shanlung (shanlung) wrote,

LiBai and weight control


I had tried to find out the weight norm of LiBai, the Greater Green Leafbird.
There are not much info from the Internet.

Wikipedia said the weight ranged from 15-48 grams for that GROUP of birds. Not much of a help when there are so many different types of Chloropseidae.

That was better than Honolulu zoo informing me that the Gold Fronted Leafbird Chloropsis aurifron ranges from 10-90 grams. Maybe from birth as a chick to adult from that kind of weight range.

Maybe no one, not even them above, knew the regular weight of any type of leafbird.

So I pushed that to the back of my mind.

I weighed Libai, morning first weight at 38.2 which was about 2 weeks after he joined me and after he seemed to stabilised at eating daily a mix of 15 grams of Libai mash and 15 grams of mixed fruit mash.

I had thought LiBai weight would stabilised naturally and thought no further.

After all, Riamfada's weight hardly fluctuated remainly fairly steady at 460-465 grams when being fed all she wanted.

A few days ago, I introduced a piece of apple to Libai. I then cut the mash mix to him by half judging that volume was replaced by the apple. On that day, I was out on a long biking trip and so no time for training in which course he would get 4 crickets and 20 or so meal worms. 4 crickets = 1.2 grams and 20 meal worms = 1.0 grams. I felt the apple would not approach the high energy/high protein as in his mash mix.

So the day after, I weighed LiBai as I was afraid he might have lost some weight.

To my shock, that morning weight was 43.5 grams.

Which got me to thinking. I knew LiBai could eat a lot as he did at the beginning when he got to me. I was also thinking how life would be like for leafbird in the wild. Where no regular food source and eating is hit and miss. Perhaps feast followed by famine in which course, the weight stabilize. So when food is available in the wild, the leafbird might eat and eat to store for times when food not around.

In the case of Libai with constant source of food, might I be giving him far more than is good for him. Unlike Yingshiong who was very much a flier, flying and hovering a lot more than LiBai roosting in his cage with only periodic flight forays.

Whether Libai going to be friends with me or respond better to cues is not so material to me. I will not restrict his food for purpose of that. But the health of LiBai is another issue entirely. I cannot by misplaced good intention allow LiBai to be grossly overweight which might impact on his health.

And he might have felt too bloated and good to think about friendship with me.

But not knowing his good weight, I decided 38 grams morning weight will be my target for him. From the way he ate and ate at the beginning, his weight when he first came to me would even be a lot less than 38 grams.

Do tell me if you do know.

I thought of asking on the Internet. But I cannot imagine anyone else weighing their greenleaf bird kept almost permanently in a little cage to tell me.

Eyes are not good enough and as you all know, the scale never lie.

I reduced Libai mash mix to half yesterday.

This morning, his weight was 42.5 grams

I also figured out how to judge how much he ate at each sitting at the mash bowl and the spillage.

With the mash bowl on the scale, I set the weight to zero, which then captured Libai's weight when he landed on that bowl. Mash in the bowl, or inside him did not matter. But as he ate and ate , and scattered and spill, the weight on that scale dropped.

In that one sitting, 2.3 grams of food was gone from the bowl, of which 0.3 grams was the spillage.

This was consistent over 3 different times.

Without crickets and meal worms, his weight came to 43 grams at end of the day. I had to put aside the training which involved crickets and meal worms to take down his weight.

It might be a struggle to take his weight down to 38 grams. I do not wish to subject him to a sudden famine to do that.

For all I know, on a consistent basis, 7 grams of mash and 7 grams of fruit mash might be what he need to sustain a good weight taking into account spillage. I might have been grossly overfeeding him all along. Even on that 7 plus 7, I might still be feeding him too much. Then what about crickets and mealworms for the training?

This is a lonely path for me to feel my way about on.

suri - Read "Conditioning clicker day 3 - and some tips on suris"

milli - read "Found the perfect treat and Yingshiong first "step up""

if you forgotten about conditioniong the clicker.

Start of clicker training - Conditioning the Clicker (Riamfada)

Clicker training - Conditioning of clicker day 1 (Yingshiong)

Tinkerbell Legacy - VH parrot and Clicker Training Rant 06

Some thoughts on clicker - The initial experience with Tinkerbell

Clicker training and bonding with Tinkerbell

if you forgotten about conditioniong the clicker.


Read Riamfada free flights in villa // And around neighbourhood for explicit details

If what I wrote help you and you like to help, give a thought
for the wildlife sharing our planet.
Do write that cheque to Gerald Durrell wildlife trust

I am a life member of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Do join us to do
whatever we can for the wildlife that shared our planet.
or to any wildlife conservation body of your choice

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