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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys, I finally worked up the courage to seek some guidance on my squabs journey. I found an egg one morning while completing my exercise, but it wasn’t just an egg. In the middle of the road stood a mother pigeon and an egg underneath it. As I tried to make them a new nest and move them into a safer place the pigeon took off leaving the egg behind. This filled me with despair because I definitely doomed the egg to fail even if it had little to no chance at all I made it 0% with that being said I incubated it and it finally hatched. I had DONT my research and saw that many people would say that it won’t survive without its parents but I’m super determined. This is proving to be a lot harder than I thought. I was wondering if I could ask a couple of questions and receive some help.

For the sake of making things simpler the name of the squab is Rosie.

#1 should I only feed it after a few hours or when Rosie squeaks for it? She squeaks for it after 45 minutes although the crop is filled. (I feed it roudybush squab formula). The crop kind of scares me, should I give it Apple cider vinegar? (image 0)

#2 when Rosie squeaks it jerks it’s whole body, is that an issue?

#3 how long until I can switch to kaytee exact formula?

#4 I don’t see a significant growth, when would I start seeing that?

#5 is it bad that Rosie won’t rest it’s head on itself?

#6 is there anything I should have Rosie do to better it’s growth?

#7 rosies poop is mainly watery and the poop itself is like super dark yellow. Is that cool?

For feeding I think I have a pretty awesome system. Rosie will wedge it’s beak between my fingers when it wants to be fed. Syringe feeding it from there is super easy so I got that going for me :) although I’ve noticed that little bubbles would come out of its nostril, so I’m not sure it’s the optimal method. And I feel guilty trying to force it’s mouth open... which brings me to my last question

#8 how do I know if I fed it correctly?

Any advice is much appreciated. Thank you .
 

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These little ones are so difficult to raise. I once picked up a newly hatched, made it till day 4 and he just died on me. Was heartbroken.

Rosie needs a heatpad with a constant temperature of 35 to 38 degrees Celsius. Otherwise the food won't digest. The crop looks bloated, maybe from getting air while feeding. Wait for the crop to empty and gently massage to get the air out. It's normal for the head to lay to the side when they are so young. You can add a bit of human baby applesauce to the formula, this will help with digestion. Be carefull not to overfill the crop, as food can get back into the beak and this will cause aspiration. Are you using the cut-off syringe method as in youtube videos? Remember to let her breath inbetween while you are feeding, maybe that's why you are seeing the bubbles. She needs to be fed small amounts every 2 to 3 hours, during the night as well.

Let us know how she is doing. The first week is always the difficult part.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hey thank you for the response!

Firstly, I’m sorry that happened to you :( I hope to get through this with a positive ending.

When I massage it, how should I hold it? Is it ok for it to lay on its back? I don’t know what you mean by cut off syringe technique but I definitely let it breathe. I think I made the mistake of thinking it was hungry everytime it squeaked. I’m definitely going to wait some time for it to feed it. I have it in some cloth that’s on top of a heating pad. I hope everything will workout on my end.

Thank you again for the reply :)
 

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Hold him upright when you massage his crop, but do this very gently. Have you checked videos on youtube that shows you exactly how to use the cut-off syringe method? I used one of those medicine droppers (1 ml), but took of the black tip and mine ate from the black tip the first 2 days and then I started using a cut-off syringe. You basically cut the end off (the part where the needle should be). Then cover the opening with a small piece of rubber glove and fasten this with an elastic band. You then cut an x into the rubber and that's where he will put the beak inside to eat. You can use a 5 ml syringe and get larger ones as he gets older.

Just remember, as long as he keeps on producing droppings inbetween feedings, then it's all good. I hope yours have a better outcome than mine. It's just amazing to watch them groom themselves when they are a couple of days old. 4 days old was the youngest baby I've ever raised. Their eyes start opening by day 5.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I don't get what you mean by massaging it. I feel like I'm too delicate.. It definitely feels like trapped gas. If you could show me a video demonstration I'd appreciate it. As for the cut syringe method, it works very well! The only thing is that its pretty messy right now since the formula is still pretty watery. I feed it 3mL of food, is that good?

Haha I never caught rosie in the act of grooming but It definitely has character to it. I'll catch it peaking at me, as if it is forcing its lids open.

Hopefully everything goes well. I can't wait to share the progress with you. Thanks again!
 

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I wlll search a bit later today to try and find a video online. The trapped gas is not a good sign. I think we had previous posts from members with the same problem. Did you add some applesauce to her formula? 3 ml sounds ok. How often do you feed her? Can you post a photo of the droppings inbetween feeding?
 

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I won't recommend what I saw on youtube. I've read the following on another site: wait till the crop is empty of food, then put his beak between your fingers and stretch out his neck a little bit. Carefully move your finger over the bloated area in a upwards motion. If he burps, then air is coming out. Wait then 20 min and then feed him. Make sure there are no airbubbles in the formula. I hope this helps. If you can only get some of the air out, this will already help.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks again for the help. I did not use apple sauce, and I woke up to find the crop empty along with droppings everywhere haha. The little thing now makes continuous squeaking this morning, even after I fed it. Is this normal?
 

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Yes, they beg a lot for food. Don't overfill the crop, wait for it to empty before feeding again. I think I made this mistake with my one, fed it too much cause he was still begging for food. That's where things went wrong. Is the crop still bloated? Is she the first baby you are raising?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ok, so from now on I'll wait for the crop to get small again before feeding it. Yeah it makes me feel so sad and guilty hearing it beg for food. But I learned to steel my nerves for its own good. This is the first baby I'm raising :) I can share stories another time. This is how the crop looked in the morning when I fed it.
 

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Was that before or after feeding? If after feeding, then you can feed slightly more. At least not bloated anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
This was before feeding. Now it's back to being full. I was also wondering if it's normal for the baby to sleep with its beak opening and closing? This is a new habit.
 

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No, that's not normal. They do that when food gets aspirated. Hopefully he will be ok. If you go to this site: www.speedpigeon.com and click on the photo left of the youngster in the nest, then photos come up that shows you the growth of a baby pigeon. That will also give you an idea of what the crop looks like.
 

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Nothing actually. Just keep her warm and quiet for now. Hopefully things will clear up. Is she strugging to breath or not?
 

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She might get aspiration pneumonia from inhaling food and for that will need antibiotics. Hopefully this will not be necessary, she is so tiny.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yeah it stopped. I called some people and they said that she might've been too hot. So I made some adjustments to the nest and gave her some room to breathe in.
 

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Oh that's great. When too hot, they pant. Then the beak will stay open and breathing will be rapid. The opening and closing of the beak had me worried.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Ahh the mouth thing is back. I also noticed some more movement in the body? Theres like this grey thing that moves under its wing and down its body. Any idea what this could be?
 

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