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Crop Needle Selection

What size crop needle should I use to feed my bird?

The table below gives a good guide to what size crop needle is suitable for different bird species.


 Bird Species  Bodyweight  Crop Volume  Needle Size
 Finch  12 – 20g  0.5mL  18 gauge
 Canary  20 – 25g  0.5mL  18 gauge
 Budgie  35 – 50g  1-2mL  16 gauge
 Neophema  40 – 50g  1.5 – 2.5mL  16 gauge
 Cockatiel  80 – 90g  4 – 5mL  14 gauge
 Eastern Rosella  80 – 110g  5 – 10mL  12 gauge
 Princess Parrot  100 – 120g  5 – 10mL  12 gauge
 Galah  300 – 350g  10 – 20mL  10 gauge
 Pigeon  300 – 500g  30 – 60mL  8 gauge
 White Cockatoo  600 – 900g  30 – 50mL  8 gauge


For advise on how to feed your bird using a crop needle please visit our Help Centre Article “How To Use A Crop Needle“.

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  1. Hi Bec and VetnPet direct.

    Thanks for your time. I see from your c hart that it is advised that an adult cockatoo could be administered food/medication with an 8 gauge crop needle. I am completing an assessment at the moment for my Cert III Captive Animals studies and am doing a hand raising manual for a Red-tailed black cockatoo. But because I am feeding a chick u to weaning age I presume t hat it isn’t appropriate to use such a big crop needle. I appreciate that I should be using the biggest gauge that is safe for a birds oesphagus, but would you have any further advice on this please.

    Thanks again – stay safe.



    1. Hi Jeff,

      I would give Vetafarm a call, they are the manufacturers of the crop needles and a wealth of information when it comes to caring for birds. Good luck with your course.


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