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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, my name is Mateo, and I'm new on this forum. I just want to say this community is great, i read almost everything here, and you guys are the reason my chick is still alive. Thank you very much for that.

In short, a week ago I found a baby pigeon, it fell out of the nest and i couldn't find nest since it was somewhere on top of the 4 story building that I couldn't get on top of. It was cold and almost dead, I think it was 1-2 days old at the time, weighing around 20 g

I couldn't leave him, so i took him, warmed him up (don't ever give food to a cold baby birds as they can not digest it, and would lead to a sour crop and eventual death), gave him some puppy biscuits, I think I did everything right, so if anyone needs any advice on raising pigeons that young, I would be glad to help

Feeding:
I'm feeding him with baby "Patee Universelle" from Padovan, formula for baby birds. First i was feeding him every 2-3 hours, now I feed him 3-4 times a day, with amount of food of 20 ml. I give him very thin and watery formula, since it seems to have slow crop (it takes about 6 hours to completely empty), so I don't wait for his crop to be completely empty (except once a day, which is over night)...I also got him non pasterised ACV, his crop seemed very slow, almost not moving a few days ago, but extremely watery formula with some ACV in it and massaging the crop gently seemed to get things done, as in the morning, his shoe box was full of dropings (10-15, i don't know, it was all over) and i was so happy.

Housing: I keep him in a shoebox, I live in Zadar, Croatia (it's very warm here, my room temperature never drops below 30 degrees celsius, (or somewhere around 88 F). I keep two bottles with hot water placed in socks, forming an "L" shape in the box, so he can move closer or further away, depending on is it too hot or too cold for him. One mistake I made was keeping him between two water bottles, he was getting two hot, i found out later, but luckly soon enough, if your bird is shivering with his beak open, it is probably too hot.

He is about 7-9 days old now and weighing around 110g, and I wanna ask a few questions. Firstly, am I doing everything right? I think I am because bird is doing great, and that's all thanks to the guidelines I read on this forum.

Second, can i feed him anything else in this age? Problem is Zadar is very small city, and our country is almost third world considering stuff we are not able to get, like kaytee baby formula, and we do not have many many bird formulas, I could only find this one and it was a last one in store, another pet shops I wisited didn't even have any, and I don't know if there are any left in the city, don't know if I would be able to find another one when this one runs out (I'ts already half empty), so what happens if I switch him to another formula?

And I contacted every wet and every pigeon breeder in town, but they weren't interested in helping me in any way (and I only asked them for advice), so no one will accept him, and I can't let him go in the wild because our city is full of wild cats and very aggressive seaguls (and they are known to attack and eat pigeons, seen it few times on my own), and lonely pigeon that didn't socialize with other pigeons would be easy target, so It looks like I'm keeping him as pet ;);)

I hope information I provided will help someone in the future like other threads helped me, thank you all in advance for your replies, I would post some pictures but it wouldn't let me :confused::confused:, oh and forgot to mention, I named him Larry (after my favorite basketball player Larry Bird).
 

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Sounds as if you're doing everything right! The first couple of days raising one that young, is always crucial, but he's surviving and gaining weight, so well done. You can always add unsweetened baby applesauce to his formula, that will help with digestion.

I'm glad you're going to keep him, being handraised from that young age he will not survive out there and will probably be human imprinted. At about 3 weeks you can start introducing him to smaller seeds and then he will have to start drinking water as well.

If you're going to keep him indoors, you will need to add vitamins, especially calcium with added Vit D3 to the drinking water. If it's a female, she will start laying eggs in the future and the calcium will help prevent her getting eggbound.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the advices! I live on the top floor and i have a balcony, so i tend to give him some outside time on the sun whenever i can, It's sunny most of the year(95% of the time), but i don't trust these seaguls, they usually share rooftops with pigeons bc there is plenty of food, but you never know...so I will supervise him, I can give him vitamin D manually but I think natural is always better (when possible)

He is 2 weeks old now and I'm switching him to a new formula...the old one is universal formula for all baby birds, has some dairy products (not lactose), and the new one is a little bit different, it's formula for baby parrots, it has yolk instead dairy products, 18% protein and 4,2% fat...that is only formula available...any advices?

