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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I used this recently for a group of pigeons that I was raising from hatch.

I had pretty atrocious results. I've used roudybush products before with all sorts of birds, but his stuff seemed really awful. I'm honestly not convinced that they even sent my the right formula. It does kind of resemble and taste like their loriket nectar, but its been years since I've used that to really remember what it is like.

The five chicks I had, though they weren't dying, they barely growing. One of them even lost a good bit of weight.

I switched them to a boiled egg yolk based diet that some friends at zoos have used and all my chick started putting on weight much better.

The next three chicks that hatched were on the egg yolk diet from the start, and did much better.

Sadly, all but one of my chicks that was started on the roudybush squab died. The remaining chick is over a month old and is only 100 grams and still without feathers.

The chicks raised on the boiled egg yolk diet have done much better, still not as good as birds that were parent fed for the first week though, so I still have some fine tuning of the formula to do. I have seen the macmilk recipie, and I think I'll try something more like that next time. I really like the digestive enzyme and probiotic suggestions with that recipe.

So have any of you guys used the roudybush squab formula? What kind of results did you have? Any other thoughts about raising pigeons from day 1?
I've had people suggest using kaytee exact exclusively but I can't picture that being an adequate crop milk replacement. Has anybody attempted that during the first few days? I love using kaytee with pellets or seeds when they are a bit older, but it seems too low in protein for the first few days.

With pigeons that are five or so days old, I've never had any problems. To be clear, I'm really asking about thoughts on those first few days.
 

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why are you raising pigeons from day 1?, I really do not think there is an 100% replacement for the real thing, we just use what we can... mac milk sounds good as well as the exact which many use here in the US with good results. I have wonderd about the roudybush and they make it seem like a good formula...? but I have not used it. but these are used on orphans that needed to be saved otherwise it is best to let the pigeons do it as they give the immunites to their young as well as all the other good things they need.
 

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why are you raising pigeons from day 1?, I really do not think there is an 100% replacement for the real thing, we just use what we can... mac milk sounds good as well as the exact which many use here in the US with good results. I have wonderd about the roudybush and they make it seem like a good formula...? but I have not used it. but these are used on orphans that needed to be saved otherwise it is best to let the pigeons do it as they give the immunites to their young as well as all the other good things they need.
I agree. I did raise 2 babies that were about 2 days old on Kay tee formula, and had very good results. Today they are strong and healthy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
why are you raising pigeons from day 1?
For science!

But seriously, for an experiment on imprinting. Though I am confident that there really isn't going to be any difference in a pigeon that has be raised exclusively by humans and a pigeon that has been raised by its parents for a week, the scientific community is going to give me a hard time and claim "dual imprinting" when it comes time to publish. I only needed a few that have never seen another pigeon, and it looks like I'll have that.

Also, I've worked with a lot of exotics at zoos, so its not bad practice. But I didn't expect to have this much trouble. None of the chicks died in the first two weeks, but the roudybush chicks were seriously messed up. I just want to know if the stuff is just that bad, or if I just got a bad batch. I really think it could have been a factory mix up. It really resembles lorikeet nectar.
 

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just want to know if the stuff is just that bad, or if I just got a bad batch. I really think it could have been a factory mix up. It really resembles lorikeet nectar.
You can take the stuff back to the store and compare it with another lot to make sure there wasn't any mix up or expired product
 

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ive heard good things about roudy bush but have never used it, i pretty much stick with exact more for financial reasons, don't think i will be switching any time soon.
i think there will be a BIG difference in piji's or any kind of dove raised by humans or parents, they imprint so heavily more so than any other baby birds i raise, and i raise a lot of them ( around 100) and many different species a year,
roudy bush does make a lorikeet nectar is it possible that's what it was??
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
i think there will be a BIG difference in piji's or any kind of dove raised by humans or parents, they imprint so heavily more so than any other baby birds i raise
I'm trying to say, that I don't think it makes a difference if you raise them from day 1 or day 10, so long as you keep them away from other birds.

