To give young birds the best start in life they must be raised with a quality hand rearing diet. In particular, young birds have an increased protein requirement for muscle & feather development as well as minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and magnesium for bone growth. Our rearing diets include Passwell Hand Rearing Food and Wombaroo Granivore Rearing Mix for typical seed-eating species such as parrots, pigeons finches and quail. We also make the higher-protein Wombaroo Insectivore Rearing Mix for meat or insect-eating species.Hand-reared birds will require additional heating from a heat lamp or incubator when very small and unfeathered. However, once feathered-up, supplemental heat may be provided by using a Cosy Heat Pad.
Hand Rearing Food
Passwell Hand Rearing Food is nutrient-enhanced hand rearing formula for all parrots, finches, pigeons & doves.
- Nutritionally balanced, high protein formula that can be fed from hatching to weaning.
- Enriched with omega-3&6, vitamins and minerals for improved chick health.
- Easily prepared as a smooth, creamy consistency, ideal for spoon or crop-feeding.
Processed cereals, whey and soy proteins, dextrose, maltodextrin, lysine, methionine, mannan oligosaccharides, β-glucans, vegetable oils, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (including EPA & DHA), carotenoids, taurine, vitamins A, B1,B2,B6, B12,C,D3,E,K, nicotinamide, pantothenic acid, biotin, folic acid, choline, inositol, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, zinc, iron, manganese, copper, iodine, selenium.
Protein (min) 24% Fat (min) 9% Carbohydrate 56% Fibre (max) 5% Calcium 1.0% Metabolisable Energy (ME) 16 MJ/kg
300g, 1kg, 5kg, 10kg & 20kg.
Feeding Chicks from Newly Hatched
The first feed of the day for 3 days should be a quality yoghurt with high live micro-organism count. This provides a reliable source of live bacteria (probiotics) that may have a beneficial effect on a bird’s intestinal microbial population. This is cheaper and more effective than using a commercial probiotic powder, that usually have short expiry dates and are inactivated by heat and processing.
Next feed young birds a dilute mixture of Passwell Hand Rearing Food to begin with, and then gradually increase the solids content as they get older. House chicks in a warm, draught-free brooder, at an appropriate temperature for their age.
Hand Rearing Food
(1 heaped teaspoon = 5g approx.)
Warm, preboiled water
(at approx. 50ºC)
Day 1 10 g 60 mL 35-37 Day 2 to 5
50 mL 33-36 Day 6 to 10 10 g 40 mL 31-33 Day 11 to 15 10 g 30 ml 29-31 Day 16 to 20 10 g 25 ml 27-30 After Day 20 10 g 15 ml 25-27
Allow prepared mixture to stand for 2 minutes to absorb all the water. Remix, and if too thick reheat the mixture and add a little more water to make the desired consistency. Feed at a temperature of 36-38ºC with a spoon or syringe. Feed until the crop is full, taking care not to introduce food into the windpipe.
Feed prepared Passwell Hand Rearing Food 6 times daily when chicks are very young, reducing this to 3-4 feeds per day as the chick gets older. Feed small amounts frequently and allow the crop to empty completely at least once each day (ie overnight). Thoroughly clean utensils before food preparation. Food must be prepared fresh for each meal. Discard all uneaten food.
Note: Do not add vitamin, mineral or concentrated food supplements to Passwell Hand Rearing Food. This may seriously alter the nutritional composition of the formula, and lead to dietary imbalance. The addition of either baby apple, vegetable puree or peanut butter at no more than 10% of the prepared food volume should not significantly affect the nutritional composition of the food.
Growth of Chicks
Weigh chicks at the same time each day. Daily weight gains will fluctuate but on average healthy chicks should gain from 10 -20% of their body weight each day. Weight loss could indicate the onset of disease, but often means that the chick is not getting enough food. Otherwise healthy chicks that are not gaining weight may need more solids in the mix, more food at each feed or more feeds per day.
Provide adult-type food to chicks once they are fully feathered or begin to resist being hand fed. Excellent weaning diets include the following:
- For Medium to Large Parrots & Cockatoos use Passwell Parrot Soft Food
- For Budgies, Neophemas & Small Parrots use Passwell Budgie Starter
- For Lorikeets use Passwell Complete Lorikeet
- For Finches use Passwell Finch Soft Food
- For Canaries use Passwell Egg & Biscuit
Instead of deficient seed diets, we recommend to wean pet & aviary birds onto Passwell Parrot Pellets or Passwell Crumbles. This is done by gradually reducing the number of hand feeds and offering some moistened pellets or crumbles in a dish. Once the chicks start eating the moist pellets, stop hand feeding and offer only dry pellets or crumbles. Chicks will naturally lose some weight during weaning.