Tube feeding - I did it!!!

Erin80

Songster
Apr 16, 2017
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My little racoon victim Fern is totally blind and won’t eat. We have been syringe feeding her which has been so time consuming and stressful for her. Today I tube fed her for the first time - holy cow is that ever easier and quicker. I got 20 ml into her no issue.
I used crushed pellets soaked in warm water and blended until smooth. I do also have baby parrot food from when a different chicken was injured a year ago. Which is better? I feel that tube feeding will be how she’s fed for possibly months if she can’t learn to eat or drink.
 

Erin80

Songster
Apr 16, 2017
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855
221
Second time didn’t go so well. She panics and pulls her head away every time I try to open her beak. She doesn’t stop shaking her head and pulling away until I let go. She gets extremely stressed out.
Im feeling like we may need to put her down. She’s fighting the feeding so hard, she can’t see anything, and the attack from the racoon was on her head so I feel like me holding her head and trying to put something down her throat reminds her of the attack. I just feel like she has no quality of life. I don’t know that she will ever eat on her own again.
 

Eggcessive

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Apr 3, 2011
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Sorry that it didn’t go well the second time. Do you have a second pair of hands that could help you? Will she eat and drink some on her own? Hopefully, it will go better the next time if she figures out that you are trying to help her.
 

Quatie

Crowing
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Oct 16, 2020
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Sorry the second time didn't go well. I saw on another thread you were looking for help on how to restrain your chicken. I don't have experience with chickens, but my duck fought me tooth and claw. As she got healthier and stronger, fought me more. I had help, and that made it easier. In general, I like to have the back of the animal against me so it can't wiggle too much. I run my hand up the neck and grip near the base of the beak. That hand will hold the head in place and keep the beak open. The other hand needs to put the syringe down the throat and push the plunger. It is not easy to do on one's own, but possible. If you can get help, it will make it easier. Tube feeding can get animals through difficult times and allow them to fully recoup.
 

micstrachan

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Apr 10, 2016
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Congrats on the first feeding. Can you wrap her in a towel, being careful not to bind up her crop? I was recently tube feeding a sick bird for weeks and then she decided to start fighting me. I learned to just gently hold her head with a finger holding her beak open until she calmed down. I would also speak calmly to her and perhaps gently stroke her head and neck a couple times first so she knows it’s you and you love her sand will not harm her. I swear they can tell when we are nervous or stressed. The more calm and soothing you can be, the better.
 

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