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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!
This is my first post; I hope I'm posting in the correct place, and that someone can help me with a rescued bird.

I believe the bird is a King Pigeon; it was found down and slightly injured, and was brought to the animal care facility where I work. It has a 2008 band.

We obtained a name and telephone number for the owner, but have failed to receive any response to numerous messages left. We’ve also tried other numbers found on the ‘net, but none of them are accurate. I’ve contacted several people in the area who are very active in pigeon clubs, but no-one recognizes this owner’s name.

This is a beautiful bird, and after trying for days to locate his owner, I decided to keep him. Our vet checked him out, and believes he may have been mildly stunned; we’ve had him several days now, and he’s fine. Not knowing anything of the bird’s history,and not having heard from the owner, I don’t want to just set it loose and hope it survives. We don’t know what it was used for, or how well this type of pigeon “homes”. I’m afraid he may be domesticated enough that he can’t survive in the wild, and perhaps not enough of a homer to get home. He looks like he could have been a show bird.

The problem is that he isn’t tame at all. My husband and I have cared for an injured pigeon before, but that one was right out of the nest and loved to sit in our hands and be petted. This new bird really doesn’t like people, and we’re having problems just picking him up and swapping him into another cage, for cage-cleaning. We would like to let him fly around his room, but we can’t do that until we can get him to come to us.

Currently we are trying him on peanuts and safflower, and visiting him and talking to him frequently. He doesn’t show any interest in peanuts, so far; he eats well, but won’t eat from my hand.

He’s a very clever bird – I can just see the little gears turning whenever the door to his room opens, or the cage door opens. He’s obviously studying escape-artistry. I have obtained a nice, larger cage, but can’t put him in it until I can tame him at least a little. Right now he’s in a cage that is small enough for me to catch and hold him.

Does anyone have any tips? I would appreciate your advice very much.

-Aggie
 

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Hello!
This is my first post; I hope I'm posting in the correct place, and that someone can help me with a rescued bird.

I believe the bird is a King Pigeon; it was found down and slightly injured, and was brought to the animal care facility where I work. It has a 2008 band.

We obtained a name and telephone number for the owner, but have failed to receive any response to numerous messages left. We’ve also tried other numbers found on the ‘net, but none of them are accurate. I’ve contacted several people in the area who are very active in pigeon clubs, but no-one recognizes this owner’s name.

This is a beautiful bird, and after trying for days to locate his owner, I decided to keep him. Our vet checked him out, and believes he may have been mildly stunned; we’ve had him several days now, and he’s fine. Not knowing anything of the bird’s history,and not having heard from the owner, I don’t want to just set it loose and hope it survives. We don’t know what it was used for, or how well this type of pigeon “homes”. I’m afraid he may be domesticated enough that he can’t survive in the wild, and perhaps not enough of a homer to get home. He looks like he could have been a show bird.

The problem is that he isn’t tame at all. My husband and I have cared for an injured pigeon before, but that one was right out of the nest and loved to sit in our hands and be petted. This new bird really doesn’t like people, and we’re having problems just picking him up and swapping him into another cage, for cage-cleaning. We would like to let him fly around his room, but we can’t do that until we can get him to come to us.

Currently we are trying him on peanuts and safflower, and visiting him and talking to him frequently. He doesn’t show any interest in peanuts, so far; he eats well, but won’t eat from my hand.

He’s a very clever bird – I can just see the little gears turning whenever the door to his room opens, or the cage door opens. He’s obviously studying escape-artistry. I have obtained a nice, larger cage, but can’t put him in it until I can tame him at least a little. Right now he’s in a cage that is small enough for me to catch and hold him.

Does anyone have any tips? I would appreciate your advice very much.

