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CO Int CO Int is offline
Posted 11th May 2011, 10:16 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Country: South Africa
Location: South Africa
Posts: 5

New Pigeon Owner


Hi everyone.

I was very glad to find this forum. I've been reading all day and have been learning loads.

I am not a new bird owner as I own an African Grey (12 years), two Cockatiels (4 years) a cheeky Ringneck (1 year) and up until about three months ago, I had a beautiful Triton Cockatoo which I miss with all my heart. My Cockatoo was a rescue and according to the vet who performed the autopsy, he died of a brain seizure that was caused by a bad diet for a long time (he suspects sunflower seed). We didn't know how old he was or where he came from but when I got him he already had impaired renal function and liver damage. I had him for three years before he died.

Anyway, he ties in with my new "babies". A friend of mine owns a big stable yard that has loads of fowl (geese, ducks and fantail pigeons). We noticed a pigeon about four months ago that was less active than the others (a flock of about 30) which regularly slept in the arena or was found pecking around the horses when none of his other family was around. He wasn't wild, but he wasn't used to being handled either and although we had tried to catch him in the past, he just flew up onto the roof. So we figured if he can still fly he's fine.

She contacted me last week to say that she had found Harry - as he's been dubbed, huddling in a corner with a wound on his wing. We have no idea how long he was there or how the wound happened. We also don't know how old he is. She had put him in a cage where she fed and cleaned him everyday for more than a week - but she's not really a bird person and asked whether I would take him.

As for the wound, it is already covered in new feathers - they are still in the sheath but about half an inch long and the wound is located at the top of his wing, where the wing joins the body. He definitely cannot fly, but he is using the wing and folding it into position, although it droops lower than the other wing. I don't know whether I should try and still put him on antibiotics - would you think it's still necessary?

I have a large avairy where my cockatoo used to play during the day, but since his death I didn't have the heart to put anything in his playpen. It's about 15 feet long, 9 feet wide and 6 feet high. I planted a tree in it (it's just branches) but it looks pretty. It's also covered at least half way on all sides to protect against the elements, but the front including the roof is open to allow for sunshine. I live in SA, where the climate is mild, although we are going into winter, but Harry seems strong so I think he might be able to go into the avairy now. If he can fly in future, I will take him back to be with his other family, but if he can't fly anymore, he'll stay with me for live.

In a bizzare twist, at the same time I got Harry, a woman found me that had handraised two white pigeons (now 8 months old) and was keeping them in a 3 x 3 feet cage. She realized they didn't have enough space and asked me if would take them. I took them thinking they might make good friends for Harry. They are really very cute. One is extremely cuddly and have loads of personality and the other one is on the nervous side, but is very chatty. I have no idea what sex any of them are and I don't really care, but I am worried about Harry being bullied. He did however, when he first met them, puff himself out up to his biggest and his tail came right up, bobbing his head now and then. Everytime one of them moves he goes back "into the pose", so I'm hoping he'll be ok. Because he can't fly and they can, I'm just worried that he won't be quick enough to get out of their way it they do try and boss him about.

So, I've set up nest boxes (I'm not expecting them to breed, but incase they want to use it as shelter) and have set up a nest box for Harry low enough for him to walk into. I have a lovely big shallow dish for them to bath in and two big dishes, one for food and the other for water. I've bought them a pelleted pigeon diet, but because I'm not sure what they will eat (Harry grew up on Horse food!) I have also bought corn, barley, safflower, millet, peas and a vitamin supplement which I have all mixed together. They do seem to like it. I also got some red pigeon grit which they are also eating without problems.

I really want to do right by them and would really appreciate any guidance to make sure they receive the best care. I will post pictures (hopefully I'll have a chance this weekend) soon. In the mean time, any help would be much appreciated!
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markasherratt's Avatar
markasherratt markasherratt is offline
Posted 11th May 2011, 11:29 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Country: United Kingdom
Location: North west
Posts: 41
Hello, I dont have much experiance in helping but i can tell you what ive seen with my Piggy, She had lost a good part of upper wing, vet said part of bone missing, she to held her wing low for a while but it up like the other on now, the wing was shakey for a bit to, if the muscle has been hurt could take a while, mine now comes in and watches telly and sits on my knee, She adapted to lowered cage and jumps in and out ( igave a box to help at first but as she got stronger took it away, she is always trying to fly and loves me prasing her and does it all the more, when mixing with other flying pigeons she hold her own and if the push there luck she is the one chasing them, she will scare them off with a quick flap and the carry. Sound like you have lots of experiance so you must be on the right track, mine like any birds coming and shows off, ive even put garden pots getting taller in a row which she now love to use to get on the garden table and run around. hope something ive said help, wish i knew more still new to this, mine has been mating with a male that come to the garden and just laid to eggs, she seems very happy even with the disability, sure yours will be fine to.
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Jaye Jaye is offline
Posted 11th May 2011, 06:26 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Country: United States
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 4,075
I would be inclined to do a course of antibiotic ASAP. Luckily, it would appear that the circulatory system didn't get overrun with infection...but any sort of bone or tissue damage allows for infection to set in. So just to play it safe I would give him a week of Amoxycillin, Cipro/Baytril, or Trimeth Sulpha.

