Whether you breed birds for financial gain or keep them as pets, it is essential to know the basics of how to hand feed a bird and how to feed a baby bird, including all the do’s and don’ts. Emergencies can always happen; a bird may suddenly go off its feed or become ill and need hand feeding, or you may want to hand rear the babies – how do you handle this job if you are not clear on what to do and how to do it?
It is recommended that you get some actual hands-on training before you try hand feeding a bird. A breeder or avian veterinarian can help you with the training or you can find a lot of information on the internet. Make sure to study the information well and then talk to a professional to make sure you have them down right.
Basic Tips On How To Hand Feed A Bird and Also How To Feed A Baby Bird
- Wash your hands thoroughly or use a sanitizer before hand feeding baby birds.
- Commercial hand feeding formulas are sold in stores selling birds and accessories. You will need to follow the instructions on the package which includes water to solid ratios as well. Baby birds always need more liquid than the older birds. The ZuPreem range of formula’s like the one seen on the right is one of the most trusted brands with breeders and vets. Click on the picture to find out more.
- Do not keep leftover formula for next time because bacteria gets at it quite quickly. Make up a fresh batch for every feeding session.
- Package directions need to be followed with regard to the right temperatures for the formula, normally ranging between 100-108 degrees Fahrenheit. It is best to talk with the vet to get advice on species specific temperatures and formulas. You need to heat formulas rather than microwaving them, which could cause hot spots resulting in crop burn. You can mix up the formula and heat it by placing the bowl inside a pot of hot water, once heated let the bowl rest in warm water to maintain its temperature.
- You need to stir the formula well before measuring the temperature with a thermometer. Leave the thermometer in the food to be able to continually monitor the temperature. You can put a drop on your wrist (underside) to make sure it isn’t too hot.
- Feeding methods include a feeding tube, syringe, spoon and eye dropper. You will need to decide what sort of food dish and feeding method is best when deciding how to hand feed a bird or for that matter your pet bird.
- The bird should be placed on a non-slip surface, a soft towel will be best. Then grip the bird’s head from behind with one hand and stretch the neck slightly while steadying the lower beak. Do it gently, and talk softly to keep the bird calm.
- The tip of the feeder should touch the lower left side of the beak and be angled toward the right; where the esophagus is. Food should be released slowly so as not to block the trachea or flood the beak.
You will find you will learn a lot about how to hand feed a bird through trial and error but it is best to avoid making mistakes as much as possible, especially when it comes to how to feed a baby bird, as they are very fragile.
Here is a great video for you to watch on how to feed a baby bird, or for that matter how to hand feed a bird of any sort.
If you are looking a rescuing a wild baby bird that has fallen from his nest, I suggest you read this post.