How to Feed a Baby Bird



Feed the baby bird every 15 to 20 minutes from sunrise to sunset.,
Know what to feed the baby bird.,
Begin to vary the bird’s diet as it grows.,
Know which bird breeds require a special diet.,
Don’t feed the baby bird bread or milk.,
Use the correct feeding technique.,
Avoid giving the baby bird water.

Baby birds have very demanding feeding schedules — their parents make literally hundreds of feeding trips everyday. In order to replicate this rigorous feeding schedule yourself, you must feed the baby bird every 15 to 20 minutes from sunrise to sunset.

When the baby bird has opened it’s eyes and sprouted some feathers, you can wait 30 to 45 minutes between feedings. After that, you can gradually increase the amount of food per feeding and reduce the number of feeding times accordingly.
Once the baby bird is strong enough to leave the nest and begins hopping around the box, you can feed it about once an hour. You can gradually reduce this time to once every 2 to 3 hours and begin leaving bits of food in the box for the bird to pick at by itself.

, There are a number of differing opinions on the exact type of food a baby bird should be fed, however most experts agree that as long as the baby bird is getting the required nutrients, the exact food isn’t terribly important. Even though different breeds of adult birds follow very different diets — some eating insects, some eating seeds and berries — the majority of baby birds have very similar requirements and will need to be given food high in protein.

An excellent starter diet for a recently hatched altricial bird is one made up of 60% puppy or kitten kibble, 20% hard boiled eggs and 20% mealworms (which can be purchased online).The kibble should be moistened with water until it reaches a sponge-like consistency, though it should not be dripping water as the baby bird can drown in the excess fluid. The hard boiled eggs and meal worms should be chopped into pieces small enough for the baby bird to swallow.

, As the baby bird matures and starts hopping around, you can begin to vary its diet somewhat and start giving it the type of food it will eat as an adult.

Insect-eating birds will eat earthworms, grasshoppers and crickets that have been chopped up very small, along with any insects you collect at the bottom of a “bug zapper”.Fruit-eating birds will eat berries, grapes and raisins soaked in water.

, The exceptions to this diet outlined above include birds such as doves and pigeons, parrots, hummingbirds, fish-eating birds, birds of prey and any precocial chicks.

Doves, pigeons and parrot-like birds usually eat a what’s called “pigeon milk”, a substance regurgitated by the mother. To replicate this, you will need to feed these chicks a hand-feeding formula designed for parrots (available at pet supply stores) through a plastic syringe with the needle removed.
Although it’s less likely that you’ll encounter the other breeds of chicks, their requirements are as follows: Hummingbirds will need a specialized nectar formula, fish-eating birds will need chopped up minnows (available at fish bait stores), birds of prey will eat insects, rodents and smaller chicks, and baby precocial birds will do well on turkey or game bird starter., Many people make the mistake of feeding baby birds milk or bread. Unlike mammals, milk is not a natural part of a bird’s diet and they will be intolerant to it. Bread is full of empty calories and will not provide the baby bird with the nutrients it needs to survive. You should also make sure that any food you give the baby bird is served at room temperature.

, Baby birds need to be fed very carefully. The best instruments to use are a dull tweezers or a plastic forceps. If you don’t have access to either of these, a chopstick narrow enough to fit in the birds mouth will do. To feed, take a small amount of food between the tweezers or forceps or on the edge of the chopstick and drop it into the baby’s mouth.Don’t worry about the food going down the wrong way, as the bird’s glottis will shut automatically as it’s feeding.
If the baby’s mouth is not gaping, tap it’s beak lightly with the feeding instrument or rub the food around the edge of the beak. This signals to the bird that it’s time to feed. If the bird still won’t open its mouth, gently force it open.
Keep feeding until the bird is reluctant to open it’s beak or starts rejecting the food. It is important not to overfeed the chicks.

, Typically, baby birds should not be given water orally, as the fluid is likely to fill their lungs and cause them to drown. They should only be given water when they are old enough to hop around the box. At this point you can place shallow containers (such as jar lids) into the box, which the bird will drink from itself.

You can place a stone or a couple of marbles into the water container so the bird doesn’t stand in it.
If you believe that a baby bird is dehydrated, you will need to bring it to a vet or bird rehabilitator who can inject the bird with fluids.

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