When to start handfeeding IRN - Talk Parrots Forums

Parrot Breeding, Chick Raising, and Parrot Handfeeding Discuss all aspects of breeding parrots as well as raising and hand feeding chicks.

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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-03-2015, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
 
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When to start handfeeding IRN

I've heard 10 days, 3 weeks, and 4 weeks. What is best for Indian Ringneck Parakeets?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-03-2015, 03:44 PM


 
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The norm for starting to hand raise most birds is 3 weeks. But some species do go better if started slightly earlier. I have hand raised quite a number of Indian Ringnecks and I prefer to start them at 2 1/2 weeks. Unless absolutely necessary 10 days is a bit young for any bird, but at least their own immune system is starting to kick in and their eyes are starting to open.

Have you hand raised any birds before? Please make sure you have all the equipment you need for hand raising. If you are going to be doing a single bird at this time of year you are going to need a brooder and heat source. Here in Australia at this time of year it is hot so heating is not always necessary. But if I am doing a single bird I will put a small soft toy in with the baby to snuggle up to, just like a security blanket. The baby will snuggle up to it like it would with siblings or its mother. Make sure you have a good food thermometer to measure the temperature of the food. It should be no colder than 40C and no hotter than 42C if feeding with a crop needle or even just a syringe. If feeding by spoon you can raise that temperature. I have found with most of the Asiatics that they like their food from a spoon at around 45C as do many other species of birds. Lorikeets often like it hotter than that if fed by spoon. The food will cool slightly between taking it from the container to the bird. If only doing an individual baby it is not necessary to make sure the food is kept to temperature in the container as the baby will be fed before the food cools significantly. But if doing a number of birds you may have to put the container inside a bowl with boiling water in it. And make sure you stir the food before taking it from the container to the baby as you may get hot spots in the food. I have been hand raising for over 20 years and still use a thermometer at every feed. Don't rely on feel that the food is hot enough or too hot. The ambient temperature will effect how hot or cold the food feels. For example if it is a hot day the food will feel cooler and if it is a cold day the food will feel hotter. Too many people don't get a thermometer and test the food on their wrist. If food is too cold the crop will slow and you will get crop stasis and the baby will actually starve even though the crop looks constantly full and if too hot you will burn a hole in the crop. Also if inexperienced make sure you have someone who is experienced to help you out if you have problems.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-04-2015, 06:34 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for your help! I do handfeed lovebirds and I have all the supplies. With my lovies if I wait 3 weeks the oldest chick doesn't want to accept the formula for me. Thanks again
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-04-2015, 06:45 AM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Kate View Post
The norm for starting to hand raise most birds is 3 weeks. But some species do go better if started slightly earlier. I have hand raised quite a number of Indian Ringnecks and I prefer to start them at 2 1/2 weeks. Unless absolutely necessary 10 days is a bit young for any bird, but at least their own immune system is starting to kick in and their eyes are starting to open.

Have you hand raised any birds before? Please make sure you have all the equipment you need for hand raising. If you are going to be doing a single bird at this time of year you are going to need a brooder and heat source. Here in Australia at this time of year it is hot so heating is not always necessary. But if I am doing a single bird I will put a small soft toy in with the baby to snuggle up to, just like a security blanket. The baby will snuggle up to it like it would with siblings or its mother. Make sure you have a good food thermometer to measure the temperature of the food. It should be no colder than 40C and no hotter than 42C if feeding with a crop needle or even just a syringe. If feeding by spoon you can raise that temperature. I have found with most of the Asiatics that they like their food from a spoon at around 45C as do many other species of birds. Lorikeets often like it hotter than that if fed by spoon. The food will cool slightly between taking it from the container to the bird. If only doing an individual baby it is not necessary to make sure the food is kept to temperature in the container as the baby will be fed before the food cools significantly. But if doing a number of birds you may have to put the container inside a bowl with boiling water in it. And make sure you stir the food before taking it from the container to the baby as you may get hot spots in the food. I have been hand raising for over 20 years and still use a thermometer at every feed. Don't rely on feel that the food is hot enough or too hot. The ambient temperature will effect how hot or cold the food feels. For example if it is a hot day the food will feel cooler and if it is a cold day the food will feel hotter. Too many people don't get a thermometer and test the food on their wrist. If food is too cold the crop will slow and you will get crop stasis and the baby will actually starve even though the crop looks constantly full and if too hot you will burn a hole in the crop. Also if inexperienced make sure you have someone who is experienced to help you out if you have problems.
Yes I also have a instant thermometer, a gram scale, and brooder. I knew that the best age to pull can be slightly different for different species. This is the pairs second round of laying for me first time they were all clear just wanting to know to be prepaired. Thanks again
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-04-2015, 12:27 PM



 
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When I have pulled chicks I usually go for just before they open their eyes or as they're starting to open them. I do find that young birds are curious and if started out right can make equally as good companions so long as the effort is put in. I used to hand feed but find this considerably easier on both myself and the babies
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- Alexandrine parakeets Kona, Peaches, George (missing), Holly (RIP), & Orange winged Amazon parrot Paulie
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-04-2015, 02:19 PM


 
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When you say an instant thermometer I presume you mean a digital thermometer. Be careful of these. I bought one thinking it would be better and I found that as the battery gets used you can get a false reading on the thermometer. Really annoying as it cost me quite a bit of money to purchase. I ended up going back to the old fashioned analogue thermometer that has a big nut under the gauge that you can adjust manually. You just boil some water and test the temp of that and adjust so that it reads correctly. Was talking to a young friend recently who is trained in zoo animal husbandry and a trained vet nurse as well and he has had the same problem with a digital thermometer. I have had a similar problem with digital scales that are only battery operated not reading the correct weight. Modern technology is not always an advance.
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