Saturday, January 31, 2015

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015 the little baby is back to a 1 gram gain. At some point soon we may have to go to the veterinarian for some cultures. In looking back at our weights January 20th, we started at 8 grams. This morning we are at 20 grams. Only a 12 gram gain in 7 days. The older baby hit 53 grams today. A 9 gram increase again today. On January 20th we started at 25 grams. That is a 28 gram gain in 7 days.

Some of the things to look at are weighing the babies about the same time of day. I like to weigh before a feeding so the crop is empty. My gram scale is metal so I set it in warm water for a few minutes to take the chill off before their little rear ends touch the surface!

I might question what handfeeding formula I'm using. In this case it is Zupreem's Formula. I have been using their handfeeding the last 3 years. I have fed a wide range of species and have been pleased with this for the most part.

I have fed African Senegals many times and never encountered any special differences in their nutritional needs over other babies.

Is it possible this younger baby has a defect? Of course. That may be why it was rejected by the parents in the first place. As long as we keep inching forward we will put this thought on hold. Hopefully it quickens its pace!

Thursday, January 29th, 2015 another night done is one closer to the babies being able to sleep through the night. I am now waking up just before my timer goes off.

At weigh in this morning both babies have gained 3 grams. The youngest baby is at 23 grams and the eldest is at 56 grams. The youngest baby is opening its eyes now. The older baby has opened its eyes all the way. The older baby is taking 4 cc at a feeding and could take 5 but we're waiting for the little one to catch up. I have switched the older baby to a 10 cc oral medication tip syringe but the little one is still on a 1 cc tuberculin syringe. It's taking 2.3 cc now but its beak is so tiny; the larger syringe is just too big.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Senegal babies are growing!

Saturday, January 24th, 2015, the younger baby is now taking 1.2 cc but only gained 1 more gram today. We are still on 3 hour feedings. The older baby is taking 2.5 cc and its eyes are starting to open. Its eyes are only a slit today but it's major progress! Birds of Paradise was really busy today. It was after 4pm before I finished trimming birds. I fell asleep on the sofa after the 10 pm feeding and woke up at 2 am. I got 1.5 cc in the younger baby and 3 cc in the older baby. We celebrated by going to 6 am for the next feeding!

Sunday we stayed on 3 hour feedings during the day. I do not have a scale at home so tomorrow will be interesting at weigh in. The younger baby is now a week old so I am only going to get up once at night but continue our 3 hour schedule throughout the day. I am really exhausted from my sleep pattern being so interrupted. Hopefully I can bounce back to my regular level of tired! New pictures soon!

Monday the youngest baby moved up to 2 cc at a feeding. Its weight today is 16 grams. That's only 4 grams since Saturday, not very impressive. But, we continue to gain weight with no losses and its feeding response is good, color and demeanor are good, and it's pooping. The older baby has gained 9 grams in the same time frame. Again, I am holding at 3cc per feeding so it doesn't get off schedule from the youngest baby.

Tuesday - My couple of hours extra sleep last night helped a lot! The babies seemed to have taken a growth spurt! The little baby is 19 grams today!! That is the biggest increase yet, 3 grams since yesterday. The older baby jumped also going from 43 to 49 grams. A 9 gram increase from yesterday. This baby is starting to show the pin feathers under the skin. They resemble tiny blackheads at this point. Its eyes are a little more open. I fed 4 cc during the night. They're starting to grow much faster, like weeds!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Starting 2015 with a baby crisis!

Tuesday (January 20th, 2015) was one of those days that I already had too much on my plate. The perfect time for a baby bird crisis!

My friend and owner of an African Senegal pair called. I already knew that they had fertile eggs and one had hatched January 11th. I had been planning its arrival to be handfed next week but this afternoon she had found the 2nd baby, who was just 3 days old, in the corner of the nest box cold and almost dead. She wisely knew to slowly warm the baby with her hands.

We both scrambled to meet at my store, Birds of Paradise. She brought me both babies and kept them warm with her body heat while I got a brooder ready. The cold baby was alive but struggling. It could not stay right side up and kept falling over onto its back. The older baby seemed to be doing well and was quite a bit larger.

Finally the brooder was up to 95 degrees. The babies' crops were almost empty but I chose to wait at least an hour to feed them. I wanted them to be fully warmed and stable. I have found one of the most common errors in handfeeding is to feed food that is not warm enough or the babies are not warm enough, or both. Then you are just asking for yeast to start forming in the crop.

First handfeeding for these babies came about 8 pm. The older baby took 1 cc and the younger one took less than 1/2 a cc. I will start at 3 hour intervals and observe how long it takes them to empty. My 1st night on a 2 or 3 hour schedule is always the hardest. I usually go to bed and sleep til morning. Wish me luck!

Wednesday (January 21st, 2015) the babies and I all made it through our 1st night together. They were empty at 3 hour intervals. If  you plan to handfeed and have to travel with little babies, an inverter for your car is essential. Thirty years ago I learned a hard lesson with newborn Umbrella Cockatoo chicks that chilled while in transit without a heat source. Even worse, I didn't know to warm them slowly in my hands. I plugged the brooder in when I got to work but they died of hypothermia.

 The little baby is still having trouble staying off its back. I have it in a small dish with scrunched up paper towel so it can hang its head over the ridges. The older baby is still doing well; active and moving normally.

We hit the scales this morning. The older chick weighed in at 25 grams and the younger baby was just 8 grams! Wow, that's little! I am using Zupreem's handfeeding formula with boiled water and a tuberculin syringe. I mix the food in a jigger glass and that works well for me. Its small in diameter so the food does not cool as fast and can easily be set in warm water to hold the temperature. The younger baby is almost at 1/2 cc. The older baby is up to 1 1/2 cc. We are going to stay on 3 hours for now. Gotta go, it's time to feed babies!

Thursday (January 22nd, 2015) morning. We have two successful nights behind us. I have a queasy feeling this morning. It seems to be my body's response to sleep interruption. The little baby is looking much better today. Having a lot less trouble staying upright. Finally a strong feeding response! Take a full 1/2 cc or a bit more per feeding. At weigh in this morning, we are at 10 grams. Moving in the right direction! The older baby is really starting to move forward. Taking 2 cc per feeding and body weight is 29 grams. We will stay on 3 hour feedings again today.

Whatever caused the parents to not care for the youngest baby, so far, doesn't seem to be an issue. Perhaps they only want to feed one chick? The breeder will note this in her records and be watching carefully when they have another clutch.

Record keeping is important for many reasons. This is just a few examples: keeping track of the time of year, number of eggs laid and hatched, how well they fed, did they start picking the babies at a certain age, certain foods or other factors that were needed to get them to go to nest, are all important facts. If only you have one or two pairs, your memory may be your filing box. I, on the other hand, like to commit some of this to a 3x5 card filed by species.