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Winefairlady Winefairlady is offline
Posted 1st October 2019, 02:25 PM
Join Date: May 2019
Country: Czech Republic
Posts: 3

Feeding blind pigeon baby


So I found another injured pigeon baby, approximately five or six weeks old. Naturally I took him to a vet, poor fella needed surgery since his leg was broken really badly. Another issue with him is that he is blind. He lost one of his eyes completely and itís quite obvious that he canít see with the other one.

Heís healing really well but I could really use some advice on feeding. I started feeding him formula with a syringe right to his beak (itís dislocated so I just drop bits on the uncovered lower part and wait until he swallows it) and it went very well at first since didnít move much but now as heís getting better and canít really see, he moves the beak around a lot, searching for the syringe but wonít stay still even when he finds it.

Is there any way to learn him how to eat by himself when heís blind? I would really hate to crop-feed him since it stresses him out a lot (yes, we already tried) and the better he gets, the more challenging is the feeding. Any tips welcome at this point.
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Marina B Marina B is offline
Posted 2nd October 2019, 01:03 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Country: South Africa
Location: Lamberts Bay
Posts: 2,386
Can you post photos of both eyes? Normally one will feed defrosted green peas to a baby that age. Defrost a few in warm water till soft. Best way to feed: put him on your lap facing to the right (if you are righthanded). Reach with your lefthand over his body and head and open the beak with those fingers. Have a pea ready in your righthand and put deep inside the beak over the tongue. If he spits it out, then you are not putting it in deep enough. Give him time to swallow and proceed with the next one. Feed at least 30 peas 3 times daily, total of 90. If he still seems hungry, then you can feed more.

I know some members on here have taught blind pigeons to eat by themselves. It will take lots of patience and dedication.
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Marina B Marina B is offline
Posted 2nd October 2019, 01:13 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Country: South Africa
Location: Lamberts Bay
Posts: 2,386
I don't know if this will work, but maybe you can use sound to associate him with food. Every time before feeding him, tap on the bowl. Usually the babies learn very quick to eat the peas by themselves. After a couple of days of doing this and handfeeding him, put the bowl in front of him and keep tapping on it and try to get him to start pecking at the peas. Once this is working, start adding small seeds. Eventually you want to end up with the food and waterbowl always in the same spot in his cage. Keep on doing the tapping until he figures out where exactly the food and waterbowl is and he will move in that direction. Eventully he will learn to go there when hungry and eat by himself.

They don't really drink water as peas contain a lot of moisture. You can get him to start drinking by dipping the tip of his beak (not over the nostrils otherwise he might aspirate) in a small bowl of water.
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Colombina Colombina is offline
Posted 2nd October 2019, 07:02 AM
Join Date: Jan 2017
Country: Italy
Posts: 766
Hi Winefairlady, I have a blind pigeon, Geordi. I adopted him from my vet when he was just a baby. He is blind since his birth.

He is not independent with food (I have to hand feed him twice a day, I learned what is the best food to feed him and I found a good method) but, in the right conditions, he is able to eat a few seeds on his own.

In my experience, these are the two best options :

1) fill a flower pot saucer (I use rectangular plastic flower pot saucers for my birds) with a large amount of seeds and put your bird inside it. Geordi is able to eat a few seeds on his own inside it.

2) put a good amount of seeds (you can make also a pile of seeds) against a surface (like a mirror). Geordi, for example, is able to eat a few seeds pecking at them against the mirror on the dresser.

You can stimulate him to start pecking at seeds tapping your finger between them, I always do that with babies.

I use to offer him water putting the water bowl against his chest : this way he understands that I'm offering him water and, if thirsty, he drinks.
If you put him on a table and leave there a water bowl, sometimes he drinks and baths on his own.

Geordi always moves his head because he carefully listens to any noise, all the other senses of a blind birds are sharpened.

This is an old thread, I shared here my experience with Geordi:

Blind doves or pigeons (Nemo) https://www.pigeons.biz/forums/showthread.php?t=117904

If you have any questions feel free to ask, I would be glad to help you and your bird.
Thanks so much for helping him, a blind bird can be a happy pigeon with the right person!
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