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|November 23, 2012 - Laurie Macha|
Today I was assigned to work in ICU with Marguerite. There are so many birds in ICU at the moment: 20 little chicks, about 30 bigger chicks, adults, juveniles and a few blues, seven flighted birds and the two petrels.
Marguerite was very gracious and asked which birds I wanted to work with for the day. Of course I chose the little chicks! Although these little ones have quite a schedule. Let me share a brief synopsis of today's schedule.
First of all on Fridays the veterinarian checks all of the birds in ICU, so before we can start tubing they need to be handled by the vet. When the vets are checking the birds, two outdoor pens need to be bedded for receiving the chicks. Once the chicks have been examined then it's time to start running. At 9 a.m. they get Darrows, 10 a.m. water (but today we had to skip water and do fish), 11 a.m. formula, 12 p.m. water, 1 p.m. formula, 2 p.m. fish, 4 p.m. Darrows, 5 p.m. formula. After their first tubing they all get moved from the two inside pens in ICU to two outdoor pens, and three birds in the two groups go to the nebulizer.
In between the timings/feedings the pens in ICU need to be stripped, the floor mopped/disinfected and rebedded for when they return to the two pens for the evenings. Then the outdoor pen has to be stripped and disinfected for the next day. After that's all done then cards for each bird needs to be completed. Cards are the individual records for what each bird received for the day. Whew! It was quite a busy day. Thank goodness that other volunteers came in to help with my pens throughout the day, with their help I still finished after 6:00 pm.
As busy as it is, it's the most wonderful feeling to take care of the chicks and know that you are contributing to a bigger effort. I did get a new friend today, number 614. This little chick was a trooper eating today, swallowed its stomach tubes and fish pretty readily. It was at my side and underfoot all day, and it just watched me all day while I handled other chicks. This little one has stolen my heart. This one is very sweet, but still gives a good bite before each handling. I will check on it every day that I am at SANCCOB to see how its journey for survival is going.
Please help SANCCOB and Mystic Aquarium care for these chicks by adopting a Christmas chick! Well, the day has been very exhausting; look for my blog tomorrow to follow the adventures!
Skittish African Penguins cross a road on Robben Island in South Africa.
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