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Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7938
Experience:  35 years in general practice, including avian.
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I have a baby hadeda that is taking earthworms very well

Customer Question

I have a baby hadeda that is taking earthworms very well with a little water, the question is this adequate and should I give it something else?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 1 year ago.

Hello I'm Dr. Bob. I apologize for the length of time this reply has taken to get back to you. Yours is a very good question as a bird's diet is extremely important to their health and well-being. Do you have any idea how old your bird might be, and how long have you had him? (Also, is his name "Kerry Frost", or is that your name?)

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
His/her name is Heidi! We have found her on the back lawn just sitting there so we watched for three hour spel just keeping her safe and hoping the mum would solve the issue, this didn't happen and then we picked her up and are trying to keep her going. She has primary feathers that are still encased, she loves the earth worms.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have had her only two days. Her stool is a bit watery so I adjusted the water I was giving by syringe. I am now feeding 5fat worms and 2.5ml water every 2 to three hours. Is this enough and how do I know when a bird is satisfied.?
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 1 year ago.

Thank you, Kerry (I assume!). Sorry again for the delay in getting back to you, i've been in transit driving to my clinic.

Are you located in the U.S.?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No in South Africa, on the east coast, near Durban.
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 1 year ago.

I wondered about that, knowing that your bird was native to that area. The information I was given listed your residence as "U.S.". We have regulations here that prevent us from keeping wild animals, even orphans, as pets without a permit from the state. I'm not sure of the rules there, but it is something you may want to find out about to avoid a problem.

Ibis are primarily carnivorous, so you're right on-track with earthworms. However, it's good to offer a bit of variety to be sure Heidi is receiving all the nutrients she needs as she's growing. Dry dog food or cat food, soaked in water, should be readily accepted. Beef or mutton heart is a particularly good source of high quality protein and other nutrients. This can be cut into small cubes and fed raw. Any kind of fish, shrimp, or small reptiles may be especially welcomed and will help her learn what kinds of food for which to forage on her own. Be careful when in close quarters with her as she matures, since Hadedas may become a bit rowdy, especially at feeding time. Wearing eye protection when handling her would be a good idea to help avoid possible injuries. Vitamin and mineral powders can be added to her food to assure proper nutrition. You should be able to purchase these from poultry supply stores or online. A vitamin A and K supplement plus a mineral supplement should do just fine, use as the package directs for chickens - it's the same dose for both. Hopefully I've covered everything, but if you should have any additional questions, please let me know, I'll be happy to answer them for you.

Kind regards, ***** *****

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** concerned about quantity and water though thanks Kerry
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 1 year ago.

Hello again, Kerry. Feeding Heidi near a large water bowl will allow her to dip her food, which many Ibis seem to like to do. She'll get plenty of water with her food and on her own. As for amounts, you probably can't overfeed her as growing birds have ravenous appetites and tremendous metabolic requires for energy, maintenance and growth. Unless her droppings should seem to be very voluminous or watery (some irregularities should be expected with a diet change, but should return to normal within three to five days). Feeding her small amounts hourly for the first two weeks is the best way to assure adequate nutrition and prevent crop impactions from self-gorging. They will usually regurgitate if they eat too much at one time, but feeding small portions often helps smooth the feeding process. The total amount consumed may be truly impressive, and you'll probably be grateful that you don't have to constantly obtain earthworms for her! If you still have questions, please let me know.

Best regards, *****