Syringe feeding baby birds
Hand-Feeding Baby Birds | VCA Animal Hospital
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.
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.
FREQUENCY OF HAND-FEEDING COCKATIELS and SMALL PARROTS
|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.
FREQUENCY OF HAND-FEEDING FOR WILD BIRDS
|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
How to feed the found chick, how many times a day
If you find a chick, the first thing you need to do is determine its species. Feeding granivorous, insectivorous and predatory chicks have their own differences. But in the early stages of feeding, you can use the same feeding methods, and then, after finding out what kind of bird you found, transfer the chick to the appropriate feeding.
Here is one of the most common feeding options for granivorous and insectivorous chicks. This nutrient mixture is well used for feeding for chicks and fledglings from the passerine family. To prepare our mixture, we need the following products: Boiled egg, low-fat cottage cheese, raw carrots, meat (beef, chicken, turkey), greens (lettuce, dandelion leaves, wood lice), hamarus and daphnia, Calcium gluconate (shell from boiled eggs) glycerophosphate , children's dry dairy-free porridge or boiled millet (without salt and fat on the water).
Action one. Boil the egg, free from the shell. We free the shell from the shell film. Grind the egg as much as possible, you can use a grater with small holes.
Second step. Boiled meat, it is better to take the pulp from the breast of a turkey or chicken and also chop or divide into fibers. The mixture will require meat 40 (for granivorous) and 60 grams (for insectivorous).
Third step. Take washed carrots of a small size, grate them on a fine grater, then squeeze the juice and we will use the remaining pulp.
Fourth step. We take not sour and not fatty cottage cheese. Cottage cheese should have 0% fat content, anything above is considered fat for poultry. We need 90-110 grams of cottage cheese. Sour cottage cheese must be boiled twice changing the water and then it will be suitable.
Step five. You can use greens to add the mixture, but you can do without it for the chicks. And so you can take the greens listed above, chop and add 1.5 teaspoons to the mixture.
Action six. To the above ingredients, add 1.5 -2 tsp. dairy-free porridge or boiled millet (well boiled, without salt and fat in the water).
Step seven. To the mixture we add the shell from the boiled egg, which must first be ground in a coffee grinder, plus one fourth of the crushed tablet of glycerophosphate. If it is not possible to find glycerophosphate, then you can purchase bone meal and add one fourth tsp. in powder form. At the very least, the shells are enough for now.
Step eight. We take chopped hamarus and daphnia and add about 1 tsp to the resulting mixture. Then we mix everything, it turns out a very thick, crumbly porridge, it should not stick to the fingers. If the mixture is sticky, you can add dairy-free porridge or powdered cereals.
From the resulting mixture we roll small balls no larger than a small pea, focus on the size of the chick's beak. You can feed 2-5 balls at a time and after each feeding drink plain water from an insulin syringe with a removable needle (without a needle) 4-6 drops. A week-old chick should be fed every 1-1.5 hours, older than two weeks of age every 2-4 hours, at three and four weeks of age you can feed 3-4 times a day. Do not forget that the chick is growing and, accordingly, one-time portions of food are growing. A very important point, do not forget to warm the chicks, because at their age they themselves cannot maintain normal body temperature. Warming up promotes better assimilation of feed. Don't forget to control your chick's weight. If possible, show the chick to a specialist. To control the work of the intestines, you can take the litter from the chick for a coprogram, this is an analysis of the digestibility of the feed.
Take care and love your feathered friends and they will love you back.
Bambi veterinary clinic.
You can ask an ornithologist on the forum.
What to feed parrot/canary chicks | Home
Parrot owners sometimes have a question about how and what to feed a parrot chick. Chicks often appear in amateurs, and breeders purposefully breed these beautiful interesting birds. To breed parrots, you need to study a lot of diverse literature in order to find out what you can give food to chicks. After all, it depends on how the pet will grow and develop, its further, already adult, life.
Natural nutrition of parrots
The natural habitat of parrots is the tropics. It is much easier to get food here than in other latitudes. But in order to fully satisfy all their requests, birds have to fly a lot. A huge number of species live in tropical forests and the diet of large species is somewhat different from that of small species. They prefer seeds and fruits of fruit trees. The food includes nuts, berries, inflorescences.
Small parrots, such as budgerigars, prefer small seeds, shoots of fruit plants, grains, berries or fruits. Very fond of grain seeds, even unripe. This sometimes affects the surrounding farmers. After all, birds raid not only grain fields, but also orchards - it is easier to take a ready-made crop than to fly many kilometers in search of food.
With natural nutrition, the diet of the parrot is completely balanced and at the birth of chicks there are no problems with their nutrition. No matter how many babies appear, the female pays special attention and care to each chick. Initially, she feeds them by regurgitating cooked food. This milk from the goiter contains mucous secretions, particles of digested food, which contain all the necessary elements - proteins, minerals, vitamins. After three days, the baby begins to receive less milk, but more digested grain, which the female collects in the crop. Growing up, the chick receives more and more digested food and less milk.
