Hand feeding a baby cockatiel?


New member
Dec 9, 2019
Hi all!
My last post I had some questions about my soon to be cockatiel baby.
However, the owner and I have talked, and they offered to rehome him to me now.
I’d like to have him soon because on the 20th I have three weeks off of my schooling and do not have to do anything school related. (I take online courses from home).
The owner has offered to send him home with me now if I am able to syringe feed him for a week or two until he is weaned.
The thing is, I have never hand fed a baby bird!
I would love to get my bird now because I’ve read that hand feeding builds trust and helps the bird bond with you. The owner says its “easier than you think” and “they do most of the work” and has offered to give me formula and syringes for my ‘tiel.

Do you think I should bring him home?
Any advice on hand feeding? :grey:


Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
DO NOT BUY AN UNWEANED BABY-- this is not responsible of the breeder to sell him like that.

It will do you 0 good---your bond will be no better---you will likely end up traumatized and in tears..likely with a dead bird...
If you have apprenticed and hand-fed other babies successfully, maybe--but it is still a sketchy breeder...and not someone I would trust

A young bird will bond with you just as easily! Some breeders act like personally hand-feeding a baby changes everything---it doesn't do anything on an individual level in the long-run (although yes, temporarily, that baby will like who is feeding it). It just makes them more comfortable with people in general....I mean, a bird that you hand-feed vs. a bird someone else hand-feeds is still going to bond the same in time if it is re-homed when it is young.
Hand-feeding isn't a golden-ticket. You shouldn't do it. There is SO MUCH that can go wrong when you don't know what you are doing.
Last edited:


Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
Neptune blue quaker (MIA), Ta-dah GCC female, Penny quaker female, Pikachu quaker female!!, Phoebe quaker female, 3 parakeets males, Burt The Burd GCC female RIP
No I would not take in an unweaned baby. It's a very stressful time in a Parrots life, and so many complications can happen. Also it won't make you have a closer bond.
Here is one link on weaning. But I will add some if the advice others have given too. Welcome to the forum.



Last edited:


New member
Dec 9, 2019
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #4
Oh, wow, I didn’t know it could be that bad!
Thank you, I was considering doing it because I cannot wait to bring him home but I’ll wait until he is weaned.
He should be by the time I am on break they said so I think it is for the better anyway.


Well-known member
Jan 27, 2017
Iowa, USA
2 cockatiels
Hand feeding can be very tricky, there's no really 'jumping into it' because you can easily kill a baby this way. We've had many people post in the past about getting unweaned babies that they are starting to hand feed but end up with problems because they soon realize its much harder than it looks.

For instance, you need to make sure the temperature of the formula is correct, nto too hot and not too cold. You also need equipment like the formula, syringes to feed, a food thermometer, a gram scale to weigh the baby to ensure its gaining weight, etc. You have to know how to keep the formula hot as you prepare it so it doesn't cool down too much as you mix it and you also have to make it the exact right consistency. Too runny is no good, too thick not good either. Then you have the process of weaning them onto real food and that itself can also be super tricky. They need to learn to perch and be a bird, learn how to eat veggies, etc. Lots can go wrong, so its best to leave it to the breeder!

Most Reactions

Latest posts