Shushi' s ·Story ... Don't give up too soon

Liz Andreoli


Life presents us with an endless array
of threats or challenges depending
upon which way we look at it. At the
very moment I thought I had handfeeding
of you ng birds , with all its
delusions , down pat , disaster struck
Shushi (a lutino cockatiel) and his
nest mate hatched on the 13th and
11th respectively of November 1987.
The hatch was uneventful. The chicks
emerged on time and the parents were
known for taking good care of their
young . So I figured I had nothing to
worry about. In such cases I do not
bother the brood until a few days have
elapsed which gives the young a
chance to develop some and the
parents time to calm down. When I felt
comfortab le enough and decided to
inspect the nest I noticed the oldest
hatchling had a severe cut across the
eyelid exposing the eye prematurely.
There was some redness and swelling.
This damage at such a young age
would take its toll . I braced myself for
the worst. Apparently the chick cut his
eye while releasing himself from the
egg. I administered tetracycline ophthalmic
ointment for several days. As
consc ienti o us as these parents were
they obviously could not resist pecking
the strange protrusion at the eye,
because blood began to appear. I had
no choice but to pull the ch icks for
hand-feeding on November 24th . They
were ten and twelve days old. At this
time all other va ri ables seemed normal.
The chicks were otherwise clear eyed ,
seemingly average in size and weight,
and they had normal appetites and

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