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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I have two fledgling pigeons I am feeding and just had some questions.
I am feeding defrosted peas, do I need to feed additional water? The peas are in a container of warm water, so there is some water on the peas as I feed them, but I am just wondering if this is enough fluid for them.
I have some pigeon mineral powder, it has all essential vitamins, minerals and added probiotics. Would it be a good idea to add this to the peas? If so, at the recommended dose for adult birds, or different dosage? (The recommended dosage is 1 Tbsp powder per kg of food, 2x a week)
Is it okay to offer dry seeds and water to these babies? They are feathered, and have left the nest, so walking, just not flying. I am thinking wheat and other small seeds like this are probably best for babies, but should dry peas and corn kernels be offered aswell? A small shallow dish of water I think I should offer in their brooder too.
From my research, about 30-50 peas per feeding is the norm amount to feed? I am checking crop too. And 3 feeds per day, 6 hours apart, so 6 am, 12pm, 6pm, and leave them overnight. And checking crop is empty before feeding.
 

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They normally don't drink additional water while getting fed peas. But the sooner you teach them, the better. You can dip the tip of the beak (not over the nostrils) in a small bowl. Also leave a small bowl of peas with them. The amount of peas sounds right. I tease them by holding the pea in front of them between my fingers. When they start pecking the peas from my fingers, they will be ready to eat peas on their own. Then start adding small seeds. Sorghum seeds are easy for them to pick up due to the round shape.

You can sprinkle a pinch of mineral powder on the peas every day.
 

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Is it okay to offer dry seeds and water to these babies? They are feathered, and have left the nest
Yes. They should already have been consuming dry seeds mixed with crop-milk from their parents since about day 7 after hatching. The normal friendly intestinal bacteria (probiotic bacteria that aid digestion) might not be able to achieve a proper balance without seeds in their diets because it is the starches from seeds, which aren't digested in the stomach that serve as food for the intestinal bacteria.

I am thinking wheat and other small seeds like this are probably best for babies
I get why it would seem that way, but it is actually the composition of the seeds rather than the size that make some easier to digest than others. Seeds with high-fat content, and that are removed from their shells would be the easiest to digest because they don't require much grinding in the gizzard. Raw, unshelled sunflower seeds and roasted but not salted peanuts are examples. Both are already removed from their shells and the seeds are soft compared to dried peas or corn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Also, is feeding 3 times a day about right? or more/less feedings?
Finding it a little hard to check the crop, but I think I'm doing ok, I just gently feel the area to find where the peas are. So the crop shouldn't be tight or ballooning out too much, but the peas should be reasonably dense, not too easy to push around if that makes sense? I think I have found that about 45-50 is the right amount for these squabs.
I have been dipping their beaks in the water bowl, one squab is catching on I think, the other doesn't look to understand yet but I think s/he will get there.
I'm offering a shallow bowl of seeds now, wheat, dry peas and corn, but I will try find some other seeds like shelled sunflower and sorghum to give them as well.
And just to check, feeding wet peas is okay right? I put the peas in a small cup of water to keep the peas warm while I feed them, so might be a small amount of water when I give them the pea.
 

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You are providing such good care to the young birds that they are surely healthy and strong, so I am quite sure that they would let you know if you weren't feeding them enough, or often enough, by squeaking, and squeaking, and squeaking. :)

The number of peas per feeding varies by size. It would be better to determine the amount to feed either by volume or weight than by count, but who stops to measure peas when baby birds are squeaking?

I wouldn't think that the amount of moisture that could cling to the outside of a pea could be a problem. As long as the droppings aren't consistently overly wet, and/or with overly loose fecal material, then I'd say that the amount of water is fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I just heard one of the babies sneezing on and off. Is this normal??
I'm worried sick that I've aspirated one of them but I'm not quite sure how I could have even managed to do that. I've had no sneezing problems or anything like that when feeding them.
They have a lot of 'dandruff' from the growing in feathers, if that could make them sneeze.
They're still very active and don't appear sick at all apart from this, I also don't know which one is sneezing, I don't think it's both.
Should I be concerned?
 

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Birds do produce saliva and mucus which coat the inside of the beak and throat. If any moisture is blocking their nares/nostrils, they sneeze to eject it and that happens most frequently after drinking water. Sneezing could be an indication of illness, just as it is with people, but if the birds are healthy, without other symptoms, and eating a nutritious diet then it could also be a normal reaction to pollen or dust in the air. If you are worried, perhaps add to their diet foods that are naturally anti-bacterial such as raw Apple Cider Vinegar, garlic, ginger, etc., and perhaps clean any dust from their nesting area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for easing my worry Dove Witness, upon closer inspection I found a tiny bit of feather dust near the chick I think had been sneezing's nostril, which I gently removed and haven't heard any sneezing since.

I believe both chicks are eating, I felt their crops just now and they both have a fair bit of food in them, and for the first time the food bowl was empty, and the seeds weren't flung on the floor either :)
And I wanted to know, if they're eating themselves, is it likely they know to drink on their own as well? Also if there's any way I can for sure tell that they are eating independently and it's not slow crop that would be helpful, I don't believe it to be slow crop but if there's an easy way I can check I will.

Thankyou so much for helping me with these questions both of you, it's really helpful for the questions I can't find answers for elsewhere.
 

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Even if one is drinking and the other isn't, the other will figure it out quickly from watching it's sibling. If they are eating a full diet then they are drinking too.

If their food is gone each morning, and their crops are empty then they don't have slow crop. If they did have slow crop, their crops would still be full despite them eating less and less food. And they would be sick, droppings would probably have yellow urate, small amount of fecal matter. If their food includes naturally anti-fungal foods, yeast infections that cause slow crop aren't likely.
 
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