What to Feed a Baby Bird?

what to feed a baby bird

What to Feed a Baby Bird?

Learn the best guide list for what to feed a baby bird, and how to feed a baby bird. If you find a baby bird on the ground or in your home, you may be wondering what can you feed baby birds. The first step is to get it in a safe place – a large box works well.

Food should always be prepared fresh before each feeding. Food that has sat out too long can become a breeding ground for bacteria.

What to Feed a Baby Bird: Mealworms

In many cases, mealworms offer the protein and moisture young birds need to survive. Mealworms are easy to acquire from pet shops or grow in a garden and can be used as a substitute for live natural food. They should always be offered spongy in texture and at room temperature. A very young chick needs a thinner mixture, but as it gets older the food should thicken to the consistency of soup. It is recommended to use distilled water as opposed to tap water since the latter may contain harmful bacteria.

A syringe should be used for feeding baby birds to minimize handling stress. If one is not available, a small piece of paper or card folded to the shape of a miniscule spoon can be used. After a bird has been gently picked up, it should be placed into a box. This should be located in a safe location that is out of reach of family pets and away from sunlight. The box can be lined with a towel. Ideally, the bird should remain in the box until it is ready to be released into its natural environment.

What to feed baby birds: Seeds

Unless you have a state or federal permit to rescue and/or care for wild birds, do not attempt to hand feed a nestling. It is a dangerous endeavor that will almost always cause more harm than good.

Instead, try to spot the bird’s parents feeding it, and wait. This will allow the baby to become accustomed to its natural surroundings, and it will be more prepared to fly away on its own once it’s old enough.

If you must hand feed a baby bird, start by giving it a mix of seeds and mealworms. Many birds, including omnivorous species, will begin to eat seeds at this stage. Feel the bird’s crop to determine if it is full, and only feed baby birds once a day while constantly checking for signs of distress.

Cat kibble is also safe for most hand-reared birds, but the food needs to be soaked in drinking water to achieve the proper consistency. Uncooked porridge oats are another option, but make sure the oats don’t harden around the baby bird’s beak. Lard and beef suet are both fine as well, but only if the food is warmed before offering it to the bird.

What do you feed baby birds: Fruits

A young bird’s diet needs to be rich in protein. Unfortunately, many of the foods commonly fed to baby birds—including milk, bread, and even whole peanuts—are not suitable.

Baby birds need food prepared fresh for each feeding session. Keeping the same food in a dish from one feeding to another allows harmful yeast and bacteria to grow. It also increases the risk of aspiration—inhaling food into the trachea and lungs—which can lead to death.

All foods should be soaked before offering them to babies. This helps to ensure that the food is soft enough for the baby birds to digest it properly and safely. Avoid whole peanuts, which can choke the chicks.

Ideally, you will want to feed the baby birds on their natural schedule, as established by their parents in the wild. This means that the chicks will get fed every 10 to 20 minutes. It can be difficult to keep up with this schedule with your own hands, however. Often, it takes the parent birds longer than expected to reach each chick, and they may only feed baby birds for seconds at a time.


In the wild, baby birds eat whatever their parents eat – worms, insects, seeds, and even bits of fruit and vegetables. When a rescued young bird is found, it can be very tempting to try to recreate the natural diet in order to return it to its parents. This is not a good idea and can lead to illness or death.

To avoid this, the best option is to purchase a special baby bird formula. This will ensure that the food is fresh and has the right balance of nutrients for a young bird. In the meantime, you can use a mixture of dried and soaked bird seed, moist dog or cat food (without any seasoning), raw liver or finely chopped fruits and vegetables such as peas or corn.

Never offer milk or bread to a young bird as this is not part of their natural diet and can cause them serious harm. In addition, milk can be difficult for a young bird to digest and will not provide them with the nutrients they need.


Young baby birds need lots of fluids. A baby bird that can’t get enough water may die. It is important to have fresh, clean water available at all times for young birds to drink. Nestlings and fledglings that cannot feed themselves get their water from the food they eat.

Baby birds should always have a food mixture that is room temperature, as this is easier for them to digest. For young birds that are not ready to be weaned, the food mixture should have about 70% to 75% liquid in it. Older birds will need a thicker food mixture, but it should still be room temperature. Food should never be stored, as it quickly becomes spoiled and can cause digestive problems for babies.

If you are hand feeding a baby bird, it is best to use a syringe. It allows you to accurately measure the volume of food you are giving the baby bird. A syringe also makes it easier for the baby bird to swallow. You can fold a small piece of paper or stiff plastic into a syringe-like shape if you don’t have a syringe.


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Franck Wang
Franck Wang

Franck, a professional editor, also an author of Atbuz.com, provide high-quality SEO content with LSI keyword and long-tail keywords. If you hope for guest post on Atbuz, please check Write For Us page for more detail.

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