Bird time to feed the babies

Hand-Feeding Baby Birds | VCA Animal Hospital


General Information 

Hand-feeding baby birds is only a substitute for parents raising birds, but it does have certain advantages. Hand-raised baby birds usually make better pets, as they have been completely socialized with humans. Hand-raised babies grow up with less fear of humans or other potential dangers such as cats, dogs and young children. Hand-feeding is a huge responsibility and requires time, patience, and commitment. Hand-fed baby birds are entirely reliant on you for everything. Hand-feeding is a job best left for the experienced bird breeder or aviculturist. If you’re considering hand-feeding a baby bird, you should contact your local bird breeder or veterinarian for help. This handout is designed to provide some basic guidelines on how to hand-feed.

When do I start hand-feeding a baby bird?

A chick may be removed from its parents any time before weaning, but many suggest leaving the babies with the parents for up to 3 weeks. Older birds may prove to be more challenging in their acceptance of hand-feeding. 

Where do I keep a baby bird?

Precise temperature and humidity is essential for optimum growth of newly hatched birds. Initially, relative humidity greater than 50% is required. Hatchlings (without feathers) should be maintained at 95°-97°F (35°-36°C). As the chick gets older and develops feathers, it has a greater tolerance for temperature fluctuations. 

Generally, the temperature can be lowered by one degree every 2-3 days as feathering progresses. Chicks with new feathers (pinfeathers) should be fine at 75°-85°F (24°-30°C) depending on the development of the feathers. Fully feathered and weaned chicks can be maintained at room temperature. If you are raising a chick, always monitor your bird for signs of overheating or chilling. Wings extended or drooping, and panting indicate overheating. Shivering and cuddling of chicks together indicate that they’re cold.

Poor growth or poor digestion (delayed crop emptying) may indicate poor health (including presence of gastrointestinal tract infections), improper consistency/mixing of hand feeding formula, improper temperature of formula, or improper environmental temperature and humidity. Good quality brooders are available that carefully regulate air circulation, temperature, and humidity. Paper towel, diapers, hand towels, or other soft, disposable products can be used to line the bottom of the brooder and provide secure, clean, dry footing for birds. The bottom liner must be changed frequently to keep birds clean. If the bottom texture is too smooth, chicks’ legs may splay out sideways, leading to permanent deformities. The brooder should be carefully checked to ensure that it does not contain anything for birds to get their wings or legs stuck on or that might cause injury or deformities.

What should I feed my bird?

There are numerous commercially available hand-feeding formulas for baby birds. You should choose one formula and use it until the baby is weaned. Changes in diet may be stressful on the baby's digestion. Be sure to discuss dietary choices with your veterinarian, an experienced bird breeder, or an aviculturist. 

How do I feed my baby bird?

All food must be prepared fresh for every feeding. Food retained from one feeding to another is an ideal medium for the growth of harmful bacteria and yeast. Any food prepared or heated in a microwave oven must be mixed thoroughly to ensure that the food’s temperature is uniform and that there are no hot or cold spots. Food temperature should be at 102°-106°F (39°-41°C) throughout the mixture and should be measured with a thermometer. Food that is too hot may cause severe burns to the crop.

Food that is too cold may be rejected by baby birds and may slow down digestion. Hand-feeding formulas have specific directions on the packaging and explain how they should be mixed.

In general, the younger the bird, the thinner the mixture should be. A day-old chick requires a more dilute mixture (90% water), as it is still utilizing the yolk sac as a source of nutrition. Chicks older than one or two days, should have food containing approximately 70-75% liquid.

"All food must be prepared fresh for every feeding."

Syringes are probably the preferred feeding tool, but some bird owners still prefer a spoon with the sides bent up and inward. Accurate feeding volumes can be recorded with the syringe. Charting daily feedings is important. The natural feeding response of a baby bird is to rapidly bob the head in an up and down motion. This action can be stimulated with gentle finger pressure at the corners of the mouth. During this head bobbing, the trachea is closed and large amounts of food can be given relatively quickly.

If the bird is not displaying a strong feeding response, do not attempt to feed as there is an increased chance of aspiration of food into the trachea and lungs which can lead to death. The best time to feed is when the crop is empty. When full, the crop, which is the sac that hangs over the front of the chest at the base of the neck, will be visibly distended. 


How often and how much do I feed? 

