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How To Hand Feed a baby

atvchick95

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It is very important to do this correctly If done wrong you can kill the baby .

This should not be done by an inexperienced person so it is best if your going to own birds of the same species and different genders To learn by a pro how to do it

Even if you have no intentions on breeding what so ever, Housing Males and Females together there is always the chance of them breeding regardless of the preventative measures you take

So be prepared a head of time

Items needed

  • Hand feeding formula
  • Syringes,Plastic spoons, or Tooth pics (depending on size-age of baby)
  • clean container to mix with( I use a small glass candy dish )
  • Paper towels
  • candy thermometer to check the temp of the formula
  • spoon or plastic knife to mix up formula
  • scale that measures in Grams


Mix the formula as per the directions on the container

Check the temp. before feeding it should be between 102-104 degrees And not over 104 degrees

Proceed to feeding

If using a syringe for feeding, begin by placing the baby on the table in front of you and inserting the tip of the syringe gently into the left side of the chick's mouth. (IMPORTANT: when the chick is facing you, his left is YOUR right.) Point the tip toward the right side of the chicks mouth. Carefully with a slow, even pressure on the syringe plunger, begin dripping the formula into the chick's mouth. You want the formula to be fed slowly so that the baby recognizes you are feeding it, and so the formula goes down into the chicks crop and not the windpipe. The amount of formula depends on the age and weight of the baby. If you keep an eye on the chick's crop, you will see it filling as you feed. Make sure you do not fill the crop to the point where the food comes up into the chick's neck; it should also not appear pendulous or over-expanded. It is a good idea to try a little at a time until you determine what is enough

I start with a syringe, but I switch between bites with a plastic disposable spoon I personally like to spoon feed rather then Syringe feed If you spoon feed you can feed them from the front of their beaks,


There are several different types of Formula I use Zupreem Personally .

Make sure you use one syringe/spoon PER baby

and After they're fed make sure to use the paper towels to wipe all the formula off , You don't want it to get hard on their beaks, in their beaks or on their feathers (it does turn into concrete and very hard to get off)

if you're having trouble getting the baby(or babies) all cleaned up a Warm wet paper towel will help, followed by a dry one. You don't want them getting chilled from getting damp while getting cleaned up

there are several schedules online on when to feed them, I don't use a schedule I let them tell me by their static cries

Be sure the crop is completely empty before feeding At least 1 time a day,

but here is one if you would like to use one.

Age of Chick Feeding Times Feeding Amounts

1-4 days Every two hours 1 - 2 cc's

5-7 days Every three hours 2 - 3 cc's

8-14 days 5xs a day Every 4 hrs 4 - 6 cc's

15-24 days 4xs a day Every 5 hrs 7 - 10 cc's

25-34 days 3xs a day 7 Am5 PM,11Pm 11 - 15 cc's

35-44 days (fledging) 2xs 7Am,7Pm 11 - 15 cc's

45 days to weaning 7:00 PM 11 - 15 cc's


Use the scale to weigh the chicks on a empty crop 1st thing in the morning
1st time you do it is the day you put them into the brooder(with an empty crop) so you'll have a "base" weight then weight them at the same time Every few days, as they get older You can weigh them at the same time Every week
 
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Cynthia & Percy

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thanks for sharing this informatioon
 

Birdlover

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That is a fantastic post, thank you! The feeding amounts would vary depending on what species... Im not 100% sure (its been a long time since Ive fed) but I thought it was something like 10% of their weight?

It is also important to monitor the babies weight daily, before their morning feed.
 

atvchick95

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That is a fantastic post, thank you! The feeding amounts would vary depending on what species... Im not 100% sure (its been a long time since Ive fed) but I thought it was something like 10% of their weight?

It is also important to monitor the babies weight daily, before their morning feed.

Your welcome,

I do think its 10% of their weight

and yep i got at the end on the reason for the scale :)
 

Birdlover

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I agree too, I really like ZuPreem. It seems somewhat similar to Exact but it seems to mix much better. :)
 

atvchick95

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I agree too, I really like ZuPreem. It seems somewhat similar to Exact but it seems to mix much better. :)
that is one of my biggest Pros on it I don't end up with chalky formula with Zupreem after a couple of minutes of feeding :)

I also like the fact it has probiotics in the formula
 

Nelson & Gang

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This is my opinion & information to share ... it does not just relate to juvenielle bird feeding, but also to regression feeding/force weaning and crop feeding:

REGRESSION WEANING OR COMFORT FEEDING ~ Different species of birds wean at different ages and stages during development. For example a Goffins Cockatoo should not take as long to wean as an Umbrella Cockatoo, but it’s also dependent on the whole picture (circumstances, surroundings, comfort level, stress, etc.) ... especially after any period of trauma to them (even if it's only their perceived trauma). If you look at cockatoos in the wild, they stay together as a flock for many years ... it's not uncommon to see young cockatoos remain w/ their parents and continue to comfort feed until the age of 2 or 3 years. It’s not b/c the bird is unable to leave the nest, but because it stays for comfort and leaves only when it feels confident and ready to be on it’s own. What is really wrong w/ making your bird feel better? Don't we do this w/ human children during rearing?

