One of the first Eclectus books published instructs the hand feeder to burp the infant after each feeding because Eclectus do not have the pumping motion most neonates use to release excess air. To burp the babies, I hold each one just as I would hold a human infant after a feeding. They usually "burp" two or three times. Some breeders release the excess swallowed air by pushing it out the esophagus with a thumb, while holding the crop with the other thumb and index finger.
Eclectus are known as being a difficult neonate to hand feed, and I must admit that after they reach the age of about 6 weeks to weaning, that statement holds great truth. After experimenting with several hand feeding formulas, I have concluded that Pretty Bird Hand feeding formula works the best for my babies. It contains additional digestive enzymes and lactobacillus. Some baby formulas contain yeast, and it seemed my babies were more susceptible to yeast infections if the heat or humidity rose slightly in the brooder while using those particular formulas. Some formulas thicken too quickly, and this can cause a slow moving crop. With any hand feeding formula I tried, however, a slow crop could be immediately remedied with the addition of a pinch of pure actobacillus from the health food store (I use Nature's Brand), and the addition of a small amount of Gerber's Papaya baby food. (Use caution when adding fruit because the sugar attracts yeast.) With proper high calorie diet, vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and herbs, very little chemical intervention is needed in a growing baby. So, during infancy and as they grow, the immune system is constantly stimulated and develops quite efficiently so the bird's own body can fight off most minor problems. If we do encounter a problem in any of our birds, we usually use liquid Vitamin B complex or lecithin to increase metabolism which in turn stimulates the immune system, and Echinacea and Amino Acids which also stimulate the immune system. Medication is the exception rather than the rule at our facility, unless it is a matter of life and death

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Friday, 9. October 2015
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