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Discussion Starter #1
I rescued and hand reared 2 feral pigeon squabs. I got them weaned and everything seemed OK. But I have a big problem with one chick.

It will only eat one kind of seed (a small red one) from the seed mix. It won't eat anything else! Its sibling liked the cracked corn the best, but when that was used up it would eat the other seeds.

I did not realise the extent of the problem until I released the birds locally with a small feral flock at a Buddhist temple. I was able to go back and feed them each day. After 4 days I noticed the addicted one was loosing weight and desperate for the seed mix, started squeaking like a baby and going crazy.

I took it back home. It does not even try other food. Its now very thin and acts starving all the time, but it will just throw all the seed out of the pot to get the red seeds. What can I do?!

I tried giving it ground up peanuts, chicken pellets and cracked corn, pecking at them with my finger. It went all day and one morning and still had not eaten a single thing, until I gave in a put in the seed mix so it could find the red seed. I am afraid it would really starve itself to death.
 

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give him what he likes untill he has gained some weight. when he gets older he may start to try the other grains, keep offering things with peas and corn even if he does not see it.. he may come around.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Its not going to be possible to do that for long, the small red seeds are in a mix of seeds and they only make up a tiny part of it. I would have to buy bags and bags and throw away 90 percent of it!

I don't understand why the pigeon has got fixated on that one seed?

Its so stupid that its starving, but refusing to even sample the other seeds. Could it be that it does not recognise them as food? If I put the pigeon in with my ring neck doves do you think it might learn to eat different things by watching them?
 

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they do that, i have had many youngsters pick and choose what they want to eat for the longest times..you may just have to waste some seed to get him up to wiehgt, give him time if he is still young they only eat the tiny and small seeds first anyway. as he grows and gets bigger then he may try other seeds. can you add peas,lentils andsafflower seed to your mix? they like those alot. do NOT put in with your doves. you may have to put him back out with the flock, he'll learn from them.
 

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you may also try to hand feed the other grains.. put one at a time in the back of the throat and he will swallow them.. do this at feeding time like you are still his parent feeding him.. he may start to see them as food then.
 

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I would supplement him by handfeeding him the other seeds/grains as you introduce him to them he will get used to them on his tongue. This may take time. It would also help if he could be around other pigeons at meal time.
 

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Most pigeons do have favorite seeds and throw the other seeds out to get to it. Eventually they will try and eat the other seeds, and even find more that they like. I really don't think he will starve himself. He will learn to eat the other seeds. If you want to add some weight and try releasing him again. Pop some frozen defrosted and warmed peas and corn into him between his meals, just to get his weight up a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
thank you for all the great advise.

I just got a pair a young King Pigeons 2 days ago, and they eat anything I offer! I will put this little one in with them and let him see what they are eating.

I guess it just shows how different each bird can be. Its brother was much easier to wean and would not be so fussy about the food. I did not notice that the smaller one was only eating the one seed when I had both of them, as the food just went down.

its very naughty and has no fear at all. It just wants to be with me, even flying at the windows trying to get into the house, much to my partners annoyance!

I might just keep her as a pet, as she is so tiny she will take up no room. She was very sick as a squab, with air in the crop, then slow crop, then they both caught pigeon pox. The other one was a lot stronger and grew to a normal size, but she is very small.

I will get some corn tomorrow. I had got some peanuts and I'll crush them up and mix with her seed. Once she has got a bit fatter I will stop leaving the food out all the time and just feed 2 times a day to make her more hungry to not be so fussy!

Thanks again everyone. I feel a lot calmer now.
 

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thank you for all the great advise.

I just got a pair a young King Pigeons 2 days ago, and they eat anything I offer! I will put this little one in with them and let him see what they are eating.

I guess it just shows how different each bird can be. Its brother was much easier to wean and would not be so fussy about the food. I did not notice that the smaller one was only eating the one seed when I had both of them, as the food just went down.

its very naughty and has no fear at all. It just wants to be with me, even flying at the windows trying to get into the house, much to my partners annoyance!

I might just keep her as a pet, as she is so tiny she will take up no room. She was very sick as a squab, with air in the crop, then slow crop, then they both caught pigeon pox. The other one was a lot stronger and grew to a normal size, but she is very small.

I will get some corn tomorrow. I had got some peanuts and I'll crush them up and mix with her seed. Once she has got a bit fatter I will stop leaving the food out all the time and just feed 2 times a day to make her more hungry to not be so fussy!

Thanks again everyone. I feel a lot calmer now.
DO NOT PUT THE YOUNG ONE IN WITH THEM.
Firstly, New birds should be quarantined for at least 3 weeks to avoid any possible transmission of disease etc.
Secondly, The pair will probably see the youngster as a threat to their territory & possbly attack it.
 

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I agree that I wouldn't put him in with the larger birds, and for the same reasons.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ups. I did it already. The smaller bird is the boss and the big king pigeons are frightened of her!

I think I will be OK with the birds health as all seem very healthy. In fact I regularly visited the 2 king pigeons in the small pet shop for about 2 months before I had enough money to buy them and they have been healthy all this time. If anything does happen it will be easy to treat all 3 instead of 2.
 

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Things could change and they could hurt him. Be too late then.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Its OK really. They get on great. The little one is the boss 100 percent and will dominate the food dish not allowing the other 2 to get near his precious red seeds!

They have plenty of space to get away from each other if they want and food and water dishes in several areas. They are in a huge aviary with my Japanese Bantams, collared doves, turkey and mynah bird. Its a walk in aviary that is made by covering over a large corner of my garden. There is no fighting with any of the birds.

The little one is still hooked on the red seeds. I took the seed mix out totally today so he can only eat the chicken food or from the pot of corn. Everything is eating the chicken food - but not my little crazy pigeon!

