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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
My children found a baby pigeon out in the street this morning. I have been reading this site and others since, and after looking at all the pictures of pigeons at different ages, my guess is this one is maybe 21 days old... also have picked up a great deal of information on how to feed / care for it here.. My question is - can it / should it be kept?
We are in Sheridan, Wyoming and I have found no sign of anyone who knows about pigeon care in our area and the wildlife department is not too interested in a pigeon. No sign of a nest or anything outside - it was just in the road and we have no idea where it came from. It doesn't seem injured.
We would like to keep him/her but don't know anything about keeping a pigeon - would he/she be better off released at some point or kept safely as a pet?
Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks :)
 

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Misty...some questions for you...
Were there other pigeons around?
Can this bird fly?
Can this bird eat on it's own?
Please open the beak and look inside the mouth and throat to see it there are any yellow specks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for replying :)
There were no other pigeons around; as far as I have seen the only pigeons around my immediate vicinity are about 6 blocks away - a bunch of them roost on a building over there. This pigeon can't fly yet as far as I can tell. I just went to the store - most places are closed today but I got some canary/finch birdseed at WalMart - it seemed small enough for his little beak and he is eating it right now. He seems to be drinking his water, too. I don't want to stop him eating, but when he is done I'll try to look inside his beak for the yellow specks...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
no yellow specks...

Misty...some questions for you...
Were there other pigeons around?
Can this bird fly?
Can this bird eat on it's own?
Please open the beak and look inside the mouth and throat to see it there are any yellow specks.

Ok, I've looked and he has no yellow specks... inside of the mouth and throat is all pink.
 

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Awesome. You are off to a good start. The bird should be pooping every hour, the size of a raisin. Is this happening?
So far seems healthy.
If you want to eventually release, try not socializing with the bird. Otherwise she will very readily bond to your family, and you will love her. Pigeons have a way of being too smart for us. They are really good at training humans.
 

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That's good now what about the rest of the questions?
 

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Thank you for replying :)
There were no other pigeons around; as far as I have seen the only pigeons around my immediate vicinity are about 6 blocks away - a bunch of them roost on a building over there. This pigeon can't fly yet as far as I can tell. I just went to the store - most places are closed today but I got some canary/finch birdseed at WalMart - it seemed small enough for his little beak and he is eating it right now. He seems to be drinking his water, too. I don't want to stop him eating, but when he is done I'll try to look inside his beak for the yellow specks...
She answered, silly.:p
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Answers on the pigeon

That's good now what about the rest of the questions?
Sorry, I had answered the other questions first, had to wait to look into his mouth, maybe that first reply didn't go through... I'll repost it here...
Thanks :)

"Thank you for replying
There were no other pigeons around; as far as I have seen the only pigeons around my immediate vicinity are about 6 blocks away - a bunch of them roost on a building over there. This pigeon can't fly yet as far as I can tell. I just went to the store - most places are closed today but I got some canary/finch birdseed at WalMart - it seemed small enough for his little beak and he is eating it right now. He seems to be drinking his water, too. I don't want to stop him eating, but when he is done I'll try to look inside his beak for the yellow specks..."
 

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Hi Misty!

If this youngster becomes quite tame while in your care, then by all means keep it as a pet .. it seems you are interested in doing so. If you have a good amount of time to spend with the bird, then it will be a happy pigeon. You may, however, want to just see how things go and if you decide to keep the youngster, there are ever so many pigeons of all ages and types that need a good home, and you could adopt a companion for this bird.

If you really want to release it, then do your best not to let it become too tame and human friendly .. that does not bode well for a wild bird.

Also, you live where the winters are very harsh, and it's soon going to be that time of year. I'd give that issue some thought also with regard to releasing the young pigeon or not.

If the little one is eating on its own, that is terrific! If you could post a picture or two, we could probably tell the approximate age of the bird.

Best of luck and thank you for helping this little bird! Please keep us posted!

