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budice7575 budice7575 is offline
Posted 26th February 2008, 05:26 PM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: South Carolina
Age: 39
Posts: 109

hand feeding a baby pigeon


hi i got one little baby pigeon that im having to hand feed starting today.i sold some birds last week and sold the wrong male i had two males that look alike.i had the band numbers and what they were paired to but i got confused and sold the wrong one now the female has quit feeding the baby what im doing is feeding it baby formula and oat meal is this good or bad for it and is there anything else i can feed it with a surenge all help is appreiciatedn thanks


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Rockie Rockie is offline
Posted 26th February 2008, 05:46 PM
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Hi Budice7575. I rarely visit this particular forum, so I'm not sure what the standard procedure is when you sell birds. Forgive me for asking, since I know you are really looking for baby feeding advice, but...does this mean you sold the mate of the mother pigeon? If so, I feel absolutely terrible. Is there a way for you to ask for that pigeon back and provide the one you thought you were giving them?

As far as the baby feeding...how old is he/she? I've fed actual pigeon seed to babies that were approx 2 wks old.

Good luck. I'm sure others will advise you.
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budice7575's Avatar
budice7575 budice7575 is offline
Posted 26th February 2008, 05:51 PM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: South Carolina
Age: 39
Posts: 109
yeah i sold the mate to that mother .i think the baby is about 7 days old
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maryjane maryjane is offline
Posted 26th February 2008, 11:52 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Age: 36
Posts: 4,808
Here is a link from our site on caring for baby pigeons:

http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/showthread.php?t=13600

It is very important to keep him warm, almost above all else. You can use a heating pad set on low, with a towel over it. Or, a sock filled with uncooked rice, can be microwaved. Careful as it can get pretty hot in places.

Baby pigeons need to be fed every few hours. At his age I wouldn't go more than four hours between feedings. When he is a bit older, you can let him go for six or seven hours overnight without a feeding, but otherwise still stick to at least every four hours during the day. Right now, go ahead and get up in the night for a feeding if you will. It is very important to feed a little bit and then let the crop (the area under the beak that fills with food) empty (go flat) before feeding again.

Also very important to make sure the food is not too hot; test it first on your wrist as you would for a human baby. Do not try putting his beak into water as he is too little for that yet. A heating pad set on low with a towel over it is ideal as he has no way to heat himself; usually mom or dad would sit on them at this age.

Formula is the very best food to feed, as it is specially designed for baby birds to meet all of their nutritional needs. Don't feed any more oatmeal, instead use only formula. It can be tricky to get the right consistency. If it is too thick, it can sit in the crop and not be absorbed, causing all kinds of problems. The formula, after it is mixed, should be the consistency of melted ice cream. Just follow the directions on the can or pouch. Then let it sit for a few minutes to absorb water, and usually you will need to add some more water so that it is "soupy". Make sure it's not too hot (test on inside of your wrist as with human baby bottles). If it is too hot, it can burn his crop. You can give him formula/food until the area under his beak (his "crop") is a bit rounded out, but not hard and very full. Similar to a balloon that is not blown up all the way. This is a hand-feeding method I particularly like and find easy:

http://picasaweb.google.com/awrats3333/BabyFeeding

If you don't have a syringe such as the one pictured, you can use something similar, such as an old clean aspirin bottle, a turkey baster, etc. You can try dipping his beak, up to the nostrils, into a small bowl of warm water. Often this will trigger him to drink on his own, but he looks too young for that at the moment. Please let us know how he is doing and if you have any questions at all. This may all sound overwhelming but if you do your best for him, he should make it. It really isn't too hard at all. At his age, he should pick up that feeding method right away and make it easy for you both.
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Last edited by maryjane; 26th February 2008 at 11:55 PM.
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Vasp Vasp is offline
Posted 27th February 2008, 03:57 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Regina, SK, Canada
Posts: 728
If you are in a city and can find numerous different types of formula...

I'd go with Lafeber's Instant Nutri-start hand feeding formula. From various experiments, it shows up to be the best! Babies have better crop motility, better weight gain, they are happier and of a good weight, and it also is made of rice flour rather than wheat flour, which is much easier to digest!

Here is a chart:

Formula Comparison Chart

I had, since seeing this, only used Kaytee... And now I've talked to a few other breeders who hand feed regularly who say that Lafeber is definitely better. Kaytee Exact does have a strange odor and a gritty texture... I would also buy, if possible, a probiotic that is avian-specific...

Probiotics are important especially for young baby birds... But as this baby is about 7 days old it will be less urgent.

By the way, which method are you using? You mentioned a syringe; are you using the balloon syringe method?
I would also urge you to use a thermometer instead of the back of your wrist to check... Some people are actually less sensitive to eat for a variety of reasons, and it's way too risky.


Good luck.

Last edited by Vasp; 27th February 2008 at 04:02 PM.
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Charis Charis is offline
Posted 27th February 2008, 04:18 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Country: United States
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 12,873
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockie View Post
Hi Budice7575. I rarely visit this particular forum, so I'm not sure what the standard procedure is when you sell birds. Forgive me for asking, since I know you are really looking for baby feeding advice, but...does this mean you sold the mate of the mother pigeon? If so, I feel absolutely terrible. Is there a way for you to ask for that pigeon back and provide the one you thought you were giving them?

As far as the baby feeding...how old is he/she? I've fed actual pigeon seed to babies that were approx 2 wks old.

Good luck. I'm sure others will advise you.
Can you ask for the father back?
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Lovebirds Lovebirds is offline
Posted 27th February 2008, 04:35 PM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Country: United States
Location: Virginia
Age: 54
Posts: 15,546
Quote:
Originally Posted by budice7575 View Post
hi i got one little baby pigeon that im having to hand feed starting today.i sold some birds last week and sold the wrong male i had two males that look alike.i had the band numbers and what they were paired to but i got confused and sold the wrong one now the female has quit feeding the baby what im doing is feeding it baby formula and oat meal is this good or bad for it and is there anything else i can feed it with a surenge all help is appreiciatedn thanks


Quote:
Originally Posted by Charis View Post
Can you ask for the father back?


I expect it's been to long to do this. The father probably wouldn't accept the baby as "his" now. If budice has a particularly GOOD pair of birds and this bird is old enough to eat seeds, they MIGHT accept it and start feeding it. This takes a special pair of birds though. Most of them won't just take any old baby and start taking care of it.
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