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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi
Sorry if this shows up twice - my original didn't seem to post...

On Friday, 3 days ago, I received a baby pigeon whose nest was destroyed and its clutch-mate killed when someone moved an air conditioning unit. I estimate the baby was about 5 days old when received, so about 7-8 days old right now. Its still yellow and downy. I am feeding it Kaytee hand feeding formula 4 times a day, and it seems to be doing very well. Stools are formed, the baby is fat and active, and making plenty of noise.
Though I've looked, I can not find reference to how much I should be feeding it per feeding. I am currently giving it about 12 ML per meal, and its crop gets very large, though still soft and pliable, and seems to be plenty full. The baby, however, doesn't seem satisfied with this amount and continues peeping and trying to feed from between my fingers. I don't know if it NEEDS more food, or is just trying to satisfy the urge to feed from a parent, or if this baby is just a pig.
I don't want to over-feed it, but I obviously don't want to underfeed it either. Can someone please give me an approximate amount a baby of this age would generally be consuming? Is 12 ML 4 times a day enough or can it take more? I've tried to attach a picture of the little guy, but not sure if it went through properly.

Thanks for the help...
 

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He's adorable!!
12 mls per feeding seems like a bit much for this little guy. I think I would cut it down to about 6, 8 at the most. And make sure his crop is emptying before you feed him his next feeding.
Do you have him on a heating pad (set on low)? Must stay warm. I always give mine a small stuffed animal to cuddle against when they are alone. :)
Nuzzling your fingers is normal baby behavior.
 

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Thank you for taking in this needy little cutie.

Yep, that's good advice.

Make sure the formula is also warmed at the correct temperature, and that the crop is not overly filled like a balloon, but more like a bean bag. You should be feeding about every 3 to 4 hours, when the crop is completely empty.

A drop of organic apple cider vinegar added to the formula is an excellent way to avoid bad bacteria and crop issues.
 

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Remember to start thickening the formula gradually as he grows older.

A "full" crop has also been described as similar to a 3/4 full hot water bottle, soft and squshy.

Cynthia
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks all for the advice. 12 ML seems to make his crop a little less full than a 3/4 full hot water bottle - and still he looks for more by opening his beak and pushing his head through my fingers - he would absolutely eat more if I let him. I think he would be really unhappy if I cut his meals down by half, to 6-8 ML as suggested. His crop is emptying between meals. The schedule he's on now is he's fed first thing in AM (around here that's between 5 and 6:00) then again between 11 and noon, again around 4:00 and then between 7 and 8:00 p.m.
As for heat - he's inside a small box with shredded paper towel, within a bigger box, in which is placed a hot water bottle. Its definitely warm enough in there - I worry it gets too warm, so leave the box partially open to "vent".

I have hand fed and successfully raised/released a lot of other baby birds, including a pigeon last year who was a bit older (about 3 weeks) when I got him. This baby seems to be doing really well, seems very strong and active. I am just unsure if I should let him have more food than I am currently giving him. Yesterday, I did increase the thickness of his food, but only slightly. Can he have yogurt as well? I do this with most other baby birds, but was unsure because of the "crop milk" thing, whether he could have that.
Does his age seem right based on the photo (taken Sat.)? I am putting him at about a week...

Thanks a lot everyone.
 

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Hi, do you know how much he weighs? If you're unsure about the right amount, I think Kaytee recommend between 10/12 percent of their body weight at each feed. I think if you're unsure about the feel of the crop you won't go far wrong calculating this way.

Good luck with this little one.

Janet
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi, do you know how much he weighs? If you're unsure about the right amount, I think Kaytee recommend between 10/12 percent of their body weight at each feed. I think if you're unsure about the feel of the crop you won't go far wrong calculating this way.

Good luck with this little one.

Janet
I don't think I can weigh him - there's nothing here that will weigh something this small, and I don't think he's big enough for our digital scales at work (I work at a veterinary hospital as a technician). I'll see tomorrow when I bring him with me if we can get close to a weight, but I think unless he's at least 1/2 pound, the scales won't pick it up.

What are the dangers of over-feeding? Wondering if it's better to slightly over feed or underfeed, when in doubt...
 

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Thanks all for the advice. 12 ML seems to make his crop a little less full than a 3/4 full hot water bottle - and still he looks for more by opening his beak and pushing his head through my fingers - he would absolutely eat more if I let him. I think he would be really unhappy if I cut his meals down by half, to 6-8 ML as suggested. His crop is emptying between meals. The schedule he's on now is he's fed first thing in AM (around here that's between 5 and 6:00) then again between 11 and noon, again around 4:00 and then between 7 and 8:00 p.m.
As for heat - he's inside a small box with shredded paper towel, within a bigger box, in which is placed a hot water bottle. Its definitely warm enough in there - I worry it gets too warm, so leave the box partially open to "vent".

I have hand fed and successfully raised/released a lot of other baby birds, including a pigeon last year who was a bit older (about 3 weeks) when I got him. This baby seems to be doing really well, seems very strong and active. I am just unsure if I should let him have more food than I am currently giving him. Yesterday, I did increase the thickness of his food, but only slightly. Can he have yogurt as well? I do this with most other baby birds, but was unsure because of the "crop milk" thing, whether he could have that.
Does his age seem right based on the photo (taken Sat.)? I am putting him at about a week...

