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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys! Thanks for reading this, I truly appreciate this! Earlier today I rescued an abandoned baby pigeon or dove which I found in my backyard! I can't tell whether it's a male or female.
It has short dark brown feathers on most of it's body, except for under the wings, and that loose bit (not sure what it's called) underneath the beak, kind of on the neck...it also doesn't have much on it's chest area (Sorry I can't be more specific, I am no bird expert!) From my research it still has 'pin feathers' and it looks to be about 10-13 days old...not too sure! It has beady black eyes which are super cute! It can't fly or walk. Flying will come in time but I'm concerned about it not walking. For the meantime I have placed him/her in a shoebox lined with newspaper shreads and tissues. I have gotten a little bit of water into it though! I was also wondering what and how to feed it. Right now I am doing a mixture of milk and bread mashed together and I am feeding it through a zip lock bag with a tiny hole to squeeze the mixture into the poor things mouth! (I have to forcefeed) I know that's not enough though, but I'm not sure what else to give it! Any special (and easy to make) formulas? Please help me! I would love for it to survive! Thanks a lot,
Chrissi
 

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Hi Chrissi. Here are some pre-written feeding instructions that I use and work very well with pigeons the age you have described.

You can hand feed defrosted peas. Run some hot water over them until they are defrosted and slightly warmed. Put the bird on your lap and hold it next to your body. If it helps because you are having a hard time handling the pigeon, you can wrap a towel around it or put it in the sleeve of a tee shirt, with the head out the wrist. This method confines the pigeon without hurting him and makes it easier to handle. Gently open the beak and pop a pea at the back of the mouth and over the throat. It gets easier and faster, with practice, for both you and the bird.
You will need to feed 30-50 per feeding [depending on the size of the pigeon] and every time the crop empties until you know the baby is eating on his own. After a couple of feedings, most squeakers get the hang of it, pick up the peas on their own and naturally transition into a seed diet.
This is a wonderful method for teaching babies to eat because they feel the whole food in their mouth and it’s soft and easy to pick up and hang on to.
The crop is located right below the throat and with food it fills up like a little balloon. The peas make the crop feel lumpy and squishy.
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Right now I am doing a mixture of milk and bread mashed together and I am feeding it through a zip lock bag with a tiny hole to squeeze the mixture into the poor things mouth!
Both milk and bread are not good for pigeons, even adult ones, as they cannot digest them. In an emergency I'd use yogurt instead of milk and maybe some porridge instead of bread. You could also add a raw egg yolk in the mixture, especially if he is younger.

By the way, if you suspect he is closer to 10 days old, maybe you shouldn't feed him peas and corn yet, until 15 days.

If this is the case, better try the syringe method. Actually you can feed him like this until he gets 4-5 weeks old, by which time he should start eating himself. See if you can find Kaytee Exact handrearing formula where you live.
You can also take a look at this http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=4329

This can be a bit messy, as much of the formula will spill on the baby's neck, but this way he eats in a natural way, sucking like he would from his parents:



Of course after he gets 15, you can also feed frozen peas and corn thawed in warm water, as already suggested here.
 

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Btw - is it normal that he/she is not walking? And also he/she hardly ever makes noises!
It's too soon for the baby to be walking around. That will come in about a week and a half or so. As far as not making any noise, he could be frightened, injured or sick. Likely, as soon as he figures out you are his food source he will start making noise.
Would be a good idea to put him on a heating pad, with a towel on top of it, set on the low setting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thats fine! We have the aircon on 25 degrees C. :D Here are the pictures! (Sorry about the HUGE sizes!)



Under his/her wing



Pigeon/Dove

I've also been feeding him/her a mixture of egg yolk, yohgurt and oats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Baby Turtle Dove Not 'Talking'!

