Some good news here at Peep Central! Margaret and I have taken to bottle-feeding Phoebe. And it seems to be working!
That started a day or two ago, when, out of sheer desperation, I cased the house for something that could dispense only drops of solution. Phoebe was so weak, she could barely muster the strength to get up to eat and drink–if at all.
After rummaging around the house with a mind on the specifics of application, my eyes alighted upon a bottle of saline nasal spray. Perfect!
I quickly unscrewed the cap and pried off the tip. Sweet! There was a tube extending from the inside of the tip down to the bottom of the bottle. How perfect is that?
Since the saline solution is fairly benign–except for maybe the preservatives–a thorough purge and rinse with scalding hot water seemed the quickest, least neurotic way to clean the bottle. Heck, we put that crap up our noses all the time, right?
So I refilled the bottle with the chick formula and start applying tiny droplets to Phoebe’s beak. It was pretty grim to start: Her eyes were closed, her breathing had become shallow, and her body and neck were slack. Nonetheless, she began sipping in the drops when she felt the cool moisture on her beak. Little by little, more drops and more sipping. Eventually, she indicated she had enough when she shook her head and sprayed the excess everywhere. Ick! When I put her back in the “Red Pen,” she wobbled over to the feeder and started eating. My hopes rose.
The Red Pen
To make the long story shorter, Margaret and I did our best to bottle-feed Phoebe every hour, as best as we could. The surprise came this morning, when Margaret got up to feed her. Phoebe actually put up a struggle. When I went in to take a look, I noticed that she was ambulatory and that her wings weren’t dragging on the ground. Still a little droopy but clearly not dragging. This might be the best we’ve seen her yet!