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Advice On Weaning The Baby Woodies.

2325 Views 8 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  amyable
I am trying to wean the two baby Woodies off the Kaytee formula now.

They have just started to pick up seeds today, so I wasn't sure how much I should hand feed them now. They both weigh 225gms.

I only gave them three feeds today and they picked up a few seeds while I was around, so are starting to manage seeds, but I don't know that they would eat enough as yet to keep them going.

I have put them in a cage that is large enough for them to stretch their wings, and they have fluttered out of the box I had them in before, so are experimenting with flying techniques.
I have them outside now in the shed with the feral rescues, and am leaving them overnight for the first time tonight, and missing the late feed.
I want to try and get them accustomed to birds, but so far whenever I go in, they squeak at me for a feed all the time.
Do I just ignore them now or is it too soon to leave them alone totally.

The problem is they just huddle up together in a corner of the cage until I appear, so I am trying to be careful about them imprinting.

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HI Janet,

I wish I kept notes about these things, but I always assume that I will remember.

As far as I remember I have always gone by the crop, once the babies start to feed themselves they feel like Beanie bags (I find it hader to check juveniles). If I feel that the crop is full of seed at a scheduled feeding time then I will skip that meal.

Hi Cynthia,

I only raised the one Woodie before and what I do remember is I fed for too long and he had trouble picking up seeds for ages. I eventually took him up to a wildlife centre for rehab and luckily he was successfully released with some others ok.
He ended up too used to me and I'm really trying to get these going on their own earlier to avoid that mistake again. It's so hard as they are so exited to see me and I hate being hard on them.

Anyway, I've just been down to open up the shed and as usual, and they still went beserk when I appeared. I weighed them and the one had dropped to 175 gms, the other, (the one who had crop problems), is 200gms.
I took some formula mixed with some greens this time and interestingly enough, the one that was the lightest, pushed in front of me to get to the syringe. The other one, although squeaking the most, didn't come over and was eating away at the seeds really well.
I did give her a top up of formula in the end which she gobble down.

Another thing I wondered if you can give me your thoughts, do you think it would help them to adjust better left in with the ferals, or shall I put their cage in the garden so they can mooch about on the grass and hopefully see a few Woodies, (if I keep out of the way or they won't come down). I don't suppose they know they're Woodies at the moment being raised from young.

I'm trying to keep daily notes about these two this time as you say, it's hard to remember after a while.


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Hi Janet,

Providing the cage is large and safe I would go for that, because woodies really prefer to be out in the open, so maybe it is healthier for them. It would also be good if they could see other woodies and perhaps learn from them.

My Littlewood came to me when he was very young and went straight into the doviary but even by that time he was already too tame and too trusting of humans to be releasable. Nevertheless he appears to know that he is a woodie rather than a feral as he roosts outside with other woodies and had a woodie mate. On the other hand Tweetywood, who loved his rescuer janiex but has always been cool with me, spends his day bowing at the ferals and assuring them that "It's two coos, Taffy".:rolleyes:

Hi Janet, I had baby pigeons when I was 12, all I remember that they started eating by themselves out of a sudden and within a week they wore having their crop full all by themselves so that was it. Keep us up to date! xxx
Hi Christina,

Well they are feeding ok but only seem to bother when I'm around, and still beg me for food, ( I spy on them from a distance and they just sit there). Then when I go in the shed they start eating. They are such different characters though. One is so noisey and only eats big seeds, so her crop feels like a bean bag. The other one prefers eating greens, mainly chick weed and a few small seeds at a time, so it's hard to feel anything in there.

I have been asking Cynthia's advice about releasing them as although I've had them out in the garden, their cage isn't big enough for flight. The garden Woodies stay clear of the cage, so they never get to see any close up. I've let them free in the shed with the other pigeons today so they can learn to fly. Difficult without an aviary.

I'm thinking of sending them to you with your new hen, she seems really interested in them. Maybe 'cos she's lived with a Woodie for a long time at the 'sanctuary'. ;) ( don't worry I'm joking).

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lol Tipsey prefers big seeds too while Piggi goes for the small ones. I wander what Piggi and Tipsey would think about 2 wood pigeons lol. They can't wait to meet the hen! Car will be ready this week and sometimes soon we will be off to Yorkshire again, not sure when, so we gonna be able to come closer to you and pick up the lovely hen! Ill keep you up to date.

The woodies seem so fun, I would love to see some photos.
lol Tipsey prefers big seeds too while Piggi goes for the small ones. I wander what Piggi and Tipsey would think about 2 wood pigeons lol. They can't wait to meet the hen! Car will be ready this week and sometimes soon we will be off to Yorkshire again, not sure when, so we gonna be able to come closer to you and pick up the lovely hen! Ill keep you up to date.

The woodies seem so fun, I would love to see some photos.
I have posted some photos on the Picture For Today thread in Discussions if you want to see them.

They are mixing well with the ferals today and flying about quite a bit, so hopefully they're learning something form them, but I have decided to take them to the Rescue for release after all, as they are too tame at present for the wild. I'll miss them. :(

Well the final outcome.
I took a deep breath and packed them up and drove them to Amerton Farm today where they have the British Wildlife and Rescue Centre.
It was the hardest thing to actually hand them over as I could hear them squeaking in the box. It is a great place for pigeons to be re-habbed as they have a large pre-release pen where they can go until they're sure they are ready for release. Initially these two will be kept inside with two otheWoodies of around the same age that are being weaned at present, (so they might still get a feed top up for a few days which I'm pleased about). They were both picking up seeds well and the one had a real love of Chick Weed and would eat loads of greens. I used to have to go in the field and pick some each day for them.
Funny this morning I went to clear out the things I had been using to feed them in the early days and without thinking I had the feeding syringe in my hand. As I walked in the shed I was pounced on by both of them as they saw the syringe and must have thought I was going to feed them. So they hadn't forgotten even though I haven't used it for a week now.
One thing that made it easier for me to leave them there today was a beautiful adult Wood Pigeon. It had been hand reared at the centre about a year ago and although released, has decided to hang around. It was so tame it came and sat on the counter at reception and was given a pot of peanuts by the staff. I've never seen one so tame. So even though they are given their freedom, if they choose to stay, they are made welcome and will find plenty of food.
There is also an open aviary that has a lot of ex racers and feral pigeons that can come and go as they please. It was lovely to see them flying free but having a safe place to return to. One of the staff was telling me that a lot of the ferals that come in injured or as orphans, once released quite often just move into there and stay around.
A pigeon heaven I would say.
Thank goodness for places like these that actually do care and help pigeons.

So I came away sad and empty but knowing they will have the chance of a good life now.

Good Luck Tweedle Dum & Tweedle Dee. :)
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