What to feed baby parakeets
Feeding parakeets in captivity - Rehabber's Den
Hand-feeding baby parakeets
New born babies and younger nestlings are fed formula with a syringe. The formula must always be fresh and warm and fed with sterile syringes.
Older nestlings and fledglings must be fed using a pair of blunt-tipped forceps. You must ensure that their food is mashed and very soft when shifting the chicks from formula to feeding with a forceps.
If comfortable, you may even use a pair of chopsticks as they serve the same purpose. Refrain from letting the feeder touch the beak or tongue of the baby. Your touch must be light, only gently dropping food in the baby’s mouth.
It is easy as easy to feed older babies by hand but you must refrain from doing so to prevent the chicks from building a positive and dependent association with the human hands.
Feeding by themselves
Baby parakeets will attempt to feed themselves at about the time they fledge. Fruits, skinned and chopped into small pieces, are great to start them off. Leave a small plate of chopped fruit in front of the young bird and lift pieces of food from it and feed them. They immediately get the idea. Encourage eating by placing the fruit plate in front of them when they are hungry before attempting to feed them. The young ones will be too impatient to wait for you.
Do note that baby birds attempting to feed by themselves may not necessary get a tummy-full by themselves so continue to feed them until they are consuming adequate quantities by themselves.
Seeds, nuts, grains and bigger pieces of fruits must be introduced subsequently, giving the bird a new challenge and something new to explore each time. Once the birds are a little older and their balance improves, they will attempt to hold pieces of food in one foot and nibble at it.
Empty and full crop
Baby birds require smaller and frequent feeds as it matches their feeding patterns in nature. Some birds though may prefer a big feed at certain times [eating a “crop-full” so to say] and then only ask for food once their crop is empty.
This lil’ boy, for example, would nibble on his food all through the day and then quite literally have a crop-full before going to bed. If you are unable to feed them frequently and prefer to keep them on 4-6 feeds a day, you will notice that their crop fills up after feeds and the babies start begging for their next meal once it empties.
Although baby birds get adequate water from their food, they will start drinking some water by fledging age. It is good practice to keep a shallow bowl of fresh water for them every day. The water must be changed if they walk or jump into their water bowls as they frequently will.
Baby bird droppings
Baby bird poop is sort of capsulate in form. This makes it easier for the parent birds to lift the poop and throw it out of the nest once it dries. Poop may vary in colour and structure depending upon the diet given.
New-borns may simply be kept in small nesting cups (like the one below) and placed in a bigger box or incubator. They require external heat for most of the day. Their skin is extremely tender and their bedding must always be soft and clean. Feathered nestlings maybe shifted to boxes with stuffed toys.
The chicks must never be placed on cloth towels directly as their claws/nails tend to get caught in the cloth loops causing them extreme discomfort and ensuing a frantic struggle to free the legs. Lining the nesting cups with paper towels not only ensures that the chicks are on a softer surface but also makes it easier to replace soiled bedding.
Fledglings may be shifted to cages or offered low perches for at least part of the day. Their legs will not be strong enough to hold on for long durations and they must not be forced to spend long hours on perches. Instead, let them decide to move wherever they feel most comfortable.
N.B. Birds under rehab must never be confined to cages – they must be free to move at will, and restricted only to larger enclosures or aviaries.
The young birds must have access to a dark, quiet and covered space at night. This may be a cage covered with a cloth, a nest box, a cardboard box, big earthen pot or any such similar comfortable structure that the bird feels secure in. This nesting space must be at a height for older birds. While older birds may prefer to sleep in the open, the bird’s preference will often depend upon weather conditions – open spaces in the pleasant summer nights and enclosed spaces during cooler winters.
Stuffed toys for orphans
Baby animals, by nature, are either always huddled against their siblings or they cling to their parents. This need may have developed as a need for warmth (heat and thermoregulation) but close proximity to their ‘families’ often signifies comfort and safety for young animals.
Orphaned babies often find great comfort in stuffed toys and cling to them closely. This has two advantages for rehabbers: it not only helps the baby feel secure and comfortable but also weakens the dependency and bonding with the caretaker – often a helpful strategy in rehab. This seems to be particularly helpful when hand-raising lone youngsters as grouped babies naturally turn towards their siblings and other conspecifics for companionship and comfort.
