What to Feed a Baby Bird

What to feed a baby bird

At the slenderest touch of the nest of baby birds, they helplessly open up their mouth expecting something to eat. This is often a disturbing sight for most birders. A kind-hearted individual will always have the desire to feed and take care of a baby bird, when they are lost or abandoned by their parents.

While that is a very good thought, it is always crucial that you know what to feed the young one. Knowing the best and most important nutritional diet that a baby bird needs. It is necessary for bird lovers that want to achieve better results and see the little bird grow and become independent.

Most people that come across these young ones are often confused and don’t know what to feed a baby bird. What do baby birds eat? How do I take care of them? What should I do when I find a baby bird? All these and more are some of the questions we are going to answer in this article.

We have put together a couple of tips on what to do if you find a baby bird. Including what to feed a baby mockingbird, and what you need to know when feeding a baby bird. This article will also guide you through the process of feeding a baby bird.

What to Do If You Find a Baby Bird

Summer and spring are a nesting period for a lot of birds. It’s a period when birders often find baby birds out on their own. Knowing what to do when you find a baby bird is very important. This will increase the survival chance of the bird and help you take care of it properly. Here are some of the things you should do when you find a baby bird.

  • Pay Close Attention to the Bird: Before you touch or stress the bird in any way, make sure you pay close attention to the bird. See if it can take care of itself if the parent of the baby bird is taking care of it. Most times, when a person sees a baby bird, they usually don’t see the nearby parents of the bird that are willing and ready to protect and feed their young one. It might take up to thirty minutes or more for the parents to return to their offspring. So when you find a baby bird, be patient as the may bird still be under the care of its parents.
  • Keep the Baby Bird Safe: If the baby bird is at immediate serious risk of predators, damaged nest, or other hazardous conditions, or if the bird is ill or clearly injured, it will require help immediately. Carry the bird gently and put it in a small box that is lined with paper towels, tissues, or a very soft material and use a towel or newspaper to loosely cover the top of the box.

You can as well keep it indoors in a safe, quiet location until the weather condition outside is better. Make sure you put on hand gloves when carrying the bird, and carry it gently so you don’t stress it.

What to Feed a Baby Bird

Despite the different feeding of adult birds, all baby birds need nutrients to survive and grow. Birds that usually feed on insects (contains high protein), feed insects to their offspring. But birds that feed on berries, fruits, and seeds also feed insects to their offspring until they are strong enough to leave the nest.

This is because berries, fruits, and seeds don’t contain sufficient protein to sustain the massive growth rate of a baby bird. This is why you need to feed a baby bird with a high-protein, nutritional diet.

If you have a baby bird under your care, you can feed it with a diet that consists of about 60 percent Purina Kitten Chow (soaked), 20 percent mealworms (if available), and 20 percent hardboiled egg (diced).

  • Kitten Chow: Purina Chow contains about 34 percent protein, 12.5 percent fat, less than 4 percent fiber, and 1 percent calcium. Kitten Chow contains all the necessary vitamins and nutrients that baby bird needs to grow and thrive. You can also go for other puppy or kitten kibbles that are very rich in nutrient. Kitten and puppy kibbles have higher vitamin, calcium, and protein content than adult pet products.
  • Mealworms: You can get mealworm larva online. You will need to cut them up for baby birds. Mealworms contain approximately 20 percent protein, 13 percent fat, 2 percent fiber, and a very low amount of calcium. This is a great option when looking for what to feed a baby bird with, as it has enough nutrition to help the bird grow.
  • Eggs: Any size of egg will do just fine. The color of the shell is also not important. Boil the egg until the shell is easy to peel. A whole egg without shell contains approximately 26 percent protein, 9 percent fat, 1 percent carbohydrate, 0.5 percent calcium, 180ppm iron, and zero fiber.

Some other things you can feed the baby bird with include:

  • Dog biscuits
  • Moist dog food
  • Uncooked liver.

There are also some things you should avoid giving to a baby bird, including:

  • Bread
  • Milk
  • Pet bird food
  • Kitchen scraps
  • Whole birdseed
  • Earthworms

How to Feed a Baby Bird

  • Make sure the food you want to give to the baby bird is at room temperature. Baby birds need something warm, if you give them a cold food, it can cause harm to their digestive system.
  • You should do the feeding through hand or with the help of a syringe (safely remove and dispose of the needle)
  • Place one hand on the back and wings of the bird and signal that it’s time for feeding by tapping the bill base carelessly.
  • As the baby bird opens its mouth, carefully drop some food down the throat.

Final Thoughts

With the tips and information provided in this article, you should know what to do when you find a baby bird. If you are to take care of the bird, you should also know what baby birds eat and how to feed them. With this information, whenever you find a baby bird, taking care of it shouldn’t be a problem.

Parrot Color Mutations

Parrot Color Mutations

Go to Color Mutations and take a look at the array of color mutations for various parrot species.  The variety of colors and species is overwhelming.

Why “fool with mother nature”?  Because they can, I guess.  There are some important things to ask a breeder before buying any color mutation unless it is a long-existing one like the Green-Cheek Conure mutations (Pineapple, Red Bellied, etc).

1.  Is this bird a sex-linked or in-bred/line-bred color mutation?

2.  What will the size and temperament difference be?

3.  How many generations away from the original pair is this bird.

4.  Are there any statistics on life span in this mutation?

5. The adult size of this bird as compared to the original specie size.

What You Should Know:

1. Color Mutations are expensive if they are genetically or sex link created.

2.  The difference between Sex Linked Mutations and inbred/line-bred Linked Mutations is pretty much what it sounds like.  Sex Linked birds are bred using dominant color and body trait genes of male and female unrelated birds and inbred/line-bred birds are bred using related pairs (mother/father/son/daughter) until the desired color is achieved.  Needless to say, the scientific community views inbreeding and line-breeding as detrimental to the over all health and body structure of the bird.

