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kamz's Avatar
kamz kamz is offline
Posted 17th October 2010, 12:47 AM
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i found my feral when he was a baby still - i think too young to ever really be considered wild - 17 days old. quite different to a fully formed adult.

i have not had much experience with adult feral pigeons, so cannot really comment, other than to express my opinion that i feel the birds would adapt to being captive - and probably have a meaningful existence, without fear, pain or hunger. But if you want to have them as pets per ce - then they may well be fearful of humans.

Even temporarily catching her could well improve her situation long term - 1 leg is better than none!.

Best of luck, you have come to a wonderful place full of supportive people, who if you catch this birdie, will provide oodles of great advice.

Susie


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jenfer jenfer is offline
Posted 17th October 2010, 05:03 AM
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Bella, if this bird can walk (and has a mate and life outside) what's the rationale for capturing her and keeping her captive?

I understand all too well the desire to keep safe an individual we have come to care about, but I would not assume that she cannot survive outside just because she has a foot injury. Plenty of former string pigeons manage just fine (I personally have known birds with damage to one foot, both feet, with one foot missing, a bird with a bad splay leg and string damage to the other foot who survived at least 5 years outside, and even one with NO FEET who has been out there for at least three years now). I don't think it's accurate OR fair to the bird to state unequivocally that she has no chance of survival. That said, I do think that you should try to catch her to remove the string from the other foot before it forms a stricture (if it hasn't already) and the toes/foot incurs permanent damage. If she seems good and strong and can walk and fly fine, then I would not hesitate to release her again to her outdoor life with her mate.

Jennifer
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Last edited by jenfer; 17th October 2010 at 05:05 AM.
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 17th October 2010, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenfer View Post
Bella, if this bird can walk (and has a mate and life outside) what's the rationale for capturing her and keeping her captive?

I understand all too well the desire to keep safe an individual we have come to care about, but I would not assume that she cannot survive outside just because she has a foot injury. Plenty of former string pigeons manage just fine (I personally have known birds with damage to one foot, both feet, with one foot missing, a bird with a bad splay leg and string damage to the other foot who survived at least 5 years outside, and even one with NO FEET who has been out there for at least three years now). I don't think it's accurate OR fair to the bird to state unequivocally that she has no chance of survival. That said, I do think that you should try to catch her to remove the string from the other foot before it forms a stricture (if it hasn't already) and the toes/foot incurs permanent damage. If she seems good and strong and can walk and fly fine, then I would not hesitate to release her again to her outdoor life with her mate.

Jennifer
Yes, sounds like she and her mate are having a wonderful time of it. She is constantly having others males jumping her, and him trying to fend them off. Eventually, he will also be injured by a tougher bird. By all means, release her to her wonderful life of freedom.
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Last edited by Jay3; 17th October 2010 at 11:52 AM.
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Larry_Cologne Larry_Cologne is offline
Posted 17th October 2010, 12:27 PM
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Bella F,

Came across a female pigeon at Neumarkt ("New Market"), Cologne, in 2008. She was scraggly-looking. She was dragging a toe which had fallen off, still attached by a few inches of string. Noticed her male mate staying nearby, and chasing off other males.

I surreptitiously fed her (and her mate) until she healed, toes fell off, and she looked healthy again.

Notes from log:

Quote:
May 30, 2008 Friday
I go to 14:30 physiotherapy.
I see a pigeon (Taffy Toe-free) at Neumarkt, with feet bound together by nylon fishing line. Right middle toe is black and gangrenous. Drop some seed for her.

May 31, 2008 Saturday
Can’t catch pigeonTaffy Toe-free at Neumarkt.

June 1, 2008 Sunday
Pigeon Taffy Toe-free’s right middle toe has come off. It is still bound to her left foot by nylon fishing line, but she can now limp a bit. Uses wings to keep upright, and topples over a lot. Drop some seed for her and her mate (Every afternoon this week).

June 2, 2008 Monday
Feed pigeon Taffy Toe-free and her mate at Neumarkt this afternoon.

June 3, 2008 Tuesday
Feed pigeon Taffy Toe-free and her mate at Neumarkt this afternoon.

-----------

Feed her daily.

-----------

June 17, 2008 Tuesday
Feed pigeon Taffy Toe-free and her mate at Neumarkt this afternoon at 18:15. Her right middle toe is pale gray and dangles from her left foot by a few inches of nylon.

---------

June 20, 2009
Been feeding a female pigeon, Taffy Toe-free, daily for the past few weeks, a half-hour to an hour away by bus and streetcar. Three weeks ago today, on Friday, May 30th, I saw her with both feet tangled together with nylon fishing line. Middle toe on right foot black with gangrene. Stumbling, falling over, propping herself up by a wing. Looked like she was making her way through taffy. This was at Neumarkt, "New Market," the city's main juxtaposition for streetcars, subways, and buses. Circus Roncalli had a tent pitched, trailers on the city block that makes up Neumarkt. She had been sunning herself, fluffed up, apart from the others, in a small area relatively not traversed by humans. Dropped some seed.

