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Thread: Handfeeding a Baby Grey.

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    Handfeeding a Baby Grey.

    Hand feeding a baby bird takes a great deal of time and effort.Something that shouldn't be considered by a novice.If possible it is best left to an experienced breeder.Dont be fooled by the pet store or breeder who tells you otherwise.Many sellers convince novice buyers to take an unweaned bird.The sooner a parrot chick is gone, the higher the profit ratio for the store or breeder. So it is in the interest of the seller to convince the buyer that hand feeding is safe and easy.
    With that said it is inevitable that some members will find themselves with a young unweaned baby.This thread will offer advice & guidance to help you successfully finish the hand feeding process.

    Formulas, Feeding Utensils, and Methods.

    With the recent advances in avian nutrition there are a number of commercially prepared handfeeding formulas, ie..Kaytee Exact,Roudybush to name but a few.Formula must be served very warm (about 105 to 108 degrees). A human basil digital thermometer can be used to test the formula. Once you become familiar with the correct feeding temperature of formula, you can test it on the inside of your wrist before feeding.This chart is for guidelines only & each baby will vary slightly..

    Mixing Formula..

    Mixing your formula using Kaytee Exact is an easy process. It is designed to be mixed on a 1:2 ratio of formula to water. When measuring formula, use these guidelines:



    ( 1 tablespoon = ½ ounce = 15cc )

    Mixing On A 1: 2 Ratio
    FORMULA WATER
    1 tablespoon 1 ounce (30cc)
    2 tablespoon 2 ounce (60cc)

    Preparing Your Formula..

    1. Add the correct amount of water to your measuring cup
    2. Heat the water in your microwave until its very warm
    3. Add measured amount of formula and stir
    4. Feed at correct temperature (105 to 108 degrees)

    Amount To Feed At Each Feeding
    AMOUNT AGE OF BABY
    20cc - 30cc 3-5 weeks
    30cc - 45cc 5-9 weeks
    45cc - 60cc 9-16 weeks

    The formula should have a consistency similar to thin catsup. Do not feed a formula that is too thick. Water is important for proper hydration of your baby. Babies will actually grow better on a thinner formula than one that is too thick. If you have a gram scale, you can see the exact consistency that you should be mixing the formula. Weigh out 7 grams of formula to be mixed with each ounce of water when mixing on a 1:2 ratio.

    The initial temperature of the water used to prepare the formula will have an effect on the consistency of the finished product so its important to measure your formula and water so you don't feed a formula too thin or too thick.


    Feeding Methods.

    The two most common methods of feeding are either by syringe or spoon, Personally i recommend spoon feeding as this closely resembles the action of the parents beak.you can spoon feed by taking a small metal spoon & bending the sides in to foram a V shape.Gently place the tip of the spoon in to the chicks mouth & tip the spoon up slightly.The chick will pump the spoon & swallow the formula.Techniques for Handfeeding your Baby....

    1. Feed the formula mixture using your spoon or syringe by dispensing the food along with the baby's feeding response (rhythmic bobbing motion).
    2. Be sure to give the baby a chance to breath between bites of food. Do not try and feed too quickly.
    3. Continue to feed until the baby's crop is nicely rounded or on weaning babies, until it refuses more food.
    4. Do not overfeed, as this may result in regurgitation and possibly aspiration, which could cause death.
    5. Clean any spilled food off your baby.
    6. Clean and disinfectant all feeding equipment.
    7. Discard any unused formula. Always mix up fresh formula for each feeding. Do not store mixed formula in refrigerator.

    Feeding Schedule

    Age In Weeks Number of Feedings Hours Between Time Frame
    0 - 2 10 2 6:00am - 12:00am
    2 - 3 6 3 7:00am - 11:00pm
    3 - 4 5 4 7:00am - 10:30pm
    4 - 5 4 5 7:00am - 10:30pm
    5 - 10 3 7 8:00am - 10:00pm
    10 - 13 2 12 9:00am & 9:00pm
    13 - 16 1 24 9:00pm - 11:00pm


    Use the above schedule as a guideline for feeding your baby. Babies grow at different rates and should be treated individually. Some babies do better remaining on 2 feedings per day until completely weaned. Be sure your baby's crop empties completely at least once during each 24 hour period.

    After your baby reaches 7/ 8 weeks of age and has made the transition from brooder to cage, it is time to begin introducing weaning food.Pellet food is a safe food to start weaning your baby onto with the addition of seed,fruit, veggies.Also have a separate water dish next to his food.Check your baby's crop before the night time feeding to monitor how much if any of the warm, moistened pellets your baby is eating. Do not leave moistened pellets or vegetables in baby's cage more than 4 hours to prevent spoilage.
    At 13 weeks of age, your baby should be placed on one feeding per day which is given at 9:00pm - 11:00pm. By this time, your baby should have begun eating either dry pellets or the warm, moistened pellets. If your baby is not eating either moistened pellets or dry pellets at this time, then leave your baby on 2 feedings per day. Some babies can take longer to learn eating skills.

