Cheryl's Babies
Thank you so much Cheryl for sharing this beautiful experience with us.

By Eleanor McCaffrey Copyright Notice: No portion of this text or photos
may be, copied, printed or reproduced without
permission from site owner.

Cheryl's pet birds, Goober and Joey were not the best parents to their babies. They abandoned their 4 eggs shortly after they were laid. Cheryl  quickly fostered the eggs to her other breeding pair, Spike and Cera. These birds were purchased just for breeding  and were excellent parents. Only 1 of the 4 eggs hatched and baby Sammy was born. Although Sammy has been a joy and delight to care for and watch grow, Cheryl found that breeding cockatiels is much more stressful than she had ever imagined.

Cheryl said, "I used to raise cocker spaniels and somehow I thought birds were going to be similar. I thought most animals did well breeding pretty much on their own. Not so with birds. I had to set up an incubator at one point and one of the babies was born with splayed legs, requiring treatment from our avian vet. I just adore the little angels. The babies are so sweet but I don't want to hand feed everyday for ever. I will do my best to get these chicks through it and know I will end up keeping the babies because I am so attached to them."

Sammy is not a week old so his  eyes have not opened yet . The feedings are going well and he is gaining weight quickly. This is a photograph of Sammy right after a feeding. You can see that his crop is full. You can also see the food in his crop because it is transparent. Cheryl has to make sure that the  crop empties completely, once every 24 hours so Sammy does not get sick. Cheryl and her grandchildren have already started to socialize Sammy. He is gently touched and stroked so human hands will be familiar to him.

Sammy is 15 days old in these photos. Cheryl is demonstrating the correct way to handfeed a baby cockatiel while Goober, the mommy that abandoned Sammy's egg, tries to help. Food travels down the right side of the neck. So the syringe must be inserted from the left side of the beak and pointed towards the right side of the neck. (NOTE: When the baby is facing you the syringe is placed on the right side and aimed towards the left). While applying even pressure on the syringe plunger, Cheryl slowly drips the formula into Sammy's mouth so it goes down his crop. If the formula goes down the windpipe the baby will choke. Never aim the syringe towards the middle of the throat.

Sammy may be small but he is surely getting ready to fly. Look at him stretching those wings! Cheryl said, "The babies are a lot of work but it is so neat to watch how fast they grow and change. Sammy is my little buddy  and he sits on my lap every once in awhile. He has his own cage so he has lots of room to flaps those wings. I do have a towel wrapped around it so he doesn't get cold. Sammy is now fully grown and he is such a beautiful color. However, he is just like my kids were, bald. He will be much cuter once he gets is head and face feathers in."


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