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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

previously i had posted here about two baby pigeons in my balcony one of which used to be on the upper shelf and the other on the lower shelf.
i received some nice responses.
The babies have been taken care of by their parent pigeons and are now 28 days old.
They have started walking on the floor and getting some flight practice in the tiny balcony (3ft * 10 ft) that i have.
I observe that one of the pigeons is having problem in gripping the edges and aslo when it walks, one of its legs is not firm and is like in sliding position.
It is not able to hold its legs firmly.
The other baby holds its legs firmly while walking and also can grip firmly the edges.
Both the babies have been able to fly without problems however and can get to the floor from the shelf and vice versa also covering some distance while flying.
Is there some problem with the baby( that was on the upper shelf) that can not grip the edges and have problems in walking?

Regards,
Prtashanth
 

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Can you explain a bit more ? Can this Pigeon STAND STILL all right ? Or does he/she basically just sit on his stomach when he is on the ground ? or does he stand on one leg ?

It sounds like splay leg, and this is correctable usually, but you would need to bring him/her inside. If you can answer these questions it will help...also you can do a search on this Forum for "splay leg" and see some other threads to see if this is what she/he has.

Thank you for caring so much about this Pigeon family !
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi thanks for the reply.
Yeah it can stand on its both legs. Sometimes it stands correctly on both its legs. But sometimes one of its legs may sometimes be spread towards one side. It is when it tries to hold an edge that it faces the problem. Its leg keeps slipping at the edges. Its other sibling however holds the edges firmly with its claws and stands upright.
When this troubled baby pigeon walks, for a few seconds it may seem to walk upright on its both legs. But usually it will soon begin to slide its legs sideways and will struggle in the walk. But its flight is spot on.
From when the babies were around two weeks old to till today, I have seen this troubled baby sitting most of time by the side of its parents. It used to very well fed, a bit more than its other sibling. But it would have a walk now and then in the shelf and nothing seemed to be problematic.
But its other sibling with which its parents did not sit with, except for providing food, would engage itself in walking more often.
 

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Hmmmmmm...is there any chance you can lure them inside with food, and secure the baby ? If he/she is having those problems, he will have a rough going in the feral world without some sort of help/correction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I guess to get the baby pigeon inside will be tough. The reason is, the babies are bonded well with their parents. Parents are giving them food consistently even now and are very dutiful towards both the kids.
The babies don't mind if I go within two feet of the nest when they are alone and parents are away. If I try to get little further they tend to get scared. I will however try to get the troubled baby inside.
Can you please tell me about the correction that needs to be carried to make the baby alright?
 

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You are saying this is the baby that stayed on the upper shelf. Splay legs usually develop if the baby grew on a slippery surface, but I thought the upper shelf was where the actual nest was, I was more afraid that the one who fell out of the nest might have been on a slippery surface on the lower shelf, without a nest.

When the babies are very young it's easy to correct splay legs by putting the legs into position with the help of a sponge or some similar device. See for example http://www.parrotparrot.com/lovebirds/breeding-lovebirds/fixing-splay-legs/ or http://www.pigeonangels.com/t22-correcting-splayed-legs

I hope it's not too late for this simple treatment to work.
On the other hand you are saying this may be just from lack of exercise of the baby that stayed in the nest with his parents. This actually wouldn't be splay legs, like I said splay legs usually develop if a baby's legs stay on a slippery surface allowing them to slip to the sides and has nothing to do with exercise in walking.

In the unlikely event that this exact situation happens again on your balcony in the future: it's better that the two babies be together in the nest so that they can lean on each other, or if only one egg hatches, they recommend not removing the unhatched egg, so the baby can lean on it. This helps prevent splay legs.

But now it's more important to help the baby who unfortunately already has this problem, You seem to be concerned about taking him away, because "they are bonded well with the parents". However, very soon the babies will fly away from the nest, from their parents and from you, so you won't be able to help them anymore.

A pigeon that can't walk properly has a big disadvantage in the competition for food. Even for a normal young feral pigeon life is very tough and most of them die from lack of food or disease in the first year of life...