The amount and frequency of feeding depends on the age of the bird and the formula fed. The frequency of feeding for young birds is greater than that of older birds. The following are general guidelines. With newly hatched chicks, the yolk sac is the source of nutrients for the first 12-24 hours post-hatching. Chicks less than one week old should be fed 6-10 times per day (every 2-3 hours).

During the first week of life, some birds benefit from feeding during the night. Chicks that have not yet opened their eyes may take 5-6 feedings per day (every 3-4 hours). Once birds’ eyes open, they can have 3-5 feedings (one every 5 hours). As their feathers start to grow in, they may be fed 2-3 times per day (every 6 hours). Their crops should appear full when they’re done.

Feeding between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. is not necessary at that point when birds are sleeping. The best indication of a healthy, growing chick is a good, strong feeding response at every feeding, with the crop emptying between feedings, and the regular production of droppings (feces). Weight gain should be monitored and recorded at the same time each day using a scale that weighs in grams with 1-gram increments to detect subtle increases or decreases.  Birds’ weights may fluctuate up and down daily but should trend upward over a period of days to weeks. Birds that are not gaining weight should be checked by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

When should birds be weaned off hand-feeding formula? 

Deciding when to wean a bird off of formula is often a difficult decision for both the bird owner and the bird. As a bird gets older and develops a full complement of feathers, it should be encouraged to wean off formula and to eat more on its own. Some babies start weaning themselves by refusing certain feedings.

 Birds should be offered a variety of foods including formulated pelleted diets as well as fresh fruits and vegetables to encourage exploration and experimentation. As food introduction continues, hand-feeding may be withheld at certain times, often starting with the mid-day feedings. As time goes on, the morning feeding may be withheld and ultimately the evening feeding. Some birds learn quicker to eat on their own by watching other birds or older babies eat.

Should I be concerned about disinfection? 

Baby birds have poorly developed immune systems and are more susceptible to developing infections. The brooder should be disinfected regularly. All feeding utensils must be cleaned, disinfected, and dried thoroughly between feedings. Using separate feeding utensils for every individual bird is recommended.

How do I know if something is wrong? 

If you suspect something is wrong with your bird, you should immediately contact your veterinarian. Signs to watch for include: 

  • Chirping or crying all the time
  • Fussing a lot and not sleeping
  • Listless, droopy wings or head
  • Not accepting food
  • Lack of feeding response
  • Slow or lack of crop emptying
  • Poor weight gain
  • Slow growth
  • Abnormal posturing or abnormal wing and/or leg positions
  • Abnormal or lack of droppings
  • Wetness or food on skin over the crop (indicating a possible burn)

Instructions For Hand-Feeding Baby Birds

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The idea of a new baby bird in the family is an exciting proposition that brings a new dimension to your life. However, if you decide to hand-feed your new pet, you will need some knowlege, a lot of patience, and a good diet for a growing bird.

Veterinarians and naturalists have developed techniques for hand raising nesting birds, and there are now easy-to-use special baby bird formulas for feeding the ever-hungry little babies. Higgins Intune Baby Bird Hand Feeding Formula and Higgins Intune Hi Energy Baby Macaw Hand Feeding Formula are super foods that meet the extraordinary nutritional needs of these unusually fast growing babies. It is rice based (sourced from North America) and corn free. inTune® Natural Hand Feeding uses natural and healthy, high end sources for nutritional fat like coconut oil and macadamia nut meal. It is also the only commercial hand feeding formula on the market with natural banana & mango aroma. The need to cook the formula has also been eliminated. It can now be prepared with hot water!

Most baby birds arrive in the world wet, naked, blind, and too weak to support themselves. When fallen from their nest, survival is questionable. Now, with help, they are able to grow and develop normally. Wild birds can be raised and returned to nature. Pet birds learn to accept people as friends. The real benefactors, though, are people. Nature returns many-fold for kindness performed.

The most important considerations in the hand feeding process are the frequency and volume of feeding. Baby birds grow at an extraordinarily rapid rate and this growth requires a great deal of food to meet the nutritional needs of the bird. However, the crop of a young bird holds a limited amount of food, so it must be filled frequently. As the bird gets older, the capacity of the crop increases, and the number of daily feedings will be reduced. The volume to be fed is base upon a combination of observation and judgement.

Check the Fullness of the Crop
Nature designed a rather unique feature into the digestive system of birds-a widening of the oesophagus at the lower pan of the neck This widening acts as a compartment to hold a quantity of food, and is named the crop.

