Pigeon-Talk banner
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few weeks ago my husband and I found pigeon eggs in an empty pot on our balcony. The parents, Bernice and Chuck, welcomed the first arrival this afternoon and baby number two looks to be on its way out.

Would it be selfish to try and domesticate the babies? As we are in an apartment complex I figured they would stay close to home after they matured and so would sort of still be around but I would like to know if this is true. It might be nice to walk onto our balcony and have a pigeon friend or two as I've gotten used to having Chuck and Bernice around.

Is it safe to touch the babies? If so when? We have abstained from any contact as I read that the babies were very fragile for the first few days. If we give them human contact will we harm them in some way as in not being able to care for themselves?

Ideally I would like them to just kind of be around and be able to identify them when they come to land. I think it best that they learn to feed themselves as we won't live here forever. Is it unreasonable to handle them and let them just become pigeon friends and not necessarily pets? Or does it have to be one or the other?

Thank you for your advice! I just want to make sure we do what is best for them and not necessarily what would make me feel good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,221 Posts
That is so nice of you to welcome the two future newcomers.
Yes, you can touch the babies, but usually respond to hand touch at 2-3 weeks..they will see your hands as being the parents beak, a source for food and they will get really excited and squeak. So when they are squeakers it's best time to touch them, even get them on your hand. I am not too sure of the parents reaction, but at that age they wouldn't be bothered as long as they are back to their nest. After 2 weeks the parents may be coming less, but they will be around to feed the babies, as they will be laying new round of eggs, may be somewhere else, if not a new nest in your balcony ( you can put an extra flower pot).
They will be able to care for themselves as long as they are not in captivity. When they grow older and learn to fly, they will be less likely that they will like to be touched, but they will come to you for seeds if you feed them everyday at same hour and they may even land on you...Watch the poop :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,088 Posts
IMHO, I would leave them to the Feral World. This doesn't mean you couldn't feed them and such... but I would not really get to touchy-feely with them.

I had the gift of having some wonderful Pigeon families in my lightwell when I lived in SF. This was for over 10 years. I would feed them (at set times, not all day long) and provide water, and occasionally when called for I would rescue them (a hawk once figured out where they lived, with horribly sad results ~ and sometimes one would show up with string foot or canker illness). They would depart and return on their normal routines, and sometimes drop by in the middle of the day.

They would sit on the window sill right outside my kitchen while my family (Parrots and Humans) would cook meals and hang out.

It was very rewarding. We were good friends.

But with babies you need to be careful. Really stay clear of them for the first week...if you spook the parents of very young babies, they will be more untrusting to return to the nest and sit the babies. Thus the babies can die from exposure, lack of warmth (even in summer weather). You don't want the Parents to abandon the area....if there's too much activity in the area, that might happen.

I guess what I am saying is, do not 'domesticate' them in the sense where you handle the babies much at all...you want them to bond to their Feral parents, not to you.

Thanks for caring about them. They are lucky to have picked such a good roost.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
304 Posts
I've handled a lot of young (6-10 days) swallows.. Parents didnt abandon, but would get very mad. IMO, leave them alone until their 2 weeks. Then just kinda let them know your not an enemy, just stroke them, talk a little. As they get older and more curious, you can give them some wild bird seed (around the time they fledge they get very curious about foods) to eat from your hand..
Just make sure they don't depend on you for food, but as a water source / bath source is fine. If you put a bird bath up, the parents will be happy (though I've heard distractions like this can affect their parenting ) as well as all the other birds in the area
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top