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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am so glad to have found this site...

Last Monday (4th June) at 9am we found a woodpigeon chick in our garden after it had fallen about 25 feet from the nest. From what we gathered later from online pics it was likely only a few hours old. We placed it on a shed roof nearby in the hope the parents would find and feed it, as the nest was completely inaccessible to us. When we got back that evening the poor chick was chilled, unfed & unresponsive. We brought it in & warmed it gently for several hours. The chick's breathing was very laboured so we left it in a safe warm place expecting it to die that night. To our astonishment it was still alive next morning so we started trying to feed it and after a frantic net search found Ready Brek suggested as an emergency food, though as it was extremely weak the balloon method was out of question. For the next 36 hours we fed it by gently tipping warm, watery Ready Brek into its lower beak every 2-3 hours. It was so weak it could not even hold it's head up, and never uttered a peep until the third day. Every morning we expected to find it had not survived but by day 5 it could suck & we swopped to the syringe & balloon. We started weighing it then - just 20g that morning. I had meanwhile ordered Hagen Tropican Breeding Mash, which arrived yesterday (day 9) and which the chick took to readily. This morning (10) he weighed 39g before feeding.

Now for my questions!

It has still no feathers, tiny pins only began to appear yesterday - is he/she severely stunted by the awful start?

Since swopping to the formula his crop empties a lot slower - in fact takes over 8 hours. Is that a safe time to leave between feeds, should I let his crop empty completely during the day? How much should he be getting and how often for his age? Does 'empty' crop mean completely flat or just not distended? If it is a case of 'crop stasis' is organic apple & pear baby food an option as the 'applesauce' mentioned by others? Can't find that any where!

His poops have changed from a few brown curds in a lot of liquid to more substantial brownish green with white streaking - still some liquid round, what is normal for a formula fed chick his age?

Sorry for so much info and so many questions at one time - really trying to do our best for wee Peep!!!
 

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Are you certain that it is a woodie? If so, yes, he is very stunted. His wing quills should have started developing at day 5 and by day 10 he should have weighed more that 100 gms.

Having said that, there was a woodie on this forum that was hand raised from an egg but so undernourished for the first week that his development was very slow, he caught up very quickly once he was on Kaytee Exact and eating the correct quantity.

For the slow crop you could try Heinz beginners apple sauce, but the best thing you can get to increase crop motility is metaclopramide which you would need to get from a vet. In the meantime, don't make the formula too thick, give it to him at 39 degrees and keep him on a heat pad.

Is there a pigeon friendly rescue centre near you? If it is one that doesn't require you to sign the baby over before examining it they might be able to have a look at it and advise you on feeding.

Or if you let us know where you are we might know of another pigeon rescuer nearby who could have a look at it.

When the crop is emptying that slowly I would wait until it is empty before giving more formula, it isn't healthy for new food to sit on top of old food while it waits "in the queue" to be digested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Feefo, many thanks for your quick reply. Sad to hear the chick is soooo far behind in development. He is much stronger today & the quills on his wings are starting to push through, as are those on his neck/crop. He has doubled in weight and size since this time last week.

I will try to get applesauce today. I phoned the vet & they aren't interested. Do you know anyone in the UK who would sell me some metoclopramide FAST & without a prescription? The chick took 15ml of formula at 06.30 this morning & would have kept going but I was terrified of overfilling his crop. So far (13.00) the crop is over half empty & he is pooping regularly (and it's getting less watery) - have only given him a little tepid water. I will wait till it empties before feeding again as you have suggested. Can I ask in advance about the applesauce - how much would you recommend for this tiny fellow and do you mix it with the formula or give separately, and how often?

We are in County Antrim, N Ireland, I don't know of any pigeon rescuers or wildlife sanctuaries that would be helpful but perhaps you do? Thank you very much indeed for all this info!!!

PS - yes, the birds building the nest he fell from look like woodies to me, but am no expert & will try & send a pic later.

Thanks again.
 

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Hopefully he will catch up. I will see if I can find anyone in Northern Ireland but am not optimistic.

These are Kaytee Exact's instructions on dealing with slow crop, try using the same principles:

CROP SLOW-DOWN: If crop slow-down should occur, first check for proper environmental temperature as this is a frequent cause of crop problems.

Then mix equal parts of exact Hand Feeding Formula and infant applesauce or provide additional water by preparing exact at the ratio of one part exact to two or three parts water.

