Baby parrots are delicate and require very specific temperatures and humidity levels when they are newly hatched. Baby parrots hatched and brooded under their mother are guaranteed perfect temperatures and humidity. However, some parrots are unable to be brooded beneath their mother, or perhaps you have chosen to hand-raise your parrot away from its mother. In this case, you can build a brooder to create the proper environment for a baby parrot.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 2 appropriately-sized plastic storage tubs
- Aquarium sealant glue
- 4 bungee cords
- Small dish
- Rubber band
- Aquarium thermometer/humidity gauge
Fill one container halfway with water and freeze the container (this prevents the container from cracking when cut). Once frozen, use a jigsaw to cut a small hole (suitable for holding the aquarium heater) into one side of the container. Allow the ice to melt and the water to drain from the container.
Dry the container thoroughly. Stick the aquarium heater through the hole you made in the container so that the heater is inside the container and the cord is outside of the container. Use the suction cups on the heater to hold the heater in place at the bottom of the container, ensuring the heater is level and does not directly touch the bottom or sides of the container.
Seal the hole around the heater with aquarium sealant glue, making the hole watertight.
Pour water into the container until the water level rises 2 to 3 inches above the heater.
Place the other container (the one without the heater) into the container with the heater and water. Attach bungee cords from each corner of the top container to each corner of the bottom container, securing the two containers. The water in the bottom container will push up around the sides of the top container.
Pour a small amount of water into a small dish. Cover the dish with a layer of cheesecloth, securing the cheesecloth tightly with a rubber band (this ensures baby birds cannot fall into the dish later on). Place the covered dish into a corner of the top container to provide your baby parrots with humidity.
Place an aquarium thermometer and humidity gauge (available in pet stores) near the area in the brooder where the tops of the baby parrots' heads will reach. This monitors your temperature and humidity levels at all times.
Turn on the aquarium heater to the temperature you wish your brooder to reach. Refer to the temperature chart in References 4 for a generalised guide to temperatures for your baby parrot.
Cover the brooder with a blanket or towel to insulate the brooder. Monitor temperatures in the brooder to determine the proper settings for your heater.
Allow the brooder to reach the appropriate temperature before adding baby parrots to the brooder.
Tips and warnings
- Allow enough space in the brooder for all baby parrots to flap their wings without touching each other, so purchase plastic containers appropriately sized to your needs. For example, medium-sized containers often house 4-6 baby cockatiel parrots.
- Baby parrots are comfortable in the dark initially, so use non-transparent plastic tubs or cover transparent tubs with towels, blankets or stick shelf paper to the outsides of the tubs to block light.
- Commercial brooders are best as they guarantee proper heat and humidity for your birds. Keep a constant watch on your birds' temperature and humidity levels to ensure their safety and well-being.
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