What do you feed a new-born baby bird?

Feeding a New Born Baby Bird

Will you get a new-born baby bird out of its nest in your garden? Well, before you understand the way of their feeding system, you should know some measures.

Identify carefully if it is a nestling or fledgling. Next, try to find out its nest and put the nestling back in the nest. If you find a fledgling, then keep it alone.

You can keep your pets inside and try to place the fledgling on a bush or a twig. In case of an accident with the nest and both parents are dead, then consider bringing the baby bird with yourself for its safety and protection.

Further, it’s a wise decision to contact a bird rehabilitation centre or a veterinary practitioner for proper care of a new-born. New-born baby birds or hatchling are super sensitive. Therefore it’s crucial to understand the best way to nurture them into a healthy adult.

Here in this article, we will explain when and how you can feed a new-born baby bird. So, let’s begin.

Should You Feed a New-Born Baby Bird ?

Newly hatched baby birds or hatchlings shouldn’t be fed for 12-24 hrs. This is because they become tired after the hard work of breaking the shell.

They need to rest in that period. In that time, baby birds take nutrition from the yolk sac. After that,you can consider feeding them.

What Should You Feed a New-Born Baby Bird ?

Before you start feeding the new-born chick randomly, you should identify its species to avoid its distress.

Different types of birds have individual nutritional requirements. Besides, newly-hatched chicks are so weak and have a flawed immune system.

Therefore, identifying its species either by observing its community or by using an online tool is crucial. Recognizing featherless hatchlings and nestlings is often challenging as they look so different from their adult parents.

If their parents are alive or they are pet birds like pigeons, the feeding procedure is even more comfortable. Those tiny featherless babies should leave with their parents for feeding.

Insect-eating birds and fruit-eating birds have different feeding requirements, yet, in the initial stage, they have nearly the same nourishment habits.

Several commercial hand-feeding diet formulas are available to feed new-born baby birds. Picking any of them directly without consulting a vet isn’t recommended.

A right proportion of pet kibbles, hard-boiled egg, baby bird cereals can be a better emergency food choice.

Further, you can give some fruits like bananas, raisins and berries to fruit-eating chicks.

New-born baby birds should not be given any insects. However, their parents can feed them with mealworms for more protein supplements.

Never provide bread or milk or water to the hatchling. Bread and milk cannot be digested by them and if given, can cause distress to the chicks. At initial days water should not be delivered directly. As they grow, they will start drinking water on their own.

If you find that new-born dehydrated, bring it to the vet for liquid supplements.

Moreover, taking some primary care before feeding them is often essential for hatchlings.

It would be best if you kept them in a brooder with some sterilized tissue papers, diapers or soft clothes as a smooth base. If brooder is not available, then you should keep those hatchlings at a temperature of 95° to 97°F.

Always take care of overheating or chilling by observing at their legs and wings after that start their feeding routine.

How to Prepare Food for a New-Born Baby Bird ?

In case of an emergency, you must take some cat or dog kibbles or biscuits. Take some hot water and add those kibbles or biscuits. Soak until they become soft like a sponge.

For better nutrition, add bird cereals, some fruits and hard-boiled egg with the kibbles. Make a fine paste with mixing it thoroughly.

For one day older chick, you should make 90% diluted food. As they grow, consistency must be increased gradually.

Hand-driven formulas should not be overheated or should not be kept too cold. Use a standard temperature by measuring with a thermometer.

Prepare fresh food all the time and discard the remaining food for a single period as those foods may grow specific harmful pathogens and can cause infections.

How Often Should You Feed a New-Born Baby Bird ?

The frequency of feeding a newly hatched baby bird depends on the age of the bird. First 12-24 hours should not be given any food.

Chicks of just a few days should be fed in every couple of hours for 6-10 times. You should take care of their metabolism by observing quick feeding responses and empty crops in every repetition of feeding.

Further, observe clean droppings or faeces for knowing whether or not the food you provided is being digested. You need not offer food after sunset and before sunrise.

How to Feed a New-Born Baby Bird Carefully ?

Baby birds get responses from their parents for feeding. To replicate the feeding technique of their parents, you have to adopt some useful and readily available tools.

Consider feeding new-born chicks with a thin needleless syringe. With their growth, you can increase the size of the syringe.

Like their parents, you can give small balls of food with a tweezer or a plastic forceps. Toothpick or thin chopsticks can also be used for the feeding process.

Besides, if you don’t have any of them, then you can make a thin cream pouch with a plastic bag and feed your baby by cutting the edge.

Keep the feeding process slow. Don’t make the baby birds overeat at once. Give them time to breathe in between the feeding process.

Hatchling and nestlings open their beaks frequently when they are hungry; this is a symbol of their feeding time.

Besides, you can know that they are starving by checking their crops. Feed until the crop becomes full but never overfill it. Stop right after the baby rejects food.

Some chicks don’t respond to humans for feeding and tend to close their beak. That time slightly put pressure or tap the feeding instruments on their beak to make their mouth open.


Feeding process of a hatchling is not that easy, yet, with some guidance, anyone can be perfect at doing it. If you are new to feed a new-born baby bird, you should take the help of a bird rehabber or a vet.

Wild new-born babies should be transferred to aviculturists or bird rescue centres as keeping them is beyond the legal process.

Change the diet schedule of that bird after a few weeks. Add some more nutritious foods and make them learn to wean.

A sudden change of diet shouldn’t be recommended, and you are advised to consult the veterinary practitioner for diet choice.

With proper care and training, those new-born baby birds can easily feed on their own. Further, they will learn several life skills to survive without any problems.



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