This weekend, I was asked to care for a pair of day old moorhen chicks and a very young blackbird chick. All had feeding/serious issues and were proving far too time consuming for our, currently, extremely busy wildlife unit.
So began a torturous weekend. The tiny moorhens were utterly wild and ran frantically from my approaching hand, resulting in me having to grab them to even attempt to feed them, and of course they completely refused the mealworm, time after time, hour after hour. I can’t describe how utterly frustrating this is.
I donned a black glove and cellotaped the tweezers to mimic mum’s beak, which did calm them down, you can see from the photo how they fixate on them. Hubs black woolly hat became a warm nest to hide in under the heat table, and a beanie baby, lookalike mum, popped into the hat, was swiftly adopted.
Eventually, one of the moorhen chicks took a mealworm and a sip of water, and then took one each hour…..oh…. the relief. By now the blackbird was feeding well but still looked sickly.
My major concern was trying to get the second moorhen chick going. Somehow I managed to get three mealworms into her throughout the day….not enough though. I fed/tried to feed all three until midnight and then went to bed.
I rose at six and walked into a nightmare scenario. The blackbird chick was dying, so I just added a heatpad, covered the poor creature, and let it be. Not easy to watch. The non-feeding moorhen chick was looking fragile and weak and could barely call, and try as I might I couldn’t get her feeding, so syringed a little watered down AD into her beak. Two hours later, she died too. Not good, not good at all.
This is a first for me. All the creatures I’ve cared for at home have survived, the only exception being a huge baby hoglet that died before I got it home, so this all came as something of a shock. Poor little mites. Seems my charmed run is over and thinking back, there is absolutely nothing I could have done to change that outcome. They really got my best shot.
Now I have one remaining moorhen who isn’t eating very much. Hour after hour I have tried to feed him. He finally ate three mealworms a few hours ago, and I almost cried with relief. Rather than eat, he prefers to brood and sleep under my gloved hand, and tweet at me, and of course now I’m mummy I tweet back. He’s no longer manic and at least he’s getting a little comfort. I really, really hope he makes it through the night. Wish us luck……
So, as a distraction in between the final feeds, I thought I may as well write a post. Here’s a little of what I’ve been up to.
This is always so very soothing, especially in between stressy feeds.
The front garden is gradually being weeded.
I actually caught Sam snapping the heads off tulips, ever so casually mind!
My ancient urns and milk churns. Now the leaves are brushed they are visible once again!
The veggie patch is weeded. Leeks, strawberries, broad beans, soft fruit, garlic and other plants are all doing well and potatoes are finally planted.
The old ‘orrible hedge-border is coming along nicely and looks so much better having been weeded and mulched.
The climbers are covering the railings beautifully.
Faces have been painted for the spring open day at the rescue……
and games have been designed and proved successful, especially when run by daughter.
Wildlife is filling up with chicks, especially ducklings!
Oh…and remember the Macaw? Well, his owner was found and apparently the reunion was extremely emotional. The macaw, Max, went wild with happiness and walked out on his owner’s shoulder. He escaped through an open window in the conservatory where he flies free. He sounds like one lucky parrot, he goes on regular walkabouts on his bloke’s shoulder around their neighbourhood!!!
I have a greenhouse mouse and it’s driving me crazy! It’s dug up and eaten all the courgette seeds and scattered the seedlings in the other trays while looking for more. I’ve checked everywhere but can’t find it. I know it’s in there somewhere though as Buddy is offering his services, and of course I don’t have the heart to let him loose. In the end, I gave up, and left bird seed out for it. I’ve re-sown everything so fingers crossed eh?