Thursday, July 31, 2014

Raising an Abandoned Baby Bird

It summer time right now, and with summer time comes the birth of new life. However sometimes new life requires a bit of human help, a bit of TLC, and a bit of time, and patience.
I have always been excellent with animals. I've raised abused animals, and neglected ones. However I have never really had any training when it came to baby birds. Luckily though, I knew what it would take to raise the baby.
About 3 months ago I nearly ran over a baby bird that was either tossed from the nest, or he tried taking flight a wee bit too early. Here he sat a fuzzy, lost, and frightened innocent baby bird. I scooped him up and brought him home.
I quickly searched for my bird cage from a bird who died months earlier. I knew this cage was big, but at the time it was all I had.
My next step was to figure out what to feed him. He sat helplessly in the bottom of the cage with his mouth wide open waiting for something to be placed in it. I knew at this age his momma was still feeding him, and he would not eat on his own. I also knew though that bird could eat chop meat, so that was what I went for in the fridge.
I yanked tiny pieces off of the block of meat and placed them gently in his mouth. Luckily he knew how to swallow without me having to dig too deeply into his mouth to get the food down.
I knew though that seeing how he was so young, he would require feedings every hour, and for me, this was an impossible feat seeing how I work full time. I taught my boyfriend and mom how to feed him properly, so that way they could care for him while I was away.
As much as a respect my local wild life refugee the last time we brought them a baby bird they told us that if the bird didn't eat on it's own it was close to hopeless to save it. I hoped and prayed for the best for that little guy, but 3 days later when I called to ask how he was, I was told he was being hand fed, but died anyway.
In my opinion, if the bird is not fed enough, it of course will die. This is a baby bird, and needs to be fed even in the wee hours of the night and early, early morning. I knew that once the lights went out at the refugee, that it was also lights out for the bird. So this was why I decided that this time around I would try to save this baby on my own.
After the bird ate the chop meat he settled down and went to sleep. Luckily I had a dropper as to where I could give him water. I woke him up and fed him a few tubes of water. I knew though that water was not enough to keep him alive.
I went to my local grocery store and bought a bottle of baby enfamil. Yep, I know, sounds weird, but the enfamil provides all the vitamins and nutrients that a baby would need, so I went with my intuition and began feeding him the chop meat and enfamil daily.
The first few weeks were the most crucial because I had to wake up every other hour and feed him.
Soon enough though, I got used to waking up at 2 am to feed him, and with time I watched my fuzzy baby bird get bigger and bigger. As much time went into it, his growth was progressing, and he seemed healthy.
As he grew bigger, I was able to feed him other foods. I buy him actual Gerber baby foods in different fruits and vegetables. He seems to enjoy the different treats.
As of now, he is still being fed through the dropped, but I watch him try to peck at his food now when it falls on the ground. I imagine that in another 2 weeks he will be ready to take flight, and join his feathered friends in the outside world.
You seriously have no idea how rewarding it has been to watch this baby bird grow. It is going to be hard to let him go, but in all honesty I am just glad that I took the time to try and rescue one baby bird who would have died if it weren't for me.
If you find an abandoned baby bird, don't just leave it there. It WILL die.
You will need a cage, a dropper, enfamil, chop meat, and occasionally a berry/vegetable Gerber food. After that you just need to have the time and patience. If you are not home at all times to feed the bird, make sure there is someone present while you are away that can take care of the bird. The baby bird will require feedings every hour or two. It will chirp when it is hungry, and usually that is your sign.
If no one is going to be home on a certain day ask a relative or neighbor to watch over the bird while your gone. Sow them how to feed the baby, and make sure they do it properly. You want to make sure the baby's tongue is flat down on his beak, and not up in the air. You could hurt him if you try to feed him while his tongue is blocking his passage. Simply push his tongue down with your finger and insert the meat. Giving him enfamil through the dropper is much easier, but you want to make sure he gets meat and enfamil with each meal.
Following these simple steps is really all it takes to raising an abandoned baby bird. It has truly been a rewarding experience so far for me. Watching how a little puffy ball of feathers has matured into an almost adult bird really puts a warm feeling in your heart.

No comments:

Post a Comment