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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone,

We have been raising a wood pigeon for the past couple of weeks, we estimate him (or her) as being about 3 weeks old now. He still has a fair amount of fluff around his body, but has 2 impressive wings that he is doing regular practice flaps of. He's not yet interested in feeding himself, but has started to do what almost looks involuntary pecks at random bits of stuff within his reach!

We have organised for him to go to a sanctuary about 40mins away from us when he is self feeding and able to fly. There he will be mixing with other rescues, and wild pigeons, and will be free to leave if ever he wants to.

I wondered a couple of things- should I get him ringed before he goes? It would be nice to see how he gets on, and although upsetting to learn of his fate, would be useful to see how successful the handrearing / release process was. The other thing is are there any recommended vaccinations for him I should get done before mixing with other birds? We are in Lincolnshire, UK.

Thank you for any advice

Lisa

(first time pigeon mum)
 

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Hi Lisa,

Firstly, well done for the job so far. :)

The path you're following as regards to taking him to a sanctuary for release is definitely the best way of getting a Woodie ready for life in the wild.
As far as vaccinations go, personally I've never done so with any I've raised in the same cirumstances. I'm not sure a vet would actually consider it essential. If your pigeon seems fit and well and his throat is nice and pink with no signs of canker then that's good. Maybe a wormer but you could ask the rescue centre what they advise as I expect they'd make sure it's ok before releasing anyway.

A ring is only a help in identifying a bird that is likely to stay local to your garden then maybe you'd occasionally spot it but to be honest it's not going to tell you anything once it's released from the sanctuary. It's best to imagine it flying free and happy which it's going to have a great chance of doing with all you've done for it. :D

Let us know how it goes,

Janet
 

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Hi

I'd agree with Janet. As regards vaccinations, the difficulty is that (1) they need to have a booster every year, and (2) vaccines are sold for minimum 50 birds.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hello,

Thank you for the advice, at least I know we can send this little one off as well prepared as possible! It's sort of our fault this has happened, we chopped a branch down from an adjacent tree, and his nest blew out. I think the branch we cut was sheltering him. We put him as high as we could back in the tree, with the 'nest' (pigeons really need to work on them!) and waited for hours and hours. although pigeons landed nearby, there wasn't any attempt to go near him, and the rest of the nest disintegrated bit by bit and he fell out again. So we felt duty bound to take over.

All I can say is thank goodness for google and sites like this- just about everything you need to know at your finger tips!
 

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Lisa,

That was lucky you spotted the baby then. It's a pleasure to watch them growing up, hard to let them go but satisfying to know they made it through and have freedom.

You sound like a natural!

Janet
 
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