Step-by-Step Tube Feeding Guide - Pictures - Under construction

casportpony

Enter the 2021 BYC Calendar Contest! Link in sig!
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Jun 24, 2012
94,638
204,317
1,942
In this thread I will try to cover all aspects of tube feeding. Subjects covered will be:
  • When to tube
  • Tube feeding contraindications
  • Crop volume and how much to tube
  • How to insert the tube
  • Risks associated with tubing
  • Supplies needed and where you can get them
  • The importance of correcting hydration
  • How to tube neonates

When to Tube

  • Tube if bird is not drinking/eating
  • Tube if bird has lost 5% of it's body weight

Tube feeding contraindications

  • Never tube a non responsive bird
  • Never tube a hypothermic bird
  • Never tube a bird with an digestive tract obstruction

How Much and How Often to Tube

Almost all sick birds will dehydrated, so one must correct this first. Crop volume is about 5% of a bird's body weight, but it is best to start with 2% to 3% and see how they tolerate it (2-3 ml per 100 grams). Warmed fluids should be given and then given again in 60-90 minutes if crop has mostly cleared. Repeat again in 2-4 hours.


Step 1:
Bringbird inside and place in a warm room, 80-85 degrees is ideal (watch for signs of over-heating).

Step 2:
Weigh the bird

Step 3:
Once warmed, correct hydration and this should not be done until the duck is warmed up. Tube warmed (102 degrees) Pedialyte or Gatorade at 14 ml per pound of body weight, wait 60-90 minutes and repeat. If no poop is produced by 3 hours after first tubing, repeat once more.

Step 4:
Once the bird is pooping you can start tubing warmed Kaytee Exact baby bird food or a non-lay crumble (lay crumble has too much calcium). Start by tubing 14 ml per pound of body weight and increase a little at each feeding. Do not exceed 23 ml per pound of body weight. Sick birds are tube fed 2-4 times a day.


From Technical Procedures for the Avian Patient, by Amy B. Johnson, CVT
Crop Feeding
Crop feeding is the main way to provide nutritional support to sick birds. There are many different formulas on the market including; Harrison’s, Kaytee Exact, Zupreem and Pretty Bird. Kaytee Exact makes a formula exclusively for macaws, which require a higher fat content. Crop feeding should only be administered to well hydrated, normothermic birds that are able to stand on their own. Formula should be mixed to an appropriate thickness to provide adequate caloric intake and should be administered at a temperature between 100˚-102˚F. Crop burns can happen at temperatures greater than this and are often not seen for several days. Symptoms of a bird with a crop burn are decreased appetite and drooling. If the burn is severe enough, a fistula will open in the crop and formula will drain from it.

When crop feeding a bird, calculate the volume to be fed at 3ml per 100gms up to every six hours for adults. Juveniles are fed 10 percent of their body weight several times a day. Always check the crop first for food contents or decreased crop motility before feeding. Weighing the bird at the beginning of every day will help determine if it is receiving the appropriate amount of calories.

Crop feeder or crop needles come in several different sizes depending on the size bird. Crop feeders are stainless steel tubes with a ball at the end. They can be purchased through www.vetspecialtyproducts.com. The bird should be restrained properly while the crop feeder is inserted in the bird’s left side of its mouth and directed toward the right side advancing into the crop. The trachea should be palpated separate from the crop feeder with the ball of the crop feeder in the crop. Once placement is confirmed and with the esophagus occluded by the head, the formula is given quickly. While maintaining occlusion of the esophagus the crop feeder is removed and the bird returned to the cage feet first and slowly letting go of the head, making sure the bird does not regurgitate. In the event that the bird should begin regurgitation, leave the bird alone. Aspiration is more likely to happen if the bird is stressed causing increased respiration and inhalation of formula. Monitor the bird for further respiratory signs and adjust technique or volume at next attempt at crop feeding.



Once hydration has been corrected, tube Kaytee Exact mixed at about 1 part food to 2.5 to 3 parts water. Start with 2-3 ml per 100 grams. Gently feel the crop. It should have a slight bulge. If still flat, give a little more.

Supplies Needed

  • Tube
  • Syringe
  • Scale
  • Water
  • Kaytee Exact Baby Bird Food

Tube

The size of tube you need will depend on the size of the bird you are tubing. A size 18 french tube can usually be used on all birds that weigh 500 grams or more. Small chicks and ducks would need a size 8. Geese, adult ducks and adult peafowl can accommodate a size 30.



