How to Handfeed a Bird

Whether you're caring for a sick bird or a baby bird that cannot yet master eating alone, there are times when you may have to hand feed your bird. Many bird owners say that hand feeding their bird can be a bonding experience that further connects the pet and its owner. Before starting to hand feed your bird, be aware that learning how to do it correctly can be a time-consuming process. Not hand feeding your bird properly can lead to injury, sickness and even death [source: Sakas]. But with correct techniques, you can have your bird eating out of the palm of your hand. Read the steps listed below and learn about how to hand feed a bird.

  1. Mix the bird special formula. Ensure that the paste is always the same consistency and always a tepid temperature. When feeding a baby bird coming from a breeder or pet supplier, it's always best to keep feeding the bird the same food it's been eating to that point. You want to introduce changes to the bird's diet and surroundings slowly, so as not to disturb its eating patterns [source: Sakas].
  2. Fill a syringe or teaspoon with the bird's formula and gently pour some into the bird's beak. Be sure to exercise patience, as this step can take a long time.
  3. Don't feed the bird too much. Having been given too much food, the bird can aspirate the mixture into its trachea, lungs and air sacs [source: Sakas].
  4. Make sure to consult the breeder or a vet to see how many times a day you should be feeding your bird [source: Sakas].

Keep in mind that feeding formula can stay in the refrigerator for up to two days. If it stays any longer than that it may spoil [source: Zollars].