The crop can be easily visualized in young birds while feathering is incomplete. In older birds with a well developed covering of feathers, the fullness can be checked by gently feeling the crop with a thumb and index finger.

The crop should be examined before each feeding. Ideally, in the rapidly growing young bird, the crop should never be allowed to become completely empty. Checking the crop fullness will help determine the frequency and volume of feeding to be given. Normally the crop will empty in 4 hours. A crop that remains full or is not emptying properly indicates some type of problem.

Position Bird for Hand-Feeding.
Wild birds are best fed while in a nest box. They will open their beaks and gape, making feeding very easy. Avoid excessive handling of wild birds. Pet birds are removed from the nest box and placed on a towel. By cupping a hand gently around the baby during feeding , adequate support will be given to position him for eating.

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Carefully Introduce Feeding Device into the Mouth.

The introduction of an eye dropper or syringe into the mouth is relatively easy, as the baby birds will be eager to be fed and will be gaping (opening the beak wide in order to receive the feeding). Occasionally, a bird may not gape, and gentle tapping of the beak with the feeding device will encourage the bird to open its beak. The device should be carefully passed into the left side toward the right side of the mouth.

Administration of the formula should be synchronized with swallowing. Birds swallow with an unusual rhythmic bobbing of the head up and down. While the bird is swallowing, the formula is delivered quickly. With practice, a "feet" for the procedure develops, and, done efficiently, the filling of the crop can be accomplished in a surprisingly short time.

Volume of formula to be Given
The volume of food given is of critical importance. overfilling of the crop could lead to backflow up the oesophagus, into the throat, and down the windpipe, which could cause death. Under-filling the crop might result in starvation.

As t he food material is being delivered, the crop will begin to  fill and bulge in the region of the lower neck. Careful observation and experience are necessary in order to determine when the crop is adequately filled.

Frequently, the bird will stop gaping when the crop is filled; however, some birds, will continue to gape even when filled. Watch closely when filling for any evidence of food material backing up into the mouth. If this occurs, immediately stop until the mouth is cleared.

When the bird appears to have had enough feeding material, determine the state of fullness of the crop to make sure a sufficient amount of feeding was delivered.

Any excess food material on the skin, beak or feathers should he removed with warm water when the feeding is complete. It can be followed with a few drops of warm water to aid in "cleaning the mouth." Feeding utensils should be cleaned immediately after use. Check the anus to be certain no fecal matter has accumulated. Ideally, monitor the bird's weight daily with an accurate scale. A healthy baby gains weight daily.

Preparation of Baby Bird Formula
Follow the manufacturer's directions when mixing the formula.

Important: "Use distilled or boiled water to eliminate bacteria growth from contaminated tap water." The water should be approximately 105-110 degrees. Add the water to the powder gradually while stirring. After thorough mixing to eliminate lumps, the formula should be the consistency of creamy pudding. This thickness will allow it to be drawn into an eye dropper or syringe or will roll off a spoon. For older birds the mixture may be made thicker.

Do not reuse mixed formula. Discard and mix fresh at each feeding.
If really necessary, sufficient amount of formula may be prepared at one time to last 3 days if covered and refrigerated after preparation. The amount needed for each feeding can be heated and fed but not reused. Caution: You might need to add water in the heating process. Diluting formula by increasing water will reduce the concentration of the diet.

Temperature to Feed Formula
The formula should be served warm- 104-106 F- but not hot, as excess heat may damage the digestive tract. It should feel Slightly warm to the touch. It is highly recommended to use a thermometer to measure the temperature.

In order to maintain the heat of the hand-feeding formula mixture, a double-boiler type arrangement can be set up with the container of prepared formula placed in a bowl or pan of warm water during the feeding process.

Feeding Area
Psittacine birds while being fed should be placed on a surface, such as a towel, where there will be insulative properties to prevent excess heat loss and a surface where they can grip with their feet, preventing slippage and possible injury.

Frequency of Feeding
Cockatiels and Small Parrots
Baby birds can be removed from their parents from between 8 to 21 days. Waiting until 2 1/2 to 3 weeks is safer for the beginner, as the bird is hardier due to the presence of some feathering.

Hatching to 1 week.
If the bird was removed from the nest shortly after hatching, for whatever reason, feeding requires special care. There should be no attempts to feed the bird for at least 12 hours after hatching. The crop is very small and will hold only a limited amount of food. After continued use, it will expand. The first feeding at 12 hours should be one drop of water. Approximately 1/2 to 1 hour later, another drop of water may be given. Feeding too frequently during this period may overload the crop and lead to aspiration and death.

