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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I really thought I was going to get through this spring without having to hand raise a single bird. That was until our sunny 60's and 70's weather turned into 30's and SNOW in MAY!
I had a fostered roller hatch out on Saturday, that was going to be my last baby of the year. All was fine, but yesterday when I went out to feed the birds, it appears that the mother had left this little guy a bit too long for the chilly weather - he was completely cold and lifeless. I was about to dispose of the body when the slightest bit of movement stayed my hand. I figured he would die, but he would die warm and snug in the house so long as I'm around.

So I set him up under a heatlamp and let him be for awhile. I'm pretty surprised at this point - he's come around 100%...very active, vocal and squirmy. And so I've dubbed him Spunky.

I kept him off feed until late last night - he was "dead" with a full crop, and nothing was moving through him for awhile. He seemed pretty empty at about 9:30 last night, had pooped about 8 times, so I started feeding. Looked good this morning and fed again at about 5am.

Now at about 10:30am, crop still seems to be moving slowly. I figured he'd be ready to be fed again by now. Is this a hangover from yesterday's deep chill? I am keeping his nest temp at about 95 degrees and he seems comfortable - but maybe this is a hair too low?

Also, I am feeding Exact at a 1:2 ratio with water, per the instructions for a bird this young - but his droppings seem to have more water to them than I'd like to see. Should I back the water down to a 1:1 ratio and see if this improves?

Sorry to toss this at you guys - I have a pretty good grasp on how to go about this, but I've never raised one this young before and I feel the margin of error is pretty small in this little bird's case. Thank you for any help you can give. Ah...and a picture :)


 

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Thats a miracle and it is wonderful how you intervened and that picture is good one.
With your experience I just know it will be fine Bella but people will come on the thread to help you further. Thank goodness that little one has you....c.hert
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you c.hert. Yes, he's quite the miracle bird, was probably only a few minutes shy of being a pigeon popsicle! He just so tiny he's difficult to even handle...I feel as though I will break him, and all his squirming about does little to make my job easier. But, at the same time I am very encouraged to see such a strong will to live :)
 

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Well, Bella...good job on checking up on him and bringing him in. We are all pulling for the lil' guy ! Keep up the good work.....
 

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Good job Bella!

Just make sure the bird is warm when feeding, and that the baby food is also the correct temperature. Always make sure the crop is empty before feeding again and things should be fine.

If digestion is a bit slow add a tiny bit of probiotics, tiny bit of applesauce and I would even add a tiny drop of organic apple cider vinegar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Jay and Trees Gray! I will pinch in some probios on his next feeding and have ACV on hand also.

I have just arrived home from the feed store and revamped my feeding method. I was using the bottle and rubber glove set up last night and this morning...not easy with one this small - and messy to boot.

I think you are right Trees Gray - the crop was being slowed by the formula having cooled down too much by the time he eats the last of it.

I think I have fixed that now. I got a 12ml syringe that fits perfectly into a standard sized rubber lambs nipple. I have cored out the very tip of the nipple to just a tiny bit bigger than his little beak. The shaft of the lamb's nipple fits most of the way up the syringe, insulating it. I can mix the formula directly inside the syringe, using my digital thermometer as a stir stick.

Just fed him now - and it works like a dream! No mess, no air in the crop, and the temperature kept steady for the whole feeding.

He is just so cute! Did he have a nest mate? Please keep us updated on this tiny miracle.
Not to worry - his "nestmate" was a dummy egg. I fly my rollers as much as possible, so I don't let them hatch anything.

I have a bunch of '09 homers that are on hold to breed their own until next season when the new loft is up and running. But I found that looking at going into my first race season, in a new loft of my own design, with '09 birds that have never been bred before - was just too overwhelming. So providing that the '09 pairs have sat a round or two of dummies successfully, I have been allowing them to hatch out 1 roller egg each to give them some parenting experience. We will have to hatch out a young bird team in February next year, the weather will be harsh. This particular pair has been noted in my books, I will have to keep an extra close eye on them.

