21 June 2017

Quick Chick Fix!

For most nature lovers, there is nothing more pleasurable that spotting wildlife out and about or viewing it from your window when it visits your garden. Catching the sight of nature is as good as it gets and it very rare to ever get involved, as human interference is potentially harmful and damaging.  However on occasion, you may be left with little choice. With so many young animals around, there are always likely to be accidents and casualties, particularly with birds and if you come across one in distress, you are bound to want to assist.

While it is unadvisable to get involved, sometimes it is a matter of needs. Naturally if you are going to help, make sure you are responsible, sensible and cautious.

It starts with the fact that, although some fledglings can appear to be helpless and distraught you do not need to immediately intervene and assume that they have been orphaned.  Instead, if you see a fledgling that is calling out and is reluctant to move, the most likely explanation is that the fledgling is waiting for its parents to return with some food. If this is the case, moving the fledgling any considerable distance away can be harmful as you are potentially separating it from its mother and therefore jeopardising its safety, care and wellbeing.  It will also cause the parent a great deal of stress, so it is best to leave it where it is. If the fledgling is in immediate danger and you do have to move it however, make sure it is only a short distance from its original spot. This will help the fledgling to feel more at ease and remain familiar with the environment. It will also give the returning parent the chance to find the fledgling when they return.

It is also best to keep in mind that if you think a chick has been abandoned there is a chance that its parents did so deliberately. Some unfortunate fledglings are abandoned because of illness, injury or deformation so that the parents can focus on the stronger fledglings. To know for certain, be patient and watch the fledgling for several hours to see if there is any activity or if the parents do return. It is important to wait this long as the parent may simply have gone a little off course or be taking longer to hunt for food.

If it comes to the point when you may have to handle a bird, it is very important to be cautious as it can be dangerous for you and the bird. You must take care not to squeeze a bird when holding it, to avoid damaging its bones and internal organs. You should also be wary of a bird's claws and beak as no matter what size it is, it could still cause damage. A good way to protect your hands is by wearing gardening or other heavy duty gloves.

In terms of food, there are a lot of feeds on the market and you do not have to simply buy fledgling specific feed.  Some mixes like our Fledgling Mix are ideal as they combine all of the best ingredients in one convenient pack. It only has small, easy digesting grains, which are high in energy and protein such as mealworms, sunflower hearts and peanut grains.  While this is a superb mix, there is no requirement to stick to just fledgling specific mixes as there are a great deal more options for feeds that are suitable too.

For example straight Sunflower Hearts are so high in protein, energy and essential oils that they benefit all birds. They are also a great go to food.  Similarly Suet Pellets are full of nutrients, are quick sources of energy, are tasty and easy to digest, making them perfect for young birds. Our Mini Suet Pellets are an even better option as they are smaller so are even easier for youngsters to feed on and feature added calcium to aid a bird’s growth and development.

Live or Dried Mealworms are an exceptional choice also as they are packed with protein, energy and nutrients. They are also a great substitute for insects so are crucial for a bird’s natural diet and for retaining a bird’s health. Live Mealworms also boast the added benefit that they are juicy and provide essential moisture which is particularly important for fledglings and for ensuring they stay hydrated.

It is important to be careful and cautious when caring for and feeding fledglings but providing the right care is easy and straightforward once you are a little more familiar with how.

Remember to always avoid tampering where you can and if you, be careful and respectful to the birds. Also always wash your hands after handling wild birds and any other wildlife and if you do find an orphaned fledgling and feel you need assistance contact the RSPCA or the RSPB

Category: News
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posted by Brinvale