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Hand-Feeding and Weaning

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Melika
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Hand-Feeding and Weaning

Post by Melika » Sun Sep 25, 2005 11:58 pm

This was originally meant as my personal reference. Nothing is meant to be written in cement and is just a guideline. I have modified this from the first time I posted it, because of the changes I made to the schedule when I fed (finally found the paper I had it written on), issues that have come up in other topics or here, and standard editing when I felt my explanation wasn't very clear.

Hand Feeding


Your best bet it to go ask a breeder and have him/her show you in person how they handfeed. Please get someone experienced to show you before trying yourself!


Have a handfeeding "kit" and keep everything together. I used an old cookie sheet. I put paper towels on the bottom since I left everything to dry on it after each feeding.

My kit:
syringe
spoons (one for scooping formula and one for mixing it with the water)
mixing cup (mine was a plastic cup for lunches, lol)
pyrex or other microwave safe container for heating the water
digital thermometer, we ended up with one for meat, candy ones work great
a roll of paper towels (you'll never have enough!)

Exact formula was kept in the fridge


I handfed in our kitchen. The microwave is right there, sink for washing, and it was open space. The babies were in my room upstairs so we just brought them down for their feedings. We would set them in a turkey baking pan since the high sides wouldn't let them roll/scoot off the table. Just an old towel in the pan for them to sit on. They don't like sliding around on metal or wood while they're eating.

I did about three test runs in the kitchen before we ever got our babies to find out: 1) How long was needed to microwave the water to reach proper temp. and keep it's temperature when the formula (which was refrigerated) was added. 2) The ratio of water to formula. And 3) How to do everything smoothly.

We used a two cup pyrex liquid measure for heating our water (use natural spring water, NOT distilled). The container for mixing the formula in was marked as to how much water was needed for the formula. Because you're not mixing the formula in the container you heated water in, you don't need to worry about "hotspots". Believe me, you'll be mixing it so much the temperature evens out perfectly.

Once the formula is the consistency you want (at first it will be like loose grits, then thickens as the chick ages; by the time they were weaning, it was just barely thin enough to move through the syringe easily), add the thermometer and get it down (stirring) to 107 degrees F. I prefer to feed between 104 and 107. You *can* go to 103 but I wouldn't- since the formula already cools when in the syringe. If the temp falls below 104, just place the container with the formula into the still hot water (the hot water from the microwave, this is another reason we use separate containers) until it gets back up to temp. If it doesn't get hot enough, heat the water container for a bit and try again. It can be a juggling act but when you are faster at feeding you won't usually have this problem. Mikaela is 100% correct when she stated: "never nuke the formula" itself. (nuke= microwave)

This is where a schedule comes in that you can modify. Try to only feed when the crop is empty, that way you don't have old food sitting around in it with the new. If your chick's crop is moving slowly (gauge from the other birds) add a little baby food (green vegetable) to your formula. That will help move things along. Try a thinner mix too and keep an eye on the crop. Adjust feeding schedule if needed.

While you are feeding, you will see the crop begin to bulge. His crop is at the base of his neck. Like a balloon. Do not overfeed. Most chicks will refuse food when the crop is full, but others will continue to eat. Once you have an idea of what the crop should look like, you will have no problem making sure they eat enough.

It is easier to feed one baby at a time, since once you get them to take a little they eagerly eat more. This will allow you to gauge crops better as well and keep track of who has already eaten. A baby barely crawling around because of his belly with his eyes glazed over in happiness has obviously already eaten. :lol:



My schedule (days are the chick's age in days):
18- 27 days 6:00am, 10:00am, 2:00pm, 6:00pm, 10:00pm
28- 35 days 6:00am, 11:30am, 5:00pm, 10:30 pm
36- 42 days 6:00am, 2:00pm, 10:00pm
42- weaned 10:00pm

I allowed myself a half-hour give in times once they got to three feedings; remember it takes about ten or fifteen minutes from heating the water to beginning feeding so include that in your estimate. And let the baby birds set the pace.

When I first got the babies (at three and a half weeks old) I started with the 18-27 day regimen, since they were used to getting fed often from the parents. After about five days we moved to the 28-35 day and dropped feedings from there.
This is just a guideline, what worked for our birds might not be exactly what yours need. And the times can be shifted depending on your schedule, just try to keep the same time-span between feedings.

They'll begin refusing food around fledging time but make sure they eat enough. They're not weaning, just dieting to get weight down for flying. Little buggers try to trick us.

I didn't originally want to put ammounts here, since I really think you SHOULD go learn from a breeder how to feed. But not everyone will go do that. So to help prevent disaster, here is what Donna said:

Donna wrote: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 7:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM, 7:00 PM, 11:00 PM 4 - 6 cc's
15-24 days 7:00 AM, 12:00 PM (Noon), 5:00 PM, 11:00 PM 7 - 10 cc's
25-34 days 7:00 AM, 5:00 PM, 11:00 PM 11 - 15 cc's
35-44 days (fledging) 7:00 AM, 7:00 PM 11 - 15 cc's
45 days to weaning 7:00 PM 11 - 15 cc's


The crop should be firm and round not bulging. After babies are 1 week old I don't feed through the night so the crop has time to empty completely in 24 hours.




