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KathyW

Hand Rearing -

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A question that I would appreciate views on.

 

All my handfeeding and hand rearing texts recommend for various reasons not to feed a (hand reared) chick until it's crop is empty.

 

However over the years I've had some birds with either slow emptying crops and/or opportunistic feeders who wanted fed every time they heard or felt movement.

 

Bearing in mind that birds are probably as individualistic as human babies in metabolism and feeding habits I'm beginning to doubt the wisdom of the texts and think "demand feeding", assuming all other general health factors are in order, may be the wiser course of action.

 

So what are the general views on "topping up" before the crop empties IF the chick is begging for a feed? I suspect it would probably trigger a parent bird to feed their young.

 

 

KathyW.

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A question that I would appreciate views on.

 

All my handfeeding and hand rearing texts recommend for various reasons not to feed a (hand reared) chick until it's crop is empty.

 

However over the years I've had some birds with either slow emptying crops and/or opportunistic feeders who wanted fed every time they heard or felt movement.

 

Bearing in mind that birds are probably as individualistic as human babies in metabolism and feeding habits I'm beginning to doubt the wisdom of the texts and think "demand feeding", assuming all other general health factors are in order, may be the wiser course of action.

 

So what are the general views on "topping up" before the crop empties IF the chick is begging for a feed? I suspect it would probably trigger a parent bird to feed their young.

 

 

KathyW.

 

 

You are right. I think that they should be fed when they beg for food or the crop is empty which ever comes first. Although with some birds they will loose their feeding response if fed before the crop is mostly empty. This means they will loose intrest to feed. The longer you wait the more enthusiastically they will feed. If the baby is begging and the crop is still full and you feed it more it could cause sour crop or crop slow down. So as lond as it is mostly empty before you top it off again it is fine. The parents feed them when they solicit food from them. The loudest chicks are fed first and the more enthuiastic the chick is the more and sooner it will be fed. The parrents don't check their crops to see if they are empty. They just listen for begging and thats it. So I say feed them when they want to be fed or when the crop is empty which ever comes first.

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