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Lokie Lokie is offline
Posted 22nd February 2019, 04:12 AM
Join Date: Feb 2019
Country: United Kingdom
Posts: 29

Spot the Pigeon


Hi. I'm new to the forum, in Birmingham UK and hoping to get some advice on a pigeon I've been looking after.

I don't keep pigeons and my knowledge is limited but four months ago I took in a pigeon who'd been coming to my garden regularly to feed. He clearly wasn't right and after looking into it, it appeared that he most likely had Paramyxovirus. Since then, Spot (as he's known) has been living in a large dog cage in my house and I'm hoping to be able to release him soon. The head shaking and staggering backwards stopped some time ago but he still holds his head upside down sometimes. I'm not sure whether that's something that pigeons do anyway or if it could be a remaining symptom. Otherwise, he's feeding, bathing and looking very good.

As he hasn't had the opportunity to fly for four months can I just let him go or do I need to find somewhere for him to use his wings and fly a bit first, even it's in the limitations of a room.

He's been in a warm house during this time. Would it be better to not release him until the weather is warmer and then he could climatise naturally ready for next winter.

I'd appreciate any advice that anyone can offer as I'd like to give him the best opportunity to survive when I release him.

Many thanks
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bootface bootface is offline
Posted 22nd February 2019, 05:36 AM
Join Date: Jun 2017
Country: United States
Location: Washington
Posts: 404
You shouldn’t release him if he’s still showing neurological signs. Many PMV pigeons never recover enough for release. even if they seem completely normal they can still have neurological symptoms in times of high stress, making them vulnerable to predation. I know a lot of rehabs do release them if they can fly comple normally. You absolutely can not just put him outside. He will die.
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Friend John Friend John is offline
Posted 22nd February 2019, 07:14 AM
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 266
If it is inconvenient for you to keep him for whatever reason, it'd probably be best to re-home him. Maybe try to contact these folks first and see if they'll be willing to take him or can help in any way--they should be about 1.5 hours away:

Every Feather
"Bolton
Greater Manchester
United Kingdom
Phone Number: 07899 031447
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/everyfeather/"
https://helpwildlife.co.uk/rescues/0639/

You can also try these places:

Help Wild Life
https://helpwildlife.co.uk/rescue-directory/map/

Pigeon Rescue and Protection UK
https://www.facebook.com/groups/PigeonProtection/

A list of no-kill animal shelters in the UK:
https://www.nokillnetwork.org/uk/England/

You need to right-click on the links and open them in a new tab\window for them to work.
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 22nd February 2019, 10:02 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Country: United States
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Can you post a picture of the way he holds his head? bootface is correct in that he wouldn't be safe outside if not 100%, or if it was indeed PMV. When stressed, the symptoms do come back on them, and they would not be safe. Something would grab him for lunch.
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Lokie Lokie is offline
Posted 22nd February 2019, 10:33 AM
Join Date: Feb 2019
Country: United Kingdom
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Thanks for the replies.

I'm really disappointed that he won't be able to fly free again and I'll have to have a think about what's the best to do. He's been around one way or another for a long time and I'm very fond of him. I don't mind having an outside aviary built for him where he could have more space but would worry about him spending life on his own without other pigeons.

Thank you Friend John for the links. I notice on the Pigeon Rescue and Protection UK group there are other people with PMV's looking for someone with an aviary who can home them so I might look into whether someone could take him or maybe have an aviary built and take a couple of ones needing a place to go.

I have some video of the way he holds his head. Can you post videos on here? If not I'll take a photo
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Lokie Lokie is offline
Posted 22nd February 2019, 11:18 AM
Join Date: Feb 2019
Country: United Kingdom
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Here are a couple of photos





He's not like this all the time though. Most of the time his head carriage is normal and he eats, drinks etc just fine.
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 22nd February 2019, 03:19 PM
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Finding him a home with others, or adopting a few more to keep him company would be really nice so that he wouldn't be alone. They don't like being alone and do get lonely. Sometimes 2 males will fight though. So finding him a female for a companion would be better. And if it turns out that he is female, 2 females will usually get alone.
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Colombina Colombina is offline
Posted 24th February 2019, 06:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2017
Country: Italy
Posts: 716
Hi Lokie! Welcome to PT 😊 !

Spot is really cute!

We have three PMV pigeons: two of them recovered well and have a normal happy "pigeon life" (have a wife, eat on their own, fly, work hard at their nests, interact with others pigeons, etc) but, just for example, one of them easily gets in panic and when that happens starts to fly in a strange and "crazy" way. In addition, sometimes, while he is landing after a flight, he hits his legs (because he lands in a wrong way).
The other one sometimes moves his head in the classic PMV way. A few times I also saw him walking back and forth at the foot of the wardrobe (he has his nest on the top of the wardrobe) looking up...
They couldn't survive outside: they would be the perfect victims of a predator or they could be hit by a car, etc. A pigeon needs to be in his best condition to try to survive outdoor.

I don't know how things work in UK but here some vets help animals to find a home (I adopted three baby pigeons looking for a family - a blind one and two healthy ones - from my french vet): if you know a vet who does the same thing you could ask him if he can help you to find a good home for Spot or, if you think to adopt him, a friend for him. You could also post a message in the adoption section of the forum. If possible, it's better to have several options to choose from.
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Lokie Lokie is offline
Posted 25th February 2019, 04:54 AM
Join Date: Feb 2019
Country: United Kingdom
Posts: 29
Thanks Columbina.

I'm finding it difficult to decide what to do.

