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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I have four new Roller babies in my coop. Two are singles in their nests, one in a nest box and one on the floor in a nest bowl and two in a nest bowl up high on top of a box. The oldest has all his feathers and the others are just getting them. It has been very warm and pleasant here in Reno mostly, with just one day of cold which they survived. But we have four or five days of real cold coming like 46 degree high, 33 degree low. One time I lost two big babies in their nest and it was so sad to find them frozen to death. Another time I worried about the cold and put in more pine needles, which the male put around his baby, but it fell through them and died anyway. I wish I had little coats for them!! Anybody have suggestions?
 

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If the parens are no longer sitting on them, bring them in your house at night.
 

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I was going to suggest the same thing

There is a brief period when the babies are too large for their parents to keep warm and they don't have enough feathers to keep themselves warm.

They will normally survive fairly cold temps and two in the nest may be better than one as they can help to keep each other warm as the parents won't really sit over them once they reach a certain size.

Anyway, if you are worried about them, I'd bring them in at night and out to be fed in the morning.

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm very sad. Went out this morning and found the little guy who had the most feathers dead. I guess he was not being set on by mom and dad anymore. I was worried if I took them into the house, the parents would stop feeding them or that they would miss a feeding at night, if they do feed at night. I wish now I'd decided to adopt that little one and feed him myself up here at the house. I feel like I can't do much of anything to save the rest. One year a pair had two babies in the dead of winter and they survived cold cold weather. I called them the Christmas twins.
 

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I know that babies do die from the cold.......however, I've just finished my breeding season. I raised 76 babies from Jan.1st to the ones in the nest now. Not one single baby froze to death. Our temperatures this year were anywhere from 60 degrees to 8 degrees. Not one single baby died. A baby that is feathered, which I will assume must be about 2 weeks old at least or older, doesn't die from the temperatures you stated. I would take a good look if I were you at the birds, babies AND adults and make sure that there's not something else going on. I just find it hard to believe that temperatures above freezing, even if it's only 33 degress, killed a baby that is feathered.
As far as taking the babies in the house, that is fine to do at night. Once the babies aren't being sat on constantly and are being fed seeds, they don't get fed during the night. The only problem I would have with that is, if it's cold outside, taking a baby in a warm house and then getting it back out in the loft early in the morning when it's the coldest wouldn't be good for the baby in my opinion.
If you've got parents that want to stop sitting on the youngsters at 7 or 8 or even 10 days old, then you're best bet is not to breed out of those birds or at least don't let THEM raise their babies.
I deal with homers and they are, hands down, some of the best parents as far as pigeons go. I had Satinettes that would leave their babies at about 8 days old and I wound up either putting them under homers, or raising them myself. They found a new home with one of our members here.
 

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I'm sorry to hear about the baby. An inexpensive solution to the cold, and one I use myself, is to purchase a heat lamp (usually a large red bulb inside a metal ring), place inside a small-animal cage so the pigeons can't get to close to it, and set it inside the loft on cold nights. It warms up an area pretty quickly and keeps it several degrees above outside temps, as long as you don't have drafts. Hopefully this will help in the future. They're only fifteen bucks or so. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
lovebirds, that is a good point. I, too, didn't think it was cold enough for the baby to die last night. It's parents are first time parents and all seemed to be going very well. Maybe something else happened. I've had almost too good a success with the rollers. They are very good parents and I've lost only a few babies. The patriarch of all of them is an excellent daddy. But the wind is icy out there tonight. Maryjane, wish I had electricity and a lamp out there -- I thought I might put the nest in a cardboard box with a parent bird and put a towel over the top to keep them together???
 

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I think the cardboard nest thing will freak out the mother. They don't do well if the nest is changed. I think you should bring the ones you are worried about inside. You won't forgive yourself if one of them dies tonight.
 

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Maybe some loft improvements are in order?
Do you have enough room for all of your pigeons, includeing the young?
Is your loft airy?, but not drafty?
Are your adults too busy doing other things, when they are supposed to be raiseing the young? (too many distractions?) (activeities?)
Do you have enough nest material available?
Pigeons, like people, have their own way of doing things, untill they (we) discover the right way to do it.

Insulation can work 2 ways!
 

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lovebirds, that is a good point. I, too, didn't think it was cold enough for the baby to die last night. It's parents are first time parents and all seemed to be going very well. Maybe something else happened. I've had almost too good a success with the rollers. They are very good parents and I've lost only a few babies. The patriarch of all of them is an excellent daddy. But the wind is icy out there tonight. Maryjane, wish I had electricity and a lamp out there -- I thought I might put the nest in a cardboard box with a parent bird and put a towel over the top to keep them together???
Yeah.... I had to run two 50 foot extension cords out to my aviary farthest away from the house. Those are a bit pricey if you don't have some already. I don't know how far from electricity your loft is, though.
 

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I have brought babies inside when it was too cold at night in the dovecote. I didn't bring them into the hot house but left them in a small box in the utility room. It's not hot but a darn site warmer than an open dovecote. I returned them the following morning and the parents flew straight up to feed them No problems.

This winter I have closed the low vents in the loft at night, there is still a gap between the walls and roof, but it stops cold air flowing in. My babies have all survived down to -2 C outside temps this way.
 

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I have brought babies inside when it was too cold at night in the dovecote. I didn't bring them into the hot house but left them in a small box in the utility room. It's not hot but a darn site warmer than an open dovecote. I returned them the following morning and the parents flew straight up to feed them No problems.

This winter I have closed the low vents in the loft at night, there is still a gap between the walls and roof, but it stops cold air flowing in. My babies have all survived down to -2 C outside temps this way.
Were they feathered babies? Great tip!
 

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Were they feathered babies? Great tip!
They vary. My parents tend to cover/partially cover them till they are about ten days old. Even when the parents have stopped covering during the day, if I take a torch and peep through the windows in the dark, they are usually on the nest.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
All three babies ok this morning, I'm glad to say. It got below freezing last night, but I didn't bring them in, not knowing what I should or shouldn't do! It is partly my fault (and partly Nature's) because I took the covers off my nest boxes in an effort to discourage breeding. Then I collect eggs that get laid. But the pigeons are so in love with their eggs and raising families that I gave in to some that tried and tried to get a family started and I let them set the eggs. Then of course the babies are hatched and I can't resist watching them grow into beautiful adults who can go out to fly and roll. This is how I ended up with 20 birds and had to find homes for 16 of them. That left me with my favorites, but now I have ten adults and three babies, so it's buidling up in numbers again. My coop is quite large and airy and my pigeons are happy birds. Anyone interested in Birmingham Rollers???
 

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Rollers are usually excellent parents and I would recommend bringing the whole family in on really cold nights. I've done this and the parents fed the babies in a cage in the house or garage or wherever I put them. I wouldn't recommend this with every breed (my Nuns would abandon their babies for sure if I did that), but with rollers and homers you could probably get away with it. You can put everyone back out in the loft when it warms up enough the next morning. If you have individual nest boxes, close off the box while the family is absent so that other birds don't try to take it over.
 
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