How to Hand-Feed & Care for Budgies

Updated July 20, 2017

Hand-feeding and caring for baby budgies can be a challenging, yet rewarding experience. Hand-fed budgies are more tame than parent-raised birds, and male birds are more likely to talk if they are hand-fed. Hand-feeding is easy if you have the right supplies and closely follow each step. However, improperly hand-feeding can injure or kill a baby budgie.

Line the shoebox with the rags. Place the shoebox on the heating pad. Place the temperature on the highest setting to maintain around 36.7 degrees Celsius.

Take the babies from the parents when they are approximately two weeks old. Remove one or two of the oldest babies if you aren't hand-feeding the entire clutch. Place the babies in the box and keep them there while hand-feeding and raising.

Mix the formula with water and heat the mixture to about 32.2 degrees Celsius. Place the formula in the clean eyedropper or syringe and immediately feed the bird. Avoid feeding the bird with formula that is too cool because it will not digest properly. Ensure that the formula isn't too hot because it will burn the bird's crop, part of the alimentary tract used for food storage prior to digestion.

Feed the birds every three to four hours. Feed the birds fresh formula at each feeding and discard excess formula after each feeding.

Begin to feed the birds fresh fruit, vegetables and budgie seed when they are about six weeks old. Continue to feed them formula if they aren't ready to eat other foods.

Move the budgies from the box into a small cage when they start attempting to fly. Feed the budgies until they eat and drink on their own and refuse to consume the hand-fed formula. Keep the cage in a warm, draft-free area.


When the baby is ready to eat, it will bob or pump its head up and down. Budgies will wean at about six weeks. When the baby birds start trying to fly, make sure they are in a safe area so they can develop their muscles and skills.


Do not overfeed the bird. Feed until the crop is full. Do not overheat the formula mix because it will burn the bird's crop. Burning the bird's crop will likely kill it because it will stop feeding. Keep the shoebox or container in a draft-free area. Cool air can kill a baby bird. Keep the rags in the shoebox or container clean and dry. Moisture can make the birds sick. Remove containers of water and food when the birds are unattended to prevent the birds from drowning.

Things You'll Need

  • Eyedropper or small syringe
  • Hand-feeding formula (available at most pet stores)
  • Thermometer
  • Shoebox
  • Cloth rags
  • Electric heating pad
  • Bird cage
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About the Author

Barry Melton has been writing since 1996. He is a former Marine Corps combat correspondent and staff writer for the "Hawaii Marine" newspaper, and has also been published in "Marines Magazine" and "Leatherneck." Melton is a graduate of the Defense Information School at Ft. Meade, Md.