So I think you should consider helping that baby out there on your balcony, before it's too late.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi Jon thanks for the reply the following are the photos of the mother and its siblings and the sibling of the top shelf separately:
The last two are the photos of the pigeon with the problem in its leg.
Yeah this pigeon is from the top shelf and surprisingly the one on the lower does is the fitter one.
Just as I was typing the above lines, the parents were waiting for sometime to come down and provide food to the kids and kids were waiting for them as well.
Today I cleaned the balcony floor to keep it neat from the droppings of the pigeon family. So the parents were waiting to see that I would not again go out.
But the kids just hurried for the parents. First the kid with the troubled leg flew and then the one on the lower shelf followed. Now they are sitting with the parents on the tree branch in front of our balcony. The parents were struggling from the last two days to keep the kids within the balcony. They would keep showing them that the place to play, fly and rest is within the balcony and they would forbid them from venturing out.
 

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The photos help...that's a pretty severe splay leg. That baby is going to have a very rough time in the Feral world with that condition. Like Johndove says...at 30 days now...those babies are going to fledge (start to take off and follow their parents off the balcony) pretty soon...maybe a week or less...

I am wondering about my question before: You say you can get within two feet of them...is there any way you can perhaps make a makeshift net out of a net and hoop ? If you can get within 2 feet of them, you can perhaps trap them up against the wall, then grab hold of the splay-legged one through the net....obviously when the parents are not there. You may want to leave the net outside on the balcony for a day, not close to them, and low to the floor...so they can see the object beforehand so as not to become freaked out by it...

You can also use a cardboard box,fairly large...although I find the net is better because they can see through it and it doesn't seem as big.

I see what you are saying...the babies are still dependent on Mom and Dad for food, so they are not intrested in following seeds dropped from the balcony floor into your flat.

The other way to catch is to do it at night. Pigeons see poorly in the dark andn the middle of the night, if you can leave the door open and go out without making much noise, you could possibly just grab the baby with your hands. The down side is, if there are street lights or such shining in so the balcony isn't very dark, the Parents will spook....if the parents do spook and take off, the babies may try to follow and it could be a bit of momentary mayhem on that balcony.

Regarding the correction...did you search for "Splay leg" using the search feature ? You will get many answers from previous threads. Typically, this involves sort of taping together both legs, which forces the bad one to sit under the Pigeon. But you should really look at previous threads for specifics.
 

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Hi Prashanth,
After you have caught the "bad-leg-baby" as Jaye has mentioned above, then we can work out to correct his legs.

Once caught, please house him in a secure No-Escape room where he won't accidentally fly out the window while his legs are being taped or in therapy. Provide him food, water and grit.

As for his legs, please look at this post. http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/showpost.php?p=659155&postcount=12

Look specifically at Quazar's post and diagram. If you can follow the instructions and tape the baby's feet gently to the diagram shown, maybe for a few days (while he is being kept in the secured box), his leg condition might improve. Once better, you can release him back to his parents on the shelf so they can be reunited.

Good luck!

PS: Can you provide food and fresh water for the parents? It will help them tremendously - maybe some uncooked rice, barley, sesame seeds, etc. Thank you for caring!!
 

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The easiest way to catch him would be to do it at night when it is dark, unless you can get close enough during the day to get him. This would have to be done soon, as the older he gets, the harder it is to correct.
 

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BTW, Prashan...the idea here is to help improve the leg condition so he/she can be released back to his family.

I get the sense that it tugs on your heart to separate him from his family....but it would only be temporary, and once released they would find each other again (particularly the sibling...there will come a certain point where the Parents no longer care about their growing kids).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi,

Before preparing to catch the baby I wanted to get a measure of how much resistance it would put if I were to catch it. Touched the baby yesterday and today. While it does not mind me to stand close enough, when I touched it today it moved a couple of steps backward as it felt threatened. Yesterday it was alarmed but still was standstill. Now need to concentrate on actually catching it.
The entire day the babies were sitting on the tree branches. I think in the evening the parents managed to guide them to the nest. Now they are both in the nest, sleeping. The problem that I thought would be crucial is that the babies have not yet started to have food on their own. Hence that would be tough as well, getting the baby to eat and drink with my help or on its own. And also the street lights are always on and the babies can see me in the night as well. So that's another problem. And in the mornings they are hardly staying in the balcony, even though their parents try to make the kids stay only in the balcony.
 