Provide this mixture for approximately 24 hours and then slowly return to the normal concentration of exact over an additional 24 hour period.

During this time, massage the chick’s crop gently to break up any food aggregates that may develop. Never massage the crop when it is more than half full.

Allow the crop to empty before feeding again.

This method will quickly allow the gastrointestinal tract to stabilize and become fully functional again.

The appearance of dark green droppings in a hand fed baby may indicate a temporary shut-down of crop emptying (or the lack of food in the digestive system). If this occurs and the crop contains food, the rate of crop emptying should be immediately evaluated. If no improvement is noted within 36 hours, professional assistance is advised.

Volume of up to 15% body weight per meal may be provided, but may induce regurgitation in some birds. If regurgitation occurs due to overfeeding, stop feeding, clean food off baby and do not handle. Reduce meal volume at next feeding.


Metaclopramide is a prescription drug, I don't know anywhere that provides it without a prescription, unfortunately I don't even have any myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hello again & thank you for all that info!

I managed to get applesauce, apple cider vinegar AND metoclopramide 0.5mg/ml yesterday afternoon. Decided to try first just with applesauce, mixed with the formula according to those Kaytee instructions. It seems to be helping, crop emptying time is now about 5hrs rather than 8+hrs. The droppings are regular and brownish with a streaky white cap(no green). I'm afraid to use the drug as he's so tiny!

Puzzling over feeding times/volumes & crop emtying times now:

Elsewhere on the forum I found recommended for squabs at 1wk 15ml every 6hrs, at 2 wks 40ml every 8hrs. Does that mean at those ages crop emptying times are slower anyhow? Our little Peep is in his 12th day now, but still probably resembles a chick half that age, weighing only about 50g pre-feed & beginning quills, no feathers. Should I treat him by true age or developmental age? If, as Kaytee suggest, feeds should not exceed 15% of body weight, he'd need to be on less than 10ml?! Feeding him is a joy now - he's so keen, standing up tall & flapping his tiny wings. Those first few days were a nightmare - took about 45min to get his crop filled at all, at the end of which he & I both collapsed exhausted :(

You mentioned in your first post another baby who had a bad first week - was it as bad as our poor wee one & did it make it to adulthood?

Thanks again for all your help!
 

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I am glad he is responding well.

Because his crop is slow in emptying it would be best to feed him when it empties and feed him until his crop like a balloon 3/4 filled with water, soft and squishy.

The baby that I referred to had been undernourished accidentally by his rescuer, as far as I remember she continued to feed him as if he was a newly hatched chick rather than increasing the feed as she went along. If you go to this link, his photo is the second one down, it was taken after his first good meal and he got a bit overfilled but his crop soon went down and he progressed by leaps and bounds.
 

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Wendy, I found Duddly's thread, it is here

The thread goes on a bit as we try to establish whether he is a woodie or a dove, whether he is ill or malnourished, but here are some extracts that will give you an idea of the similarity to your baby...and if you scroll down the thread you will find photos of an older and well feathered Duddly.

9 August
Duddly was born on the 31st of last month which makes him 10 days today, and apart from being bigger he still looks the same as the day he hatched! still yellow and fluffy with no feathers growing what-so-ever.

12 August
Sarah and family are lovely, experienced in rescues and birds so Duddly is in excellent hands where he is though he might come to live here when he grows up. He is a woody and I am pretty sure he hasn't got paratyphoid although he is very underdeveloped for his age. Sarah thinks that he hatched slightly too soon as a result if the egg having fallen from the nest, making him a preemie squabling. He is adorable.

He took to the syringe and balloon method and we were able to establish how much his crop could take and how much it should take (this because I slightly over fed him and refused to leave until it had shrunk to a pleasantly full and spongey size).

His poops are perfect and he did a little demonstration which I just failed to catch on video, scrabbling backwards to the edge on the hanky I had placed him on and pooping expertly over the "edge".

He weighs 28 gms today and has tiny pin feathers developing on his wings

15 August

well duddlys growth has really increased since saturday he now has feathers growing on his wings, and has white strips growing in the middles of them either side!
oh and cynthia his feet have straightened out, now he is walking everywhere! he's a very active little chap, and he classes anyone with hands a mummy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you so much for the link to the pigeon rescue site - it has so much useful info!!! That photo on the site is just him (with a smaller crop thankfully!).

