|Disclaimer for link to Kaytee video:
The information provided in the video at the URL below is designed
specifically for pet birds, typically parrots. In many ways you will
find the video helpful, but there are some important differences that
avian rehabilitators need to keep in mind:
1. IT IS NEVER OUR GOAL TO BOND WITH THE WILD BIRDS IN OUR CARE.
2. Our goal is to release wild birds back into the wild whenever
3. Smaller species may need to be handled differently, or fed thinner
formula. Various other adjustments may be necessary based on size and
4. Please contact Wild Bird Rehab Haven at (808) 447-9274 for a mentor
to work with you regarding the species you are rehabbing.
Many members of this organization use Kaytee products but we do not
endorse Kaytee. There are many other fine products on the market.
Link to Kaytee video:
- During the day if you
don't have a heating pad, use a watertight jar with HOT
water in it. Reheat as needed. Place a paper towel over it
so the baby can perch on top to get warm and not get burned.
Cover with layers of tissue so you can remove tissues as
they are soiled.
- When an electrical outlet
is available, set a heating pad on LOW and place the carrier
on it. Watch and feel to be sure the baby bird doesn't get
too hot. Birds are naturally 102 degrees warm but not
burning hot. If she is panting, it's probably too warm. Feel
her underside. She should feel nice and warm.
- If she feels cold or cool
to the touch turn it up to Medium for a while but stay
alert. Have some balled up tissues on the bottom of the
carrier so she isn't sitting right on the plastic bottom of
- Water: No additional water need be
given. There is enough moisture in the formula and giving
water may cause choking.
- To mix the food: Place a
heaping teaspoon of powdered baby bird food in a container
(Harrison Juvenile Hand Feeding Mix works well. Purchase at
pet store or veterinarians office. This mix is formulated
for seed eaters.) Add very hot water and mix well. The food
should be liquid but not too watery. It thickens some in a
- If the beak is pointier
then you probably have a Mejiro (tiny w/greenish feathers),
Bulbul (brown, medium size) or Mynah (big w/yellow beak). In
that case use the following formula:
BABY BIRD FOOD for
Mejiro, Bulbul or Mynah
(insect/fruit eaters: These birds won't do well on the
straight Harrisons mix)
1/2 teaspoon Baby bird starter food (mixed with warm water)
1 Tablespoon Human baby food VEAL
1 Tablespoon Human baby food FRUITS (Mango/Kiwi, etc.)
one Egg yolk; cooked and crumbled
Add fresh fruit juice to dilute
MIX ALL TOGETHER and REFRIGERATE
- Suck some up in the
eyedropper used to feed the babies. Run under warm water to
warm it before feeding. Also you can stab the dropper into
fresh fruit to get a chunk of fruit to go along w/the
formula listed above.
- You may use a syringe,
eyedropper or medicine dropper. These can be purchased at
Longs or the vets office or the pet store.
- The food needs to be
thick/thin enough to suck up with the feeding tip. If you
are giving freshly made food, suck it up in the
syringe/eyedropper, wait a few minutes before feeding so it
cools to room temp.
- Store the container of
mixed food in the refrigerator. Throw the food away at the
end of the day and wash and rinse the container in hot
water. Wash the syringe/eyedropper with HOT water before
each re-filling so no bacteria gets in the container of
mixed food. Warm the food to room temperature before feeding
by holding it in your hand or run under warm water.
- TO FEED: Teach the
little bird to open its mouth by making a certain sound each
time you want to feed it.
- Have the
syringe/eyedropper ready (filled, at room temp and in
your hand) BEFORE you make the sound.
- Only make the sound
when you want to feed. This is called conditioning.
- When you first start
training the bird to open its' mouth, try these
- Open the
container and the mouth will open (the parent has
- Wave your hand
over the bird once to simulate the parent returning
to the nest... the mouth will open.
- Lightly jiggle
the edge of the "nest" to simulate the parents'
- Pet the bird to
simulate movement/competition with siblings for
- Gently and quickly
insert the feeding tip into the mouth and press slowly
and steadily until the food starts to come out. Not too
much. If you give too much the mouth will overflow and
then the feathers get sticky. Wipe up with a Kleenex.
Give her a little time to swallow, and then do it again
until her crop is full. The crop is the sack under her
chin on the front of her chest. Usually the baby will
keep opening its' mouth until it is full. Happiness is a
full crop. Feed again when the crop is empty or cries
become repetitive. After feeding, wipe her beak and
surrounding feathers while the food is wet so it doesn't
cake. If there is food on her head, wings, etc. you can
roll it clean with a q-tip and warm water.
- Feed her throughout
the daylight hours. As you get used to each other the
feedings will be bigger (the crop will fill up) and
there will be more time between feedings.
- Cover her carrier at
night so she can have darkness and rest. Have the
heating pad on low for the night.
- Like all babies she thrives on touch. At
least once during the day or evening put some tissue on your
lap and put her there and cover her with your hand. She'll
move around and maybe preen while she is there. She may
sleep. It warms her and warms her heart.
- Change the tissues each time she soils.
If there is caked-on soil, use warm water and a q-tip and
roll it on the dirty feathers until it's clean. Make sure
she stays warm.