You can take the stuff back to the store and compare it with another lot to make sure there wasn't any mix up or expired product
I ordered it directly. I'm trying to contact the company.
 

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For science!

But seriously, for an experiment on imprinting. Though I am confident that there really isn't going to be any difference in a pigeon that has be raised exclusively by humans and a pigeon that has been raised by its parents for a week, the scientific community is going to give me a hard time and claim "dual imprinting" when it comes time to publish. I only needed a few that have never seen another pigeon, and it looks like I'll have that.

Also, I've worked with a lot of exotics at zoos, so its not bad practice. But I didn't expect to have this much trouble. None of the chicks died in the first two weeks, but the roudybush chicks were seriously messed up. I just want to know if the stuff is just that bad, or if I just got a bad batch. I really think it could have been a factory mix up. It really resembles lorikeet nectar.
it is not a good experiment to bring young into this world and hope they make it... pigeons and doves are hard babies to raise from day one, you should use rescues that still need to be fed and document that. I totally disagree with what you are doing, and yes you did get the wrong food, poor babies....
 

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Because pigeons feed their babies crop milk, handfeeding them from day one denies those babies parental antibodies. This means that these birds are automatically immune stressed.
 

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Well, it was not his fault he got the wrong food. He bought the right one but they mixed them up apparently. The other birds seem to be fine...
It doesn't matter what food he got. What Terri is pointing out is that giving them ANY food from day one harms them in that they aren't getting the parents pigeon milk, which would of course make much stronger babies and help to build up their immune system. In the long long run, they would be much stronger and healthier. Good point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I have heard that about crop milk, but there wasn't much of a way around that.
I have also heard there is a bit of debate on the matter of the antibodies. It sounds completely reasonable to me, but do you have something to cite on that? I'm not questioning you, I would just like some more information. If someone knows a scientific paper I could cite that would be wonderful. (Actualy I just found a decent one. Just wasn't searching in the right journals.)

Also, I'm cleaning cages right now, I'm going to post some pictures a bit latter, my one surviving roudybush chick is depressing.
 

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It doesn't matter what food he got. What Terri is pointing out is that giving them ANY food from day one harms them in that they aren't getting the parents pigeon milk, which would of course make much stronger babies and help to build up their immune system. In the long long run, they would be much stronger and healthier. Good point.
I actually read spirit wing's post wrong, I was answering that one.
Sorry, sometimes I'm not clear :x
 

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Here are some links to info. on the antibodies in crop milk

http://www.springerlink.com/content/j7u210u32103p88k/


http://www.pigeontv.com/public/102.cfm
The answer must lie in the immune system which is rather immature in the young pigeon. Antibodies against various microbes with which the breeding pigeon was confronted are deposited in the egg yolk and used by the developing youngster. Antibodies also pass via the crop milk to the young pigeon after it has hatched , similar to the way antibodies in colostrum are transferred to new-born mammals.
 

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I actually read spirit wing's post wrong, I was answering that one.
Sorry, sometimes I'm not clear :x
Thanks for clarifying Pawbla.:)
 

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Just too risky to try handfeeding so early....so many things could have gone wrong.

.....IMHO, would it really have made them any LESS imprinted on a human caregiver had you started, say...on Day 5 ?

I actually sorta hope you don't try this again starting from hatchlings...regardless of the brand of food......
 

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and for researchs sake, i think it's how they are raised and the individuals themselves that makes a difference.
if they are raised with others and quickly tube fed and exposed to people very minimally sometimes they will not end up liking me once weaned, but then sometimes they do.
raising one alone almost always makes a baby pigeon think they are a little person instead of a bird
 

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Here are some links to info. on the antibodies in crop milk

http://www.springerlink.com/content/j7u210u32103p88k/


http://www.pigeontv.com/public/102.cfm
The answer must lie in the immune system which is rather immature in the young pigeon. Antibodies against various microbes with which the breeding pigeon was confronted are deposited in the egg yolk and used by the developing youngster. Antibodies also pass via the crop milk to the young pigeon after it has hatched , similar to the way antibodies in colostrum are transferred to new-born mammals.
good find, with the internet all you have to do a bit of digging... it seems weird someone who is into experimenting with live birds would of not known where to find this info....:rolleyes: Like I said before, it is just wrong to take birds away from parent birds just for experimentation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Look, I understand all your concerns. And they aren't bad ones. I felt terrible that my chicks weren't doing well, thats why I changed diet. Let me tell you a bit more about what I am doing to try and put some of you at ease.

