~Thursday's Child~ (innocent_knives) wrote in birdtales,
~Thursday's Child~

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Information please?

Hi.. I joined this community because I have never owned any birds, but have recently found myself taking care of a homeless baby bird... a young quail, to be exact. I know this may not be the right sort of community, but I wasn't sure where else to go for the right information. ((I will copy and paste information about this bird from my journal.))

"Yesterday, my dad found the tiniest little baby quail on our steps. It would appear that Max, our cat, somehow found the nest and broke it up. This particular little baby wasn't hurt at all, but very traumatized ((poor thing had been carried back in Max's mouth, no doubt.)) He would have practically cooked to death on the stone steps of our house if Dad hadn't picked him up. My first thought was, "Oh no.. Dad's picked up a baby creature so now its mom will never ever take care of it again."
Dad really scared me at first because he had his hands cupped around something I couldn't see and said something about the cat getting it and I thought "Oh my gosh, no, he's brought something that's bleeding and suffering and going to die... I'm not sure I want to see." Even afterwards I was a little tense and negative (just being honest) because I had learned in Environmental science that overl 50% of quail brought to rehabilitation centers should have been left alone. And also it leaped out of dad's hand and fell into the sink, which was traumatic for both of us... but he appeared to be unhurt.
There's no telling where the nest is, or where the siblings are... and even if we could find them, the mother would not accept him back into the nest probably because of both cat smell and human smell.
And he's so tiny, he must be only born in the last week. He's sure food for a snake if we release him.
So... with that said...
For now, we have him in a roomy box on the back porch with lots of fresh-picked vegetation daily (and also some of the dry brown grass from the field, where he is very camoflauge (spelling, blast) and a saucer of water for drinking and bathing. I read that baby quail mostly eat fresh vegetation. It said that only 5% of their diet is insects... but so far, the only thing we can seem to get him to eat are a few grits and some finely ground raw oatmeal.
Of course, he may not live... but the food (which was, and still is my primary concern) does not seem to be doing him any harm. I am doing more research on the topic to see what I can get out of the field for him to eat. On the other hand, he may live to be quite large...[but how to release him back in the wild... :( Constant problems, I say.]
Any suggestions or information you can provide will be welcome.

Edit Add-on: I should clarify. I say the food doesn't seem to be hurting him because he seems to enjoy it and has perked up. Also, he's been digesting regularly which is a good sign, I figure. As for vegetation, I just keep going out to the field to pick whatever green things I can find, and also gather up things that might (emphasis on might) have tasty treats like small ticks, ants, mites, or other insects quail might like to eat. ((But personally, I think this baby is too small to eat insects. I don't believe that the young eat insects, but I'm not sure.))

If no one here can give me any information, is there anywhere you can direct me to get the right information (particularly about food, because I know he doesn't really eat grits and oatmeal in the wild)?
I would be extremely grateful for any tips you may have.
Thank you!
Hoping to receive some comments,
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