After these initial feedings, if the baby appears normal and is excreting, a few drops of very thin formula can be given. In order that the baby bird receive enough food, the hand-feedings are repeated every two hours around the clock.

One to two weeks - Birds can be fed every 2-3 hours around the dock. If the birds are kept especially warm and comfortable, the night feedings after midnight can be eliminated. However, feedings must begin again at 6:00 AM.

Two to three weeks - This is a relatively safe age to remove the baby birds from the nest for hand-feeding. It is easier to check the crop and feed them. The birds of this age can be fed every three to four hours from 6:00 A.M. to midnight.

Three to four weeks - Feed the birds every 4 hours. As feeding frequency tapers off, the formula can be slightly thickened. At 4 weeks, the birds can be put in a cage with low perches. Water in a bowl may be placed inside.

Five to six weeks - Feed the birds twice daily. A pelleted bird food and other foods may be placed in the cage to encourage the bird to eat on its own.

Seven weeks - Birds should be placed in a large cage with pellets in cups and scattered on the floor. Introduce the birds to a variety of succulent foods, but these should not make up more than 20% of the diet. Vegetables such as peas and corn are well accepted.

Birds should not be weaned before 7 weeks, usually about 8 weeks. Before weaning the bird off hand-feeding, keep close watch to see that the bird is actually eating adequate amounts of pellets on its own and not merely nibbling at the food. Handle the crop to determine the fullness and check the breastbone for degree of muscling. A weaning bird may lose as much as 10% of it's weight normally. Any more than that may be an indication of a problem. It is recommended that the bird be weighed regularly through this period.

When first weaning the bird, give them pellets, as these are a nutritionally complete and balanced diet for the bird. It is a good idea to keep an older bird in a cage next to the cage with the young weanling to teach them to eat through mimicry.

If the baby birds are not weaned, they will become "spoiled" and will not eat on their own, preferring to be hand fed. However, if they are weaned too early, they will not eat adequately, gradually lose weight, become weak and die. Therefore, if baby birds are begging to be fed, even after they are weaned, there may need to be a reversal back to hand-feeding as they may not be eating adequately.


Age in Weeks Number of Daily Feedings


Every 2 Hours (Around the Clock)
1 Every 2 Hours (Around the Clock*)
2 Every 3 Hours (6 a.m. to Midnight)

"Safest" Period To Begin Hand Feeding
Every 4 Hours (6 a. m. to Midnight)
4 Every 5 Hours (6 a.m. to Midnight)
5 to 7 Two Feedings Daily

 *If bird is kept especially warm and comfortable, the 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. feedings can be eliminated.

Weaning Period - Important -
Make sure bird is eating adequately on its own before discontinuing hand-feeding. Check fullness of crop.

Housing and Heat
A small cardboard box approximately 12" x12"xl2" or a small fish aquarium with layers of paper towels over a one inch padding of cloth towelling on the bottom will serve as an incubator and holding area while the babies are young. A heating pad is placed under 1/2 of the box or aquarium. A towel is placed over the top. Either the heating pad setting or the amount of the top that is covered by the towel may be adjusted to provide a constant 85-90' for non-feathered birds. The temperature is gradually reduced as they become feathered and mature. It is recommended to observe the babies carefully to determine their comfort level. A cold baby will shiver and a baby that is too hot will not sleep well and will breathe heavily through an open mouth. A bottle or tin filled with water and holes punched in the lid to allow for evaporation will help to provide humidity.

Frequency of Feeding
The frequency and volume of feedings given to baby birds are largely determined by their age. Judging the age of wild birds is difficult if untrained, so the best way to determine feeding requirements is through the use of readily observable changes in the bird. For example, whether or not the eyes are open, and if the bird is standing up "off their hocks."

Before the eyes are open
If the baby birds appear strong and are peeping with their mouths gaping open, then they can eat as much as they want. Ideally, baby birds of this young age should be fed every 15-20 minutes until their eyes are open. They can go up to 30 minutes without a feeding with no ill effects; however, more frequent feedings are preferred. They do not require around-the-dock feeding as in nature, they are fed only during daylight hours. In accordance with this, they are given feedings for a 12 hour period. Nonetheless, hand-feeding wild birds is quite a commitment, as it requires nearly 50 feedings per day.

