Handfeeding Question

by Jessica
(Jacksonville, AR)

I was just wondering how often a one month old sun conure's crop should empty? I recently had a vet visit in which they told me my bird was at the perfect weight for his age. However his crop is emptying every 5 hours or so.( I forgot to bring this up with my vet) When I feed him I make sure the crop is full but not tight. Is this normal or am I not feeding him enough? I feed him three times a day..

Comments for Handfeeding Question

Click here to add your own comments

Jul 24, 2010
Hand feeding bird
by: The Avian Vet

Are you weighing your bird every day? Knowing your bird?s weight is the only way to know how much you should be feeding. He should be on 3 feedings per day at this age. 8am, 2pm, and 8pm. You should be feeding about 12% of his body weight at each feeding. It is expected that the crop will empty completely between feedings. In fact you want it to. If you keep food in there every minute, he will never be hungry and eat on his own or wean.

Dr B

Jul 23, 2010
Handfeeding Question
by: Linda

Make sure the formula is warm enough for him or he will develop an infection in his crop. Food should be emptying faster than it is, and it may be that it is not warm enough. His crop has to be empty BEFORE the next feeding or he will get sick with the undigested food still in his crop. You don't want it so hot it scalds them, but it does need to be warmer than room temperature. Use your wrist to test it. If it is hot but does NOT burn your wrist or arm, then it will be okay for the bird. Feed early in the morning, mid-day to early afternoon and right before going to bed to make sure his crop has time to empty properly.

If heating in the microwave, be very careful of hot spots. Stir formula up good and test it from several places to make sure there are no hot spots.

A bird this age should be eating at least 3 good meals a day, and do not start weaning until bird is approaching 3 months. Weaning is a process and is NOT done all at once. After two months or so, you can start introducing him to organic pellets that have been soaked in a little water to make them softer. Tracie carries several kinds of the organics here, and you may wish to get a few kinds so he has a variety. Weaning birds usually play with their food more than they eat it, so make sure he stays well fed.He can also be introduced to some organic fruit and veggies. Make sure all soaked pellets and/or fruit and veggies are clean out of dishes every two hours as wet food goes rancid quickly. Wash dishes up and put some more in. Eventually, you can start cutting down on one of the formula feeds. He HAS TO BE EATING A GOOD AMOUNT OF PELLETS before you do, and do not feed too much fruit and veggies as this will cause an imbalance and stomach upsets.

I suggest you do some research on the internet about weaning age and the how to's for your species of parrot so you know what you are doing. You can also email with some breeders of your kind of bird to see how they are doing it.

Thanks for writing,

Click here to add your own comments