3.  It is important the color mutation you have chosen is bred a few generations away from the original pair so that you are reasonably assured of a healthy bird.

4.  Not all mutations, especially inbred/line-bred mutations bring forward the long life span of the original color.

5.  Ask about the size of the mutation compared to the original color specie.  No matter the color and size of your bird, talk with Korey or Kim about the appropriate size and bar spacing for your birds new home.  They are here to make your bird as happy and healthy as possible.

You may also like: These 10 Best Parrot Food are the way to show your love to your “Birdie”

Written by: Jan Santor

12 STEPS TO A HAPPY HEALTH PARROT

12 STEPS TO A HAPPY HEALTH PARROT

1. The right size cage with the right bar spacing and non toxic paint or a stainless steel cage.

2. Cage placement. This is very important. The cage should be placed where your parrot feels the most comfort. The room must have the proper lighting. Preferably natural sun light. A room that has activity. Birds are social creatures. They need to be in a flock. If you have more than one bird the other birds are part of the flock as well as all family members in the household. Parrots that are put off in a room by themselves will be very unhappy. This WILL result in screaming, biting, self mutilation, depression, poor health and can result in death. You must conceder placement very carefully. He must have the ability to interact with you and others and also be able to rest when his need arises to do so. Ten to twelve hours of uninterrupted sleep is ideal for proper rest at night.

3. Plenty of toys to chew on and challenge him are very important. Rotate toys weekly to keep him interested.

4. Time outside his cage is a must. At the minimum 4 hours a day. Longer if you can. Play stands or trees are wonderful things for parrots to have. It gives them freedom and exercise. This is important to physical and mental health.

5. Plenty of fresh water. Water bowls/bottles should be sterilized often and water changed several times a day. Plenty of food variety is also a must. If you feed food that is perishable make sure it is never left in his cage too long. Birds can get sick from bacteria. Parrots eat/fill their crop twice a day. Morning and evening. That is when fresh food should be provided. Make meal time a family affair. Like I said birds are flock creatures. They will want to eat when you eat.

6. Interact with your bird. You don’t have to pick him up to give him attention. Just talk to him. He will talk back.

7. Excessive screaming is a sign of an unhappy and or stressed bird. All birds scream some. It’s their way of communication. Your job is to learn what they are saying to you. Sometimes they scream because they feel great and want to share with everyone how good they feel. Sometimes they scream to warn of danger or fright. Sometimes they scream because that is what they have learned from other members in the house. The louder you are the louder your bird will be.

8. Vet exams on a regular basis are also important. Have a full blood panel done on your first visit to the vet. This will allow your vet a base line on your bird’s health for the future. If he ever gets sick it will help in diagnosing a problem faster. Learn what your bird’s droppings should look like and observe them on a daily basis. If an illness arises their droppings are the first clue.

9. Keep all toxins away from your bird. Basically this means you must bird proof your house. Just like child proofing in a way. Birds are affected by toxins in the air as well as toxins in the items they chew. So make yourself aware of what he can come in contact with.

10. Bathing on a regular basis is also important. All birds need to bathe and enjoy it very much. There are many ways to bathe your parrot. Taking him in the shower is an easy way to bathe him and if he tolerates it can be an important bonding time. Bathing time is also a good time to socialize him to a family member that is having trouble handling him. Most birds pick one person to bond with. This can be a problem when the need arises for someone else to care for their needs. So it’s a good idea to get your bird used to having someone else fill his needs every once in a while.

11. Establish you’re self as the flock leader as soon as you bring your parrot home. This is very important! He must know to respect you to avoid aggression throughout his life. The best way to do this is to practice the step up/ step down command.

12. Keeping your birds wings clipped is also suggested by this author. Parrots that are allowed to fly free indoors are an accident waiting to happen. Keeping him safely on his cage or stand/tree is more difficult if he can fly anywhere he wants. Keeping him where he is safe is your goal. Anyone can learn to clip wings properly.

If you have established yourself as flock leader and have a good relationship with your bird you can learn to clip wings without any trauma to him what so ever. Of course have your vet show you how the first time. Nail trimming can be more difficult. And dangerous if not done right. The proper perches can limit the frequency of trimming. If you do decide to do your birds nails yourself learn how to safely and have the proper equipment on hand.

A bird can bleed to death from a nail clipped to short if the bleeding isn’t stopped. So make sure you know what you are doing before you attempt to nail trim. Beak trim really should not be necessary if your bird is healthy and has the right environment to keep his beak trimmed down himself. If you notice his beak over growing take him to the vet and have it trimmed. And then access why it became over grown in the first place.

A Parrots Average Life Span

A Parrots Average Life Span

So you’ve made the decision to enrich your life with a feathered friend.

Parrots are unique among pet birds in that they have the potential to be with you for your entire life.

A parrot’s life span in captivity is considerably shorter than his potential life span. This is due to environmental factures.

Nothing happier than watching your birds healthy and how long they enrich your life is in your hands. Proper nutrition, veterinary care and your parrots mental health are key factures in the life span of your companion bird. Here are some approximate life spans for various species of common companion birds.

NOTE: The larger the parrot the longer the commitment. Most of these birds require a lifetime commitment.

 

Macaws 50 – 100 +

Cockatoos 40 – 60 +

Amazons 50 – 70 +

African Grays 50 – 60 +

Eclectus 65 – 85

Conure 12 – 30

Lories and Lorikeets 13 – 25

Caique 30

Senegal 50 years

Cockatiel 12 to 20

Parakeets 7 to 18 years

Lovebirds average 15 to 25

Canaries average 10 to 15 years

Finches average 5 to 10.

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