Should I buy weaned or unweaned?
This is a question I get asked on a regular basis.
Handfeeding a baby parrot requires alot of time and dedication. You must feed on a schedule and also feed a certain amount of formula at a specific temperature. There is also a certain technique to handfeeding.
If you make the commitment; you can learn. Never take a baby parrot home without having lessons on how to handfeed. If you do not feel comfortable DO NOT take the baby home. Have the breeder continue to feed and continue to have lessons until you are comfortable.
Through this web page I can not teach you how to handfeed. In my opinion it must be "hands on".
I can list a few things that can help:
Do not feed your baby on a counter or table. Feed on the floor. When the feeding response starts the baby may "pump" very hard. This can lead to the baby ending up on the floor if you are not prepared for the strenght of the "pump".
Make sure your formula is mixed very well, according to the directions on the package. I do not add anything to my formula. It has been produced with everything needed to help your baby bird grow into a healthy bird. More harm then good usually comes from adding ingredients to the formula.
Start feeding at a temperature between 105 and 107 degrees. If you feed at a temperature to low; bacteria will grow in the crop. If you feed at a temperature to high; you will burn the crop and surgery will be required.
If you are using a microwave to warm the formula make sure you stir well to remove all "hot spots".
The babies crop must be empty in the morning before you feed and should empty in between each feeding. When feeding large parrots the crop may not completely empty during the day but must empty overnight.
Feeding technique must be seen in person. Set up a time for lessons with the breeder and get "hands on" experience.
I have feeding schedules for each species I feed that explains how much formula to feed per day and how many times to feed per day.
At the first sign of problems get the baby to a Certified Avian Vet. Have this name and phone number before you purchase the baby. The breeder should have one if you don't. Your breeder should be able to answer most of your questions but have the vet name and number ready.
We all started without experience and had to learn. It is not difficult but you must be dedicated and be prepared to listen to your breeder.
Handfeeding does not create a better bond with the bird. If you have a good breeder your weaned parrot will be well socialized and adapt to his new home without problems.
Handfeed because you want to learn; not to save a few dollars. It can cost you a lot in the long term if you do not do it correctly.
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