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Am I doing something illegal? Animal abuse?

(126 Posts)
LookingForwardToMarch Sat 06-Jul-13 12:44:55

This may be long, I will try to keep this short.

On the usual dog walk with dd my dp found a small white egg on the ground. It was very cold so I promptly stuck it down my bra and went in search of the nest.

We didn't find a nest, all we found was a smashed up nest box which looked like it had been 6 rounds with the local thugs.

I took the egg home and stuck it in a box with some cotton wool. After some googling I realised that it was very unlikely to hatch / survive as it had been icy cold, and I didn't have a heat lamp etc.

But I kept it anyway. I guess it made me feel better than leaving it there. I was just going to l;eave it there for a few days, then give it a 'burial' in the back garden blush yes I'm a wuss.

Anyway this is where my problem comes in. When I first found the egg I shone a torch through it and it was empty.

I just thought I'd check before burying it and.....the egg is no longer empty.

Cue massive panic! I've since been told havi8ng a wild bird in the house is illegal. I'm a horrible person for picking up the egg sad and that I am being very cruel....

I never meant for this to happen but what do I do now? I've looked on the RSPB sites etc. and it says they don't take eggs.

So do I raise it? (God knows how)

Is there an organisation that take baby birds?

Am I a complete dickhead?

DiseasesOfTheSheep Sat 06-Jul-13 19:24:02

You could give your local vets a call for any sanctuaries in the area. I doubt any will take an egg, really, but if it shows signs of hatching, you can whip it down there sharpish.

We've had various baby birds for similar reasons, but it's not easy!

LookingForwardToMarch Sat 06-Jul-13 19:28:35

Ooh Tiggywinkles, whats that?

Yes Dots I have been calling round and nobody takes eggs, I'm looking into broody pidgeons and allsorts at the minute.

But failing that baby bird will need someone who knows what they are doing I think!

Stressedtothehilt Sat 06-Jul-13 20:24:19

I hatch tortoise eggs. They can stay slightly cool and only begin to develop when they are warm and incubated so I assume its the same for bird eggs which is why its begun to develop now. Keep cooking it then when it hatches take it along to sanctuary or rspb but get some pics first smile

LookingForwardToMarch Sat 06-Jul-13 20:27:58

Oh definitely will do! grin

Think it would be too cruel to think of it as 'Reginald'?

theodorakisses Sat 06-Jul-13 20:40:56

I have seen some weird and wonderful things since being an expat and having met South African people. I have many friends who have hatched eggs and fed them mouth to beak with porridge and fledged them and they have just flown away. I would look up some SA websites

LookingForwardToMarch Sat 06-Jul-13 20:48:07

Wow now that is commitment!

Certainly worth a look, thanks Theo!

And to think, this morning I knew nothing of birds! grin

mmmuffins Sat 06-Jul-13 22:20:56

I don't think you should have taken the egg, or be attempting to hatch it. I feel really uncomfortable with the idea of people taking wild animals home to "save" them. Birds in particular seem to be a target for this, with eggs, chicks, or fledglings being interfered with. A woman where I used to live removed an entire group of orphaned ducklings from the river and took them home and kept them in her bathtub hmm Becoming food for another river creature is a much more natural than being raised in a bathroom. I don't understand why people have such a hard time with the concept that many baby animals become food for other creatures.

If this egg now hatches it sounds like the mostly scenario is that you will watch the emerging animal slowly die. I don't understand why you would do this.

LookingForwardToMarch Sat 06-Jul-13 23:24:58

Wow muffins, just wow.

Actually it is not my intention to attempt to care for the baby myself as I am woefully unequiped and lacking knowledge.

IF the egg hatches I have now been told where to take it, where it will have a place and be cared for and raised as a wild bird. Also what to feed it just before the journey.

The egg did not have a nest to go.back to. It had been destroyed.

If you feel I was BU fair enough, thats your opinion. But was there really any need for the 'watching the emerging animal die slowly'?

BaldricksTurnip Sat 06-Jul-13 23:36:38

Good on you OP you're doing a lovely thing. If it were not for acts of kindness in this world then everything else would become meaningless. Ignore the gloomy naysayers.

LookingForwardToMarch Sat 06-Jul-13 23:41:30

Cheers Baldricks (love the name by the way) smile

mmmuffins Sat 06-Jul-13 23:52:45

Why does that sort of reality need to be sugarcoated? It is a very real consequence of hatching an egg of an unknown species you have no ideas how to care for. From your OP it very much sounded like your original intention was to hatch the egg.

The egg should have remain untouched where you found it. YABU.

LookingForwardToMarch Sun 07-Jul-13 00:01:23

I don't believe I asked you to sugar coat it muffins.

It's not a long post, I assume you saw the following posts as I was given advice and learned what was best to do.

