Are you using a syringe or a spoon? With a syringe (small diameter without a needle of course), you can insert it down her throat and empty the contents directly into the crop.
Here is how I usually do it when I have to do it myself (I'm right handed so you might need to switch...
Birds need plenty of D and D3 to absorb the calcium, otherwise you are wasting it.
I agree 100%. Calcium is useless without the vitamin D.
You can use vitamin supplements, but I always prefer going with a more natural route by adjusting diet - especially with fat soluble...
Sorry about the lousy videography. I had to hold my phone, clicker, target stick, and peas with only two hands.
The tricks are all variations of target training (following a target object) and reinforced with clicker training.
More or less I did the same training you'd do for a parrot...
It's been a while since I read the research on the feather morphology that you referenced but I thought the research was limited to adult feathers and not duckling down. If that's accurate, I wouldn't draw any conclusions about ducklings based on that research.
That said, I firmly...
the problem with ramps is usually going down, not going up. Too steep of a ramp and they'll jump down instead (could be dangerous if the don't have plenty of room in front of the ramp). I've found around 30 degrees to be a good angle for ramps.
the jumping/flying ability of runners varies...
as long as they are eating a balanced diet and drinking normally I wouldn't worry about some being smaller than others.
When I got Moxy and Norie they were part of a shipment of 7 runners from Metzer (we gave the other 5 to a BYCer). Norie was by far the largest of the bunch and Moxy was the...
They are getting plenty of niacin and calcium from foraging natural sources of food. Most insects are a good source of niacin and dark green leafy plants are great for calcium!
Just like with people, supplements are only needed for ducks with unbalanced diets or genetic tendencies...
Moxy is making great progress! She has almost mastered target training! (target training is where your bird will go to a location that you point to using your target item (usually a stick to point with).
I am using a white stick about a foot long that a few weeks ago would make her run away...
My ducks love:
corn (frozen kind - they HATE cracked corn...)
cooked rice (instant rice works)
floating koi fish food (they only like it when it's floating in the water).
lettuce - butter lettuce is their favorite but they love any tender leaf...
If you still want to try switching your budgies to pellets, you can try what I did:
Make muffins for your birds but instead of using flour, use a mixture of ground up pellets and seeds. I usually, substitute water for milk, use less oil than the recipe calls for, and use honey instead...