We're on a breeder's waiting list for a hand raised cockatiel. We went to see them over the long weekend and we saw one of the two chicklets that we might get if the people before us on the list end up not taking him/her/can't-tell-yet.
They had an older chicklet (5 weeks old; hatched March 16) that was already taken out of the nest and being hand fed. There was also a younger chicklet (2 weeks old) that was still in the nest with its mother. One of the two people ahead of us either didn't respond or didn't want it anymore. So, we were next in line.
Originally, the first person on the list was going to take the older bird and we'd get the younger bird when it was weaned. But that lady said she'd rather wait for the younger one because she was going away for a while in the immediate future.
So The Little Turkey, 小吐雞, is now ours. =) We still don't have a name for him. Apparently, Grandma named two birds Guai-Guai and they both flew away. The Backup Plan so far is to call him "Tweety" because we all agree that that's a mediocre, but acceptable choice. I suggested "Todo" (TOE-doh), they didn't like it. I also said I didn't want any human names. I reallyreally want to choose a Chinese name, but we can't seem to pick one that sounds good, is gender-neutral, is easily distinguishable, therefore easy for the bird to learn and one that we all like.
In my own Romanization System That Is Most Likely To Be Pronounced Correctly By An Anglophone:
- 俏俏 (Chow-Chow, "pretty/lovely"). But Husband Guy doesn't like it.
- 巧巧 (Chow-Chow, "clever/artful/ingenious"). Husband Guy doesn't like it.
- 珠珠 (Zhu-Zhu, "pearl/jewel"). It sounds like 豬 "pig".
- 寶寶 (Bao-Bao, "precious"). It would work, but it's a little too over the top.
- 寵寵 (Chong-Chong, "doting". 寵物 is "pet"). This is my first choice. It sounds exactly like 蟲蟲 (insect/worm/bug), but I know of people named with the character 松... 松松 sounds like 蟲蟲 in Cantonese.
- 鵲鵲 (Chüe-Chüe, "birdie"; 喜鵲 is "magpie"). But non-Chinese speakers will NEVER get that right because the 'ü' sound doesn't exist in English, so that would end up as "chewy" *blech*. And Husband Guy doesn't like it.
- 鵑鵑 (Jen-Jen, "azalea"). Mother-In-Law doesn't seem to like that because a lot of girls in Taiwan are called 娟娟 which is pronounced the same way and it's too sickly popular for her.
- 菲菲 (Fei-Fei, "luxuriant"). She liked this, but that sounds exactly like 飛飛 ("to fly")... we really don't want to be jinxing this one to fly away too =P
- 芊芊 (Chen-Chen, "green/luxuriant").
- 婷婷 (Ting-Ting, "graceful").
But that's okay, we have a while to give him a name yet. We won't be bringing him home until about early May. We were invited to go in, see him and do the mid-day feeding ourselves so that he can get used to us =)
This afternoon after lunch, Husband Guy, Mother-In-Law and I went over to pay for The Little Turkey. We thought we had missed feeding time, but they said they were just getting to it and had me feed him. They give them this mushy stuff from a big syringe.
Coby, one of the caretakers, showed me how to pick him up or alternatively, hold him on the counter if that was easier, squirt the food into his mouth and how to clean up his face when he got messy. When he did it, it was all nice and neat. All the food went into the bird's mouth and everything. It looked easy.
Then he let me take over.
Oh. My. God. The little guy was squirmy and ravenously hungry. I either couldn't feed him fast enough or I was near drowning him. He had food all over his face, it was dribbling on the counter top, all over me and sometimes, he'd spittle some of it back at me. I tried cleaning him up with the warm water like Coby did, but I just ended up giving him a head bath. By the time I was done, The Little Turkey looked like a nuclear disaster from the neck up. Coby and the other caretaker girl just laughed and said he always gets food all over his head at feeding time.
We should just name him What-A-Mess and be done with it. =\
Husband Guy got some pictures and some AVI movies of me feeding him. But, just in case you were expecting one of those cute fuzzy little yellow things from Easter, I have to warn you first:
- The Little Turkey Pic 1 (22K)
- The Little Turkey Pic 2 (23K)
- The Little Turkey Pic 3 (20K)
- The Little Turkey's Dad (30K) — and you can see his Mom's back just below his Dad. =)
- The Baby Bunnies (24K) — there were baby bunnies around the corner and I couldn't resist taking a picture =)
- Feeding Attempt 1 (4M)
- Feeding Attempt 2 (4M)
- Feeding Attempt 3, Husband Guy (4M)
- Feeding Attempt 4, Husband Guy (4M)
- Feeding Attempt 5 (4M)
- Fat and Happy (4M)
In fact, he's actually quite scary-looking and fugly. He has a little more plumage than the last time we saw him and he will grow into a lovely cockatiel. But just so you know, we weren't kidding when we said he looks like a miniature plucked turkey that was just jumped by a street gang.