I need to send him to a red see re-hab centre!
 

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I wouldn't remove the seed, he will learn in time to eat the other seeds. It's very normal for a pigeon to be picky and like only certain seeds in the beginning. I wouldn't obsess over it. He will not starve himself, but if you think he will, then removing the seed mix is more likely to do that. He needs to learn to get used to all the seeds. How does that happen by removing them? They can pass illness to each other by being housed together and even sharing seed. Just not a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well all my birds are housed together in the large aviary. Most have been in there for over 5 years and none are sick. What happens in the wild? All the birds don't get sick all the time and die. All my birds are very healthy and happy. In face I usually have too many and often sell the chickens and ring neck doves as they breed like crazy.

The small pigeon has started eating the chicken pellets and peanuts because after he finished the red seeds I would not re fill the bowl. After a couple of days he got so hungry he had to try the other stuff - watching the bigger pigeons and ring neck doves eating must have also helped as I saw him standing near them watching intently.

Now his problem has gone. He is gaining weight and is not refusing other seeds. He gets his red seeds (which are in the seed mix) in the morning. Then once he has finished them he has to eat the other seeds.
 

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Well all my birds are housed together in the large aviary. Most have been in there for over 5 years and none are sick. What happens in the wild? All the birds don't get sick all the time and die. All my birds are very healthy and happy. In face I usually have too many and often sell the chickens and ring neck doves as they breed like crazy.

The small pigeon has started eating the chicken pellets and peanuts because after he finished the red seeds I would not re fill the bowl. After a couple of days he got so hungry he had to try the other stuff - watching the bigger pigeons and ring neck doves eating must have also helped as I saw him standing near them watching intently.

Now his problem has gone. He is gaining weight and is not refusing other seeds. He gets his red seeds (which are in the seed mix) in the morning. Then once he has finished them he has to eat the other seeds.
In the wild the birds are free to go and eat where they wish, they do not share the same food & water source or the same proximity to others.
OK s the aviary may be larger than most, but it is still a confined space as regards housing different types.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
In the wild the birds are free to go and eat where they wish, they do not share the same food & water source or the same proximity to others.
OK s the aviary may be larger than most, but it is still a confined space as regards housing different types.
Well that's not always the case. Many birds will drink at the same pond or garden birdbath. Many birds will share the same food source - just look at flocks or starlings in a field all feeding together with pigeons, crows, jackdaws, blackbirds.

Birds will share roosting sights, such as large groups of wading birds on sandbanks at hight tide. Even in humans gardens where we feed the birds with feeders many species will share the same food and water containers.

When a fruiting tree is bearing fruit many species will all flock together to feed. In many woodlands many species of small birds will join together and move through the tree tops as a 'bird wave' for protection from predators.

A clear example of birds being in close proximity is a sea bird colony on steep cliffs. Here its not just one species together. Even in my aviary many small birds can fit through the wire, including sparrows and sunbirds. When the farmers throw rice out for the chickens large flocks of sparrows and doves will clean up what the chickens eat.

There is always a possibility of diseases transmission, but healthy, stress free birds will have a good immune system and be more likely to fend off diseases.
 

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Well that's not always the case. Many birds will drink at the same pond or garden birdbath. Many birds will share the same food source - just look at flocks or starlings in a field all feeding together with pigeons, crows, jackdaws, blackbirds.

Birds will share roosting sights, such as large groups of wading birds on sandbanks at hight tide. Even in humans gardens where we feed the birds with feeders many species will share the same food and water containers.

When a fruiting tree is bearing fruit many species will all flock together to feed. In many woodlands many species of small birds will join together and move through the tree tops as a 'bird wave' for protection from predators.

A clear example of birds being in close proximity is a sea bird colony on steep cliffs. Here its not just one species together. Even in my aviary many small birds can fit through the wire, including sparrows and sunbirds. When the farmers throw rice out for the chickens large flocks of sparrows and doves will clean up what the chickens eat.

There is always a possibility of diseases transmission, but healthy, stress free birds will have a good immune system and be more likely to fend off diseases.
Yes, and if one just happens to be ill, then others can become ill also, however, they are not limited to just that one area or feeder, they also have other places where they forage and birds usually know when another is ill so tend to avoid or cast the ill ones out.

Actually, Healthy birds kept in loft situations are more succeptable to the slightest of diseases. Feral or wild birds have to go through stress of predation and illness all the time, and in doing so can build up a certain resistance and manage fight off disease better.
Kept birds often have very little resistance to disease when it strikes as their system has never had to deal with it.

The advice you have peviously been given is in the best interest of the birds, it is up to you how you wish to take it, but remember, it only takes one small thing to cause devastation to a group.
 

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It just isn't good to house them together. We wouldn't tell you this is it wasn't true, and we're not here to argue the point with you. Only trying to give you heads up on something you don't seem to be aware of. What you choose to do with the information is up to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
It just isn't good to house them together. We wouldn't tell you this is it wasn't true, and we're not here to argue the point with you. Only trying to give you heads up on something you don't seem to be aware of. What you choose to do with the information is up to you.
So what would you house them with? Even if they were all pigeons one might get sick when free flying around the loft (or returning from a race) and then bring the disease back to the others.

I am quite aware of the dangers of birds getting ill through diseases... I am a qualified Zoologist and also worked at well know zoo in the UK for many years caring for hundreds of birds. We actually had many mixed aviaries at the zoo, including a huge wetland aviary with ducks, storks, ibis, spoonbills, vultures, rock doves, and wading birds.

Your opinion is yours, thank you for your advise, but please don't make out that I am not aware of these issues or the way I keep my birds is wrong and harmful to them.
 
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