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Have any of you guys had the opportunity to hand feed your parrots from when they were young?

I acquired Oscar at just about a month old and was given the opportunity to hand feed and ultimately wean him, which I think allowed us to create a special bond. It brought us closer together and made our relationship stronger.

Despite this, it's still not recommended to purchase un-weaned babies, and to leave the hand-feeding to the breeder.
 

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I have been hand raising for about 15 or so years now. All the babies I breed (except the budgies) are hand raised. I find it makes for calmer breeders and as I show my birds I find the hand raised ones are less intimidated by the judges and having people around them. I also hand raise for other breeders who can't or don't have the time to do it. For the last 4 years I have been hand raising Corella's for one of the breeders in our Parrot Club, he is over 80 now and does not have the patience to do it anymore. Good for me as I am usually paid with one of the babies that I can either keep or sell. This is how I got my beloved Karl Corella. He is a super brat and a very cheeky boy. He trust me so much I could nearly pull his head off if so inclined. It is not common for a bird to allow you to take their whole head in your hand and tolerate it. He has become a great talker too. Often calls the dogs, asks me what I am doing. Telling the dogs off, and many other things.

I love hand raising and find it such a rewarding experience whether for myself or for others. I still have contact with many of the babies I have hand raised and they really don't forget their mother even after a couple of years. I met my Charlie Cockatoo again after 3 years and she remembered me. I didn't know she was the girl I hand raised at the time and I was the only woman who could handle her and not get bitten. I brought her back when she was 4 years old and she has been with me ever since. She is now 9 years old and now talks to other women without trying to bite them. I use her often to promote bird keeping and breeding. She is one of the best publicity agents we have had for our parrot club encouring quite a few new members to join.
 

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I have handfed Snuckums (cockatiel) from 3 weeks on. She is one of my most tame and snuggly bird. I trust her with even the youngest child.
I have also finished out handfeeding one of our lovies (snowflake) along with her brother Riley who belongs to my friend. She is a very territorial bird however. I also handfed Leroy our green cheek and our newest budgie (unamed as of yet). The budgie was payment for handfeeding the clutch.

It is a very rewarding experience but not for beginners as too many things can go wrong. I feed for a few local breeders in the area.
 

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I hand-fed 3 Cockatiels from when they were 3 weeks old, I loved every minute of it, it's a great way to get a good bond with them as well. I'd do it again within a heartbeat.

I also hand-fed Larry (one of my newest 'tiels) for a bit. :)
 

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I hand-feed birds for a living right now :rofl: I've been hand-feeding birds for 5 years now :thumbsup: I hand-fed and raised my mom's parrotlet, Midge, and my severe macaw Goober at the store I work at and brought them home. I love it now and it seems so easy, but I was so terrified when I first learned! It's so much harder than it seems!
 

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I hand fed Zoe, Bella, Lindy and Pixie. I have an especially strong bond with Zoe and Bella. Lindy and Pixie are not as close to me, but not sure why.
 

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When I brought Bobby my quaker home she was still on one feed a day. I have also breed birds and handfed tiels and lovebirds.

I have strong feelings about the sale of unweaned birds. I think for the most part it is a huge mistake.

Even though I had plenty of experience I did not hand feed Merlin my bare eyed cockatoo. I looked at it this way I was spending 1500 on this bird I did not want to take a chance of anything going wrong.
 

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i hand feed as well but the most joyable was the one i called miracle i no solace will remember her she was crop pokeked and i was told not to expect her to make it i,ll do a post of the whole story but yes i do hand feed and hand raise
 

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I have hand fed Tuney my linnie (syringe) and Turbo my Hahn's macaw (spoon). I hate to admit it, but they are the most bonded to me of all my babies.
 