I will keep the pics coming as he grows...I can't wait to see what color he turns out to be - has the beak staining so may very well be a dark colored bird.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Spunky at 9 days old!

It has now been a week since Spunky joined our indoor menagerie. His growth stalled out a bit for the first day or two, which I expected, considering the stress on him. But he's really lived true to his name and has been growing in leaps and bounds! He looks to be a mostly white grizzle - with colored flights, tail and chest poking out in pin feathers. He's in that "only a mother could love" stage:)

I have been trying to incorporate Spunky into the lives of our dogs as much as possible in preparation for the days ahead in which Spunky will require supervised exercise in the house. Our youngest dog Dexter takes quite an interest in our birds, both chickens and pigeons. So I've made it a point that Spunky, while one of the "pack" now, we must be very gentle with. Spunky takes his feedings between Dexter's forelegs - often nuzzling the big pup for food - which Dexter enjoys very much, closing his eyes for the "micro-massage". I really have to get a picture of that for you guys!

But here is Spunky at 9 days, the pigeon who may very well grow up thinking he is a dog.

 

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WHAT a TERRIFIC picture, Bella!!

Little Spunky is getting to be "big" Spunky and he looks WONDERFUL!!

AND, he sure looks like he is going to be a BEAUTIFUL/HANDSOME pij!!

Many thanks!!

The gang and I are sending ALL OUR VERY BEST WITH LOVE AND HUGS!

Shi/MR. Squeaks/Dom/Gimie/WoeBeGone/Rae Charles :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks guys...he sure is growing up quick!

Snapped some photos of him with Dexter - it's really too cute to miss...it's really quite a strange relationship they have. Dexter recognizes "Spunky" when I say his name and heads straight for his little laundry basket home.





Dexter is extremely gentle with him, but I closely supervise every moment. One big wet kiss can bowl little Spunky over!
 

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Very nice ! I have 2 yellow lab's and they both laid down next to the box Merlin was it .. I guess they were guarding him ! We take the dog's for a walk in the same area every night, when we pass by the area we found Merlin the female yellow lab circles the area a few times in hope to finding Merlin. Amazing how smart animals can be .

Good luck with the very nice bird !
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, here they are folks! Spunky has grown up quite a bit since the last photos. At exactly 1 month old, Spunky started feeding himself and is entirely self sufficient now. He now follows Dexter around CONSTANTLY! And on foot too - Spunky seems to prefer to walk like everyone else he's ever known - as far as he's concerned those wings are purely for decoration purposes...but that's ok with me - I'm short and if he ever decides to take to the heights in the house I'm going to need a step ladder to fetch him.

It seems that Spunky will be a permanent house pet - everyone is pretty attached to him, and he's very happy living a cushy life inside. He has no fear of anything, so would never be safe if allowed to fly with the rest of the birds.

He's quite pretty - smoky tips on the flights and tail feathers, I tried my best to capture them in a photo but they are light. He's collared around the chest in the same grey, and speckled in red on the back of his head and neck.

He's really been a joy to raise, and grew very consistently with the growth of any other naturally raised bird.

Thanks for all the well wishes guys, your thoughts and prayers seem to have found their mark, Spunky sends his gratitude!




 

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Oh my GOODNESS!!

Yes, indeed! A MOST handsome beautiful pigeon, Spunky is!

Your story about his growth and relationship with Dexter has been soooo uplifting and heartwarming!

Spunky just may think he is a dog, only a different "breed" who has feathers and walks on two legs!! BTW, Dexter has the most loveable face!

Please keep us updated, Bella!!

Love, Hugs and Scritches to ALL :D

Shi and the gang :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
The Bath Time Adventures of Spunky

Thanks Mr Squeaks! Spunky will have those scritches and then some! And yes you're right, Dexter is the master of the "puppy dog eyes" move...kills me, near impossible to keep him on his diet!

Spunky enjoyed a bath today (his second, and he's a BIG fan!)





I think he may soon be asking me to turn on the bubbles...we may need to upgrade that bath dish..



He seems just as thrilled to be next to it as he is to be in it.
 
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