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|November 26, 2012 - Laurie Macha|
Today one of the volunteers from England, Matt, shouted "bloody hell" because he was working in ICU with the chicks and 614 escaped 15 more times. I laughed so hard and told Marguerite that I would just take him home with me. I think they are going to check my pockets when I leave!
Today I was responsible for pen two (13 chicks) and pen one (2 kelp gulls and 2 cormorants). As we all know, I am a little weary of the flighted birds. I had a wonderful volunteer named Melanie who is from Germany. She was very helpful and taught me to catch them. I am quite good at catching them now!
This routine was a little less hectic than the ICU chicks. This is because these chicks are a bit bigger and take their tube feelings a little easier and smoother. Here is the basic routine of the day for these pens: 8 a.m. darrows, four birds to the nebulizer, swim the flighted birds with the other ICU bigger birds, clean pen one while birds are swimming, 9:30 a.m. fish feed, bed new area for chicks, clean and breakdown overnight pen, 11 a.m. formula for five chicks, 12 p.m. water, four chicks nebulizer, 1 p.m. formula, 2 p.m. fish feed, cards, 4 p.m. darrows, 5 p.m. formula and finish cards and set up new sheet for next day.
Today was a bit off schedule because Monday's are blood draw and weigh days, so we had to wait to start feedings until the vets took blood from the chicks. Our chick pen was third in line, but when Nola and Laura (a wonderful vet from brazil) started on our pen, I was able to help weigh and hold the chicks for the blood draw. They take blood from the interdigital vessels and it's very hard to get blood on these small ones, especially if they are not quite hydrated yet. So I brought some smiles when Laura got blood and I told her it was because I rubbed the chick’s eyebrow. Each time she got a good sample I said it was because of the new technique. Nola was laughing at my very scientific method! It was just really nice working with both of them and I was very privileged to have the opportunity to be a part of it.
Today I was even able to lend a hand to Matt and Sharon (who just arrived from Sea World Orlando) with the ICU chicks. Anything to see little 614! I'm really getting into the swing of things now, until I get moved to a different area! I will get a chance to work in the pens with the bigger adults before I leave. Although I love working with the chicks, it's somewhat addicting. I was supposed to have today off but I couldn't do it, I had to go in. So I'm supposed to be off tomorrow but, well, just can't stay away. I don't know what I’ll do when I have to leave.
We stayed on schedule all day today and we even got eight new admissions of chicks from Robben Island added to our pen at the end of the day. We were able to start their stay with a yummy, warm meal of formula. These chicks were very wary of us. While the other chicks that have been at SANCCOB for a little while start to peep when they see us, the new chicks hover in the corner avoiding us. It will only take a few days and they will get used to it and start peeping at us, biting us, standing and jumping into buckets, biting at our ankles while we feed, etc.
A really funny thing happened while we were feeding fish to the chicks. One of the resident cape cormorants, who is always wandering around SANCCOB outside of its pen, landed in our chick pen trying to bum fish off of us. The chicks didn't like that too much so they kept pecking at him until he flew off to another pen. Cape cormorants have the most beautiful blue green eyes. Well, maybe he'll think twice about landing in pen two! I hope I get pen two again tomorrow.....it was fun! But, I really missed the little chicks and 614. Wonder if he'll escape again tonight? We’ll see, stay tuned!
Skittish African Penguins cross a road on Robben Island in South Africa.
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