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I have hand fed Tuney my linnie (syringe) and Turbo my Hahn's macaw (spoon). I hate to admit it, but they are the most bonded to me of all my babies.
How young can you hand feed with a spoon? And do they eat it or do you have to put into their mouth? :eek:
Sorry for the dumb questions but I really don't have a clue and I'm trying to gain knowledge in case Niblet and Millie mate (not sure if the "in case" applies) :rolleyes:
 

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I've always syringe fed, but we get our babies in at a decent age, usually on 4 feedings max. So I'm not sure about the spoon feeding! With the smaller birds, I know you want to start hand-feeding around 2-4 weeks
 

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You can actually use a spoon from 1 day. I have done it from 1 week when the babies had to be pulled early due to the female getting out of the aviary and it took me 1 1/2 days to catch her and the male does not look after the babies, they were Galah's. I have 2 different size spoons, one for small birds and one for large. You don't have to really push it into the beak as the babies usually have a normal feeding response with a spoon and they readily take food from it. I prefer to use a spoon as it is a more natural form of feeding, much more similar to the parents. The spoons I use are specifically made for hand feeding birds it is shaped at the bottom and is similar in size and shape to the birds bottom beak. It is bent and then it has stainless steel put on it so it can be sterilized easily. They are made over here in Australia by a company called Vetafarm.

And it's not a dumb question Cess.
 

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I have been hand feeding my baby tiels from 7 days to 3 weeks for a few years now and love the experience every time. I do have a question though. I read that I should still be hand feeding them once (7 at night) from 45 days to weaning. I'm wondering if anyone can tell me if this is still necessary since I give them a variety of foods throughout the day and evening. For example: good quality seeds, pellets, fresh veggies along with a mash made from baby formula, ground almonds and natural oatmeal-twice a day. They are 7 weeks old and still look for me to feed them at night, although they eat well on their own. However, I think they might just want me to hold them, which I do also before they go to bed. Thanks in advance for any input in this.
 

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Hmm... Each bird is going to wean at a different pace. Do you weigh your babies? We used to pull feeds at the shop as we went along, you kind of get a gut feeling for when they're ready with practice, and we weighed them every M, W, F, Sun. If they maintained their weight, then the change was permanent. If they're maintaining their weight and still crying (typical tiels, eh?) I would do exactly what you're doing - give them some cuddles, maybe offer some solid food, then put them to bed. In my experience, sometimes they cry because they just want the attention and to be coddled like a baby, not so much the food :giggle:
 

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As Jenny said it depends on the bird. At 7 weeks a Sulphur Crested Cockatoo is still very much a baby, they fledge between 9 to 11 weeks and don't wean till between 11 to 13 weeks. Macaws can still be on one feed a day at 9 months of age.

With Cockatiels I would be looking at them to wean at around 7 weeks but some of them would still be on one comfort feed a day.
 

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Many years ago, because I was young and didn't really understand the risks, I handfed my dusky conure. It was a very rewarding experience. I really enjoyed it. However, now that I am old I have no desire to try it again. I know I could easily make a mistake and kill the baby. So, I guess I am too old now.

My dusky conure was very sweet and attached to me, but I think my current birds are as attached as she was. I played with some of them when they were still being handfed. However, the linnie, who is perhaps the sweetest most people oriented bird we have, was well over a year when I first saw her. She had been hand fed and then never sold. She is an absolute doll and the most likely of all of our birds to come over to us on her own when she is playing by herself. The conure I handfed years ago seemed no more attached to me than she is.
 

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I was able to hand feed Ziggy. But she was a couple of days off weaning, so I only hand fed her twice.
 

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I handfed my quaker. I got him when he was barely sprouting pin feathers and everyone said he looked like a shell-less turtle:giggle:
I was only 13 at the time, (a mature 13 but still...) Looking back, I'm amazed that a breeder handed over such a tiny baby bird to me-there was a bird breeder that showed up at the summer market in our little town. I had obsessively read bird magazines for years so I felt like I knew what I was doing and following the breeder's directions, I used a plastic spoon that I had heated up to reshaped into a funnel at the end.
Looking back, I guess I was just fearless, very knowledgeable for a kid, and dedicated-my mother believed I would do a good job. I never had any trouble with it and he was very healthy at the time I weaned him. I know that quakers are pretty hardy little birds but taking on a handfeeding project would make me a lot more nervous now!
 
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