When I initially began hand-rearing young parrots in the United Kingdom many years ago, there were no commercially available feeds in the country at the time. After a lot of trial and error with several combinations, I landed on one that produced offspring who grew at around the same pace as their parents and weighed approximately the same at any given age.
After approximately one to two weeks, I stopped using my homemade mix and switched to using one of the several commercial hand-rearing meals that were available at the time. I noticed that my infants were able to digest it better and grew a little bit faster when I used my own concoction during the first one to two weeks of their lives. I continued to use it.
After many years some of those those\searly components are no longer accessible and I use alternative substitutions. The first recipe that I used may be seen at the bottom of this page for anybody who is interested in seeing where I began. The one that I use now, and this is it, is what makes it more fascinating.
Hand rearing food recipe for newly hatched:
500 grams of parrot soft food with as high a protein level as possible, currently, I am using CeDe Mix for Parrots at 17.8% protein – higher would be better
- 150 grams of human baby (from 3 – 4 months) food with a protein level of at least 18%
- 150 grams of human baby (from 3 – 4 months) fruit food – protein often about 13%
All these ingredients should be ground in a coffee grinder and then put through a fine sieve such as a flour sieve to produce a fine powder. To this is then added 2 level teaspoons of Vetark NUTROBAL and 1 level teaspoon of Vetark ACE-HIGH.
Alternatively, you can purchase smaller quantities of these products combined in Vetark AVIMIX. In addition, 3 level teaspoons of Vetark AVIPRO PAEDIATRIC are added. This last is probably largely responsible for the babies getting away to such a good start (unfortunately, it is no longer available, so use another Probiotic).
Obviously, the whole is thoroughly mixed together and is stored in a refrigerator.
A small amount is then added to water for each feed in approximately the same proportions as any of the commercial hand-rearing diets, bearing in mind that it must be very thin for newly hatched chicks.
Original hand-rearing mixture:
- 250 grams Haiths NECTARBLEND rearing food
- 250 grams Haiths PTX budgie soft food (no longer available)
- 150 grams Milupa infant dessert – mixed fruit variety
- 150 grams Milupa infant dinner – spring vegetable (no longer available)
- 3 level teaspoons Vetark AVIPRO PAEDIATRIC (no longer available)
- 1 level teaspoon Vetark NUTROBAL
- 1 level teaspoon Vetark ACE-HIGH (estimated 19% protein and 7% fat)
At 2 – 3 weeks old the babies had the diet modified by the addition of:
- 125 grams hulled crushed sunflower seed
- 125 grams crushed sesame seed
- 62.5 grams crushed pumpkin seed (estimated 18% protein and at least 20% fat which is too high, hence the later switch to a commercial hand-rearing food)
All the ingredients are mixed in a coffee grinder and stored in a refrigerator.
If you are interested in more about parrot pet birds, check our website for more information.
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