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hollykatew hollykatew is offline
Posted 10th November 2017, 10:31 PM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Country: Australia
Posts: 18
Unhappy

Bonding issues


Hi there fellow pigeon adorers,

I am in need of your opinion about one of my pigeons, Tornado, and would greatly appreciate your advice.
Tornado (unlike my other hand reared doves) was originally a wild pigeon until he broke his wing as an adult. I found him, had him xrayed and patched up his wing, however he cannot (and likely will never) fly again.
Tornado is adorable and I love him like crazy, however he and I do not have the greatest friendship. He still appears afraid of me although it has been 2 years since I adopted him.
If there's anything I could do differently, I would like to know, because I would like his trust to be better in me. I have been thinking however perhaps he's too far wild to bond with a human and just needs a fellow pigeon - I would likely have to rehome him in that case. I obviously do not want to part with him, however it is about his mental health more than anything.
Basically, our best interaction is when he is sitting about 1 m or more away from me, and we just 'coo' to each other (I mimic him). He will often seek my interaction in this manner and initiate it, but he's amenable to me beginning the 'conversation' first also. However he does not like me touching him - I therefore do not unless absolutely necessary, which is once in a very blue moon.
I can tell he is lonely - he shreds the newspaper, takes it into his 'kennel' (a cardboard box) and coos ALL DAY to this. He gets very possessive and attached to his shredded newspaper and protective. Sometimes he has random moments of aggression where he fans his tail out and struts around and tells his newspaper off - a bit funny - but I worry he is not as happy as he could be. He needs a female pigeon, however I'm reluctant to adopt ANOTHER bird because I'm not 100% sure of whether she will like him in return or whether he won't just be all out aggressive with her. If they don't get along, then I'll have 4 birds who all have to stay in separate aviaries. In 2 years time when I return to the country, I can see myself trialing other birds with him as I'll have more space and better aviaries, but atm I'm just in a tiny rental with a german shepherd as well.
Tornado - if I ever have to pick him up - struggles for a while, but then just sits there and often falls asleep and seems content like a cat. However he initially fights so hard not to be picked up that it is obviously distressing, however I feel he needs contact and cuddles of some kind. Should I cross the line and handle him more or do you think this will increase his reluctance? I personally believe in respecting an animal's boundaries and this is the best way to build trust, however we aren't really getting anywhere.
I try food -he's not interested in greens, peas, corn or anything fresh apart from bread, however this interest is not long lived. I've tried to bribe him with his favourite seed (canola) however it's really not that enticing to him.
His life otherwise is pretty good - he spends most days loose in my front bedroom/lounge room area which gets heaps of light, he has cardboard boxes which he loves sitting inside and hopping on top of, he shreds newspaper and straw and potters around pecking the seed that's fallen between the floor boards. He goes outdoors about 4 times a week with my other birds, he gets in his travel cage voluntarily because I leave it open when it's time to go out and he hops in by himself if he wants to go too. If he doesn't go by himself I don't usually force him unless it's absolutely necessary (aka we need to go to the vet, which has not been necessary for over 6 months).
So what do you think?
Any opinions welcome.
Holly and Tornado
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cwebster cwebster is offline
Posted 11th November 2017, 10:02 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Country: United States
Location: Central Coast, CA
Posts: 6,258
Holly, thank you for adopting Tornado! You might want to offer diced peanuts or a parakeet treat mix (phoebe loved the Kaytee orange treat). Sounds like you two are bonding well. Am wondering if Tornado is a female, with all the shredding.