-Aggie
Well, it sounds like you're doing and have done all you can for now. If you would like to post the band info here or send it to me in a PM, I could see if I recognize the name OR the band MIGHT let us know what the breed is. That's up to you.
As far as him taming up..........I suspect, being banded, and coming from a loft, he may have not had a LOT of human contact. Just the necessary stuff to get them ready to race or show, which ever the case may be. In time, the bird MIGHT come around, but there's also a chance that he won't ever really accept human contact by choice.
Peanuts, if you can get him to eat them, might help in the long run, as long as they're used for a treat only. They shouldn't have TOO many peanuts anyway, but once they DO learn to eat them, they LOVE them and will become "tame" just to get one. LOL......I've got a whole loft full of birds that would prefer I don't bother them, but if I've got peanuts.....it's a whole different story. ;)
 

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Try feeding him only from your hands when he is hungry, that will help to tame him alot, if he knows where his meals are coming from.

Thank you for your care and concern over this bird.
 

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The person with this bird sent this picture to me this morning. What do you guys think? The band is an IPB band from Foy's which states that they are for homers and rollers only. Think it's a King? I would think that the band would be too small, but I've never actually seen a King before, so don't know for sure.

 

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It looks like a regular white homing pigeon to me, because the picture doesn't clearly show where the tail and wings end in relationship to the size and shape of the body. If it has a short tail and wings compared to the overall body, it's a king.

Do you know how much the bird weighs, that would help?
 

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Very pretty. I don't know . . . looks like my two Kings . . . AND acts just like Anthony :eek: :D

Aggie, if it is a King, it may have come from a market were it was raised as food (to be eaten). Many of us have adopted them from rescues and they make wonderful pets. It's great you are giving him a second chance and a wonderful new home :D

You can check out KING-CARE-A-VAN in the Adoption thread.
 

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Yea, we've come to the conclusion that it's a homer........she's checking with some of the local "release" folks to see if maybe it belongs to one of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Many Thanks to all who responded to my thread.

I've looked at lots of pictures now, and I don't think it's a King pigeon. I think it's a homer - either a pet, or one used for "dove" release.

The band information is incorrect or outdated; or the owner doesn't care. I can't get a response from them with the information on the band. So I thought maybe the bird had been sold or given to someone else, who failed to re-band it. I tried contacting various release businesses in the area.

One person who responded told me I'm facing a "monumental" task, trying to find the owner under these circumstances. He says that any responsible release business would have its own band on the bird.

I'm going to try a little longer to locate an owner, but I think that ultimately, the situation is: I am the proud owner of a beautiful white pigeon - who doesn't like me!

I have read some more about the peanut trick, and went out tonight and got raw Spanish peanuts; apparently they work better than regular peanuts. I'm hoping that they will be the pigeon "narcotic" that everyone says they are, and that the bird will eventually become at least a little more tractable.
I want him to have a pleasant life, and not be miserable; so I've got to figure out ways to train him to come to me and trust me.

Thanks again for all of your suggestions.

Best,

Aggie
 

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He won't always be afraid of you.
I've had to bring some of my loft birds inside for one reason or another (illness, worming reactions, beat up!) and they weren't use to daily handling. After special treats - peanuts, safflower seeds, and one of my birds favorites - small pieces of 'stone ground whole wheat bread' - they come running for this and eating out of my hand in no time! Their not stupid, they adjust their attitude when they learn where the "good stuff" comes from ;)
Good luck and welcome to PT
 

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Well, I vote for you being the proud new owner. LOL
Thanks again for all you've done. ANY questions.........you've found the perfect place for answers, that's for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Dear PT Folks;

Well, our found bird seems to be settling down very slightly. We've named him "Willie" after deciding that "Snoball" wasn't macho enough for this ornery bird; and if eggs show up (which we doubt will happen) the name will still fit.

I can't tell if he's eating his peanuts. He won't take them from my hand, so I put a chopped one on the cage bottom now and then; can't tell if he's eating them because the next time I look, his feed is scattered all over.

(He reminds me of a wild crow I re-habbed from fright-moult many years ago. That crow hated me so much, he wouldn't eat in front of me. I'd put his food down, and he'd stare at me until I left. When I'd come back a little later, food would be all gone, and crow would be brooding and staring as ever :) Willie's acting the same way.)

But he doesn't seem *quite* as frightened of me. I think this is going to be a long process.

