Crop Needle Set
Full range of stainless steel medication and feeding needles with mixing tube.
Recommended for: Hand raising or emergency feeding/medication of birds and reptiles.
Key features: Allows fast, accurate feeding/medication. High quality stainless steel construction. Hand made in Australia. Lifetime guaranteed. Includes reusable mixing tube.
Set includes 8G, 10G, 12G, 14G, 16G, 18G + reusable mixing tube
GUIDE TO HAND REARING BIRDS
Age: The age of a bird to be reared is an important factor. The longer a baby stays with its parents, the easier the job of hand rearing becomes. However sometimes we don’t have that luxury!
Be aware that you will always get some drop in the baby’s body condition, no matter when a bird is pulled from the nest. The way you handle a Neonate baby and a baby at pin feather stage are also quite different.
Environment: A relatively good brooder can be purchased from around $1200 - $1800. A light bulb in a wooden box is not a suitable brooder – It is a well lit coffin.
• HEAT – The usual temperature for MOST birds is between 36 to 39 degrees, but some birds will do better in slightly lower temperatures (Eclectus parrots for example prefer between 35-35 degrees)
• HUMIDITY – The nest log is naturally a very humid place, taking a baby from this type of warm, humid environment and placing them in a hot and dry brooder will cause dehydration. Humidity in your brooder should replicate nest conditions, around 75 – 85% relative humidity is recommended.
• SECURITY – Birds naturally nest in tightly packed logs or hollows, with mum perched firmly on top of them to conserve heat. Try to match this as closely as possible at home and pack babies securely in together. Not only does this stabilise a baby, preventing issues like splayed legs, it also gives young birds a sense of security and helps maintain body temp and humidity. Place babies in small containers with firmly packed tissue paper or something similar around them to keep them bunched, warm and secure.
Feeding: Temperature, food quality, feed amounts, cleanliness and feed frequency are all critical if you are to have success with your valuable babies. Do not rush feeding; be careful, concise and caring with the babies you are raring and results will always be much better.
• TEMPERATURE – Food temperature needs to be about the same as the temperature of the brooder. Feeding food too cold will draw heat and energy from the birds as they try to digest it. Feeding too hot can have even worse consequences with scolding and even burning holes in the crop in severe cases. Do not use a microwave to warm food – hot spots in the food commonly cause crop burns. Use a thermometer to check food temperature before feeding.
• QUANTITY and FREQUENCY – The amount a bird is fed depends on the species and age of the baby. If babies are taken and reared from day one, only Spark and Probotic should be fed until the baby has passed the first dropping (the Meconium) after which a very runny mix of Neocare is fed and gradually thickened over the next 7 - 10 days. You will need to research the individual needs of the species you are looking to raise. Vetafarm also has a short information clip on You Tube that demonstrates the best way to achieve a safe, digestible consistency with your hand rearing formula.
• FOOD TYPE – There are numerous types of Hand Raising formulas available and many of them are quite good. We recommend either Neocare for birds being hand raised from Neonate stage or Vetafarm Hand Rearing Food for older babies. Neocare can be used from the day 1 to weaning, Hand Rearing Food should be used after day 7 to weaning.
Vetafarm foods are formulated by avian veterinarians, with many years of experience in nutritional formulation and problem solving with hand reared birds.
Both Vetafarm formulas contain Probiotics, which are crucial to establish good bacteria in the bird’s gut. Baby birds have poor immune systems and controlling gut bacteria is important for their long term health.
Vetafarm hand rearing foods are extrusion cooked; meaning they are easier to digest and are free from bad bacteria and fungi, making them a safer choice for your babies.
Other Vetafarm Equipment for Birdkeepers: