Hand-feeding Diary

Day One: Fin is two weeks old. I have pulled him from his nest box and put him in a brooder. He looks confused. By the way, he’s possibly a she, but for the sake of easy writing, I will refer to the chick as he. His first feeding goes very well.

Day Four: Somehow his heating pad was accidentally turned off over night. Fin burrowed into the litter and is fine, if more hungry than usual. He appears to have splayed legs. Will research and correct as soon as possible.

Day Seven: Weighed in at 45 grams this morning. Still eating well, every three hours. Just having good traction in the brooder seems to have corrected the splayed legs. He sits up well now.

Day Eight: Introduced a fuzzy sock stuffed with other cloth. He enjoys climbing up on it, and then slides down to stick his head under the cuff. He does pretty well sitting on my shoulder for a few minutes. He seems bored in his brooder by himself for long periods.

Day Ten: Fin is gaining weight regularly. Introduced a wood and plastic toy with a bell on the end. He nibbles the plastic. Has been chewing on the millet, doesn’t want as much formula now. Moved the brooder so that a third is off the heating pad, in case he wants to move to a cooler area. So far, he prefers the warm side.

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Day Twelve: Feedings are now every four hours. He acts like a starveling at first, but will not take much at all. Added Nutriberries to the millet, and a bowl of water with chopped apple and cucumber. He thinks they are chew toys. Up to 50 grams this morning.

Day Fourteen: This little one has a strong voice. From the moment he sees me until the first feeding, he lets me know he is hungry. He has just started the head bobbing feeding thing. He weighed in at 56 grams yesterday, but has dropped to 45 today. Does a lot of wing flapping, and standing up on the sock. He’s so cute.

Day Fifteen: Put a little wooden ladder in the brooder. He chews on it, hasn’t exactly figured out the climbing thing. He has napped less today, and played more with the things in the brooder. He is eating only 5 ccs of formula, five times per day. I give him water from the syringe after he stops eating, and he likes that. Up to 52 grams today. Another week, and he may be ready for a cage.

Day Sixteen: Fin seems unhappy that I cleaned out the brooder. Seriously, I apparently took all his good shit. He did a lot of defensive posturing and attacking through the side of the brooder at Jake. He’s a big boy now. But down again to 50 grams.

And so it goes. In a few weeks, he will have weaned and be in a cage, and then go to the bird store to await the happy family that will adopt him. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.

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