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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I am in the UK. I found an injured racing pigeon about six weeks ago. I telephoned the number on its ring and they said that it was no good to them with a broken wing and they did not want it back. :( It is such a pretty little thing and was so sweet I couldn't just leave it, so I have a chicken (I originally kept six but she is the last of them)so I put a plaster over the broken part and put it in with my chicken. It seems quite content and they both go into the coop together at night. However, the pigeon had what seemed like a large part of its shoulder missing and has two bones sticking out on the upper part of its wing. This has healed now but the wing is droopy and useless and the bones still stick out. I can't afford a vet because as it is a racing pigeon I would be charged for any treatment and also I imagine they would just put it down.
The question is, am I being cruel to keep this pigeon alive and is it likely to be in constant pain? It walks about and flaps what it can of its wings but runs away from other birds except the chicken and my chicken seems to chase off any other birds that go near it. What should I do? Is there any way I could make it more comfortable?
 

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Could you please post a photo? Also there are rescue groups in uk who might be able to help.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/PigeonProtection
http://www.pigeonrescue.co.uk/rescuecentres.htm
http://helpwildlife.co.uk/p0593/
http://www.pigeon-aid.org.uk/pa/html/wildlife.php
https://www.facebook.com/PigeonRescueTeam/
We had a feral with a badly broken wing. Not sure about a partly missing wing although I believe Palomacy has rescued such pigeons. A vet might be needed to stabilize with surgery if bones are showing. If that is too expensive maybe a rescue organization could help with this especially if you let them know you want to keep and adopt the bird. While our bird was recovering we gave her meloxicam liquid for pain but I'm not a vet so can't advise on this. Thank you for helping and caring about the bird, you are his only hope. By the way pigeons are tough and if he has healed and made it through his injuries he may just need a little help and a home. Our bird was a feral who was nearly decapitated and had a broken wing. Her wing always drooped a little but she was lively and loving and seemed quite happy.
 

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Yes, plse do post a photo of the bird and the setup of where you are keeping him. He will be flightless for the rest of his life, so maybe a few improvements to his living conditions can just make life easier for him. And it's definitely not cruel to keep him alive. He can live a long and happy life with you and his new friend.

A bird in pain won't flap his wings, if the wound has healed then the pain must be gone by now.
 

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If bones or showing he might need debridement or amputation of the bones but I have read online that some birds do just fine and heal on their own. If he is able to flap as Marina mentioned this is a good sign. After six weeks he may be fine. Thank you for helping him!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks

Thanks to you all for replying. I have taken some pictures but need to work out how to put them on:)
The pigeon has the run of the garden and then goes into the coop at night. There is a gate so it is fairly safe and I do mostly keep an eye out for it but obviously I sometimes have to go out.
There is no cage or anything which is a bit dangerous but I simply haven't got one and the chicken does seem to look after it.
I feed it wild bird food, wheat and split peas which it seems to enjoy. I also have put out an old roasting tin with water in it and it often goes and sits in it!
The coop is like a little house shape with sawdust on the floor and two perches and the pigeon hops up on to one of those when it goes to bed.
 

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If the bones are sticking out then he can get an infection, and yes, I would think it would be painful. He isn't safe outside running around, as a hawk can easily grab him. And actually, he isn't even safe with a chicken, as if the chicken decided to injure him, he can't even fly away. Even pigeon mates do at time disagree and peck at each other. But with a chicken, a flightless pigeon wouldn't have a chance. We normally advise against keeping pigeons with chickens together for this reason, but this pigeon can't even fly away. I know it's cute that they seem to be friends, but friends can injure each other.
 

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Please contact UK rescue link, as this bird needs major intervention from professionals, they may be able to find a rehabber.

The bird may act normal around the chicken, but he is only acting that way due to his situation and being in pain. He can't fly away or defend himself. Please separate the bird and bring him inside and get some help.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you.

Thank you for the replies. The nearest pigeon friendly rescue is about 50 miles away. I will ring them on Monday and if they will take my bird I shall take him to them.
 

