Hand feeding a baby mynah - it's fun yet frustrating!


As mentioned in the previous post, I was given a rescued baby mynah bird. He arrived almost fully feathered and is able to support himself (stand).

But he is still a baby who couldn't eat by himself, couldn't fly nor walk properly (he waddles).

He is usually cute and a joy to watch -- BUT ... at the same time could drive you crazy too!!

Now, let me share the fun and not-so about hand feeding this little guy. 

1. Feeding

When he first arrived, he sleeps a lot in his nest. He is almost always hungry, crying for food with his mouth wide opened! 

Once he is full, he stop eating or just goes off to sleep (shut his eyes). However, he'll still open his mouth if you touch him (or his nest by accident), even when he doesn't want to eat. 

Our little guy gets pretty "picky" at times and would get bored from eating the same food. And he won't hesitate to show you (by spitting out the food or refusing to open him mouth) when he doesn't like or is bored of it. However, sometimes, it's because we didn't put the food deep enough for him to swallow. (At a young age, birds don't know how to move the food to their throats so any food not deep enough will be spat out)

We try to provide at least 3-4 varieties of food per day (fruits, bread, rice, noodles, eggs, fish and sometimes boiled veggies) 

As he aged, he'll learnt to peck (he pecks at everything) and he enjoys moving things around (especially plastic bags and papers!) This is also the time that he'll try to peck at food, but he still didn't know how to move them down to his throat, so he is just playing with them.

I start to "train" him to eat by placing food in front of him. He'll open his mouth and wait to be fed but I just continue to move the food towards him till he takes a bite. After a few tries, he managed to swallow some small pieces on a few rare occasions.

But since he is just starting to learn to eat by himself, he often dropped the food. LOL. So you've to balance out feeding him and training him to eat.

2. Pooping

Baby birds have the tendency to not want to shit in their own nest, so they'll lift their butts out of the nest and then shit on the outside of the nest.

This little guy struggles a little with our man-made nest and almost always ends up shitting on the edge or right into it.

He, however, doesn't like staying in the nest with his feces. So you do have to lay a layer of newspaper or unwanted cloth and change them often. 

When he gets older, we completely removed the "nest" and just let him stay in a box laid with newspapers and some cloth. He'll then pick his own area to be his "toilet".

When he starts to get out of the box or fly, he'll poop EVERYWHERE! Yes, we're cleaning his poop all the time. And his poop gets smellier as he ages (or maybe it's his diet??).

3.Noisy/Love phones

This little guy is very active and noisy. He love to chip in all sorts of sounds and won't stop chipping. Sometimes, he does that not just when he is hungry, but also to get some attention or when he wants to get out of the cage/box!

Yes, we've to keep him in a cage, especially when we're busy or is eating as he'll always fly to us or our phones (well, he is more interested in our phones than our food!)... For some reason, he enjoys taking a nap while "sitting" on the phone screen. And of course, he also enjoys "chasing" the animated characters!

And the problem? He hogs the phone and then shit on/around it! -_-"


4. He loves to get on you

When he learnt to fly (which he eventually would), he'll tries to get on our bodies, usually the hand or the head. 

We initially leave his cage door open and he is free to come out to play. He would usually stay at the area near his cage (we've a table full of stuffs for him to peck on) but when he gets bored of pecking, he would fly to us. And then try to explore the area around us. (while shitting on us -_-")

But recently, he seems to stop trying to get on us. Instead, he is exploring around more. I guess its him getting older and getting ready to leave.

5. Easily startled

The little guy is very timid, and very easily startled. He got startled by very small movement, like when I raise my hand or noise louder than usual.

And when he gets scared, he'll either freeze or fly and hide in a corner. If he is on your hand/body, he'll goes to your shoulder and tries to get close to your ears/face. I don't know how that makes him feel safe but that is my observation. I could be wrong.

6. Loves to bath

Our little guy really enjoys bathing! (He bath by flapping his wings to get water on his body)

There was once when we forgot to clear the water from the container, and he bathed thrice a day!

However, whenever he bath, it'll be a wet mess! 

To be honest, I really hate having to clean up after him (he poop very very often) but he is still such a joy to have around. 

He has cleared many of his milestones and I believe it'll be soon that the day will come and he'll fly off. When it comes, I'll definitely miss him but it's the best for him. He hates to be caged.

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