Like seriously, it has made one noise, kinda like a soft squeak, that's all. I don't think it's sick or injured - it's wings aren't broken and it's eyes and cloudy or anything. It's poop is dark dark brown and the liquid-ey stuff around it is kinda yellow. Is that normal? And is it also normal that it's not talking? o_O
 

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Okay guys, through extensive research, I have figured out it's a mourning dove/turtle dove!
I remebered I read something about baby turtle doves stressing easily:

Please note that although turtle dove nestlings and squabs need the same care [...] as other squabs - but more time needs to be taken as can stress easily (they are very delicate up to around 21 days old). Heart attacks are imminent in youngsters if stressed too much. If they display signs of stress such as open mouthed breathing they should be placed back in seclusion and another slow-steady attempt made later to feed, etc. By the time youngsters are 21 days old - they are much more robust and can handle stress.
( http://www.pigeonrescue.co.uk/caringforababypigeon.htm )

Like seriously, it has made one noise, kinda like a soft squeak, that's all. I don't think it's sick or injured - it's wings aren't broken and it's eyes and cloudy or anything. It's poop is dark dark brown and the liquid-ey stuff around it is kinda yellow. Is that normal? And is it also normal that it's not talking? o_O
S/he may be frightened, as described above, but may also be sick. I don't know very much about pigeon poops but I think yellow urine/urates is a sign of illness.

From what I read here http://www.avianweb.com/poopology.html it seems yellow urine / urates mean liver problems or anorexia. Maybe s/he is just not getting enough food. Have you checked the breast bone, is it very prominent? If so the baby is severely underfed.

From the point of view of feeding, it's also bad that s/he doesn't make any sounds, maybe s/he still doesn't see you as the source of food. When they learn to eat from a syringe they will squeak like crazy every time they see the syringe around. But I think if you force feed them they might actually squeak less.

By the way I believe when a baby pigeon is happy and well fed his/her feet should be warm. You can check that too, if the feet are cold there may be a problem, in which case s/he may also need more heat, even if it's summer overthere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
This is making me stressed! I really hope it is not sick! I wish they could make it easier for me to tell if they're sick! XD It just pooped again. Dark dark brown solid part, the urine thing is white with a slightest tinge of yellow. Sometimes its clear. o_O Also I have felt its feet, they are warm :) Because I am definately NO bird expert and that I only joined here because of him/her.

So...here's my daily routine - please correct me if I am doing something I shouldnt!
1. Wake up 7:30 and clean box from poop, ect.
2. Start making breakfast - Consisting out of an egg yolk, yogurt and oats (All leftovers are saved for lunch)
3. Feed breakfast through a syringe - Opening its beak and squirting into its mouth every so often. I probably give it about 2 tbs of my mixture
4. Let it drink water (it is starting slowly to drink it by itself!!!)
5. Put it back in box and let it do its thing :D
6. Lunch time! Feed it 2-3 tbs of leftover mixture and then some peas (thawed and mushed up) Btw I still kinda have to open its mouth. Let it drink water.
7. Let the birdies do its thing
8. Dinner time! I change bedding and clean up box then make a new batch of my mixture.
9. Let it drink water
10. Now I just leave it, inspecting it every now and then. I also let it go to sleep.

BTW guys it still doesnt chirp. From the time I saw it (when I rescued it) until now it has never chirped! (Excluding the soft one it made ONCE) Also, I have 3 more questions:
1. Where is the breastbone located? Under the gizzard? Because I can kinda feel that...
2. Do you guys have any feeding tips? Right now I am kinda opening its mouth and squirting it into its mouth (using a syringe) Its kinda messy and the bird keeps moving! Peas are kind of easier and definately less messy but I dont want to be feeding TOO much peas as its still kinda young.
3. It isnt chirping which is seriously worrying me! I have no idea if its sick or not (Well it doesnt have cold feet, its wings are looking fine, poop looks okay.)

Thanks everyone. I really appreciate this! My last encounter with a bird didn't turn out too well. I found a rainbow lorikeet which got attacked by a crow O_O so it broke its leg. I took it in and sent it to the vet the same day. Sadly they put him/her down. This happened when I was little and it really broke my heart. I am determined not to let this one down!
 

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About "the routine":

3. Feed breakfast through a syringe - Opening its beak and squirting into its mouth every so often. I probably give it about 2 tbs of my mixture.
Baby pigeons don't open their mouths for their parents to feed them, like other birds do, but the opposite, the parents open their mouths and the baby sucks from there.

The end of a 20 ml syringe is cut off and replaced with something soft such as a piece of balloon or a piece of support bandage held in place by an elastic band. An X slit is cut in the bandage/balloon and the pigeon inserts its beak. The food is gently pumped in using the plunger.
Always remember to let the baby come up for air, and clean his nostrils as you go along. Wash his face and beak when you have finished.



(again from http://www.pigeonrescue.co.uk/caringforababypigeon.htm )

As for the quantity to feed, you should feel the crop, when you're done feeding it should be almost full but not too full.

4. Let it drink water (it is starting slowly to drink it by itself!!!)
If you feed a formula, which already contains water, in fact he may not need any extra water. Well, actually it depends how thick or thin the formula is. If he drinks himself, that's a good thing, just don't force him to drink more than he needs.

6. Lunch time! Feed it 2-3 tbs of leftover mixture and then some peas (thawed and mushed up) Btw I still kinda have to open its mouth. Let it drink water.
Actually you don't need to mush up the peas and corn, but it doesn't hurt either.

1. Where is the breastbone located? Under the gizzard? Because I can kinda feel that...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keel_(bird)
 

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Another way to feed is using a baby bottle with a slit cut in the teat so they can get their beak in.
Or, as I have used several times with very little mess,
A "squeezy jam" bottle, it already has a hole & a plastic insert attatched inside to stop the jam being squeezed out to fast, which is ideal for the bird to get his beak through,and the rigid top stops it gettng the beak in too far so not so much mess comes out.

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks so much! Tmr I'm going to do the syringe thing. No, I don't formulate the water...just fresh water which I replace once/twice a day. As for the peas: okay! I will try that, it will make it alot easier feeding it...the dove always squirms around and moves it's beak away...-_- so I have to open it's beak and shove the pea in...I am still EXTREMELY concerned on why it doesn't chirp or make noises...it's kinda worrying me. It also doesn't move around too much...today I took it put of it's box and let it have a walk...the moment I set him/her onto the ground it just sat down! Is that normal? It sometimes walks around but it's only for a couple secs...XD I think I can feel the breastbone...I shall feed it more! Thanks again!!!! xox
 

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No, I don't formulate the water...just fresh water which I replace once/twice a day.
Actually I meant that if you feed a formula, that will contain a lot of water anyway, he might not need any extra drinking water. But if he is free to drink it or not, then it's ok.

I am still EXTREMELY concerned on why it doesn't chirp or make noises...it's kinda worrying me. It also doesn't move around too much...today I took it put of it's box and let it have a walk...the moment I set him/her onto the ground it just sat down! Is that normal? It sometimes walks around but it's only for a couple secs...XD I think I can feel the breastbone...I shall feed it more! Thanks again!!!! xox
Baby pigeons only chirp when a parent is near and they know it's feeding time. If he starts eating himself like that, from a syringe/bottle with a slit in it, he will probably see you as his parent and i'm sure he will chirp a lot at feeding time :) Just remember not to overfeed, feel the crop from time to time while feeding.

As for him not walking, I think he is just too young yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Okay! Thanks! I shall keep you guys updates tomorrow when I try out the feeding syringe method - I am crossing my fingers that this will work! Judging by the pictures (prev. page), does this bird look healthy to you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hey guys. It survived the night but it didn't survive this morning. When mum took look at it, it was still alive. When I woke up (couple mins later) and I checked it - ready for it's feed it was dead. I can't explain why it died though but now I have so many possibilities in my head, and you do NOT know how guilty I feel. It was just a chick! I killed a chick!!!!!!!!!! He/she was (with further research) only about 11-12 days old.

Possibility...
1: I overfed it? I'm not sure...checked the crop every time. It was squishy and didn't look too filled.
2. Underfed? Maybe a chance of that, when I got it, it looked skinny so I fed it and fed it and fed it! 3-4 times a day: Peas, yogurt, oats and an egg yolk a day.
3. It was in so much stress - heart attack? Might've been that one. Baby turtle doves stress easily...but of all times to stress...it stressed before anyone touched it!
4. Too hot? I eventually did put a hot sock (w rice) next to it, to keep it warm after reading other threads
5. Too cold? Doubt it...it was summer anyway..
6. Disease? I would've had no idea.
7. Broken bone, ect that I didn't identify? Wings flapped fine...hardly walked...but it was too young to, right?

It never talked or made a noise...maybe that was another sign? I seriously still have no clue. Sorry...probs won't be on pigeon talk any time soon now :(
 
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