Set a routine for your bird when it comes to offering. It will make your bird more comfortable and quieter for you. Think of a human baby ... it cries when it's hungry, but also when it wants you - these cries are noticeably different. It feels more comfortable and content when you've provided it's comfort. Get the picture here? Limit the interaction during this period to JUST feeding. No cuddling, no playing, just eating. Feed w/ a syringe by hand, a spoon, or give your bird the bowl and let the bird eat on its own ~ then leave your bird until later. A common mistake is the combination of feeding/cuddling/playing. This creates the need for the bird to feel that every time it eats, it's time to cuddle or play, thus creating a needy bird. You can't go wrong IMO.

It is also not uncommon for some breeders to force wean a young bird – if you think about it, the longer the bird stays and formula feeds, the more profit from the bird is exhausted; therefore, the faster the bird can be weaned the more profit is retained. Think of it this way ~ all birds (just like all human babies) are different. Some want more, some want less. Some human babies choose to take a sippie cup sooner than others, etc. ... The key to a well-adjusted young bird is not the weaning itself, but regression weaning after changes have occurred in the normalcy of the birds environment, making the bird uncomfortable (again contributable to a period of stress). Regression feeding regains the stability & comfort level of the bird. In order to have a healthy, emotionally stable bird … you should offer the hand feedings as long as the bird is accepting them. Your bird will let you know when the hand feeding is no longer warranted. Letting your bird decide when the best time to give up the feedings will give you a happier, healthier, much more socialized and stable bird in the long run.

While regression feeding is more common in young cockatoos (6 months to 2 years); it’s not limited to cockatoos. The woman I got my amazon from in NC told me he was weaned too @ 6 mos. ... I don't think she really had a clue. While my amazon did eat weaning pellets and other foods offered to him, he continued to accept hand feedings 1x each evening for 5 weeks after I brought him home & then just 1 day turned away; after a few nights of this, I gave up.

Weaning pellets, should be offered as well as your regularly offered diet of pellets, fruits, (cooked and fresh) veggies, bird bread, etc. and you should monitor how much of it your bird eats. You can offer the pellets dry or soak the pellet in juice to soften it, which will be more appealing to your bird. If you do this, do NOT leave the wet pellet in the bowl for longer than 1 or 2 hours at a time, since warm wet pellets can cause bacterial growth, etc. The last thing you need is a vet visit.

You should discuss it w/ your avian vet to determine how much and how often your bird is eating. I also suggest getting a gram scale (if you don't have one already) and monitor your bird’s weight ... hand feeding formula can be high in fat content and other nutrients and as they get older they may retain a little more of that weight than necessary. As you go along, add different things to the mix like fresh fruits, a little baby food, etc. to change the taste and give your bird not only a variety of other foods, but also starting him on eating better regularly.

It’s also important to discuss with your avian vet how you will feed ~ syringe or spoon. DO NOT crop feed any bird! Only an experienced avian vet should ever attempt this b/c there are too many possible complications and side effects of this and it’s simply not necessary to feed any bird. If the bird is sick or unable to eat on it’s own – you should be making an immediate trip to your avian vet. A spoon can help w/ the weaning process and get them to become a little more independent. I would also recommend changing who in the household feeds the bird. Younger birds tend to associate the person who hand feeds for the parent and often when maturity strikes in a few years the bird can be more difficult for the "perceived parent" ... changing the feeding person dissipates this issue from the birds’ perspective.

IME ~ its a very bad idea to ignore the screaming and whining of a young bird that is still in a “comfort feeding” mode. You will be able to attribute the difference b/w the “screaming to be w/ you” and the “whining for comfort feeding” ~ comfort feeding or not; if you want a stable, more confident bird (especially a cockatoo) you need to continue the comfort feedings until the bird decides it's "OK" not to take them.


I've comfort fed and regression weened my share of sick birds over the years; I've also had to hand feed my share of sick birds, as well as find creative ways to get them to take meds disguised in foods, etc. Personally, I prefer Harrisons hand feeding formula to that of any other, my 2nd choice would also be Zupreme. I keep both in my freezer "just in case"
 

Peteysmom

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and After they're fed make sure to use the paper towels to wipe all the formula off , You don't want it to get hard on their beaks, in their beaks or on their feathers (it does turn into concrete and very hard to get off)


My babies came to me with concrete on them. lol! how do i get it off? They're 5-6 weeks old now, and i don't want to harm them.
Also, i'm soooo glad i read this! Thanks for posting. I've been feeding both of mine by putting the syringe into the right side. Won't happen again.
Thanks!
Heather
 

atvchick95

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and After they're fed make sure to use the paper towels to wipe all the formula off , You don't want it to get hard on their beaks, in their beaks or on their feathers (it does turn into concrete and very hard to get off)