This was little Hane when I was handfeeding him, he always insisted on eating first so Tsume had to wait. :?
This is what Mikaela was talking about, feeding towards the right side of the bird, from it's left.

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You can also try cup feeding, which seems the easiest. http://www.parrotpro.com/cupfeed.php



    Tips:

    The temperature of the formula will depend on the brand you use. Check the directions on your formula.

    I don't reccomend gavage or tube feeding. A syringe is less risky. Cup feeding is even less risky.

    If the syringe gets a little sticky just put some sunflower seed oil around the edge of the rubber before assembling for feeding. Then it will glide smoothly.

    Until they begin to feather out, keep the chicks out of cold areas and cover them to stay warm. Have a heating pad under or heating lamp over only half the enclosure so they can get away from the heat if they become too hot. If they are all huddled together on the heating pad or under the heating lamp, they are too cold.

    Spend time with the chicks after they have been fed. Scratch their little heads and talk to them. Tell them how ugly they are and how beautiful they'll be when they feather out. And touch their feet.

    ALWAYS clean everything with hot water and soap after each feeding. Try to clean immediately, crusted on formula is no fun.

    If you get any formula on the chick, use a paper towel dipped in warm water to wipe it off.

    Clean the cage or tank before placing the chicks back in- sanitation is important.

    Use a small cage to prevent injuries if they fall while learning to climb bars and keep perches low at first. Until they can perch or walk around, don't use the metal grate bottom if you're using a cage.

    Let them learn how to fly. I feel it's important to a bird's mental health to fledge properly. Once they can land without crashing, then you can clip if you choose. Learning to fly also helps them learn how to glide down after clipping and helps prevent injuries.



Dangers for handfeeding if not properly trained

Aspiration- Forcing formula into the babies mouth to fast or improperly causing the baby to aspirate the formula

Burnt Crops- Using formula that is not at the proper temp.

Stretched Crops- Forcing the baby to take more formula then he can handle stretching the crop to the point that it can not empty properly (in very young chicks)

Bacterial Infections- Can be caused by not cleaning the nursery or equipment used for hand feeding. Can also be caused by contaminated food.

Malformed Beaks- Babies beaks are still soft and pressing the syringes into their beaks can create malformation in the beak.

Dehydration- If you do not mix the formula properly you could be given them the wrong consistency.

Poor Weight Gain- Formula too thin, Not following correct feeding schedule, Not feeding enough

Parts 1 & 2 of an excellent hand-feeding article:
http://www.birdsnways.com/wisdom/ww8eiii.htm
http://www.birdsnways.com/wisdom/ww7eii.htm




Weaning

We are fortunate that IRNs are such great eaters and this has made weaning for us very easy. We chose to abundance wean our birds so they would be exposed to all sorts of flavours and would be accustomed to trying new things.

When our birds first began to refuse full feedings (meaning would eat most but not as much as they did before), we diced up soft veggies and held a piece one at a time between our fingers and deposited it into the chick's waiting mouth. Similar to how a parent bird would feed a chick. Usually at first they would indiscriminately swallow anything in their mouth, then later would pause and manipulate it in their beak before swallowing. We would feed them veggies while the formula was heating up.

Once they began to manipulate the food, we kept a shallow, light coloured dish with finely diced veggies or warm mash in the cage along with a sprig of millet. At first they only play with the foods but eventually will begin eating more of it. We kept millet always available and switched the types of veggies and fruits daily.

Once the chicks began cracking and actually eating the millet seeds, we added another dish with small pellets. The key is to offer everything and expose the chick to as many foods as possible.

We kept up all feedings until the chicks decided they didn't need a particular one anymore and after a few days of them not eating or hardly eating any formula at that time, that feeding was dropped. One at a time the feedings were dropped as the chicks refused, keeping only the last one at night- a chick should go to sleep on a full crop.

We monitored the intake of each chick, checking crops throughout the day to be sure they were eating well. The final feeding was dropped only when they all refused the formula and had adequately full crops from feeding themselves.

Hane and Tsume's first solid food was squash. The first food they ate eagerly and really started them on solid foods was cucumber- ooooh the gooey seed part!

Sometimes we would warm the veggies to make them softer and because they were accustomed to warm formula (I chose to begin only with veggies since most parrots unused to them seem to turn up their beaks at the "healthy" foods and want sweet fruits- just like kids!).

Sweet Potato Mash was the easiest tool for getting them to try new foods. It is warm and mushy- precisely what a young chick loves!
Rough chop a sweet potato and boil until fork tender, drain and mash. Finely dice a whole bunch of different veggies (can add frozen ones too like peas) and mix it into the mashed potato. Freeze in ice cube trays for handy serving sizes. Heat up and serve!

Shallow, light coloured dishes seemed to be the easiest for our chicks to eat from.

