Hatchling/nestling magpies

  • Keep a little cooler than other chicks at 29.4-32.2°C.

  • Feed every 30 minutes from 7.00am - 9.00pm.

  • House chicks in a margarine container lined with toilet or tissue paper.

  • When pin feathers appear feed chicks every 30-45 minutes from 8.00am - 8.00pm.

Pre-fledgling & fledgling magpies

  • Feed pre-fledgling magpies every 45 minutes and fledgling magpies every 2 hours.

  • House older chicks in a cardboard box with a plastic screen window. Line the box with a towel and a pillowcase over it. Use a towel rolled into a donut shape as a nest.

  • Place the box near a window, so that the chicks can see other birds.

  • Place natural perches like small branches in the box.

  • When the chicks can perch and sample food, progress to a pre-flight cage (larger parrot sized cage). Line the cage with cardboard and/or window screen lining.

  • Chicks should be self-feeding before going to an aviary.

Young magpie diet

  • 1 cup Hill's Science Diet Canine Growth kibble soaked in 1 cup of cold water

  • 1 4oz (112g) baby banana or 4oz ripe banana

  • 1 peeled hard boiled egg

  • 1 teaspoon of bird vitamins

  • 1 teaspoon (approximately 1,800mg) ground calcium carbonate


Mash the kibble with a fork after the water has been absorbed. Puree the egg and the banana in a blender. Mix all the ingredients in a food processor. Freeze in small containers. Thaw enough for 1 day. Warm the mixture by placing in a warm water bath.

Adult magpie diet

  • 4 cups of Hill's Science Diet Canine Growth kibble soaked in 2 cups of cold water

  • 1 teaspoon of bird vitamins

  • ½ hard boiled egg

  • ⅙ cup of fruit e.g. apple and/or pear

  • ⅙ cup of green vegetables e.g. zucchini and/or cucumber

  • ⅙ cup of yellow or orange vegetables e.g. carrots and/or squash


Mash the soaked kibble. In a food processor, pulse chop egg, fruit and vegetables until they are coarsely chopped. Mix all the ingredients together. Can be stored in a refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Magpies natural diet

Magpies mainly eat insects, worms, spiders, lizards, mice and seed. The ability to forage is important for magpies, so introduce fledglings to this by:

  • sprinkling wiggly worms on fruits, kibble and other food items

  • place bright coloured items like corn in their enclosure as this can inspire probing beaks

  • place nuts in their enclosure as they can learn to crack these open.

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