"rescued" pheasant chick not eating!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Moonpye, Apr 20, 2007.

  1. Moonpye

    Moonpye Hatching

    Apr 20, 2007
    Hi all...

    I know I have baby pheasants and not chickens, but I figured it was worth a shot to ask here...

    Yesterday, I was at the feed store buying horse feed and I dared to peek into the big galvanized stock tanks filled with various chickens, ducks, and game birds. In the ringneck pheasant tank, there were two little chicks being, quite literally, pecked to death by their tank-mates. I asked about what would happen to them and was told that they would probably die....but that I could have them if I wanted them. So...I took them.

    Now...I worked at an animal shelter as a vet's assitant for 8 summers and right now I'm working at a goat farm (with peacocks and chickens, too!) and I've cared for all manner of hurting animal in my life...except for baby pheasants. I'm at a loss. I bought them a heat lamp and game bird starter chow and a no-drown waterer and they're currently toasty and well-bedded in my bathroom. They both had had most of the skin stripped away from their hind ends (where the pecking was concentrated) and I've been swabbing their little butts with peroxide and rubbing in Bach Flower Essences Rescue Remedy about three times a day because the people at the feed store told me that baby pheasants can't have any antibiotics--not even topically.

    SO...both of them seem to be healing up as far as their injuries go. I've been keeping their rear ends clean, so no one has developed pasty-butt yet. One of the chicks is doing just fabulously...eating, drinking, pooping, peeping. The other one is smaller and was picked at worse than his friend. He sleeps all the time. It's literally as though he can't keep his eyes open. He's just...droopy. I've only seen him half-heartedly pick at the grain once. Same for the water. Up until this afternoon, he was pooping a lot (as baby pheasants seem inclined to do), but now he hasn't pooped in awhile, it seems.

    What I've done for him so far is to mix warm water with ground up game bird food and a little bit of sugar. I've dabbed this along the edge of his beak, and he seems to be drinking it, but he wheezed a few times which made me terrified that I was somehow drowning him.

    Is there anything else I can do?

    I realize I took a risk when I brought them home after they'd clearly been through so much, but I couldn't bear to leave them there and let them bleed to death.


    **UPDATE*** I think she/he may be constipated? The wheezing I heard earlier seems to happen when the baby is trying to poop...for all the water/mash it took from my syringe, it hasn't pooped yet, which makes me wonder. What does one give a constipated pheasant?
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2007
  2. Moonpye

    Moonpye Hatching

    Apr 20, 2007
    Well...I lost the little chick just a few minutes ago. At least I was holding him/her when she/he died. I know I did everything I could and that the chick probably had a much better ending than it would have had in the stock tank at the feed store, but it still never gets easier to lose an animal you've invested your heart in.

    The healthy chick is still here, though, and I'm wondering if I should get it a friend? I've heard that young birds can die of loneliness...I'm thinking of going back to see if they have any more picked on pheasants (I'm sure they will...).
  3. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Songster

    Apr 5, 2007

    I'm so sorry to hear about your chick. I was keeping an eye on your post, hoping someone had some ideas for you. You are right, at least the little thing was safe, and I'm sure that made a difference to him/her, even if you couldn't save him/her in the end.

    I have a softspot for the sick/sad/picked on ones, too. And sometimes.. sometimes they are already so hurt that there isn't much we can do except keep them safe, and let them be loved for the time they have left.

    Good luck with your other little one.

  4. mudhen

    mudhen confidently clueless

    Jan 15, 2007
    Shepherdstown, WV
    Moonpye, so sorry to hear of your loss, you tried all you could do for the little one.
    Hope you can find a companion for the other little peep.
    Best of luck!
    Oh, and welcome to BYC!
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2007
  5. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    So for the loss of the little pheasant...it seemed like you did everything right, it just wasn't meant to be...
    I'd see if I could find him a buddy.
    Welcome to BYC, sorry it had to be from such a circumstance.

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