As soon as their legs get stronger, the young birds will want to climb everywhere and explore. Psittacines are quite unique in their ability to use their beak as an additional limb – they will hold on to things with their beak and climb about as much as they can. Encourage this by providing closely spaced branches and perches for the young birds. Perches must always be of natural wood, i.e. tree branches, as artificial perches may be uncomfortable and cause foot problems, infections and diseases.
Watching the world outside
By fledging age, the young birds will be very curious about the world outside. They will spend most mornings and evenings by the windows and curiously watch all movements and listen to all sounds outside.
Parakeets are especially communicative birds and the young ones will respond to all parakeet calls. They will often communicate and interact with wild parakeets, with even an exchange of food not being unheard of. This lil’ boy had a habit of announcing his arrival at the window every single time, just in case somebody responded :o)
Introducing water baths
Baths are a great way for birds to keep themselves clean. Parakeets are naturally attracted to water and thoroughly enjoy their baths. Baby birds though will have to be introduced to baths. Being naturally curious they will readily explore novel things in their vicinity. Simply putting out a shallow bowl of water and making some splashing sounds in the bowl will attract the birds to the bath.
Baby birds will naturally follow your hand movements and approach the water. They may first attempt to drink the water (which they will not like initially, esp. since drinking reflex is not natural to baby birds). If unsure or confused, the young birds may even dance around the water bowl and flutter their wings in excitement as if they were in the water themselves. They will soon take a plunge and enjoy a bath.
Never force the birds to experience water. Allow them to explore it when they are ready. Just knowing that you are close by and playing in (or rather with) the water yourself is often adequate to encourage the birds.
Playing in water
Once the birds enjoy their initial experiences with water, they return readily for baths. Bath water must always be lukewarm and never cold. It is good practice to offer the birds a bath in the afternoons every day. Although infrequent baths are advisable during the winters and colder spells of weather.
Some birds also enjoy mist baths/sprays just as much as their water baths. They readily lift their wings so that they may be sprayed under the wings and thoroughly enjoy the process.
Birds are heavily dependent upon their feathers and need to keep them in prime condition. Preening is not only crucial to remove parasites but also to keep their feathers clean and well-combed. Preening also ensure that the oils from the uropygial or preen glands is well spread over the feather, forming a protective layer over the feather and keeping them in good condition.
Baby birds start preening by the time the feathers erupt but may not be able to preen effectively. They may be wiped down with a warm moist cloth to ensure they remain clean and no food or droppings stick to them.
Cleaning beak after feeding
Baby birds are messy eaters and are likely to get food all over even when being hand-fed. While older birds will meticulously clean their beaks, younger ones must be wiped clean. This is essential as baby birds with food residue are extremely vulnerable to ant attacks.
Birds naturally clean their feet a couple of times a day as a process of grooming. If a bird is excessively fiddling with the feet or grooming (unusually) frequently, it is a sign of discomfort. In all likelihood, the bird has been sitting on an uncomfortable perch which has resulted in the discomfort. Also remember to keep an eye for splinters if you notice any perches with frayed edges; and replace unsuitable perches promptly.
Yawning and stretching
These are simply some cute pics…
Animals are most vulnerable when they are asleep. It is thus a natural tendency for any animal to seek out enclosed spaces that offer them some privacy. Although baby birds will accept perches, they may prefer to seek out their own spaces, much like this baby bird who found my teddy and refuses to sleep anywhere else but on the teddy during the day.
Please note: This is simply a photographic account to help you visualize the hand-raising process better. Please refer to our protocol on the rehab of ring-neck parakeets for detailed guidelines on infant care, feeding and rehabilitation. The protocol is available on my website:
I thank my superstar, baby bird Breeze, for putting up with my intrusive camera and giving a most awesome collection of videos and photographs. It has been endearing to watch you grow and explore your new world… you have taught me so much more about baby birds like yourself!
You are now just a few steps away from freedom and I eagerly look forward to your integration with the wild parakeets that you so longingly watch and call out to. Bless you! Soar the skies!!
A big thank you to small baby bird, Kaito, for those endearing baby pics. I can’t wait for you to grow into a big and strong bird like Breeze and soar the skies together.
Thank you, Jagdish mama for coming over and taking photographs of the little baby bird.