When the eyes are open
As the bird becomes older, the frequency of hand-feeding can be reduced and the volume increased. Efforts can be initiated to get the bird to eat on its own. When a bird initially opens its eyes, it can be fed every half hour unless hungry or peeping.

When birds are "off their hocks"
When birds become stronger and begin to stand on their legs ("off their hocks'), then feedings can be given every 45 minutes. Time between feedings can steadily increased, and when the bird is out of the nest, feedings can be given at 2 hour intervals.


Age Number of Daily Feedings

Before Eyes Are Open:

Feed Bird Every 15 Minutes (12 Hour Period)
Eyes Are Open: Feed Bird Every 30 Minutes (12 Hour Period)
Off Their Hocks Feed Bird Every 45 Minutes (12 Hour Period)
Bird Out Of Nest:
(Standing On Their Own)
Feed Bird Every 2 Hours (12 Hour Period)

*Wean at 15 Days
IMPORTANT-Bird must be eating adequately on its own.

Wild birds should begin showing interest in their surroundings and start to eat on their own by 15 days. Provide live food (meal worms) and grass, twigs, etc. in the nest to stimulate interest in the environment. Spreading seed on the bottom of the nest will also encourage the bird to eat on its own.

During the weaning period, it is critical to keep a close watch on the bird in order that good nutrition is maintained. Many times, a bird may be pecking at seed, giving the impression that it is eating, when in actuality, it is not taking in enough for maintenance. Therefore, it is very important to observe if the bird is eating seed during this period and regularly check the crop for fullness.

If other young birds who are eating on their own are present, placing the baby bird in the same cage will hasten socialization, and the bird will learn to eat on its own through the imitation of others.

Housing For Wild Baby Birds
Following nature's design, a nest is constructed. The sides are formed from cloth rolled to a diameter of 1 1/2 inches and then forming a circular shape like a doughnut.   The nest would have a diameter of 4-8 inches, depending upon the number and size of the babies. The 1 1/2' height makes the sides of the nest sufficiently high to keep the babies in the nest, but low enough to allow the baby bird to scoot backwards and pass his waste over the side of the nest.

Paper towels are placed in the bottom of the nest to a depth of 1/2 inch and then placed over the top of the entire nest. The towels are arranged to form a sloping surface which enables the bird to back up to the top of the nest to eliminate, and the paper towels can be easily replaced to maintain cleanliness.

Heat and Humidity
To provide heat in the nest box, a heating pad can be placed under half of the nest and dialed to a setting which will maintain temperature of 85-90 degrees for non feathered birds and gradually reduced as they become feathered. By placing heat under half the nest, the bird is able to select the area where the temperature is most comfortable. The box should be kept covered. A bottle or tin filled with water and holes punched in the lid to allow for evaporation will help to provide proper humidity.

While raising wild birds is rewarding, please, do not make a wild bird a pet. For more information contact your local Wildlife Agency, local Rehabilitation Center, Humane Society, State Fish and Game Agency or the Federal United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

Weaning Pet Birds With Avi-Cakes Food
Your pet birds have received a good start in life through the nutritional benefits of Nutri- Start baby bird food. It is important to continue with high-quality nutrition during the weaning stage and beyond. Lafeber's Avi-Cakes are an excellent weaning food for your birds.

When birds reach the weaning stage, simply break Avi-Cakes into small pieces and spread them near the babies. They will first investigate the food; then, pick it up and start self-feeding. (Supply fresh Avi-Cakes daily.) When the babies are eating the Avi-Cakes you will first want to eliminate the middle of the day hand-fed meal. As the birds continue eating on their own, discontinue the morning and finally the evening hand-fed meal.

Since Avi-Cakes provide complete nutrition for pet birds, you may continue feeding Avi-Cakes or you may choose one of the other fine quality foods manufactured by Lafeber Company.

This bit of information was brought to you by Lafeber Bird Foods

What to do if you find a chick?

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› I found a chick! What to do?


"He's so tiny, defenseless and clumsy" - probably everyone who sees a little chick that has fallen out of the nest thinks so. You just want to take him home, giving him warmth and care. But does the little creature need it? nine0003

166 v.1

Summer is the time when gardens, forests and parks decorated with luxurious lush green dress, pleasant aromas and twitter birds . Seems like the melody comes from everyone sides. Here is a starling lurking on a branch, a sparrow walks along the path, and in the distance the lark gives out its sonorous “chill-chelp”. And who knows: maybe one of them the chicks are already growing. They sit in the nest and wait for their parents while they are in search of food. They are still so small that they can easily fall out of the nest. And what if it's you you will notice in the grass one of these chicks? nine0003

What to do when you find a chick?

