Need all the advice you can give me about hand feeding baby Quakers

Discussion in 'Caged Birds - Parrots, Canaries, Finches etc.' started by Crazy4Chicks, Jun 27, 2009.

  1. Crazy4Chicks

    Crazy4Chicks Songster

    Nov 20, 2007
    Glendale, AZ
    I have been asked by breeder to give her a hand with hand feeding some Quaker Parrots - she is short on time with work and everything and she knows I have a Quaker and have experience with the breed plus loves the work I have been doing with the quail and the ringnecks

    even though the quail and ringnecks are much much easier to raise LOL

    I am not sure when she will need me to help yet I juat want to get as much info as possible

    so anything you can tell me like how to feed -- how often to feed --- keeping them warm --- do I need to help them go potty ( sorry these are dumb questions lol )

    so load me up with eveything you got PLEASE LOL
  2. Crazy4Chicks

    Crazy4Chicks Songster

    Nov 20, 2007
    Glendale, AZ
    can anyone offer any advice ?? tips ??

    anything please
  3. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    WASH YOUR HANDS every time before you start!

    When I handfeed I warm up a soup mug of water in the microwave so it is a little warmer than you need. I use a tiny tupperware cup and dip in a little of the water. I add Exact feeding forumula (which I keep in the freezer) and stir and add until it is about the consistency of ketchup, maybe a TAD thinner, as it will thicken up. Then I draw up as many syrainges as there are birds to feed and let them stay warm in the mug of water. The water should be like baby bottle warm by now.

    When I hand feed I wrap each baby as it is being fed, in a paper towel, cuz they usually poop, and they feel safe and cuddled and don't wobble around so much. You can dab their beak with the paper towel if the food misses the mark or the goober some of it down their chin. I don't feed them until whatever was in their crop is gone. Do NOT wake up at night to feed them. They will get sour crop and die. If their crop gets stretched out, you are feeding too much at one feeding. Feed less ammount and more often.

    Start by putting small amount in their beaks and let them swallow. At first make the mush so it is a little thicker so they will not aspirate as easily. After they get the hang of hand feeding you can make it a tiny bit more liquid. After they are full and are done eating, suck up some of that warm water from the mug and VERY CAREFULLY give them a few drops of water to clean the inside of their mouths out so they don't get a yeast infection in the mouth. Well, that is about all I can think of for starters.

    I just handfed two red headed parrot finch babies. They had first time parents that raised them half way and then quit. I left them in the nest and just pulled them out twice a day and topped them off really good. I put them back in the nest and covered them with my hand until they settled down and closed the lid. They stayed in the nest another week and a half, probably doubled in size and just fledged today. They are fat and healthy and they should do great. Good luck and you can post here or PM me if you need more help.
  4. chicken_china_mom

    chicken_china_mom Crazy for Cochins

    Apr 24, 2009
    Tab, Indiana
    I bred parrots for many years. Raising newly hatched baby parrots is NOTHING like raising baby chickens. I don't know how much you already know or not, but to give you the basics, baby parrots are born naked, except for a sparse amount of fuzz on their bodies, and blind with their eyes sealed shut. They cannot maintain their own body heat but putting a heat lamp over them can be tricky cause their fragile skin can burn. I have had fed everything from macaws down to cockatiels, and I raised and sold cockatiels for about 16 years. You could say I am "retired" now, lol. Even though I'm only 34! It takes a lot out of you to constantly be caring for baby parrots. What I did was I used a heating pad under one of those little plastic carrying cases you can get at the pet stores that seem to have a wide range of uses, from a fish tank for small fish to holding reptiles and rodents. I used them strictly as brooders. I would fold up some paper towels at the bottom of the plastic tank and I would also fold one paper towel up a little so that the babies could tuck themselves inside it. Now, feeding is tricky. I would use a syringe with a plunger. The syringe has to be kept clean at all times. Parrot crops are highly susceptible to yeast infections. For formula, I always used Kaytee. It's the very best in my opinion, and the easiest to use. It has to be hot, and for the first few days it has to be almost liquid in consistency. The back of the can of the formula explains that in detail. They begin to open their eyes around 2 weeks old, a little at a time, and about the same time they start to get their pin feathers. Make sure your hands are clean too before handling the chicks. Same as when you handle chicken chicks. You don't have to help them poop, they do just fine on their own, lol. But DO change out their paper towels each day. With a parrot chick you can clearly see the crop. Feeding can be a little tricky cause if you don't insert the syringe into the baby's mouth right, you can asphyxiate the chick, and that's easier to do than you think. The very first feeding can be a bit tricky cause they expect mama's beak and instead you're inserting a syringe, but they learn REALLY fast. Once you put the syringe in their mouth, angle it a little to the left, I believe it is, and slowly push down the plunger just a little and wait for the chick to swallow. If it swallows, give it some more. If it chokes or kind of freezes and seems like stopped breathing, wait. Usually they can readjust things themselves cause it's just a tiny bit of food, and then they will start crying for more food. Feed the baby until it's crop is firm but not rigid. Usually the baby will let you know when it is full. As newly hatched chicks they need to be fed every two hours, 24 hours a day. That's where it gets tiring. The formula has to stay hot too. If it starts to cool, it starts to grow yeast REALLY fast. In 16 years of raising chicks, I only had one yeast infection, and I didn't lose the chick. A quick trip to the vet an, emptying of it's crop, and some antibiotics, and he recovered just fine. But that's not to say all chicks recover. As they grow and feather out, you can slowly lower the heat on the heating pad, if you do go that route. With the method I used, I never lost a baby. I've been out of breeding cockatiels for about 5 years now. I have my last cockatiel now, one of my breeders. He's a happy, healthy old man now at thirteen. He wasn't one I hatched, but he gave me many beautiful babies, and some of his kids live on with friends and family members. That's what I can remember off the top of my head. If you have more questions, or want me to explain something in more detail, just pm me. Oh, and keep the babies out drafts. They are susceptible to pneumonia too. Hope I was of some help! And good luck! I found it to be very rewarding and the bonding that occurs with the babies is amazing. It's like nothing you'll experience with a chicken, not to knock chickens, but there is a different kind of intelligence in parrots, and they are wonderful. It's the main reason I stuck with it as long as I did! But then I had kids, and work, and a house to take care of, and I wasn't so eager to wake up three times a night anymore for feedings, lol. But I wish you all the luck and I am here to help if you need it. I'm sure someone else will come along with advice too, and everyone raises chicks differently, I just know that my method worked very well for me. I raised several hundred chicks over the years, and all grew up to be healthy, happy, and VERY tame. Cause even a handfed chick can become mean if not handled often after it's weaned. Again, good luck! [​IMG]
  5. Crazy4Chicks

    Crazy4Chicks Songster

    Nov 20, 2007
    Glendale, AZ
    I am a stay at home quail/boxer mom so I dont mind the extra hours taking care of the chicks -it will be fun LOL

    I have a little knowledge of hand feeding birds - I knew about feeding them from a certain side - I was told to face bird towards me and feed from the right side ? is that correct

    I have plenty of plastic totes for brooders and a heat lamp but if a heating pad is safer for them I would rather do that -- what settings does it need to be on and how thick of a cover over the heating pad will they need to prevent burns ?

    what is the best covering for the bottom of the brooder ?

    I dont want to lay just newspaper in there or anything like that I figured they would slide on it and it would not be very comfy for them

    sorry about all the questions but I want to get everything right before I have the babies here LOL

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