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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The wildlife center gave me yesterday a tiny little bird, the size of half my thumb. I am not sure what it is, most likely a dove and from the tiny size I am guessing a mourning dove. Anyways, I am terrified to handle and feed this tiny creature. I have no idea how much and how often to feed. So far I have given him one drop of diluted formula every two hours. He had three microscopic poops so far which I am not sure it is enough. The crop feels like it is still half full.
Also how do you feed this baby? The tip of the syringe is way too big for his beak. I am trying to feed with the smallest size tube but the formula isn't going through unless it is very diluted and I am afraid the tube is coiling in his throat.

Reti
 

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Hi Reti,

Is it feathered? If not, then you will be able to watch the small bubbles that will form on the shoulders once the crop is full. As soon as these bubbles start to inflate stop feeding.

I watched Helen tube feed a tiny collared dove once, the formula that she used was as thin as tea. If the crop isn't emptying try giving it plain warm water .

Cynthia
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you Cynthia.
The formula is very thin. The baby has yellow fuzz very sparingly. Will watch for bubbles.
How did Helen feed the baby, with a tube?

Reti
 

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Yes, that was by tube a plastic one. I have never tried syringe and balloon one a vey young one. It is best to use tube that is the right length for the bird, measuring from beak to mid crop.

I have some that I consider ideal for squabs , that can be cut down to just the right size and the ends filed for smoothness . They are catheter tubes, but the catheter end can be cut to fit very snuggly on an ordinary syringe.

I imported them from the US thinking they were something else. They are Kendall Dover Rob-Nel catheters 42cm long (which is why they need trimming!),
2.7mm diameter.

Cynthia
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank for the info on the tubes. I will go by the clinic today see if they have any, I hope they do.
It is terrifying to have such a tiny life in your hands.

Reti
 

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It is terrifying to have such a tiny life in your hands.
I know exactly how you feel, those of us that don't let our pigeons (or doves) breed forget just how tiny they can be, even though we see how small the eggs that hold them are! I was terrified when I took over hatchling wood pigeon, I could barely handle him because he felt so fragile. Then the vet gave us a baby bluetit, that made the woodie hatchling enormous by comparison (the bluetit went straight to the Hallswood :D I know my limitations.)

Cynthia
 

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The wildlife center gave me yesterday a tiny little bird, the size of half my thumb. I am not sure what it is, most likely a dove and from the tiny size I am guessing a mourning dove. Anyways, I am terrified to handle and feed this tiny creature. I have no idea how much and how often to feed. So far I have given him one drop of diluted formula every two hours. He had three microscopic poops so far which I am not sure it is enough. The crop feels like it is still half full.
Also how do you feed this baby? The tip of the syringe is way too big for his beak. I am trying to feed with the smallest size tube but the formula isn't going through unless it is very diluted and I am afraid the tube is coiling in his throat.

Reti
Did you tell the wildlife center that you are terrified to handle this baby? perhaps they can hand it to someone else that has handled this small of a bird before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Did you tell the wildlife center that you are terrified to handle this baby? perhaps they can hand it to someone else that has handled this small of a bird before.

The thing is, they don't have anybody else, that is why they call me for every bird other than parrots and raptors (they do raptors and they have someone who does parrots). They told me what the alternative is if I don't take them in and they don't have the time or room for those birds. I think it is kind enough they call me for them at least they do get a second chance.

With this little one came another one week old dove obviously dying (flat on the bottom of the box with wings spread) I said, this one is dying and they replied, no it is not, he'll be fine you have to feed him. As soon as I picked him up at home he started bleeding from his mouth and gasping for air, I knew there was nothing that could be done for him.
 

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I'm sorry you've got such a challenging little one, Reti. I know exactly how you feel. I've been "stuck" with birds so small and so seemingly fragile that I was a nervous wreck by the time I could get them to the songbird rehabber. Good luck with the little one, and please keep us posted.

How very sad that the other little dove was in such terrible shape when you got it.

Terry
 

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Sure wish I could offer suggestions, Reti!

I have faith...I KNOW you will do your best and to help I'm sending all the LOVING POSITIVE THOUGHTS I can!

Updates will be anxiously and hopefully awaited!

Love and Hugs, Reti

Shi :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you Terry and Shi. I am doing my best but it is tough, I am a nervous wreck everytime I have to feed him which is every two hours.
They had no tubes for this baby only like the one I have already.
I love babies and I wish they wouldn't grow so fast, but this one, I really wish to see him grown up and eating on his own. :eek:

Reti
 

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they don't sound like a very good wildlife center to let that poor dove suffer that way.
not sure if this will help you but for tubes i use a curved feeding needle for all my piji's and doves. iget them from chris's squirrels and more online you can buy a set of curved one for 35 bucks or you can buy them individually.
if he is itty bitty less than 35 grams he'll need more protien than exact can provide
 

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He sounds so very tiny, I can see why it's so scary to do. If anyone can do it, you can. I'm sorry that the other baby didn't make it. I hope your little one does well!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
they don't sound like a very good wildlife center to let that poor dove suffer that way.
not sure if this will help you but for tubes i use a curved feeding needle for all my piji's and doves. iget them from chris's squirrels and more online you can buy a set of curved one for 35 bucks or you can buy them individually.
if he is itty bitty less than 35 grams he'll need more protien than exact can provide

This baby is less much less than 30gr, the scale won't even register his weight.
I have a tiny tube for him but only very watery formula goes through.
How do I add protein to it? I am feeding Harrison's formula.

Here is a pic next to a quarter, so you can see his size.

Reti
 

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Oh my goodness, he is TINY!

Saying a TINY prayer for this one and ONE BIG one for you, for guidance and resources in helping you with these challenges!!

I would call a pet store that specializes in birds and carries the formula's, or call your avian vet and ask him for a source for extra protein for this bird.
 

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i have a diet for artifitcial crop milk but hopefully he will be over that weight once you were able to order everything.
maybe add a tiny bit of gerber baby chicken or turkey food to it, they come in tiny jars for for the youngest babies and it should go though the tube i think. it's worth a try
if you still want the recipe let me know.
it's in the nwra principles of wildlife rehabilitation, if your going to do more wild things i highly recommend you buy it, it's worth every penny and if you join you can buy it for a discounted price, they have alot of good publications, but i would start with that
 

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Hi,

Perhaps a liquid protein like this may work:

http://www.proteinshop.com/pro-stat-101-liquid-protein.html

When my mother was ill we used something similar and it worked well for her. We bought it at a local "Muscle Shop", were body builders go for their nutritional supplements and I think it cost about 1/2 what the one in the link is priced at.

Good luck with this tiny one,

Karyn.
 

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Reti, if this is a dove, it is one of the smallest babies I have ever seen. I couldn't tell for sure from the picture.

Frankly, I would not tube feed it. I would probably use a medicine dropper or even a 1 cc medicine syringe (pain to have to keep filling it, I know) and give it a little food at the time at the back of its throat. The only thing I would add to the Kaytee is Benebac powder (probiotic) to help his digestion. For a baby this tiny, about 3 cc should be sufficient, every two hours and keep him nice and warm.

Girl, you can do it!!!!!
 
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