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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a pair of 1-year old homing pigeons that I acquired at the same time as another pair of the same age. Since I've had them (about 8 months), the other pair has laid and reared two clutches, working on number three. This other pair that I have has started one clutch, only to abandon the one egg the laid. Just recently, they've managed to sit on a pair of their own eggs for about 16 days. Then, two days ago, they stopped sitting regularly, getting up and letting their eggs get nearly ice-cold. This worried me; but now the eggs are pipping (so obviously they're still alive) but the parents aren't even sitting in the next box! I've got another nest with pipping eggs and I would allow this pair (which has proven over the months to be excellent parents) to raise all four young, but that is a lot! I just don't want these babies to die, or even be unable to hatch. I'm not meddling as much as it souds; the parents are on the other side of the loft, doing nothing! I'll warm the eggs with my hands and they'll start pipping again, I keep thinking they're dead until I warm them again. I've never had pigeons that are such terrible parents!

I think part of the issue lies with the hen; she's fluffed up and seems skinny, but she's eating fine. I'm unsure if she's sick or what. Her mate was doing a good job of sitting on the eggs yesterday but now he seems to have lost interest in the eggs as well. AH!!! :eek:

Should I just hope the eggs hatch and the parents take care of the eggs? Or have they proven to irresponsible? And if so, what do I do? Hand-raise the squabs? Or give them to the other pair? I just don't want them to die; they're very valuable birds. Help!!! (I'm only 15 and have only had pigeons for a year or so. I've hand-raised robins, baby bunnies, mice, moles, blackbirds, etc, but I don't have anything but kitten milk replacement and bugs, where do I get pigeon milk replacement?!)

Or am I just stressing too much?
 

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I have a pair of 1-year old homing pigeons that I acquired at the same time as another pair of the same age. Since I've had them (about 8 months), the other pair has laid and reared two clutches, working on number three. This other pair that I have has started one clutch, only to abandon the one egg the laid. Just recently, they've managed to sit on a pair of their own eggs for about 16 days. Then, two days ago, they stopped sitting regularly, getting up and letting their eggs get nearly ice-cold. This worried me; but now the eggs are pipping (so obviously they're still alive) but the parents aren't even sitting in the next box! I've got another nest with pipping eggs and I would allow this pair (which has proven over the months to be excellent parents) to raise all four young, but that is a lot! I just don't want these babies to die, or even be unable to hatch. I'm not meddling as much as it souds; the parents are on the other side of the loft, doing nothing! I'll warm the eggs with my hands and they'll start pipping again, I keep thinking they're dead until I warm them again. I've never had pigeons that are such terrible parents!

I think part of the issue lies with the hen; she's fluffed up and seems skinny, but she's eating fine. I'm unsure if she's sick or what. Her mate was doing a good job of sitting on the eggs yesterday but now he seems to have lost interest in the eggs as well. AH!!! :eek:

Should I just hope the eggs hatch and the parents take care of the eggs? Or have they proven to irresponsible? And if so, what do I do? Hand-raise the squabs? Or give them to the other pair? I just don't want them to die; they're very valuable birds. Help!!! (I'm only 15 and have only had pigeons for a year or so. I've hand-raised robins, baby bunnies, mice, moles, blackbirds, etc, but I don't have anything but kitten milk replacement and bugs, where do I get pigeon milk replacement?!)

Or am I just stressing too much?

WOW.......this is a tough one for sure. I personally couldn't just let the babies die in the shell, but at the same time, asking a pair to raise 4 babies is asking a LOT..especially the first few days when pigeon milk is what they need. They're created to raise two babies. I believe that they would TRY to take care of all four, but I don't think they would have enough pigeon milk to go around and I expect all 4 babies will suffer because of it. I suppose all you can do is try it and see what happens. Maybe once the eggs hatch, you could try giving two of the babies back to the original parents and see if they will take an interest in a living breathing baby as opposed to just an egg. If they just will not show an interest in taking care of them, maybe after about 3 or 4 days, you could take over?
 

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sometimes it looks like they lost interest, but they must be doing something right if they are hatching, have you backed off and watched to see if they get back on? If not do as Renee said, you could let them hang out with the foster pair till they start to grow some and then take over, or offer the true parents to take over, I would put in dummy eggs if you remove them, that way the parent will still be in hatch/baby mode. maybe?:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, I've backed off. I left them alone for about 5 hours yesterday and when I came in to clean water, they were outside sunning and the eggs were cold; again, I left them alone all night until 8AM this morning and they were out with the other birds waiting to be fed, their eggs were cold. I was sure the little ones had died, but I guess not. I opened up and let everyone have open-loft for an hour today, like I do every day, and they went out, completely abandoning their nest. I called a few of my 'mentors' and they suggested the same thing as Renee; I'll let the older pair I have (They're both about 9 years old) take care of the babies for a few days, then I'll take over. I've called my mom and asked her to pick up some Kaytee Exact Baby Bird Formula (or whatever it's called) so we'll see. Unfortunately, I don't have dummy eggs, otherwise I would much prefer that they were raised naturally by their real parents. At this point, however, it doesn't look good. I'm hoping their behavior is because either a) the mother was sickly and sensed it; she'll feel better soon and they can try again or b) they're first-time parents and were just confused, again, next time it should work out.
 

