Soooo . . . what color nail polish would you like?? Blood Red!! OK then!As we went through the training process, and the bating process, and my NOT having any outdoor carpet down while that was happening, my bird lost his needles at the ends of his talons. Reading up on it, you are supposed to soak the feet for the scales to slough off, and for the needles to return. On top of everything else, my bird also seems to have sustained a wound to the side of one of his toes . . . how he did that I don't know as he's not caught anything any more vicious than a rabbit. Besides antibiotics prescribed by an avian vet, treatment includes twice daily soaking in warm water. So, morning and night, he is placed into a lick tub (BIG plastic container) with about an inch of warm water, to which I'm adding epsom salt. He stands in this, hooded, for about 10 minutes. His feet are coming out nice and clean, and hopefully it is helping the wound to resolve, which is a closed scab, and which I have not noticed too much difference yet. Anyhow . . . . this is also helping to soften the scales on the talons. Today as I was fussing with his feet after a soak, and changing out anklets, I decided to take the emery board and scale off myself some of the loose stuff that you can see as a soft white layer on the talons. I was seen doing this, and captured in photograph. It does look funny! As far as the soaking process . . . I think the jury is still out. I've read to let the hawk soak overnight. I've also read to wrap a perch with a wet towel, and let them stand on that overnight. I may still consider this at some point. I've also read to massage in some bag balm onto the nails, which I may still consider getting. In combination with all this, I have changed out all the perching surfaces for him, adding a nice rough branch in his mews which he prefers to perch on. This should help with the stropping process. Either way, his toes are getting more pointy! I'm also very impressed that he is allowing me to fuss with his feet without any protest.
Mark and Ellie in their natural habitat
2 hours ago