Why a special hand rearing scheme for parakeets and parrots?

Tuesday 1 January 2013 in the category Hand rearing

The greatest satisfaction comes from having parent birds rear their young, just as in nature. Circumstances may however at times compel a bird lover to hand rear the chicks or to tame them through hand rearing. Whatever the reason for hand rearing, it must be done in a natural way with respect for the bird as a seed eater!

Most parrots that are hand reared are seed-eating birds. Their digestive canal is designed to digest seeds and characterised by a bill, crop, glandular stomach, gizzard and intestinal tract – a system that seed-eating birds have been given by nature and that the bird lover must respect. 

Schematic overview of the digestive canal of seed-eating birds

  • Bill (1)
  • Crop (7)
  • Glandular stomach (8)
  • Gizzard (9)
  • Intestinal tract (13, 15, 16, 18, 22)
Schematisch overzicht verteringskanaal zaadetende vogel
  1. Pharynx
  2. Trachea
  3. Bronchi
  4. Lungs
  5. Heart
  6. Oesophagus
  7. Crop
  8. Glandular stomach
  9. Gizzard
  10. Liver
  11. Gallbladder
  12. Spleen
  13. Duodenum
  14. Pancreas
  15. Jejunum
  16. Ileum
  17. Blind intestines
  18. Large intestine
  19. Kidneys
  20. Ureters
  21. Bursa of Fabricius
  22. Cloaca
  23. Ovary
  24. Magnum
  25. Isthmus
  26. Uterus
  27. Vagina
Overview of the internal organs of a (female) bird.


For this reason, it is not a good idea to continue to provide liquid pulp food until the chicks can ingest food on their own. Once fully grown, such birds often have a less well developed digestive canal, and as a result cannot process the food suitable for them (seeds) as well in the gizzard, with all the disadvantages thereof.

CéDé® has therefore developed a hand rearing scheme specially for that purpose which takes account of the development of the digestive canal of the seed-eating bird.

Hand rearing scheme:


CéDé Handrearing

CéDé egg food for large parakeets and parrots*

Peeled sunflower seeds*

Day 1 – 5

          100 %



Day 6 – 14

            75 %

                 25 %


Week 3

            60 %

                 40 %


Week 4 - 5

            50 %

                 50 %


Week 6 -8

            35 %

                 35 %

               30 %     

Week 9 - 12

            30 %

                 30 %

               40 %

* CéDé egg food for large parakeets and parrots and the peeled sunflower seeds are first ground finely before being processed into the hand rearing concoction.

  • When the chicks hatch, the digestion takes a little time to work properly. The digestive juices with the enzymes dissolved therein do not yet work optimally. The young must in the first days be subjected to a light digestible and liquid hand rearing diet. 
  • As the body weight of a young bird can after 14 days attain three times its birth weight, a varied protein and sufficient energy substances must be provided.
  • Finally, the proper development of the digestion canal of seed-eating birds requires peeled and ground sunflower seeds to be processed in the hand rearing concoction.  A more solid pap is thereby obtained which requires a greater effort on the part of the digestive canal and whereby crop, glandular stomach and gizzard can be developed optimally. If these young seed-eating birds are reared in this way, they will learn to ingest seed easier.
Why a special hand rearing scheme for parakeets and parrots?