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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I don't raise pigeons, but I also don't hate them. I don't know much about them, but what I've been trying to wade through on the net for the last week. I may try to take pictures because i see you all ask for them to help out with problems :) this little pigeon about 3 weeks old, left his nest above my balcony, and landed on my balcony last week. both of his legs are splayed out to the sides, and although he does move them and his feet, his toes are curled in also. he landed 6 days ago, both of his parents come to feed him on he balcony. my neighbor contacted some rescue place, and they told her to bring him in, and they would put him out of his misery, or we could try hobbling his legs ourselves. so I started looking online, 4 days ago we used surgical tape to bind his legs together, and placed him in a doughnut thing. his parents still came to feed him. he started trying to hop around, but his feet were obviously still very crooked. yesterday his nestmate left the nest, and is now staying on the balcony with the injured baby (we refer to him as lou) the healthy baby spent all day with lou on the balcony today. lou hopped out of the litter boxish tray he was in. early in the evening, I found both parents and the other baby encouraging lou to fly, and he was trying, almost scooched off the balcony. so, i untaped his legs and guess what? they are no better. I did re-tape them. here are my questions, please help if you can. please keep in mind, while I wish this bird no harm, and he's real cute, I can't and won't just keep him.

A) can anyone recommend anyone in northern michigan who may be interested in taking the pigeon?
B) is it more humane to let him be put down, is he young enough to be kept in captivity by someone if someone wants him?
B1)can he survive in the wild or even learn to fly if his legs are not corrected?
C) if he was around 23 days old when we taped his legs, how long should they stay hobbled, (i see now some good ideas for straightening and splinting his feet too)
D) how long are his parents going to hang around feeding him, waiting to teach him stuff, while his legs heal, if they will, now that the other baby has left the nest.
E) is the healthy baby limiting itself and hanging out with the hurt bay longer than it should?
these are beautiful large grey pigeons with black stripes on their wings and irridescent colors on their necks, but they are wild birds. I don't want to tame this one, but he lets me pick him up to check his feet, he doesn't peck,
I don't know where to draw the line between giving him a chance and making him someones pet. if you pigeon experts say he is going to be miserable then I believe you, if you can point me to someone who is better able to help him than I am, great.
 

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I had a hatchling with one splayed leg. After several vet visits and weeks of different taping arrangements he died of a lung infection. He was unable to stand normally and was very difficult to keep clean and dry. Heart breaking to watch the little guy. It's a tough job and can take months. Good luck.
 

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Where are you? I am in Northeast Michigan, in the Tawas Area. Let me know please! Maybe I can help you......The poor little guy...Do you know if its a feral? Can you post a picture? PLEASE write back!!
 

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Hi Mercury,

Thanks for your concern for this little guy.

Although I have not dealt with splayed leg myself, there are other on the forum that have. In the meantime here are some links and photos that may be helpful to you.

http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/showpost.php?p=159495&postcount=1

Some stories and photos on splayed legs:

http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/f23/splayed-twisted-leg-38857.html
http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/f6/splayed-legs-help-10978.html
http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/193589827zTYswz

Photos of this guy would be useful if you can.

Good luck with him,

Karyn
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
well. when I left for work this morning all 4 pigeons were on the balcony. but when I got home this evening, all 4 were gone. unfortunately i see the parents and 1 healthy baby on the balcony above us. the children have searched the yard and bushes for the injured bird, but are unable to find him. this morning he was flapping his wings hard, and managed to lift off for a couple feet, but the balcony is walled in, and I really didn't think he could clear the wall with his legs so badly twisted. i wish i was more optimistic about his future.
 

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Mercury, in the morning, if you could, watch the parents closely, they may be able to lead you, or give you a clue to just where this this little guy may be. He could have glided a bit of a distance, so may not be as close as you think. Have another look for him a little further out, and close by as well for that matter, perhaps even on a lower balcony, plus they can hide themselves quite well when they want. Thanks for caring.

Karyn
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
well, I actually found the baby. he survived the night, and I heard him fluttering underneath of the balcony just now. When I went down to find him, I saw him fly about 20 feet, and he got almost 5 feet off the ground. but then he landed and I still caught him. So I removed the tape from his feet, and put him back on the balcony safe from predators. I'm going to try to take his picture, if someone could explain to me how to upload pics here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)

his right leg splays out and back pretty badly stilll when he tries to stand. he can't support his weight on his own legs and feet, but they do all move.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

most of the time he sits in this doughnut type spot, there are paper towels under him that I can change. he seems to be most comfortable this way, if he sits flat on the couch or ground he is constantly fluttering trying to get comfortable (i think)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)

this is also today, i feel like taping his upper legs for the 4 days may have helped him, at least with 1 leg, the lsft upper leg is better, but both lower legs are still crooked as far as I can tell (again, I really don't know jack about pigeons)
so he is going to fly off again, is it better for him to fly natural like this, of should I try to re-tape his legs before he goes? I was using nexcare gentle paper tape, with gauze to block the legs about an inch apart. I read somewhere that in the wild he may be able to chew off the tape when he needs to, and I know the adhesive will dissolve fairly easily in water.
ok, you got your pics :) I figure if I'm lucky the baby will stay on the balcony the next 21 hours, but it is only 10am here, so he may still take back off today. advice please?
 