Another question about temperature...my room is around 28-30 degrees celsius, window open, I still keep hot water bottles in his box but I think that It's not necessary anymore...he has developed quills and little feathers, doesn't seem to be cold...

Yesterday i was feeding him 20 ml of creamy soup-like formula 4 times a day, today it's 25 ml 5 times, his crop works faster and he is growing so fast
 

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He probably doesn't need the extra heat now, but the formula needs to be thicker. More like a pudding. If it is too watered down then he doesn't get enough nutrition.
Here is a link with info on amounts just to get an idea of what they should be getting. I know not all with be able to handle the same amount, but gives you an idea of where he should be.

http://www.internationaldovesociety.com/Recipes/handfeedinghelp.htm
 

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Well done on your care and he's a lucky little fellow to have you as his parent. They grow so fast and when they start getting their pin feathers before you know it 'pooof' you have a proper pigeon, lol. I love raising them and I hope you enjoy every moment with him as much as he will enjoy every moment with you.
If you run out of formula and can't get any more you can blend up pigeon mix in a blender with some defrosted peas, porridge oats (uncooked) a little baby apple sauce and a couple of drops of calcium ( every other day in one feed). Blend it to the consistency you want by adding water and sieve it to get any large lumps out. He'll do well on that and you can decrease the blending a little to get him used to the occasional lump or two.
Larry is a very special baby by the sound of it and will be a wonderful friend too.
 

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Actually, Freda's mix sounds pretty healthy, and not so hard to do. Good idea.
 

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The balcony sounds like a good place to keep him. Maybe you can close it off so that no predators can get to him, but he will still get the benefit of being outside in the sun.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you all for your wonderful advices.
I thikened the formula,he gets around 25-30 ml of puding-like thick formula like you said, but still it takes him around 3-4 hours for his crop to empty...two days ago i was feeding him 20 ml of watery formula and it took him around 6 hours for crop to empty...i guess this is the part when they grow the most.

I am switching him to new formula, seems to like it, but not as the old one (one i can't get anywhere), he started refusing formula around 30 ml, before he never did that, maybe he developed a sense that lets him know when he is full, and has nothing to do with a new formula...so if there would be problems with formula, i will definitely try your mix...in 5-6 days I'm gonna start introducing him to water and small seeds, should I also try with defrosted peas and corn or should i wait for him to be at least 1 month old?

There are no predators on my balcony except seaguls, and they are danger to pigeons only when they can't find another source of food, but i would definitely keep him in a cage, + keep an eye on him.
 

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Can you post a picture of him?
You only need to feed him about every 6 hours. It's better to let the crop empty between feedings. At 3 to 4 weeks old you can start introducing him to seed by sprinkling some around him and his curiosity should lead him to peck at them.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)




I will try that today...but the problem is his crop empties about 4-5 hours, I have a 20 ml syringes, and i slightly overfill them, mixture is very thick, like cement...when he finishes that one, i prepare him another one, he eats about half and refuses to eat more, so i guess it sums up to about 30 ml per feeding...He is around 15-16 days old now, and when empty he is stuck (for two days now) around 170 g, when full he is about 190 g, he seems to change and everything seems normal, but he just kind of stopped putting on weight like he used to, is that normal?

EDIT i have had him for 11 days now, and I think that he was 2 days old when I found him, which would make him 13 days old, i just got lost in time (didn't sleep well since i found him)

EDIT 2 I just fed him for the second time today, after 6 hours, and I noticed something new...he seems to get a lot of air in his crop while eating, and i noticed the air before, but it would come out eventually, and only appeared after feeding...last feeding, he would get some air in there, and would stop eating now and then to let the air out of his crop, downsizing his crop for 30% and making room for more food...he got around 30 ml of thick formula and refused to eat any more, he is about 195 g after feeding
 

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The feathers will fill in. Do you cover the end of the syringe with something with a hole in it and let him put his beak into it? Or do you put the food into his beak? Like this:

Hand Feeding Babies With Cut Off Syringe (Directions and Pictures)

http://urbanwildlifesociety.org/WLR/BabyPij&DuvFeedg.htm

You can feed every 5 hours if you like, as long as the crop has emptied. He is too young to be fed twice daily. I would be doing 3 or 4 times. Which is what I did with my first babies at that age. I had to go to work, so on occasion they got fed three times a day, and sometimes four, depending on what I could get in. Using the cut off syringe is the best way to feed him, but you need to stop and let him breath now and then. And you also need to hold the syringe up so that air doesn't go down to where the food is, or he will suck it in.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Im using glove tips (I invert them cause there is some powder on the inside of the glove, so i wash it off and that side is outside on a syringe), and because of the shape of the fingertip it has a loose top, so he pushes that loose top inside of the syringe and has a hole in the middle. I tried various methods and this one is the best for me.