----------

July 19, 2008 Saturday
Early A.M. Post to pigeon-life.net.
Healthy pigeons can go a couple of days without eating, much as humans can.

If you simply stop feeding them, they will look elsewhere. They aren't stupid by any means.

It becomes problematic when you see sick pigeons with bad looking (unkempt) feathers, whom you know must be hungry, but who stay away from the flock. These I try to entice away to a place the other birds don't pay much attention to, and then try to sneak the sick or injured pigeon some food.

I did this successfully for a month with Taffy Toe-Free, a female pigeon who had her feet tangled together with nylon fishing line. Her gangrenous toe fell off, but remained attached by the line to her other foot. She was able to walk, however, and I fed her as her stump healed. Yesterday (Thursday) she was basking in the sun and all of the other pigeons were somewhere else. I dropped some seed where she could eat it in privacy, but after looking at me a while (she knows me), she flew in a loop to attract the other pigeons, fluttering down in such a way as to send them a signal, and she proceeded to eat while about thirty other pigeons flew a hundred meters to join her. She didn't need to share, and I don't think she wanted the others there for protection as a member of the flock, since I kept my distance, and she had eaten in privacy before.


Note from my log, one year later:

Quote:
September 8, 2009
See female pigeon Taffy Toe-Free at Neumarkt. Last saw her on October 30th of 2008. She recognizes me (without a beard, but with backpack), circles me at shoulder height, but I don’t have any seed with me.
Made lots of photos, and some video clips of her and her mate.
Moved to Antwerp in October 2009.
Taffy Toe-Free may still be flying around Neumarkt.

Larry
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Last edited by Larry_Cologne; 17th October 2010 at 12:43 PM.
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jenfer jenfer is offline
Posted 17th October 2010, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay3 View Post
Yes, sounds like she and her mate are having a wonderful time of it. She is constantly having others males jumping her, and him trying to fend them off. Eventually, he will also be injured by a tougher bird. By all means, release her to her wonderful life of freedom.
Jay, you are contradicting even yourself here. You wrote in another thread:

"Well most adult ferals are not happy in captivity. They have lived free, and that is what they know. They don't usually become that tame just because you decide to keep them. If they are young enough, and haven't flown freely, there would be more chance of them being happy being kept. Letting them free fly and make their own decision is different. Or if they are unreleasable, and not safe to let them go back to the wild. Why take wild birds that want to be wild, when there are so many pigeons that need a home, and can't be turned loose, who need homes? Just doesn't make sense."

What I read here as relayed by Bella is that these two birds come to eat and then leave again, they won't get too close to the human, that the male "protects" the female, and that that the bird she is concerned about can walk fine. Are you making a psychic prediction that goes against both your own stated philosophy and Bella's observations? Are you sure that life in captivity is what this bird would want (contrary to all known indications) and not what *you* want for this bird so that you can feel better knowing that she is "safe"?

Jennifer
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jenfer jenfer is offline
Posted 17th October 2010, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spirit wings View Post
the point is for this bird to have a "former" string injury... not sure if that has happened yet?... and did not see one word of keeping the pigeon..just helping it..did I miss something?..lol.. anyway, if she does not catch it TO JUST LOOK IT OVER AND HELP GET THE STRING OFF, pehaps topical meds, the only point I see now is it is good to know pigeons can live out in the wild without feet...
Spirit, apparently you missed others stating unequivocally that this bird cannot be released and would not last long in the wild, and you also missed Bella saying "I'll keep trying to tame her enough to catch her, and also ask the local pet store if they know anyone who would keep a disabled feral pigeon as a pet (and her mate too, if possible)."
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 17th October 2010, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenfer;513010[B
]Jay, you are contradicting even yourself here. You wrote in another thread:[/b]

"Well most adult ferals are not happy in captivity. They have lived free, and that is what they know. They don't usually become that tame just because you decide to keep them. If they are young enough, and haven't flown freely, there would be more chance of them being happy being kept. Letting them free fly and make their own decision is different. Or if they are unreleasable, and not safe to let them go back to the wild. Why take wild birds that want to be wild, when there are so many pigeons that need a home, and can't be turned loose, who need homes? Just doesn't make sense."

What I read here as relayed by Bella is that these two birds come to eat and then leave again, they won't get too close to the human, that the male "protects" the female, and that that the bird she is concerned about can walk fine. Are you making a psychic prediction that goes against both your own stated philosophy and Bella's observations? Are you sure that life in captivity is what this bird would want (contrary to all known indications) and not what *you* want for this bird so that you can feel better knowing that she is "safe"?