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You have to keep him inside while he is taped and take care of him.

The legs need to be taped in the sitting position underneath his body, so both legs are folded and feet and legs (below the knee) are neatly on the ground.

If the tape isn't enough, you can also use a bowl a size that will force and restrict the legs underneath him, but not too tight against his body. Also, tupperware shelf liner is wonderful to use underneath them to give them traction.

You can also use cardboard under the feet if he can't keep the feet flat on the ground underneath him. Position them correctly and tape them down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
well, the thing is, I can't take him inside. I accept thaat is what is best for him, but I'm not going to keep him, even for a little while. I think I understand the how of taping his legs, thanks to all of the great suggestions and pictures on this site, but my biggest questions then are
A) does anyone know anyone who wants to come and get this bird from Petoskey Michigan to give him the help he really needs.
and or
B) assuming he is going to fly away, is it better that he go with his legs taped or not?
 

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Mercury, if he can stay outside, are you willing to try and help him?

Could you look after him for a bit while we try and find you some help?

Without some help his chances are very poor, his legs taped together while helpful to fix his legs, will doom him in the wild.

Karyn
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
yep, he's ok on my balcony (we use the air conditioner anyway! ) and his parents and sibling are still keeping him company, i put water out for him, and tried to dip his beak in a little, don't know if he figured it out or not. i think his parents may still be feeding him, I know they were 2 days ago anyway. I may have to get him some feed tomorrow. He didn't fly away again today, and the healthy baby came back to stay by him. I have issues with making him more of a pet, since I am unwilling to keep him as one. if someone else can get him and give him a good home, great. he is very gentle, and has never tried to peck me or anything.
I know his legs being taped is a detriment to him in the wild, but at least the paper tape seemed to me the best choice.
one of his legs is very twisted, looks to my inexperienced eye like he needs more of a splint.
 

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Mercury, he is a feral pigeon and because of his coloring would be called a "blue bar".

Mercury I am going to help you the best I can, hopefully I will get others in volved as well. What I would like you to do tonight is tape his legs together as in this photo: http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/1193591190044786621MuWGtk

Afterward, I would like you tape the tips of his wings together. To do this make sure both wing tips are above and over his tail, pull the tips together and put about 1" of tape around them. We can't risk loosing him again over your balcony with his legs taped. His father will hopefully still come and feed him while his legs are being corrected. I know it's going to be a bit of a mess, but if you could pick up some wild bird seed and spread a few onces around a day it would be good, as this will keep his father around and will show the little guy, while eating the seeds, how to self feed, water in a dish would be good as well as his father will show him how to drink. Do this for now, until perhaps we find out if there is a rehabber in your neck of the woods.

Karyn
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
good idea about taping his wings together, I did try to do that, but he is apparently strong, 3 times he still got his wings apart, after a lot of straining. I hope, since he stayed all day today, that he will voluntarily hang out a while longer. I will get him some seed tomorrow, and he has the water. I have tried my best to tape his legs, have searched many images, read many stories, seen great ideas. the problem is also that the one leg twists so much, i think splints would be better for it, but that's too vet-y for me to attempt. I felt like the 4 days or so in the beginning had a big impact on him, so hopefully these few more will help a bit more. he doesn't appear lonely or stressed out at least. and if he manages to leave the balcony again, i'm sure the kids and I will do our best to round him back up. I suspect because of the 24 hours or so that he spent away, his wings seem much stronger. I liked the idea of taping his ffet flat, somewhere I read they taped them right to a perch. but I fear he will try so hard to get loose, he may hurt himself worse.
the only person I know in the area who keeps pigeons does so in conjunction with soft-mouthed dog training, not really an ideal situation for him I know.
my neighbor was in cotact with some rescue people from our area, they told her they would euthanize him.
 

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Mercury, all we can do is try our best for him. You may need to do the taping of his legs in a bit of a progression, a little closer every day day until they are close together like the image. At night, when it's very dark, if you could place him in the bowel that you had him in in one of the photos you posted, with his legs tucked under him it would be very helpful.

With taping the wing tips, we are kinda' between a rock and a hard place with this, I have had to do this before and you're right, they can get out of it sometimes. I solved this by using white making tape, it has a very good grip, make it a little wide than the 1" i suggested before. He is close to the age where he will just disappear one day, if the wings are not taped, with his legs taped, as I said before this would certainly be a death sentence for him.

Karyn
 
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