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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I've been looking after 2 baby pigeons for about 3 weeks now. Thay are about a month old. One of them (who's always been a bit bigger) is developing at a normal rate. He has been weaned for over a week now; eating seeds on his own. The other one, however, is hardly developing at all. He looks almost exactly the same as he did at a week of age (despite some minor feather growth). His appetite is great, but we still have to handfeed him as he has no interest in eating on his own. His energy level is good, but he's just SO SMALL! He's definitely not a normal pidge. We plan on bringing him to his vet when she gets back in town, but I was wondering if anyone has any ideas what's going on? Is it possible for him to remain and survive this way? What would his life expectancy be? Is there anything I should be doing differently?
:confused:
 

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What are you feeding them and you started handfeeding them at what age ? Are these orphaned birds ?

Normally a baby grows lesser than the nest mate when there is a difference in the amount of feed. It also can be issues related to parasitic worms or something else, but those generally will be applicable to both nestmates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
They are orphaned birds, who have been hand-fed since they were about a week old. We've been feeding them Kaytee EXACT hand-feeding formula (formulated for all baby birds) with DHA OMEGA-3. They have always been fed according to how full their crops were, which was an equal amount when they were smaller. We seperated them a week and a half ago to see if Connor (small one) wasn't eating on his own because of Murphy ('normal' one), but that wasn't the case at all. Connor was already a lot smaller than Murphy at that point, as Murphy is developing at a normal rate. Now Murphy is fully weaned and we are only handfeeding Connor; approx. 10 mls, 3 times a day, but he still isn't growing.
 

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I have had different sized babies with some pairs but later they catch up and do lead a healthy life. Yet all of them were fed by their parents, I only supplement then after age of 20 days if necessary.

Somebody with more experience in handfeeding baby pigeons would be here soon to help you out.

And thanks for helping out the orphans :)
 

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You should check for paratyphoid and other health issues, as lack of growth and not thriving can be a symptom of that and other disease. Paratyphoid can be treated with antibiotic such as Baytril. It is currable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all very much. We have an appointment with the vet today at 3:40. She deals with pigeons alot so hopefully she'll have some answers. I'll mention paratyphoid... I'm sure she knows of it.
 

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Thank you all very much. We have an appointment with the vet today at 3:40. She deals with pigeons alot so hopefully she'll have some answers. I'll mention paratyphoid... I'm sure she knows of it.
Can you post pictures of the two babies?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I will post pictures asap, I need to sort through my camera.
I took them to the vet on Wednesday. Murphy weighs 204g, and Connor only weighs 64!!!
Connor is severely stunted. He is very thin, no matter how much we feed him (at this point, he's being fed 5-6 times/day, about 8-10mls per feeding... we even get up in the night to feed him), and Dr. Steele said his joints are quite weak. He looks as though he's only a week old, but he's over a month old now. In the past few days, I've also noticed that his stool is a bit off, and he has a certain odor... he doesn't smell like a healthy pigeon. Dr. Steele is convinced that it's stunting, not paratyphoid... but I'm going to bring him back on Monday. I'm so worried that he isn't going to make it...

As if that wasn't bad enough, I also noticed a lump next to Murphy's beak which Dr. Steele thinks could be Pox. It looks slightly bigger today, and is developing a tiny white head. He is in good shape otherwise, eating like a horse (haha), and growing fast, so hopefully he'll get through it.
It's a good thing we seperated he and Connor when we did... hopefully Connor doesn't have it; I don't think his immune system could handle that at this point.

Does anyone have any suggestions for what I should do? I'm so attached to these little guys, and they're both sick. I've never hand-raised pigeons before, and I'm completely overwhelmed... :(
 

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Have you looked down his throat? I mean way down, with a penlight flashlight. Is there anything there? How is his feathering? Pictures would really be helpful.
 

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We had a baby pigeon (European Woodpigeon) who was passed on to us a few years back. It was very underdeveloped and only looked like a week old when it was actually 40 days old and should have fledged. He had severe immune system problems, and we eventually lost him to a respiratory infection.

Pigeons who get avian pox can't really be treated with medication for it as it is viral, but if there's shown to be any secondary infections then they can be treated. Certainly pigeons can recover when the virus has run its course, and Murphy sounds like an otherwise healthy well grown youngster.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Connor passed away about half an hour ago. I sat with him.
He just shut down. No matter how much we fed him, he wasn't gaining any weight. It wasn't trich; dr. Steele checked for that, and we kept a close eye on him.
I think he'd actually lost weight since his vet apppointment; he was probably only 55-60g. He was 5 weeks old.
I have so many questions about this whole thing, but right now my heart is too heavy to voice them.
Thank you all for your support, you are truly a wonderful group of people.
I will keep you posted on murphy.
 

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I'm so sorry you lost him.
 

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I am so sorry about your loss of Connor, Vayla!!

Are you going to have a necropsy done to see what problems he had that might also affect Murphy?

Sending all my best HEALING thoughts to you at this sad time...

With Love and Hugs

Shi
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I am going to see if Dr. Steele will do a post-mortem, but if she can't do it for free, I have to have it okay'd by Connor's 'owners' (the people who run the rescue- I was just a foster mom).
I have to bring Murphy back in this week too, to have the lump on his face re-checked. I'm starting to wonder if it's actually Pox... it's been there for 5 days and it hasn't opened or turned into a lesion, and he hasn't developed any elsewhere. Either he's really fighting it off, or it's just a granuloma. We don't think it's an abcess, because it isn't growing, it isn't painful, and there isn't any swelling/redness around it.
He's doing so well otherwise; he jumps right out as soon as his cage door is opened. He's growing at a good rate, his feathers are coming in awesome, and his appetite is great. He doesn't seem to be experiencing any of the problems Connor did. (thank goodness)
 

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I'm so sorry you lost one. With the survivor, don't rule out canker as it can manifest in different ways. If the only way the bird way checked was to look down the throat, that may not be enough. If the vet looked for trich in the droppings or throat culture and they were not there...they can be the next day.
The parasite for canker is present in most pigeons. Stress can bring out an episode of canker. What is stressful to a pigeon may be beyond our comprehension. Stress can be as simple as a weather change or even a minor change of the routine.
 

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That's true. Sometimes just a subtle little thing that we may not even think about, but to a pigeon, it can be a cause of stress. Sometimes, just changing things around in the loft. They don't like change.
 
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