Terry
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
excretions / bonding

Awesome. You are off to a good start. The bird should be pooping every hour, the size of a raisin. Is this happening?
So far seems healthy.
If you want to eventually release, try not socializing with the bird. Otherwise she will very readily bond to your family, and you will love her. Pigeons have a way of being too smart for us. They are really good at training humans.

Pooping does not seem to be an issue for this little pigeon :) Seems to be doing that pretty regularly, and as you described...
We would like to keep him/her.. just not sure what that entails. How large of a cage and what kind? Do they need fly time outside a cage? Do they adjust well to being a pet? Are there books available on pet care of a pigeon?? I would hate to just release the little thing - winter is on it's way here - we will have snow and very cold weather probably within the month... by the time he/she is flying, etc - it will be pretty cold / bad weather here..
Thanks for responding,
~misty
 

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Is the pigeon eating?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi Misty!

If this youngster becomes quite tame while in your care, then by all means keep it as a pet .. it seems you are interested in doing so. If you have a good amount of time to spend with the bird, then it will be a happy pigeon. You may, however, want to just see how things go and if you decide to keep the youngster, there are ever so many pigeons of all ages and types that need a good home, and you could adopt a companion for this bird.

If you really want to release it, then do your best not to let it become too tame and human friendly .. that does not bode well for a wild bird.

Also, you live where the winters are very harsh, and it's soon going to be that time of year. I'd give that issue some thought also with regard to releasing the young pigeon or not.

If the little one is eating on its own, that is terrific! If you could post a picture or two, we could probably tell the approximate age of the bird.

Best of luck and thank you for helping this little bird! Please keep us posted!

Terry
Thank you, here are some pictures and I will post a few more, too. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi Misty!

If the little one is eating on its own, that is terrific! If you could post a picture or two, we could probably tell the approximate age of the bird.

Best of luck and thank you for helping this little bird! Please keep us posted!

Terry

A few more pictures to help determine his/her age. Isn't he/she extremely cute? :)

Thank you,
~misty
 

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Thanks for the photos, MistyR! You definitely need to be keeping this little one for a good while. It has either parasites, canker (and I know you've looked in the mouth/throat), or was pecked by others .. ala the lack of feathers/fuzz on the head and neck. Plus, it appears to be a tad bit on the skinny side. Personally, I think ya got yourself a pet! It needs to be with you for probably at least a month or more to get everything back into condition and by that time, it's too close to winter in your location to think about releasing it. By the time spring comes around, you, your family, and the bird are going to be quite bonded unless you really, really work hard not to let that happen.

I vote for a pet! Others will disagree and still others will agree with me. You will have to do what you think is best for the little pigeon.

I need to look at the pictures again more carefully and will then post back.

Terry
 

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OK .. back again .. might as well jump right in with both feet, so to speak. Please get the poop balls off the toenails ..

The little one is quite skinny.

Would guess that it has parasites/bugs (external type) .. dusting with Sevin dust like for plants will handle those .. don't get any in the eyes, nostrils, or mouth, and do get under the wings and around the vent (where the poop comes out). You can also get a "bug" spray for birds from the pet store and that will work fine also.

Truly, I think this little one just needs a lot of TLC, good food, debugging, and it will do fine. Do keep checking the mouth for canker growths, however.

Others will have more to say ..

Looks to be about 4 weeks old to me.

Terry
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the photos, MistyR! You definitely need to be keeping this little one for a good while. It has either parasites, canker (and I know you've looked in the mouth/throat), or was pecked by others .. ala the lack of feathers/fuzz on the head and neck. Plus, it appears to be a tad bit on the skinny side. Personally, I think ya got yourself a pet! It needs to be with you for probably at least a month or more to get everything back into condition and by that time, it's too close to winter in your location to think about releasing it. By the time spring comes around, you, your family, and the bird are going to be quite bonded unless you really, really work hard not to let that happen.

I vote for a pet! Others will disagree and still others will agree with me. You will have to do what you think is best for the little pigeon.