Corina, thank you so much for your appreciation of this photographic draft and for your constant support and encouragement and help with the babies and the protocols.
Photographic guide published in 2013
Feeding Baby Parakeets | Parakeet Chicks | Parakeets | Guide
Rearing chicks by hand is very time-consuming, and should not be done without full appreciation of what’s involved. Always make sure to seek expert advice for any aspect of chick-feeding, and take time to watch some instructional videos. This will boost your confidence and minimise the chance of you messing something up.
Even if you have a healthy pair of birds doing all the hard work for you, you should still know what to do if things don't quite go to plan. Mishaps could be anything from a sick male bird (meaning that he won’t be able to feed the hen) to an abandoned nest. Baby parakeets are very delicate creatures, and if the mishap occurs early in the rearing process -- within the first two weeks -- your chances of successfully weaning the birds are slim. Rearing a freshly-hatched bird is something none but the most experienced breeder should attempt.
A six-week-old parakeet
Feeding Parakeet Chicks
There are several parakeet chick feeds and additives that can be purchased online or in larger pet-stores.These should offer the correct mix of nutrients, vitamins and minerals needed to raise the chicks. Always make sure to consult with an expert before opting for any particular brand. Don’t be tempted to make a choice based on price, as cheap mixes are often not good enough for such fragile, young creatures.
Chick food should be mixed according to the instructions on the packet. It will usually have a gloopy consistency, and, like Baby Bear’s porridge, should be neither too hot nor too cold. If the feed is too hot, it can scald the bird’s crop and throat: if too cold, it may lodge itself in the chick’s crop and lead to a fatal condition known as “sour crop”. Again, just make sure you read the instructions.
The food each chick receives should be carefully measured, and should be served at a temperature similar to that of the regurgitated seed of an adult bird (the chick's natural food source). You can use a thermometer to measure the temperature precisely. Never be tempted to heat up the food quickly in the microwave, as this can lead to hot spots in the food. An ideal temperature for this food is between 105-110F.
How to Feed Parakeet Chicks
The food can be offered on a plastic spoon with bent edges (dip the end of a standard plastic teaspoon in boiling water and then bend the edges inward -- this funnels the food into a relatively narrow gap), or alternatively you can feed them via a wide-nozzle syringe. Many breeder rig up their own spoon-syringe hybrid
The syringe is good as it allows you to measure the quantity of food you are administering` There are however choking hazards to beware of though, so a spoon is advisable once the chick is old enough to feed this way (at around 10 days old). The spoon allows the chick to swallow the food at it’s own pace, but does not recreate the “regurgitated seed” flow as well as the syringe.
Experts may sometimes opt for a “crop-needle”, this is a tube attached to the end of a syringe and inserted directly into the chick's crop. This takes a lot of care, however, and should not be attempted if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing.
No matter what feeding method you opt for, make sure all equipment is suitably sterilized before giving it to the chick, and any unused food should be discarded. Always make the food fresh and refrain from preparing it ahead of time.
Keeping a young chick warm whilst feeding them is also important. They should be placed onto a cosy towel or similar soft object for feeding. The aim here is to impersonate a soft, warm hen.
Gently tap on the bird’s beak with your spoon or syringe, just like it’s mother would. The bird will obligingly gape (open it’s beak to receive the food). Deliver the mixture sideways on, coming in at a 90 degree angle to the front of the beak (i. e. don’t feed from the front, as this could force the upper part of the beak too far upwards, and it’s not the way parent birds approach the job).
Don’t syringe or pour in all the food at once. The chick needs time to swallow, and can easily choke on too much too soon. It will let you know when it’s had enough, by simply closing its beak and refusing to reopen. If the bird hasn’t eaten its usual amount, don’t force-feed it. If the lack of appetite persists for the next few feeds, seek medical advice. A blocked crop can sometimes be remedied with a small squirt of warm water and some gentle crop-massage – but you really need to know what you’re doing. Always have the vet or breeder’s phone details at hand.
The food will have cleared from a healthy chick’s crop within 2-4 hours depending on it;s age, and it will need feeding every 3-4 hours. As stated above, if your chick isn’t hungry, it won’t gape. Feeding is a full time job, at least six times a day, and you can only retire at sunset. No one said this is going to be easy!
baby parakeets grow alarmingly quickly, and their food intake needs to grow with them. At two weeks old, depending on the chick’s size, they will take 2-4ml at each feed. At three weeks this increases to 4-6ml, and 5-8ml by five weeks old.