My babies came to me with concrete on them. lol! how do i get it off? They're 5-6 weeks old now, and i don't want to harm them.
Also, i'm soooo glad i read this! Thanks for posting. I've been feeding both of mine by putting the syringe into the right side. Won't happen again.
Thanks!
Heather
it takes time to get it off, I have the problem with my tiels every time no matter how well I thought I got their faces washed off - it hides in their little "cheek" feathers around the edges of their beaks

I just use a wet rag or paper towel I get it hot but not scolding hot, then i put the dried formula part of the feathers in the center of the towel and rub gently with my finger tips - they don't like it at all and will squirm and some screech - I know i'm not hurting them it's just uncomfortable I do it for as long as I can usually its only a minute or less before they start freaking out too bad, then Wait a while and do it again - it's a long process but once you start getting some of it softened up you can use your nails to scrape/break it apart and it comes off

I learned the hard way how hard it can get - I thought I cleaned their face well (it was a couple years ago on a pied tiel) well I didn't get it all and it made a nice little rock on the side of their beak in the feathers, the water didn't do nothing So I sat there with a pair of baby nail clippers and just clipped the end of the dried formula off and kept doing it until the biggest chunk was broken apart then used the wet towel to get the rest off - he didn't enjoy it at all but As soon as I was done he went back to give me lovings
 

Peteysmom

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Thanks. :) I will try that. The man who gave them to me said not to use any water at all on them for anything, so I was worried. I will make sure they are completely dry afterwards. It seemed odd to me that they were just supposed to stay messy like that! :confused: (I have been wiping them off though, so it isn't that bad) maybe i should try to get a picture for the messy beak contest first. :hehe:
 

atvchick95

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Thanks. :) I will try that. The man who gave them to me said not to use any water at all on them for anything, so I was worried. I will make sure they are completely dry afterwards. It seemed odd to me that they were just supposed to stay messy like that! :confused: (I have been wiping them off though, so it isn't that bad) maybe i should try to get a picture for the messy beak contest first. :hehe:
when you use a towel/rag/ or paper towel it won't be soaking wet just damp and of course you won't be getting them soaked or their entire bodies wet. just around their beaks where the mess is

how old are they? if they're fully feathered at a month or more old They will take a bath on their own eventually and get soaked so not sure why he said not to get them wet - they're going to do it on their own at some point any way lol
 

Peteysmom

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He said not to give them anything but the formula baby food (concrete mess) for a few more months and the baby feed stuff he gave me to put in a dish for them to eat. He said not to give them water to drink yet either. Should I be doing something different? He told me they are 5-6 weeks old. I have no clue about any of it. :huh:
 

atvchick95

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He said not to give them anything but the formula baby food (concrete mess) for a few more months and the baby feed stuff he gave me to put in a dish for them to eat. He said not to give them water to drink yet either. Should I be doing something different? He told me they are 5-6 weeks old. I have no clue about any of it. :huh:

what kind of birds are they?

weaning time/age depends on the bird species
 

Emmilyy

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I've always heard that, no matter how much you read up on handfeeding babies, its always important to get hands on experience first with someone who knows what they're doing before you even attempt it yourself.
 

Peteysmom

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They are Parakeets. :)
Emily: thats why I'm here ;)
I really have no first hand knowledge. Can't tell you all how much I appreciate halp with these babies! :D
 

atvchick95

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I've always heard that, no matter how much you read up on handfeeding babies, its always important to get hands on experience first with someone who knows what they're doing before you even attempt it yourself.
that is true, I read up on it a lot viewed many pictures, and watched many many many hours of You Tube videos on it. and I was still lost, dazed and confused when I got Roxy - who was bought out of the nest at 2 weeks old * I didn't know any better back then *

I had my b/f's dad show me - He raises pigeons and has to hand feed them - Well they feed them completely differently then parrots get hand fed - So that was not much help LOL BUT it still helped me with the general Idea seeing it done in person helped me even if it was done differently

but When I bought Roxy I also bought her sibling how ever when my b/f fed him he aspirated him(he's fed pigeons for years he knew the concept of what to do)so roxy's sibling died 3 days after I got them. Roxy grew up to be a big Meany but From that day on I swore I'd never buy a unweaned bird again - I had no plans on ever hand feeding again at that time after roxy was weaned.. well ended up Hand feeding a lot of babies and now I know what I'm doing, still not gung ho on buying a unweaned baby But if needed I would but I will never Sell unweaned babies no matter how experienced the person maybe
 

Peteysmom

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I tried to talk him out of letting me have them now. He convinced me that Pete would love me more. lol! He said that if I wanted him to talk oneday, weaning him myself would be beneficial. He said it's like a human baby. Um....nope. I just quit nursing mine one day and gave her milk. hehehe...totally easy. :)
I've got 'Feed The Birds' from Mary Poppins stuck in my head today :lol:
 

Emmilyy

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They are Parakeets. :)
Emily: thats why I'm here ;)
I really have no first hand knowledge. Can't tell you all how much I appreciate halp with these babies! :D
i know you're here to get advice, and thats better than none, but you can't get *hands on experience* through the internet. Is there anyway you can find a breeder in your area to help you learn?
 
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