My op actually was in a state of panic that the egg MIGHT hatch, it certainly wasn't my original intention.

muffins... saving one bird (or one bathtub full of birds) won't make any difference to the world as a whole, but it does make a difference to the individual who does the saving. Why stand by and watch an animal die when it is in our power to save it? Most of the situations from which animals are rescued by humans are as a direct consequence of human actions in the first place. Including in the OPs case.

Honestly, can you not see the massive difference between thugs who destroy a nest box and a woman who pops an egg into her bra to search for the nest it came from? confused One is 'interference' as you termed it, the other is an act of compassion.

Humanity has already begun the next mass extinction, never before has one species caused the deaths of so many, much less the extinction vast numbers of other species. Saving one duck, or dove, or unidentified egg, is a drop in the ocean when viewed on that scale... it is certainly not a harmful act in comparison

lastnightiwenttomanderleyagain Sun 07-Jul-13 06:51:15

SummerRain we 'snail sat' once and were under very strict instructions that any eggs should be immediately frozen as the owners really didn't need 50 more giant African land snails! Not sure if yours is a special one or just a regular garden snail but one to bear in mind.

OP good luck with your mystery egg! Not sure what the range of birds round your way is like? Think I'd be a bit wary if this happened down here in berks as we have more Red Kites than pigeons and, whilst amazingly beautiful, they're pretty damn scary! Keep us posted.

LookingForwardToMarch Sun 07-Jul-13 07:07:04

Summer it was very sad to see the smashed up nest box and empty beer cans sad
I was starting to worry I'd done something awful but thankyou your post made alot of sense to me.

Last night I'm fairly sure we only have ducks, pigeons, doves and magpies round here!

Although not very knowledgable on birds so who
I will keep you posted!

Buzzardbird Sun 07-Jul-13 08:49:00

My friend recently found an egg. He put it in a dish in his jacuzzi to keep it warm. He now has a fully grown duck which he knows will leave him soon and he is already suffering from 'empty nest syndrome'. I shit you not. He bought special food for feeding baby birds, built it a 2 story house (with Jacuzzi) and a cuddly toy so it had something to snuggle up next to. He proudly showed me all his photos the other night, it was so touching.
I hope you have a lovely experience like he has...just be prepared for when the chick leaves. sad

LookingForwardToMarch Sun 07-Jul-13 09:41:51

Awww Buzzard that is such a lovely outcome!!!

It would be lovely grin

After some more info the consensus seems to be that it is a dove. And they feed their babies that crop milk stuff that I can't replicate.

I must admit I started to think maybe I could rear him ( Ive named him Reggie)

But he has a place to go to if he hatches that knows what they are doing. If the best happens and he hatches I will be bugging them for updates!

Buzzardbird Sun 07-Jul-13 09:51:33

Ah, glad you have some help sorted. Why Reggie?

LookingForwardToMarch Sun 07-Jul-13 09:53:32

Ahem blush to be honest...I have no idea!

Buzzardbird Sun 07-Jul-13 10:07:12

Oh, I was looking for a random connection like because he was found in a gang related incident he could be Reggie crane(bird). I'm over-thinking this aren't I? blush

Lastnight... Don't worry, they're just banded snails who are due for rerelease soon anyway. I'm doing an OU project on them and came across one all smashed up so put some duct tape on its shell to hold it together and put it in an old fish tank with another snail for company as I read a study which suggested they prefer to eat with other snails around. I was going to release them this week as its shell is completely healed but the snail babies would tie in nicely with the focus of my project so I'm going to wait for them to hatch now and get some pictures and data.

I'd love African land snails though... Dp says no, he's a bit wibbly about most interesting pets!

LookingForwardToMarch Sun 07-Jul-13 11:40:09

Buzzard thats a good a reason as any! I'll tell people thats why he is called that haha!

Summer I got to hold a couple of those giant african land snails!

I thought they were adorable! Although one was intent on sucking my little finger off!


How's Reggie doing today? grin

LookingForwardToMarch Sun 07-Jul-13 12:07:16

Haha it wasn't as gross as it sounds!

Held Reggie up to the light and he looks bigger again!!!

I mean how fast do these babies grow?!

gobbledegook1 Sun 07-Jul-13 12:30:15

If you shone a light through and it was empty and now its not its a safe bet to say its developing. Eggs don't need to be incubated straight away they can be cool stored and remain viable for up to 10 days.

Birds grow at a very rapid rate, I don't know about wild birds / doves but chickens hatch in 21 days and ducks 28 days so for something smaller a littles less perhaps? I'd guess around the 2 - 3 week mark.

Eggs need humidity as well as warmth, reptile eggs can be hatched when kept in a boiler or airing cupboard so I imagine its theoretically possible for you to do the same with a bird egg, obviously its not as reliable though as using a proper incubator which will maintain a consistant temperature.

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