Feeding a 3 Week Old Parakeet
Things become much easier at 3 weeks old. The parakeet chick will now resemble an unkempt miniature dinosaur, with a rather ugly mix of down and pin feathers, and a lot of the character and curiosity that will stay with them throughout their lives. At this point in their lives feeding won’t be such a challenge. Usually every four hours. The bird will happily receive your attentions throughout 16 hours on a long summer’s day, though.
A five-week-old parakeet
Feeding a 5 Week Old Parakeet
At around 5 weeks old you can start putting food on the ground or in bowls, and letting the parakeet indulge in its natural instinct to forage. At around 6-7 weeks old the bird should be fully self-sufficient. You will still need to keep an eye on their feeding behavior, however, as not all parakeets become independent as swiftly as the average bird. Some hand feeding may still be in need at seven weeks old.
What to feed a budgerigar? - Sami with Mustache
Most people who have budgies for the first time start out feeding them only grains. But the diet of birds should be varied: you need to include fruits, vegetables and even branches in it.
The second common mistake when feeding a pet is to give him human food, such as cheese or bread.
What products can be included in the pet menu, and which ones can be abandoned forever, we will consider in this article.
Cereals are the basic food for birds. This is the easiest answer to the question of how to feed a new friend.
Grains normalize the work of the digestive tract. Make sure your pet has constant access to food.
You can buy grain mixture at the pet store or make your own. The food is available in transparent and opaque packages. The advantage of the former is that you see the composition and quality.
In the second case, it is worth buying from trusted manufacturers. Grains must be sold in vacuum bags.
The best option is to make your own mixture. Optimal ratio of grains (in percent):
- yellow millet - 50;
- red millet - 25;
- white millet - 15;
- shelled oats - 10.
It is necessary to monitor the state of the mixture. If she has grown old, mold has appeared or bugs have started, you can’t feed the parrot with this.
The healthiest fruits and vegetables for parrots
Budgerigars' favorite treats are fruits and vegetables. They contain vitamins, trace elements and fiber, which are necessary for birds. It is recommended to add these products to their menu all year round.
- Cabbage. The main vegetable for a parrot in winter. It is stored for a long time, contains many useful trace elements. Give the leaves raw, without the stalk. Broccoli, white cabbage or Beijing cabbage are allowed.
- Carrot. Cut into small pieces or rubbed on a grater. Use only fresh vegetables. Bird from carrots receives vitamin C and beta-carotene. You can mix carrots with other vegetables.
- Cucumbers. Helps to better assimilate the rest of the products. Quench thirst, contain vitamins E, microelements.
- Tomatoes. In the summer season, be sure to include them in the bird's diet. Tomatoes contain vitamin B, ascorbic acid. Give the pulp only ripe fresh fruits. Unripe tomatoes are contraindicated for birds.
- Beets. Contains a large amount of antioxidants. It, like cabbage, is given raw all year round. In addition to saturating the bird's body with vitamin A and C, beets normalize digestion.
Zucchini is a storehouse of fiber. Be sure to give it raw. Helpful for proper bowel function.
From fruits and berries, you can give a feathered pet:
- citrus fruits,
In summer, the parrot can be fed with melon and watermelon.
Fruits and berries must be peeled and pitted. Cut large fruits into pieces. In winter, fresh fruits are replaced by dried fruits, such as raisins or dates.
And now let's take a closer look at the vitamin and mineral composition of fruits:
- Bananas are rich in potassium. This microelement is necessary for pets as well as people.
- Apples contain many vitamins and enzymes useful for poultry. The use of these fruits normalizes the digestive system. It is advisable to give them every day.
- Pear contains pectin, carbohydrates, iron and phosphorus. Thanks to it, the pet's body is saturated with minerals, energy, and the digestion process improves. When choosing, give preference to hard fruits.
- Peaches improve digestion, contain copper and iron. These fruits are given to weakened birds to stimulate their appetite.
- Pineapples strengthen the muscular and vascular systems. It is recommended to give in canned form.
- Give kiwifruit to pets during beriberi (end of autumn, winter, beginning of spring). The fruit will strengthen the immune system and protect against diseases.