Veggies/Fruits List: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=8078

Here is a good article explaining why abundance weaning is the best method and questions to ask your breeder to make sure your chick has been weaned properly!
http://www.birdsnways.com/wisdom/ww4e.htm

And another article found by subodh, explaining the Why and How of the Weaning Process http://theparrotuniversity.com/arthandfeeding3.php
Last edited by Melika on Sat Oct 17, 2015 11:41 pm, edited 24 times in total.
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Post by ringneck » Mon Sep 26, 2005 11:21 pm

Melika

Very impressive post! Very detailed and correct! I was thrilled while reading your hand feeding technique. Just thought I might let you know!


Best Wishes,


Imran Chaudhry

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Melika
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Post by Melika » Tue Sep 27, 2005 12:42 am

Thank you very much. I'm flattered. :)
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Post by ringneck » Tue Sep 27, 2005 12:50 am

Don’t be! Hand feeding is an art and also very dangerous to those who have not done it..sounds like you got everything under control! Might I add, very professional as well! :wink:

Thanks!

Imran Chaudhry

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Melika
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Post by Melika » Tue Sep 27, 2005 12:57 am

I was trained by a perfectionist, and I also happen to be one as well. :lol:
So really, all the credit goes to my trainers, Pat and Molly. Good friends and wonderful people. :)
Even though it's been a few good years since they retired from breeding, I still remember everything they taught me. And Molly could only use one hand! (several strokes had limited the use of her left side, and they retired when she had another serious one a few years back) She was an inspiration, lol. If she could do it, so could I. :wink:
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Post by Mikaela » Tue Sep 27, 2005 4:56 am

I was no professional. I am lucky to even have a live baby now. :cry:

Ya'll remember when the syringe got clogged and formula went in my Baby's eye? Poor thing couldnt open it for days. I had to rack it out with a warm wash cloth. She still loves me though.

Oh yeah, speaking of eyes, Baby is starting to pin. I was praying she kept those black mouse eyes but nope. Her eyes pin to a greyish blue whereas, Peek-a-Boo's pin to a bluish grey. Very pretty but not as cute as the mouse eyes. In other words, Baby's eyes are bluer and Boo's eyes are greyer. Ok, Im making no sense to bah bah. :oops:
~ Mikaela Sky

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Melika
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Post by Melika » Sun Mar 26, 2006 4:52 pm

This is why I came here, lol, to find my schedule. The owners of the parents of Hane and Tsume were so thrilled with them- since they've never pet their own birds- that they have asked us to hand-feed the entire clutch for them. I just found out about that and today they're 14 days old so we take them tomorrow. Wish me luck, lol.

BTW, how is Squeak doing? I might be back here in the next few months for the answer. ;)
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Post by Neokireina » Sun Mar 26, 2006 9:24 pm

What an awesome reference, perhaps an admin would be kind enough to sticky it?

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Post by A.V.Aravindh » Sat Apr 15, 2006 11:44 am

i really like this post...esp that dangers of handfeeding part is worth a mention
this is helping me a lot
AV.A

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Post by Sylvia » Thu Apr 20, 2006 4:35 am

As my english is´nt that good. I just wonder what the word "nuke" means?

I have recently pull two chicks from the nest, they are 4,5-5 weeks old and the hen had started plucking the poor chicks head and back.

I am in contact with a experienced breeder and he is helping me along with this, but its always a bit scary the first time.
Please have some patience with my spelling, I´m from sweden and english is not my first language!

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Post by julie » Thu Apr 20, 2006 5:30 am

nuke is normally microwaving something.

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Post by A.V.Aravindh » Thu Apr 20, 2006 5:35 am

hi all,
can someone tell me what the effects/harms of 'streched -crops' are?
AV.A

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Post by Sylvia » Thu Apr 20, 2006 7:12 am

Thanks Julie!

That explains the hole thing. I do only warm water, but it´s a big job keeping the formula warm during the hole feeding process. (Especelly if you are new at feeding and have two frightend chicks to feed.)
But I just finished the dinner meel and they seemed okey with it, and I´m relieved :)
Please have some patience with my spelling, I´m from sweden and english is not my first language!

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Post by Jeremy » Thu Apr 20, 2006 9:39 pm

I boil my water in a kettle than mix up the formula. Then put the formual into syringes and put the syringes in a cup filled with boiled water. This will keep it warm during the whole feeding. Just remember to wait about a minute before feeding it to them otherwise you will burn the crop.

Stretched crops occur when the baby is very young, it is only a danger if you handraise from day 1. too much food will stretch the crop

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Post by Melika » Fri Oct 27, 2006 6:07 pm

Yes, stretched crops will not empty properly, leaving food in the crop which can cause 'crop rot' or 'sour crop'. Basically the old food in the crop spoils and leads to an infection usually of candida (yeast) or possibly a bacterial infection.

A vet treating the bird would flush the crop and put it on antibiotics.

Other possible causes of 'crop rot' or 'sour crop'

    formula too cold
    formula too thick
    chick too cold
    crop not empty between feedings
    using old mixed formula


The older the baby, the less likely you are to have problems.



