COUNTY NEWS: '˜He views me like a mum' says woman who rescued orphan crow
A woman who raised an orphaned baby crow says the bird now goes shopping with her, watches telly on the sofa - and even shares her McDonalds.
Vikkie Kenward, 29, adopted the little bird in May after it fell out of its nest and was sprawled on a roadside.
She named it Fagin - after the pickpocket in Oliver Twist - and hand-reared the new arrival, feeding it every 15 minutes and letting it nestle in the hood of her jumper.
As it grew healthier, she prepared for it to spread its wings and fly away.
But two months on Fagin is refusing to leave her side and treats Vikkie, who runs an engraving business, as its mother.
The clingy crow perches on her shoulder, tears up her letters and jumps in her van with her every time she goes for a spin - even to McDonald’s drive thru.
It even hops around her kitchen when she cooks, perches on her dog, and sits on her head when she does her make-up.
Vikkie also says that Fagin answers to his name.
The animal lover, who lives in Horsham with her boyfriend, roofer Ty Smith, 33, said: “Fagin comes absolutely everywhere with me.
“If I get in the van he jumps in with me. He comes through the McDonald’s Drive Thru with me and sits on the head rest.
The crow even plays with her Great Dane dog, Inca, who she was walking when she came across the abandoned bird.
But now Fagin is refusing to leave her side and has become a part of the family.
The bird perches on the taps as Vikkie washes up and sits on her laptop while she is browsing online.
“We are regular visitors at my local Pets at Home - he sits on my shoulder and they all know who we are.
“If I’m watching telly he’ll either be off doing his own thing or sitting on me - perching on my arm or on my shoulder.
“I live with Ty and Fagin gets a little bit jealous of him. One morning he gave me a kiss on the cheek and Fagin nipped him.
“He comes to me for food and squawks at me. He steals or shakes everything, tries to rip up cigarettes and is constantly menacing the dog.
“He also comes when I call him like a bird of prey.”
She added: “He doesn’t go outside to poo, he does it from his perch or on me.
“I change my clothes a lot. It bothers me enough to change my clothes but not enough for me to kick him out.
“Other than that he is great for getting flies and spiders out of the house. If you don’t want spiders in the house, get a crow.’
Vikkie found Fagin a day after moving into her new home while out walking her Great Dane, Inca.
After watching the ‘ugly’ featherless chick wriggling on the ground for a few minutes, she decided to take him in.
“His mum kept coming over to the nest to feed the babies but wasn’t feeding him,” she said.
“He had his neck extended and was squawking, but she kept ignoring him.
“You would usually try and put baby birds back in their nest but it was too high so there was no way I could return him.
“I decided to take him home. I just fed him and looked after him.
“I have raised baby birds before but never a crow. His mouth was so big I had to feed him with a tea spoon and it was constant - every 15 or 20 minutes round the clock.
“I was feeding him crickets and mealworms that I bought from Pets at Home. They eat anything really - you just mush it up.”
She added: ‘He is completely free. The window is open and he could go if he wanted to but he chooses to come back every half an hour or so.
“To be honest I can’t see him ever leaving. He comes and goes and he knows where home is.
“I would be really sad if he went - I’d probably have a little cry.
“He views me like a mum, but I never expected to have a baby.’