- Pomegranates will ensure the healthy functioning of the budgie's cardiovascular system. The maximum daily allowance reaches 1/6 of the fruit. A few grains are enough for a bird.
- Of the citrus fruits, oranges are recommended: they contain carbohydrates, fiber, and antioxidants. Like kiwi, a great immune boosting food.
It is worth refraining from persimmons, mangoes, papaya and avocados. What harm they bring to birds, we will understand further.
Herbs and greens
Some types of greens can harm the pet's body. Do not give him parsley, dill and green onions. It is strictly forbidden to feed the budgerigar with tomato tops.
Will bring benefits:
- horse sorrel,
- clover leaves.
Wild plants cannot be collected near the roadway.
Do not let the parrot peck at houseplants and bouquets - they are toxic to the bird.
Twigs of trees - how to give?
If you have had parrots before, you probably know how they love to “nibble” everything. Therefore, it is worth placing branches of fruit trees in a cage. They will be both a toy and food.
Choose trees away from roads, industrial areas. Check the branches for resin.
After pruning, the branches are soaked in water for 4 hours, washed and doused with boiling water. Branches of what plants can be given to a parrot?
- apple trees,
- sea buckthorn,
You can also cut a bush of currants, raspberries.
Porridge will give the parrot the necessary minerals, normalize metabolism. When cooking, only water is used, without the addition of oil, salt, sugar. Do not use instant cereals.
Cook for your pet only from high-quality buckwheat, oatmeal, lentils, barley. Grains should be boiled for 10 minutes.
You can also give rice and wheat porridge. Their cooking time is 20 minutes.
It is necessary to include sprouted grain in the diet of a parrot so that its body receives vitamins E and B2.
How to cook sprouts at home?
- Fill the bottom of a deep dish with grains, fill with water to cover them a little.
- Change fluid every 4 hours and rinse beans.
- After a few days, sprouts will appear. For a parrot, a shoot up to 2 mm in height is enough.
- The sprouts are dried before being given to the bird.
Before the first molt, small chicks are given 1 tsp. sprouts 2 times a week. Then once a month.
The key to feeding a parrot is mineral supplements. For example, a bird will benefit from feed chalk saturated with calcium. You need to buy special chalk for birds, because intended for rodents can harm the health of a parrot. Other sources of minerals:
- Combined mixtures. Those sold in pet stores contain a 70:30 ratio of shell rock to chalk. Manufacturers often add small amounts of eggshells and charcoal to them.
- Stones. They come with iodine, iron, zinc, magnesium and calcium. These elements are responsible for the health of the skeleton, endocrine glands.
- Sepia (cuttlefish shell). Rich in Na, K, Mg, P, which protect the beak from deformation. Give preference to sepia white with a slight yellow tint.
- Organic sand. Consists of crushed shells. Promotes the grinding of food in the goiter.
- Chicken eggshell. Due to the content of potassium, it strengthens the skeleton, creates a protective layer of the shell when laying eggs
- Birch charcoal. Storehouse of calcium and iron. It will be a detox for your pet.
Large solid minerals are attached to the bars of the cage, the mixture is poured into a plate.
Rehydration for parrot
Water is an essential element for all living things. When caring for a pet, make sure that the water in the drinking bowl is clean and fresh.
Change fluid every day. Its temperature should be 15-20 degrees. It is better to pour water in small portions.
However, water is not the only way for a parrot to replenish its water balance. There is another one - juicy fruits, vegetables and grass. He receives part of the necessary liquid from these products.
Periodically, to protect against a fungal infection, the parrot is given water with 2-3 drops of lemon vinegar or lemon juice. This amount is calculated for 100 ml of liquid.
Juices are useful for birds, but only cooked at home. From the list of allowed fruits and vegetables, prepare freshly squeezed juices. They can be diluted with water.
Natural products spoil quickly - make sure that the juice does not ferment, otherwise it will harm the pet.
Prohibited products for budgerigars
In some sections of the article, products that are prohibited for parrots have already been mentioned. In addition to them, you can not give your pet:
- salt and sugar;
- nuts of any kind;
- seeds and stones of certain fruits and berries;
- onion and garlic;
- meat products, fish;
- coffee, tea;
- dairy products;
- chips, crackers and other fast food.
