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"My heart goes out to any creature that is so dependent
on another to live out a happy and healthy life"

I have a small breeding operation and a finch rescue in Central Texas. I was prompted to start the rescue program because I'd seen various finches that were in dire need of attention or read stories of how others were mistreated and neglected.

Many of these birds have health problems, are plucked, show signs of missing toes or damaged legs due to overgrown nails getting caught, are housed inappropriately and often times die from stress, disease or secondary infections due to weakened immune systems caused by stress. Sadly enough, most of the birds I have seen in these conditions are in pet stores.

One such story of a store-rescued finch is this little guy. Upon seeing him and without a second thought, I decided he needed to come home with me. The store clerk caught him from the cage and boxed him up quickly. When I bought him, I briefly looked over him, but it wasn't until I got him home that I realized the extent of his condition. It was a sad sight.

'Wet Bird' Feather Texture
I knew his feathers were in poor condition, but the store lighting did not allow me to see the extent of how poor it was. It appeared that he had been stuck in molt for some time. He had tufts of feathers sticking out here and there. He had virtually no tail. I am guessing it was a prolonged juvenile molt, as some of the gray feathers were still visible on his face and throat. At a glance, he had the feather texture of a wet bird, although he was completely dry. His nails were so overgrown that they spiraled around nearly twice. He was missing a toe, most likely from a recent injury from its appearance. The length of his nails coupled with the juvenile feathers were good indicators that this had been going on for a while. I was pretty disappointed in my purchase...not because I didn't buy a "quality" bird...but because no bird should have to be subjected to this.

After the long drive home, I set him up in his quarantine cage. First thing was first...a thorough spraying of S-76 and good nail trimming. I then gave him some spray millet and NV Powder in his water and put him in a quiet room. While he settled in from the trip, I plotted my wellness strategy for him. The best way to improve his condition was to provide him with the best nutrition and reduce the stress as much as possible.

Diet First
I have been using Dr. Marshall's products since January. I saw the incredible difference it made in my breeding birds, as well as the overall health of my non-breeding birds. I knew that if there was something that was going to fix this little guy, it was first and foremost going to be his diet. I was confident Dr. Marshall's would do the trick. I had seen the turnaround in my other birds, though I had never seen a bird in this poor condition, and was hoping for similar results this time. In addition to this, introducing these supplements would be much less stressful, as I could utilize these with his seed diet and introduce new foods without worrying if he was eating enough of his supplements. So, he was started on Dr. Marshall's molting/juvenile health program.

Pin feathers EVERWHERE
Over the next six weeks, the most dramatic changes took place. Within about 2 weeks, pin feathers began sprouting up EVERYWHERE! He preened his new feathers and started singing. Within another 2-3 weeks, most of the pin feathers were gone.

Astounding Transformation
His coloration went from dull to lustrous. He developed an iridescent sheen. He grew the longest tail shaft wires I had seen and they were perfect. His shape was lean and his build was excellent. The second picture was taken after 6 weeks of being on his new diet. The transformation was completely astounding. Not only had his physical appearance improved tenfold, but his behavior dramatically changed as well. His activity levels are excellent; he sings nonstop; and, it may sound odd, but he seems to KNOW how good he looks.

With the help of this little guy's strong will and Dr. Marshall, the little bird that was rescued from a store underwent a complete makeover... from the inside out.

Six Weeks on Supplements
Please note that not all rescued finches come from conditions like these. There are many varying circumstances for each case. Sometimes, as with a group of societies we rescued, the owners are no longer willing to care for them. Nevertheless, no matter the situation, our hearts and homes are open to unwanted finches, "misfits" or ones that just need some TLC.

Nikki Cunningham - TX

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