Ask Lafeber

Question:

August 12, 2021

Handfeeding a baby Mynah.


Hi,

I’ve a few questions regarding handfeeding baby mynah.
It was rescued and passed to us, but we’re quite new to this, and need some guidance.

1) It has been with us for a week now. Not sure how old it is, but it’s starting to fly (and seems to have quite complete feathers). The problem is, it always try to stand on our heads. I’m not a fan of it so I’ll move away but my parents always let her do it. Why do mynah try to land on our heads? Is it ok to let her?

2) She stop eating as much. More like she stop at like 2-3 feeds. (and its just a very small portions. (estimated just 1-2mm by 1-2mm) and we feed her about 1-1.5hrs apart or when she chips in her “hunger tone”.

3) As we see the mynah birds in our country eating all sorts of leftovers, we actually feed it with food we eat. (Including but very little, boiled meat, cooked rice, cooked oatmeal, carrots, papaya, apple, fried noodles, berries, cherries…etc) Is it wrong? Should we get pet food for mynahs?

Thank you for taking your time to reading this. Hope to hear from you soon. Have a nice day!


Answer:

Hi,

I’m glad you were able to help this bird. I do not know a lot about Mynahs. Because of their issues with iron storage disease, it makes them hard to keep healthy. Plus they are very messy, so they have not remained popular as a pet in the US. I can give you general advice.

Birds go to the head because they naturally look for the highest place to perch. They are also in control on top of a person’s head because they can move around and be hard to catch when on the head. As far as parrots go, I discourage letting one on your head or shoulder because it can lead to behavior issues, and leave you vulnerable to being bit on the face. I would tend to think the same issues can apply to a Mynah, so I would recommend keeping her at eye level or below.

Baby birds do eat less when they are fledging and learning to fly and self feed.

As for diet, it is probably best to feed her a pelleted food that is formulated for Mynahs. You should not offer any fresh foods that are high in iron. I would recommend a Google search for Mynah bird diet because there is a lot of information available, including recommendations for iron levels in a pellet. They are omnivores in the wild. While you are offering a variety of foods, it would be better for her to have a Mynah pellets as 80% of her daily diet, with the rest being the type foods you are offering. But again, look up the nutrition of each type of food and do not feed foods that are high in iron.

Thank you for Asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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