Thanks a lot everyone.
A heating pad on low is a safe "even" heat. Be careful with a hot water bottle. If it cools during the night he can get chilled. Sitting on a cooled "hot water bottle" is not good at his age. :)
 

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i don't know about the rest of you, but once these little ones like me they never stop wanting attention and act as if they are starving all the time, lol, the minute they see me or hear my voice the squeaking begins non stop till i'm out of the room for a few minutes,
starling do the same thing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
A heating pad on low is a safe "even" heat. Be careful with a hot water bottle. If it cools during the night he can get chilled. Sitting on a cooled "hot water bottle" is not good at his age. :)
He's not actually sitting on it - its sort of a "double boiler", if you want to think of it that way. I've raised many baby birds this way and have had pretty good luck with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi, do you know how much he weighs? If you're unsure about the right amount, I think Kaytee recommend between 10/12 percent of their body weight at each feed. I think if you're unsure about the feel of the crop you won't go far wrong calculating this way.

Good luck with this little one.

Janet
So, we weighed little Sloppy Joe yesterday and he was 90 grams. Not sure how this compares to what he should weigh at this age, but as we (myself and two vets) calculated it, this would mean he's be getting at least 15 ML of formula a feeding, but the instructions on the formula were a bit confusing. Both vets who saw him at work yesterday thought he looked incredibly healthy and robust, and everyone thought he'd grown a ton since he was brought in on Friday.
Now he's got some "room mates" as a nest full of sparrows joined the ranks yesterday. Spring has officially sprung here...
 

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sounds to me like your doin a great job, i feed them till they are full and feed again when it's empty, i think each pigeon is different, some require more than others, it's all about how that crop feels.
they are pretty easy for me to raise and a pleasure, not nearly as demanding in thier care as the songbirds who have me running around all over the house everyday all day long, as you know with the sparrows.
the one thing you need to worry about is the imprinting unless you plan to keep him.
if your worried at all about his wieght, check his keel
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So, hoping you all can offer me some advice about when to introduce the little guy to seed - Ive read a variety of posts about weaning and they all seem to say something different about when to begin offering seed. I would guess this little guy at about 10 days old right now - when should I begin offering seed? The pigeon I raised last year went from hand feeding formula to an avian weaning formula that looked a lot like cheerioes which I soaked in water to soften and ultimately to seed, but that bird was about 3 weeks when I got him. Is it safe to offer seed now or to offer the weaning formula? The bird last year did extremely well on the weaning formula and it is a lot easier than the hand feeding formula. The little guy now is already pecking at his bedding when he wants to eat. Should I just go right to seed? The one last year flat out refused the seed for some time, and then for a while would only eat it out of my hand. Tough love won out in the end.
Just not sure when to begin - he seems so small to begin offering anything but hand feeding formula, but he is a very robust eater.
 

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i start offering seed as soon as he is old enough to go into a cage, not that he'll do anything but poop in it for a while.
not sure how you set have his set up, but i know mine are ready for the a cage as soon as they start hopping out of the bowl nest i have them in.
i still have a corner of the cage lined with cozy fleece and have the heating pad under that spot for awhile..
i also make a little seed shaker out of a small baby bottle with vet wrap and let them start trying that. i really don't let them fill up with only seeds though until i see that they are drinking well it seems to take much longer for them to digest the seed when they are young and i always worry that they need more calories.
i also sometimes have to tube a little water in if they have filled themselves up with seed.
i also found that they really love game crumble and it's easy for them to digest, i mix that into the seeds.
i'm sure you'll get some more responses, and don't forget i think i probably over do it, lol, i spoil my little squeakers. i want them fat and happy when they get set free so they have some reserves while they are finding thier way in the world.
fall babies i winter over so they have a better chance at survival
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
i start offering seed as soon as he is old enough to go into a cage, not that he'll do anything but poop in it for a while.
not sure how you set have his set up, but i know mine are ready for the a cage as soon as they start hopping out of the bowl nest i have them in.

When is he old enough to go into a cage? Right now, he's in a small box inside a bigger box, but as he's already trying to get out of the smaller box, I think this is only going to work for another day or so and I'll have to either transfer him into a cage or into one of those plastic pet containers they sell at the pet store (at the moment, what they are called escapes me...). With other birds, this is what I usually use as the "interim step" between being in a small box and being in a cage, but this little guy is growing so fast, I think he might outgrow the plastic critter cage before he even gets into it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
>>the one thing you need to worry about is the imprinting unless you plan to keep him.<<

I'm hoping not to personally keep him, but there is a 4-Her right down the road who took the rescue homer I had last year and I am hoping either he or one of his club members will be interested in keeping the little guy. His mom (the club leader) had told me last year to let her know when this comes up again because her kids might be willing to take them on. I'll broach the subject with them when the baby is ready. If not :shrug:: what's one more around here (with 6 dogs, 7 cats, 4 parrots and a rescued bearded dragon, one little pigeon barely makes a dent ;-)
 

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lol! well i like it when i know they have someplace to go to because i can give them some lovin that they so desperately want.
if he's trying to get out of the box, i'd say he's prob ready to go into a kennel or cage.
how feathered is he?? can you post a new pic?
 

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oh and if your going to send him to someone with birds or have him around your birds, you might want to see if you can get a fecal done and maybe a health check with a vet, and do a precautionary de-worming
 

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Make sure the formula is also warmed at the correct temperature, and that the crop is not overly filled like a balloon, but more like a bean bag. You should be feeding about every 3 to 4 hours, when the crop is completely empty.

A drop of organic apple cider vinegar added to the formula is an excellent way to avoid bad bacteria and crop issues.
hey trees :) what is the corect temprature for kaytee? and when adding the ACV what ratio would you use?
i have just had a major storm and the parents of 6 babys stoped sitting on them!! unfortunatly i lost the 2 youngest its just too cold here! i have the other 4 in a box together what temprature should they be ? i dont have a heating pad i just have microwave wheet packs and have towels surounding the birds?

thanks this is a great threed
 
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