Pigeon-Talk banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I found a young woodpigeon, possibly just fledged, flopping about in our driveway this morning. As far as I can tell, it does not look like an injury, at last not recent. So either it survived some kind of attack in the nest or simply was hatched with one wing. Thus I suspect it may have simply fledged and discovered it couldn't fly.

Everything I could find online about pigeon rescue suggested they would euthanise it as it is unreleasable, and I'm not happy about doing that. It seems perfectly healthy except for the missing wing.

So, it looks like we'll either have a woodpigeon as a pet, or need to find somebody who would care for it for the rest of its life. I'm not completely sure if I'm ready to sign on for a pet pigeon, but I'm not against it. I'm a bit of a bird person already (I sometimes masquerade as an ornithologist), and my husband said he wouldn't mind.

So, I guess I have two questions:

First, I'm in Scotland -- does anyone know anyone know anyone around here that would welcome a one-winged pigeon?

Second, if we decide to keep it, what do I need? I looked up a bit about food, and we've given it some whole wheat bread crumbs, and I came home today with cabbage, peas, and corn for it. But what sort of housing, etc.? We have a cat, so I would expect an outdoor avairy/hutch, appropriately ramped up for a filghtless bird. Any pointers to plans, where one could get such things etc? It's currently in a roomy animal carrier with open dishes on the door for food and water, but this is obviously not a permanent solution!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,478 Posts
Hi

You would be right about (most) rescue centres as regards seriously disable pigeon. Not many in Scotland that we know of, and only one might keep a disabled bird (think it's in Aberdeenshire).

We have a disabled woodie and three one-winged pigeons, all of whom do pretty well. One of our one-winged birds, who is a fancy pigeon rather than a feral, can manage to leap onto a low box to join her mate for lounging, but they do normally stay grounded and roost and nest in our ground level boxes.

They get pigeon mixes, some small unroasted peanuts as treats, lettuce leaf and salad greens and, as and when we plant them, pea shoots from pots of dried marrowfat peas.

You would need some kind of a secure aviary or a run raised off the ground, with good quality aviary wire (i.e., not chicken wire), somewhere to shelter and keep food dry, and low perches like bits of log. Problem with anything tall, with ramps, is that they can fall off ramps and maybe lie upside down and unable to right themselves or, worse, do themselves serious injury. Better to go for floor area rather than height in this case.

Our woodie and a few collared doves she shares her 'home' with seem to like some greenery, to make it more woodland-like. They have some small potted conifers and a couple of plastic topiary balls.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks! Useful links, and good tips for the aviary. I had not thought about falling. Also good to hear about other one-winged pigeons thriving!

The place in Aberdeenshire isn't taking any more animals at the moment, unfortunately (although maybe I'll go ahead and donate to help them out!).

I'm not sure how quickly we could get something set up. I wonder if a small rabbit hutch might make a reasonable stop-gap? Maybe even inside, if needed. And then get a real aviary set up before winter.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
25,396 Posts
A rabbit hutch will work indoors and outdoors-with some weather/draft/predator proofing and other alterations.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Gave him a few low perches in the animal carrier this morning, as I saw he was trying to perch on the food dishes. Apparently appreciated, as he hopped straight onto them when returned.

Just a little worried that he eats and drinks -- the water was splashed about, and he had a little drink when we dipped the tip of his beak in water this morning, as my husband held him during the carrier-cleaning and perch-installation operation, but not a whole lot. I hope that was because he wasn't desperately thirsty. No interest in the kernel of corn held up to his beak by my husband, but I imagine he was pretty scared. It does look like he's had some bread.

Any tips on helping him eat, or should I just leave him to it? If he's just fledged, his parents would be feeding him for a few weeks yet, I understand, so I wonder if he needs some help.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,478 Posts
We provide for our latest rescued juvenile woodie (probable traffic hit) a dish of seed and of water. Our seed is pigeon mix, but a wild bird seed would be OK. We know that young woodies like thawed out frozen peas too. We have fed young ones by hand with the peas, and then found they took a liking to them and pick them up themselves once introduced to them.

If you have a suitable floor covering in a pigeon's accommodation (such as kitchen towel or just newspaper) then it is easier to check on their droppings - shows if they are eating according to the dropping appearance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Have some thawed peas in his dish right now! I went to a pet store and the local supermarket yesterday, but couldn't find any seed (this is a really small town). We might have to drive to a garden centre or something.

How does the dropping tell if he's eaten? They were kind of dark green in the centre and white around the outside. The white is the urates, right? So that would reflect drinking? Does the dark bit reflect eating?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,478 Posts
Yes. As long as they are reasonably compact (i.e., not wet puddles) then he will be eating and drinking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Husband reported he ate out all the peas by midday. When I got home, all the food was gone! So he is eating. I bought some millet from a health food store today, closest thing I could find to birdseed. Hopefully we'll have a chance to get some real birdfood soon, although I will continue to provide the peas as he likes them so much. And we have a whole cabbage, which I haven't even opened yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
He's definitely eating, with peas as a favourite, followed by corn, and then cabbage and millet okay but obviously not the best!

The level of water in his dish doesn't seem to be going down very much, but I don't know how much water he should be drinking. And the peas and corn tend to be a bit damp after defrosting. How much water should he be having?

I guess we're going to need to think about a more permanent home for him. I'm now thinking inside is best -- outside would mean more difficulty for ensuring protection against against the elements, and if he's going to be a pet for the next decade or so (as apparently they live 10-15 yrs in captivity??), he'd be happier as a tame animal, which would be easier to develop inside with the family. Would it be possible to tame him? I've read conflicting things -- that woodpigeons don't tame, but that a handraised one can be. He's in between, as a just-fledgling. Not quite sure what to do, other than talk to him a lot and have him around us. A new home where I don't have to take him out to change the paper would help, I'm sure, as that must be terrifying. And I imagine being higher up, rather than on the floor, would make him feel more comfortable.

I've been looking around at cages and stuff, and not quite finding anything that meets my imagination. A bit worried about the ability to keep a wooden rabbit hutch clean without having to remove him and do a through cleaning regularly. And most 'bird cages' assume the animal wants height and can fly. I'm wondering if I can make my own? I'd know how to build a basic cage out of wire mesh, J-clips, and a metal tray, but I'm not sure where to find the materials. I suspect I can get mesh and clips at B&Q, but I have no idea where to get a pull-out tray.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
260 Posts
This is a bit of a non-traditional idea, but I think it works very well.

Check out these cages: http://www.guineapigcages.com/howtometric.htm

They are normally built for guinea pigs, but when I expanded my piggy cage, I used their old one for my pij. I think it works perfectly well. These cages are great, because they are very easy to expand and modify as your needs change, or as you get more space and want to expand. And they can be made with lids, in different sizes, cat/dog-proofed, etc. It's really fantastic!
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top