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12 day old baby dying! Help with handfeeding

1848 Views 12 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Jay3
I have a 12 day old baby that was fine a few days ago and now seems on the verge of death.
I banded both him and his nestmate on Monday and they were both doing well and seemed right on schedule growth wise. Today I noticed that one has fallen behind drastically. I checked him out and his crop was empty and he seemed very weak.
I brought him in and tried to get some Kaytee in him not too successfully. First I tried the method with the tip cut off the syringe, ace bandage on the end with a slit cut into it but he showed no interest! So then I tried a syringe with the tip still on, popped open his beak and squirted a little in. That worked a little better he actually swallowed some and showed a tiny bit of interest but not enough to fill his crop! But then he started twisting and sort of convulsing? He was twisting his head COMPLETELY around and rolling onto to his back it was AWFUL!! I thought he was dying right then and there but he settled down and went back to sleep.
Now I don't know what to do I am afraid if I try to handfeed him I am going to kill him! I don't think I am confident or experienced enough to actually shove something down his throat. So any suggestions as to how I can safely get some food into this baby would be greatly appreciated.
Now in an effort to save time and questions:
-All breeders were vaccinated and treated for worms etc prior to breeding season
-I am not overcrowded I have less than 50 birds in 140 sq ft.
-They do have fresh water, grit, oyster shell etc.
ALTHOUGH last week when the weather turned warm I noticed a lot of sneezing in the loft. This birds mom in particular was sneezing and had a little bit of white mucos on her face right after sneezing. I gave them all a Sulmet/Terramyacin combo which is good for just about everything except canker and is safe to use while breeding. After 7 days on that the sneezing stopped and all look great and healthy (with the exception of this tiny baby)
Hope that is enough info any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Thanks but all the parents were vaccinated for PMV prior to breeding and he is still too young to vaccinated yet.
Can mice get into your loft?
Check this link out. You can match symptoms to illness.
If they won't eat from the cut off syringe, I have better luck with an eye dropper. Putting the formula way to the back of their throat. I find trying to put food in their beak with a syringe to cumbersome. I know some do it that way, but for me, the eye dropper is easier, and really doesn't take much longer than with the syringe.
Nope, no mice. Out of two rounds this is the only problem I have had. This pair already raised two beautiful, healthy babies so I didn't pay as much attention this time, making sure that both the babies were being fed etc.
Jay- Putting things in the back of the throat is what I am afraid to try LOL
Try the eyedropper method. No need to stick it way back into his throat. Just open the beak and squirt the formula towards the back of the mouth and he should swallow it. I had great success raising a baby with just an eyedropper from 2 days old on.

I wish you and the baby bird the best. I hope and pray this baby makes it.

Please keep us posted.
Jay- Putting things in the back of the throat is what I am afraid to try LOL
Well, I mean to the back of the tongue.
Be sure the baby is completely warmed before you feed. To the back of the throat as jay and Louise have suggested is what I would do too.
I am currently feeding a baby Frill back squab 14 days old today parents desearted it when 8 days. I have hand raised wild doves in the past by the syringe method and always cringed at feed time hoping I would not put it down it's wind pipe and smother it. This time I am trying a new method I found the link on this forum and it uses baby teat and my baby is doing great. I am also giving it small seed and it into the back if its beak and it swallow it down with ease.


Check out the link and information in the third post it was very helpful


good Luck
So many different ways to do it. I have had great luck with one baby gobbling formula from a cut off syringe, while another won't take it that way. Some will use the baby nipple. Some, I just find easier to feed it to them with an eye dropper. You'll find a way that's comfortable to you and the baby. If you use the eye dropper, just put it to the back of the throat. A little at a time, and give him time to swallow. Don't pump a whole eye dropper full all at once into him. He can't swallow that fast.
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