Keeping the food warm during feeding:

My friends had an ingenious setup: a small plastic Critter Keeper, half a brick, some wire, and a fishtank heater.

They put the brick in the bottom of the critter keeper for the dish of formula to rest on, then filled the keeper with water and added the fishtank heater. They got the heater to the temperature they wanted and just left it that way: 103 F for their lovebirds and formula.
Two pieces of wire were wrapped around the keeper above the brick to hold the dish of formula steady.

Since they fed so many birds, it worked out very well. Kept the formula at temp and we didn't have to worry about it. I only fed three birds at most so I didn't need it. But I would if I bred birds. You just have to add water after each feeding to make up for what evaporates away. :)
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my lucky cockatiel

Post by birdylover » Sun Dec 17, 2006 7:52 am

I know this is a old post but im going to reply anyway lol
i wish i could have read that a few months ago, ill tell you what happend.
I brought a pair of cockatiels of a man from our local paper he deliverd them, i agreed to buy them and he went away, he also gave me there nest box for next years breeding so i settled the birds in to a cage and went to put there nest box in the cupboard when i heard a sqeaking noise coming from inside, very shocked i opend it up thinking i was going to find a mouse or something but it was a baby cockatiel, i hadnt a clue what to do so i put the box in the cage with its parents. a few hours went by and they hadnt bothered to go in to feed him so i had to make the decision to hand rear him, very hard it was this chick was about 2 weeks old and i had never done it before he just had a few feathers (the rest was down) so i phoned the pet shop for advice the man from the shop brought me some kaytee hand rearing food showed me how to make it, how to test the temp, how to feed him, told me to make sure he was kept warm basically everything i needed to know i done all that and luckily millie suvived she is now 17 weeks approx im just so glad i heard him squeking otherwise he would have died and me not even know about it im so angry at the man i got them from 1, for moveing the birds while they had a baby and 2, for not telling me the chick was in the nest box i still dread to think what would have happend if i didnt find her
love sarah
my babys
sally (dog) stella + fluffy (cats) emo, beauty, millie, silver, (cockatiels) angel (budgie) snowy + joey (ringnecks) can + rio (canaries)
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Post by CatsChair » Sun Dec 17, 2006 9:52 am

Wow, talk about the stars being in alignment. You and Millie were meant to find each other! Thanks for sharing.
MCS
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Post by birdylover » Sun Dec 17, 2006 10:08 am

CatsChair wrote:Wow, talk about the stars being in alignment. You and Millie were meant to find each other! Thanks for sharing.


Aww, thank you he is a beautifull bird (pearl) we thourght he was a girl as he had barring on his back and tail but now he is getting older the barring is dissapearing hence why we called him millie lol :)

also i dont actually know if the pair i got was millies correct parents as the father is a white faced and the mother is a lutino so they should have produced albino and millie is a pearl
love sarah
my babys
sally (dog) stella + fluffy (cats) emo, beauty, millie, silver, (cockatiels) angel (budgie) snowy + joey (ringnecks) can + rio (canaries)
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Good for you

Post by Bird crazy » Sun Dec 17, 2006 7:56 pm

So glad to hear of your success. Have never tried to print off this website but an going to print and keep this info in a file with my other bird notes so if I ever run across a situation like that I'll have it to refer to.

Thanks for all the info guys.
Sue
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Nila Blue IRN, Priya Grey IRN, and Bigotes the cat
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Feeding baby parrot

Post by taliets » Thu Jul 26, 2007 1:40 pm

Hi. Thanks for all the info. I've actually been a bit worried because I've been hand rearing a new baby and she has not been eating so good lately. She used to eat very well in the beginning and then she started eating less and she is also not gaining weight so well. She screams for food a lot but then when I feed her she just eats one spoon full and then she tries to get away from the food which is strange. Today was the first day she at a lot again but should I be worried? she looked a bit lathargic the past few days. She is also about 7 weeks or older and she has not started eating any seeds and still wants me to feed her. Is that normal? Any advice would be great. thanks!
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Post by Datsun and Family » Thu Jul 26, 2007 2:37 pm

Offer cut and mashed fruits and veges, millet spray and mushy pellets, and have different foods available all the time for her to play with and try. If she is lethargic what temperature is it where you are? If you are concerned a vet trip is always a good idea.
-Chamon-

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Post by Jay » Thu Jul 26, 2007 5:35 pm

At 7 weeks, IRNs tend to eat less in their attempt to get their weight down for flight and fledging purposes. I handfeed with a syringe so at this stage, I sort of force feed them by grabbing their beaks gently and pumping in their regular 10-15ml of formula, especially their last feeding of the day.

Also at 7 weeks, they should be down to one or two feedings per day so like Datsun says, you should start abundance weaning the babies with lots of fruits, veggies and high-fiber cereal throughout the day.

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Thanks!