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Please ask for assurances that they will do everything possible to fix him up. After six weeks if healing he deserves a chance to live and thrive. Is there any chance you might want to adopt him after he is fixed up? That would really probably improve his chances at a great life. Thank you for helping him!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I certainly will. If they are just going to put him down then I will keep him best I can. I have grown very fond of him but want what's best. I would love to adopt him but there is no way my husband would allow him indoors and if he can't fly then he could only remain in my garden with my chicken and other replies have said this would not be a good idea.
 

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If a vet checks him out and fixes or debrides any open bones I don't see why he couldn't live with the chickens. But that is just my opinion. I know people sometimes keep pigeons and chickens together and if he is healed I think that is preferable to euthanasia because he had no home.
 

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Putting them together is a very bad idea. People who care about their birds don't. If for some reason the chicken wanted to, he can easily kill the pigeon. Good flying birds should not be put in with chickens. You are talking about a pigeon who cannot fly here. He can't even get away. Also chicken peck around and pick up worms and things which can be spread to the pigeon. Just not a good idea.
 

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Just trust your instincts tomorrow when you take him there. If they have the facilities to care long term for this bird and it seems to you he will be better off there, then and only then you can leave him there. Who knows, they might only do rehabbing of wild pigeons and may not be able to house him for the rest of his life. You've grown fond of this bird, to you he is a special, to them just another pigeon.

Regarding the chicken, you observe them every day and how they interact. Why worry now about something that might and might not happen in the future. Your chicken is probably alone, and that's why the special bond developed.

So if you feel uncomfortable about leaving the pigeon there, then don't. They can't force you into doing that either. If they can treat his injuries, that will be good. If it was me in your position, I will bring him straight back home, and I really hope you do too.
 

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Agree with MarinaB. See what they can offer and whether they can care long term for the bird. If you have any doubts stay with him, let them see him just in your presence, but if they can't fix him up and give him a long term home, take him home. After six weeks he is somewhat healed and probably not in a lot of discomfort. With any bones visible there is always a danger of infection but it is hard to tell broken feathers from bone too. Please use your best instincts. A life with a chicken is better than no life. You obviously care about him. Thank you for helping him.
 

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The wing can't be ignored. Bones that are actually sticking out can't be ignored. It needs to be fixed. Even if a vet has to remove the wing. To suggest that it can be left like that is horrible. If you are going to be responsible for him, then you need to be responsible. The wing probably needs to be removed. Must be a vet around who can do that. Maybe even let you pay over time. And keeping him with a chicken who can kill him, and letting him wander around outside when he can't fly to get out of danger, that is not a way to keep a pigeon. That is terribly irresponsible. He is being put in constant danger. He needs his own little enclosure or space, and if you care about him, you will find a way to do that. Letting him live with bones that are exposed, and outside in constant danger is not being responsible for him. Find him a home with someone who can take responsible care of him. There is someone out there that would. Having him shredded up by a chicken, or torn up and eaten alive by a cat or a hawk is certainly worse than being euthanised.
 

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Have you gone online and looked up the Facebook link?
If you are on Facebook, I suggest you join the Pigeon Rescue group which is a network of rescuers and some rescue centres in the UK:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/PigeonProtection/

There may be someone there who can help, or maybe even take the bird.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Just to say thank you to everyone. I went on the Facebook page that Jay suggested and my pigeon is being picked up by courier tomorrow and going to a vet who has promised to take care and not put him down and then on to a sanctuary that has lots of pigeons that have been rescued or are handicapped so he should have a good life. I will miss him though.:(.
They have promised to let me know of his progress.
 

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Glad things worked out well for you and the pigeon. And it would be nice to let us know how he's doing when they update you.
 

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Yes please keep us posted on his progress. And again bless you for getting him help and a good home. You know that once a pigeon has touched your life, you may need to get another or even a pair. When we rescued our first feral, we knew nothing about how wonderful,pigeons are and now we have six. They are beautiful loving intelligent creatures.
 

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Thanks for the update. I'm so glad that things worked out for you. Thank you for helping him, as you have given him a second chance.
Got that link from John D. Thank God he often posts it.
 
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