Tips - Day One through End of First Week
Gloria at Whitewings Farm
1. Needed supplies:
syringes....lots of O ring syringes, from 1 cc through 10 or 20's. The first
week you will be using oners and threers with practically all babies. It's
slower...but you're not likely to overfeed either.
2. A bottle of Pedialyte or a bag of Ringers lactate. The Ringers
is better actually....because you can keep it in the freezer and it doesn't go flat so
quickly. The pedialyte is no better than sterile water after two days.
3. A gram scale...a good supply of the proper hand feeding
4. A jar of Probiotics.....
5. A new bottle of Adolfs Meat Tenderizer....unflavored.
6. A brooder you can keep at about 92 degrees with about 30 to 40 %
humidity.... (aqua brood is wonderful, towels to keep it soft, dark and quiet , and
a digital thermometer.
The first 24 hours (day 0) is
nothing but Pedialyte with a pinch of the Probiotics and a pinch of baby formula.
Every hour......I start it at 101 degrees on the themometer....if they're not happy...it
goes up ...one degree at a time. Most babies feed at temps ranging from 101 to 106
degrees. It depends on the species. Our Princess of Wales like it HOT.
And if it's not....they won't eat..and if we forced it..they developed slow crops.
Not worth the upsets. You weigh the baby before feeding ....and you weigh the
baby after feeding. And you keep meticulous records with it all written down.....the
date, the time, the weights..before and after...and how much you're feeding. This
first day ( day 0...hatch day) the formula is very very thin.....it's really
gruel. I feed all day until midnight. Get up and feed at 2am...and get up and
feed at 4 am. Then start the normal day at 6...first feeding the babies. This
first week is just miserable for persons who like to sleep.....but empty crops and crying
babies are worse to me than a few lost half hours of sleep.
Day One: I go to a six parts
pedialyte or ringers, to one part baby formula and a pinch of Probiotic. Same
schedule. And usually up a bit on the amount. Don't forget the
weigh-ins. If something starts to go wrong...this information is needed by the
Day Two: We're to 4 parts ringers or Pedialyte and one part formula
with a pinch of the pro biotics. By now we're sliding to every two hours approx.
Check in at an hour and a half...see if they're crying....if the crops are
emptying. You want them just about empty at feeding time.
Day Three: You can slide into three parts ringers or pedialyte and one
part formula with a pinch of Probiotics. By now, say with a Umbrella Cockatoo chick,
you're probably feeding 4 cc's of formula every two hours. Maybe every hour and a
half if that baby is emptying quickly.
The formula mixture continues the same as on Day
Three for quite a while; 3 to 1....and adding one cc per day for quite a while as
well. Just remember.... take your time...don't rush yourself. This is your
time to start the ever so important socialization process.....the gentle handling,....the
talking....the cuddling close. All these things are part of the hand feeding
Be careful not to fill the crop to the top,....and
keep a close eye on how quickly the crop is emptying.
One thing that helps if the crop seems slow...a tiny
pinch of Adolfs meat tenderizer in the formula. But first...just some hot pedialyte
or ringers, with a pinch of Probiotic....and a GENTLE massage of the crop.
[Sibylle Faye's remark -- Please note: GENTLE massaging of the
crop. If done WRONGLY, the baby can aspirate because the massaging can move food
into the bird's lungs. Been there, done that -- killed one baby this way.
Please, be very careful with this procedure, if in doubt discuss with vet and let him show
you how to do it right]
And here's my last tip on how to get that baby back into the brooder with a full crop
without bumping and hence, aspirating it. Feed on a clean tea towel....(have about
24 of these on hand....) When the baby is all fed....gather the towel by the four
corners,....lifting the baby in a safe teatowel hammock back to the brooder. Our
brooders are always lined with a full bath sized turkish towel...all crumpled and
lumpy..with clean tea towels on top. Little toe nails cannot get caught in tea
towels. This is wonderful for more than one baby...so they can snuggle...or for a
small brooder. Other wise...we have used various sized plastic cartons....yogurt,
margarine, cream cheese... etc.. made a mattress of paper towels folded to fit....topped
with soft toilet tissue. Feeding time is with the tissue in the bowl of the
scale....weigh in before and after...then return to the carton bed and papertowel
mattress....again creating a safe hammock transport for that baby.
Good luck. Keep them
warm...keep them humidified....watch the crops.....watch the heat of the
formula...sterilize those syringes or pipettes....keep the toweling always changed and
fresh and clean..and wash down gently those baby faces after you have fed them with warm
water. Keep them dark ...and soft and safe. And in the words of one of the all
time great avian vets...Dr. Barton Huber... DON'T GET COMPLACENT.
Bright be all your days, my friends.