Dan's Shortface

Hand Feeding Tips



The first thing anyone considering breeding shortface birds should do is buy the best feeders avaliable from an experienced breeder. It will save you alot of heartache and disappointment, almost all birds feed but most don't feed well. This being said it is still a good idea to know how to hand feed because sometimes it's going to be necessary. There is nothing worse than finding a dead youngster that you could have saved with a few minutes effort . I use Hagen's hand feeding mix because it is easy to use fast to mix and the youngsters do well on it. I take a tablespoon full of Hagen's Hand Feeding Mix place it in a bowl add 50cc of water and stir with a whip it until all lumps are gone and it is a smooth texture or it will not draw up into the feeding syringe. Depending on the size of youngster I have three sizes of feeding syringes small 12cc, middle 50cc, and big 60cc I have fed youngsters from 12 hours old on after 3 days old the middle size can be used. The first thing to remember is be Gentle it is very easy to injure a youngster if you dont take your time. The first thing to do is gently tip the youngster's head back creating a straight line to the crop. The next step is to gently open the beak slide the feeding tube on the end of the syringe down the throat past the wind pipe and slowly depress the plunger. The crop and slowly fill till slightly firm. If you are unsure about it, stop it is better to leave him a little hunger. It is important to make sure you do not overfeed or youngster may choke and die. When do you start to feed? Well, my answer is when you go out to check youngsters in the evening and you find one empty or less than full. If he is well covered or well feathered feed it there but if not you may have to consider using another form of heat along with feeding. This can be done many different ways I use small hot box with two light bulbs mounted on the wall of a plywood box one is mounted at each end about 3 inchs off of a wire bottom pull out tray I also have larger one 18 inchs x 30 inchs X 16 inches there is a pull out tray in it mounted one inch off the ground and a lightbulb and 4 inchs from the tray at one end.

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