When it comes to hand feeding baby birds there are several things that need to be done before you can start. First get all materials together that you will need so that when those precious little things are ready, you will be too.
You will need:
- pipette or eyedropper
- a heating pad
- clean towels
- an aquarium (I use the 10 gallon size)
- bedding for the bottom of the aquarium
Choose your bedding so birds won't have something to chew on; something that won't harm your baby or babies. We use old cotton towels that we place on the bottom off the aquarium then, place several layers of paper towels on the top. It works well and soiled paper towels can be removed at each feeding. The cotton towels can be washed and reused.
You will also need to get a screen top (my husband makes tops for me out of aviary wire.) Use the wire top to support a cotton towel placed over part of the aquarium to keep any curious birds out of the aquarium. Furthermore, it will keep heat in the aquarium. Only partially cover the aquarium so air can still filter in normally to prevent the baby from overheating and suffocating.
You can purchase aquariums from any local shop that specializes in wet pets. Sometimes you can find tanks very cheap if they have a leak. The pet shop can no longer use them for fish and it makes no difference to us if they leak since we aren't using them to hold water.
You will need some feeding syringes appropriate to the size of your bird. I never use a syringe larger then 35 cc since the larger syringes are too hard to work with. Best syringe sizes are from 12 cc to 35 cc.
It is best to use a syringe with at least a ½ inch long smooth tip, preferably a one piece syringe or one with a locking tip. If you feel you need a longer tip on the syringe, use a latex feeding tube rather then a tube extension. Never cut the latex feeding tube longer then the distance from the bird's beak to the middle of its crop. Make sure the feeding tube is securely fixed to the syringe. Recheck syringe and tube periodically. Birds can hang onto the tube and remove the tube from the syringe and swallow it. You are in big trouble if this occurs, as it will require surgical removal by a vet! I therefore only use feeding tubes on very hard to feed birds or very sick birds that have to be force-fed, or when I feed in public to prevent any accidental drowning of a bird if it gets distracted by strangers during feeding.