All baby bird feeding equipment should be boiled in distilled water.
Finches owners who raise chicks at home should generally allow the family to interact as they would in the wild, because as long as the parents are healthy, the babies should too. Human care is usually only necessary if the offspring are orphans or if the parents reject them. When caring for a baby bird, the owner must regulate the chick’s environment, prepare a strict feeding schedule and observe very strict hygiene. The handling of a baby bird must also be done with the utmost care.
Each feed during the weighing stage should begin with a small amount of syringe feeding.
Well-fed mother finches, kept in a clean cage, can usually give a baby finches everything they need. The parents will process the food in their gullets so the puppy can digest it. The mother and father birds also often take turns sitting on the nest to keep it warm. If the owner notices signs of illness in the parents or puppies, he should contact a veterinarian immediately. Trying to wait for the problem to pass or treating it without professional help can result in the loss of the entire finches family.
A few drops of bleach are needed to clean the bird’s feeding equipment.
In some cases, stressed finches may refuse to feed their young or die of a weak constitution. The owner must move the chicks to a brood box immediately if this happens. A clean, deep plastic container lined with an electric heating pad should work well for this purpose. The pad should be on medium-low heat and covered by about 0.25 inch (about 0.5 cm) of a clean, soft cloth. Several clean towels or small blankets usually work well.
Lining the breeding box with an electric heating pad can provide baby finches with the warmth they need.
Owners can also heat the brood box with a grow light set about 8 inches (about 16 cm) above the bottom of the inside of the crate. A commercial chick incubator is also an option. In any of these cases, the starting box temperature for newborn finches should be around 93°F (about 33°C). The owner should reduce the heat by about five degrees every two weeks or so until the birds are fully feathered and able to feed.
Many pet stores, both locally and online, sell food formulated specifically for the digestive system of baby finches. Owners should carefully follow the mixing and feeding schedule recommended on the package or by a veterinarian. When caring for a baby bird, feeding should be done with a feeding syringe. Hungry babies normally chirp and keep their mouths open. Food can be gently dripped into the mouth until the small yellow sac, or crop, below the baby finch’s beak becomes visible. Excess food that enters the finches’ beak or body should be carefully wiped off with a soft cloth.
Babies usually need to be fed every two to three hours, especially on the first day. At the end of the first week, feedings can be done every four hours. During each stage of growth, the finch’s formula is usually mixed with different amounts of infant vitamin water or distilled water to give the finches the proper amount of nutrients. Vitamin water can only be part of the puppies’ diet for up to three days. After that, slightly heated water should work fine.
The formula should be almost liquid for the first four days of feeding, followed by a sauce-like consistency until the birds grow their adult feathers. When the finches are almost ready to feed, the food should have the consistency of liquid yogurt. Finches should be weaned when their true feathers begin to show.
Each feed during the weaning stage should begin with a small amount of syringe feeding, followed by an introduction to adult finch food. Birds must be able to smell the food and peck at it to learn to eat it, however the owner may have to gently place the birds next to the food to show them what it is. When they start eating adult food on their own, they usually don’t need formula anymore.
Those caring for baby finches must boil all of the feeding equipment in water treated with a few drops of bleach. This must be done after each feeding. The owner must also wash his or her hands with unscented antibacterial soap before and after handling the chicks. If the chicks begin to look swollen around the chest and belly, or do not show interest in food, the owner should contact a veterinarian right away. These symptoms could indicate illness.