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Hand-Rearing Gets An Overhaul

New Techniques, formulas and products put today’s hand-feeders at the top of their game

By Rick Jordan

Note: Hand-rearing birds is not for the novice bird owner. If you don’t do it correctly, you can injure or even kill the baby bird. Only professional bird breeders and hand-feeders should hand-rear. These professionals continually educate themselves, work with avian vets and mentor under other experienced bird breeders to breed the happiest, healthiest birds possible.

The procedures, formulas and methodologies of hand-feeding baby parrots have evolved over the past few decades as our knowledge of avian nutrition, behavior and health improved. With these changes come dramatically increased chick survival ratings and healthier birds overall.

Formulas
As recently as 10 years ago, aviculturists made homemade formulas to feed to chicks. These mixtures consisted of various animal chows, fruits, vegetables, baby foods and vitamin supplements. The ingredients in homemade concoctions varied from bird breeder to breeder and even batch to batch. Some bird breeders added extra vegetables resulting in lower-fat diets; others added additional nuts, dog chow or primate biscuits, which led to higher protein and fat formulas.


**For the full article, pick up the April issue of BIRD TALK**

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Hand-Rearing Gets An Overhaul

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Reader Comments
im 13 and had to hand raise 1 of my princess parrots because he kept on getting thrown out of the nest. When I bought him in he was less than half the size his sisters were. Now he follows and falls asleep on me. He's the perfect pet as well as Sunny, my pied cockateil. And my princesses name is charlie.
sarah, canberra
Posted: 8/18/2010 1:47:13 AM
When I raised Cockatiels many years ago, it was my first handfeeding that I had to do. It was an experience that went well. The Mother did not want to feed at all... but I did and it worked well. Back then, it was BirdTalk as well that helped me through it!
Stephen, Plattsburgh, NY
Posted: 3/21/2007 7:42:36 AM
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