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Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by casportpony, Jul 17, 2013.
sorry. Hope your little beauty gets better.
I use a red rubber tube, either a 5 or 8 french (they don't make sizes in-between), and cut the length down to an easier size, about 3-4 inches instead of the uncut length of 16 inches. I flame the cut end so that there's no sharp edges. Then I use either a 1, 3, or 6 ml syringe, depending on the size of the chick. It's very important to make sure that what you're feeding will go through the tube, as these are fairly small. My favorite tube feeding formula for baby chicks is LaFeber's Emeraid critical care diets, but they are only available through a veterinarian (any vet should be able to special order these for people directly from the manufacturer). For growing chicks I use one part Exotic Carnivore diet to 9 parts Omnivore-Avian diet, but you could use the omnivore diet straight if you wanted to keep things simple. When mixed per directions, it will easily pass though an 8 french tube. I rarely use a 5 french tube, but for really tiny chicks where you need the smaller tube you can dilute down the formula a little to thin it out. Other alternatives are hand feeding formulas made for parrots, which will feed a chicken well for many days in a pinch. You can also take chick starter and put it in a blender or coffee grinder (cleaned well first) or grind with a mortar and pestle, then mixed with water and strained with many layers of gauze (because there's always that small piece of hard corn that doesn't get ground up adequately and plugs the tube), or run through the tube to be sure that it won't clog up, but then it needs to be reheated. Having something that's made to go through a narrow tube is just so much easier. I store mine in the freezer to extend the expiration date, and replace it every 5 years. To get it into the tiny chick, it's really the same as an adult chicken, just in miniature. It is best to have 2 people, one to hold the chick and one to feed, as you can't just wrap a tiny chick in a towel and back it into a corner, or hold it between your knees on the floor, like with an adult chicken. When using a metal tube feeding "needle" you can do it without a second person, using one hand to hold the bird, one hand to hold the syringe, and the tip of the metal "needle" to open the mouth, but the blunt knob on the end of these are too large to fit down the throats of newly hatched chicks, so ideally you need that third hand to open the mouth, since the red rubber tubes aren't stiff enough to do that for you.
A 5? wow, that's small! The smallest I use is an 8. I do way too much tubing here to buy a critical care, so I just use Kaytee Exact.
Kaytee Exact works great, and is a lo easier to find.
No, it's just for peafowl, turkeys, chickens and the occasional duck. I have blackhead here, so I'm kind of OCD about tracking weight on my young peafowl, and if they lose weight, they get tubed. Also have a couple of blind chicken hens that I tube. Probably should cull them, but I'm a coward.
There have been a couple of times that I've had several peas lose weight at the same time and it's times like those I really need the big pail.
You should see my collection of tubes!
Wow. You must have tons of tubes! I hope I doing tube feeding right!
Many sizes here and because of that I can tube a baby finch or a big goose and everything in between.