Monday, June 1, 2009

Pros/Cons of Coons

Been busy since I last blogged, we went from "gee, did every bird hatch today? "to "Gee I hope that no one else brings me a raccoon!" Songbird rehabbers are a dime a dozen, songbirds need to be fed about every 20 minutes, they are high maintenance but a good rehabber can do an assembly line on them on feed 10-20 birds pretty quick depending on species.
Saturday was domestic rescue adoption day. Our good friends from Lollipop Farm (Rochester Humane Society) were generous enough to drive all the way out here to our facility to take 15 goats and sheep off of our hands. We have helped out Lollipop a couple of times and I asked a friend who is the manager of the facility (impressive operation) if she could take some of the sheep and find homes for them. Now since they are sheared, wormed, neutered, pedicured, etc.....they are ready for homes. I had some folks from Hudson that came and adopted a llama. They have adopted animals from us before and I am very happy that one of the geldings that has been here the longest found a great home. They also have Shetland sheep and are coming to get ten of the ewes this weekend so the 40 sheep are slowly getting adopted out, probably just in time to keep them from making a dry lot out of the lower pasture. Sheep can be brutal on a pasture, llamas are great because they wont eat a pasture into the dirt. Sat night I had some good friends come to adopt two more llamas. They have both male crias and their mothers at their place now, they have the facilities to easily separate the male crias (babies) at 8 months of age and let them chill out together until they can be gelded around 18 months of age. I have quite a few more folks coming to look at llamas also. I love adopting llamas out to friends that have already adopted llamas from me. It makes llamas 101 much easier, esp. when I am trying to get the domestics into great new homes for the summer right in the middle or "orphan season".
You can almost set your calendar by when the phone starts ringing on orphaned baby animals. Ive already given my readers the lecture on what to pick up, how to do it safely and how to locate a licensed rehabber near you. Ive also told a dozen people in the past week to leave fawns, foxes and a couple of fledglings right where they were. None of them were orphaned or needed help. They had just started moving out of their birthplaces and havnt gotten with the program on how to hide, keep up with mom or that cats, dogs and humans can ruin their day.
The Girlscouts of Troop 2006 came again on saturday to volunteer. They cleaned the deer/ fawn nursery and helped me get caught up on a lot of jobs around the farm I havnt crossed off the list of things to do. I told them that I had a gut feeling that I would get our first fawn in on saturday. About an hour after they left, another wildlife rehabber brought me a fawn. A lot of other rehabbers bring me their fawns. The fawns imprint very easy, they are better raised as a group. I don't think that Ive ever heard of a fawn raised illegally story end happily. They always get shot, hit or get aggressive by people that raised them illegally as pets. I had two more fawns come in from another rehabber on sunday. We will probably raise over 20 of them this year as a happy little gang of orphans. Each has a story but I am exhausted and cant go there tonight.
The 4 coons that I had been working on are doing great. They are starting to cut teeth and I really look forward to the day when they are on a weaning formula I use and can get out of the nursery. There are very few RVS Licensed Rehabbers anymore that rehab orphaned Coons. The crazy ones like me that do it are usually overwhelmed by the rehabbers that get them in and know that they cant legally do them. I love coons, they are one of my favorite animals to rehab. They want to cuddle during bottles, they have emotions and are very vocal in what they are feeling. I had 6 more coons all come in on sunday. (Bringing the total to 10 for those of you counting). The six new arrivals came from 3 different places. The first 3 Coons were caught by an animal control officer. No humans came into contact (exposure) at all with them and they were brought to me (transported) by a Wildlife rehabber that has had a Rabies Vector License in the past so she knew the procedure. They were covered with fleas and not allowed in my nursery. We gave them Capstar, a great product that kills fleas from one little pill....every flea on them was dying within a half an hour. By the time I got those 3 treated and in quarantine, I had 2 more come in. These two coons had been "playing" with the family that found them after they climbed out of their chimney and fell off their roof. Not good, had to call the Health Dept., report the exposure..... see I have rabies shots. These folks didnt. I am not afraid of contracting rabies but I am very nervous about the roundworm that raccoons carry that can blind or kill you (no cure). Cleanliness is very important when dealing baby coons. These two coons were cleared to come to me by the health dept for observation. They could have ordered them euthanized to be tested for rabies since the people touched them. They were also flea infested, when I say infested I mean covered......anemic from the blood loss from being a meal to blood sucking parasites. Got some Capstar into them, I also worm them for roundworm since 90% of all coons have it but one parasite at a time.....fleas first. Got them into quarantine. The next coon that arrived was a singleton. Same age as my tick covered coon that came in a week ago, around 5-6 weeks old. So I have 5 babies on bottles, I am already thinking who can be combined with who, once cleaned of parasites and enough time has passed to clear quarantine. The other 5 coons were old enough and had enough teeth that I started them on my "Mush" formula mix.....which they love to play in as much as they like to eat it, what a mess. I think it looks even worse when it explodes out the other end. Those 5 coons are going out into the coon shed to make a mess until they are old enough to go into the huge enclosure where they will live is a group once they are all cleaned up, weaned and getting fat for release this fall.
I got a call on another fawn tonight and a red fox that was sitting in the road next to his dead mother and siblings who had ventured out before him to see why mom wasnt moving. He is the sole survivor, I have hit animals by accident before...sometimes it is unavoidable. These foxes were purposely run over, I dont know why anyone would purposely try to run over a litter of foxes sitting by their dead mother in the road.....It makes me really wonder about people sometimes. Pass the word, keep the checks coming....I havnt gotten any donations in awhile. Just bought $150- worth of formula for the Coons which wont last long. The fawns will eat $50- $100 a week in formula once I get a dozen or more of them here. I am all out of Capstar, it is expensive and I desperately need it. Ask your vet, call the company, steal it (just kidding) I dont care but I need it for these flea/tick covered babies coming in....consider it your mission?
Im looking forward to getting out of school for the summer. I run home during my lunch break to run around with bottles. Thanks Kelly for showing up today. I dont mind the crazy hours but I also dont know what the record is for how many coons you can feed in an hour....I had 3 going today on bottles in two hands.:) I need a nap (used to be called sleep), I am not complaining, I love every second of orphaned wildlife season......I might be complaining about their bottles tonight but before I know it I will be "Taking them fishing", they grow up so fast.:) WES

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