I need to look at the pictures again more carefully and will then post back.
OK .. back again .. might as well jump right in with both feet, so to speak. Please get the poop balls off the toenails ..

The little one is quite skinny.

Would guess that it has parasites/bugs (external type) .. dusting with Sevin dust like for plants will handle those .. don't get any in the eyes, nostrils, or mouth, and do get under the wings and around the vent (where the poop comes out). You can also get a "bug" spray for birds from the pet store and that will work fine also.

Truly, I think this little one just needs a lot of TLC, good food, debugging, and it will do fine. Do keep checking the mouth for canker growths, however.

Others will have more to say ..

Looks to be about 4 weeks old to me.

Terry
Thank you so much for the information. I didn't know what the little balls on his toes were, but they have been successfully removed, now. He doesn't seem to mind being handled / held too much. He's definitely eating well - hasn't stopped, really, since I put the seed in. I will look at the store for Sevin dust tomorrow. We are going to keep him; I can't imagine him fending for himself in the winter here. The weather is nice, now, and apparently he is skinny / not well-fed, so I don't know how he'd do it in the winter. I don't even see pigeons around here in the winter, I don't know where they go...
I'll have to get some books on pigeon care because I am woefully uninformed on birds and their needs...
For now, though, he is warm, watered, fed, and de-pooped on his toenails so surely some pigeon care books can get me up to speed on further long-term care :)
~misty
 

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Hi Misty,

Books are fine, but they are going to be written about racing pigeons and fancy pigeons .. not ferals .. just stay with us here and keep posting your questions, observations, and pictures. Books are great, but just about every single member here is someone who has pigeons in some capacity or other. I think you will get better info, faster info, and just in general better information here. You have a feral pigeon and not a racing pigeon or show pigeon .. the latter would have gotten pretty good starts in life while your little feral may not have .. might have .. but by looking at the pictures that is not the case, your little one needs some help.

Terry
 

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PS: Good on you .. poop balls on toenails gross some pigeon parents out .. glad you got them off.

In a day or so, take a clean cat litter box or similar and put about two inches of tepid water in it and see if the little one will take a bath. Once it is willing to bathe, a lot of the poop on feet and feather problems will self resolve as the little bird will groom itself. You can't, however, let it become soaking wet and cold. If it doesn't want a bath, that's fine .. it does want to bathe then make sure that when it comes out of the "tub" that it flutters and fluffs and preens .. if not .. you need to get it dry and warm .. towel and hair dryer ..

Terry
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Housing for the pigeon?

Hi Misty,

Books are fine, but they are going to be written about racing pigeons and fancy pigeons .. not ferals .. just stay with us here and keep posting your questions, observations, and pictures. Books are great, but just about every single member here is someone who has pigeons in some capacity or other. I think you will get better info, faster info, and just in general better information here. You have a feral pigeon and not a racing pigeon or show pigeon .. the latter would have gotten pretty good starts in life while your little feral may not have .. might have .. but by looking at the pictures that is not the case, your little one needs some help.

Terry
Sounds good, I'll make sure I keep on here and just use any books as supplemental :) A question, as far as housing the pigeon goes, what type of cage is recommended? The baby is in a pet carrier right now with soft towells but I'll want to know the best kind of housing for him/her before I buy something...
Thanks again, :)
~misty
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for all this help :)

PS: Good on you .. poop balls on toenails gross some pigeon parents out .. glad you got them off.

In a day or so, take a clean cat litter box or similar and put about two inches of tepid water in it and see if the little one will take a bath. Once it is willing to bathe, a lot of the poop on feet and feather problems will self resolve as the little bird will groom itself. You can't, however, let it become soaking wet and cold. If it doesn't want a bath, that's fine .. it does want to bathe then make sure that when it comes out of the "tub" that it flutters and fluffs and preens .. if not .. you need to get it dry and warm .. towel and hair dryer ..

Terry
Will do :)
 
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