Imagine Friend, what happened during the walk adventure. Did you find a little chick and don't know how to do it right leave it or take it home. Read further - and I will tell you what and how make.

More often of all people find chicks that learn to fly. They are called fledglings. Trying to flap their wings, they sometimes fall out of the nest. nine0003

At the fledgling already has feathers, although they very short. Of course he still can't. return home on your own. Notes do not worry and do not rush to take the chick.

Fledgling does not fly yet, but already knows how to jump and flutter wings.

What what to do if you find a fledgling? Let's Consider situations that could happen and figure out how to act. nine0003

you found a chick near a tree. Look around around. Check if you can see the nest anywhere: the chick could not fly far. listen - and, perhaps, you will hear how a chick called brothers and sisters. If nests You never found it or is it located too high, just leave the chick near a tree; his parents find him.

Fledgling was far from the forest or garden (near roads, on school steps or on porch of the house). nine0044 B in such places the chick is in danger: it can become the prey of a cat or dog. To prevent this from happening, take the chick away from trees and bushes.

Friend, even if the parents never arrived to the chick, you have nothing to worry about. fledgling learns very fast fly. Therefore, perhaps in a few hours, he will independently go to mom and dad - and will definitely meet them.

nine0043 On the chick's body is wounded. B In this case, you cannot leave it. Need contact the Special rehabilitation center or veterinary clinic: they will tell you there what to do.

you stumbled not on one fledgling, but immediately on several, and next to it is a broken nest. This is often comes from strong winds. If the nest at least a little survived, "repair" it with the help of twigs and dry grass. nine0003

If but it is completely broken, you need to make new home for the chicks. Well if You noticed birds near the house: you can quickly find an old little basket or cardboard box, line new "nest" paper towels and hang on a branch with a metal wire.

When can I take my chick home?

Take away found chick can only go home when there is a sharp necessity. After all, no matter how hard you try man take care of him, nothing will replace the natural conditions of life for the chick. nine0003

Take a chick is possible if it is:

  • just born: he has no feathers at all, he is blind and almost does not move;
  • injured and veterinarian there is no clinic in your area or she is very far away.

Take a chick under your care is, Friend, a big a responsibility. Therefore, you must should consult with parents before you make a decision. nine0003

So, if You found a chick and brought it home, the first thing you must do is feed him.

When and what does the chick eat?

At chicks have a very fast metabolism: this means that the food digested instantly. give food chick you'll have from dawn to sunset: approximately 6 a. m. to ten o'clock. Need to feed often every 15-20 minutes. That is up to 65 times in a day! Now just imagine how parent birds have to work looking for food for the kids. nine0003

Hungry the chick immediately weakens. So don't waste time and quickly feed your ward.

To him can be given:

  • boiled eggs;
  • flour Khrushchakov;
  • zoobuses;
  • crickets;
  • caterpillars;
  • butterflies;
  • flies;
  • Zhukov.

Pay Attention! Chicks should not be fed bread, milk or seeds. Dangerous for them Colorado beetles, ladybugs and hairy caterpillars.

For little chick food needs to be crushed and bring to the beak with tweezers. And if he refuses to eat, then you have to feed it from a syringe without a needle. For this food you need to crush it well and add a few drops of water if the mixture got dry. nine0003

AT in other cases, give water to the chick no need. The main thing is variety. diet: it should not only be dry food (crickets, cockroaches), but also wet (worms, caterpillars).

Making a nest for a chick

You, probably want to make for tiny chick the best house - small and cozy. But really he needs not beautiful, but only warm place. So it's enough to do modest housing for a chick. nine0003

What Do you need it for this?

  • Cardboard box with sides at least 10 cm high.
  • plastic or wooden bowl.
  • Paper towels.
  • Sawdust.
  • Pieces of fabric.

If You don't have an ordinary cardboard box, then there is definitely an unnecessary box in which Once upon a time there were shoes. She fits perfectly to build a nest the chick can settle. into the box put in a small bowl. fill her up sawdust, hay and scraps of cloth. Or you can just line it with white paper towels or towels. In such a nest, the chick will be pleased, warm and soft. nine0003

Pay Attention! Not allowed line the nest with cotton. Not suitable for this and knitting threads - they have a chick can easily get tangled and damaged paw or wing. No way make a nest from fresh grass and leaves - the chick will they are cold.

