FOR ALL BABY BIRDS
inTune® Natural Hand Feeding Formula is natural with added vitamins and minerals and free of artificial colors and preservatives. inTune® Natural Hand Feeding is enriched with protected probiotics and balanced Omega-3 & 6.
inTune® Natural Hand Feeding Formulas are rice based (sourced from North America) and corn free. inTune® Natural Hand Feeding uses natural and healthy, high end sources for nutritional fat like coconut oil and macadamia nut meal. It is also the only commercial hand feeding formula on the market with natural banana & mango aroma.
PREPARATION: Before hand feeding your baby bird(s), we recommend you have the following items at your disposal: clean, sanitized mixing bowl for blending the hand feeding powder with water, a heat source such as a brooder to keep baby birds warm after feeding, plastic feeding syringe(s) for delivery of the prepared formula, thermometer for measuring water and mixed formula temperature, paper towels, and a food safe disinfectant.
FEEDING: Higgins inTune® Hand Feeding is easy to prepare and feed, but there are a few important steps to follow when preparing the formula. We recommend using filtered water that has been heated to 120°F (49°C). If unsure of the water quality, boil for a minimum of 10 minutes, and then allow the water to cool to 120°F before mixing with the hand feeding. We do not recommend using a microwave to heat the water or mixed formula as microwave heating can cause uneven heating and dangerous hot spots.
Use the mixing chart below to determine your bird’s inTune® food-to-water ratio. Note that the listed ratios are a suggested guideline and may be modified depending on the age, health, type of bird and environmental temperature. Once mixed thoroughly with a spoon, allow the mixture to “rest” until an inserted thermometer registers a temperature of between 102°F - 108°F (39°C - 42°C). This is the recommended temperature to begin feeding.
NEWLY HATCHED TO 2 DAY (24 - 48 hrs) OLD CHICKS: Should be fed a “watered down” version of the formula. The formula will separate at this ratio, which is a normal occurrence. Blend well prior to each filling of the syringe to ensure adequate delivery of nutrients. A new born chick requires hydration and water soluble nutrients more than anything else at this early stage.
2 TO 5 DAY OLD CHICKS: Begin to eat a thicker formula at a ratio of 1 part inTune® Hand Feeding Formula to 3 - 4 parts water. The blended formula should have the consistency of baby food or apple sauce but flows easily from the syringe or pipette.
5 DAYS OLD TO THE WEANING STAGE: Should be mixed at an even thicker ratio and blended to the consistency of a creamy pudding. Ratios listed are our recommendation as a starting point. Humidity, ambient temperature, species of bird, etc. may require slight modifications.
Feed the blended formula with a clean, disinfected syringe, spoon, tube or any other instrument you’re comfortable with. A separate syringe or utensil should be used for each individual baby chick or each incubator. Fill the feeding syringe and be sure to expel any air in the feeding end. Always feed the baby bird from the left side of its mouth. This way the syringe is pointed towards the pharynx that leads to the esophagus. If you feed from the right side, the syringe will be pointed toward the trachea and food aspiration can occur. Aspiration can also occur when the baby bird is reluctant to feed or the formula is dispensed before the baby bird’s natural feeding response. Feed the blended formula with the baby bird’s natural feeding response (head bobbing up and down rapidly). This is a natural way of feeding and decreases the likelihood of formula being inhaled. Feed until the baby bird’s crop is nicely rounded or it refuses any more food. It is important to not over-feed the chick as that could lead to regurgitation. Each feeding should consist of 8% to 12% of the baby chick’s weight. After feeding, wipe away any remaining food found on and around the beak area. Place baby bird back in a warm area or incubator. Clean and sanitize all utensils and discard any unused blended inTune® Hand Feeding Formula immediately to avoid microbial growth.
OTHER IMPORTANT FEEDING GUIDELINES: Baby birds need to be fed on a routine schedule. Newly hatched baby birds need to be fed every 2 hours. Their crops should empty or almost empty at this frequency. This will indicate if the baby bird is getting the right amount of food in between feedings. As your baby bird grows, its feeding frequency will decrease from every 2 hours and lengthen slowly to every 6 to 8 hours, depending on age, sex, and environmental temperature. Monitoring weight gain and loss is one of the more proactive ways to ensure your baby birds are thriving and maintaining a healthy development. Baby birds should be weighed every morning to maintain proper weight gains and monitor overall growth. If you notice your baby bird’s crop slow down in between feedings or the crop still has food from the prior feeding, take the following steps immediately: (1) Check that the brooding temperature is adequate. Usually, this will be the cause of crop slowdowns. (2) Thin out the formula at a ratio of 1 part inTune® to 3 parts water for 24 hours and then slowly return to the normal concentration within the next 24 hours. (3) If after 36 hours there is no noted improvement, consult a professional avian veterinarian immediately.