Last edited by cwebster; 11th November 2017 at 12:57 PM..
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 11th November 2017, 11:25 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Country: United States
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 29,809
Some that have lived wild will only tame up so much. As was mentioned by cwebster, peanuts usually do work miracles. They need to be unsalted, and chop them up to bite size. He won't even know what they are at first, so mix some in with his feed so that he will eventually try them. Once he does try them, he will love them, and they will usually come to you for the treat. You are probably right in that whether male or female, it would be happier with a mate. What they live for.
Is there a reason why you need to keep them all in separate cages? Or is it the room factor? They do better with the company of other pigeons.
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cwebster cwebster is offline
Posted 11th November 2017, 12:56 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
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Location: Central Coast, CA
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You might want at some point to adopt a female pigeon, because that way, if Tornado is a female, they will get along, and if Tornado is a male they will get along. You just keep them in adjoining cages for a while to make sure they know each other. Usually pigeons will pair up after that. Of course, it is always best to quarantine in any new pigeon three or four weeks too for health reasons.
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hollykatew hollykatew is offline
Posted 11th November 2017, 02:11 PM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Country: Australia
Posts: 18
Talking

Thanks Cwebster and Jay3 for your replies. I think that's a great idea about the peanuts. I have offered them to him before however he literally doesn't know what to do about that, however perhaps I should persevere!

As for the separate cages, my doves are female, however Hurricane (a dove someone else hand reared) will attack and torment Spitfire (the dove I handreared) constantly. I had them in the same aviary when they were outdoors, it was a 3 m by 2.5 m high and 1 m wide aviary and it was awesome, they had a dome and Spitfire especially loved it, they had more space and Spitfire, being a stronger flyer, could just out do her in manouveres if Hurricane ever got too persistant. Hurricane had more personal space to do what she wanted also, so I guess felt less threatened. Cats began antagonizing them at night, however, they each took their turn in freaking out because of this, there was barely a night where one or both of them didn't go flying into the wire, and Spitfire did so in the extreme where she tore open her wing and her face. So I immediately brought them in permanently because the next time that would happen they would surely kill themselves. I had to sell the aviary - such a shame!!! I brought them indoors and Hurricane's aggression increased, they were in the same aviary together initially, but Hurricane would not leave Spitfire alone. Continuously hopping on Spitfire, preventing her from ever leaving her nest. Basically, Spitfire felt confined to her nest and just stayed there, which is not like her at all because Spitfire is the stronger flyer, quite acrobatic. Anyway, I separated them after a week or so and then bought an extra aviary for Hurricane. They both have the window seat side by side. They have accidentally gotten out together in the room/house, however Hurricane's behaviour immediately continues. Spitfire is quite distressed by it, she never turns around and fights even though she could wipe Hurricane out because Spitfire is the bigger dove.
Their aviaries do sit side by side, they have full visibility of each other and the outdoors through the window, they talk to each other/Spitfire responds to Hurricane's coos and Hurricane coos to me. Hurricane believes she is a person. Spitfire knows she is a dove and tries to get along with other doves, I think Hurricane lacks the respect, interest and communication skills to get along with other birds. It sounds like the way she was raised was very close to people and not really exposed to other birds growing up, whereas Spitfire never lost touch with her flock (they both fell from trees, I found Spitfire and raised her/a vet nurse found Hurricane and raised her).
Tornado could be a girl, however I have never found an egg in his aviary in the entire time we've been together (nearly 2 years!).
I think he just really wants a wife and really wants to be a Dad.
Any other thoughts?
Thanks so much for your replies! Will try the peanuts - I didn't chop them up the first time so I'll have to try that! Thanks!
Holly
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 11th November 2017, 02:17 PM
Join Date: May 2008
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Location: Massachusetts
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Are you sure Hurricane is a female?
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hollykatew hollykatew is offline
Posted 11th November 2017, 09:42 PM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Country: Australia
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yep she's definitely female she lays eggs just as Spitfire does.
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cwebster cwebster is offline
Posted 12th November 2017, 09:29 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Country: United States
Location: Central Coast, CA
Posts: 6,258
Ours are also crazy about certain seeds. We get parrot mix online as a treat. But ours only like the type high in safflower seeds, not the kind with sunflower seeds. The packaging is similar but contents not the same.
https://www.petmountain.com/product/...et-parrot.html

This is the parakeet treat that Phoebe pigeon dearly loved.
https://www.petmountain.com/product/...parakeets.html
Ok, they are spoiled!

Last edited by cwebster; 12th November 2017 at 09:35 AM..
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hollykatew hollykatew is offline
Posted 12th November 2017, 04:01 PM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Country: Australia
Posts: 18
Thanks for that!! much appreciated!
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