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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Pigeon, Paperclip (formerly known as forrest), has become very aggressive all of a sudden. He attacks my hands and other birds constantly. I know that he still trusts me because he will also fly to me and stand on my hand/shoulders.

Nothing has changed in his environment or in the way I treat him. He is an outdoor bird, and lives with 21 other pigeons in a pigeon loft. I allow him (and his friends) to fly outside daily, plus, they have constant access to a fenced in outdoor area.

Just for some background:
He is the child of 2 birds in my loft, but he was abandoned by them at 5 days old so i had to raise him.
He was attacked by 2 dogs when he was about 2 months old.
After he was attacked he became very snuggly and didn't want to leave my side.
I moved him to the loft when he was about 4-5 months old.
He is now about 8 or 9 months old.

When he attacks, it hurts. Not necessarily physical hurt, but emotional. I've put so much into this bird and for him to be unhappy and aggressive makes me feel like I'm not doing enough for him.
If anyone has any ideas on why he is acting like this, please help. Im at a complete loss.
 

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That is normal behaviour. Even handraised babies turn into little monsters eventually. There's nothing you can do about it.
 

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My male was handled and/or snuggled by me from hour 1 of his birth. And at around day 35, he didn't really want to snuggle no more. And then he started to gradually want to fight me. He went through a hormonal stage maybe around day 60 or something, and turned into an absolute chainsaw. He still loved to be around me and on my shoulder but NO TOUCHY!

After a while he calmed down but he is still VERY territorial, and guess what? He wants to make almost EVERYTHING into his territory. Putting my hand in the roosting area of his cage is the absolute worst. But he's still super bonded to me.

Sexual frustration is a part of it. He needs a girl, but even with the girls sometimes they just get nasty. I have had to split my breeder pair up while eggs were in the nest because the male just wouldn't let up. He attacked the mom ruthlessly. Then after about a week in time out he was back to normal. So don't underestimate the hormones.

Here's a trick though: I have found they act differently on the floor. There is that old belief that with birds, height causes dominant behavior (sometimes called aggression). I have not found that to be especially true with a lot of the birds I have worked with, but I feel like it might be true with pigeons. Because if I sit on the floor and invite him down to play, all of a sudden, he wants me to pet him. Occasionally he will stand on my lap or on my computer desk and let me pet him, but that is rare. Most of the petting now takes place with both of us on the floor. And I'm ok with that. He's still my buddy.

They are little jerks. Especially males. That's how they can be even with each other. That doesn't mean he doesn't love you or whatever.

They are often referred to as "domestic birds", but don't let that term fool you. They aren't domestic in the sense of a dog or a chicken even. In my opinion, they really still act a lot like a wild bird even though we have been breeding them in captivity for thousands of years. Most animals can really only attain a certain level of domestication. Dogs are one of the rare exceptions. They took very well to domestication. Most bird species will never achieve anything close to the domestication of a dog.

Long story short: Marina is always right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you both for your responses. I think I'm going to try and pair him with BB, a girl I also hand-raised. I don't think I'm going to let them hatch any of their own babies though, since Paperclip has an under bite and BB has had a very 'wide' stance since she was young.
I think I will give them a couple of other bird's eggs to hatch and raise, but I'm not 100% sure.
 
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