The forum below deals with interesting questions concerning Mousebirds of which I've joined. Susanne thought I should contact you about your Mousebird.
I've also unexpectedly become a 'parent' when a Mousebird was cornered by my Cat. I don't know what possessed me, but I've immediately felt very obliged to help this creature and sorry I am not! I think it changed my life or rather my views on birds as pets.
If I may further intrude, I'll be brief in giving you and your daughter who has taken a liking to the MB my thoughts on the matter.
A) Hand raise it and set it free after you are sure it can sustain itself in the wild.
B) Hand raise it as a 'pet'.
Personally, I think Spike will decide between these two options. Again, I have no trouble keeping it!
Mousebirds eat fruits. (Forget the worms and insects)
By giving it fruit your bird will be very hygienic.
From the link provided, you'll be able to see the size of Spike. Young MB birds according to the Internet become from 'nestling' to 'fledgling' rapidly. Nine days, they walk and climb about like 'bats'.
Spike's diet consist of banana (very cheap) but very good. I mix the banana with kiwi fruit (try to get rid of the seeds if using a syringe), or papaya, or mulberries (tree nearby) and/or any other fruit.
I use a big syringe to gather all the mash fruit and redistribute quantities thereof in other smaller syringes by injecting the juices/fruit into them. I have four shots. Spike max out with 3 shots (1ml each) most. Generally two is enough.
I hold the bird with my left hand, with his body cupped and my index and thumb lightly around the neck. By gently tapping with my right hand the syringe on his 'right-side' of the beak (have to be patient) feeding occurs by gently squirting down the pulp. If you bird is bigger than Spike. I'll hold him as describe and with a toothpick or by my hand feed slice fruits with seeds and all. Normally the bird will shake its head if anything is not kosher, like food hanging out, juices in the eye or nostrils. I use my right hand thumb and Index finger to wipe the beak clean.
MBs love affection. After feeding you can gently stroke its chin, wings, neck and front.
After feeding do the 'vent-thing' in order to stimulate the chick to defecate. It is important to 'act' like the real McCoy parents by gently touching with a tissue(!) to the vent (poepolletjie)! Nothing bad at all! The fruit is clean and it gets clean out! No problems. If the bird does not respond, don't worry, it will do it later. But this is an important phase after feeding in order to help the chick not getting nasty stomach problems etc...
I feed every two hours.
A fun thing is taking the bird to a window where the sun is shining. Watch as it brace itself and spread its wings! Spike hangs on my fingers and lay backwards. I do this in the morning for a good reason and in the afternoon twice. Five minutes of my day.
MB Birds when cold and waking up cold looks 'dead'. I would have disposed Spike by the second day If I didn't done some research on day one via the Internet and find this small footprint. Torpidity is nothing to be scared about. Its normal in an abnormal way. Take the bird out when the sun is about over the fence (8h30am). The warmth of the sun rays will give it life. No wonder they worship the Sun. Once recovered start feeding.
Sleeping and Cages
Spike sleeps in a cockatile cage (I've borough it). I have a Mohair blanket and a bean-bag, which I warm up at night (Microwave Oven). A warm water bottle will do. Just cover all warm apparatus with whatever material you put out as cosy for MB. Spike is sleeping next to us, beside the bed. With another blanket wrapped around the cage for outer protection. We have four cats. Yes, they sleep on the bed.
If you have any questions contact me via cell or email.
Hope you're not too stress out!
Remember go by a feeding schedule and consider which option is best for the bird and your family.
Sarel de Wet
7. Hand-Feeding Mistakes
There is no doubt in my mind that many a baby bird has expired as a result of hand-feeding mishaps. ... So, there is no reason for a baby to be fed by an inexperienced owner.
There are many different things that can go wrong during the hand-rearing process, including feeding formula improperly (mixed incorrectly, stored incorrectly, fed at wrong temperature), delivering the food improperly (dirty utensils, forcing food into the baby resulting in aspiration pneumonia, injuring the mouth or crop with feeding equipment), poor husbandry techniques (keeping the baby at the incorrect temperature, not practicing good hygiene, indiscriminate use of antibiotics), just to mention just a few potential problems.
Most commonly, babies are kept at the incorrect temperature, or the food is fed at too low of a temperature, resulting in a slowed down gastrointestinal tract, which can be fatal, if not corrected in time. If the baby is forced to eat, it may struggle and end up inhaling the baby formula, resulting in aspiration pneumonia. If a large amount of food is inhaled, the baby will die immediately, but if a small amount of food ends up in the respiratory tract, the aspiration pneumonia may result in the baby suffering for days, trying desperately to breathe, before it dies.
Infection is common in hand-feeding babies that are not cared for properly. Bacterial infection, fungal infection and polyoma virus infection are the most common infectious diseases in baby birds, and all can prove fatal.
Hand-feeding is best left up to those with experience.