Post by taliets » Sat Jul 28, 2007 2:46 am

Thanks for the advice!
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Re: My personal hand-feeding agenda

Post by Datsun and Family » Tue Aug 31, 2010 3:31 pm

Haha I was searching for this and found it only to realise it is already sticky.... Baby brain!!
-Chamon-

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Re: My personal hand-feeding agenda

Post by Lauren » Wed Sep 01, 2010 8:06 pm

haha Chamon. Baby brain has gotcha! :lol: I found this post very helpful. Hope to use this advice soon. :D
"Jibby aka Gilbert" Indian Ringneck 13 years "Charlie" Rex Rabbit 1 year

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Re: My personal hand-feeding agenda

Post by Dj tweet » Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:56 pm

This post is great thankx just what I needed as a guide for my Alex baby
he's 5 weeks today and am hoping to pick him up on the weekend
the time guide will work well and I'll just adjust the ccs according to his needs
I can't wait for my baby
life will be fun :)

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Re: My personal hand-feeding agenda

Post by Dare2b » Mon Nov 01, 2010 4:08 pm

I have just found this topic!

This is fantastic. I have raised numerous birds in the past but the last one was over 10 years ago. I have only just started again with IRN. I have 3 weaning at the moment, 1 about to and 2 that are about 1-2 weeks off with 6 babies around 3-4 weeks old as well.

Weaning worries me a little as I dont see them eating much so I panic that they are not consuming enough food. They are extremely affectionate birds and fly around the house following us. Should I still be forcing baby mix into them?

I have fresh apple cut into tiny cubes, pellets, budgie seed with a few sunflower seeds, egg and biscuit mix and obviously water available for them. I have seen the picking and playing with it but am unsure how much they are actually swallowing. My major fear is now that they will starve.

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Re: Hand-Feeding and Weaning

Post by Melika » Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:27 am

Added a bit about weaning. Hope it helps. :)
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Re: Hand-Feeding and Weaning

Post by angela74 » Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:13 am

hi i am new to this sight but have had ringnecks for a while i have just purchased a new baby ringneck to hand raise (my other one had to be put down due to an accident very sad but it was best for him it has taken over 12 months for me to try again) my new baby is 21 days old i have just read your handrearing guide again and i was just wondering if my feeding times were good i feed him about every 4 hours and he has 8 - 10 cc times as follows 8am,12.30pm,5pm.10pm,3am i thought he needed to be fed at night because he is still so little am i doing the right thing or could i cut out the last feed and let him go through
from angela

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Re: Hand-Feeding and Weaning

Post by Melika » Mon Nov 08, 2010 10:26 am

It does depend upon the bird.

But I would say your little one should be able to make it through the night just fine assuming the formula is the correct thickness.

If you do your last feeding at ten though, you would have to wake up earlier (six am) for the morning feeding. It isn't so much the actual times of the feeding, but the timespan between them that is important to look at. For instance, if I wanted feedings to begin at eight am, I would feed at 8am 12pm 4pm 8pm 12am. Day feedings at that age for me are four hours apart, give or take a half hour. Overnight is eight hours between feedings. I like more feedings as opposed to less, I feel it is more natural.

However, if the crop still has food after four hours, you can feed about every five hours like Donna at that age, but again eight hours overnight. :)
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Dare2b
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Re: Hand-Feeding and Weaning

Post by Dare2b » Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:45 pm

Question on weaning.

My Blues are refusing to be weaned. I even went to the point of not feeding them all day just leaving fruit, crumbles and seed in the cage for them.

By the evening they were starving. I have done this a few times now as the younger babies go to work with me in the day time but because the Blues are flying (and have been for a week) I cant take them.

HELP!!!

Gemma
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Re: Hand-Feeding and Weaning

Post by Gemma » Tue Nov 09, 2010 12:39 am

my baby isn't eating either!! its stressful, he won't stop calling for food and refusing to eat anything i am making him whether it's his hand raising formula or some steamed soft veggies:(

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kimmy
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Re: Hand-Feeding and Weaning

Post by kimmy » Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:32 am

this is sooo helpful. i think my baby is fledging atm from what you've said, he's eating corn and small seeds, i feed him 3 times a day, 7am, 2pm and 9pm. in the mornings he's eating a far bit but once i put him in with my older IRN he eats seeds and corn, not enough to fill he's crop though. but he's being sooo stubborn, refusing the formula. i feel soooo cruel forcing him to eat but i know i need to do it right! someone told me to miss he's middle feed so it makes him hungry before he's last feed but im worried he'll starve! such precious little things they are.

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Melika
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Re: Hand-Feeding and Weaning

Post by Melika » Tue Nov 16, 2010 1:31 pm

Dare2b wrote:Question on weaning.

My Blues are refusing to be weaned. I even went to the point of not feeding them all day just leaving fruit, crumbles and seed in the cage for them.

By the evening they were starving. I have done this a few times now as the younger babies go to work with me in the day time but because the Blues are flying (and have been for a week) I cant take them.

