For further information e-mail me at psittaculturist@parrots-psittaculturist.co.uk

Handrearing food recipe for newly hatched

For many years when I first started rearing baby parrots by hand, there were no
commercially available foods in the U.K. I experimented with various mixes and
came up with one that gave me babies that grew at about the same rate as those in the
nest and were about the same weight at any given age. With the introduction of the
various commercial handrearing foods, I stopped using my own mix after about one to
two weeks. I continued to use my own mixture for the first 1 to 2 weeks as I found the
babies digested it better and grew a little more quickly. After many years some of those
early ingredients are no longer available and I use various substitutes. Anyone who
wishes to see what I started out with, can see the original recipe at the bottom of
this page. What is more interesting is the one I use now and this is it –

500 grams parrot soft food with as high a protein level as possible,
currently, I am using CeDe Mix for Parrots at 17.8% protein - higher would be better
150 grams human baby (from 3 - 4 months) food with a protein level of at least 18%
150 grams of human baby (from 3 - 4 months) fruit food - protein often about 13%
All these ingredients should be ground in a coffee grinder and then put through a fine
sieve such as a flour sieve to produce a fine powder. To this is then added
2 level teaspoons of Vetark NUTROBAL and 1 level teaspoon of Vetark ACE-HIGH.
Alternatively you can purchase smaller quantities of these products combined in
Vetark AVIMIX. In addition 3 level teaspoons of Vetark AVIPRO PAEDIATRIC
is added. This last is probably largely responsible for the babies getting away to
such a good start (unfortunately, it is no longer available, so use another Probiotic).
Obviously the whole is thoroughly mixed together and it is stored in a refrigerator.
A small amount is then added to water for each feed in approximately the same
proportions as any of the commercial hand rearing diets, bearing in mind that it
must be very thin for newly hatched chicks.

Original handrearing mixture
250 grams Haiths NECTARBLEND rearing food
250 grams Haiths PTX budgie soft food (no longer available)
150 grams Milupa infant dessert - mixed fruit variety
150 grams Milupa infant dinner - spring vegetable (no longer available)
3 level teaspoons Vetark AVIPRO PAEDIATRIC (no longer available)
1 level teaspoon Vetark NUTROBAL
1 level teaspoon Vetark ACE-HIGH
(estimated 19% protein and 7% fat)
At 2 - 3 weeks old the babies had the diet modified by the addition of:
125 grams hulled crushed sunflower seed
125 grams crushed sesame seed
62.5 grams crushed pumpkin seed
(estimated 18% protein and at least 20% fat which is too high,
hence the later switch to a commercial handrearing food)
All the ingredients are mixed in a coffee grinder and stored in a refrigerator