HandRearing Formula

The following recipe is from Chelle Plass, (former Bird Dept Curator at the Houston Zoo), Chelle is now the Zoological Manager at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Chelle is one of the most respected Zoological Bird Curators with a keen interest and is quite knowledgeable in the exotic doves & pigeons. She has raised common Ringnecks to Mauritius Pink Pigeons to the Pheasant Pigeon hatchlings on this formula.

Addendum 4/23/01: Chelle informed me that she has successfully used "Mazuri Parrot" breeder pellets in exactly the same way as the monkey biscuit with no problems. She raised a Pheasant Pigeon last year on it & is currently handrearing an African Green Pigeon (Treron calva).

Zupreem Monkey Biscuit is a name brand which is not oily as some other brands -- try not to use the oily kind.

Soak Zupreem Monkey Biscuit in hot water until spongy; take a half teaspoon Pedialyte (is for humans babies when they get sick -- replaces the electrolytes & stuff in their systems) -- mix in a bowl with one half of the soaked monkey biscuit. Use a spoon or something else to mash it flat and milky looking.

MICROWAVE this mixture ONLY 30 seconds (do not deviate on this 30 second time in the microwave). Then stir to remove ALL the lumps. It should be bubbling hot, use a spoon to make it runny & smooth.

Let cool about one minute then microwave 30 more seconds. Presto you have "crop milk".

Feel free to add more Pedialyte as needed to make more milky (watery). Cannot be fed "dry" the squab can choke quite easily if the mix is too dry.

CAUTION: Do not feed it while hot, it will burn the baby's crop severely & could cause death. Let it cool a a bit (warm to the touch).


Feed newly hatched with pipette, eye dropper or syringe.

This formula can be tweaked to each fancier's own special needs & be freely disseminated without any  copyright.
The only thing I (John Pire) do to change this formula, is to add baby food fruits by the fourth day if I am hand feeding  a fruit dove/pigeon.

"In the Sept/Oct 2004 DoveLine, pg 10, a formula on hand feeding was shared. It was copied, with permission, from the International Dove Society and due
credit was given.  However, it has come to our attention that ADA member Daniel Almaguer wrote an article sharing the same formula that was printed in the
 Sept/Oct 2000 DoveLine. Although the `04 article is not identical to the original, the formula is identical to the one shared by Mr. Almaguer. It was not our intent to slight anyone, the main interest being to serve the ADA membership.  Our thanks go to Chelle Plasse (Disney's Animal Kingdom)
for the formula, to Daniel Almaguer for sharing it in 2000 and to John Pire (International Dove Society) for sharing it with others as well."

I have added the above note, as received from the ADA Editor. I discussed this with Chelle & she knows when she started developing her formulas & freely shared them with anyone asking - with no strings attached & does not wish to pursue this matter any further. john pire 3/21/05

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