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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a roller that I hand-reared from day 1 and now the roller is 32 days old and it STILL HAS NOT PECKED A SINGLE SEED. I have hand-raised one before but at about 3 weeks old, that bird started to peck seeds and by 28 days, I put him in with the other birds.

I have tried my best to show the youngster how to eat by using my hands and it doesn't work. I've let him starve a little (a whole day without feed) and he was squeaking alot but wouldn't peck at the seeds so I kept feeding it and am still hand-feeding it. I am worried that it will never learn to eat by itself. Has this ever happened where a pigeon does not learn to eat? Thanks for any, and all, advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
As I have stated, I did cut back on feed and let him go an entire day without hand-feeding and he didn't peck at a single seed. I kept seeds in front of him and even "pecked" with my own fingers hoping he would emulate it. I am worried and don't know what to do. I don't want to hand-feed him forever...
 

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As I have stated, I did cut back on feed and let him go an entire day without hand-feeding and he didn't peck at a single seed. I kept seeds in front of him and even "pecked" with my own fingers hoping he would emulate it. I am worried and don't know what to do. I don't want to hand-feed him forever...
Hi, I have a youngster not eating by himself. Can you tell me what you ended up doing? Thank you!
 

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This is my recipe that worked every time.

1. No hand feeding until noon or 12h.
2. From the morning up to 12h you leave out smaller seeds in a shallow round dish and with you finger imitate pecking. Pigeons learn by imitation and sound of pecking really gets them going.
3. First feeding at noon do not fill the crop completely, leave 1/3 empty and in the formula put some whole small seeds along with 2-3 pieces of grit the size of a wheat grain. Select grit that doesn't have sharp edges.
4. After about 4 hours again do hand pecking at the bowl, also leave water out - hw will probably take many baths before he starts drinking it, but it is good that he has it there
5. Second feeding is before bed time, I usually do it around 6 and them move 7, 8... Second feeding is full, normal feeding.
6. The moment he eats a few seeds on his own in the morning, move the first feeding a bit later and decrease it a bit.
7. Increase amount of whole seeds in the formula and check the crop so you can see if there is still seeds there before the night feeding. If there is significant amount of seed in the crop before night feeding, don't feed at night. If you can feel just few seeds in there here and there, feed him with formula.

It is normal for pigeons to loose a bit of weight during weaning, but never let him be skinny. They will loose maybe 30 g, that is OK.
When ever he squeaks and flaps around you for food, you go down to the bowl with seed and peck at it. Then you have the best chance he will try the seeds.

I also use cereal boxes cut in half trough the shorter edge so I get a big flat "bowl" that I fill with pigeon mix. They love to sit in it and sleep in it, and in the process, they start pecking around it and eating the seeds. He will first eat smaller seeds but he will eventually start eating bigger ones such as corn. Even with the most problematic babies they started eating corn few months after they are wined, usually in winter, and corn helps them stay warm.

Good luck.
 
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