HELP!!!
The best information I have read on this...
A handfeeder who deprives a baby of food in a misguided attempt to wean him is setting the bird up for behavioral problems that may manifest themselves at a later period. Early exploration of brightly colored and small manageable pieces of food begins with a baby who is not hungry. A baby who whose hunger is satisfied is one who is willing to investigate not only the weaning foods but toys too. A hungry anxious baby will think of only one thing - his hunger and the handfeeder who is depriving him of food. It will be difficult for him to become a trusting, confident companion. He may regard a human as someone who once starved him. And his owner will have no idea of why his new companion is never satisfied, is fearful, and distrusts those who want to reassure and love and protect him.
http://www.birdsnways.com/wisdom/ww4e.htm


If your fledgelings are ace flyers (can land without incident and know how to hover) I cannot see any reason why you cannot clip the wings. This way you can take them with you. :)
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angela74
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Re: Hand-Feeding and Weaning

Post by angela74 » Fri Dec 03, 2010 1:43 am

hi my new irn is about 7 weeks old and over the last week he has decided that he doesnt want his morning feed so i have placed cooked veg and seed in his cage i have been feeding his at night still and tonight he even refused that i dont want him too starve and dont really want to force feedhim either any ideas on what to do thanks angela

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Melika
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Re: Hand-Feeding and Weaning

Post by Melika » Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:33 pm

angela74 wrote:hi my new irn is about 7 weeks old and over the last week he has decided that he doesnt want his morning feed so i have placed cooked veg and seed in his cage i have been feeding his at night still and tonight he even refused that i dont want him too starve and dont really want to force feedhim either any ideas on what to do thanks angela

How much food is he eating besides formula and are you weighing him? If he is eating plenty and continues to refuse formula every night, he might just be ready to fully wean.
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Genga
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Re: Hand-Feeding

Post by Genga » Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:23 pm

hi, love yr post - My ringneck female won't feed the babies !!!! what can i do? she laid 4 eggs / the first on hatched but didn't survive. I don't think she knows what to do! Unfortunately I work in an office so i can't take them to work.

I think the 2nd egg has started.

Wendy
Lost in Montreal.

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Melika
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Re: Hand-Feeding

Post by Melika » Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:43 pm

Genga wrote:hi, love yr post - My ringneck female won't feed the babies !!!! what can i do? she laid 4 eggs / the first on hatched but didn't survive. I don't think she knows what to do! Unfortunately I work in an office so i can't take them to work.

I think the 2nd egg has started.

Wendy
Lost in Montreal.
Sorry to get back to you so late. If this is her first clutch, you have a choice to make. Feed them yourself or let her learn how to be a parent.

If she abandons the nest altogether, chances are she has no interest in feeding the little ones. But if she is sitting and keeping them warm, she might figure it out with the next clutch, or maybe even the last chick from this one.

Since you cannot take chicks to work, it might not be the best idea to take them out and incubate/feed. Parrots who have their chicks removed from day one seem to learn that they don't need to care for the chicks after they hatch and might never learn to feed their own.

As heartbreaking as it is to know the chicks are dying, it is fairly common in first clutches. Call it a learning curve.

If you are going to feed the chicks, Imran has an excellent article (I have never fed from day 1) http://www.indianringneck.com/handfeed/

Parent birds often like to have mushy food to feed their young. Think live foods like veggies, sprouts, and fruits. You can take pellets and mix them into your veggie mash or serve them soaked and warm to make sure those chicks are getting what they need. Here is a similar question on another forum, the last post rather summarizes my thoughts on diet: http://www.parrots.org/index.php/forums/viewthread/876/

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=8078 List of foods.
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njournel101
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Re: Hand-Feeding and Weaning

Post by njournel101 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:14 pm

Hello,

This might seem like a silly question but I am new to this! I got one baby out of my pair of ringnecks and he is now 4 weeks old. I am planning on letting the parents feed him until he leaves the nestbox. My question is: Can I take him out from the box from time to time so he can have human interaction? Or will the parents abandon him if I do this?

Thanks for any advice!

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Melika
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Re: Hand-Feeding and Weaning

Post by Melika » Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:45 am

njournel101 wrote:Hello,

This might seem like a silly question but I am new to this! I got one baby out of my pair of ringnecks and he is now 4 weeks old. I am planning on letting the parents feed him until he leaves the nestbox. My question is: Can I take him out from the box from time to time so he can have human interaction? Or will the parents abandon him if I do this?

Thanks for any advice!
Yes you can. The greatest danger will be the mother possibly attacking you in defense of her nest, so distract her with a yummy treat to get her away and busy while you play with your baby. Keep the intervals short but meaningful. Once or twice a day every day for short periods of time will work best. Just saying hello, talking, stroking, and holding for a little bit can do wonders. Since he is four weeks and has open eyes for some time at this point, he will probably be afraid at first but won't bite. It might take a little longer but he should get used to you. :)

Be aware of their tendency to walk backwards- and quickly! You don't want to drop your baby.
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Anni86
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Re: Hand-Feeding and Weaning

Post by Anni86 » Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:34 am

Please help.
My baby is around 4 weeks old. What is the crop supposed to look like. Does any body have photos? I'm soooo scared of overfeeding. I've fed him just now but his crop seems large.

