Needed are …
- A brooder which you can control the temperature.
- Heat Source: If you don’t have a brooder, a heating pad to go underneath the cage, or heat lamp would work. The baby birds may need the extra heat at night.
- Bedding. I personally like to have one towel at the bottom of the brooder and paper towels on top to absorb any messes. Other (albeit more messy) options are decomposed non-toxic saw dust, corn cob, shredded newspaper, clean straw / dried grass or wood shavings (i.e., Aspen shavings or wood chips). The larger wood chips the better, so the chicks don’t accidentally ingest it.
Please note that some wood shavings – such as pine, cedar and redwood – give off aromatic hydrocarbons (phenols) and acids that are toxic and can cause dermatitis, allergic symptoms and irritation of the digestive tract. They should not be used in cages, aviaries, or nestboxes.
- Commercial Formula and Handfeeding Syringes of various sizes. 1cc – 60cc’s depending on the type of birds you are raising. I like Kaytee Exact Handfeeding Formula — I found it easier to mix than other formulas. However, other breeders prefer other brands.
- Thermometer to measure the heat of the formula.
- Cotton Swabs to clean out the beak after feeding and Paper Towel for cleaning up and lining the brooder
- Disinfectants. I use GSE (Grapefruit Seed Exact) and hydrogen peroxide
- Weight Scale. Weighing your bird will allow you to monitor your bird’s weight and warn you of any weight loss that might be an indication of a health problem. (Note: Birds always lose weight in the days before fledging — this is normal.)
- Cage for weaning babies once they have taken flight and are out of the brooder. The perches must be low so they can learn to perch.
- Cage cover (I always leave a corner open for ventilation)
Species Research by Sibylle Johnson
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