Sure, You made it easy with the nest! But it's still Not all. To make the chick feel as comfortable as possible, you must provide special conditions for him. nine0003

chick should be warm. Need keep the same temperature in the nest. The optimal indicator is 35 degrees: You will definitely need thermometer to monitor it.

warm up chick You can in several ways:

  • Fill with warm water sealed bag with plastic clasp and put on it nest box.
  • nine0079 Pour warm water in a plastic bottle, wrap with a cloth or paper towels and put near the nest.
  • Put the box on an electric heating pad, setting on it minimum temperature.

Every week, the temperature can be lowered by three degrees until the chick get used to room temperature regime.

box with a nest can not be left in a draft. nine0044 The chick is still too small, and its body is not can store heat. So the baby is very sensitive to both low and high temperature.

Not make noise where the chick is. He afraid of loud noises. It may provoke stress, dangerous for chick health.

Tips for proper chick care

Friend, I told you in detail what to do with a tamed chick. And finally I want to leave another mini-memo: promise that you abide by these rules. nine0003

  1. Don't worry baby once again: do not pick up and do not stroke. He doesn't like it.
  2. Put on your gloves if you're going to touch a bird: it can carry infections. And be sure after that wash your hands with soap.
  3. Don't shift chick from one place to another, even if you think he is uncomfortable lies.
  4. Follow the routine feeding the chick: do not give him food more than every 15 minutes and at least than in 25-30. nine0080
  5. change napkins in the nest you need as often as you feed chick. Just see how dirty they are and wet, new beds.
  6. Don't look at chick on top: this is how he will perceive You as a predator.
  7. Don't put the box with the nest up high because when the chick will grow up a little, maybe flutter and fall.

Friend, You should know that chick that grew up at your house, can no longer return in natural conditions. Therefore, you you have to leave it to yourself. nine0003

Well here! Now you know what to do if found a chick. But always remember that not you need to take the chick home if he nothing threatens . He will be best in his natural home.

Read same:

  • Winter birds in Ukraine ,
  • Where to birds fly away for the winter and how they find the way home? nine0020

Tags: Animals

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What to do if you find a chick. And 3 more important facts about people and birds

In the summer, children not only take a break from lessons, but also communicate with wildlife. I want to teach them how to take care of her. We recently wrote about how to properly communicate with wild animals. This time we are talking about birds that can be found in summer. What to feed them? What to do if you find a chick on the ground? Explains Olga Kulikova, ornithologist, employee of the Institute of Biological Problems of the North, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. nine0003

What kind of birds can be found in Moscow and the region? All these regions have different birds. Only in the European part of Russia you can meet 300 species of birds.

In winter, these are tits, woodpeckers, nuthatches, pikas that gather in parks and squares around feeders. Predators also come here for prey. For example, recently a Sparrowhawk was photographed on Pyatnitskaya Street, in the very center of Moscow. nine0003

In summer there are much more birds: buntings, field thrushes, there are many nightingales in Moscow. Greenfinches (these are small birds with white spots on their wings), finches (beautiful bright birds), robins, or, as they are popularly called, robins (with bright red breasts). Starlings, flycatchers, warblers. Birds that feed in the air, such as flycatchers and warblers, are the hardest to see. They need to be looked out for in the crown of trees. But thrushes, which like to look for food in the litter under the trees, are easy to find. For example, in the park near the main building of Moscow State University, where I studied, there is a large colony of fieldfare thrushes. They are very active, large, they are not afraid of a person - they whistle, cackle, rattle, crackle like rattles. nine0003

Fieldfare thrush (lat. Turdus pilaris)
Wikimedia Commons / nottsexminer / CC BY-SA 2.0

If a child finds a chick on the ground ruined, for example, a predator attacked him. More often, the chicks do not fall out, but jump out of the nest on their own when it is time for them to start feeding on the ground. Grown up chicks do not fit in the nest, especially when there are a lot of them (passerine birds usually lay a lot of eggs: tits, for example, up to 12). And then the chicks jump out. They don't know how to fly yet, so they jump on the grass and shout loudly to show their parents where they are. If you watch such a chick, you can see that adults regularly fly up to it and feed it: parents know where their offspring are. nine0003