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Melika
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Re: Hand-Feeding and Weaning

Post by Melika » Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:11 am

Anni86 wrote:Please help.
My baby is around 4 weeks old. What is the crop supposed to look like. Does any body have photos? I'm soooo scared of overfeeding. I've fed him just now but his crop seems large.
Here are some pictures a lovebird breeder posted in her article. http://www.flyinggems.com/Lovebirds/handfeeding.htm

Basically the crop should be empty by the time of your next feeding (or within about four hours).

If you are home and able, it is better to feed more often and less if you can. Then you won't have to worry about overfeeding, just feed when the crop is empty again. :)

Hope this helps. You can always go ask a breeder and see in person! That would be the best way to know.
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jhebert9
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Re: Hand-Feeding and Weaning

Post by jhebert9 » Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:38 am

Thanks so much for all of the tips! I'm getting my baby IRN today, & this helps a lot.
Darwin, Turquoise Chick
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jhebert9
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Re: Hand-Feeding and Weaning

Post by jhebert9 » Sat Mar 24, 2012 5:26 pm

My baby IRN is about 5 weeks old. He used to eat 12+ CCs at each feeding at 6AM, 1PM, 6PM, and 10PM. Now, he's not wanting to eat as much. He's also still kind of shy, and doesn't really come to me and get excited about eating like my other chick that's about 4 or 5 days younger. Any tips???
Darwin, Turquoise Chick
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Chicklet
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Re: Hand-Feeding and Weaning

Post by Chicklet » Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:16 pm

We got a baby yesterday and are hand feeding. The breeder insisted that I use a syringe. In the past I used a spoon and had no problems. I am doing fine with a syringe but if I'm being honest I really don't like that method. I love the idea of the cups and think I might try that.

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redgypsy
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Re: Hand-Feeding and Weaning

Post by redgypsy » Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:13 am

Hi there,

Firstly, I'd like to mention that this is a great post. Some very important and helpful information to any bird owner, kudos to you! :D


I have just purchased a breeding pair of Lutino IRNs with the hopes to hand-rear/raise one of their babies, and teach it speak and do tricks (I am so excited!).
I've never had a breeding pair of birds, although I did do some formula feeding with my cockatiel a few years ago, I got him from the birdie store and they recommended to keep hand feeding him for another week, so I am capable with that.

My question/concern lies more with chicks that are one day old.. how would I go about only wanting to hand rear one chick, and leave the parents to do their thing with the other babies?
Would I have to start feeding it from day one, or should I wait a few days so it can get the nutrition from the mama birdie and then start feeding? What if I wait a week or two before hand feeding? What would you guys recommend?
I'll also just mention that the parents are experienced and have already had 2 clutches with previous owners.

I feel a little bit cruel if I only take one, but the man at the birdie store recommended this. I can't seem to find any advice particular to my question, so I do apologise if this is in the wrong thread (also, I'm not that great with forums :lol: ).


Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Antonia
Bird-Lover

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Melika
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Re: Hand-Feeding and Weaning

Post by Melika » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:23 am

redgypsy wrote:Hi there,

Firstly, I'd like to mention that this is a great post. Some very important and helpful information to any bird owner, kudos to you! :D


I have just purchased a breeding pair of Lutino IRNs with the hopes to hand-rear/raise one of their babies, and teach it speak and do tricks (I am so excited!).
I've never had a breeding pair of birds, although I did do some formula feeding with my cockatiel a few years ago, I got him from the birdie store and they recommended to keep hand feeding him for another week, so I am capable with that.

My question/concern lies more with chicks that are one day old.. how would I go about only wanting to hand rear one chick, and leave the parents to do their thing with the other babies?
Would I have to start feeding it from day one, or should I wait a few days so it can get the nutrition from the mama birdie and then start feeding? What if I wait a week or two before hand feeding? What would you guys recommend?
I'll also just mention that the parents are experienced and have already had 2 clutches with previous owners.

I feel a little bit cruel if I only take one, but the man at the birdie store recommended this. I can't seem to find any advice particular to my question, so I do apologise if this is in the wrong thread (also, I'm not that great with forums :lol: ).


Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Antonia
Bird-Lover
Sorry for the belated reply. May I ask why you only want to hand-feed one- what his advice was founded upon?

My preference is to leave chicks with their parents until they are about 3 weeks old. There is really no reason to take them earlier unless the parents refuse to feed. This also means you never have to do night-time feedings haha.
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sarbee42
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Re: Hand-Feeding and Weaning

Post by sarbee42 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:29 pm

This is a great post and exactly the info I was looking for!
I can't wait for mine to start laying now :lol:

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Re: Hand-Feeding and Weaning

Post by subodhhire » Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:31 pm

A wonderful post and very helpful to all.

Subodh

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Re: Hand-Feeding and Weaning

Post by pards007 » Tue Mar 04, 2014 3:29 pm

I got Storm at 10 days old and I like using a glass eyedropper to feed, it makes it easier and has less pressure coming out then a syringe, my breeder friend uses the same eyedropper. I bought the eyedropper ar rite aid (CVS has the exact same package). They come in a two pack, one is bent tip and the other a straight tip. I don't use the bent tip but saved the rubber squeeze thingy in case the other one was either lost, broke, etc. Glass is much easier to clean and to me seems more hygenic. It takes a few more feedings as it's only one cc but the time spent feeding before Storm goes back in the brooder is so precious.

