There are a variety of feeding spoons and syringes on the market and there is no right or wrong choice when it comes to feeding equipment for hand rearing. However you need to make sure the product is safe and that it’s the right size for your bird. Some feeding equipment, like crop needles, require experience as they can be used incorrectly which can result in heartache! Every option has its pro’s and con’s, but to make the choice easier, we have given you the low down below!
Crop needles speed up the task of feeding young birds tremendously, they cut down waste, make feeding at the right temperature easier and ensure more accurate volumes of feed are delivered. Crop needles even eliminate the ugly dried crust of food that accumulates around a birds beak from spoon or syringe feeding. HOWEVER it is only recommended that you attempt using a crop needle if you are familiar and confident with the technique, as they require some experience and know how to be used safely and correctly. If you would like to find out more about how to crop needle, check out our You Tube video, or consult with your local veterinarian.
Baby birds can also be syringe fed directly into the mouth without any attachments at all. Again, while this is quite messy and does take some time, bonding can be better with the birds. Many breeders employ this method, however there is an increased risk of birds inhaling food if they are fed too quickly. Standard disposable syringes can be used and the ‘Basik’ brand is by far the best choice in this area. Reusable, perspex feeding syringes are also available from Vetafarm. These can attach to crop needles and the Ezy Feeder or be used for direct feeding. These reusable syringes have the advantage of being easier to handle, easier to clean and obviously as the name states, they are reusable!
The Ezy Feeder was designed by veterinarian Dr Tony Gestier and is used in a similar manner as the feeding spoon. The Ezy Feeder is a stainless steel spoon with a tube attachment that connects to a syringe. The Ezy Feeder offers the advantages of using a syringe with the simplicity of the spoon. Ezy Feeders allow for accurate, low mess feeding and the ability to keep food warm for the duration of the feed. A great compromise for those that want a better system than the standard feeding spoon but don’t have the technical expertise required to handle a crop needle.
Many people believe that a closer bond is built between bird and person using this method. Which makes sense due to the extend amounts of time you will be spending with the babies during feeding. Although time consuming, feeding spoons are very easy to use. Vetafarm has a simple feeding spoon for those who need a low tech feeding system.