In other words, in many birds, such as sparrows or thrushes, jumping out of the nest is a normal stage of development. Therefore, if you find such a chick, it is better not to touch it. Putting such a bird back into the nest is not worth it: most likely, it is already so big that it simply does not fit. Plus, it is difficult to find a nest, the birds hide them well - and they are very worried if someone approaches them. Especially the man whom the birds perceive as a predator. If you find a nest with chicks, they themselves will start jumping out of there to avoid death from a predator. If the chick jumps on the roadway or asphalt, where scooters and bicycles are ridden, it can be taken to the lawn or planted on a tree branch. Parents will definitely find it by sound. nine0003

If a child finds an injured bird

It happens that birds hit the windows, and then you can find a stunned bird. Sometimes they just don't see the glass, especially if it's well washed. On such glasses it is better to hang silhouettes of predators - a hawk or a falcon. They can be downloaded from the Internet and printed - or simply bought.

If you find a stunned bird, then you can bring it home, put it in some box so that no one on the street will eat it. You don't need to feed the bird, you just need to give it a drink and come to your senses. Soon the bird will be able to fly away on its own. In general, birds are difficult to feed at home, most often they need insects. You yourself will not catch flies with them. nine0003 Robin (lat. Erithacus rubecula). Photo: Shutterstock / Dalibor Sevaljevic

If a bird is injured, then it all depends on the situation. Without a leg, a bird will survive quite well, this has been proven. But if the wing is broken, then there is practically no chance of her getting out so that she lives again in the wild. So it’s worth taking it home to nurse only if you are ready to leave the bird as a pet. To do this, you will have to read special literature, pick up food. In the wild, such a bird cannot live. nine0003

There are rehabilitation centers in Moscow, but they are more likely to take rare birds of endangered species. Most likely, no one will carry out a complex operation on an ordinary passerine bird. If you find an injured bird, you can try contacting the Green Parrot Hospital (there are branches in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Balashikha) or the Sparrow Bird Park (located in the Kaluga Region). In the latter they help rather large birds - herons, hawks.

"Swifts - a special case"

Swifts are a special case. Although these are rock birds, there are a lot of them in Moscow. Swifts are special in that they spend their whole lives in the air: they sleep, eat, mate on the fly. They become attached to a hard surface only when they have eggs and chicks that cannot yet fly.

Swifts should never be on the ground: they cannot take off from the ground by themselves. Therefore, if the swift is sitting on the ground, then something has happened to it. He could, for example, be shot down by a crow on the fly. If you have found a swift and it has no visible damage, then you can simply throw it into the air - and it will fly, everything will be fine with it. If the swift is stunned, then you can drink it and then, after some time, try to throw it up. nine0003 Swift (lat. Apus apus). Photo: Shutterstock / Dilomski

If you find a little shearling that has fallen out of the nest and is not yet able to fly, then you can try to feed him at home (otherwise he will not survive). You need to keep in mind that this is a big and difficult job, as if you had a baby. The shearling needs to be fed every hour or two, including at night (swifts generally eat all the time when they fly, their beak is designed like a net for all sorts of midges and mosquitoes).

Another haircut needs to be constantly watered. It is difficult, but very inspiring: a fed swift will then be able to live in the wild. When you let him go, he will join some nearest flock, and in the fall he will fly to Africa. He will find a way himself, in swifts this knowledge is sewn at the genome level. nine0003

If a child wants to help birds

If a child wants to somehow communicate with birds, help them, then he can do several things. In the spring, you can build a nest box or a birdhouse - they are different for different hollow-nesting birds, for example, for starlings, tits, flycatchers. Examples of nest designs can be found on the web, but the main thing to remember is that the smaller the notch (hole-entrance), the more the bird will like it, because some kind of predator like a cat or weasel will not be able to climb there. nine0003 Common starling (lat. Sturnus vulgaris). Photo: Shutterstock / Ja Crispy

In winter, you can make a feeder and hang it somewhere on the window. It is important to feed the birds properly. For some reason, many people think that birds should be given millet, but, in fact, this is a rather meaningless food for them: it is low in calories and almost indigestible. It is better to put unroasted seeds in the feeder, hang unsalted lard on strings. In general, oddly enough, many birds need to be fed with meat, minced chicken or an egg. There are granivorous birds, they have such a thick powerful beak, like bullfinches. If a bird has a thin beak and has “antennae” on it, then the bird eats insects and needs protein food. nine0003

In the dacha, you can make a pond in the garden, finches and sparrows will fly into it to swim. I saw similar ponds in Montenegro. They make wells with faucets for people to use, and under the faucet they install a sink or a bath where the remaining water is collected.

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