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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been searching the many threads here and getting some great information. I apologize if this info is elsewhere and I overlooked it. There are three things I'm not 100 percent clear on:

1) Do you remove food for any period of time, such as nighttime? Or can pigeons eat as they see fit? We know he has to have fresh water at all times.

2) Based on what we've read here, we're going to supplement Chauncey's pigeon mix with a few other grains -- to see what he likes best. Are the grains we buy in bulk at stores like Whole Foods -- in raw form -- suitable as is? That is, can they be added as they come from the bins without any additional preparation or cleaning?

3) We bought a pigeon grit mix from the feed store and have supplied about a tablespoon of it separately. It doesn't seem he's eating much of it, and I know he must. How do you serve it up to your own pigeons? And how much should he be eating at minimum?

Many thanks. You guys are awesome.
 

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1) Do you remove food for any period of time, such as nighttime? Or can pigeons eat as they see fit? We know he has to have fresh water at all times.

It depends, I know racer or people that have lofts...do take the food away from the birds. They feed 1oz twice a day then pull...they also feed at certain times, that way when released the birds are hungry and come back.

As mine have always been pets mainly. I allow them to eat what they want... and pull the food at night. I clean the food bowl then, and refill in the morning.

2) Based on what we've read here, we're going to supplement Chauncey's pigeon mix with a few other grains -- to see what he likes best. Are the grains we buy in bulk at stores like Whole Foods -- in raw form -- suitable as is? That is, can they be added as they come from the bins without any additional preparation or cleaning?

This I don't know... I do by sfflower seperate for my birds, but is normally already bagged. I use the local TSC or foyspigeon supplies online. Any fresh greens I wash and cut before giving to the pigeons.

3) We bought a pigeon grit mix from the feed store and have supplied about a tablespoon of it separately. It doesn't seem he's eating much of it, and I know he must. How do you serve it up to your own pigeons? And how much should he be eating at minimum?

I have always offered mine in a seperate dish, and they quickly eat it up... I have only once had a pigeon that did not want to eat it, but once it saw that the others did...it joined in.


-Hilly
 

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you can free feed if you want, the only thing is they tend to pick what they like only and waste the other stuff. so he may not get a balance if he does that. If he was on a pelllet diet I would say leave it for free feed. another option with seed is to give him 1 oz in the morning and take it up after about 30 mins, then feed the same again in the evening, because he will be hungry he will eat most of all of the grains and not pick and choose, they tend to like the fatty seeds like safflower which would not be a balanced diet.. also they tend to sling the feed when it is there all the time searching for their fav. If I only had one pet pigeon I would feed him harrison's high potency fine, which is a round pellet all in one feed for maximim nutrient..this is what my indoor doves eat and they get just a small amount of safflower seed per day + greens. as far as adding things to a mix, yes you can...dried green peas, lentles, popcorn, small amounts of sunflower hearts, organic brown rice. some days it looks like they do not eat the grit, they eat it more during breeding. but they do need it down in front of them at all times so they can get it when they want, some days more than others, they really don't eat it like feed.
 

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Never leave feed in front of them all the time---Feed them 1 oz--maybe 1 1/2 oz per bird once a day- late afternoon is best. I do leave grit in front of them all the time.
You should not have to supplement any good well balanced pigeon feed with anything else. During Race season we all add what we think the pigeon may need for the race.
 

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For racing pigeons yes, but with a pet pigeon...most do add things to their diet. This pigeon was found, so it will never race again....it goes to "pet" or captive status (for its safety). Indoor bird require the extra supplements/vitamins because they can't get outside and get all they need.

Being an indoor birds does have its down falls, but it has its ups...it gets spoiled :D. Even if this one is placed, please be sure that it is either kept indoors, or locked in the loft. It cant be aloud to fly/race freely again. Which is probably why it was lost...possibly it was sold then the new buyer tried to fly it...and bam ..now it is in a new situation.

-Hilly
 

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If you are talking about one pet bird then feed it about 1 and a half table spoons a day you can feed half tablespoon in the morning and a full table spoon inthe eveninggive him ahalf table sooon of grit every other day be sure to throw away the grit ehat he does not eat. ..GEORGE;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Info on Free Feeding

Okay, very good. Thanks for the excellent information. I just walked up the street and found that our local bird supply carries Harrison's High Potency. Picked up a bag for Chauncey.

