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Baby pigeon - stunted growth?

233 Views 10 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Marina B
I got a baby pigeon from a breeder to be a companion for myself. She/he is an indian fantail and the parent birds are lovely and healthy. When I got the baby she was 15 days old. Full crop and well fed by the parents. I picked up Kaytee Exact, Applesauce, ACV and pigeon prebiotics incase of crop issues while hand feeding. I've been giving her Des Moines 18% Squab seed mix with a little millet and Versele Laga Black Label.

So now my baby is 33 days old and I feel as if her growth is stunted. Every pigeon growth video I've seen by age 30+ they're fluffy and fully feathered and basically the size of an adult. She feeds herself seeds once in a while if I leave a bowl down for her and she is very curious and likes to explore. But she looks to me to be at the stage of what a 17-22 day old pigeon would be. The breeder told me sometimes babies lag behind on growth but will catch up and there's nothing to worry about. But I guess I am worried. She seems a bit too skinny also for a baby and I can easily feel her pelvic bone. She doesn't appear to have canker but I am treating for it currently just in case. I know most treat possible sour crop with Nystatin but I have no idea how to get any of it without a prescription.

The baby is at the point now where during hand feeding she rejects the food if it has formula in it. So now its just seed and water. I sneak a little formula in her water though so when she drinks she still gets something out of it. She's very healthy and lively but these are the things I've noticed about her:

1. She doesn't like to eat too much. She use to eat til she got a full crop but now she only likes eating until its half full and won't eat more than that. But she has a healthy appetite.

2. I noticed she holds her tail to one side all the time and tends to walk in circles a lot. I was a bit confused about why she does this. Not all the time but often enough to notice.

3. Her feathers are coming in kind of scrungly. I've also noticed stress bars on her tail and feed.

I've attached pictures I've taken of her over the past 2 days. I will try uploading a video of her circling onto YouTube and link it here when I can.

Bird Beak Comb Galliformes Chicken
Head Bird Eye Beak Galliformes
Pink Fawn Window Snout Feather
Bird Green Comb Beak Chicken
Head Bird Eye Beak Galliformes
Bird Beak Comb Galliformes Chicken
Pink Fawn Window Snout Feather
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It's normal for a baby to start rejecting formula when they are weaning. Can you post a photo of her droppings? Are you giving vitamins? Lack of certain vitamins (I think B vit) can cause neurological issues.
Her poos are pretty perfect. Round solid brown balls all the time. Once in a while grey poo but I read that happens when they drink too much water.

She was getting the vitamins from Kaytee but since she won't eat it I have been mixing vitamins into her water and she drinks that. I do have vitamin B supplements for my adult pet pigeons I put over their food with a little garlic oil. Should I do that for her as well?

Do you think it might be lack of vitamins and not overall nutrition? I've really been trying to feed at her own comfort level so I've never put a syringe in her crop to feed her that way. I've been feeding her via the plastic bag method and she sticks her face in and eats until she's done walks away.
She is a gorgeous little thing btw.

And thank you! She really is super sweet. She already bows at me and wing twitches when she sees me. She seems very smart already and has good recall. She loves being with me but she can be a bit sassy too. Haha
You can give her some Vit B. The lack of feathers around the head is also not normal. My pigeons dont like garlic oil on the seed, so she might not be keen on eating them. You can mix the Kaytee powder with a little bit of water to form a soft clay consistency. Then make small peasized balls and handfeed to her. To this you can add a pinch of vitamins. Just put the ball deep inside the beak over the tongue and she will swallow.

Okay I mixed the vit B in her water and she drank a good bit of it. I'll try rolling the Kaytee into little food balls if I can.

Here is a video of the tilted tail and walking in circles I mentioned also

She looks fine to me, interested in what's going on around her. If she ever starts keeping the head upside down, then you might be dealing with paramyxovirus. But you got her from a breeder, so surely his pigeons must be in excellent health.

Yeah the pigeons there were in great health and beautiful birds. She has a vet appointment just for a general check over on Monday to make sure nothing minor is at least going on. I've spoken to other people on Discord and other pigeon forums and they agree she's developmentally behind and may just be on the smaller side once she's fully grown. Which I'm fine with if that's the case. I just ultimately want her happy and healthy.

And she seems to be afraid of other pigeons. I have other pet pigeons who spend time with her daily and they've shown no aggression towards her because I supervise when they're around each other. But she definitely prefers human attention and interaction to pigeons so I want to give her the best quality of life and spoil her.
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UPDATE: She went to the vet today. She has Coccidia and likely got it from her parents or foster parents before I ever adopted her. I contacted the loft owner immediately and told them to medicate their flock.

The vet said she definitely is stunted and it's due to the Coccidia. She's on antibiotics for the next 10 days and up for a check up. Her lack of appetite is also due to the Coccidia. The vet believes I should see a bump in growth and appetite once she's cleared up. And to also medicate my adult rescue birds just incase as well but she hasn't been in direct contact with them since I've had her.

As far as tail and spinning. No ear infection and they said it's just a funny little personality quirk of hers. The vet said she's very healthy and happy otherwise and I've done everything right and to keep doing it. Hopefully she won't be too stunted into adulthood after this.
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