Hand feeding schedule (Part Two)
We have already concluded that hand fed birds make the best pets, but when and how often do you feed them? Below is my schedule for hand feeding babies that has proven to create healthy and friendly birds time and time again.
I pull the babies from their nest at three weeks old. I always pull the full clutch and the parents go back to nest. The process starts feeding six times a day, starting at 7am and finishing at 10pm. I never let my babies go hungry. If the bird has a bit of food in it's crop during the day you can still feed them, but you want the crop completely empty in the morning before you feed. If you are consistent with your schedule the birds know their routine and don't stress about when they are going to be fed. My babies never cry in between feedings. I believe the bird is stressed if it is begging for food.
From here the feeding schedule changes depending on the type and size of the bird.
Small birds (Lovebirds, Cockatiels, small Conures, etc.) - drop a feeding every 7 days
Medium birds (large Conures, small Amazons, mini Macaws, Rose Breasted Cockatoos, etc.) - drop a feeding every 10 days
Large birds (large Amazons, African Greys, Cockatoos, Macaws, Eclectus, ect.) - drop a feeding every 14 days
When the birds go down to four feedings a day I start to put some more options for them to explore in the cage. I start with organic frozen vegetables to explore soft food (corn, carrots, peas, green beans). I will also put some spray millet and plain sugar free cheerios for them to get some crunch. Even if the birds are not ready to eat solid food they get used to seeing it and can play with it. When the birds are down to three feedings a day I start to add seed to the cage.
Stay tuned next week for hand feeding part 3 where I will explain some common challenges and issues that can occur while hand feeding babies.
TIPS: Keep the babies cages half on a heating pad so they stay warm and toasty, but have an area to go to if they feel too warm. Also keep a night light on!
- Written by Christie Price