Baby Bird

13. June 2012 05:05

Despite being so tiny, the three day old red rump chick was tough. Its mama decided she had better things to do than take care of her offspring. So his care and feeding was up to the humans who barely had a clue about such things.

Online information sources about hand feeding chicks did not prove to be much help. For instance, they disagreed on some very specific points. One said to be sure that the chick's crop was completely empty before feeding. Another said it was okay to feed if it wasn't completely empty. And for other points -- well, the directions were clearly for larger species and / or older chicks.

It took a few days to get the "nest" satisfactory. The chick did not stay put in the center of the homemade brooder. It kept wandering off and would be found under one of the paper towels or tissues that were put in there for support. Eventually a shallow tupperware dish was found and crumpled tissues filled most of the area that wasn't occupied by the chick. The baby seemed to settle down after feedings almost immediately when he was in the small cozy space.

Of course the whole feeding routine has been a learning experience for both of us. For the first few days, feeding meant getting as much food on the outside of the chick as when inside him. The tip of the feeding syringe seemed too big for the beak it had to service. Fortunately the chick did get enough to eat and in a very short time his size and appetite increased dramatically.

Baby has made it through two weeks of being hand feed and is currently covered in fuzzy gray down.  A few more days until real feathers appear and we may get the first hints of the baby's gender.

See http://gallery.vistagrande.com/album.aspx?aid=118 for photos of how baby bird has grown.

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