting because Dr. McDonald seems to be wanting to err on the side of caution.
We were reading a whole bunch of sites online last night on weaning advice. One of them said baby birds can be intimidated by too many toys, that's just too many things going on in the cage for them. *phew* I bought her one wooden moon thingie with a bell on the end. I was beginning to think she was bored and that we didn't have enough things for her to do. Another one said that it's very scary and daunting for them to be at the bottom of their cage looking upwards, so put lots of perches at different heights and food in multiple easy-to-reach locations. We did notice that she ends up at the top of the little ladder in the morning. Okay, so move lots of stuff up higher.
We had a power outage this morning. It started at 0400h, but we didn't wake up and discover it until 0700h. We decided that laying around worrying about when we needed to get up wasn't going to do us any good, so we got up to check on her.
I think we've found a pattern to her. She eats after a good bout of playing. The trick is to get her to playplayplayplayplay, then she'll duck down into her food and munch for a while. She played and grazed from about 0700h to 0845h.
SeedFace: At one point, she took a drink of water, then put her face down to grab a seed. When she came back up, she had a whole pile of seeds stuck to her face. She could see them, but couldn't do anything about them. She looked so comically funny, we were laughing so hard XD It was hilarious to watch her try to get at them, shake her head, rub her head under her wing to get them off =D
Heroin Addict: When she gnaws on her cuttlebone, she gets white powder all over her nose and beak. It looks like she's been snorting something. XD XD
Yesterday, at Night Owl, one of the staff told me that she saw Skippy dunking the millet in her water to play. =) So, we can see she's otherwise very happy and pretty well adjusted. The eating should kick in any time now.
We also capitalized on the fact that she loves paper. Out came the shreds from the paper shredder. Husband Guy and I started folding paper stars like we used to in highschool. </a></a>skippy loved them</b>. We made some stars so that they had a little paper handle on them and waved them around her head. She'd run after them trying to catch the star on the end. =D
And then she ate. And ate. And ate. =)
Before we left, we tied up a whole bunch of paper stars all around the cage. She was attacking one just as we were leaving.