But, there are times when it is necessary to switch to artificial feeding:
- The female is sick or died;
- The chick refuses to eat or is unable to do so;
- Manifestation of aggression towards the newborn;
- The female abandoned the chicks and left the nest;
- Need to isolate a sick baby.
It is necessary to closely monitor the events in the nest and the behavior of the mother and babies in order to come to the rescue in time. In case of any trouble, you can put the chick to another mother or resort to force-feeding.
Ways of artificial feeding of chicks
There are different ways of artificial feeding:
- Pipette or syringe;
- Syringe with tube - directly into the crop.
Hungry chicks or vice versa, it is easy to understand if you listen to how they behave. They squeak for a long time and loudly, which means they need to be fed - they are hungry or have not received the full amount of food.
Diet - how often and how much to feed
When it is necessary to artificially feed or completely feed the chicks, it is important to properly formulate the diet. Useful advice can be given by an expert in this matter or a veterinarian. This will help you get the right food for your parrot chicks and decide how best to feed them.
Nutrition of newborn chicks
Usually the female feeds the babies with goiter milk, gradually adding digested grain to the diet. But if you suddenly had to transfer parrots to artificial feeding, then there are several options. For very tiny ones, some breeders recommend this method:
- Add a little pure water to regular baby food until it becomes liquid.
- Warm the mixture a little (put the vessel on the cheek, it should be pleasantly warm).
- Lay the little parrot upside down, and gently grasp the head with your fingers.
- Dip a thin brush into the mixture and drop a drop (literally) into the beak.
A healthy baby can easily swallow food on his own. On the first days, 2-3 drops are enough to fill him up. You can feed this food for no more than three days.
Another way is to feed the chick with a cannula (a syringe with a rubber or plastic flexible tube). Take an insulin syringe, draw the mixture into it and inject it into the goiter, through cannulas, ready-made food.
The mixture is prepared from the following ingredients:
- 1/4 composition amine;
- 1/4 - decoction of oat grains;
- 2/4 - decoction of millet grains;
- 1/4 - baby food diluted with water.
Lovers ask how often to feed the chick. Feeding in this way occurs every two hours, at night the break can be increased to four hours. After a week, the day break increases to three hours. On the 10th day, baby food containing chopped porridge can be added to the mixture, and on the 15th day, the diet should be strengthened with millet.
Alternatively, chicks are fed simply with a syringe, without a nozzle. Gently hold the head and pour one drop into the open beak, trying to get inside exactly. At the same time, do not rush and be attentive and patient. Let the question not arise how many times a day to feed the chick with a syringe. The technology is the same as in the case of cannula feeding.
After three weeks, the grown parrot can be transferred to feeding with a spoon. The chick does not always accept this transition - it is necessary to patiently, but persistently accustom the baby to a new method. Over time, this will become a habit. The main thing is that one of the chicks starts feeding with a spoon, and the rest will take an example from him.
An important product for the baby is hard-boiled chicken yolk. It must be constantly added to cereals (semolina or millet).
When the older parrots start to fly out, the egg yolk based food should be reduced and transferred to an exotic bird mixture. You need to know that the health of pets depends on the quality of the feed. It is important that it contains the optimal amount of vitamins, minerals and other useful substances.
Various baby food
Many types of food have been developed to ensure that the nutrition of chicks is balanced and healthy. The vitamins necessary for rapid development are contained in green top dressing - these are dandelion, spinach leaves, clover greens. The sprouted grain will give the kids vitamins E and B. For successful digestion, cereals are needed - oatmeal, buckwheat and peas, as well as additives: sand and small pebbles (purchased at pet stores).
To strengthen the skeleton, chalk and bone meal are recommended, which are mixed into the main food. Various microelements will give charcoal, it is mixed crushed into powder. The necessary useful elements (sulfur, magnesium, phosphorus, iron) can be added with eggshells (be sure to boil before grinding).
Do's and don'ts for parrot chicks
When the parrots feel more confident and learn to sit on their perches, thick food can be added to the menu. The next stage of growing up is dry food. When a chick is given liquid porridge, the liquid should be given in small quantities.
In order for artificial feeding of budgerigar chicks to give results and not bring problems, you must follow simple rules:
- Each time prepare a fresh composition so as not to poison the babies.
- After 7 days from birth, introduce natural juices into the diet to strengthen immunity and good growth.
- While the chicks are eating liquid porridge, give water only in extreme heat.
- Do not give grain until the parrot has learned to sit on the crossbars.
- For active development, place a plate with mineral feed in the cage.
The diet of a parrot in nature is very nutritious and high-calorie, so you need to try very hard and choose the right ingredients. This is especially important for chicks from birth to one month of age. When choosing analogues of natural food, it is necessary to fully provide your pets with a complex of vitamins, trace elements and other useful substances.