There are at least seven known species of pelican found worldwide, with the smallest of them, the brown pelican, being the most common in the United States. In the wild, baby pelicans reach into and feed directly on regurgitated food from the parents' pouches. As this is difficult for a human caregiver to emulate, tube feeding becomes a necessary method to nourish a baby pelican chick.
Mix the formula as directed on the package or by a veterinarian.2
Measure from the pelican's beak to the middle of the crop, imagining a line down the middle of the neck. Add 2 inches to be on the safe side. This is the approximate length of catheter needed to prevent causing discomfort or injury to the bird.3
Hold a lighter or lit match to the cut end of the catheter to melt and smooth any rough edges. This is the end that will be inserted into the bird's throat.4
Slip the untreated end of the tube over the end of the syringe. Draw the formula into the syringe.5
Lubricate the other end of the tube with a personal lubricant, and position the tube to slide smoothly and straight down the bird's esophagus to the opening of the crop.6
Administer the formula gently, without force, to avoid injuring the bird.