Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Our first eggs of the year! - and a rescue

9.3.15 – Lucky and Loretta are proud to announce that they have a brand new egg! And I’ve never even seen them mating! In the previous few days, Lucky augmented the nest Snow White started with extra sticks, and when the birds were not around I added some nice dry hay.

Below - another short-lived romance for Chino
 Ooh, I think this tall dark stranger likes me!
 And he's a good kisser!

But it fizzled out before it'd begun.....

10.3.15 – Still only one egg.

11.3.15 – When Loretta popped out of the cote, I popped up the steps! – yes, we have two eggs now!  How exciting! If all goes to plan, they will hatch at the end of the month. I do hope Loretta will prove to be a better mother than Charm. Loretta is now Lucky’s 3rd ‘wife’. When Charm dumped Lucky for Snow White last year, he mated up with Loveday, but I am pretty sure she was also killed in the cull. She was an ok mother, but their babies were rather peaky.  I know Lucky is fertile and a good father, but Loretta is unknown and these may well be her first eggs. This evening, Loretta was in the cote with the eggs, and Tommy was in his side nestbox, alone – and as it got dusk, someone zoomed into the bottom front box – I reckon it was Claro.

14.3.15 -  Lucky on the roof with his two minders!!

20.3.15 - Partial eclipse of the sun today, but all that happened in our garden was that it got very gloomy. My only concern was that Lucky, on the eggs, would somehow think it was night, and that he shouldn't be there, and would leave the eggs - so I put on the lights in the kitchen, sitting room and conservatory to make a glow that he could see - and he was fine, and probably would've been anyway! It only lasted a short while and then we were back to normal.

23.3.15 - The nice man from the poultry farm where I get some of my grain for the doves phoned about 4pm to say someone had brought a collared dove in to him - could he bring it to me? He turned up shortly after with this tiny little thing in a carrier. Apparently found by a driving instructor and brought to the poultry farm, it had had nothing but water since 10am. The first thing to do is check for injuries of course - but I found no evidence of any and the baby felt reasonable warm (you must never try to feed a cold bird). I had prepared a box, with food and water, but when I saw the tiny size of it, I realised that the normal pigeon grain would be like us eating cannonballs! Here is baby Ockie ( so named as the poultry farm is in Ockham)

He is a collared dove and fully feathered, but possibly newly fledged - I don't know. I quickly read up on the pigeon rescue site I always use and found that these particular birds can get stressed very easily if they feel trapped and even die from it - collared doves. I attempted to give him a little drink of water, but then I thought best to leave him for a little while and see how he was in half an hour.

He's adorable, isn't he?

I whizzed round for half an hour doing things, and made up some of the Kaytee mix into little balls, mixed with tiny grain that I give to the blue tits and robins. Then I thought I better feed him, unless I see he is feeding himself.... which he wasn't. I wrapped him in the towel again and made a baby bundle on my knee. He seemed happy to be hand-fed like I feed the squabs sometimes and hopefully a bit of food will do him good. He struggled out of the towel and perched on top of it, alert and quite happy. Afterwards Ockie closed his eyes and appeared to be asleep, but I didn't feel the box, though lined with cloth and paper, was very warm and comfortable for a bird that still seems like a baby, so I brought an old fleece lined hood of mine, lined with dry hay and made a nest for him. Another half an hour or so went by and then I offered him another drink from the little glass, and he had a proper drink which pleased and relieved me.

The homies are currently coming in from the garden to the conservatory between 4-5pm, depending on the weather, and then they go to their night-boxes in the spare room about 6pm. The conservatory gets pretty cold at night, and I certainly wasn't going to leave baby Ockie in there - so I put his hood nest into a deep box, with a hot water bottle underneath, inside the carrying box and put him in the spare room too. I am writing this at 8pm and we go to bed about 10pm so just beforehand I will do the microwave bottle that keeps hot for up to 6 hours supposedly, and replace the normal bottle. Hopefully, Ockie will stay warm and survive the night....... If he does I will weigh him tomorrow and think out arrangements for him properly. The trouble is, according to the website, these young birds can get attached to humans and can never be released..... well, let's see how he step at a time. I don't know the circumstances under which he was found, but it would've been best if the finder had first observed the little bird so see if any parents were around - but maybe they did or maybe the bird was on the road..... anyway, it's too late for that and now he's with me.

