Handling of Runts ??

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Hanover Bill
Posts: 621
Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 3:10 pm
Location: Pennsylvania/Hanover Township
Martin Colony History: 2009 & 10 - 0
2011 & 12 - Visitors
2013 - 2 pr. fledged 9
2014 - 3 pr. fledged 13
2015 - 7 pr. fledged 27
2016 - 15 pr. fledged 72

Just looking for suggestions and advise on the handling of runts in order to give them the best chance for survival. During a nest check yesterday I noticed one baby probably half the size of his clutch mates.

Thanks in advance;
Hanover Bill.
2009 & 10 - 0
2011 & 12 - Visitors
2013 - 2 pr. fledged 9
2014 - 3 pr. fledged 13
2015 - 7 pr. fledged 27
2016 - 15 pr. fledged 72
C.C.Martins
Posts: 1017
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- didnt know anything about martins, put up an all wrong house in 2016 and had two come by and inspect all the cavities. Left soon after not to return. Learned what i could on PMCA made adjustments and next year was successful.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged
2018- 18 pair. 85 fledged
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020- 25 pair. 111 fledged
2021:
Home colony: mix natural gourds, enlarged compartment house. All SREH.
Satelite colony: Oso Bay Preserve: 12 gourds: PMCA excluder gourds, 6 room trio mino castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: 3 pair, 11 fledged
2021:
PMCA member

Iv had some luck with bringing them out, feeding them crickets (sometimes multiple times) to give them a boost and finding a like size brood and put them in there. I consider the size of the group, if there are 6 chicks in that group ill not want to overload the parents.
Sometimes it works sometimes not. Worked for me this year just fine. Have to monitor that bird, may want to paint a nail or two with polish so you can pick them out.
Good luck!
Tom
Tom
PMCA member, believer in nest checks, venting, SREH and pest/predator protection.
Anthony Neira
Posts: 1317
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:12 pm
Location: San Antonio /Texas
Martin Colony History: Started in 1992 From neighbors old 1950-60's colonies. Have 8 Trio 6 Room Houses, 4 MPP Poles, 1 Heath Deluxe Gourd with Troyer Porch, 8 NatureLine Gourds with Troyer Porches, 5 Troyer Horizontals ,& 2 S&K 11" WITH Troyer Porches ready for 2019 Season !

Bill , I JUST had one of my Best R. Rescues last month, I took one from a nest of 6, and this one was 1/2 the size also. I found a gourd with 4 the same size, placed it inside & kept track of the parents feeding them, a week ago, ALL 5 Fledged ! :grin: I say it wouldn't hurt to try this, at best, you save another PM ! Best of luck, Anthony
PMCA Member, 8 Trio 6 Room Houses, 1 Heath Deluxe Gourd with Troyer Porch, 8 NatureLine Gourds with Troyer Porches, 5 Troyer Horizontals + Tunnels, & 2 S&K Bo 11"s WITH Troyer Porches ! 4 MPPs, For 2019 Season !! :grin: Started in 1992 from Older '50-'60s Colonies.
Ed Svetich-WI
Posts: 806
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 10:05 pm
Location: Brooks, Wi (McGinnis Lake)
Martin Colony History: 24 Super and Excluder Gourds on two gourd racks, all SREH. Full occupancy. My philosophy is to maximize fledge % with existing cavities rather than adding gourds to grow colony, thus providing opportunities for new colony expansion. Fledge over 100 nestlings yearly from 24 gourds. Band nestlings in cooperation with state university. 2019 Adendum: Reduced colony size to 12 gourds to focus on more intensive management regimen.

Bill,

I have run into that situation a few times myself. I did as Anthony did and matched the size of the runt with a nest with similarly sized nestlings. The only caveat would be to pick a nest that does not have a large clutch. I was fortunate and was able to pair them up with 4 healthy nestlings with ASY parents who I felt had the experience to handle another mouth. I have received abandoned martin nestlings from a wildlife agency and done the same thing with good results.

By the way, good catch. Checking nests looks like you saved a martin.

Good luck,

Ed
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