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Q: We are trying to give the best possible care to our hatchlings. We realize that the first few days of life are critical. We have heard many people recommend using the human electrolyte solution Pedialyte for the first few feedings, as well as using it as part of the formula for the first few days. We were told that you pioneered its use as part of the diet for chicks less than 1 week old and have recommended it in your book on hand-feeding. We have used it with excellent results. Since then, we have heard that you recommend another product. What product is this, and where can we obtain it?
A: You are correct. What I now use is the second alternative that I mention in the hand-feeding book that I co-authored. That is a product called Infalyte, manufactured by Mead-Johnson. (Editor’s note: Parrots: Hand-Feeding & Nursery Management by Howard Voren and Rick Jordan is available by searching the internet for current sellers.)
When I wrote the recommendation that appears in the book, the product was called Ricealyte. They have since changed the name to Infalyte. Our research at the Institute has shown it to be less problematical than other electrolyte solutions. It gains this advantage by the use of rice syrup solids instead of dextrose as an energy source. When I introduced the use of Pedialyte as an integral part of a chick’s diet for the first few days of life, it was so superior to any of the other products that had been previously used that anyone who tried it became a preacher of its attributes.
It is very important to understand that neither product is manufactured or sold for use in baby birds. Their intended use is in human babies that suffer dehydration from diarrhea or vomiting.