Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hand-Feeding Day One Parrotlets

Occasionally I have a Parrotlet egg that I have to hatch in the incubator. It seems that I can successfully raise an incubator-hatched baby about 50% of the time. For the ones that don't survive, it seems like they never develop. They don't get pin feathers, their eyes don't open, and I usually lose them at about 3-4 weeks old.

I feed all my babies KayTee Exact Handfeeding Formula. Do you know of anything I can do to encourage the baby's eyes to open? They eat well, and their crops get full. Their brooder is set to 89°. For the ones that survive, their eyes open on time, at around 12-14 days old.

Thank you for any advice you can give me.

Dear Pam:

Thank you for your email. Unfortunately, there are things that Mother Nature is much better at than we are and that is raising baby parrotlets from Day One. You can try different supplements, Probiotics, vitamins, etc., but nothing can replace a hen caring for chicks. They are just too tiny and too difficult. They probably also receive certain necessary flora, bacteria, hormonal or other things from the parent bird that we don't know about and can't duplicate. I know we as humans always think we can do things as well as Nature or even better but it has been my 30 year experience that no human can duplicate what a female parrotlet can do when it comes to raising chicks that are less than 4 days old.

Sincerely yours,

Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S.
Secretary, International Parrotlet Ranch

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