I am sorry about your Cockatoo....as you stated, this often happens with Parrots and birds in general...people just don't take the time to learn proper care and the most basic things like proper diet and housing. You were a good friend to him/her and he/she sounds like he hit paydirt with the home and care you provided for the final years of his life. This means a lot.

Welcome to the Forum.
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spirit wings spirit wings is offline
Posted 12th May 2011, 08:22 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Country: United States
Posts: 20,301
Quote:
Originally Posted by CO Int View Post
Hi everyone.

I was very glad to find this forum. I've been reading all day and have been learning loads.

I am not a new bird owner as I own an African Grey (12 years), two Cockatiels (4 years) a cheeky Ringneck (1 year) and up until about three months ago, I had a beautiful Triton Cockatoo which I miss with all my heart. My Cockatoo was a rescue and according to the vet who performed the autopsy, he died of a brain seizure that was caused by a bad diet for a long time (he suspects sunflower seed). We didn't know how old he was or where he came from but when I got him he already had impaired renal function and liver damage. I had him for three years before he died.

Anyway, he ties in with my new "babies". A friend of mine owns a big stable yard that has loads of fowl (geese, ducks and fantail pigeons). We noticed a pigeon about four months ago that was less active than the others (a flock of about 30) which regularly slept in the arena or was found pecking around the horses when none of his other family was around. He wasn't wild, but he wasn't used to being handled either and although we had tried to catch him in the past, he just flew up onto the roof. So we figured if he can still fly he's fine.

She contacted me last week to say that she had found Harry - as he's been dubbed, huddling in a corner with a wound on his wing. We have no idea how long he was there or how the wound happened. We also don't know how old he is. She had put him in a cage where she fed and cleaned him everyday for more than a week - but she's not really a bird person and asked whether I would take him.

As for the wound, it is already covered in new feathers - they are still in the sheath but about half an inch long and the wound is located at the top of his wing, where the wing joins the body. He definitely cannot fly, but he is using the wing and folding it into position, although it droops lower than the other wing. I don't know whether I should try and still put him on antibiotics - would you think it's still necessary?

I have a large avairy where my cockatoo used to play during the day, but since his death I didn't have the heart to put anything in his playpen. It's about 15 feet long, 9 feet wide and 6 feet high. I planted a tree in it (it's just branches) but it looks pretty. It's also covered at least half way on all sides to protect against the elements, but the front including the roof is open to allow for sunshine. I live in SA, where the climate is mild, although we are going into winter, but Harry seems strong so I think he might be able to go into the avairy now. If he can fly in future, I will take him back to be with his other family, but if he can't fly anymore, he'll stay with me for live.

In a bizzare twist, at the same time I got Harry, a woman found me that had handraised two white pigeons (now 8 months old) and was keeping them in a 3 x 3 feet cage. She realized they didn't have enough space and asked me if would take them. I took them thinking they might make good friends for Harry. They are really very cute. One is extremely cuddly and have loads of personality and the other one is on the nervous side, but is very chatty. I have no idea what sex any of them are and I don't really care, but I am worried about Harry being bullied. He did however, when he first met them, puff himself out up to his biggest and his tail came right up, bobbing his head now and then. Everytime one of them moves he goes back "into the pose", so I'm hoping he'll be ok. Because he can't fly and they can, I'm just worried that he won't be quick enough to get out of their way it they do try and boss him about.

So, I've set up nest boxes (I'm not expecting them to breed, but incase they want to use it as shelter) and have set up a nest box for Harry low enough for him to walk into. I have a lovely big shallow dish for them to bath in and two big dishes, one for food and the other for water. I've bought them a pelleted pigeon diet, but because I'm not sure what they will eat (Harry grew up on Horse food!) I have also bought corn, barley, safflower, millet, peas and a vitamin supplement which I have all mixed together. They do seem to like it. I also got some red pigeon grit which they are also eating without problems.

