Shown in a photo furtherdown on this page is the mixed up ZuPreem Embrace® Hand Feeding Formula. Pionus usually need up to a 20-30cc syringe when they are nearly 3 months old. Amazons require up to a 35-45cc syringe. I rarely ever feed a Pionus over 25 cc's during one feeding. Of course, this is in or around the last month of feeding.
Here is why it is vital to know how
to hand feed baby chicks properly; many people that don't really know about the
proper temperature of the formula and by feeding the chick too hot of a formula
can result in Crop Burn. This can kill the chick. There are always reports
about Crop Burn in young chicks and this is real sad when it could have been
prevented. It actually burns a hole in the crop. The burning of the lining
of the crop is caused by excessively hot food. Most crop burns are not
apparent immediately but will slowly develop over a period of one or two days
after the incident. The external color and texture of the crop changes to
a rough yellowish-brown scar that develops from inside of the crop. This
looks very similar to a black and blue bruise. The scar can become a scab
and eventually rupture to the outside, causing formula to leak from the crop.
In severe cases where the entire crop lining is effected, the chick will usually
die before this happens. If the burn is slight or the scab develops and
the chick lives, surgical removal of the scab and repair of the crop is
possible. Chicks that have ingested hot formula will often exhibit erratic
behavior when approached for feeding thereafter. They may roll over or resist
food of any kind. In minor cases there is often vomiting of formula or
thick clear mucous after feeding.
If you feel you might
have caused Crop Burn , then flush the crop with cool water immediately.
Then seek out an avian vet as soon as possible so chick can be looked at.
Please don't buy an unweaned baby and
breeders should not sell unweaned babies especially to to someone who is
inexperienced at the knowledge of hand feeding. I have heard it
repeatedly said that there is nothing to hand feeding and that's true if you
know exactly what you are doing, but if you don't then you and the chick are at
possible risk. Bottom line is don't buy an unweaned baby, let the breeder
finish to a complete wean. The chick will be less stressed if he doesn't change
hand feeders. I hope I have discouraged people who want to buy just
one bird to hand feed. It's not worth the risk of hand feeding
it, this is not always true when you hear it said that you will bond better if
you hand feed the bird. Don't forget other things are important on
raising a chick, you have to keep the chick warm and proper temperature.
If it is not kept warm food can not digest and can cause problems. Another
problem that arises in young chicks is Slow Crop where the food digests real
slow, it can take hours for the crop to empty out and when this happens this has
to be watched carefully. Don't feed more formula when this happens, give a
couple of drops of pediatric electrolyte every so often. A lot of times
chicks stop digesting and then they die. It almost can't be prevented when
the chick has this problem.
Listed below are a few tips or suggestions on what to use, this is mostly info for someone starting out that is wanting to breed and hand feed baby birds. But as mentioned above in the upper paragraph remember the temperature of the formula is important so you won't cause crop burn.
For new hatchlings use Pediatric Electrolyte by Gerber, or similar product. You will find this in the grocery store isle in the baby food section. You will use this to mix with the dry ZuPreem Embrace® Hand Feeding Formula or other hand feeding formula of your choice. An electrolyte is best to use for the first few days of life. After a few days on the electrolyte, use good bottled or filtered water. I never use my tap water until the chicks are about 2 months of age and even at that it is filtered water.
Using a formula brand is a matter of
preference, choose only one to feed during the course of the chick's
development that you are feeding as it is not good on the chick's system
to change and use another one once you have started it on one brand.
If you do have to change for some reason, then make it a very gradual
transition, mixing a little of the first formula with the new formula on
each feeding until you have increased the new formula each time over a
couple day period.
If formula has cooled down do not reheat it in the microwave, reheat the cup of water that you put the syringes in and let it sit a bit longer until warmed to proper temperature. When done with feeding session discard any left over formula, never save and reuse left over formula. Take every precaution not to cause crop burn. This is something that can easily be done if formula is too hot, you can kill the chick or give it severe damage if fed too hot of a formula. Formula mixture should be about 107 degrees.
In between feedings soak syringes in a disinfectant solution, I use Oxyfresh Cleansing Gele'. It does kill bacteria if soaked more than 10 minutes. Clean brooders, syringes, bowls, feeding utensils cages, aviaries. It is easy on syringes, unlike a bleach solution being harder on the syringes. Rinse well in clear water before using. Antibacterial soaps that you buy in the market are not the same on killing microorganisms as Oxyfresh is. Effective against viruses, bacteria and fungus.
Starting out with new
hatchlings use the smallest
Amazons eat up to 35-50cc before wean date.
African Greys eat up to 50-60cc before wean date.
Small Cockatoos eat up to 50-60cc
Small Macaws eat up to 45-60cc
Cockatiels will eat up to 12-15cc
All photos are the property of pionusparrot.com
©2002-2013 Pionus Parrot - All Rights Reserved