A continuation of the pheasant drama....

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Moonpye, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. Moonpye

    Moonpye New Egg

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Sadly, it seems that now the OTHER pheasant (the one that was just FINE yesterday) is going downhill...

    he's exhibiting the same symptoms as the baby who died last night...general droopiness, not eating, sleeping constantly...

    I've been giving him sugar water, which he takes when I rub it along his beak...about two hours ago, he seemed to suddenly perk up and started pecking at his food, but now he appears to be going back down...

    Should I keep giving him sugar water? Is there anything else I can give him? Should I just leave him alone and let him sleep? He doesn't seem as weak as the other baby. He can still walk/perch on my finger/flap his wings. But he seems to be heading towards weakness. He was so strong-willed yesterday. Now he's very, very docile.

    I figure...you win some you lose some. I just can't believe that BOTH of them are going to die. I did buy him a companion today. The new little pheasant is wilder than a march hare. I hope it stays that way!

    Any ideas?
     
  2. Llysse

    Llysse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2007
    I wish I had some suggestions for you. Is his breathing labored? It might be signs of a respiratory infection of some sort... stress can make them more susceptible, and I know your guy has been through a lot.

    ... you have them on pine shavings, not cedar, right?

    What else can I think of? Um...

    Except for the sugar water (which can be a good idea when they're not eating and droopy), have you been giving anything in the water? A couple of threads not too long ago had people discovering they'd given too strong a dose of electrolytes, so where they thought they were doing a good thing, they were really making it hard on their little birds. I don't recall your saying that you were giving anything else, though.

    [​IMG]

    I hope your little bird perks up now that he has a friend!
     
  3. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Try putting marbles or shiny stones in the water to encourage them to peck in there on their own. Also, try grinding the food up. What are you feeding them? At minimum, use chick starter, but they really need a good gamebird feed with higher protein for optimal growth. I use a coffee grinder for ours and take it down to almost dust. They seem to peck it more urgently that way and eat much better. Also, you could try hard boiling some eggs and offering crushed egg yolk - our pheasants love it and once they get a taste, they attack it as soon as you put it in the brooder.

    Are you sure it's warm enough...not pasty butt, etc.

    Jody
     
  4. Moonpye

    Moonpye New Egg

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Hi all...

    Well....[​IMG] the little chick died through the night.

    To answer some questions....I have a thermometer in their box and it says it's 95 in there. I've also created a "shade area" of the box that's a little cooler where they can go if they get hot.

    I've been feeding them Nutrena Game Bird Starter and I've been grinding it with a mortar and pestal until it's about 75% "dust" and 25% "crumbles".

    My waterer is so shallow, adding marbles might make it difficult for them to drink, but perhaps a few here and there would help.

    I am using pine shavings.

    I can't help but feel that I'm doing something "wrong." I know pheasant babies can be very delicate and that the smallest thing can kill them. I was told at the store that pheasant chicks can't have antibiotics in their water (like Teramycin) so I wonder...how does one keep a pheasant from getting an infection??

    I've still got the wild one left. This morning, I found him racing around the bathroom, so I suppose it's time to get a taller box. I also suppose I'll have to go and get him a friend...I'm considering maybe going to a different feed store. I don't know. I don't want to "kill" another baby!

    Thanks, everyone, for your kind comments. If anyone has some input re: the antibitoics, that'd be great.
     
  5. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2007
    Maine
    I'm so sorry to hear about your loss! What a sad, horrid thing.


    On an aside.. if I were you I think I would completely WASH everything, and hope that eliminated the problem. I'm not sure if there was something wrong with them to begin with, or they got an infection.. but at least that way you would eliminate some germs. Maybe the feed store could tell you if the rest of the chicks also got ill?

    Good luck with your little 'wild' one! Sounds like a super active little guy!

    -Meg
     
  6. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I have found pheasant chicks do not do well on shavings. I lay paper towel over it for at least a week until they figure out what is food. One little piece and they're goners. I have never had a need to use antibiotics on pheasants, so not sure that you "can't" use them. I'd have to check with dh on that. I am sure you can if they have an infection, but these chicks sound like they were either too weak, severely stressed (which is common in wild species) or ate some shavings. None of these things are anything you did wrong or could have possibly known. Try covering the shavings and get your little one a new friend and see how it does.

    Oh..I also wouldn't use sugar water (couldn't remember if you said you were or not) - fresh cool water should be sufficient. Also, what is mortar and pestal? Game bird starter is all they need.

    Jody
     
  7. Moonpye

    Moonpye New Egg

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    Oh! LOL. A mortar and pestle is what I'm using to grind their game bird starter up! It's like a marble bowl and a little stick. Kind of a medieval food grinder, I guess. : ) Sorry for the confusion.

    I was wondering about the shavings...I'll lay down some paper towels or use the pellet bedding that the store was using.

    Thanks so much.
     
  8. ttimsan

    ttimsan New Egg

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    Apr 21, 2007
    Hi Moonpye,

    I'm so sorry to hear about your pheasant babies. Having raised them for several years from day-old chicks and I agree they are not easy.

    We also do not use pine shavings at all. For the simple reason that pheasant chicks aren't terribly bright. Just think of them like one year old children: everything goes in the mouth! After a few weeks, they're typically okay with shavings (we still don't use it even then, though). If they eat the shavings they can become impacted and die. We just line the bottom with newspaper and then lay a line of paper towels on top for traction the first couple of weeks.

    We don't use medicated feeds, just your basic Nutrena wild game chick starter straight from the bag. For the first week or so, we also offer them crumbled hard-boiled egg yolks 2x daily. This gives them a nice punch of protein and seems to really jump start our chicks well. If I have a chick that seems to be faltering, I will individually give it hard-boiled egg yolks for several days and it seems to do the trick.

    The biggest keys are the basics: heat, a place to get out of the heat, clean bedding, food, fresh water and NO drafts. We raise 2-3 doz. at a time and are pretty particular about changing out the bedding and washing feeders and waterers DAILY. And we do this for 4-5 weeks until they are out of the "nursery" box. I honestly think that's why we've never lost a chick. Of course, we also start off with healthy ones.

    In your case, it sounds like the chicks were really beat up and nature was already on course for those two--no matter what you did to help. I sure wouldn't beat yourself up over it.

    IMHO, I wouldn't use any human products on my pheasant chicks simply because I just don't know what might have an adverse reaction. Just my 2 cents.

    Good luck with the wild child chick you have in the bathroom. Sounds like a lot of fun!!

    Sandy
     
  9. Llysse

    Llysse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If I recall, the sugar water was just being administered because the first chick was very weak and not eating after having been severely stressed and pecked at the feed store... and then unfortunately the second chick also got weak later, too. [​IMG] I think using a little sugar in your water was appropriate for your situation.

    But I agree that plain, fresh water is a much better idea for the healthy, non-stressed chick because it can sometimes cause loose stools. Healthy chicks don't need that risk in exchange for a burst of energy to get them through a rough time.

    I also agree that I don't know there was much you could have done. From the description of the situation in your earlier thread, it didn't sound as if the chicks were coming from an ideal situation at the feed store; it was so kind of you to try to save the two little ones.

    [​IMG]
     

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