Throughout our many years of raising birds, we have had several requests to acquire extremely small baby birds. Even a few of weeks old is preferable.
That seems like a reasonable request. After all, we’ve always said that acquiring a young bird is much simpler than getting an older one… Why not have a child?
Baby birds are also much less expensive to buy! Our daughter just informed us that a seller at a flea market in Florida was selling just-weaned Blue/Gold Macaw infants for $400. These birds would cost at least $900 as infants and $2500 once weaned and approximately 6 months old up here in the north! Naturally, the new pet owner would want to save a lot of money!
They are less expensive since the bird breeder has not spent time in growing it. Consider the labour involved: you must feed the birds every 2-3 hours throughout the day. And all into the night! If you have a lot of infants, you won’t be able to feed them all by yourself, so you’ll need to employ someone to assist. We now have personnel expenses. This is their concern! They make their money by investing their time.
Food may be costly! The birds in our aviary are given a special hand feeding mix that resembles brown flour. It’s really a scientifically created blend of grain, vitamins, and minerals tailored to the requirements of a newborn bird. The pricing is too exorbitant unless purchased in bulk. After a few weeks, we start introducing different meals. We move them through the phases of Gerber baby meals and other sorts of human foods gradually. Those are also not inexpensive! Ask any woman who has just given birth! Feeding a parrot from birth to weaning at 3-4 months might easily cost $200-300. When the time spent on feeding is included, you end up with a very costly pet!
However, purchasing them as infants removes all of the costs associated with weaning them, making them a steal. We’ve lost quite a few baby birds. It was sometimes caused by poor eating. Sometimes it was because we were trying something new. It was a costly lesson. However, we learn from our failures and pass these lessons on to others.
However, the ordinary pet owner has little idea how to properly feed babies. When I initially became interested in birds, I would have given everything to find a breeder to assist me, teach me right technique, and mentor me. Such as why you need a brooder and what the proper feeding temperature is. I’ve lost a number of babies, and each one has broken my heart! I didn’t have a thorough understanding of the Internet. I just had a library full of ancient books that didn’t tell me anything.
We usually refuse to sell unweaned young birds. And in ALL circumstances, we will not sell them unless the buyer can prove they know how to hand feed them and understand the risks and responsibilities of hand rearing birds. Someone who would offer a newborn bird to someone with no hand feeding expertise is a dead giveaway of a terrible bird breeder. You generally sentence your bird to death!
I recall going to a bird exhibition. My husband kept an eye on the booth while I went “shopping” and socialising with the other merchants. I was astounded to see a salesman instructing a potential customer on how to hand feed a baby macaw using a turkey baster… one of those plastic tubes with a bulb on it! The dish was also as thick as peanut butter!
Hand feeding birds is difficult. The younger the infant, the more often it must be fed. Are you willing to feed the bird every 2-3 hours…all day? And all through the night?
As a result, if you are thinking about buying an unweaned chick, you should educate yourself on the methods. Begin by going to a bird breeder and asking if they will teach you. You must learn how to correctly mix the food, test the temperature, and feed the bird. See if your local avian vet can help you with training if you can locate one.
Larger birds are much simpler to feed. In most circumstances, you may simply feed the infant using a baby spoon. However, this takes more time. You might learn how to use a syringe with practise and education. However, if you do not do it correctly, you will push the food down the throat and strangle the kid.
Beginners should never feed little birds by hand. Even the most expert breeders will not feed finches or parakeets since their little bodies are difficult to deal with. I did manage to feed parakeets, but only because the birds’ parents had abandoned them and I was forced to. I’m not looking forward to it.
WHERE TO GET MORE INFO
If you are determined to hand feed infants, begin by acquiring education information. The majority of hand feeding formula manufacturers provide hand feeding literature and videos. Kaytee, Lafeber, Zupreem, and Prettybird are among them. You may acquire this information by going to their Internet home page.
Hand feeding is a gratifying experience. It is well worth the effort to see your baby develop into a very docile and lively pet. Just do it correctly!
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