How to Feed a Baby Bird

July 5, 2018
Feeding a baby bird is an act of basic first aid to save the life of an injured bird. By using simple skills, it’s possible to save wildlife. Therefore, continue reading to learn some practical tips to easily help a bird that had an accident.

Most frequent accidents of birds in the wild

Many birds don’t manage to fully develop their wing muscles during the expected amount of time. They can fall when trying to fly or move quickly. In fact, the most frequent cause of injury in smaller birds is falling out of the nest. Almost 90% of these accidents take place with baby birds just a few days old.
a baby bird
Likewise, young birds can be injured after being attacked by natural predators. This normally takes places when their parents are absent from the nest.

Malnutrition in baby birds: an imminent danger in winter

Once the weather becomes cold, there is an increase of concern for malnutrition in wild chicks. 
It’s more difficult for many species — especially non-migratory birds — to find food during the winter. Therefore, it’s very common to find malnourished chicks in the coldest months of the year.
These baby birds are still developing their immune systems and are very vulnerable. The scarcity of food added to bad, cold weather creates a risky environment for their health.

I found an injured baby bird: What should I do?

When you find a visibly weak chick, you must provide it the right nutrients to strengthen it quickly. If not, its survival potential will decrease a lot.
It is unlikely that you’ll have the proper food or tools to feed a baby bird in your purse or car. Thus, it will almost always be necessary to rescue the animal and bring it to a favorable environment. You’ll have to be careful if there are other animals.
Before moving it, you should wrap it up in a blanket, towel or light cloth. Ideally, you should cover the bird’s eyes in order to calm it down to make it easier to handle it safely.

After you wrap it up, you can gently handle it. It is important to maintain stability and firmness and move the chick as little as possible.

It’s important to clarify that these are remedial measures, meant only to help the animal recover quickly. However, they are not a substitute for specialized veterinary care. Therefore, it’s essential to bring the rescued bird to a specialized animal recovery center.

How to feed a rescued bird

We’ll summarize 3 practical tips below so that you’ll know how to feed a chick in an emergency without harming its health.

1. Avoid giving the chick water

Birds breathe through a small hole in their tongues. When you give water to a weak chick, it may choke or suffocate. A rescued chick will get enough hydration from the right food.

2. Know a species and its nutritional needs

To feed a chick properly, you must know its nutritional needs and food allergies. Baby birds have very delicate digestive systems and are sensitive to many substances. Some foods can seriously intoxicate the chick, and even kill him.

Therefore, ideally you should recognize the chick’s species before feeding it. Immediately ask a veterinarian who specialized in birds or a rescue center for advice. However, if that’s not possible, you can search the internet to find out what species your rescued bird belongs to.
This step is fundamental and should not be skipped. Providing an improper diet for the chick can cause it to die.

3. Preparing your baby bird’s porridge

After you recognized the bird’s species and its correct diet, you can begin preparing its porridge.

A family of birds in a nest

If the chick feeds on insects and worms, his diet should be rich in minced flour worms. You can find them easily in animal shops. You should make a porridge by mixing the worms with crushed hard boiled egg.
If your baby bird feeds on seeds, its porridge should be a mixture of water with high protein with baby cereal. You can also add liquefied wheat germ, corn, and oat flour. These foods are high in protein and are easy to find. However, they should be supplemented with fresh animal protein, such as small living insects or flour worms.

4. Use a syringe to feed him the porridge

A rescued chick will be weak and may have difficulty feeding. Therefore, it’s important to use a small syringe to feed it the porridge. In addition to feeding a baby bird, it’s important to provide a warm, quiet environment to recover. With patience and dedication, you’ll see your baby bird grow strong and healthy.