And just so I know -- for those who suggested we never free feed, what is the danger with allowing a pigeon to free feed? Do they not ration their own intake smartly?

If there are times (in the future, not an issue right now) when I have to be away for more hours than I'd like on some days, is it okay to free feed him during those periods? Leave out a dish of feed?

Much appreciated, as always!

(We're loving our little Chauncey. He's a wonderful, gentle presence. We just know he's not entirely comfortable with us yet -- handling. And he'd probably rather be flying. So we're taking it all very, very slowly.)
 

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I believe why people don't recommend free feed, is because a lot can get wasted....mine seem to like food TOO much, because I don't get this problem.

The other is it can make them a bit heavier. My pigeons aren't show, or racing....they are pets. I like them a bit bigger I guess...

I would say yes, leaving out the dish would be ok and not hurt him.


Free Feed: I DO because I don't have to worry if they are getting enough. I tried the measure feed way before, I always worried about them not eating enough. That being said, I free feed...to make myself feel better about not being home with them all the time.

My pigeon Beautiful, is 3 yrs old, and has been free fed since shortly after I got her. She gets exercise by flying around the room, which is bigger than most apartments. She is not way over weight, but is about 20gr heavier than what is needed.

-Hilly
 

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I believe why people don't recommend free feed, is because a lot can get wasted....mine seem to like food TOO much, because I don't get this problem.

The other is it can make them a bit heavier. My pigeons aren't show, or racing....they are pets. I like them a bit bigger I guess...

I would say yes, leaving out the dish would be ok and not hurt him.


Free Feed: I DO because I don't have to worry if they are getting enough. I tried the measure feed way before, I always worried about them not eating enough. That being said, I free feed...to make myself feel better about not being home with them all the time.

My pigeon Beautiful, is 3 yrs old, and has been free fed since shortly after I got her. She gets exercise by flying around the room, which is bigger than most apartments. She is not way over weight, but is about 20gr heavier than what is needed.

-Hilly
I FREE FEED for the same reason. At feeding time, the more dominant birds come down first, and the shyer - laid back birds wait. I want to make sure everybody gets enough.
For treats, I sprinkle safflower seed, sunflower and peanut hearts on their food a couple times a week. Mine are pets and don't free fly, so they get spoiled. :)
 

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Okay, very good. Thanks for the excellent information. I just walked up the street and found that our local bird supply carries Harrison's High Potency. Picked up a bag for Chauncey.

And just so I know -- for those who suggested we never free feed, what is the danger with allowing a pigeon to free feed? Do they not ration their own intake smartly?

If there are times (in the future, not an issue right now) when I have to be away for more hours than I'd like on some days, is it okay to free feed him during those periods? Leave out a dish of feed?

Much appreciated, as always!

(We're loving our little Chauncey. He's a wonderful, gentle presence. We just know he's not entirely comfortable with us yet -- handling. And he'd probably rather be flying. So we're taking it all very, very slowly.)
Hi VAl, now that you have the harrison's, mix it with his grain feed and slowly start putting more and more harrison's in, till at some point it will be all harrison's, which you can leave for him to free feed as the pellet is all the same nutrient, in the evening you can give Chauncy some treat seeds ,like safflower, just a teaspoon, you can even say something out loud every time or call his name as long as it is the same thing everyday and same time, he will start to know your call for the treat seeds and if you ever let him out you can call him to his cage with this. you are right in that one pigeon in a cage with grain in front of him all the time will get picky, he will pick and choose which would not be balanced and one way of preventing that is to feed just what he needs twice a day and he would eat most of the grain, but since you have the harrison's and he will be on that he can have that in with him all day, my doves do and they eat when they want and get the treat seeds in the evening, it gives them something to look forward to and makes them pay attention to me and know Iam the keeper of something they like. So with chauncy it may take a few weeks for him to understand the treat seed call, but he will catch on and look for you at the time you give him his treat seeds. hope this helps.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Fantastic, now I get it. Excellent point, too, about being "the keeper of something they like." I have a feeling this will be extra important for the slightly skittish Chauncey. :)

Again, don't know what we would have done without all of you -- and this beautiful website. Many thanks!
 