For chicks aged 3 to 4 months, a boiled egg and cottage cheese are added to the diet. After the first molt, these products are excluded.
The most dangerous foods for a budgerigar that can lead to his death are avocados, alcohol, chocolate and salt.
Let us consider in more detail why it is forbidden to give the rest of the products from the list.
Herbs such as dill and parsley are high in essential oils. These substances, toxic to the bird, eventually lead to disruption of the functioning of its internal organs.
Opinions differ on spinach. It contains a large amount of oxalate, which binds calcium and other trace elements. Because of this, useful substances are not absorbed, and oxalates are deposited in the form of kidney stones.
Spinach can be given to birds with healthy organs, but in a minimal amount. If in doubt whether your pet has kidney problems, refrain from this greenery.
It is imperative to peel and pit fruits and berries: apple, pear, and cherry seeds contain cyanide, and pesticides accumulate in the skin of fruits.
Fresh onions and garlic can sometimes be given to your pet as a prophylaxis against parasites and fungi. But in small quantities. Excessive consumption of these vegetables will lead to hemolytic anemia, and subsequently to the death of the animal.
Coffee and tea contain caffeine, an overdose of which will cause a bird to have a heart attack. This is also the danger of energy and carbonated drinks.
If your parrot is sick, feels weak, it is permissible to give him weak tea: the drink will have a tonic effect.
Mushrooms cause indigestion, and some of their species - liver failure.
Finally, a few more restrictions:
- The nuts are too fatty.
- Sorrel causes kidney problems.
- Mango and papaya are supplied unripe and therefore contain toxic substances.
The body of a parrot is designed to digest grains, tree bark, fruits and berries. If your pet gets all this, he will be healthy and cheerful.
What to feed budgerigar chicks?
After birth, budgerigars are defenseless, they are completely dependent on their parents. The female feeds and pays attention to each of them, despite the number of offspring and their age difference.
In the beginning, feeding of babies consists of regurgitation by the female of crop milk, which is located in the gizzard. This "milk" is not one substance, it is a yellowish mucus, consisting of very small, almost liquid pieces of food and protein-rich crop milk. A few days after the birth of the chicks, partially digested grain from the goiter is mixed with the "milk".Photo: parrots4life
Thanks to sprouted grains in the diet of a lactating female, she produces a sufficient amount of crop milk.
Later, as the parrots mature, the older ones are transferred to grain feed. Since the grain is in the crop, the female feeds the grown chicks first, and when the grain runs out, the crop milk goes to the smallest in the family.Photo: Bika
During this period, the male constantly provides the female with everything she needs, as she can leave the nest only in the morning and evening, and even then not always. Sometimes the male helps the female and participates in feeding. He also processes grain feed in the goiter, like the female. Thanks to this, the digestive system of budgerigar chicks works like clockwork, they receive the most nutrients, vital enzymes and boost their immunity.
Having flown out of the nest for the first time, young parrots most often remain under the care of the male, as the female is going to the second clutch.
The nutritional value of the parents depends on the owners. It is very important to add and exclude certain products in time.
Feeding a young couple during breeding can be found here.
It happens that breeders have to take on the role of parents of chicks.
- 1 Reasons for artificial feeding of budgerigar chicks:
- 2 Heating of budgerigar chicks
- 3 There are several options for feeding budgerigars:
- 4 How often to feed budgerigar chicks
Reasons for artificial feeding of budgerigar chicks or rejection: 9009 9002 - 9002 parents;
- disease of a chick requiring its immediate separation from the feathered family;
- lack of appetite in the chick, its inability to feed on its own;
- death or illness of parents;
- a large number of chicks, parents can not cope;
- the female is going to the second clutch and her offspring interferes with her.
The safe period without food for a newly hatched chick is 12 hours.
This is how long a female can go without feeding her baby. And, in case of a non-standard situation, you should count on this period of time to have time to prepare.
You can offer the chick to another pair or offer the male to feed it. Sometimes the bird accepts the baby and thus takes care of him. But it happens that only you can save the situation.Photo: ddie gunn
Also, the female is often going to re-lay, her attitude towards the babies may change and you will need to look for additional housing for the young as soon as possible. More often this happens when the chicks are already able to feed on their own, but it happens that the female shows unmotivated aggression early and you need to save the parrots very quickly.