First of all, I do not pretend to know everything. Thats why I am here asking questions. I do appreciate all the input. My department is behavioral department, most of them do research with humans. I don't have an ornithology expert to help me out.
This experiment is under veterinary supervision from an avian specialist. He does a lot of rehab work in addition to pet work, and even raises his own pigeons.
He thought that raising from eggs would be better, because I can avoid any diseases passed to the offspring by the parents, canker for example.
This was especially of concern last year when one of my chicks that I got at 10 days died with out symptom two weeks later. I spent 300 dollars on a necropsy, sadly the lab lost the results. The guy that performed the necropsy said it looked like histomonaisis (called black head in fowl) a disease that is acquired from the environment or from the parent. That breeder has since had a lot of birds die off. My vet, a paid expert thought that raising from day one was much better, so I listened to him.

The experiment isn't just to satisfy curiosity. I have worked in a few zoos, and sadly reproduction is a big issue. Particularly with imprinted birds. Zoos give up on imprinted birds and don't even try to get them to breed or lead an otherwise normal life. I have seen too many imprinted birds in an exhibit by them selves. Other times they are given a mate, and live with it, but prefer to attempt to mate with the keepers. All the scientific literature that I have seen states that imprinting is completely irreversible. I am pretty confident that is not the case. How many of you guys have had an imprinted bird that was in love with a person, go back and form bonds with birds again? It happens, but things are completely misunderstood by the scientific community.

The procedure I am working on, is to take imprinted birds that are completely isolated from other birds, and teach them to prefer humans over birds after they reach sexual maturity and display sexual behaviors towards humans. Subjects for my pilot procedure are an imprinted dove and a house sparrow. And guess what? I've got the dove to be in love with the house sparrow. I'm at the stage now where I just need to teach him not to love me anymore. I'm using a house sparrow here, because I feel like if I can teach a bird to "act imprinted" to a very different species, then members of the same species won't be much of a problem.
What I would like to do later, is work with some of the imprinted birds I have worked with in zoos and get them back on the right track. I am doing this for the sake of conservation. Some of these birds I have worked with cost thousands of dollars and are genetically valuable members of an endangered species. If we can breed these animals with some success, then we aren't doing a good job of conservation. Imprinting is just one of the issues here.

I do agree, that the bird's behavior will not be different if I get them at 1 day or 10 days. One of my birds was obtained at 20 days and is perfectly imprinted. I have said this a few times before. However, when it comes time to publish, if I only use birds that I have obtained at an older age, some one is going to claim that the birds are "dual imprinted" and that my research is completely irrelevant. If I can't publish, or at least get by without that criticism, then its going to be difficult to change any opinions about what to do with these birds at zoos. So I do need a few of my birds to be hand raised from day one. If I had my own breeders, I could get them a little older, right before the eyes open. But my birds aren't old enough yet to provide me with that luxury. Assuming all my birds make it to sexual maturity, I will have 4 birds obtained at older ages, and 3 birds raised from eggs. That is plenty for me. Once I do this experiment, I really don't think anyone is going to give me much of an argument about dual imprinting later.

I did not expect to have this much of a problem with the chicks, but it really seems that I just got a bad batch of food. The birds are weight at least once a day, so I know when somethings up. Its not like I did this haphazardly. And note the veterinary advice. Its not like I did this without thinking about. Again, I didn't have any problems with birds that were started on a different diet. Also, on the note of the food. You really can't get mad at me for that. If I got a bad batch of food for adult birds that were raising chicks, its likely the same thing would have happened.
 
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