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Fantastic, now I get it. Excellent point, too, about being "the keeper of something they like." I have a feeling this will be extra important for the slightly skittish Chauncey. :)

Again, don't know what we would have done without all of you -- and this beautiful website. Many thanks!
he will be skittish for awhile, it takes them a few weeks to get more comfy, pigeons don't like change and they are naturally skittish, esp coming from a loft with alot of pigeons like a race loft...all this inside with human stuff is freaky for him right now...it takes time and repetition....they like a schedule and consistency. hang in there..:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks, spirit wings! We spent the last few days carefully pigeon-proofing our work room/office where we're keeping Chauncey's cage. We also cleared off shelves where we thought he might land, and made some seemingly logically-placed perches in this space.

This morning, we thought we'd see how he'd react to his cage door being open. We were nervous and knew we were taking a bit of a chance. But he'd been in a cage much smaller than what we're offering him and we knew it had been quite a while since he last exercised.

He didn't come out right away. He just sat on his platform and watched everything. Gradually, he made his way to the door. He took his time assessing everything outside of his cage. I don't think he's scared of us per se -- only of our hands and of being grabbed/held. He won't come to us but he doesn't seem abjectly terrified.

He sat on the edge for a time and then finally made a determination to fly to one of the shelves we cleared. He did so beautifully. From there, he found all of the other shelves we'd cleared flew from one to the other, over and over. He finally settled in on top of his favorite and shut his eyes for a bit.

We weren't about to freak him out by grabbing him and putting him back in the cage. We were hoping he'd get hungry and go back in. Sure enough, he figured that out eventually. He got a refresher drink and some seed then ventured out again. He knows the room very well now. (We could have closed the cage door on him but didn't want to associate him going back in with being trapped again. Not the first time he did it, anyway.)

So, his first foray went okay! Whew. We'll have to figure out how to give him exercise while balancing our lives, our kitty's needs and other things. But for now, we're elated that Chauncey enjoyed his first explorations.
 

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Excellent! Glad his first flight of exploration went smoothly. Once he's learned the treat call, you can use that to get him into the crate during the day if you need.

For now, you might open the door later in the afternoon. Pigeons generally put themselves to bed at dusk, so that way he'll go in on his own for the night.

This bird is so fortunate to have such caring folks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
He's such a dear. It's hard not to love this gentle person. It sounds as though that's a common trait among pigeons. And it also sounds as though people get hooked quite easily. :)

We've always liked feral pigeons, and we've had some experience with wild Mourning Doves (at the hospital). But this is our first experience with a domestic pijj. What a treat to learn about these amazing birds through our little rescue, Chauncey.
 

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Valeri, oh I am so happy that his first exploration went well! You got some great advice here...and everyone has their methods and reasoning...I have free fed with Petey because I am not home always on time and if I got delayed I wouldn't want him to be without food.What works for some doesn't for others....but you will find your groove...those pellets I will have to look for because that sounds great!Petey does pick through his food because its out so that may work better for him!You just gotta love this site for helping all of us!Like other members have said, he will get used to you and just work with him.Slowly put some feed in your hand or some special treats and get him used to you...gently talk to him and stroke him...they can be skittish, but soon they learn to trust! Take care!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks so much, Tamara. Chauncey cooed at me for the first time this morning. I had to do a double-take to make sure I wasn't hearing things.

We're definitely going to work our way into this relationship gently and slowly. Our biggest challenge will be balancing our time, work, Chauncey time and kitty time -- in our small space. Kitty still has to be #1.

We're probably going to wait until she takes her naps in the other room, and use those few hours to give Chauncey his fly-about time.

We'll figure it out and take it as it comes. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Any need to regularly check crop?

I haven't been picking up Chauncey much because of his trepidation over my hands and being handled. Do I need to be feeling/checking his crop at all? He gets his food and grit, and I'm seeing he's eating both now. He also drinks his water. And he acts fine. I wasn't sure if this was something I need to be cognizant of with a new pigeon.
 

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You need to know where the crop is and of course if he is ill or acting ill you may want to check the smell in his mouth to see if he has sour crop, but on a regular basis if you know he is eating you don't need to do that. Just FYI...the cooing means he is feeling at home.Once he felt secure and sees the routine they will start to vocalize..pretty soon he will be calling you in there.It's hard rotating the animals.I have two that came before Petey and I have to make them all feel special...poor hubby...I guess I better start making him feel special TOO!!LOL...but yes it's some work but worth it!! Awesome news on the COO!!!
 

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Feeling the crop is a nice double-check, but you can also track his feeding status by monitoring his poops. Knowing what is normal (poops, feeding, behavior) for your bird will help you catch any problems as soon as possible.
 
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