If your chick is only a few days old, then you can only feed with a special factory syringe or a homemade tool. To do this, you will need a 5 ml syringe and a tube that plays the role of a catheter. If you have the smallest chicks, then its diameter should not be more than 2.5 mm and it will be made of strong, soft material without sharp edges.Photo: Feeding injector
You should get rid of the syringe, for this you need to glow the cap and carefully remove the needle, drill a little more hole in the nozzle and put on the tube. Wrap the thread tightly around the edge of the tube and nozzle from the syringe. With a factory syringe, you don’t have to suffer like that - everything is provided for in the design.
The catheter must be lowered into the crop to a sufficient depth - if it is not installed correctly, the feed may enter the bird's trachea, which will lead to its death.
Therefore, having decided to breed budgerigars, you should already have a feeding syringe available.
Baby budgerigar heating
Also, fledglings require additional heating, which you will have to take care of. Devices that breeders use to keep chicks or sick birds warm are called brooders. You can buy them or make your own.Photo: Magazine about birds
The main thing is to be guided by the temperature parameters, since as you grow, the temperature in the room where the parrot is located should decrease.
Chick from a few hours to 4 days - 36 - 36.5°C; 7 days - 34°С; 14 days - 31 - 31.5 ° C; Day 21 - 24°C. Further, the chicks are moved to a box, which is similar in size to a nest box, in such a room the parrots themselves will be able to heat each other.
If you are raising a single chick, keep it in the brooder until day 25, where you lower the temperature to 24°C. Humidity during this period is maintained at 60%, as during masonry.
There are several options for feeding chicks:
Ready mix. Babies need vitamins and nutrients as well as vital enzymes. Therefore, NutriBird A19, a specialized and balanced food for budgerigar chicks, is just right. The mixture must be diluted not boiled, but heated to 39°C with water. Depending on the age of the chick, you adjust the density of the paste. This is the breeder's most convenient feeding option and one of the best ways to give your chick everything it needs to develop a strong body.
You can buy food for chicks - Padovan Baby Patee Universelle. Some breeders have successfully raised young on it.Photo: parrots4life
Donor bird. Professional breeders use donor birds. Using a catheter, they load a grain mixture into the goiter of a bird, which is later pulled out with a probe. This is an unsafe procedure, so only professionals use this method. The main plus is that the substance that is extracted from the goiter of a parrot is a guarantee that the chick will receive all the vital substances for development.
Malt milk. A mixture of germinated grains with an egg. Malt is prepared from germinated grain, which is crushed and diluted in half with water. Then filter through a strainer and add to the mixture. You should end up with a paste at 39°C.
Medical additive Mezim, Festal, etc. to the porridge. The difficulty lies only in the correct concentration and dilution of these enzymes. It is better to use them together with malt milk.
For power base baby budgerigar, you need to cook baby porridge without milk, sugar and salt: you can boil buckwheat, oatmeal or corn porridge. On the third day of the birth of a chick, you can add vegetable juices to its diet: carrot, beetroot and pumpkin. After the chicks are at least 10 days old, in addition to cereals, you can give a little apple, banana, pomegranate and fat-free cottage cheese.
When the chicks are 20 days old, you can switch them to syringe feeding without catheter or even spoon feeding. From these days, add sprouted grains to the diet (pre-crush into pieces).
At the age of 30-35 days, the chicks can switch to dry grain, earlier if there is someone nearby who can show them how. But don’t worry, you don’t need to teach this, the chicks successfully begin to taste the grains themselves when the time comes.
How often to feed budgerigar chicks
The smallest chicks should be fed every two hours, at night every 4 hours. Gradually, six feedings with a break for the night are enough for the parrots.Photo: Dawnstar Australis
On the 20th day of life, babies can eat 4 times a day, as they approach 35 days, 3 times will be enough for the chicks.
Babies start to squeak when they are hungry, and the owners, in addition to the feeding schedule, listen to the sounds coming from the cage.
If your older bird is sick, you may need to feed it more frequently.
It is impossible to overfeed a parrot. Do not let the porridge flow out of the beak.
Try to feed them with a spoon, gradually the chicks will get used to it. If among them the eldest is the first to start eating on his own, there will be a chance that he will become an example for the rest of the parrots.