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Re: Hand-Feeding and Weaning

Post by Afraz » Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:43 pm

I tried cup feeding my baby IRN, but he absolutely refuses to eat it. Finger feeding doesn't work either. He had gone without food for almost a day so I decided to tube feed him. It feels sad every time I do it, I dunno if he gets distressed when feeding him like that, but he just refuses to eat. I took him to a vet recently, and she told me that it's a natural thing for birds born in captivity. She said I should continue tube feeding.

Does anyone have any alternative methods? Because I don't want to cause unnecessary stress to the baby. :(

Thanks

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Melika
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Re: Hand-Feeding and Weaning

Post by Melika » Wed May 07, 2014 7:20 am

Oh wow, sorry this got missed. I'm sure you're well beyond this point now!

For others reading in the future: there is a difference between gavage feeding (or tube-feeding) and feeding with a syringe.

Gavage feeding is not necessarily wrong. Most of the problems with gavage feeding are created by the breeder because they use this method in order to feed more quickly (so is sometimes more rough) and therefore spend less time with a bird. This is why buying a hand-fed bird doesn't always make a difference. It all comes down to spending time with the chicks and handling.

Note: You would not want to gavage feed your chick if you have no experience. Imagine someone with no experience putting a tube down your throat that's supposed to go to your stomach instead of your lungs- would you trust them to get it right?
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Re: Hand-Feeding and Weaning

Post by Wessel Gordon » Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:30 am

This thread is very informative, thanks Melika

I have a pair of IRN's that hatch their eggs but refuse to feed the babies beyond a certain age. Last year I wasn't aware of this issue so when I noticed something's wrong it was too late to save the two chicks. We checked their nest again this morning and found a starved, dead chick and one barely alive as well as two eggs. The one that's barely alive is at most 3-4 days old. Luckily I have hand-rearing formula so I was able to feed the chick immediately after removing it from the nest...it's crop was completely empty before I intervened. I phoned an experienced breeder and he suggested I keep the bird in the microwave on a towel on top of a warm water bottle to ensure constant heat and avoid drafts (obviously the microwave has been unplugged and switched off to avoid an accident). As is stated in this thread he also recommended two hourly feedings day and night till I get a feel for how often and how much this individual chick needs. I have hand-reared several IRN's before but all of them was at least covered by down when I got them.

My question is: did he or me miss something important?

Wessel

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Melika
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Re: Hand-Feeding and Weaning

Post by Melika » Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:20 pm

Wessel Gordon wrote:This thread is very informative, thanks Melika

I have a pair of IRN's that hatch their eggs but refuse to feed the babies beyond a certain age. Last year I wasn't aware of this issue so when I noticed something's wrong it was too late to save the two chicks. We checked their nest again this morning and found a starved, dead chick and one barely alive as well as two eggs. The one that's barely alive is at most 3-4 days old. Luckily I have hand-rearing formula so I was able to feed the chick immediately after removing it from the nest...it's crop was completely empty before I intervened. I phoned an experienced breeder and he suggested I keep the bird in the microwave on a towel on top of a warm water bottle to ensure constant heat and avoid drafts (obviously the microwave has been unplugged and switched off to avoid an accident). As is stated in this thread he also recommended two hourly feedings day and night till I get a feel for how often and how much this individual chick needs. I have hand-reared several IRN's before but all of them was at least covered by down when I got them.

My question is: did he or me miss something important?

Wessel
Was this pair hand-raised? Have all their previous clutches been taken away for hand-feeding? Some breeders have told me that these things can sometimes create a situation where the parents won't rear the chicks beyond a certain point. Either because they have no experience from being a chick, or because they've never had to. They don't really know, this is just theory.
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Melika
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Re: Hand-Feeding and Weaning

Post by Melika » Sat Oct 17, 2015 11:44 pm

Checked links and added a few more about hand-feeding. Enjoy. :)
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Tarlo5
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Re: Hand-Feeding and Weaning

Post by Tarlo5 » Mon Oct 17, 2016 1:05 am

Question: l have 3 baby ringnecks about 3 weeks old . When is a good time to take them from there mum and dad.
We handle the babies every day , twice a day. We want to hand tame them

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Melika
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Re: Hand-Feeding and Weaning

Post by Melika » Thu Apr 06, 2017 4:17 pm

Sorry for the extremely delayed response, but to help others with similar questions...

Tarlo5 wrote:Question: l have 3 baby ringnecks about 3 weeks old . When is a good time to take them from there mum and dad.
We handle the babies every day , twice a day. We want to hand tame them
You don't have to take them away at all if you're spending time with them daily like that. They will still be just as good of a pet. :)

If you absolutely want to, you could have easily taken them around 2 weeks. At 3 weeks it might be harder to get them to accept the formula. But you can try (if you're experienced).
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