The temperature maintained at this critical time is 1/2° below the incubation temperature at 37°°C. No food is required during this period as the chick is still being provided with food from the yolk sac. After this time the first feed of water and commercially produced bacteria is introduced to the chick. The bacteria kick starts the crop and commercially prepared formula contains this ingredient.
The first 5 days
During this period of time it is essential to brood chicks individually. This will assist the hand rearer to identify problems with an individual at an earlier stage than if they were brooded collectively in one bowl.
5 days to 14 days
Temperatures of 35°C are normally adequate during this period of time. A practical way to check the temperature of a chick is to place the very tip of its wing between your lips, if they feel cold then obviously the temperature is too low. Chicks being brooded with nest mates can often tolerate slightly lower temperatures because of heat generated between them. Babies are more content when brooded with nest mates. At this stage, the container must be increased in size to allow chicks the ability to move away from their nest mates and adjust the temperature to their needs.
14 days to substantially feathering
At PARROTCARE the temperature is lowered to approx. 34°C at this time in the chicks life. This temperature will be slowly lowered until the chicks are feathered on both and wing and head. At this time they are able to maintain their own temperature due to their feather insulation.
Full wing feathers
At this stage, 25 °C underfloor heating is adequate. At PARROTCARE all chicks are placed in a play pen at this stage and allowed access to food. Throughout all stages of hand feeding the formula is gradually thickened up whilst ensuring the food is clearing the crop. A mistake often made is to feed chicks too thin a formula over the early stages of its life and if this is taken to the extreme the chick may die of malnutrition. All baby parrots at PARROTCARE are weaned directly onto a complete diet. This ensures that adequate nutrition is available throughout the early stages of a chicks life. At a later stage, additional fruit and vegetables diced can be placed in a separate bowl and added to the babys diet.
Transfer to a cage
Once the baby is perching adequately and sampling pellets, it is transferred to a cage to simulate its future environment. Perches are placed low with food bowls easily accessible at each end and directly in front of the bird at the same level as the perch. Pellets are easily accepted and produce little waste. If the temperature does drop in the weaning area, chick heat can be supplemented via an infra red lamp. Cages in which baby parrots are weaned should have wire floors to ensure that any faeces or leftover food drops in an area inaccessible to the chick.
THE TEXT ABOVE IS FROM "PARROT INCUBATION PROCEDURE AND HAND FEEDING" A PARROTCARE PUBLICATION FOR MORE INFORMATION CLICK HERE