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Old 1st June 2008, 08:47 PM   #21
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You can also scramble an egg (no salt though) and feed that to them, or mash some Weetabix in the same way as digestive biscuit above.
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Old 1st June 2008, 09:11 PM   #22
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great thanks got them inside, 6 alive 1 dead, do you think thats why the parents left because of the dead one? only have dog food, they are eating it well, although its going all over the place, they have pooed quite alot do i have to remove it?, what do i do with them over night? how do i know if im feed ing them too much or not enough, thanks again loads for your help i hope i have saved them all and done the right thing. i hope their parents dont come looking for them now, im sure i have done the right thing, thank you
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Old 1st June 2008, 09:39 PM   #23
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There could have been any number of reasons for nest abandonment - predator presence, lack of food, one of the parents being killed, etc. It's impossible to know.

6 of 7 is quite a good number to start with. Blues can have between 6 and 9 chicks in the nest, so probably only one dead so far. With luck, you can keep the rest alive to fledge.

Dog food is ok for the moment. It would be great if you could get some of the 'good stuff' though, the Kaytee Exact. I can't recommend that stuff highly enough - it's the business for raising bird chicks. Probably over half the population of blackbirds here owe their lives to the stuff, and a lot of great tits, robins, dunnocks, starlings, jackdaws, magpies, and a lot more beside do too.

Basically they should be gaping for food and beeping when you come near them. Give a high pitched whistle to signify you're about to feed them, that'll come in handy later and it's good to teach them the signal.

Remove the poo from the nest with a pair of tweezers - plastic ones by preference, but it depends what you have. The poo should be in a little membrane or 'sac', so it shouldn't go everywhere when you pick it up. Looking at the poo can tell you about the birds' diet and how their digestion is going. too much black is not so good - too much worms, etc. Brown is right, and there should be a little capping or a surrounding of white fluid, this is the 'urates', and there should be between 50/50 or 70/30 solids to urates mix. If not, don't worry, but there should be some white there.

For feeding, again use tweezers. You can use the same pair as long as you wipe them off after removing the poo. They should gape, and pop the food right to the back of their throats. You may see a little hole in the base of their tongues near the back - this is the oesophagus - don't block this with food or the bird will choke, but it's usually quite hard to do that, as they're good at swallowing and holding their breath while doing so. Adult birds aren't such good aimers sometimes, so nature gives them a little hand in that respect.

Give them a few more feeds now until about 11:00, 11:30, or whenever you go to bed. Feed them every 20 minutes or so if you can, just to 'build them up' for the night. Obviously make sure you get all of them - count the mouths and the food going into them.

If possible, get up quite early tomorrow to give them their first feed of the day - 7am if poss. Then continue feeding at 30 minute intervals, and you can stretch it to an hour interval during the day, but obviously keep an eye on how much they gape and how ready they are from food - you'll see the patterns.

If possible tomorrow, call your nearest Pets at Home, and see if they have Kaytee Exact. Pop into a chemists or a local vets, and ask if they can supply you with a small amount of 1ml syringes - these will help greatly in feeding the little tits.
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Old 1st June 2008, 09:40 PM   #24
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Pets at Home shops near you: http://www.petsathome.com/storelocat...-postcode/hull
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Old 1st June 2008, 09:43 PM   #25
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Feeding using a spoon technique demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ne4v7Ojm1M

Using a dropper: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLTib8uGDIw

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Old 1st June 2008, 09:50 PM   #26
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brill your a star, thank you so much for all of your help! i will prob need more help so i have sent you a PM with my e mail and phone number,, not so much a message but a load of questions lol, thanks again, speak again soon
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Old 1st June 2008, 10:09 PM   #27
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No problem

One more thing before I sign off - when feeding them, keep doing it for all of them until they don't gape for the food any more. They'll tell you when they're full

Tap the little one on the side of the beak with the tweezers/syringe/spoon and hopefully he should get the message that food's there.

Good luck!
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Old 2nd June 2008, 07:45 AM   #28
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hi again, i woke up this morning and unfortunatly another one has died, (the small one), another one isnt looking too well but gapes for food every now and again, the other 3 seem just fine at the moment, is there anywhere that would take them in for me? i dont think im doing a very good job!!! ,
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Old 2nd June 2008, 08:02 AM   #29
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Hi Louise,

Unfortunately the runts of the litter may have already gone too far downhill from yesterday's lack of food. You can definitely save the others though, you just need patience and persistence, particularly with the littlest one.

If you still would rather hand them over to a wildlife centre, there's a list of wildlife hospitals here: http://www.uksafari.com/wildlifehospitals.htm - see if you can find one that's an acceptable distance from you (doesn't seem to be any around Hull). Alternatively, try calling some local vets and see if they know of somewhere local that takes wildlife in, but DO NOT give them to the RSPCA - they don't have the resources to care for baby birds and will most likely put them to sleep.

Still, your best bet is to get hold of the Exact - this contains pretty much everything the birds need in terms of nutrition. You'll have a much better chance of success with Exact.
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Old 2nd June 2008, 08:30 AM   #30
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ok thanks, i will try exact, will the birds be ok for a while if i leave them?
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