Ducky Tales Part 3 – Feeding Time!

Welcome to day 9 of the continuing saga of our attempt to raise a baby dove!  My last post covered how we learned to feed him.  We now have an educated guess that he is about 14 days old. Against all odds, and the humans that didn’t quite know what to do, he has flourished and beaten the odds to LIVE.  I really believe he was spared for a reason.

Thanks to the internet and YouTube, I have learned new techniques to feed him, as he is eating faster than the Ziploc bag way we were doing before.

It involves a syringe, a latex glove, and a rubber band……(no, we haven’t become heroin addicts)….

picture of Syringe feeding technique for wild baby dove

Syringe feeding technique for wild baby dove

We went to our local Walgreens, got a 10cc and 5cc syringe (which they have available for dispensing children’s liquid medication), snapped the tip off, enclosed the end with the finger of a latex glove, held it in place with a rubber band, poked a teeny hole, and let Ducky go to town….(sorry the photos are a bit blurry – he is growing, and feeding time involves a lot of wing flapping/moving around that he wasn’t able to do when he was smaller – so it’s hard to get a good picture).  All signs that he is healthy and digging his feeding time!  But I’m trying to give you the gist of how the feeding goes down…

picture of Feeding Wild Baby Dove

Feeding Wild Baby Dove

Picture of Feeding Wild Baby Dove

Feeding Wild Baby Dove

picture of Feeding Wild Baby Dove

Feeding Wild Baby Dove

He still gets very messy, and I do my best to clean him off, but some of the gunk was from when we first took him in, and unfortunately, has become cement on his newly-emerging feathers.  I’m hoping once he learns how to preen himself/new feathers come in, it won’t be an issue (fingers crossed!).

I used to think birds weren’t very smart – hey, their brains couldn’t be more than the size of a pea, right?  I now stand corrected.  This little bird recognizes the sound of our voices, and also the bright blue latex that covers his source of food…..we give him a “breather” in between his big gulps of food, and in this shot, he had eaten all 15 CC’s of his food….but he waddled over to the syringes and was trying to get some food action….

picture Feeding Wild Baby Dove

Feeding Wild Baby Dove

Now, he is happy and fed with a full crop….(looking kind of ratchet with his goopy food).  I am a bit embarrassed…..

picture of Feeding Wild Baby Dove

Feeding Wild Baby Dove

And getting love from his Daddy….

picture of Feeding Wild Baby Dove

Feeding Wild Baby Dove

This is the food that has saved his life…for any of you that are faced with trying to help rescue a baby bird, this is what you definitely must have!

picture of Feeding Wild Baby Dove

Feeding Wild Baby Dove

Remember that nice lady that I was referred to by Wild Birds Unlimited in my initial post?  She has been such a blessing in my endeavor to raise this baby.  I called her after my last post, and she again gave me invaluable information on the next steps to take with this baby.

I don’t even know how to begin talking about her.  She alone gave me the confidence, knowledge, and mentoring support to think I could even do this.  It is because of her that I have kept this baby alive and get the joy of watching him blossom before my eyes.  I really think she is an Angel!

She shared with me her story of taking in a baby chick that had no hope in hell of surviving.  All the odds were against him.  He was blind on one eye and had a severe defect in his beak that didn’t allow him to eat.  That didn’t stop Anna.  She took him in, loved and nurtured him, and he became   Sista Eddie.  Please go to their website and read his story (and how “He” is a Sista!).

It is more than a love story between a Lady and her Rooster.  It is an inspiring story of accepting people for who they are, the differences that make us all human, rising above adversity to fulfill your destiny, and that above all else, HOPE is so important.   Whether you are a Rooster or a Human, Sista Eddie’s story will touch your heart.  He visited the elderly in nursing homes,  young children in school, and made quite a name for himself in our area.

Anna also wrote a book about Sista Eddie to encompass all the concepts I mentioned in the above paragraph.  She was kind enough to drop a copy off at my house.  That book just makes me feel so good every time I read it.  It will be a gift I give to every Mom with young children, as I think it carries such a great message.

Thanks to Ducky and Anna, this girl feels truly blessed.

Anna, I cannot even begin to thank you enough for your kindness and your sweet heart.  It is a privilege to know you!!!

Here is Anna’s beautiful book (available on her website):

picture of "Hold On To Hope" by Sista Eddie

“Hold On To Hope” by Sista Eddie

Please check out Sista Eddie’s story.  It will touch your heart.  Hope is so important.

Again, thanks for reading!  kxoxo

>> Also check my friend’s reviews on best outdoor cat house & shelter!

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Ducky Tales Part 4 – Leaving The Crib

Day 15 update – no, he did not “leave” the crib, as in flying away free.  He was starting to get really active, flapping his wings, and quickly outgrowing the original cardboard box he called home.  So, here is his toddler bunk beds, if you will……

picture of wild baby bird cage

Ducky’s new room!

There was no adjustment period at all.  We got his cage ready, put him in there, and he made himself at home!

So, there’s really not much to update, as he is continuing to grow and really getting a personality.  I know.  Go ahead and roll your eyes.  He just gets so excited to see us when it’s feeding time.  Even if we’re on the screened porch for other reasons, he get’s very feisty and vocal if we don’t give him attention or let him out.  We are still struggling to keep him clean from his baby bird formula feedings.  We are getting better at it, as he is now using a much larger syringe to eat from, and we have fashioned a “bib” from paper towels to put under his beak.  He has also started preening himself like a big boy.

We actually had a major breakthrough that will help with the formula gunk on his face and chest…..

HE BEGAN EATING SEEDS!!!!

picture of wild baby dove eating seed

Ducky in his seed feeder.

picture of baby dove eating seeds

Ducky in his seed feeder.

Doves are seed eaters, so we are relieved he has started eating what he is supposed to.  We still supplement with the baby formula, but he is taking more and more to eating seeds.  We have also started adding grit into his food to help with the digestion of his new diet.

The puppies have been so curious about the new visitor staying on the screened porch.  After letting Ducky get acclimated to his new room for a couple of days, we let him meet the puppies.

They love each other!!

picture of dog and wild dove

Fiona and Ducky

picture of baby dove and dog

Fiona and Ducky

Sheldon has met Ducky as well, but I couldn’t get any good photos of him being still.  Ducky is just as curious about the dogs as they are of him.

Please don’t ask if the cats will be allowed to meet Ducky.  The answer is absolutely, positively NOT.

Thank you all for your interest and support in our little endeavor to save this little bird.  He has proved to be a little fighter.  Despite our lack of knowledge and the mistakes we made initially, he has just hung in there, and is doing great.  Proud birdie parents we are!!!

Thanks for reading!  kxoxo

Here are the posts for part 1, part 2 and part 3.

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