Do you own a collection of pet birds or a single companion? If yes, you’re probably an expert at feeding your bird. Interestingly, some pet bird breeders and owners know little about the science. Sometimes mature birds stop eating and you’ll need to exercise emergency hand-feeding. Besides, it takes time for delicate fledglings and nestlings to feed unassisted. Admittedly, you cannot learn how to hand-feed a bird correctly without following expert instructions. A professional bird feeder or nurse is the best instructor out there. So, hiring a professional for hands-on bird feeding lessons is a novel idea.
Another all-important safety when to exercise when hand feeding a bird(s), especially the young ones is to wash or sanitize your hands properly. Additionally, you should choose your bird feeding formula carefully, preferably commercial-grade products. You should also pay keen attention and follow package directions carefully. This usually specifies the appropriate water-to-solid ratio and match it with your bird’s age. Nestlings need more water than feeding formula compared to older fledglings. Leftover bird feeding is susceptible to bacteria forming, so you should apportion smaller quantities or dispose of any remains to avoid making your pets ill.
You shouldn’t feed your pet bird commercial formula if it doesn’t have the appropriate temperature range. In fact, experienced bird breeders and avian veterinarians suggest temperatures anywhere from 100-108 degrees F (Fahrenheit). You shouldn’t forget to inspect bird feeding formula packages for detailed directions. Furthermore, you’ll be required to follow the correct heating procedure instructions for hand feeding birds. A water-heated bowl or double-boiler is the preferred heating source to avoid an allergic reaction. Studies have concluded that birds fed microwaved commercial-grade formula could become ill from crop-burned feeding or hot spots.
Mind you, bird feeding formula should be safely stored. What’s more, you should use an avian veterinarian-approved thermometer to monitor temperatures periodically. You should connect with professionals and pet lovers to learn about the best-rated spoon, tubes, utensils and syringe for feeding your bird. As you prepare your pet bird for hand-feeding, remember to place it on a grip-friendly surface, preferably a clean dish towel or cloth. Then, simply grip and hold its lore in place as you slightly stretch its neck while using a thumb or finger to direct the feeding to its lower beak.
You should feed it the formula slowly to avoid flooding its trachea or beak. The frequency and quantity of feeding you give your pet bird depend on its body composition and age. For correct feeding amounts, you should simply consult the package label, a certified breeder or licensed avian veterinarian. If you’re raising a nestling or fledgling, you should feed it more frequently than you’d crop an adult bird. Furthermore, younger birds need more feedings as it undergoes the progressive growth phases during the second to third weeks of life. Another safety measure is that you avoid overfeeding your bird.
A normal feeding interval should range anywhere from 3-4 hours. If your bird isn’t taking its feeding from the crop within this time schedule or refuses to take anything throughout the course of the day, simply seek a professional opinion from your local avian veterinarian. Lastly, you should keep track of your bird’s eating habits and progress. You can use bird’s weight to determine if it’s healthy or not. If you suspect a substantial drop in your pet bird’s weight and it’s beyond the weaning phase, it’s best that you immediately consult a board-certified avian veterinarian.