To save this baby bird or me decide what to do!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by dulcimer lady, May 19, 2010.

  1. dulcimer lady

    dulcimer lady Songster

    Apr 22, 2010
    I have no idea where to put this post as it's not about chickens. This morning while I was in the chicken run getting everything all set for the day, I kept hearin this bird and it sounded like it was right there next to me. I'd look over and not see anything. This happened over and over again. Finally I looked the run with me....and there was a baby bird. Big enough that it looks feathered out but small enough it's still quite helpless. I figured he was in them midst of learning how to fly, had fell into the run and could not figure out how to get out. God some work gloves on and carefully picked it up and plopped it outside in the grass. Figured mom and dad bird would take it from there.

    But it's an hour later, the little guy is still sitting there crying it's little heart out and there is no momma or daddy bird to be found. He's all fluffed up like he's a bit chilled, doesn't appear to know how to fly at all, and he won't last long because we've got wild cats everywhere in addition to an owl and a hawk.

    So should I scoop him up and try to help him out or let nature take it's course?
    Last edited: May 19, 2010
  2. bufforp89

    bufforp89 Songster

    Jul 26, 2009
    Chenango Forks NY
    I would scoop him up, bring him in and put him in a dark box with a hot water bottle, no point in watching the poor thing die in your yard when you could help. Then you should call a wildlife rehab place and get some info. Any idea what kind it is? If it is that close to being able to fly you may just be able to feed it and release it when its ready.
  3. 4 luv of eggs

    4 luv of eggs Songster

    Apr 22, 2010
    Westminster, MD
    I would try to help the little guy. With what you described, it's the only way he'll survive. Do you know what kind of baby it is? Since he's feathered out, he might have a chance of surviving. But you have to think about the possibility that mama and daddy abandoned him because there was something wrong. I'd try to figure out what kind of baby so I'd know what to feed him. Keep him under a warm light but not too warm since he is a wild bird and used to the elements. Try feeding him a chick food slurry. Take the fuzz off a Q-tip and get a blob of it on there. When he begins to beg, plop it in his mouth. Good luck with the little guy.
  4. dulcimer lady

    dulcimer lady Songster

    Apr 22, 2010
    For all intents and purposes, he looks healthy. But he will very rarely open his eyes. Trying to feed him, he doesn't seem very interested.
  5. find out what kind of bird he is (post pix!), then figure out what they eat. some birds eat seeds, some eat bugs, or worms...
  6. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    That's normal for birds learning to fly. You may have spooked mom and dad off for awhile but they should return. An hour really is not that long to wait. Now if it's half a day or more and you are certain he never got fed in that time then I would suggest giving him a feeding of appropriate food for the bird but leave him outside. Yes he might get eaten. That's life and a normal risk for birds learning to fly. They can't all make it.
  7. bantyshanty

    bantyshanty Oval Office Courier

    Oct 6, 2009
    S.W Pennsylvania
    Protecting him sounds like the best thing to do. If you think his parents might be around, put a bird cage or homemade hardware cloth box over him to keep away the cats, then check every so often to see if he starts to call to his mom or dad. If think you see or hear parents, take the box/cage off him so they can come.
    It sounds like, since he keeps his eyes closed & doesn't want food, he's in shock "PTSD" from being alone, scared, & possibly having fallen. If his parents don't search him out today, keeping him warm & safe in a quiet place with water could be enough to get him over this in 12 hours or so. If you don't see the parents, he's not better by tomorrow morning, I would definitely take him to a wildlife rescue place or at least a vet who knows you a bit. You could put Pedialyte in a water dish or glass eye dropper for him.
    Last edited: May 19, 2010
  8. MotherJean

    MotherJean Songster

    I recently rescued a baby robin from a crow that had taken him from his nest...long story. Anyway, here's some tips that might be helpful to you:
    1. Do NOT give liquids (water, pedialyte, etc.) because you could inadvertently drown the chick. Chicks don't get water in the nest.
    2. Do NOT give chick crumbles soaked in water until you find out what sort of bird it is and what their normal diet is. In the case of the baby Robin, giving chick crumbles would have killed it. I was instructed to give canned (wet) dog food every hour from sunup to sundown. If I'd continued to brood the chick, it would have been up to me to do the whole "earthworm squish" for feed.
    3. Do NOT put chick (or any wild bird) inside your coop or brooder unless you add DE to it's bedding. Was told most all wild birds have mites and/or lice.
    4. Contact your local Animal Control Officer or the humane society to find out if there's a wildlife rescue operation near you. I was very lucky. There was and they took the little Robin off my hands within 48 hours.
    5. Was told Robins are one of the few birds who will not abandon their chick because of human handling. If I could have located the nest, I could have slipped that baby back into it and let Mama take back over. Others are not so fortunate. Once rescued/handled by humans, we have to continue to care for the little one for it to survive.

    You do, of course, have the option of doing nothing and letting nature take it's course. It's hard for us humans to take this hands-off approach. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. I certainly wouldn't fault anyone for whichever choice they make.

    Hope you find some useful info here. Good luck.
  9. scrambledmess

    scrambledmess Songster

    Sep 26, 2008
    NW Ohio
    If you can find the nest, you can just put the little one back in the tree. I did this once after waiting a couple hours for the parents to come back with the baby on the ground. Once in the tree, the parents were back within a good 10 mins.

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