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Help!! Please...

Discussion in 'Nursery Rhyme Drive' started by Marie.C, 8/8/18.

  1. Marie.C

    Marie.C Moving in

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    While looking for a sun conure to add to my family, a friend put me in contact with someone that just lost the babies' mother due to an accident and says that he doesn't have time to hand fed them, that he will keep them ok for a couple days but then he will have to go back to work, so the babies will be on their own for several hours a day.

    I know nothing about hand feeding a baby bird, or how long do you hand fed them, but I'm willing to learn as fast as I can, I'm really afraid about the emotional stress if I put my best and then the babies don't make it, but if left where they are, they'll die for sure, as the man that has them is going to neglect them.

    Right now I have all the time in the world for them, but I have an unavoidable trip the first week of September, I can pay for my dogs vet to take care of them for some days (no avian vet where I live), but will this affect them?

    If anyone has any word of advice please help me, should I take them in?
    How long do you hand fed baby birds?
    What do you feed them?
    Or should I just turn around and forget about this babies?


    The photo is from a couple days ago, before the accident.
     

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  2. Wasabisaurus

    Wasabisaurus Cruising the avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    Last edited: 8/8/18
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  3. Wasabisaurus

    Wasabisaurus Cruising the avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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  4. Wasabisaurus

    Wasabisaurus Cruising the avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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  5. Marie.C

    Marie.C Moving in

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    Thank you!!! I've spend the last hour reading this post, incredibly helpful!!!

    Also thank you for notifying whoever can help, right now I'm open to any suggestion
     
  6. rocky'smom

    rocky'smom Cruising the avenue Avenue Spotlight Award

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    Welcome to Avian Ave, I have hand fed before but not sun conures. You are going need some very special equipment, a small 10gallon fish tank, feeding formula, syringes, something to keep those little ones warm like heating pad, sanitizing equipment, the patience of saint, scales to weight the babies.
    My best advice is find a avian vet now, have them show you how to hand feed.
     
    Last edited: 8/8/18
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  7. Marie.C

    Marie.C Moving in

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    I have the scales and I'm ok with buying everything else, patience... will have to develop it . The real problem is that there are no avian vets around my area, I've come in contact with two small animals vets, that "know" something about birds, one once had messenger pigeons as a hobby (actually he is the one who told me about this babies) and the other how is into falconry.

    Both are willing to help me, but they where very honest telling me that they don't know about conures, only basic avian physiology.
     
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  8. Mockinbirdiva

    Mockinbirdiva Rollerblading along the road Avenue Veteran

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    Are there any pet stores that sell birds in your area? You may be able to find someone who is knowledgeable in hand feeding. Those babies are pretty young and would be very easy to aspirate formula for an inexperienced hand.
     
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  9. rocky'smom

    rocky'smom Cruising the avenue Avenue Spotlight Award

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  10. rocky'smom

    rocky'smom Cruising the avenue Avenue Spotlight Award

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  11. Mockinbirdiva

    Mockinbirdiva Rollerblading along the road Avenue Veteran

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    I googled for spoon feeding 4 week old conures and found this video. When I was raising I used a syringe but as you watch this video you can see this person spoon feeding and watch the action of the chick as it bobs it's head to feed. It's a messy process. Formula temperature is important... you can see she has the bowl of formula inside another bowl that has water warmed to keep the formula warm while she feeds all of the chicks. I used a digital thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature of the formula.

     
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  12. Mockinbirdiva

    Mockinbirdiva Rollerblading along the road Avenue Veteran

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    The chicks in the photo you supplied look to be between 2 - 3 weeks old.... the youngest one on the left.

    Edit:
    The first chick she fed.. really took a lot of formula. That crop was really full. I, personally, would rather feed a bit less. Crops that don't empty in a reasonable amount of time can sour and result in crop stasis... which can be very bad for the chick. Know that I am not criticizing her technique but I thought it worth editing my post to mention.
     
    Last edited: 8/8/18
  13. Marie.C

    Marie.C Moving in

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    Thanks @Mockinbirdiva, the video was very helpful, I've been watching a lot of them, I also found one with paper cups that seems ok with the chicks.

    Unfortunately I haven't found someone that knows how to hand fed the chicks, the man that has them told my friend that he'll take care of them for a couple of days, so I'm assuming he knows how to do it, I'll see if his willing to give me a few pointers.

    So far, for what I have read and all the videos, I think I'll be ok feeding the babies, but what bothers me is that I haven't found how much to feed. Is there like a formula to calculate the crop volume based on the body weight?
    Also, the timing between feedings, I haven't found anything conclusive, some references says every 2-3 hours, some says wait until chicks are hungry and ask for food, but based on my experience with puppies (very different I know), if a puppy gets hungry, doesn't always ask for food, and will get hypoglycemic very fast, I don't know if this is an issue too with chicks.