Am I right in thinking that yours are indoor only pigeons? Or do they spend time in an outdoor aviary as well?

I haven't managed to look through the whole forum yet but I'll take a look at the adoption section.
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Colombina Colombina is offline
Posted 25th February 2019, 06:51 AM
Join Date: Jan 2017
Country: Italy
Posts: 716
Yes, you are right, they are indoor only pigeons.

What options are you considering?
If there's anything I can do to help, feel free to ask.

Last edited by Colombina; 25th February 2019 at 07:39 AM.. Reason: Grammar reason
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Ladygrey Ladygrey is offline
Posted 25th February 2019, 08:01 AM
Join Date: Dec 2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lokie View Post
Thanks for the replies.

I'm really disappointed that he won't be able to fly free again and I'll have to have a think about what's the best to do. He's been around one way or another for a long time and I'm very fond of him. I don't mind having an outside aviary built for him where he could have more space but would worry about him spending life on his own without other pigeons.

Thank you Friend John for the links. I notice on the Pigeon Rescue and Protection UK group there are other people with PMV's looking for someone with an aviary who can home them so I might look into whether someone could take him or maybe have an aviary built and take a couple of ones needing a place to go.

I have some video of the way he holds his head. Can you post videos on here? If not I'll take a photo
I think your aviary idea sounds like an excellent idea. The pigeon is from your location and is used to it.
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Lokie Lokie is offline
Posted 13th April 2019, 08:13 AM
Join Date: Feb 2019
Country: United Kingdom
Posts: 29
Sorry I never replied to your post. I thought I had my settings to get a notification if there was a message on my thread but clearly not!

I still have Spot. I've decided to keep him but still sorting out how best to do it.

I plan to have my garden landscaped later this year and could have an aviary built then. I have felt really bad about him just living in the dog crate, although it's a large one, so I let him out in the house today to see what he did. He hasn't tried to fly but maybe that's because he's not been able to for a long time. He's followed me around from room to room and had a great time, walking around exploring everything.

He seems quite attached to me, which isn't surprising as I'm the only thing he's seen for months, so I don't know whether to keep him as an indoor bird, or maybe part indoor/part aviary, instead of getting a pigeon companion for him.

I want him to have company of some sort but not sure I want to start keeping pigeons at my time of life so if he's happy with me that might be a better option.

Can I ask, do you have to clip their nails as his look quite long?
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Ladygrey Ladygrey is offline
Posted 13th April 2019, 08:30 AM
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Awe, he likes you! I definitely would keep him as an indoor pet and then use the aviary in summer so he can get some sunshine and fresh air , they even like rain showers if it’s not too cold. My pigeons are sitting out in the rain as I type this..lol.

It sounds as you are retired and that is a perfect home for a lone pigeon. You can take responsibility for him as a pet and In turn he can get vet care, if you have some funds to pay the dr bill. Trimming the nails would be like doing a dog or cats, they have a quick that can bleed if cut too short , but it is doable with a cat or small dog nail trimmer, I prefer the scissor type. If you do not feel confident then a trip to the vet can get it done, and introduce your new pet so you can establish a relationship with the veterinarian, in case you need their services in the future. But the pigeon has to be a pet , I wouldn’t mention you found him , just say you got him as a pet. It is plus if it is an avian vet but small animal vets will treat birds , you just have to call around and ask.
Also supplies for pigeons can be found with pet bird supplies or google “pigeon supply” . There are a few online businesses that sell products just for pigeons.
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Lokie Lokie is offline
Posted 13th April 2019, 09:37 AM
Join Date: Feb 2019
Country: United Kingdom
Posts: 29
Yes, I retired just a few weeks ago so I'm around a lot now. I've always clipped my dog's nails myself so I shouldn't have a problem giving his a bit of a trim. I only noticed how long they were watching him walk on the floor today. I guess being in the dog crate he hasn't been wearing them down.

I will sort out an avian vet though, so if he needs treatment for anything in the future I know where I can take him.

I want to treat him for mites now that he's spending some time loose in the house. Can anyone recommend what's the best to use?

And is there anything else he should be treated for?

I feed him pigeon mix from the pet shop and sunflower hearts (his favourite!). I've taken the grit away because he seemed to be eating that instead of food and he lost weight. Are there any other foods he could have for a bit of variety?
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Ladygrey Ladygrey is offline
Posted 13th April 2019, 10:22 AM
Join Date: Dec 2016
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Sounds like you got it covered, just offer the grit once a week.
There are bird lice treatments out there for pet birds, some are sprays, (my least favorite) and powders. I like the bird powders or poultry powders that kill lice. Ive used it for feral pigeons or lost pigeons that came to me from rescue . I put poultry powder in a bag big enough for the pigeon. Put the pigeon in the bag with head out, get another person to massage the powder in his feathers and under the wings, then let him out in an area where he can shake off the excess. And then clean up.
The reason I like the powder is that pigeons feathers have their own natural bloom or powder to keep them weather proof and dry, so a liquid is hard to get them soaked , unless they are dipped in a bucket of it, but then they are a wet mess. The powder shakes off and I think being their feathers are made for their own dry powder bloom it distributes better in the feathers. This treatment should be repeated in about three weeks as it does not work on the nits, but does on the hatched lice. Bird lice do not get on humans usually, it is host specific. A calcium supplement is good to give as the seeds and grains they eat lack calcium. Bird supply should have supplements. Or shop the pigeons supply online.

Last edited by Ladygrey; 14th April 2019 at 08:00 AM..
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