    Once your baby has been placed on one feeding per day, begin giving warm, moistened pellets in the morning around 8:00am as well as the afternoon at 5:00pm. Dry pellets and water should always be available as well. Check your baby's crop at night before the night time feeding . If it is very full with pellets that baby has eaten, then you can skip the night time feeding. If you are not sure, then offer the formula but don't force the baby to eat if the baby refuses.Your baby can lose up to 15% of its weight during the weaning stage. Once baby is weaned, its important to continue monitoring how much it actually eats by feeling its crop and watching its weight.

    Remember that weaning time is a very stressful event in your baby's life. Never try and force your baby to wean by withholding formula.

    The above information is to be used a guidline & each baby will vary slightly in it's development.<br><br>Post edited by: lovemyGreys, at: 2008/06/02 18:19

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    Handfeeding a Baby Grey.

    Perfect place for this Tracy!!! :-)
    Within all of us is a varying amount of space lint and star dust, the residue from our creation. Most are too busy to notice it, and it is stronger in some than others. It is strongest in those of us who fly and is responsible for an unconscious, subtle desire to slip into some wings and try for the elusive boundaries of our origin. ~K.O. Eckland, "Footprints On Clouds"

    Dayo in flight....

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    Handfeeding a Baby Grey.

    Thank you Dan, I aim to please I did consider making it a sticky in the bird food room, but as new members are frequently joining with new babies i thought the Nursery more appropriate.<br><br>Post edited by: lovemyGreys, at: 2008/04/16 15:24

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    Handfeeding a Baby Grey.

    hi. i have recently bought an african grey which is ten weeks old. i am able to feed its formula twice daily, one in the morning and once in the evening. however, during the day it constanly wants food. i feed it mashed apple and banana as it is easy for the grey to swallow. i fear that it may eat too much as it does not know when to stop. should i feed it how much i think is enough or feed it until it stops itself. also its droppings are very wet.

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    Handfeeding a Baby Grey.

    Twice a day is fine,you need to start offering your baby a variety of foods to explore,veggies raw or cooked,fruit,seeds,pellets,pulses, etc..Leave the fruit & veg in chunks so your baby can become accustomed to eating as opposed to the mashed apple & banana.Make sure there is always fresh water available at all times.

    Here is a list of safe fruit & veg you can offer..



    http://www.greyforums.net/forums/bird-food/59809-complete-veggiefruit-list.html

    Droppings are wet,with only formula & mashed banana & apple they may be loose,i imagine when you introduce solid foods you will see a change..

    Young greys can loose up to 10-15 % of their body weight when they learn to fly..A good idea is to keep a weekly chart..Any signifigant weight lose accompanied by any of the following would indicate illness & should be checked out by your avian vet...

    Eyes should be clear and full of life.
    Nostrils should be clear.
    Vent should be clean. No signs of poop on their feathers.
    Perching at the bottom of the cage all fluffed and sedated, eyelids heavy
    Behavior is sedate when usually cheerful and playing.
    Significant weight loss (10-15%). Weigh your bird regularly and keep a chart readily available.
    Unusual droppings. Know what is normal for your bird.
    Labored breathing
    Loss of appetite
    Lethargic

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    Handfeeding a Baby Grey.

    thanks for your quick reply. much appreciated. should i contol on how much it eats because i fear it does not know when to stop.

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    Handfeeding a Baby Grey.

    Around 45cc - 60cc is average per feed.I would make sure that food is available through out the day for your baby to munch on.Have you introduced some toys to stimulate your baby ? Now is a perfect time as they are awake longer & alert to what is going on around them

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    Handfeeding a Baby Grey.

    yes i have introduced many toys to the bird and i am encouraging all family members to play with the bird so the bird does not get so much attached to one person that it does not go to anyone else. the grey has settled very well as it has only been broought home 3 days ago. although i hand feed the grey until it wants no more, once in the cage it will try to eat all its food until its crop is huge and it finds it difficult to move, should i control this.

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    Handfeeding a Baby Grey.

    At this time you should see that the crop won't buldge like it did when your baby was very young as the food is getting eaten over a period of time and not all in one go.If the crop is full,limit the food but never starve your baby & make sures the crop is empting.If you have any major concerns then please refer back to the breeder of your baby.

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    Handfeeding a Baby Grey.

    If you had scrolled down a little there is a thread on the associated risks of handfeeding

    http://www.greyforums.net/forums/the-nursery/73842-associated-risks-of-hand-feeding.html

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