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    Keeping pets healthier and happier.

    Hand feeding budgies : Step by step instructions for beginners


    requirement – Hand feeding budgies

    It is important to choose a good formula that will provide all of the nutrients for your growing chicks! Select from below for Hand feeding budgies




    • A brooder (I used a breeding box instead)

    Young budgie chicks are kept warm by their mother. Hand-reared chicks require an ambient temperature of about 98 degrees Fahrenheit until their feathers grow in. You’ll want a nesting box or brooder for this. Don’t clean the nesting box while it contains hatchlings; clean it after the chicks develop feathers.

    feeding schedule

    So now you have your basic supplies ready for hand feeding, and for the chicks to stay during this time!

    Lets now talk a little about hand feeding schedules so you can have an idea of what to expect and an average timeline of how chick is raised here at our aviary, as well as some dangers to look out for.

    When To Begin Hand feeding budgies

    It is very important for the chicks to spend a number of weeks with their mother. Right after they hatch they get essential crop milk from the hen, which is full of antibodies and nutrients that the chicks need to ward off disease until they can develop their own immune system.

    During the first few weeks they need fed almost constantly day and night until they grow in size and can fit more food in their crop. They are also very small at first and it is much easier to harm them during the

    hand feeding process. Deciding on an age to pull them at is very important for their health and well being, and should not be rushed if you can help it.
    Most breeders prefer to begin hand feeding at 2 or 3 weeks of age, and this is mostly a matter of personal preference.  Some say that pulling at 2 weeks will make them tamer or more bonded. At 3 weeks you have the added advantage of not needing an added heat source, where as if you decide to begin at 2 weeks supplemental heat can be needed.
    You can not start any later than 3 weeks though if you want the process to go smoothly, and for the chicks to take to hand feeding the easiest.
    We have pulled babies at both 2 and 3 weeks to compare when trying to decide what we thought was best personally,  and noticed no difference or advantage in tameness or bonding when pulling them at 2 weeks instead of 3, and for this reason we prefer to begin hand feeding at 3 weeks.

    The Importance Of Formula Temperature

    Both in formula and environment, having the correct temperature is essential! Without it the chicks will not be able to digest their food and their digestive system will slow down, or stop working all together.

    Hand feeding formula needs to be at the correct temperature. Too cold and you will have the problems mentioned above, too hot and you will burn the chicks mouth and crop leading to a whole other set of problems.

    Depending on what method you are using, the ideal temperature for the formula will be 105-110 degrees Fahrenheit 40-45 degrees Celsius. If you are using a spoon it is best to have it a few degrees warmer than when using a syringe, since once the formula hits the air it will start to cool and will end up being a few degrees cooler.

    Watch the chicks behavior when you offer the formula. Too hot or too cold will often cause the chick to spit the formula out, or run away. At the correct temperature you should get a good feeding response and the chick should gladly take the formula. Again, having a breeder or avian vet help present for the first few times you hand feed is very wise to make sure you have the method and temperature correct, and this will help you be more confident when you do it on your own.

    How Often To Feed And How Much

    When you first pull the chicks at 2-3 weeks they will need fed every 3-4 hours. Once the chicks are 4 weeks old you can begin feeding them every 5 hours, and this is the schedule you will want to keep until they wean themselves.  The only break you will want to make in this routine is 8 hours or so at night for the crop to completely empty. It is essential that their crop completely empties at least once every 24 hours.

    Chick aged 2 weeks will eat 2-3ml, at 3 weeks 4-5ml and 4 weeks 5-6ml and from there on out until they wean. A larger english/show chick will naturally eat a bit more considering their larger size. At 2 weeks they will generally need 3-4ml, at 3 weeks 5-6ml and from 4 weeks to weaning 7-8ml. Again these are just averages so please be sure to check each chick individually when Hand feeding budgies.

    Do not over feed. When the crop gets too full the muscles that help the crop contract and push the food up and into the stomach are weakened, causing them not to work properly. When these muscles to not function like they should a chick can easily starve to death with a crop full of food. In this case an avian vet will be needed to help these muscles work properly again. Please be very careful not to over feed, and ask an experienced breeder or avian vet to show you what is the ideal amount looks and feels like so you will be confident in knowing when to stop Hand feeding budgies.
    Note : My handfed chick eat just 2 ml of formula until a month then i gave 6 ml formula upto 2 months untill weaning stage. Some chicks may take more time to wean my chick took above 2.5 months to wean.

    If you are ready to hand feed start the process and after you chick reached the age of 4 weeks don’t forget to read the weaning guide.

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