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Yes, I've backed off. I left them alone for about 5 hours yesterday and when I came in to clean water, they were outside sunning and the eggs were cold; again, I left them alone all night until 8AM this morning and they were out with the other birds waiting to be fed, their eggs were cold. I was sure the little ones had died, but I guess not. I opened up and let everyone have open-loft for an hour today, like I do every day, and they went out, completely abandoning their nest. I called a few of my 'mentors' and they suggested the same thing as Renee; I'll let the older pair I have (They're both about 9 years old) take care of the babies for a few days, then I'll take over. I've called my mom and asked her to pick up some Kaytee Exact Baby Bird Formula (or whatever it's called) so we'll see. Unfortunately, I don't have dummy eggs, otherwise I would much prefer that they were raised naturally by their real parents. At this point, however, it doesn't look good. I'm hoping their behavior is because either a) the mother was sickly and sensed it; she'll feel better soon and they can try again or b) they're first-time parents and were just confused, again, next time it should work out.

Well, first of all, if Mom is "sickly", then you need to figure out what's wrong, if anything and get her well. She's not going to "feel better soon" if something is wrong, without medicine for whatever is ailing her.
Number two, I would not recommend letting birds that are on fertile eggs and/or babies out of the loft to fly. It won't hurt them to stay inside for a few weeks and if something happens to either of the parents, then the other one is left to finish the job and they may or may not do that, so then you're stuck raising a baby.
And third, if you can, you should put a bowl of feed by the nest bowl where they are sitting so that whoever is on the nest doesn't have to go anywhere to get food. If I've got birds on eggs (dummy eggs), I have to pick them up off of the nest and MAKE them go outside. Most pigeons will not willingly leave their eggs or babies unless they are forced to, and being hungry is the same thing as being forced.
Having said all of that, you just might have a pair of birds that are simply bad parents. I don't believe that happens very often, but it does happen, and if your luck is like mine............LOL.....if it will happen to anyone, it will happen to me. :rolleyes:
I would suggest, if you can time it right, to let this pair and another pair lay at the same time. Give this pair dummy eggs and watch to see if they sit full term. If they do, then take a baby from the other pair and let each pair raise one baby. I would say, that if this pair does this again, then, for whatever reason, they'll probably always act this way and I don't know what would cause it.
I've had one pair of birds in 9 years, that would leave their babies every time. They didn't really abandon them, but would stop sitting way to early and the babies would get cold. The first time it happened, I raised the babies. The second time it happened, I was able to foster them out. I raise my babies in winter, so at 8 days old, the babies are going to freeze to death if they aren't covered. I gave this pair of birds one more chance, and because we lucked out and had really really nice weather for 2 weeks that January, even though they still left the baby, it was warm enough to not hurt anything, and they raised that baby to weaning. After that, I sent the pair of birds back to the man I got them from.
Sorry to ramble............LOL:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sorry I'm so unclear; I do give them feed in their box, but they came because I was whistling even though there was food in there... I'm not sure what's with them. Also, I only have one loft and all of my other breeding pairs stay inside while my racers fly, this pair is just confused!!! The male is sitting on the nest right now with a dummy egg in it, so maybe there's hope!

Also, the hen just seems to have a little cold. I gave her a bath today and let her sit in the sun while her mate was on the dummy eggs and she seemed better almost immediately. It's a mystery to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, they didn't take care of the babies; they hatched out around 10AM yesterday and by 12pm today, one had died and the other was just hanging on; his crop was empty and he was cold. I took him and fed him and now he's warm and full and sitting in my lap. I've got my phone set to ring every 2 hours so I feed him on time, and instructions and food all ready (I bought some of the Kaytee exact formula). I think he'll be OK. Now I just need to figure out why mom is acting weird. She's a bit better today, but not a whole lot. There are no good avian vets around here; I've tried all 3 and none of then know anything about birds. Since I can't drive anywhere and the parents won't drive me, I tend to figure things out on my own or talk to other pigeon fanatics in the area. She doesn't seem too sick, especially since I bathed her and gave her some sun (She's been cooped up since the eggs were laid, she wouldn't go outside until a few days ago and even then would just fly outside, then come back inside and stand a few feet from her nest in the shade. Very weird.
 

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What sort of symptoms is the Momma bird showing? What do her droppings look like? Maybe we can come up with some answers or suggestions.
Glad you could save the one baby. Sounds like you're prepared for the job, so that's good. I hope he'll do just fine.
 

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I agree. They do stay--on the side. They don't incubate them though while they are piping. There is no point of blocking the piping process. That is my observation. Maybe different birds do it differently. Another video from different people: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bkuu95YbGg

If you watch the whole first video, in the end the parents came protecting the baby.
 
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