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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live in Thailand. Two months ago I rescued injured baby dove from a parking lot. Its right wing was badly injured and the doctor couldn't save the wing. We decided to cut off the wing to save its life. The dove was closely cared for by exotic animal veterinarians. The best care I could give. After a month long hospitalization, doctors declared the bird to be comoletely healthy. The only problem is that, the bird wouldn't eat on its own. We have been hand-feeding Harrison's recovery formular to the bird. I am worried because the doctors were puzzled as to why the bird wouldn't eat on its own, despite being otherwise healthy. I adopted the bird because it is now flightless, I want to give it the best life possible. Please advise about the feeding and basic bird care. This is my first bird. I am now putting Harrison's fine pallets in its cage. It just doesn't eat. Is it because the bird is too young? Or is it because it didn't have a chance to learn from its mother how to eat? I have no idea how old the bird is, but will try to include the photo. If anyone recognize what kind of dove it is, please let me know. Thank you very much, and please help.
 

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What were they feeding him at the vets? If he was tube fed, and he was very young, then yes you are probably right in that he never learned how to eat on his own. If that be the case, then you will have to teach him. Try pecking at the food with your finger, as if your finger were a beak. Does he drink on his own?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks J3. Much needed support indeed. He was tube fed, yes. Harrison's recovery formular. I am now feeding him the same food. His weight went up a lot since he came home from hospital. He doesn't drink water and doesn't eat food. I tube-feed him 5-6 times a day. Is it possible that he will never be able to eat on his own at all? This is my worry.
 

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He will eat on his own, but you will have to teach him, and let him. If you keep feeding him all day, then what is his incentive to learn? Letting him get hungry is his incentive, and you don't let that happen. The longer they are fed, the more difficult it can be to wean them. Try in the morning, as he should be hungriest then. Don't feed him, but let him practice picking up the pellets. Are the pellets a size and shape that are easy to pick up and eat? Usually they would be picking up seed. I don't know if the pellets are more difficult to eat. Show him how to peck by using your finger to show him. Give him a few hours to try. Then feed him. Always leave some with him so he can practice. This means you will also need to teach him to drink. Gently dip his beak into some water, but not over the nostrils. Do this several times a day. He will eventually learn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Jay3 for your advice. I will do as you say. It's good to have an expert I can talk to. One quick question though, the dove has Harrison's fine pellets (they're small pieces) and mixed seeds in his cage, do I need to feed him anything else? I have heard about grits, what is it and is it essential? Thanks so much for your reply.
 

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Grit is small stones and minerals that they take when needed and it goes into their gizzard to help them grind the seeds. If he is just fed pellets, then he doesn't need grit, but if seeds than they do use grit. But you can wait on that for now. First is to get him to eat and drink. Have you tried pecking at the seeds and pellets with your finger? And dipping his beak into water, but not over the nostrils? He will learn. He just has always been fed, and assumes that is how he eats.
 

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Don't give up. He will learn. He really will. Like I mentioned before, in the morning, let him be hungry. Peck at the seeds and pellets with your finger, and leave them with him. Give him a few hours to be hungry and try. Tough love. He will try if he has a reason to try. If you feed him right away, then he has no reason to try. Even their parents will do this to get them to feed themselves.
 

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Well I think you are very kind to try to help this little one. He will get there. You will see. :)
 

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My babies won't eat either!

I've even broken the pieces up to be smaller and they just pick them up and throw them down. It's like they're tasting them, but they don't understand how to throw them back and swallow.

Good luck to you with your baby. Let us know what helped.
Hopefully with time it will learn on its own :)
 

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My babies won't eat either!

I've even broken the pieces up to be smaller and they just pick them up and throw them down. It's like they're tasting them, but they don't understand how to throw them back and swallow.

Good luck to you with your baby. Let us know what helped.
Hopefully with time it will learn on its own :)
Babies don't know how to eat. They will learn in time, but must be shown. What is it that you are breaking pieces up of? How old are they? Don't you try with seed? Why do you have baby pigeons?
 

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Hi, sorry I should specify.
When I say babies I mean they're about a month old, so they really should be eating feed on their own.

I got them as pets. They are given the purina nutriblend gold pellets which is what they were fed by their breeder. I crushed them up even to make them smaller, but they don't seem to swallow them. I've also put sunflower seeds and cherries in their cage without any success.

Right now I'm feeding them a liquid like mix I make from the pellets and still putting in pellets in their cage as well. I will try and maybe get some peas to give them to see if the softness will help.
 

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If they were pigeons in the wild, they would be getting fed for another couple of weeks, which is when they leave the nest with their parents to learn how to eat. I wouldn't break up the pellets. I think that would make it harder for them to eat actually. It is normal for them to not be eating on their own right now. I think seeds would be easier for them to pick up.
 
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