There are people who like to rush the weaning process by having the chick force weaned at an too early age and too quickly. These people want their Eclectus fully weaned by earlier than 3 months old and these birds can often develop behaviours when they arrive to the new homes of unsuspecting care givers who have no idea what is going on and why the bird is not behaving normally.

Eclectus parrots need to be allowed to wean in their own time. Some can start to show signs of weaning around 8 weeks of age and wean independently as early as 10-11 weeks old. While this is possible it is also rare to happen. Other chicks can take up to 6 months to fully wean. The average age to wean is 3-4 months old.

For some chicks there is a window of opportunity when they’re ready to start weaning and you will see this. If you don’t see this and miss it, it can cause some weaning problems and behaviours in some chicks. Generally if they're ready to start weaning they may play with their formula, bite the formula or utensil you're using, growl at it, refuse a feed.

If you have a new baby Eclectus parrot that is screaming or 'crying' continually, it can be an indication it is malnourished and has not been weaned properly, been force weaned and is still hungry. If this happens these chicks usually need to be put back onto their formula and weaned again, properly. This can cause a lot of strain with the new care givers because they're not experienced in this area and don't know what to do and it is not something they have expected.

During the weaning process of a chick you should have several food bowls scattered at the bottom of the cage. This gives the chick the opportunity to play with, experiment, taste all kinds of new food. You don't have to have cooked, warmed or mashed food. Raw is perfectly fine for them to try. 

While some people do want to gain some experience by rearing and weaning a chick, this should never be done unless you are prepared properly for this. Preparation is lots of research. You need to know as much as possible to get your chick the best start. Never presume because you're experienced in rearing other chicks you know what you're doing. Speak to as many breeders as you can and get as much information from them before you decide to do this.

If you prefer to take a safer option and have the breeder/seller wean the chick for you, you should not take the chick until you can see it is eating well on it's own, eating a good variety of foods and is not screaming or crying. It should be bright and alert. And you should allow the chick one month after weaning before you take it home. This gives the seller one month to make sure the chick is well, healthy and sort out any issues that may arise within that time. After the one month mark is over your chick will be fully weaned and healthy with no issues.

Eddie 11 weeks old

The Eclectus parrot has been said to be a difficult parrot to wean in comparison to other

parrot species. If the weaning isn’t done correctly you can end up with many behaviours and severe weight loss, stunted growth, health issues and death. Stunted and malnourished chicks appear to be on the increase with hand rearing today. Some hand rearers or breeders never weigh the bird so never know weather the bird is actually a proper weight and healthy. You can't judge the birds weight properly by looking at a chick and the most accurate way to know how the chick is progressing is to keep a weight chart and weigh them every morning before a feeding. If the weight does decline you can at least be aware this sooner rather than later when it may

be too late.

Other causes are watered down formulas, incorrect mixing of formulas and unhygienic areas where the food is prepared.

Pulling eggs from the parents can also cause many problems. The first 28 days are the most important to the chick because this is the time their growth rates accelerate. From hatching through to 28 days is when they need the booster start to life and the correct feeding. For this reason alone they should be kept with the parents. Only the parents of the chick can give the chicks the best nutritional requirements for successful growth and the best start to life. This is the time, if anything is going to go wrong, it will start now and this is the time they are at risk of being stunted. A chick should not be pulled earlier from the nest unless something has gone wrong with the chick or parents and it has to be done for the chicks own safety. 

Weaning Problems


Thumpy Doo

Bird Hand-Rearer Assistance and Emergency Help Jen’s Facebook group is for people who have come into hand rearing Parrots and need help. This group DOES NOT encourage people to buy, sell or try hand-rearing chicks. It is only here to help those people who already have an unweaned chick and need help. This is dedicated to the help of birds.  Assistance in this area is provided for the sake of the chick’s survival.

Regulation 52 Parks and Wildlife Wester Australia “The department reminds bird keepers that it is an offense under Wildlife Conservation Regulation 52, to sell or take or offer to buy or sell or consign for the purposes of aviculture any young fauna not fully fledged or not able to stand or not able to feed unaided. Penalty up to $2,000”

To clarify this, Any Australian native bird, including parrots and cockatoos cannot be sold unweaned by anyone or to anyone. This includes hobbyists and backyard small breeders. If you have any sort of Australian native parrot or cockatiel, other species of native bird in your aviary, you cannot sell the chicks unweaned. Any non native bird,s exotics such as Macaws, lovebirds etc...any bird, parrot or cockatoo that is not native to Australia have no current weaning regulations.


These sub species weights a only guide. The weights do vary individually. You can have a larger or smaller weighing Eclectus than the guide for any sub species. These weights should only be used as a guide for your Eclectus parrot.

Grand Eclectus Parrot          

Length: 35 cm (13.5 inches)

Weight: 380 - 475 gm

Solomon Island Eclectus Parrot

Length is 33-34 cm

Their average weight today s about 300 - 350 gm

A true sub species can be as hight as 390 - 425 gm

Red-sided Eclectus

Length: 37 cm (14.5 inches)

Their average weight today is about 400 - 450 gm

A true sub species can be as high as 470 - 525 gm

Vosmaeri Eclectus Parrot 

Length: 38 cm (15 inches)

Weight: 430 - 540 gm

Australian Red Sided Eclectus

Length: 40 cm (15.75 inches

Weight 450 - 610 gm

Cali 5 weeks old

Cali 6 weeks old

Cali 7 weeks old

Cali 3 months old