We must be nuts... or as our friend Marion describes us... CITY SUCKERS. We are now raising and caring for a baby ring neck pheasant. We wanted to wait to post about him to see if he made it through a few days.
Here is the story.
John was watering the garden Friday afternoon and heard chirping... when he turned to look he saw this baby... then mama came by...then ran off when she saw John. John then left the garden to give them some space and went to water a new hedge we planted when he saw mama and baby together again about 200 feet away. About a half hour later I saw little baby wandering the yard chirping it's fool head off all alone. They got separated. It wandered the yard for 3 hours chirping for it's mama. We watched it's every move from afar so that mama would not be spooked by us and so that we could protect it from the nasty clutches of the area cats (sorry D&E). We finally left it to it's own devices after 1 1/2 hours and went back to our chores. We could hear it chirping away.... our hearts breaking with every chirp.
When I walked up to the back deck around 7:00 pm Friday, it had just run underneath it where it stayed the night... which was cold and windy. It went so far under that we could not reach it.
We fought the urge to snatch it up earlier, thinking that it would surely reconnect with mama, since we had seen them together earlier. No such luck... we were afraid to touch it for fear mama will not accept it in the morning if she came around. So saturday morning we woke up and no chirping... we thought oh good.. it reconnected with mom. About an hour and a half later we heard it. John put on long pants and sleeves and shimmied under the lanai which only has a 12" clearance... nasty...
We kept taking it in the yard so it could chirp for mom... after 4 hours we ended it and decided to raise him on our own. We have taken him on outings to call for mom several times but no luck.
Saturday we packed him up and went to the feed store and bought wild game chick feed which he has been eating very well. Yesterday was a real breakthorugh as he started drinking from his dish on his own. No more drinking from my fingertip. He is also very active. They think it's about 3 weeks old. We are so happy to wake up every morning and find him still breathing.
After eating it's time to get back in the hand and pass out... Just to do it all over again in 30 minutes. He loves being in our hands to sleep... but I cannot have him in hand all the time so I have to carry him in my sweatshirt pocket which he LOVES!. When he sleeps he chirps so soft the entire time.Here is the heat source we have devised... a bottle full of hot water. HE LOVES IT as evidenced here... standing and sleeping. He could not even wait until we wrapped it. I have also made a hot water bed with a zip lock bag filled with hot water... and a tent over that. Another favorite spot.
We have named him Kekoa which means courageous one. Like we have nothing else to do...oh well. Too cute! We can't stand it!
Oh and save the comments about dinner! I know SOME of you too well!