The 30 - for extra large fowl.
http://www.greatmedicalsupplies.com...l-purpose-robinsonnelaton-catheter-351030.htm

The 28
http://www.greatmedicalsupplies.com...l-purpose-robinsonnelaton-catheter-351028.htm

The 26
http://www.greatmedicalsupplies.com...l-purpose-robinsonnelaton-catheter-351026.htm

The 24
http://www.greatmedicalsupplies.com...l-purpose-robinsonnelaton-catheter-351024.htm

The 22
http://www.greatmedicalsupplies.com...l-purpose-robinsonnelaton-catheter-351022.htm

The 20
http://www.greatmedicalsupplies.com...l-purpose-robinsonnelaton-catheter-351020.htm

The 18 - Most birds over 500 grams
http://www.greatmedicalsupplies.com...l-purpose-robinsonnelaton-catheter-351018.htm

The 16
http://www.greatmedicalsupplies.com...l-purpose-robinsonnelaton-catheter-351016.htm

The 14
http://www.greatmedicalsupplies.com...l-purpose-robinsonnelaton-catheter-351014.htm

The 12
http://www.greatmedicalsupplies.com...l-purpose-robinsonnelaton-catheter-351012.htm

The 10
http://www.greatmedicalsupplies.com...l-purpose-robinsonnelaton-catheter-351010.htm

The 8 - Newly hatched chicks and ducklings
http://www.greatmedicalsupplies.com...l-purpose-robinsonnelaton-catheter-351008.htm





Syringes

A 1 ml and a 3 ml should be used when tubing chicks/ducklings with a size 8 tube. Tube shown below is a size 8 on a 1 m luer slip syringe.






When using size 18 or larger tube, it's best to have a 60 ml catheter tip syringe, but a 35 ml one will also work.


This is a 35 ml (cc) syringe This is a 60 ml (cc) syringe


Types of syringe tips

You can buy 60 ml catheter tip syringes at Tractor supply and here - 60 ml catheter tip syringes (click to open)

Scale

A kitchen scale that can weigh in grams is what I use. Knowing the weight of your bird will allow you to calculate the amount of water and food to tube.




Scale can be purchased at places like Walmart.







Food





Kaytee can be purchased and Petsmart, Petco and online.

The hardest part is getting them to hold still. Ducks have a different shaped crop, so that's probably why you can't feel it filling. Duck looks like the one on the left:





 

Attachments

Last edited:

roddycn1216

In the Brooder
May 29, 2016
37
13
49
Something that I have thought of.... I see so many people making their birds vomit, which IMO, is INCREDIBLY dangerous and will more than likely give the bird pneumonia. If people would insert a tube and instead of the holding the tube up above the chickens head... let the tube go below the crop the gastric contents should drain on their own through the tube without the worry of the bird aspirating.

Another thing we do in the human world is check for "residuals" about every two hours if it's a newly inserted gastric tube to check the patient's tolerance of tube feeds. This would be a wise thing to do after doing an initial tube feeding with poultry.... to check and make sure the initial volume has went down before pumping more fluid in because, once again, this could cause the bird to aspirate and get pneumonia. Simply insert your syringe and pull back to check residuals. If you pull back and hardly get anything.. that's awesome, it means the fluid is going down. If you aspirate a ton of volume, don't do your next TF, but make sure and return the contents! Hold it for a few hours and then recheck. We always allow bolus tube feedings to run in by gravity meaning don't use the plunger and PUSH the volume in. Doing it in this manner is less hard on the GI tract and also lessons the risk of potential aspiration. But I have also never done this on a chicken... my first time will be tonight after I get home from work LOL! When I do bolus TF's on a person I get a large volume syringe, attach it to my tube, and simply pour a small amount in initially of whatever I am trying to get down. Sometimes the fluid will bubble from gas being released and after that the fluid goes down easily. If the patient is coughing or sneezing I would use my plunger as a stopper and temporarily cover my syringe so my feed doesn't go all over me and everything around me LOL!
 

casportpony

Enter the 2021 BYC Calendar Contest! Link in sig!
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Jun 24, 2012
94,638
204,317
1,942

