By: BEST BIRDS  07-30-2011
Keywords: Hand-reared baby birds

 I myself take the chicks from the nest at 2 to 3 weeks of age, or when they develop their pin feathers. I feed the chicks on AVI Plus hand-rearing formula. I only use the syringe when the chicks are too small. Otherwise I use the spoon method. (A metal tea spoon that has the sides curved up to resemble the beak). With the spoon method, it is slower, but you have to handle the chick more and they get used to the physical contact, which is why they become more tamed.
I keep the young chicks in a small carry cage at first, with a cloth under them, (to stop them getting splayed legs on the slippy surface), and a cloth over them. Eventually they themselves start to move out from under when they feel more confident. I place a baby hot water bottle or a heating pad in the cage wrapped in a small towel if needed. I also place a soft cuddly toy so that the chicks can snuggle up to it. Eventually as they get more confident I allow them to move around outside the cage. They have a large teddy bear that they can hide under or climb up. This is what I call their exercise period. By now they are so tame that they come when I call. I also place small toys around the bed, like the small plastic balls, and other toys that they can pick up with their beaks. In between feedings, I also give them small pieces of fruit & vegetables, so that they can learn the different tastes.

Keywords: Hand-reared baby birds