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I'm hoping for some advice on baby pigeons' feet.

I live in Asia somewhere where the help of an expert or ready made supplies does not appear to be readily available. I am hoping for some advice from forum members here on the following situation in the meantime.

Here's a quick run-down of the overall situation in case I am making any schoolboy errors.

One of our trees had to be cut down yesterday for safety reasons and while cutting it down a baby dove was found up in a nest. There is a community of doves that sit perched on telephone wires in front of my house. I'd guess the parents is among them so I couldn't find another suitable place nearby to re-situate the nest.

So I have taken this dove (now, inappropriately named "Pidgy") into care and am trying to get up to speed on dove care as fast as possible.

I think I'm ok with a makeshift nest (old hamster large rimmed mat covered with kitchen towel and some timothy hay around the perimeter) placed in an old open top child's wooden box. And am keeping him (or her) warm.

On the food front I am feeding him a mixture of:
- dry cat food
- rolled oats
- flaxseed
- corn meal
All finely ground and made into a porridge together with some boiled egg yoke. Also on some feeds just mashed banana. With a feed every 3-4 hours with a break overnight last night. My very amateur small bottle / rubber glove feeder contraption works fine so far.

Last night I placed his box next to an open window so he hears the other birds singing at dusk and also catches the morning chorus. And during the day I placed him outside in the shade on top of a shelf so his parents could hopefully see him. I covered his box with fastened netting to protect against cats. I am very worried about him feeling lonely.

This morning I noticed his legs were splayed and found a Youtube video that explained this was a common problem and how to apply tape around the legs which I did and it seemed to have helped. I took it off this evening for the night and will re-apply it again tomorrow morning.

The thing I am really concerned about are Pidgy's feet. They both look quite crippled. When I hold him they open and close ok (except for one toe on one foot) but they are usually closed when he tries to stand. I have attached a few photos that hopefully show the problem clearly.

Is this normal for a baby dove and will it naturally resolve itself? Or if not what should I be doing to help the little thing?

Many, many thanks for your help.
 

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He might be lacking in calcium. I guess it will be impossible to find a liquid calcium with added Vit D3 for birds where you are?

Regarding feeding: no need to feed him banana and egg. If you can't get a handrearing formula for baby birds, then baby porridge will do. Just get a brand that contains very little sugar and no milk products.

Have never dealt with splayed leg, but I think you will need to keep the tape on during the night as well. The surface of his "nest" looks slippery, they need something to grip on to.

If you can't get any calcium for him, half an hour outside in the sunlight every day will help. They need Vit D3 from the sunlight to help absorb the calcium in their bodies. Just plse keep an eye on him when outside.
 

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I think Marina meant that if you cannot get any D3 for him, which he needs to absorb calcium, that putting him into the sunlight will help. But you need to make sure he doesn't over heat in the sun. He does need calcium for the legs to grow strong, and a bird vitamin with vit. B in it.
As she already mentioned, he needs more of a nest to have straw or something under him to grab onto, not just around him. Build him a nice soft nest and place him in it. He will also need more nesting for it to be comfortable with his legs taped. As she also has mentioned, the legs need to stay taped, 24/7, not just during the day. If the legs are not pulled in enough, they will not grow properly, and will still go out some when healed.
Can you tape them and then post a picture of the taping?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
He might be lacking in calcium. I guess it will be impossible to find a liquid calcium with added Vit D3 for birds where you are?

Regarding feeding: no need to feed him banana and egg. If you can't get a handrearing formula for baby birds, then baby porridge will do. Just get a brand that contains very little sugar and no milk products.

Have never dealt with splayed leg, but I think you will need to keep the tape on during the night as well. The surface of his "nest" looks slippery, they need something to grip on to.

If you can't get any calcium for him, half an hour outside in the sunlight every day will help. They need Vit D3 from the sunlight to help absorb the calcium in their bodies. Just plse keep an eye on him when outside.
Thanks Marina!

A lot has happened since my initial post. I saw and took on board your advice at the time but didn't get round to replying until now.

After experimenting with a few things on his menu and visiting every pet shop I could find I stumbled upon one shop that stocked a single bag of bird food - and it was for doves! What were the chances?

So Pidgy's diet moved onto this dove mix first as a porridge, then soaked overnight and now he is eating it as dry grains washed down with some water afterwards.

This dove mix has extra vits and minerals and he gets his 30 mins out in the sun in the morning before it gets too hot.

For his (or her?) legs the problem soon became the fact that one leg was double the size of the other. I tried to get him to exercise the small one each day. Happily the problem has now corrected himself and, while still not perfect, his legs look a lot better and he's standing and walking ok.

For the nest we gave him a rougher nest with some hay and he seems to have been very happy in there.

(Latest pics attached.)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I think Marina meant that if you cannot get any D3 for him, which he needs to absorb calcium, that putting him into the sunlight will help. But you need to make sure he doesn't over heat in the sun. He does need calcium for the legs to grow strong, and a bird vitamin with vit. B in it.
As she already mentioned, he needs more of a nest to have straw or something under him to grab onto, not just around him. Build him a nice soft nest and place him in it. He will also need more nesting for it to be comfortable with his legs taped. As she also has mentioned, the legs need to stay taped, 24/7, not just during the day. If the legs are not pulled in enough, they will not grow properly, and will still go out some when healed.
Can you tape them and then post a picture of the taping?
Thanks for your help Jay!

As mentioned to Marina the problem changed into his legs (and feet) being very different sizes. So I stopped taping them as it didn't seem to be helping.

I am watching his legs and will tape again if they are not corrected. He has managed to sort out his legs so far by himself. I'll then post some images.

For the vitamins he's getting his daily sun and his dove mix. He's also getting a dozen worms each day. I've just checked and noticed there is no vit B listed in the mix. I blindly thought there was. Not sure how much there is in the worms(!?).

Is adult vit B ok to add?
 

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He is really cute! No need to feed worms, that is not part of their diet. Can't you get vitamins from the pet shop to add to his drinking water?
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thanks again, Marina.

He's a red turtle dove, I believe, so his ugly-cuteness promises to give way to looking quite splendid.

The worm question is very interesting. It is a big debate here. At a local market across town the breeders raise their pigeons on rice and worms. A friend here bought a batch of worms and to demonstrate scattered a large handful on the ground and my neighborhood pigeons went crazy for them. And there is no denying that Pidgy enjoys his worms.

Is it possible that asian Pigeons have different tastes to western ones?

I'm working on the Vit B issues and will keep you posted.

Thanks again for your help!
 

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If the leg isn't taped into place and corrected now, then he won't be able to walk at all later on. It won't get better. It will get worse, and he will have no quality of life. It takes a while for the taping to help and you can't remove it at night. It stays on all the time, probably for a few weeks.
 
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