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How To Hand Feed a baby

Peteysmom

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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?
The guy said I could call him with any questions, but i'm not too sure about him. I am looking for someone local :)
 

Emmilyy

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Thats good :) good luck!
 

Gerrit

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I wonder what kind of species you are feeding that way.

first days 2cc for bushbudgies? lovebirds? ringnecks? crimsons? greencheekconures???
 

flower

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Thank all of you for this information about hand feeding the baby Quakers, now what do I do to get this introduced to drinking water on their own. All of you guys are wonderful on this avenue. Flower
 

Prince Toasty Buns

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The formula fed at the right consistency has all the liquid that a baby bird needs in the early weeks of development, that is IF the babies were well hydrated during the first 5 days or so of life.

I personally start introducing water in a very shallow drinking vessel at about the same time the baby starts perching (steady) on very low perches (about an inch or two off the bottom of the weaning cage). The baby also can get liquid from fruit slices/pieces and fresh veggies well washed and then cut up and or squished/mashed. No need to dry them off after washing, just feed slightly wet in a shallow dish and the baby can also lick the water off the veggies. Some handfeeders also use moistened pellets.

I also vote for Zupreem as the formula to use for feeding babies.

As Emily stated, best to get hands-on handfeeding experience from a local well experienced breeder - from one in your own home town.

IME, it is also best to learn how to crop feed - in case that skill is ever needed & I can assure you it will be needed if you do any long term breeding. You may even need to use that method sooner than later, never know. Also learn this from a well experienced crop feeder who knows how to teach. Many people try to explain different ways of doing things but IME very few people know how to teach properly. Hopefully you will find one who does.
 

craftsmaster

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One of the most important aspects of pet ownership is knowing when to feed your parrot. If you have a baby parrot, it’s even more crucial. At first, you’ll notice that he may not have much of an appetite. Don’t confuse this initial reaction to a new surrounding as his normal eating pattern.
___________________
Carmel Santos
Author of The Ultimate Guide to Parrots
The Australian Guide to Parrots
 

Prince Toasty Buns

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Forgot to mention, in my prior post, that an invaluable tool to have at your finger tips is the book "Handfeeding & Nursery Management".

I suggest that everyone add this book to their avian library, whether one handfeeds or not.
 

srtiels

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IME, it is also best to learn how to crop feed
----------------------------------------
I use: Earmaxx.com I use the 3.2 for feeding day ones and 3.2 for older cockatiel chicks , and also for when I have to do any oral meds. I use the micro flexoject to handfeed my mousebirds. 4.9 and 6.4 are for larger species of birds.

that an invaluable tool to have at your finger tips is the book "Handfeeding & Nursery Management".
I have one of his earlier book for sale on my website.
Available/For Sale - Just Cockatiels!
 

sindy_tech

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Do you recommend the exact high fat over the regular formula?

How would you rate the following and why?

Tropican
Exact
Exact hight fat
Zupreem
Roudybush
 

Daniel Ruiz

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My baby green cheek (i thought he was yellowsided) is now 5 weeks old he doesnt want much of the formula now. Should i give some millet seed?
 

C.Harris

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Hi there, long thread so I won't be touching on everything, but you should definitely take the bird to an avian vet to learn what to do if you have a neonate but don't know how to handfeed it. If you live some place where an avian vet is not available, try to find a local bird store. They will most likely be very happy to help you. In fact, even the "kids" you see working at many bird stores can be a big help, I remember my first job as a young guy at a bird store in Las Vegas I learned to handfeed by having a batch of 30 babies from multiple clutches all at once, so you'd be surprised how much experience some of these young guys and gals have at these shops.

As for feeding amount, typically 10% of the birds body weight (weighed in MIXED formula) is ideal, I say ideal because some birds will be finicky eaters until they get used to you. What I mean is, it's not uncommon for a bird to be eating fine with one feeder, but then be a struggle for a new person, especially someone that is just learning. There are spoons, gavages, pipettes, infusion cannulas, tubes, etc - LOTS of different feeding devices, let alone the fact that some people feed at different consistency, different temp (102-110 being most common) etc. The baby can form preferences so that's usually what the issue is with most people when they "take over" a baby. Here is where some people will disagree, but I actually recommend feeding fairly fast when possible in these cases. The thing is, most breeders, jobbers, pet shop owners etc are professionals that can feed MANY babies per year (like I said, my first handfeeding job as a kid at a pet shop was 30 cockatiels at different ages all at once). The problem is that while this isn't necessarily a bad thing, the baby can become conditioned to a quick style of feeding, and when someone tries to feed slowly, the bird takes a breath while there is still food in the mouth - This is bad. So, most people find that when they are taking over a baby sold wholesale or just bought from someone that has already been working with it, that the best thing to do is feed warm and fast.

Also, I happened to see someone mention the issue of birds begging even after feeding or during weaning. When you are handfeeding, your job is to watch the crop and the clock. They should be coinciding with each other. Most parrot species after about 2 weeks can be safely fed 4 times per day. My typical schedule was 8am, 12 pm, 4 pm and 8 pm. The bird should be empty or near empty at these feeding times. Here you also see that at this age everyone sleeps through the night (phew!). However, some species, especially birds like cockatoos and ESPECIALLY cockatiels will literally eat until you kill them if you listen to them and feed when they beg. Trust me on this. Over feeding is bad. Feeding too much starts to slow the crop down or stop digestion (it's called Crop Stasis) and this can be fatal as the food soon spoils INSIDE of the bird. And even if they just slow down and start being late or skipping feedings, this can also cause issues such as stunting, etc.

Finally, macaw formula was mentioned. The macaw formula is best used with macaws only. Old world species like cockatoos should never be fed this food. You can feed a macaw the same formula you'd feed a cockatoo, but you can't feed a cockatoo the same formula you'd feed a macaw. The fat content is much too much.

So, this was my first post in this group, how'd I do?

-Chris
 

Marina Engan

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Very informative and important! It can't be said often enough.
I have made a video showing and explaining the hand feeding process. If it can be of any interest:

Keep the information coming! :-D
 

JanaBanana

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I recently have 2 new babies and Mom n Dad are parents, how do I know if they are feeding my babies?
 

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iamwhoiam

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Those babies are growing from what I can tell and looks like there is a bulge under the top one which appears to be a full crop.
If the babies are growing and the crops look full then they are being fed by their mom and dad.
If mom and dad stop feeding are you ready to take care of them? Do you have any hand feeding experience or a brooder set up available? So far all looks OK.
 

JanaBanana

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Thank you! It's been about 15 yrs since I had babies. So enjoyed the hand feeding. Was a little concern since I wasn't here to actually know when they hatched. I have 3 that float so I will leave in the box for a couple weeks and see.
 
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