How to Get a Baby Bird to Open its Mouth

The best way to get a baby bird to open its mouth is to rub food on the bird’s lower beak and on the sides of the beak. This will cause most baby birds to instinctively open their mouths. You can also pry open the mouth using a syringe.

Of all the problems bird owners face, perhaps the most frustrating is when a baby bird won’t open its mouth.

As hard as you may try, there are times when baby birds just won’t open up. Of course, the last thing you want to do is hurt the bird. At the same time, you know they need to eat.

Why Would a Baby Bird Keep Its Mouth Closed?

They typically keep their mouths closed because they are tired or scared. Perhaps they are still used to being fed from their mother’s mouths and don’t know they are supposed to open up for you.

It’s important to remember that birds can only go without food and water for 72 hours before they need their mouths open to survive.

Luckily, there are ways to safely get a baby bird to open its mouth and get them the food and water they need.

How to Get a Baby Bird to Open Its Mouth

Gently Place Your Fingers on the Lower Beak

First, remember that portions of food you might give to an adult bird will not work, so take the time to break the food down into smaller pieces that a baby bird can handle.

For this method, gently hold down the bird and ensure it stays secure. Being gentle is imperative so that the bird feels comfortable. If a baby bird isn’t comfortable, it won’t open its mouth.

Place your thumbs and forefingers on each side of the lower beak. Once the bird feels a bit of pressure, it should immediately open its mouth.

Take the opportunity to get the food into the bird’s mouth as fast as possible. Make sure the bird actually swallows the food and doesn’t choke.

Rub Food on the Sides of the Bird’s Mouth

This option may be your best bet if the bird doesn’t budge after placing fingers under its beak. As birds primarily open their mouths to eat, placing some bird food on the sides of their mouth can get them to budge.

Remember to break down the food into smaller pieces. As with the first method, hold the bird down into a secure position first. Once again, be gentle and avoid upsetting the bird.

It won’t take long to see that the bird is frustrated as they will fidget and may even bite.

Next, very cautiously rub the food against the sides of its mouth. Even if the baby bird remains calm, you’re just wasting time if they fidget as a reaction. Be as gentle as possible when rubbing the food. Continue this process until the bird opens its mouth.

Pry Open the Beak

You can pry open the baby bird’s beak as a last resort. You should only use this option if you’ve tried the other two methods without success.

Prying a baby bird’s mouth can be painful for the bird, which is why it is such a dreaded option that should only be attempted after trying all the others. Nevertheless, if the bird needs food, there is no better alternative. Just follow this method very carefully.

Gently secure the bird and then place your fingers on the sides of the beak, just as you did with the first method.

Next, carefully pry open the mouth. Quickly get the small bits of food into the bird’s mouth before it closes up shop again. Ensuring the bird is as comfortable as possible is essential. If the bird gets stressed, it may lead to choking.

In Case of Choking

Baby birds can choke on food much easier than adult birds. When a piece of food or water partially or entirely blocks their windpipe, they are choking.

A clear sign a bird is choking is when they gasp for air. They may also open up their beak in an effort to gag.

One method to get the bird to stop choking is to turn them upside down without restraining the head. This may allow the food or water to naturally move out of the bird’s mouth.

If this effort fails, the best thing is to get the bird to the vet immediately! While trying the Heimlich maneuver may be tempting, this method does not work for birds. It can do more damage, leading to serious injury or even killing them.

If nothing else, performing the Heimlich will waste precious time that could be used to get the bird the life-saving care it needs at the vet. As soon as the bird gasps or open its beak to gag, get to the vet!

Remember to Be Gentle

It might feel horrifying to see a baby bird refuse to open its mouth during feeding time and possibly even witness them suffering after a while, but you should remain calm and know that there are methods to get the bird to open its mouth.

Placing fingers on its lower beak, rubbing food on the sides of its mouth, and prying its mouth open can all work wonders to get a baby bird to open up its mouth.

Remember to be patient and gentle when applying these methods to avoid stressing the bird out and making matters worse.

Recommended For You

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *