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Hitchin, Hertfordshire, UK

Hi All,
First of all, can I just say how wonderful it is to see this forum still up and running. Up until about 8 years ago, as a 'pigeon parent' I was very active on these forums--back when it was pigeons.com and then transitioned to pigeons.biz. I was a 'senior bird' in terms of posting (new email address so had to re-register today) and spent many happy hours interacting and learning from everyone here! After I lost my Pidge Pidge (after 18 wonderful years) I drifted away, but am just thrilled that the tail feathers community is still thriving.

And now: I could use a bit of advice! A week ago I picked up a dirty scared squab from a busy city centre--estimate about 10 days old. Day one we just got some sugar water down her and she slept like crazy. Then several days of baby bird formula, and yesterday she quite quickly and naturally transitioned to peas (shelled, one half at a time), placed into her beak at first but already picking them up herself now. She has also started to exercise her wings, just a tiny bit but just seems quite curious and energetic.

She looks great. "Bright eyed and stubby tailed" as I keep telling her. Poos look good. Vent looks good. She's starting to groom herself a bit. I'm optimistic.

Only one thing: she has a gammy foot. I think it's congenital. It's a club foot, I would say? That can be caused by poor calcium in the egg right? It shouldn't affect her though, right? Pigeons live with weird feet all the time!

I estimate she's about 16 days old.

A few questions, as I haven't done this in a while:

1. Should I keep her on peas (which she seems to LOVE)? She's pecking quite well--should I start adding some wild bird seed mix? Corn? My Pidge Pidge adored large millet (ahh, bird junk food)?

2. Should I be adding any vitamins or calcium? I have a cuddle bone and thought I might scrape some of that over the top of the peas before giving them to her for some extra calcium...?

3. Does she need any grit?

4. I figure I'll start helping her exercise her wings a bit (hold her by her thighs, under her wings, let her flap gently a bit, a couple times a day)? At some point, maybe put her out of her baby box onto the ground in our living room and let her practice a bit (there's nothing she could hurt herself on in there). Thoughts on this?

5. And then after all of this, what next? Will she be too comfortable around humans to release? The answer to that will determine my next several questions, so I'll leave it at that for now.

Thank you so much everyone, for what I already know will be brilliantly helpful responses. So grateful you're all 'out there' for pigeon lovers everywhere!

--Jill xxx
 

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You can start adding small seeds to her peas. She will eventually start eating the seeds and then you can start giving less peas. If you can get vitamins for pigeons to add to her drinking water, she will benefit from that. She will need grit when she's eating seeds.

Don't force her too fly. She will eventually start doing that when ready.

Only you will know if she is too tame to be released. You found her at 10 days old, she will be completely tame and maybe human imprinted as well. She won't have the survival skills that other babies have when raised by their parents. I would rather keep her.
 
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