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Novice handrearing can be successful and very rewarding

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Shalah
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Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:23 pm

Novice handrearing can be successful and very rewarding

Post by Shalah » Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:30 am

A bit of history ... Im a novice at raising a bird and want to pass what I have gone through onto others. I am not a bird breeder. I have some “rescued” birds and when I was given some nesting boxes, I placed them in the aviaries. The birds then did what birds do and next thing there were eggs then babies.

I think Entree may be a boy. I say “HE” as he “hearts” his wings, pins his eyes and dances for any beer bottle that sits around long enough for him to fall in love with it.

Entree was 2 days old when his HUGE sibling was found dead (full crop and appeared to have been squashed by parents). After removing his body the mother didn’t go back in the nest so the next day I expected the other tiny baby to be dead... He wasn’t. I took him out and his beak seemed to be stuck shut. He wasn’t begging for food or anything but looked a bit dry and wrinkled. I bent a small spoon ( found the info on the internet) and I forced a tiny hole and bit of water into the side of his beak a couple of times during the morning. I placed him in a shoe box on a “fluffy wheat slipper” that I had heated in the microwave to skin temperature. He was still alive that afternoon .. so I bought “ hand rearing mix” and did the same thing with a very weak mixture and every couple of hours I warmed up the slipper. At night I fed him at 10.30pm and then when I woke at 6am and during the day about every two hrs... Basically I had no idea what I was doing but it was working. He went to and from work with me in an esky bag and became our work mascot.

Expecting him to die, I didn’t tell my grown family about him until he was about two weeks old. He seemed to be thriving and yet it was not until this stage that his beak started to open slightly ... he still wasn’t begging to be fed. I took him to the vet at 3 weeks, thinking he might have brain damage or something as he couldn’t stand ( one leg kept sliding out to the side). They said he was showing slight signs of begging and gave me a .5ml syringe to feed him through the small space between his beaks and said to research “splayed legs” and I looked up “lock jaw in birds”. I started forming a narrow trough in his “wheat slipper” to hold his legs together while he was in his “nest”.

At about 5 weeks of age he was opening his mouth, but not really wide and I started feeding him again with a spoon ... he loved it until he started sneezing. So badly that he couldn’t feed as he would sneeze back out the food he was eating. The sneezing went all day, except for when he managed to sleep. Clear fluid started coming from his nostrils and this then started to be slightly green. His breathing had a “click” to it and the left hand airsack on his chest wasn’t expanding. Off to the vet again... (He is now an expensive bird). The vet said that he must have something irritating his sinuses and then noticed a small thread near one nostril. With tweezers he removed a 1 cm thread of “slipper fluff”. When wiping his eyes the vet found other fine strands inside his eyelids, wrapped around the front of the eyeball. Entree had been nibbling the fibres and we think inhaled some as well. The vet said that he probably had more fibres in his sinuses, causing the sneezing and infection, but was too young to anaesthetise to flush them out. If he survived to a larger size they could do it then. “Wheat slippers” were replaced by a sock with rice in it ( that was warmed regularly) covered by a microfiber cloth with paper towel over it and I had to learn to “crop feed” Entree to get passed the sneezing.

The vet also mentioned that he appeared to have an “underbite” with the point of the top beak coming down into the inside of the bottom beak. ... More research... Each day I gently held his top beak and applied a little pressure outwards and after a week the tip was JUST beginning to overhang the bottom beak.

At some time around here he broke his “thumb” at its base. It healed but has ended up pointing backwards.
He thrived. The sneezing reduced... I went back to the spoon... the sneezing returned along with nostril fluids .. I went back to the crop needle. This went on until the sneezing slowly diminished.

Entree still has only one side of his chest that expands as he breathes but this hasn’t stopped him. He has never been clipped and loves to zip around the house at full speed.

I heard a loud thud when he was about 18 weeks old and knew straight away it was bird head against glass. I found him at the base of the wall, motionless and limp, with feet curled up tight, eyes staring but he was BREATHING. I tried to stand him up but his feet wouldn’t uncurl and I immediately thought “a broken neck”. I sat and held him for an hour and slowly he began to come back around. It took about 3 days in all for him to be back to his normal self.... The curtains are now pulled halfway down at all times.

Entree is now 6 mths old and a self assured, inquisitive bird that is attempting to teach us how we need to communicate with him. He insists on a bath in the sink each morning,standing next to it and opening his wings until we run the water. He is very intelligent and strong minded but then we expected no less with what he has been through and his will to survive.

The only thing is that Entrees parents both have the coloured beak of the Indian ringneck but he has a dark top and bottom beak and is smaller in size.

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Skyes_crew
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Location: Hawaii

Re: Novice handrearing can be successful and very rewarding

Post by Skyes_crew » Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:04 pm

Entree is definitely a trooper. Born to survive no matter what. You've done an excellent job helping him along. I wish you all the best in the future with him :D
I am owned by my birds...and I wouldn't have it any other way :D

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Shalah
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Re: Novice handrearing can be successful and very rewarding

Post by Shalah » Sat Mar 23, 2013 3:12 am

He sure is Skyes_crew .. and a total ratbag as well :-) .... bursting with attitude and personality. I have found these forums really helpful in understanding how to communicate with him better.