24.3.15 - Please Lord let my baby be alive..... and he was (thank you, Lord). I brought his inner box into the kitchen while I fed the flock and the homies, then I hand fed him - which he again accepted, though he didnt drink much.  There was a little normal-ish looking poop in his night box, which is a good sign.He stood quietly on the scales while I weighed him - 98g - so very very light. His weight will hopefully help me to work out how much food he needs. I feel sorry for Ockie, he has been taken out of his environment and the best I can hope for is that he survives and considers himself a 'pigeon' and joins in with the rest of the flock. But apparently collared doves are not flock birds, and like to be alone or with their mate. When the homies go into the garden, I plan to quickly clean and sort out Cissie's crate and put him in there for the day - there is plenty of space if he wants to move around.

By half ten Ockie had perked up quite a lot. I'd been shopping and then came in, took him out and held the little glass so he could have a drink - which he did. Then I put him back in his nest.... but after a while I could hear little noises and went into the conservatory to find he had come out of the box part and was doing a little pecking, and a little preening - a good sign!

Ockie had a good day and seemed well, though of course I don't really know. He did have a little diarrhoea but hardly surprising as he wouldn.t be having his normal food. I did see him pecking at the food, but didnt see him manage to actually eat anything on his own. I fed him by hand three times and offered water. I don't really know how much he should be eating and haven't been able to find it, but I am satisfied that he had enough to eat and drink today.

25.3.15 -  By this afternoon, Ockie was attempting to get out of Cissie's crate. I was reading to my three year old grand-daughter in the conservatory and it was really distracting.

I opened the door of the crate and he perched on the side, then fluttered up to a nearby box. I could tell from this that he can fly, though maybe not strongly or for long distances.

 'I think maybe we better put him outside' I told her. 'But a naughty one might eat him!' she said. 'We'll put him in Cissie's run' I reassured her. So that's what we did, first having removed Cissie to Cloud's hutch and separating them with a wire grille as Cloud doesn't like sharing! Ockie, in the run, seemed determined to try to get out of that too but I reckoned he was safe enough and I had to drive her home so her mum could take her to her gymnastics class. I was back in little over an hour to find Ockie had settled himself and I was able to let the homies out too. Here's Chino on a brick, and the little brown blob beyond the plank is Ockie.

Juvenile rescue collared dove

The run gets sun most of the day, and there are shady parts in there too. I had sprinkled some food for him to find, but I am still not sure if he can eat alone.

When the sun goes down over the roof, the garden gets chilly quite quickly, and like it or not, Ockie was coming in for the 3rd night in my house. First of all I gave him a little drink and attempted to feed him, but he doesnt like being fed and resists. The following comes from the pigeon and dove rescue site - 
Wild collared doves can become easily stressed.  They don't like feeling trapped, being enclosed in small cages and can hurt themselves by battering against the bars...and they can die of a heart attack if they become stressed while being handled.  So if you are handling a wild collared dove and it starts to open its mouth and gasp, put it down immediately and leave it somewhere quiet to recuperate.

Ockie was doing this (and has done it before - see photo below) so I had to leave the attempt and let him be. He was put in his hood nest in an upturned box in the conservatory - not back in Cissie's crate because she was in it by then. Ockie settled down in his nest although if he had not wanted to he could've flown out of the box (which would've been awkward). This was about 4-4.15pm I think and he stayed where he was until I removed him for another drink and then into his nest into a deep box which I put in the spare room in a covered domed wired box - it's all very complicated!

Young rescue collared dove with open beak, possibly stressed

He was 'in bed' about 5.50pm which is earlier than the others, who stay in the conservatory now til about 6.15pm - it all depends on the light. I was relieved that he didn't make a fuss about coming in, as last night we had a light frost and it was going down to zero tonight too. If you saw how tiny weeny he is, you would understand my concern. I will have to put him in the run tomorrow, so Cissie and Cloud will just have to share again or I will have to think of something else. I can't risk leaving Ockie in with Cissie, as she might hurt him.

To be cont....


Fennie said...

It will be really interesting to see how he gets on. I had a collared dove in my garden yesterday, an adult, clearly, but reasonably tame.

Elsfield Chickens said...

Congratulations to the happy couple may they have healthy and happy babies.