Jennifer

I made no contradiction there. So don't twist my words, thank you. In the other thread, I was obviously referring to healthy normal birds. Here, we are talking about a bird who has just lost a foot, and has string on the other, and is in danger of losing that one too. So how well do you think she will fare in the wild with no feet? or one gone, and the other so messed up that she cannot walk on it? Let's add to that, that she is constantly being topped by every male around, and her poor mate is constantly trying to defend her. Sounds like a great existence. If you can read, then you should be able to understand the difference.
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Last edited by Jay3; 17th October 2010 at 01:58 PM.
Bella_F Bella_F is offline
Posted 17th October 2010, 03:19 PM
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Hi Guys,

Some of you haven't read all of my posts. To recap, the pigeon is wild with a mate, and I suspect she has eggs or babies now. So its not a question of releasing her. Its a question of whether she needs to be captured in order to live.

Two weeks ago, she could not stand or walk. She was being harrassed and raped by many male pigeons, so I made a safe spot for she and her mate to eat, up on my back deck. They don't get harrassed there and she can eat as much as she likes in peace. They come for 10 minutes or so and leave.

Then one of her feet fell off and now she can stand and walk quickly enough to survive, I think. But it depends on her remaining foot....whether it is going to fall off too. It looks very bad, but so far I haven't been able to see it clearly enough to see if its being strangled by the string or not. There is definitely string on the remaining foot.

I would like to be able to take the string off the remaining foot, and find out if the foot will survive, or fall off. Without any feet, she may need to be captured eventually, but meanwhile she can eat and drink all she wants on the safe spot on my deck.
Bella_F Bella_F is offline
Posted 17th October 2010, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry_Cologne View Post
Bella F,


I surreptitiously fed her (and her mate) until she healed, toes fell off, and she looked healthy again.

Larry
Hi Larry,

Thank you very much for this account of helping Taffy....it helps a lot hearing about this experience, and how it worked out.

I'm in a similar position, in that the effects of her String injury are still playing out- she's already lost a whole foot in past 2 weeks, and I'm not sure how much worse it will get, and will she lose the other foot too? The remaining foot still has string attached, and looks very bad......toes bent backwards, very bloated & enlarged & deformed looking.

If she loses both feet, its likely she won't be able to walk again, and the raping by other male pigeons will be a problem. It is my goal to assist her to live in the wild, but if she can't live out there due to being unable t walk, I need another plan for her.
Bella_F Bella_F is offline
Posted 17th October 2010, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spirit wings View Post
..so not sure why she would think of keeping the pigeon captive by someone, unless it was not able to live out in the wild and suffer an agonizing life... but as you stated birds can live fine without feet... all the best to this injured hen.... good luck dear....
Hi Spirit wings,

I am also a strong believer that disabled birds have a right to their wild life, and that people can be too quick to rob them of their freedom and even their life because of their disabilities. I am friends with several wild disabled birds, that I've known for over 6 years. I provide a bit of supplement food to some of them, especially in bad weather, though they are mostly fully independent. They make do! They have mates, build nests, raise babies and have lives that are meaningful & natural to them. I am certain that many wildlife carers and vets would have deemed them unreleasable and killed them right off the bat, if they had the opportunity to do so.

This little pigeon is the worst case I've seen so far; she may lose both feet completely (not just toes). But if her remaining foot makes it, I think she'll do fine the way she is now. Both she and her mate are in otherwise very good condition.
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 17th October 2010, 03:56 PM
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Unless you can catch her, there isn't much chance of her remaining foot making it. I know that is easier said than done, believe me.
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Bella_F Bella_F is offline
Posted 17th October 2010, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenfer View Post
Bella, if this bird can walk (and has a mate and life outside) what's the rationale for capturing her and keeping her captive?

Jennifer
Hey Jennifer,

I'd like to see if I can do something about the string attached to her remaining foot. Maybe I can take the string off?. The way it looks, there is a chance she will lose both feet, from the ankles down. If that happens, it would be nice to know of someone who might take her in and give her a good life. If it doesn't, I wouldn't dream of capturing her. I think she can survive with one missing foot.

Hugs, and thanks for your support.
Bella_F Bella_F is offline
Posted 17th October 2010, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay3 View Post
Unless you can catch her, there isn't much chance of her remaining foot making it. I know that is easier said than done, believe me.
Hi Jay,

I can't see how anyone could possibly know that for sure, without seeing the foot and how the string is attached to it.

It could go either way, and I want to be prepared for both scenarios, without jumping to conclusions.
Bella_F Bella_F is offline
Posted 17th October 2010, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spirit wings View Post
Bella and Larry have stated that they have seen pigeons living without feet... so if you can not treat the one leg/foot.. then not much more to really talk about....

What I read from others were descriptions of pigeons living without toes, rather than without feet. I've seen many pigeons living without toes too.
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 17th October 2010, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bella_F View Post
Hi Jay,

I can't see how anyone could possibly know that for sure, without seeing the foot and how the string is attached to it.

It could go either way, and I want to be prepared for both scenarios, without jumping to conclusions.

Well you said that foot looked really bad. What do you suppose did that if not the string? Do you think it is not painful that way? Or will not get worse? String injuries usually get worse, not better. And it won't get any better with the string on it. So how does it "go either way"?
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