I'm wondering if anyone can tell me what's best to feed a homer who isn't flying. A pre-made mix? Or should I mix my own? Corn or no corn? Protein percentage? How much in terms of volume/weight per day? I'm kind of confused by all the things I'm reading.

I gave my previous pigeon Kaytee Dove Supreme, but I've since read that this would probably not be the best for Willie. My other pigeon was a sickly, small thing from birth. Foy's appears to send seed and grain out mail-order, and as there's no feed store near me it wouldn't be awfully expensive to order things to mix up for just one bird.

The vet who handled Willie first, believes he might weigh two pounds. (We didn't actually weigh him.) But judging by the two-pound bag of peanuts I bought last night, I think he weighs less, maybe 1-1/2 pounds tops. How much should he eat? And what to mix? If anyone can point me to a resource with guidelines and "recipes", I'd appreciate it very much.

Also, I've read that you should feed them twice a day, and if they haven't eaten it all in 15 minutes, you should take it away. Would that be appropriate for this bird? I realize that much of what I read is related to flying birds with training issues, etc., and may not be right for Willie. He's in a room with two other caged birds (sparrow and budgie) but I'm not sure that's enough to relieve his boredom; so I've been leaving him food and a stick of millet all day.

He is eating fine, and doesn't seem to have gained or lost weight since I've had him (a week tomorrow.)

Thanks again for all of your help,

Aggie
 

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You are doing a great job with Willie and I am sure he will tame up in time.
I feed my bird Kaytee Dove Suplreme in which I mix green and yellow split peas, lentils, buckwheat, barley, corn, rye berries, winter wheat berries, green sprouting beans. They love their mix. I buy all that stuff from the health food store.
He also will need some time out of the cage for exercise and boredom relief. Once in a while you can offer him a bath. Pigeons love to bathe.

Reti
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for your response; I hadn't thought about the health food store.

We had a small disaster last night; he got out of my hands while I was changing his cage; but the question of whether he can fly is resolved :) He made a circuit around the room, and then dove for the window sill, where he got tangled in houseplants. My husband got him out without any harm. Since we found him down, we were anxious to know if he could fly - I was just hoping to learn it in a more orderly way!

He's very strong and clever. He got away from me through a very small space, and I think he'd been planning it for days. This morning, we heard him cooing for the first time - probably proud of his momentary escape. He got away once, and now he knows he'll get away again. I dread taking him out tonight :)

Peanuts are still not working...I guess he's never had them before and doesn't know what they are.

-Aggie
 

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Peanuts don't work for my guys either. I've tried them several time, they don't care about them.

He will learn that the cage is his house in time and return to it voluntarily, maybe.
Smart guy, he probably was planning his escape very carefully:D

Reti
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks, Reti.

I have a feeling that he might yet get into the peanuts; but he's being really cagey about letting me see what he's doing.

Frankly, I've never had such a smart, clever bird. He's always anticipating us and OUR behaviors.

Tonight we managed the cage-changing pretty well; but it's like waiting for a little white football to be hiked - and I am definitely playing Defense :)

He's a ton of trouble and worry; but I keep wondering what he'll come up with tomorrow - LOL.

Best,
Aggie
 

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He certainly keeps you entertained:D

Reti
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Update on Willie

He certainly keeps you entertained:D

Reti
Actually, I think he's trying to educate me; and I'm being slow about it.

I happened to see a photo on the forum of a pigeon in pet-carrier, like the kind used for cats. I thought it might be easier to swap him into something larger than the cage I'm using as a holding cage while cleaning; so I got out a cat carrier.

As soon as I started snapping it together, Willie went ballistic; he was flapping and climbing his cage, and trying to get out. At first I thought he was afraid of it - either the color, or the popping sound of the clamps.

Later I wondered if he was originally trained with one of those carriers - taken out in it; and maybe he thought we were going on a fly!

It would seem to be an economical way to transport pigeons a short distance; proper pigeon carriers seem to be very expensive.

After this weekend, which is going to be very busy, I'm going to see how he reacts to being put in the carrier. It would be really nice if he would just go into it voluntarily ;-) but so far he objects to everything - except safflower.

-Aggie
 
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