Thanks also for looking up Duddly's thread - it was reassuring to read a similar case and see all those beautiful photos. Hope wee Peep progresses as well. If there is no diarrhea is paratyphoid ruled out? I see Duddly weighed 28g on day 13, so he was only half the weight Peep was today (12), which makes me a bit more hopeful...

I'm fussing as much about what goes in and comes out of this baby as I did for my own offspring! Will stop worrying so much about the numbers & let the crop dictate!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi,

Just a quick update on 'Peep' and another question! He's doing great now, gaining weight and feathers quickly, walking about & flapping madly at feeding time, so I was wondering if it would be time to start weaning on the peas & corn? He's in his 19th day, but, as discussed in previous posts, behind schedule in development, looking more like 14days. He has been feeding about every 6hrs (crop empties in that time) and is now up to 25ml formula each time (at the thicker consistency). Do you continue with formula & add a few peas/corn each feed or just make a complete switch - I don't want to mess things up on the wee chap!

Thanks in advance!
 

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I am so glad he is coming along so well!

You could start by popping a couple of warm defrosted peas into his beak, see how they go through his system (should be fine!) . Often when I have hand fed defrosted peas to young woodies they get so impatient with my slowness that they reach over to my hand and start eating them on their own. Another alternative would be to add very small seeds to the formula.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That's great thanks, we'll try a couple of peas at his next meal. Should be interesting! Planning ahead, is canary seed ok for starters and how do you normally provide grit for young pigeons?

Thanks again :)
 

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I think he would like canary seed. I don't give them grit until they are old enough to take what they need themselves, but you could give him some calcium Zolcal D, Calcivet and Calcivite are all good supplements for birds.
 

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be careful that he doesnt imprint on you but of course if you are keeping him as a pet you are very lucky :)


sorry for writing on your thread but all i want to know if baby pigeons can be raised on cow and gate baby food?i am currently expecting a baby pigeon. could this be a good recipe?


1.cow and gate (make sure no dairy products)
2.boiled egg
3.warm water
4.sugar
5.(ill get some vitamins for baby birds)but wat kind of ones am i looking for?


would this be okay? and how do i get grit? o_O
 

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You would be better off with a baby bird formula that you can buy at pet shops. This would have what baby birds need. I don't think it's worth trying to mix up something of your own when foods containing what they require are so easy to come by. They have certain requirements, and this insures that they will grow healthy and strong.
 

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well the truth is:im 15 years old and my parents absolutely cant stand birds!
but here i am with the egg (not from my previous thread but i find whole load of pigeons lately ;))dont ask how or why i dont know either :)
i dont get pocket money but i have saved up a load as i was expecting the baby.is baby bird formula expencive? how much would it cost? (in euro,im in ireland)
one more question:is the recipe good though? :D
thanks again PT is a great site,extremely friendly too <3
 

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Well without the formula, a baby bird just isn't getting the nutrients it needs to grow strong and healthy. You could call around and see where they sell it and for how much.
 

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uh oh i must be in trouble :/
yeah ill try my best to get the formula.which one should i get thoug?kaytee sounds best for everybody but i dont think you can get it in ireland...i dont know,maybe you can but i recall someone telling me so :/as soon as the lil thing hatches,ill start my new thread :D
 

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uh oh i must be in trouble :/
yeah ill try my best to get the formula.which one should i get thoug?kaytee sounds best for everybody but i dont think you can get it in ireland...i dont know,maybe you can but i recall someone telling me so :/as soon as the lil thing hatches,ill start my new thread :D

You really need to start another thread on this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi again,

Think I need more advice please. Peep is 5 weeks old today and has been doing fine. He is now able to fly & usually uses this to get as close to his humans as he can - he is on my shoulder as I type! I'm a bit worried about his right eye. Two days ago he kept it closed most of the time, we thought maybe he had hurt it as he had crashed down a couple of times during flight practice. Yesterday and this morning it seemed fine, open as normal, however this afternoon it is closed & I have seen him scratch & rub his eye along his wing. He seems perky enough & eating well but old mummy bird here is a bit anxious after reading some posts about 'one-eye colds' being part of systemic infection. There is no discharge although the lid seems pinker than the unaffected eye. Droppings are as normal. What do you think?

Thanks again,

Wendy
 

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I doubt that it is anything serious, what you could do , though, id just flush it with colloidal silver.
 
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