2015年4月24日星期五

Breeder gives baby owls different coloured MANICURES to tell them apart

  • Jay Brittain, 63, paints the talons of baby owls at Small Breeds Farm Park and Owl Centre, Herefordshire
  • The fledglings look so similar at birth that staff could end up overfeeding them, which can be fatal for the birds
  • So he instructed workers at the farm to varnish their nails using nail polish in their very own 'talon salon'

An owl breeder has come up with a novel idea to help him tell his young fledglings apart - by giving them brightly coloured manicures. 

Jay Brittain, 63, was worried that the baby owls at Small Breeds Farm Park and Owl Centre, Herefordshire, look so similar at birth that he could end up overfeeding them, which can be fatal for the birds. 

So he instructed workers at the farm to varnish the claws of each fluffy owlet using nail polish in their very own 'talon salon'.

The first born Tawny owl is given orange talons, the second hatched has theirs painted purple and for the third born, pink.

Talon salon: An owl breeder has come up with a novel idea to help him tell his young fledglings apart - by giving them brightly coloured manicures

Talon salon: An owl breeder has come up with a novel idea to help him tell his young fledglings apart - by giving them brightly coloured manicures

So far, a total of seven cute owlets born to two different mother's have been given the colourful makeovers at the centre in Kington, Herefordshire

So far, a total of seven cute owlets born to two different mother's have been given the colourful makeovers at the centre in Kington, Herefordshire

The first born Tawny owl gets orange talons, the second hatched has theirs painted purple and for the third born, pink

The first born Tawny owl gets orange talons, the second hatched has theirs painted purple and for the third born, pink

Alice Pond applies nail paint to a baby tawny owl which hatched on April 8 at Small Breeds Farm Park and Owl Centre. Staff use ordinary nail varnish for the job

Alice Pond applies nail paint to a baby tawny owl which hatched on April 8 at Small Breeds Farm Park and Owl Centre. Staff use ordinary nail varnish for the job

Staff at the farm park have to feed baby mice to the little owlets within 12 hours of hatching and initially three or four times every day. But after three days their feeds reduce to three times a day and, by two months, they need to eat twice a day

Staff at the farm park have to feed baby mice to the little owlets within 12 hours of hatching and initially three or four times every day. But after three days their feeds reduce to three times a day and, by two months, they need to eat twice a day

Mr Brittain said: 'It is just normal ladies' nail varnish.  It is as simple as that. It is important to keep accurate records and it is important to not to overfeed any one of the single owls.'So to make sure we can see the ages we do this. They all look very similar'

Mr Brittain said: 'It is just normal ladies' nail varnish. It is as simple as that.

'It is important to keep accurate records and it is important to not to overfeed any one of the single owls.

'So to make sure we can see the ages we do this. They all look very similar.

'We paint the nails then we know which ones have been fed and which ones have not.

'It also means that we know exactly which is first born and second born, or hatched rather, and so on.

Alice Pond applies  purple nail paint to a baby tawny owl. The fledglings look so similar at birth that he could end up overfeeding them, which can be fatal for the birds

Alice Pond applies  purple nail paint to a baby tawny owl. The fledglings look so similar at birth that he could end up overfeeding them, which can be fatal for the birds

Mr Brittain, who has been breeding owls for 22 years, said the risks of overfeeding can be fatal. He added: 'Owlets need to eat more food the older they get but if you do overfeed them it can be very dangerous.'They could die. The food just sits in the stomach'

Mr Brittain, who has been breeding owls for 22 years, said the risks of overfeeding can be fatal. He added: 'Owlets need to eat more food the older they get but if you do overfeed them it can be very dangerous.'They could die. The food just sits in the stomach'

Jay Brittain applies nail paint to a baby tawny owl which hatched on April 8. The owls talons are simply painted and not filed in any way

Jay Brittain applies nail paint to a baby tawny owl which hatched on April 8. The owls talons are simply painted and not filed in any way

'So each one family member in one clutch is painted a different colour depending on when they were born.

'We have for instance three Tawny owls from one clutch, or family, so we have painted their nails three different colours according to when they were hatched.'

Mr Brittain, who has been breeding owls for 22 years, said the risks of overfeeding can be fatal.

He added: 'Owlets need to eat more food the older they get but if you do overfeed them it can be very dangerous.

'They could die. The food just sits in the stomach.

'It is a bit like us having a really heavy lunch or dinner. They just lie there and they are not in any way active.

Painted nails on a baby tawny owl. The new owls will go to other farm parks, zoos, breeding centres or private collectors when they are old enough

Painted nails on a baby tawny owl. The new owls will go to other farm parks, zoos, breeding centres or private collectors when they are old enough

'It should be a lesson for us all really. Something to remember next time we have a Sunday Lunch.'

Staff at the farm park have to feed baby mice to the little owlets within 12 hours of hatching and initially three or four times every day.

But after three days their feeds reduce to three times a day and, by two months, they need to eat twice a day.

They are fully grown at three-months-old and are able to break up the food themselves.

Animal carer Alice Pond said: 'In the wild, owls only live three to five years but in captivity they live a lot longer.

'We have a Tawny owl that is about 20 years old. He was rescued from the Weobley area of the county by Jay and he is still here.'

The new owls will go to other farm parks, zoos, breeding centres or private collectors when they are old enough.

 



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