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Discussion Starter #1
First let me start by saying that I really wish I found this site earlier, it seems like a great resource!

I have a pet pigeon which I have raised from an egg by hand, initially I fed him a baby bird formula using a syringe, when it came time to ween I gradually decreased the amount of formula I was giving him and started presenting him with (small) seeds. Now here's the weird part, he'd peck at the seeds vigorously but would not swallow them he'd just pick them up with his beak and then drop them. I've tried everything to get his interest: 'pecking' with my fingers, using the shot glass method to try and encourage him to 'gobble seeds', deep bowls of seed, shallow bowls, laying the seed on a towel, thinly spread in the cage, different types of seed, artificial feed, millet on the stalk, etc etc etc. There doesn't seem to be anything physically wrong with him, and he is interested in pecking at things, he just doesn't swallow anything. Currently I'm feeding him seeds by hand (literally opening his beak and 'pouring' the seeds in and have been for the past two months. I really don't know what else to do, I don't have any other birds to keep him with so he might learn from them. I've tried starving him, and I have a scale to keep track of his weight but I usually give in and hand feed after about 4-5 days of this. Also for what it's worth he has no problems drinking, and picked that up right away.

I'm getting really desperate, what can I do!?!
 

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Just keep trying to entice the bird to eat seeds. Once in a great while, there is a youngster who just simply will not learn to self feed, and you just have to keep trying until they decide to eat on their own.

There was also a case here years ago of an adult bird who had been self feeding for a long, long time that quit eating. I believe the owners of that bird had to syringe feed her for at least a year before she started eating on her own again. Strange, but true.

Terry
 

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Will he assertively 'Nuzzle' your Hands asking to be fed?


If so, try this -





Your Fingers as I have mine, thumb on top of his Beak...Seeds in your Hand roll down into his opening-and-closing Beak...you can stuff him silly in one minute.

Once this is down fairly well, guide his Beak into a small deep Cup of Seeds, keeping your fingers on his Beak as shown, and, he will 'Gobble' the Seeds, stuffing himself silly in no time.


This then leads to pecking successfully very soon...after usually only a few sessions.


Feeding formula only for way WAY too long, tends to train the Pigeon's reflexes and muscles into a formula mode, instead of a "SEED" Mode of eating.


One should begin hand feeding ( Hand-Beak) small whole Seeds by seven or eight days of age...and continue with formula also for however long, so the Baby gets used to both, and cen in fact be pecking successfully at two weeks of age.



Phil
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
He does nuzzle but it's been getting less and less frequent the older he gets, I'll try your method! I've actually been doing something similar, except I hold open his beak and 'pour' the seeds in a little at a time. Strangely didn't feed him formula for very long at all, I started feeding seeds this way early hoping he'd get used to swallowing/seeds but it hasn't seemed to work :(
 

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Well...see what you can do with that.


Another good thing, would be if you could find a setting where he could spend a little time among Adult Pigeons while they are eating/pecking...seeing others doing it can sometimes really help.
 

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He will learn, easily if you try as suggested by pdpbison, he will learn in company of other pigeons.

Or else, your starving method will also work fine :) Feed him once today and don't feed or put out seeds for him until evening tomorrow. In the evening throw some seeds in front of him and keep some in a bowl. He won't eat for sure, don't mind, hand feed him a few but only in the night. Continue this, he will start eating, its natural to him
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I've been trying pdpbison's technique but it hasn't been working very well, I've managed to get him into the proper position when he's 'nuzzling' (as seen in the picture - thanks for that by the way!) but he really doesn't seem to like it, he doesn't open his mouth or really acknowledge the seeds and after 4-5 seconds he starts struggling and I let him go. It also doesn't help that he's gotten pretty hormonal lately and seems very interested in trying to mate with my hand!

The only way that seems to get any meaningful amount of seeds into him is to actually hold his mouth open, which I am reluctant to keep doing. I still haven't fed him and will keep trying to encourage him to eat on his own but I am wondering how long I should keep this up? I don't want him to starve to death :(
 

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I had a baby racer b4, it was ready to wean but didnt eat by its self, so i hand fed him- (kinda like nuzzle feeding him) and then he started to eat some beans-

He flew away- Miss that dude.

-Dan


Fly little pigeons
Fly all of you,
Before you get cold
I'll share a coo with you :)
 

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Hi Aedon

Some times they need to be hand fed quite a bit to avoid undenourishment, according to how much (if anything) they are eating for themselves. I have one here who seems unwilling to eat, though an adult, and I have to open her beak and pop in bits of food once or twice a day just to keep her from losing too much weight. I fed her 40 pieces of food (thawed out frozen peas and corn, racing pigeon peanuts, pigeon peas and other odds and ends of pigeon mix) yesterday morning, for example, and another 30 or so in the evening. I wrap her in a towel (think Phil calls it the 'burrito' method) to feed, as she is very struggly.

John
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the advice about feeding John_D, I'll start feeding him regularly again - I'm just worried that if he's getting forcibly feed by me everyday he'll never learn to eat on his own!
 

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There was one in New York named "Squabovitch" that was like that. The rescuer gave him to a rehabber that put him with other birds and let nature take its course--he learned.

Pidgey
 

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I've been trying pdpbison's technique but it hasn't been working very well, I've managed to get him into the proper position when he's 'nuzzling' (as seen in the picture - thanks for that by the way!) but he really doesn't seem to like it, he doesn't open his mouth or really acknowledge the seeds and after 4-5 seconds he starts struggling and I let him go. It also doesn't help that he's gotten pretty hormonal lately and seems very interested in trying to mate with my hand!

The only way that seems to get any meaningful amount of seeds into him is to actually hold his mouth open, which I am reluctant to keep doing. I still haven't fed him and will keep trying to encourage him to eat on his own but I am wondering how long I should keep this up? I don't want him to starve to death :(

Hi Aedon,



Ohhhhhhhh well...it's a sure fire method for Babys and Juveniles, and I have had older or probably mid-life Adults revert back to 'Squeaker' ways sometimes who for a couple days, were very happy to be fed that way.


But, usually, once of an age, once much past fledgling time, they will not accept it, or with rare exception anyway.


So it was worth a try, even if he will not go for it.


I have one right now, a recovering PPMV youngish adult, with whom we did the Daddy-Hand-Beak feedings for like three weeks, and, then he did not want to do it anymore, but, he can not peck worth a darn either...so, Oye...

He pecks, but he does not open his Beak enough to get anything...spends all day pecking, and, zip, zilch, nada...crop as empty as empty can be.


So, we have been doing 'Seed Pops' ( I open his Beak and put in one or two or three Seeds, and he swallows, and we repeat...) He does not particularly enjoy 'Seed Pop'.


So, I am preparing Mr. Tube, which he will likely not especially enjoy either, to maybe do that a couple or three times-a-day now and see what shakes.


...sigh...



Phil
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looking at the seed you are feeding it would not be a good diet it needs grain like corn peas milo and looking at the bird it looks a little young to really be eating much on its on pin feathers under the wing parents raiseing young usually feed them til feathers are open under the wing
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hi pdpbison, sorry for the delayed reply. I've been offering him pretty much every kind of seed imaginable! I have pigeon and dove seed in the cage now but I've tried millet on the stalk, peanuts, corn, other types bird seed (for finches etc. so the seeds would be tiny), artificial pellets... I even tried bit of whole wheat bread (thinking it'd be easier to swallow, this didn't work) and mixing a little peanut butter with the seed. I've tried everything!
 
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