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If you don't catch the baby and get that leg taped, then it will never be able to walk when it grows up. Don't worry about feeding it, it is old enough to be weaned onto seed easily. The main thing is you need to fix this asap. When you touched it today you could have grabbed it then. Put him in a dog carrier or cage and let us know.
 

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Jay3 is right, you SHOULD have at least tried to catch him if you could get that close and even touch him...

This is an emergency and with every day that passes by it will be more difficult to cure that condition, also it is going to be more difficult, if not impossible, to catch that baby.

I can see you care a lot about those babies and want to help, but I'm beginning to think you don't fully understand the gravity and urgency of the situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi All,

Thanks for all your feedback.
I did try to catch the pigeon baby. But its claws were firmly in the slits of the nest(the plastic nest has the slits in both the top and the lower shelves.). The baby was frightened and clasped the slits firmly. So even though I did put force, I had to give up due to the fear of causing injury to the baby.
Two days after that the pigeon babies would be outside the whole day and would return to the balcony only in the nights. Nights after I would return from office, I would engage myself in talking with them. The babies would respond well when ever I used the keywords like 'fly' 'purr', by spreading their wings and treating the shelf as a runway and would seem that they were trying to show me how it is done. Since two days the babies are not coming to the balcony anymore, neither during daytime nor during nights.
But every morning, at around 6.15 am, both the babies appear on the tree branches that is in front of the balcony and the babies while they still unable to fly, used to see their parents sitting on the same tree branches. There they wait for their parents to come and
feed them with food.
But today morning I saw that whenever the kids begged for food, the parents kept running away. But later I saw them along with their kids, feeding on the seeds on the ground. The kids appeared to be learning to pick the seeds by following their parents.
The place is abundant with food for birds as there are lot of trees around and the ground beneath them is rich with layers of tree deposits. The ground seems to have abundant seed varieties . Slightly later, I saw the family feeding on the ground, together with few other pigeons of the locality.
The family still spends much time on the tree branches in front of the balcony, while the babies are most of the times relaxing on that exact portion of the branches that their parents used to sit on earlier. But they also fly along with their parents or even without them.
Since the last three days, I have been seeing the male pigeon in my balcony and it would be calling the female pigeon often. Yesterday night I saw few sticks that are taken out of tree branches, in my balcony, on the top shelf of the plastic nest. I knew how those sticks got there. Today, since morning, I have been seeing the numbers of those sticks getting increased and also now there is a plan evident in the manner they are getting arranged. Who has done it, is anybody's guess, but soon I am going to see two pigeon eggs there on the top shelf.
 

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It is really not all that hard to disengage a pigeons claws from something to pick him up. By not catching him and leaving him in that condition, you have sentenced him to a short life of being crippled. And as he grows and gains weight, he will have an even harder time. He can and will hurt himself when he lands, as he won't have any landing gear to put down, and will crash on his keel. He will wear the skin on his stomach, and get sores there from the skin being rubbed raw when he tries to move around without being able to walk, and he will lose the ability to perch on things to be able to follow the group around. Also, take offs will be slower and therefore he will most likely become lunch for some predator. You had the opportunity to help him, and did nothing. He will have a difficult and short life. Now they are building another nest on that hard plastic shelf, which is probably also slippery, and why he is splayed to begin with. You should just take the shelf down at least.
 

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Although it is nice that you enjoy looking at these birds and experiencing them, I feel rather sad for the splayed-leg baby. There is now no hope for him to be a normal walking pigeon :(

The bird watching and the story would have been good if the babies were normal healthy birds - but one of them is not. I cringed at the story knowing nothing had been done to save him.

Sigh. :(
 
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