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FAQ Friday #4: What does it mean to hand-feed a bird?

baby cockatiel

We fish have an entirely different way of life than our feathered friends, so I was curious about the whole idea of hand feeding. Luckily, the bird experts here at The Animal Store know what they’re doing.

It turns out that hand feeding isn’t what you think it is. I thought hand feeding meant that a person puts bird food in his or her hand and holds it out for the bird to eat. Of course, how could I know that this isn’t how it works—they don’t call it fin feeding, do they?

No, hand feeding means putting liquefied food directly into a baby bird’s crop (a kind of pouch in the bird’s throat that is part of its digestive system and is used to temporarily store food). Hand feeding is usually done with a spoon, syringe, or tube, depending on the kind and size of bird.

In the wild, bird parents chew and regurgitate food into a baby bird’s crop. (I know, yuck, right? But it works for them.) When baby birds are raised by humans, hand feeding mimics this process.

Hand feeding takes skill. The formula must have the right mix of nutrients, be fed in the right quantity, and at the right consistency and temperature. Other issues with hand feeding can include:

  • Underfeeding.
  • Overfilling the crop, which could result in the bird aspirating food into its lungs.
  • Crop stasis (sour crop), which happens when a baby bird get something inedible in its crop.
  • Dehydration.
  • Issues weaning to solid food.

Many people believe that hand feeding helps socialize birds into becoming better pets. If you have more questions about hand feeding, just ask one of our animal experts.

Sometimes I think it would be great to fly like a bird, but when I hear words like “regurgitate”, it makes me glad I’m a fish. Hey, did you catch last week’s FAQ Friday about how to feed your fish? Now that was some interesting reading.


Viernes de FAQ #4: ¿Qué significa darle de comer con la mano a un pájaro bebe?

bebé cockatiel

Nosotros los peses tenemos una vida totalmente diferente a la de nuestros pequeños amiguitos emplumados, así que me dio curiosidad de saber como es que le dan de comer a los pájaros bebes con la mano. Afortunadamente aquí en la tienda tenemos expertos que saben lo que hacen y como hacerlo.

Da la casualidad que darle de comer a un pájaro con la mano no es lo que pensabas. Yo pensaba que darle de comer a un pajarito con la mano era poner comida en la palma de la mano y ofrecérsela. Obvio que esto no funciona así, si no también le llamaríamos darle de comer a un pájaro con la aleta ¿no lo creen?

No, darle de comer con la mano significa poner una sustancia liquida directo al buche del pájaro bebe (un tipo de bolsa en el cuello del pájaro que es parte de su sistema digestivo cuyo uso es almacenar comida). El darle que comer manual mente es usualmente echo con una cuchara, jeringa, o tubo, dependiendo el tipo y tamaño del pájaro.

En la naturaleza, los papás mastican la comida y luego regurgitan la comida en el buche de pájaro bebe. (Hay ya se ¿que asco verdad? Pero así es que funciona eso.) Cuando un pajarito es criado por humanos, el darle de comer manualmente imita este proceso.
El darle de comer manualmente a un pajarito requiere habilidad. La formula tiene que tener la mescla correcta de nutrientes, ser dada en la cantidad correcta, y a una consistencia y temperatura correcta. Otros problemas con darle de comer manualmente pueden incluir:

  • Subalimentación.
  • Sobrellenando el buche, cual resultado puede ser que el pájaro aspire la comida a los pulmones.
  • Buche amargo, lo que significa que el liquido se queda estancado dentro del buche y no circula a donde tiene que ir. Esto pasa cuando el pajarito ingiere algo incomible dentro del buche.
  • Problemas para emplumar y empezar a comer comida solida.
  • Deshidratación

Mucha gente creé que darle de comer manualmente ayuda a socializar más al pajarito con los humanos y los hace ser mejores mascotas. Si tienes mas preguntas acerca de comer darle de comer manualmente a un pájaro bebe, solo pregúntale a uno de nuestros expertos en animales.

Abecés pienso que será magnifico saber volar como un ave, pero cuando me acuerdo de la palabra “regurgitar”, hace que me de gusto que soy un pez. ¿Oigan, si leyeron el FQA de la semana pasada? ¿en como darle de comer a tus peses? Eso si fue algo interesante en leer.

Meet Megan and Bam-Bam

Meet Megan and Bam-Bam

One of the most rewarding aspects of owning a pet store is connecting people with their first pets. First-time pet owners are excited, enthusiastic, willing to learn and just a little bit nervous. We like new pet owners to take their time, learn everything they can and get comfortable with a new pet before it goes home.

Not long ago, Megan came from Lake Forest to The Animal Store in Lincolnwood to get her very first pet, a cockatiel she named Bam-Bam. In fact, she and her mom, Jenny, visited the store several times and did a lot of research before choosing Bam-Bam. After playing with this little cockatiel several times at the shop, Megan decided it was just what she wanted for her birthday.

“I love birds,” said Megan. “Before we we got Bam-Bam, we learned how much work they were. We read about birds first in books from the library. We also learned a lot from the staff at The Animal Store, like how to feed Bam-Bam and what size cage we should get.”

“I loved it there at The Animal Store,” said Megan. “I love to look at all the animals, especially the birds. The people there were really helpful and they have a huge selection of pets.”

It’s not always easy to tell with birds whether they are male or female, but Megan thinks Bam-Bam is a female “because it whistles a lot and girl cockatiels whistle a lot.” Another tell-tale sign is that females have stripes at the bottom of their tail feathers. “Bam-Bam has stripes.”

Megan thinks cockatiels make great pets. She takes her bird for “walks” up and down their hallway. “I love the singing!” she said. “Bam-Bam sings the most in the morning.” Megan has learned a lot more about cockatiels since she brought Bam-Bam home. “I learned that if its crest is up, that means she is curious; if her crest is down, that means she’s calm; and if her crest goes up and down really fast, that means she’s mad!”  Not shockingly, Megan has figured out that the hardest part of owning a bird is cleaning the cage.

Even still, Megan and her family are happy with their choice.

“We love our new pet! Thank you Animal Store.”

Need help picking out your first pet? Stop into the store and we would be glad to help you. Mention the Megan and Bam-Bam post and get 15% any bird toy or treat.*

We’d love to hear about your first pet; email us or leave a comment.

*Offer good on white tags only and valid through Wednesday, December 23, 2008.

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