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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I came home to a depressing surprise this evening, I have a pair who have a one and a half-ish week old pair of squabs, and I found the cockbird (who was fine and normal this morning) dead on the nest. No outward signs of anything. He does not appear to have been fighting nor attacked, is in good condition, had food and water in his crop, just dead. He was totally fine this morning, not puffed up, droppings are normal for him, he was taking care of the squabs normally. He was roughly 4 years old, a homer pigeon. I am rather devastated, and would like to find out if it was something I did wrong or something I missed, or even just if it was a random thing out of my control.
Another pair of pigeons had been trying to take the nest as nobody was guarding it anymore and would not let the hen near, and I worried they could harm the squabs as well. I took the babies & nest and put it in a small-ish cage and added the hen. One of the squabs had an empty crop so I fed him a small meal of warmed thawed peas so he had enough food for the night. The squeaking drove the hen to start filling up on food although I don't think she's fed them yet, I am hoping she might start feeding them tomorrow, if not I have hand raised squabs before so I think I will be able to hand raise them if necessary. She is brooding them on the nest right now. If she does start feeding them do I still need to supplement hand feeding or do I expect her to feed them enough?
The only thing I can think of that was out of the ordinary was their droppings. The hen did also get a bit quiet sometimes, would puff up and have rest when perching some of the day. But she still flew around a fair bit, eating and drinking fine, alert, helped guard the nest, so I didn't think much of it, those symptoms have completely disappeared now she is in a different cage so I am not sure if it is related to anything. This is not an exact photo but it is the same as they have.
Underwater Marine biology Reef Soil Amphibian

And please note that antibiotics are not available without a prescription in NZ, so any kind of antibiotic medications would require a vet to see her and prescribe them. Which I can do, except with her caring for chicks I am not very sure how. She was wormed fairly recently (when incubating eggs). I heard on one thread that it is from lack of good bacteria, pigeon probiotics are hard to come across here but I do have apple cider vinegar.
 

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You can put some apple cider vinegar in her drinking water twice a week. 5 ml acv to 1 litre of water. Make sure you have the natural unfiltered brand.

Always have enough food available, as she will need to raise 2 babies by herself. Monitor their crops esp in the evening.

Can you take a flashlight and check inside her beak and back of the throat for any unusial yellow cheesy growths. Do the same with the babies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes you can. Acv must always be part of their diet. It creates a hostile environment for bad bacteria. Keep an eye on the babies. They don't have the same immunity as the mom to some diseases.

Why don't you order products online just for in case.
I have checked one of the babies and can't see anything abnormal about their throat, the second baby and mother were too squirmy for me to see well so I will get a second person to help and check today.
I would order medications online but I don't think you can get them here without a prescription unfortunately. I will be vigilant of the babies.
The ACV in the water was really good for them I think, all the birds had normal healthy droppings today rather than the watery ones they had before. I will certainly keep using it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I found canker lesions in the other chicks throat unfortunately, I would have treated them myself but it takes too long for medications to ship from overseas. So we took them in to the vet clinic to get the medication, the vet agreed it was canker and said to keep the ACV in their water daily until it's cleared up, his medicine of choice was ronidazole but we would have to wait for it to ship from overseas, so we're going to use metronidazole, hopefully will be able to pick it up tomorrow morning.
I will try ordering some of those medications you listed from overseas, maybe that is a way I can get them here. Do you recommend the 4 in 1 or 5 in 1 medications?
I found and bought some bird probiotics. There is also a vitamin and mineral supplement I have been using for a while with added hydrolyzed yeast, salmon oil and garlic, does that sound ok?
Is there a way to prevent them getting canker in the future? Does the ACV help with that?
 

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The 4 in 1 or 5 in 1 are no good as this does not have enough of a specific meds for treatment. I believe Spartrix is the best product to use for canker, although it's not available in our country. I use human metronidazole for treating canker. Human meds can be used for pigeons, at least I can buy from a pharmacy in our country.

The acv will definitely keep them healthy. You can give to all your pigeons twice a week and then probiotics the next day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The 4 in 1 or 5 in 1 are no good as this does not have enough of a specific meds for treatment. I believe Spartrix is the best product to use for canker, although it's not available in our country. I use human metronidazole for treating canker. Human meds can be used for pigeons, at least I can buy from a pharmacy in our country.

The acv will definitely keep them healthy. You can give to all your pigeons twice a week and then probiotics the next day.
I got the meds, directions is 50mg once daily for 5 days, I thought that was the correct adult dosage but I thought common dosage was 30 mg for squeakers?
Should I only be treating the birds that are showing symptoms? This would be all the squeakers (these 2 plus another I have) and probably the mother of these two. I did not receive enough medicine to treat the whole flock, so I assume I am not supposed to?
 

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The dosage metronidazole is 10 mg metro per 100 gr birdweight once a day for 7 to 10 days. Although one should not underdose. Treat all your sick birds.

Give the babies their meds early morning and let the mom feed them. After she fed them, then you can dose her. Don't let her feed them for a couple of hours after she got dosed Overdosing on metro will result in neurological symptoms, so you can look out for that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks again Marina for the correct dosages have been treating for 5 days now and seen good improvement and the canker lesions are gone.
The chicks are recently having watery droppings, they have just found out how to drink water themselves and drink quite a lot is that normal? The rest of the birds are also having watery droppings again do you think it should correct it's self in time with the probiotics or something else going on?
I also have ordered some Ronivet-S (Ronidazole powder to put in water) I tried to get Spartix but it was out of stock everywhere. Hoping it gets here should I treat all of the birds that haven't been treated with the metronidazole?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Will do that, it has been quite warm here yes.
In my one other squab I noticed s/he had a dropping that had yellow (not strong or bright yellow, just off white with a yellow tint), I read somewhere that is a sign of a liver problem that could be caused by overdose of metro, no neurological symptoms. Do you think I should cut back on the dose or discontinue the treatment or is one of the yellowish droppings nothing to be worried about?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
About 6 days now, s/he was 330 grams when I weighed her so she's been getting roughly 30-35mg once daily.

I found also the other squabs had their crops full of air recently, I think they have gotten rid of it themselves when I usually check on them a few hours later which I why I have not noticed. They are eating seed themselves already which is I think earlier age than normal, maybe they are swallowing air when they are eating? Is that a problem since they usually get rid of it themselves?
 

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They might have a slight yeast infection due to the antibiotics. If the acv in the drinking water does not help for this, you might need to get Nystatin for treatment. I assume you are giving probiotics as well.
 
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