Kiki

I have won
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
Jul 31, 2015
93,634
492,490
1,992
Houston, TX
My Coop

casportpony

Enter the 2021 BYC Calendar Contest! Link in sig!
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Jun 24, 2012
94,638
204,317
1,942
Videos:
 
Last edited:

ladyearth

Songster
6 Years
Nov 23, 2013
970
108
181
kentucky
How can I tell if Blakey has an obstruction since her crop is mushy. but not reals big ? that was one of the contradictions? thank y'all
 

casportpony

Enter the 2021 BYC Calendar Contest! Link in sig!
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Jun 24, 2012
94,638
204,317
1,942
How can I tell if Blakey has a well an obstruction? that was one of the contradictions? thank y'all
Impossible to know without x-ray. What's going on with Blakey?
 

ladyearth

Songster
6 Years
Nov 23, 2013
970
108
181
kentucky
well Ive posted . cause she has had runny WATERY mostly then greenish with yellow poo too for quite a while. When she started staring and standing around brought her inside.. over a week ago I believe gave her Tyal orally for 3 days . not helping the stop and gave her that Sufamadimne stuff left over from Springtime
.she is almost 3 yrs old. Most of them have acted sickly lately too. 2 still have bad runny poo WATERY too but they are active outside...still.
I sent 2 fecals to Murray State vet school they took from Tuesday to following this Monday to get hold of us ...
They supposedly emailed results to local don't care about chickens etc VET. Ve of called and said occ rd worms and occ Tapeworms who know whee she got all from I caught her drinking war from under one of my many garden pots.
Hubby vomited her. SEv days ago couple or more times) cause her crop was mushy but he smelt no smelly breath bought the 2% store brand Gyna Lotrim. Read about it sev yrs ago on this forum so finally frustrated. and open the G Lotrim and hubby gave her 1cc twice yesterday. I woke up this morning and didn't know If it was hurting her... so gave no more Gyna L so far
but others said they wouldn't raise giving. so Im so scared of hurting this gentle soul
She is sprighty yea at times. Hubby let her out to eat a little greens growing in the yd. esp chickweed. She was eating her wtr softened feed. But no more
she did eat some soft boiled egg. But not now.... Today she only ate the small grit I put out for her. she has drank some ACV wtr. some colloidal silver water some reg water.
I let her graze some today too. but her poo is even more Clea watery. she gets down out of her banana box bed. lined with newspaper herself . she also gets back in herself.
she puffs up too (
Goldie impacted crop July 2015 or so) was easier to deal with than this
HELP please
 
Last edited:

Kiki

I have won
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
Jul 31, 2015
93,634
492,490
1,992
Houston, TX
My Coop
well Ive posted . cause she has had runny WATERY mostly then greenish with yellow poo too for quite a while. When she started staring and standing around brought her inside.. over a week ago I believe gave her Tyal orally for 3 days . not helping the stop and gave her that Sufamadimne stuff left over from Springtime
.she is almost 3 yrs old. Most of them have acted sickly lately too. 2 still have bad runny poo WATERY too but they are active outside...still.
I sent 2 fecals to Murray State vet school they took from Tuesday to following this Monday to get hold of us ...
They supposedly emailed results to local don't care about chickens etc VET. Ve of called and said occ rd worms and occ Tapeworms who know whee she got all from I caught her drinking war from under one of my many garden pots.
Hubby vomited her. SEv days ago couple or more times) cause her crop was mushy but he smelt no smelly breath bought the 2% store brand Gyna Lotrim. Read about it sev yrs ago on this forum so finally frustrated. and open the G Lotrim and hubby gave her 1cc twice yesterday. I woke up this morning and didn't know If it was hurting her... so gave no more Gyna L so far
but others said they wouldn't raise giving. so Im so scared of hurting this gentle soul
She is sprighty yea at times. Hubby let her out to eat a little greens growing in the yd. esp chickweed. She was eating her wtr softened feed. But no more
she did eat some soft boiled egg. But not now.... Today she only ate the small grit I put out for her. she has drank some ACV wtr. some colloidal silver water some reg water.
I let her graze some today too. but her poo is even more Clea watery. she gets down out of her banana box bed. lined with newspaper herself . she also gets back in herself.
she puffs up too (
Goldie impacted crop July 2015 or so) was easier to deal with than this
HELP please
Your bird has round worms and tape worm and a sour crop?
Is this correct?
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom