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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
First off let me say how happy I was to find this site! There is such a wealth of information on here, and such amazing people! I never knew the pigeon community was so big!

On Friday night, my husband was watering the front yard and found that a baby pigeon must have fallen from our two story roof. My son, insisted that we try and save him. He was very cold and lifeless when I picked him up. Eyes unopened. He was in pretty bad shape, and from what I have learned of progression with these little guys, he was only about 2-3 days old. I really had low expectations, and thought for sure we would lose him but I didn't want to disappoint my son.

I immediately took him in dried him off, and put him under a desk lamp to warm him. I went to the local pet store and picked up baby bird formula, syringes, etc. I didn't feed him anything at first as I didn't know the extent of his injuries so I just monitored him through the night.

Needless to say, the next morning I had a very bright, alert, and eager to be fed little guy! I walked in after taking care of him all night, he popped up opened his eyes and emitted one "PEEP!" (which is now his name) I started his first feeding with warmed formula and he did great. Boy was he a hungry little one. I gave him only enough to inflate his crop (i think 7ml? on the medicine syringe - 2 tsp one) He did well.

To tell you the truth this little guy has become my mission, and quite the little light of my life. I have become quite attached!

Now we are on day 4 of having him, and I have found that his crop isn't emptying completely and is only going down about halfway the last 2 feedings. I have read about adding a couple of drops of ACV to his food, so I have done that the last 2 feedings.

Am I doing what I need to do? It almost feels like its air in there, not food. much like a squishy balloon. It's small, but I don't want it to get worse. His poops are still very good. round and brown with a touch of white in the center, sometimes no white.

Any help would be of great appreciation! This forum is an amazing place. Thank you all for reading. I am sure this will be a continuous journey and I will spend loads of time on here! :)
 

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You may be getting too much air in the syringe..how are you feeding..with a tube?.. you can add a bit of applesauce..non sweet or baby apple sauce..and massage the crop..do not feed till the crop empties.. here is another method for feeding babies which may be better for not getting air in the crop.. If your usuing a tube to put down in the crop..be sure to press the formula out the end before giving..it gets the air out.. I actually did that not long ago.. but the air has worked it's way out of my babies..

method for feeding babies.
http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/showpost.php?p=447807&postcount=28
 

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Thanks for helping this little one out and welcome to Pigeon-Talk

Here are a few more links that I think would be worthwhile reading for you (if you haven't already :)).

If you have any questions, please ask, as you will read in the links, the right warmth, both in their ambient temperature and their food is extremely important for the first few weeks of their life.

http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/f20/help-egg-is-hatching-and-i-dont-have-a-clue-47170.html

http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/f20/feeding-help-needed-for-newly-hatched-pigeons-47336.html

http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/f6/rescued-feral-help-please-48513.html#post522672

Good luck,

Karyn
 

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Old post:

"Here's a reference for Aerophagia from page 825 of AVIAN MEDICINE: PRINCIPLES AND APPLICATION:

"Air in the Crop
Bubbles or filling of the crop with air is usually caused by aerophagia. It occurs most often in stunted birds that beg constantly for food, but has also been observed in young birds of many species (especially cockatiels). Slowly delivering food will contribute to aerophagia because the chick attempts to gulp the feeding formula faster than the food is provided. Some inexperienced hand-feeders will confuse this condition with crop stasis, subcutaneous emphysema and filling of the cervicocephalic air sac. Air is easily distinguished from food or fluid by transilluminating the crop. Visualization of blood vessels in the crop wall can help differentiate between air located in the crop and air located in the subcutaneous space."

"Severe aerophagia decreases the amount of food the bird can consume and may contribute to stunted growth. Feeding a nutritious formula at a steady rate will correct the problem in some birds. If aerophagia is persistent, the ingested air can be carefully removed (“burped out”) and the bird immediately fed before it can gulp more air. In some cases it may be necessary to tube-feed these neonates."

Other possibilities include a slight fungal infection that can cause fermentation gases to build up. We use Nystatin to keep that from happening sometimes but you don't see that too often.

Pidgey
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you guys for the responses! I think that bottle idea might be better. I will stop on the way home for lunch, and pick one up and see how it goes. Right now I am feeding him with a syringe cut off at the end with a latex glove finger over the end with a slit at the end. He eats so fast that I know he is getting air when he shouldn't.

I am also looking for a heating pad with no auto shut off, but they say that due to fire hazards, they don't make them anymore? I live in Las Vegas, and the warmth with the lamp is doing fine right now, but I want to make absolute sure that he is getting what he needs.

In the meantime, how do I get the air out? Do I massage his crop gently to hopefully get a burp? Will the ACV help reduce it? Whats the difference between using apple sauce, and apple cider vinegar? Like I said, its not huge, but I don't want it to get worse, and I need to feed him again obviously. I am so in love with this little guy, but it's definitely different than raising 5 kids!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
sorry, forgot to add that I am feeding him Kaytee baby bird formula at the right temperatures and adding the ACV to his formula. 2 drops to 10ml per feeding. I am pretty sure this is air, as its more of a balloon than food. His poops are good and body temp is always warm when feeding and he goes immediately back under lamp when done.
 

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sorry, forgot to add that I am feeding him Kaytee baby bird formula at the right temperatures and adding the ACV to his formula. 2 drops to 10ml per feeding. I am pretty sure this is air, as its more of a balloon than food. His poops are good and body temp is always warm when feeding and he goes immediately back under lamp when done.
well.. what I did was suck it out with my crop needle on an empty syringe..but most do not have one of those.. I also..when the crop was empty..or should be if you can not tell from the air.. massage the air up out of his mouth... but make sure there is not formula going up to his mouth..usually at that age you can see in the crop a bit as it is thin tissues..other than that there is not much else you can do.. as he gets older it should get better..unless he gets real bloated.. and the crop gets sretched.. try the bottle feeding and see if it helps, and burp him before feeding when the crop is empty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the advice. Dumb question? How exactly do I "burp" him? Is that the massaging his crop to push the air out?

Heading home now to check on him. Going to stop and get the bottle. Also at age 6 days, how much should he be eating?

I will also take pics and try and upload. I will update when I get back. Wish me luck! And thank god for all you wonderful people!
 

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I think you would be much better of with a heating pad, without the autoshut-off, you can pick one up from Walmart, CVS or Walgreen's, just cal and ask if they have pad without the autoshut-off. Set it to low (only low), fold a small towel over it and you should be good.

The difference between apple sauce and apple cider vinegar is, one is a sweet puree of apples and the other is a vinegar (acetic acid) made from the juice of apples . We use the ACV to shift the pH of the crop and GI tract down, making it more acidic, thus making a more unfriendly place for yeast and bacteria to want to grow, also an slightly acid GI is a more friendly environment for beneficial bacteria (think good bacteria, IE probiotics).

A good deal of the time the air will work its own way out, but if you do try and burp the little guy make sure there is no food in the crop to accidentally be pushed back up. It may be simpler to show you how you should grasp/hold the little guys head, the link below shows feeding, please ignore everything except the way the head is held and supported, and the beak gently pinched open with two fingers of the holding hand, you would then lift and extend the neck straight up, kind of opening up a direct route to the crop. By lifting and extending the neck, beak tilted up, you will be able to better control accidentally pushing food back up, you then will gently feel the top of the crop to make sure that this is air and not food and gently push the air up and out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOIqHRKeIS8&NR=1

Please be extremely careful when doing this, as "burping" sounds very mundane when in actuality it can be quite dangerous for them if any food is forced back up and they then aspirate any of it down their trachea.


Karyn
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just got back from checking on Peep. He is doing well. It was definitely air in his crop, and burping ever so gently helped relieve it. Thank you guys for the help. we will see how he is when I get home from work. I am hoping the bottle helped alleviate some of the air this time. I also called my mother in law to ask if she has an old heating pad that she could give me as there is NO WHERE that sells ones that don't have a 2 hr. auto shut off.I went to Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, and Target... She is going to look for me. I told her I would buy her a new one and trade her for the older one. Fingers crossed all! For now, please see the following pictures of my little guy!


http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/picture.php?albumid=1654&pictureid=17525
http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/picture.php?albumid=1654&pictureid=17526
http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/picture.php?albumid=1654&pictureid=17527
 

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I think you may be mixing up the formula too thick, judging by the way the formula is coating the inside of the bottle, the bit around his mouth and the bit that fell on the paper towel. Have a look at the link that Spirit Wings posted of Msfreebird feeding some babies, see the way the formula evenly coats the inside of the bottle, and is runny. You want the formula being kind of like a melted milkshake, some body to it, but runny so it easily flows, no glopping. If it is too thick, it will end up causing a whole other set of problems we do want to have to deal with, like a slow crop, or even a possible sour crop and could also contribute to why he is gulping air.

Good mention by Doveone52 below, sometimes we do things so often, we forget to mention a small important detail. When I mix hand feeding formula I mix using very warm water, cover and let it sit about 15 minutes, and then make final adjustments with a little more water, as it will thicken as mentioned, and then also fine tune for temperature at this point. I sit the small bowl I mixed the Kaytee in into a larger bowl of very hot water and stir until I get to my desired temperature, 102-104 degrees, do not use a microwave for this, as they easily overheat food, and cause hot spots, which will cause crop burns.

Karyn
 

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What a cutie!!!!
Hi inyadrms, and welcome to PT. Haven't been on much, dealing with my own babies right now, so I'm missing alot :eek:
The bottle method helps alot with keeping air in the crop to a minimum, Also, Dobato is right in saying that the formula looks a little thick. If it's too thick, baby will try to gulp it.......taking in air. You want it to flow smoothly...but not too fast. Bottle shouldn't need to be 'upright', just on a 'slant' to he can gently suck out the formula.
Looks like your son has a new pet? :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you all for such great advice! I have followed all advice you guys have given me and have had great success!

I have thinned out his formula, added one drop of ACV to all feedings and moved to the bottle as seen in the pictures.

I woke up to a hungry baby this morning with a flat crop! Only problem now is getting ahold of a non-auto shutoff heating pad. Mother in laws was also auto shut off. It seems that the stores don't sell these anymore. Maybe a thrift store? The lamp is doing a very good job of keeping his temp up for now - but I want to be absolutely sure that he has exactly what he needs.

A couple more questions...

1. How long does he need to be "incubated" with the heat? (I assume this is until his feathers come in?)
2. How much should I be feeding him and how often? right now I am doing every 4-5 hours and it seems to be perfect timing - and I monitor his crop but I am sure this will become more difficult to see as his feathers come in
3. When do I start weaning him off the formula, how, and to what? (I know this is later, but just want to be prepared)

We love this little guy dearly, and honestly he has imprinted on my life heavily. I will keep all updated on progress. I am going to try and take daily pictures and post. the changes from day to day are so dramatic its really amazing to watch.
 

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A couple more questions...

1. How long does he need to be "incubated" with the heat? (I assume this is until his feathers come in?)

At about the 10 day mark they start to become endotherimic, (able to produce their own body heat), but should be kept on supplemental heat a week past this, but set things up so he can move freely off, or on, the heated area if he desires.

2. How much should I be feeding him and how often? right now I am doing every 4-5 hours and it seems to be perfect timing - and I monitor his crop but I am sure this will become more difficult to see as his feathers come in

You have it just about right, 4-5 hours, and feed each time the crop flattens, but don't rush things, meaning, don't add new food to old food in the crop, let it empty 90%+. Also, the first signs you are having problems with crop issues, is if the crop usually empties in 4-5 hours, then all of a sudden it's 7-8 hours, this is a big warning sign and needs addressed ASAP. For how much when feathers come in, you should be able to both gently feel the crop for fullness and be able to get a rough idea of how much you put in the bottle and how much is left. At around 14 days, they should be able to take 25-30mL each feeding, 3-4 times a day, with no problems, up until weaning.Then, when starting to wean, I usually cut back feedings to twice a day (they have to be eating seeds pretty well on their own to do this), early-afternoon, and late night, by doing this you keep them motivated to self-feed, by allowing them an to have empty crop in the morning up until afternoon, then once they are not doing too bad with this, I cut it down to one feeding, late night, so that during the day if they want food, they are going to have to manage themselves (but, as mentioned, you have to be sure they continue doing well getting food into themselves on their own), until I am sure they are going to do well without any support at all.

3. When do I start weaning him off the formula, how, and to what? (I know this is later, but just want to be prepared).

These links describe how to get them nuzzling and eating seeds, also when you spread some seeds around for him, you can make like you are hunting and pecking with him by crooking your forefinger and tapping at the seeds along with him, you can start at 17-18 days old, but they get into the swing of things at 3-4 weeks old. Also, at this time, to keep a dish of seeds in his cage/box (no whole sunflower seeds, along with a small water dish,) as well as spreading some seeds out in the cage floor for him to peck at. Some catch on pretty quick, with others it may take a bit of time, so be patient with him. Once they are eating seeds, continue to supplement with formula until a few weeks older, and eating seeds well.

http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/showpost.php?p=522565&postcount=11 (information on how to get him to start to self water)
http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/showpost.php?p=523350&postcount=16 feeding seeds
http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/showpost.php?p=508006&postcount=3 feeding seeds
http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/showpost.php?p=507810&postcount=2 feeding seeds

Here is a guide for age:

http://www.speedpigeon.com/baby_racing_pigeon.htm


Good luck with him,

Karyn
 

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A heat lamp would work too if you cant find a heating pad that works (with a thermometer to gauge the heat , or just lamp with a 60 watt bulb at a good distance to radiate some heat below where the baby is , just a suggestion is all. On another note nice manicure lol keep up the good work , pigeons make lovely little buddies in the long run .:)
 

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Have to be real careful with a pigeon that small under a heat lamp--they can overheat and dehydrate too quickly. You're almost just as well to put them under a feather duster and let them regulate their own body temperature.

Pidgey
 

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Have to be real careful with a pigeon that small under a heat lamp--they can overheat and dehydrate too quickly. You're almost just as well to put them under a feather duster and let them regulate their own body temperature.

Pidgey
I agree, this is what I was thinking earlier when I mentioned you would be much better off with a heating pad, but I should have explained the reason why, fully, as Pidgey just did.

Karyn
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
GREAT NEWS!!! I posted an ad on craigslist yesterday morning for a heating pad, and got an overwhelming response from people who wanted to help my little guy! I received a heating pad last night, and little Peep was very happy and content with his new addition. I am so relieved that I am rid of the light. (was a desk lamp, 60 watt bulb - no heating lamp)

Now he will be able to sleep without constant light. He is doing very well still and his body color is changing to black and his feathers are starting to grow out. He is such a doll. (and such a little piggy!)

Thank you so much for all the great advice Karyn - I really appreciate all I have gotten from this site! I definitely would not have been able to do this on my own. I will continue to update on his progress.
 
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