I really want to do right by them and would really appreciate any guidance to make sure they receive the best care. I will post pictures (hopefully I'll have a chance this weekend) soon. In the mean time, any help would be much appreciated!
why would you not expect them to breed?.. they will pair off and mate and want to make a nest..so be prepaird with wooden eggs for this... three pigeons can turn into 20 in no time.
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CO Int CO Int is offline
Posted 12th May 2011, 09:38 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Country: South Africa
Location: South Africa
Posts: 5
Thanks everyone for the input.

Jaye - I'll get him going on an antibiotic course as soon as possible - should be able to get hold of some tomorrow.

markasherratt - just sharing your story helps. It makes me hopeful about Harry's recovery.

spirit wings - If you think that's the case, I'll have try and find some wooden eggs. I have only seen little budgie eggs for sale here, but I'm sure I'll find something suitable.

I love listening to them talk. It's a much softer, rolling sound than the ferals I listen to outside my office window.

Again, thank you so much for the help. It's nice to know I've got people that can help and it's lovely to find a community where people love birds!
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rackerman rackerman is offline
Posted 12th May 2011, 10:18 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Northeast lower Michigan
Posts: 1,826
WELCOME TO PT!!!
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CO Int CO Int is offline
Posted 12th May 2011, 11:10 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Country: South Africa
Location: South Africa
Posts: 5
Thank you
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CO Int CO Int is offline
Posted 15th May 2011, 01:32 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Country: South Africa
Location: South Africa
Posts: 5
Well, here are pics of the new additions to the family.

This is the avairy. I'm standing in the front bit where all the sunshine is, but it's too big to get in with one shot - so I've just taken on to show the sleeping arangements.


Ron and Hermione - (handraised 8 months old)


And Harry (Injured)


They are all very calm and quiet (I'm used to parrots - so their soft coos are like music!).
Time will tell who is what sex, but Ginny changed to Ron when he was doing circles this morning chatting non stop for 2 hours. Ginny I haven't heard once, but she might be a dominated he. Poor Harry has now learnt to run up and down his plank to his nest and prevers to stay in the corner - he was preening this morning and stretching the injured wing up and backwards, but it won't stretch forward with the other one. I cleaned up where the injury was, it's covered with down now and the top feathers are completely grown. I have however, found an antibiotic and he's on a 7 day course.

I'm very happy with my new additions - I've always loved pigeons, I can't believe I own some now!
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 15th May 2011, 06:23 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Country: United States
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 29,796
That's a nice sunny aviary, but not predator proof, as mice, rats, and snakes can get in through the fencing and the chicken wire. Rats can also dig in with a dirt floor, and will kill your birds. Especially if kept there at night. If you were to put up hardware cloth and close the floor, it would be great. They seem to be enjoying sitting there in the sunshine.

As for releasing him, a fantail shouldn't be out loose anyway, as they don't fly all that well, and are an easy target for a predator. Jaye is right in that it would be a good idea to get him on an antibiotic soon.

And BTW. pigeons are prolific breeders. If you have a male and female there, they will more than likely mate up and breed. If you don't want babies, then finding some wooden eggs or something to replace their eggs would be a really good idea.
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Last edited by Jay3; 15th May 2011 at 06:31 AM..
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spirit wings spirit wings is offline
Posted 15th May 2011, 08:33 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Country: United States
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yeah the fantail looks in need..sooner than later..
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 15th May 2011, 09:10 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Country: United States
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 29,796
You should read this thread.

http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/f5/wha...cre-52762.html
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CO Int CO Int is offline
Posted 15th May 2011, 10:08 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Country: South Africa
Location: South Africa
Posts: 5
Thank for the help.

Harry (the fantail) has already been started on antibiotics. I found some for him yesterday, and he is on a 7 day course. He is hopping around and flapping, eating, preening and seems well in himself - but unable to fly at all. I don't know if he'll ever fly again.

There's a concrete foundation under the avairy has been dug in about a foot right around, so I doubt anything will dig under. I am however worried about rats chewing through the wire and I'll have to keep an eye on that - I'll see if I can find some hardware cloth asap.

And...someone's already warned me about babies...I'm trying to find a substitue egg as I haven't seen anything for sale that would work, but I'll find something!
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 15th May 2011, 10:56 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Country: United States
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 29,796
Sometimes people take the eggs, boil them and let them cool down, then replace them.
Just to let you know...............rats can go down 18 inches.
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