Wild bird eggs - NO I didn't take them **UPDATE**

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by NaomiSarah, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. NaomiSarah

    NaomiSarah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My best friend's husband drives a truck for a living, and today, he reached his destination and started unloading the trailer, when he noticed a nest full of bright blue (robin?) eggs sitting on the landing gear of the trailer! He's thousands of miles from where the truck was parked, so there's no chance of returning the eggs to the mother - the trailer's not even going back there right now. So, I'm inheriting four little blue eggs and need opinions - What should I do with them? Should I candle them to see if there's any chance they're close to hatch? If they're not developed, is there any chance of raising robins in an incubator?

    After the loss of my whole day 14 batch, this seems karmic to me that the little eggs are showing up today, when I've never even seen a real robin's egg. Thoughts? Advise? Opinions?
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Well, remember that, once a baby robin hatches, it's naked and helpless, unlike little chicks when they hatch, dry and fluff, and take off running! You're up for a very difficult task if you try that..........[​IMG]
     
  3. chicken_china_mom

    chicken_china_mom Crazy for Cochins

    Apr 24, 2009
    Tab, Indiana
    All I can say they are hard to raise and trust me my kids have brought me in Robin eggs before and Robin babies and they are hard to keep alive. So good luck! [​IMG]
     
  4. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

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    You'll be in for a lot more work if you hatch them as opposed to chicken eggs. You do have to hand feed several times daily and you can't feed them chick starter unfortunately. You may be able to pick up some parrot formula from a local pet store, though, and that may work. If you're willing to put up with, I'm sure we could find you some resources for hatching and raising. There's got to be information available for wildlife rescue people.
     
  5. NaomiSarah

    NaomiSarah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm up for the challenge (raising parrots is my background, chickens are actually rather new to me - only in the last year), if anyone has the information. Handfeeding baby parrots is a huge task, but I've done that before so I'll try with these robins. Should I candle them tho, or are wild birds too fragile for that? The eggs have been bumped around on a trailer for a day now, so hopefully they're not damaged inside (they're not cracked, but I don't have them from my friend yet so I can't tell if there's anything else to worry about yet), but I don't have high expectations for the hatch. I'd feel bad if I didn't try!
     
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    We had a nest of robins outside the bedroom window about a month ago, both parents worked all day bringing them insects. I never knew how much baby robins ate. It was a continuous progression and both parents lined up to feed them. Two hatched a day apart and a third egg a couple days after that. By then the older ones were so much bigger they just suffocated the baby, he never got a chance to raise his head and be fed. I was sick about it. The only time the mother got to sleep was after dark, otherwise on the nest between feeding them she was ever vigilant. If anytone went near the window she sounded the alarm and papa did too.

    Things were slow(growing) the first week or10 days and then their growth just exploded.If you could keep them warm enough and just supply a steady diet of bugs/meal worms whatever and feed with a tweezer I'm sure you could grow them out. I wondered how they will safely get down fromthe second story windowsill. The last few days the babies would stand up in the nest and try out their wings. Then one disappeared and I figured he flew the coop (no bodies below). The other waited patiently I guess for a parent to encourage him. I missed his departure too. I wanted to see what a parent does to convince a fledgeling to dive off a second story window with stone and concrete below.

    Thought they would hang around the area learning how to find their own food but, they didn't come back. Later I knocked down the nest and looked it over, mama was a superb nest builder. Its incredible that a "bird brain," has so much knowlege or instinct tucked inside. Hens have it easy, they don't have to feed babies all day long.
     
  7. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't see any harm in candling them, but I'm not sure how much you'll be able to see, and the chance of their having survived the trip seems extraordinarily slim.

    And then if they hatch, as already mentioned, you are going to have a hard time keeping them alive, let alone to thrive. Many people think that a parent bird just smashes up the food and feeds it, but the truth is that while they're smashing it up they're adding enzymes, beneficial bacteria, nutrients, and antibodies that the baby needs to make it through the fragile first days. Without them--the likelihood of survival is slim, plus the resulting bird is likely to be weak.

    As example, we once had a nest of robin eggs get knocked over in a storm in our backyard the night after they hatched. Most of the babies died in the storm, but one lived and we returned it to the nest. All day long the father bird brought it food, but the mother never returned. We called a wildlife rehabilitator for help and she said that the father would not sit on the nest and the baby would probably chill and die that night. So when night began to fall and the father stopped coming with food, we bundled the baby up and took it to her.

    She had another baby that had hatched the same day but had never been fed by a parent. She was an experienced rehabilitator with many years of feeding baby birds, and yet that poor little thing looked wretched next to our healthy, fat baby that had been fed by the father.

    One of those two birds survived to adulthood, one survived only a few days. A single day of parental care made the difference for those babies.

    I'm not telling you not to try. But it seems unlikely to succeed, and to me would just be heartbreak.

    Oh, another thing--how long was the trailer parked? It doesn't seem likely the eggs could have been there long, but then the nest was there long enough for her to put that many eggs in, so maybe they were.

    I do hope things work out well whatever you end up doing. Robins are beautiful birds. Good luck.
     
  8. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

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    According to what I've found so far, robins need feeding every 15-20 minutes, dawn to dusk. Oof. CuriosityCat is also correct, in that the parents add in a lot of things while the grub's in their crop- but I think it may be possible to synthesize this with some sort of parrot formula or added vitamins etc. Mealworms and crickets can both be bought and would be a good place to start with the grinding and the mashing, and I found a site that said to grind small bits of beef for robins as a substitute food until you can get them to that wildlife center- where they apparently have trial and errored their way to a formula that works.

    There's little harm in candling them as long as your candling light is not hot. If you have an LED candling light that is probably best.

    http://www.wildbirdcarecentre.org/english/rescuer.html
     
  9. burquechick

    burquechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can get your babies probiotics (available at Petsmart). That should help with the lack of the parents' gut bacteria. Robin's are insectivores. You can make a mash of dry cat food (wet has less protein), applesauce, hard boiled egg, and tums (baby birds need calcium). They should be fed room temperature food about every 20-30 minutes, within only a few hours off at night. They need to be kept warm, like 95 for the first week, slowly dropping by 5 degrees each week after. Here's a site for more info. It will be extremely difficult for you to keep up with babies' food requirements, but it can be done. People hand feed wild baby birds all the time. And the worst of it is mostly for the first two weeks or so.
     
  10. NaomiSarah

    NaomiSarah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
    Here's the nest - the trailer was parked for probably a week. It's a huge nest! The robins in my backyard don't build nests like this!

    [​IMG]
    Here's the eggs ..... one broke when I picked it up to candle, it had a slight crack in the top of the shell.

    When I candled the eggs, I could see a little wiggly chick (is that what you call a baby robin?)!! I Can take candling pics if anyone's interested, tho I won't candle them again for another couple days so they settle... I can only imagine the trauma!!!

    You know what else? Imagine the poor mother robin!!! She built a huge home, laid beautiful eggs, and then one day, she goes out for food and comes back and..... "where the heck's my mansion??? And my babies???" AAAHHH!!! That would be awful!!! There's nothing I can do about that though! Poor little robins.
     

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