How to Hand Rear Baby Birds
It can be difficult to hand rear baby birds because they require feeding so regularly. A lot of bird owners like to purchase birds that are just weaned or about to be weaned. Hand rearing baby birds that are over six weeks old and have no health problems can be extremely rewarding. If you want to have a go at feeding baby birds then this article will help you with a few tips.
How Much to Feed Baby Birds
A baby bird needs to eat 10% of his body weight per feeding. For example a 500gram bird will need 50millilitres of formula each feeding. A baby bird will need to be fed approximately three times every day. When feeding baby birds you have to check that you do not feed them if they still have food in their crops. You should also be extremely careful how much you feed a baby bird per meal or the baby bird’s crop will enlarge and stretch causing the bird to loose his ability to move food down through the digestive system.
In order to feed baby birds the right amount of food you will need to weigh your bird daily. Most baby birds will thrive quite well on a commercially prepared hand rearing formula made for that particular species of bird. Be wary however because if the formula is too thin then the baby birds will not get the nutrients they need.
Temperature of Food for Feeding Baby Birds
Formula should be fed to baby birds at a temperature of 40.5 to 43.3 degrees Celsius; baby birds will not touch food that is too cold. You need to be careful too that the food is not too hot because you can kill baby birds by burning their crops. If you choose to warm up the formula using a microwave then it is important you stir the mixture well before feeding it to the baby birds as there can be hot pockets of food within the mix.
How to Feed Baby Birds
If you are going to spoon feed the baby bird then you should gently stretch the bird’s neck straight up making sure that you give the bird’s head support with the other hand. Place your forefinger and thumb either side of the upper beak and tilt the spoon to pour the formula in. You should always wait for your baby bird to swallow before feeding him any more formula.
If you are using a syringe to feed the baby bird the same technique is used only you place the syringe at the side of his mouth aiming towards the back of the throat.