The formula has a weird consistency like a mash potato, he seems to get air inside, but as he is feeding he stops i pull him out so he can get some air, and get the air of the crop out, literally deflates himself. Sometimes i give him a very gentle push on the crop, and it causes reflex and he does it. When he does, i reward him by letting him to continue eating. When he is full he stops eating and being interested in food, and simply wont eat anymore. I also check his crop (it should be full, but squishy like a bag) and he gets it right every time and also about same amount 30 ml, so I think he knows when is enough.

And he got more muscular and active, his legs is strong enough to get up on them and take a few steps, when i was preparing his meal he was crazy, flapping his wings like he tried to fly and he is only 2 weeks old. And i love that he has a favorite spot in the box and never poops there. Today he started stretching his wings, so everything seems normal.

Today i did it every 6 hours, so 4 times, I will do the same tomorrow, as it seems to work well. Thank you for the advices, I will post an update.
 

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Everything sounds good. He is doing well. Good job.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Everything seems fine, except he started to eat less, he weighs 200g now, but he takes less food and wont eat any more, and his crop empties in 4 hours...is it normal and should I feed him more often (more times a day) or should I stick to feeding him every 6 hours?

UPDATE: never mind, he just ate more than ever before, i found thread on this forum where someone had similar situation, and it turned out that it was just for the day...It turns out, in this age, they know how much they want and need, some days they eat less or more than usual. I'm just little too obsessive and panicking, and view every little change as something went wrong.
 

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Just relax and give the guy chance to grow. I've never weighed the babies that I've raised, one can actually see the changes every couple of days. As long as he's eager to be fed, and "what goes in comes out", he will be ok.
 

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Crush him up some raw peanuts and add some hemp seed to his feeds and he'll gain weight faster. He sounds like he's doing just fine to me though.
Not too many peanuts and hemp because you don't want him fat but if you're worried he's a little thin they will help.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Hi, I noticed something new

Every second feeding he eats more food than previous feeding...his crop empties in time, but it looks like it could take the rest of his digestive system more time, so on the first feeding he is still processing food and eats less, on the second feeding all that food is gone, he is mostly empty and eats more, so i changed to feeding him every 7 hours.

I don't think he is thin, he is 16-17 days old and weighs 200 grams, I think that is normal, but he isn't putting any more weight, I guess this is the part where they don't put on weight rapidly, i read posts by other people and their pigeons seem to weigh less than my in this age, so he can even have more than is required...I was thinking waiting for a few days, and then I will start giving him water and small seeds, don't know anything about that, so i have a lot to read before doing so.

When do I start feeding him 3 times a day? And when will he start drinking on his own? I tried introducing him to water but he doesn't like it...
 

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First of all relax. This is not as complicated as you are making it. Nothing is exact.
He needs to be drinking on his own when he starts eating seed. To teach him to drink, gently dip his beak into some tepid water, but not over his nostrils. Do this a few times a day and he will learn. To get him to eat seeds, sprinkle some around him on a towel, and kind of peck at them with your finger to get his attention. He will eventually try picking them up. They normally learn from watching their parents and copying them. Just like baby birds do in nature. He is doing well. Stop worrying about every little thing. Relax and enjoy him.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
You're right, I've been to anxious, didn't get enough sleep in two weeks, he is doing fine and I'm always trying to find something that is wrong...just wanted him to live so much it became an obsession...I will listen to your advice, thank you very much :)
 

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You are doing a good job. He is fine. You should be enjoying him while he is a baby. They grow so fast and he will be all grown up before you know it. Don't miss this time by looking for trouble. If he were being raised by his parents, they would be feeding him and taking good care of him, but there would be times when they could not find as much food, or it took them longer. Not an exact thing. Enjoy this experience and enjoy him.:)
 
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