Monday, May 9, 2011

Friday Night Follow Up

     I would like to remind everyone that the reason for this blog is to let people follow the triumphs and trials of hand feeding baby birds.  It pains me when those bird mill breeders give their babies away for nothing because A), they breed them like rats, B) they don't pull the chicks for hand feeding until they are over 3 weeks old and getting ready to wean.  They only need to eat about 4 times a day at this age and most of those breeders only feed the poor chicks 3 times a day.  C), they just feed them and throw them back into the brooders and don't spend time playing with them.

     In my opinion, the babies are never quite as friendly as chicks that are pulled at 2 weeks of age.  There is so much work involved in countless hours of hand feeding and giving the chicks love and affection after eating.  I spend a lot of time comforting the chicks and stroking them and scratching their little necks, etc.  After the first week of feeding when they get to be about 3 weeks old they come running to me for food and love the attention and cuddle time they get after they eat.

    There is so much that goes on that the general public doesn't know when they go to choose a new baby.  Often times they are looking for the best price not necessarily the best quality.

    The babies are doing fine.  I had to pull ALL of the babies on Friday morning from the parents for hand feeding because I noticed that baby #6 seemed to be in some sort of distress.  I was hoping  to take more of them after mother's day as I had already pulled chicks 1 - 3 and have been hand feeding them.

     When I examined chick #6, I noticed that he seemed to have an impacted crop.  One of his parents had fed him large whole seeds and large particles that were too big for his tiny system.  I warmed up some water to the proper temperature and fed this with barely a trace of formula in it. I gently massaged his tiny crop to break u the hard mass of food in it.  I checked him every hour.  I could see that each time I fed him  that the hard mass was getting smaller.  The water would go through and bring a bit of the hard mass with it each time.  The chick was looking shrunken and dehydrated and redder in color.   I stayed up all night with this tiny chick no bigger than half the length of my pinkie finger.  I went to bed assuming that he would pass away during the night. Imagine my surprise when I checked first thing in the morning and he was still fighting.  His color was better, he look more hydrated and his crop was pretty much empty.

     I slowly re-introduced very thin formula into his crop.  I fed him every 2 hours.  So far he seems to be doing okay.  He is so tiny so I don't know if he will make it, but he is strong and he is a fighter.  The other chicks I took with them seem a bit confused but i a few days they will see me as mom just like chicks 1 - 3 see me now.  They are so cute.  I love them.

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