🐾 Maybe the reason I love animals so much, is because the only time they have broken my heart is when theirs has stopped beating.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Snoodles, the dustbin chick

Little Snoodles reaching up to take a tit-bit from my fingers

This is Snoodles, the little chick I pulled out of the egg after rescuing it out of the dustbin (read the full story HERE.) She has grown in leaps and bounds over the past six days and is a real little treasure! Over the past week I have tried several times to put her back with Mommy, who is quite keen to take her, clucking and calling, but unfortunately little Dusty has already imprinted on me and would stand there calling until I answered, when she would run her little legs off in the direction of my voice.

Imprinting is "A rapid learning process by which a newborn or very young animal establishes a behaviour pattern of recognition and attraction to another animal of its own kind or to a substitute or an object identified as the parent." When rearing a newborn animal, it is very difficult to avoid imprinting as it takes a lot of effort of not letting it hear your voice or not letting it see your hand, for example, feeding it. In the wild it is therefore always preferable to let nature take its course and not to interfere and pick up fledglings that have left the nest and landed on the floor. Normally the parents are close-by and will feed it until it is able to fly. That is how they grow strong and learn to fly.

I know predators are always a worry, but unfortunately that's how nature is. Once you "save" it (we all have that instinct), releasing it back to nature is always difficult as it has not learnt the necessary survival skills to ensure it makes it in the wild, where it will then probably perish anyway. The other alternative is then spending the rest of its life in a cage, definitely not an ideal situation.

Investigating everything on my desk

 Little Snoodles showing great interest in the seeds I offered her

Aaah, that was a nice meal!

A full tummy and feeling very sleepy...



  1. Looks like you are going to be a full time mum for a while Maree. Great to see how well the chick has come on.

    1. Sigh... Yes John, it takes about 8-10 weeks, then she'll be ready to join the other girls in the garden. Thanks for popping in again!

  2. Happy to see how well Dusty is doing. I was going to ask about her "out-growing" imprinting as she reaches maturity, but you have already answered.

    1. Yeah, she's a full-fledged studio chick now Kathryn, doesn't want anything to do with Mommy!

  3. Dusty looks excellent!! Enjoy your new baby Maree!



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