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Skyes_crew
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Location: Hawaii

Re: Novice handrearing can be successful and very rewarding

Post by Skyes_crew » Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:28 am

I find it very helpful as well. I read everything I could about ringnecks before buying one. I thought I was prepared...boy was I wrong lol. Communication and understanding and a whole lot of patience are key in forming a great relationship with your IRN. :)
I am owned by my birds...and I wouldn't have it any other way :D

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slky01
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Re: Novice handrearing can be successful and very rewarding

Post by slky01 » Tue Aug 06, 2013 4:17 pm

I loved your story. I have a dilema, and I don't know what to do. I have been handrearing some ringnecks and cockatiels. I have one little female, that has lock jaw. It started out just like was described about Entree. She was treated for pneumonia, I tried to tell the vet about her jaw, but they didn't listen. She can barely open her beak. I have been handfeeding her, but it is a fight everytime. I know she will die if I don't continue. They finally gave me Baytril for her, but I'm thinking it's too late for it to work. I read that penicillin was what she should have, but they are the doctors and said Baytril. Of course they didn't believe it was lock jaw, but thought bordetellosis. I don't know, maybe she did have that. What should I do? Should I put her down? I hate this part of having birds, and I am absolutely no good at it. I hold her and just can't not try. What would you do? Unless her mouth starts to open more, she will never be able to eat on her own.
Pamela S Morgan

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Shalah
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Re: Novice handrearing can be successful and very rewarding

Post by Shalah » Wed Aug 07, 2013 1:59 am

As I said in my story, I am not an expert in anyway. I actually think I was just lucky. If I was to ever to have the problem again I would still try all I could which would probably include similar to Entree. I would try to pry a small arch in the lower edge of the beak on the birds left hand side ( your right when facing her) and use a small syringe (maybe only 1ml for a tiny baby as its easier to control). If you look on the internet you will find information on where the breathing hole is in the bottom of the birds mouth ( centre back of the tongue ). You need to try and get the food far enough back to go past this hole and down the right hand side of her throat. With entree he didnt show the "begging", just very slight movement of his head. I pushed a tiny length of craft tubing ( only about 2mm wide) over the end of the syringe and used that until I was able to get a small crop needle. I warmed the end of the tube in hot water and gently pressed sharp edges with my finger to smooth it off so it didnt damage inside the mouth. As he couldnt open his beak, I only used the crop needle to reach the back of his mouth. It worked for me so good luck. The lockjaw ( or what ever it was ) eased up in those first weeks and now he is a petulant teenager that is strong willed and determined to get his own way all the time.

Also .. have alook at this link http://www.acstiels.com/articles/health/lockjaw2.htm

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Shalah
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Re: Novice handrearing can be successful and very rewarding

Post by Shalah » Thu Nov 27, 2014 5:49 am

An update on how Entree is doing...

At about 1 yr of age Entree developed a very slight click every now and then as he breathed, and his air sack on one side was over filling sometimes. He was also less cheery and more bitey"..... So off to the local VET who gave Antibiotics and recommended we go to an avian specialist in Sydney. By the time we got into an appointment, Entree seemed to be back to what I knew as normal. The VET said he had obvious respiratory problems and wasnt well. I told him that Entrees tail had always bobbed since he was little and his chest had always "pumped" on one side when he breathed and that it was now back to "normal" after the antibiotics. .....

I think the VET realised how healthy he was when ENtree got out in the room and as he has never been clipped the VET took nealy 20 mins to try and catch him again. Basically he had to make him fly until Entree was exhausted. From there the VET said he was so strong he would need to be knocked out for the XRAYs to be done.

Hmmmm ..... The VET said Entree has some very special abnormalities and is unique.

Xrays showed some kind of lump in the air sack, behind the heart, blocking the expelling of air.... its location makes surgery dangerous so it was decided its best left for now. VET said its out of the norm and he doesnt know what it is. In case it was fungal, Entree went on spirinox for 6 mths ... no change.

Entrees heart and birdy lungs are enlarged ... probably from his breathing problem all his life.
Entrees kidneys are enlarged but healthy.

Blood tests show Entree has too many red blood cells, and is very thick. Apparently, if he was human he would be very jaundice. VET can find no reason for why the blood is like this.

CT Scans, at a later date, could not identify what the lump is so Entrees breathing and clicking is gradually getting worse though he still zooms around the house at full speed and it only seems to effect him when he is at total rest eg. sleeping and in a crouched position.
The CT Scans did pick up "air pockets" in the walls of Entrees lungs. Apparently if he was human they are symptoms of pneumonia and a collapsed lung... but birds lungs are always in a state of collapse so they have no answer to it.

The VET has asked other specialists for second opinions and suggested someone might " write a paper" on Entrees case, but still no answers.

The VET said that he feels Entree will probably die of a stroke or something associated with his thick blood. If he tries to remove the lump, and touches Entrees heart it could be fatal.... so all in all..... Entree appears fantastically fit and happy until night time when he relaxes for sleep... which is when the clicking begins..... now at a rapid pace... and each morning I expect to see him on the floor of the cage........And each time I contact the VET he seems to be surprised that he is still alive.

BUT.... I let him out and he zooms from room to room, and low over my head, sometimes pulling hair strands on his way .... and then he is straight to the sink waiting to jump under the water spray for his 15 minute morning shower...

It seems that no one told Entree that he is supposed to be ill... He has just had his second birthday.

TALK about spoilt!!!!!!!!

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