    Right now I'm r searching for a good formula to feed them. BTW, what is the right temperature to give the formula? I already collected the digital termometer, check the batteries in the scale, check prices of the fish tank, and tomorrow I'll go looking for the heating pad
     
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  14. rocky'smom

    rocky'smom Cruising the avenue Avenue Spotlight Award

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    Lots of paper towels too
     
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  15. Mockinbirdiva

    Mockinbirdiva Rollerblading along the road Avenue Veteran

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    I think using a spoon will have a better result than a cup... the formula in the cup will cool faster than the small amount you dip out of the bowl that is sitting in a warming bowl. Since this is your first time feeding it may be safer using this method for the chicks. At this age they will probably take 4-6 cc's to fill the crop. You'll notice in the video she felt the crop... very lightly to test the fullness. When the baby is done being fed carefully pick the chick up and avoid putting any pressure on the crop.

    It would be helpful for you to watch him feed the babies and if you can video it to have a reminder on how he handled and fed. Every person is different in their technique. I've seen people plunge feed with a syringe... all the food goes in 2-3 seconds. ONLY an experienced feeder should do this and even then, I don't like it.

    The link rocky'smom posted above has several great tips. I always fed my babies at 107 degrees. There are a lot of variables here... are the chicks still with a parent? They've been parent fed so far and now he is hand feeding? It may take them a day to get used to you. I would also suggest avoiding bright lighting when you feed but still be able to clearly see what you are doing until they adjust. In a pinch you can use a container like a smaller storage bin. Line the bottom with a towel and cover it with paper towels... they poop a lot and you can easily change the paper towels. Only put the heating pad on low under half of the container in the event they get warm they can crawl away from it. Hang a digital household thermometer inside the container low to keep an eye on the inside temp... 85 degrees should be sufficient to keep them warm. You can cover the top 3/4's of the way for air circulation and keep them in a calm darker area.

    At this age you may need to start with every two hours... but .... make sure those crops are empty before you feed again.

    It's late... I write more as I think about it. I would also wrap a towel around the heating pad itself... it will sit under the container you use for holding the chicks... NOT inside the container. It's been so long since I raised babies but I'm certain I used Zupreem Embrace Hand Feeding formula.
     
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  16. iamwhoiam

    iamwhoiam Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    Although I did hand feed my Dusky Conure my main hand feeding experience is with red-bellied parrots. I used to breed and raise them. Also hand fed an @ 1-2 day old sparrow for a few weeks (He recently turned 10 years old.) and a Bare-eyed cockatoo. You have already gotten some good advice and some links to good information but I'll add a few more things.

    If the guy is hand feeding then find out what he is using and continue with that. I used Kaytee Exact. The amount of food is generally 10% of the body weight but always watch the crop and see how full it is getting. I used a terrarium that came with a mesh cover. I put a towel beneath the tank/terrarium and put a heating pad below half of that. My heating pad was set to medium or low, never high. However it is important to monitor the babies to guide you. If feathers are ruffled and they are shaking then they are cold and if wings are out and they are panting they are too hot. I used layers of paper towels on the bottom of the terrarium and changed those frequently.

    Since you have never syringe fed you may be more secure and comfortable spoon feeding. You can use a baby/toddler type spoon. It's smaller and easier to control, IMO. I syringe fed and would have multiple syringes ready to feed the babies. I covered the tips of the syringes and let them sit in hot/warm water to keep the formula hot enough for them. You need to be careful with the temperature because if it's too hot you can cause crop burn and if too cold there can be issues with the formula moving through the crop properly as well as through the rest of the digestive system so best that you check the temp with a thermometer. The placement of the syringe tip is important because you want to direct the food into the digestive system and not down the trachea into the respiratory system. Feed from the left side of the beak and aim the syringe towards the back angling towards the right. Once again, you would probably feel more comfortable and be better off spoon feeding.

    Babies should be weighed daily and I recommend keeping a log of their weights as well as how much they eat at each feeding.

    I would also check with the person who has them to make sure that dad is not feeding them. Even if mother has passed the dad may have taken over the care and feedings of the baby. If that is not the case observe the person hand feeding or find another breeder and see if they will let you observe and give you guidance. Maybe they would consider taking the babies and hand feeding them.



     
    Last edited: 8/8/18
  17. Mockinbirdiva

    Mockinbirdiva Rollerblading along the road Avenue Veteran

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    And never save made up formula.... always make fresh. The link covered cleanliness very well concerning the sink, surrounding areas and the items you will use for feeding should be sterilized after every feeding.
     
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  18. Mockinbirdiva

    Mockinbirdiva Rollerblading along the road Avenue Veteran

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    I would also suggest a separate container to place your babies in for feeding. Just as you see in the video.. could be a hair bigger. Avoid soiling their bedding with the formula. After you've fed them it gives you the opportunity to clean up their other container and put fresh paper towels in.

    I'm wishing I bought stock in paper towels a long time ago. :D
     
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  19. iamwhoiam

    iamwhoiam Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    So funny....I thought the same thing about paper towels.
     
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  20. iamwhoiam

    iamwhoiam Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    Last edited: 8/8/18
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