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Hey! I need some major help here for starters! I'm new to the pigeon world. I found 2 abandoned newborn baby pigeons on my windowsill. I took them in. I placed the chicks in a basket lined with a heavy cloth rag and paper towel. I placed their twig nest on top with them inside. I bought special Baby Bird Formula, prepared it and fed the two chicks with a syringe. Ok, can u give me guidance of how often to feed and what to expect and how much to feed and what a full crop means (looks like). I read the basic care at http://www.pigeons.biz/pigeons/resources/basiccare.html but I'm still a little confused. I want to do all in my power to keep them alive and healthy so that they'll grow up and live!!! Also what does it mean when the chicks sit there opening and closing their beak. I would think they are hungry but I had just fed them and their crops were full. Can you please help me and give me basic guidance? Thanks in Advance.

Shira
 

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Did they have a nest on the windowsill? Are you sure they were abandoned, as the parents do leave for periods of time, and return.
 

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Yes, how long have you had them inside? Maybe if you put them back, the parents will return and feed them. They'll have a much better chance at survival if they are raised by the parents. Where are you located? The babies holding their mouths open could mean that they are having a hard time breathing. You have to be very careful when you fed them, not to get food down in their lungs. You can aspirate them. As they get older, the parents leave for longer times. That doesn't necessarily mean that they have abondoned them. Could you give us a bit more information?
 

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I've had them for a day. I've been keeping an eye but the mom hasn't come back. I don't mind raising them though. What other information do u want about the chicks? I've been feeding them every so often. They look like they're doing fine. How exactly am I suppposed to feed them to ensure that I don't get food in their lungs. When thy chirp, what does it mean? Thanks for all your help!!

Shira
 

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I've had them for a day. I've been keeping an eye but the mom hasn't come back. I don't mind raising them though. What other information do u want about the chicks? I've been feeding them every so often. They look like they're doing fine. How exactly am I suppposed to feed them to ensure that I don't get food in their lungs. When thy chirp, what does it mean? Thanks for all your help!!

Shira
How are you feeding them? What are you feeding them? You should be feeding them 3 or 4 times a day, when their crop empties. And you should be feeding them enough to fill the crop. Not so it feels hard, but like a soft pillow.
 

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I've been feeding them special Baby Bird Formula that I picked up at the local pet shop. I mix the powder with warm water and feed them with a syringe. I place the syringe at the side of their beaks and they open up and eat. How long should the gaps be between feedings? Should I make an effort to wake up in the middle of the night to feed them? I did that last night, but I'm not sure it's necessary. Am I doing the right thing?? Thanks for all your help!!
 

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I have fed baby pigeons, and never had one that just opened up his mouth to be fed. Normally you would have to open their beak gently, because they don't eat by opening their mouth for the parents. THEY put their beaks into the parents mouth to eat. Not the other way around. Open their beak gently, and take a syringe or eye dropper, and put it to the back of their throat. The back of their tongue. Maybe a third of an eye dropper at a time. Let him swallow, then do it again. The crop should look like a soft pillow when he is full. Feed again in a few hours, but only if the crop has emptied. Maybe 4 times a day. I try to make the last feeding kinda late, and no, I never got up in the middle of the night. Where are you located? Pigeons don't usually just abandon their babies. They can do a much better job of raising them than we can. If you put them back where they could be seen by the parents, they would probably come back. I would try that. And feed in between while waiting to see if they return.
 

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They don't open their mouths wide open. I put a drop of food on the side of their beak and then they open up and suck it in and then I put more... Is that wrong? Should I open the beak, put the syringe in their beaks and squirt the food gently down their throats?
 

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1st - sounds like you're doing fine. Whether or not they were abandoned ... you have them now ... so you have a responsibility you are trying to meet. Good for you.

Now, did you find out what/where the 'crop' is? If not, it's just at the base of the front of their neck. It's like a big balloon and, when you feed them, it should fill up and feel like a soft pillow. As they digest the food, the crop will empty. When it is fully empty, you can feel the breast bone. Don't feed again until the crop is empty - that is not to say that you need to feed as soon as the crop is empty .... but don't feed if the crop has contents (yes - you can tell).

Is there a brand name on the formula you're using? Are there instructions with it? If not, or if you have more questions about the feeding part, do a search here on PT and you'll find LOTS of information. btw - baby pigeons grow VERY fast BUT the parents continue to feed them for 25 days or so. At about 20 days, you should put down some pigeon seed (check your local feed store) and scratch about with your fingers. Do this frequently (maybe JUST before you actually feed them) so the babies learn to associate that with eating. They'll be pecking at it before you know it - but KEEP FEEDING .... less but keep going.

Hang in there. You're doing fine!!!
 

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Thank you so much, Wolfwood!! I appreciate your advice! I found the crop, thanks! I think the formula brand in Hagen and the food is called Tropican. Is that good? Jay3 told me to open their beaks and feed them by gently squirting the syringe down their throats. I have 2 chicks; one eats well and cooperates and I clearly see the crop fill up. The other chick is always very uneasy and his crop doesn't seem to fill like the other's. I feed them the same amount but I'm worried that this chick never eats well. He was so fidgety that I was scared to choke him! I would think he's uncomfortable in the position I hold him but the other chick doesn't seem to mind it. The strange thing is that the chick who doesn't eat as well, is a little bigger than the other chick. Any advice would be appreciated! Thank you everyone!!!!
 

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They don't open their mouths wide open. I put a drop of food on the side of their beak and then they open up and suck it in and then I put more... Is that wrong? Should I open the beak, put the syringe in their beaks and squirt the food gently down their throats?
Shira, you will never get enough into them that way. You need to open the beak gently, put the syringe or eye dropper to the back of the tongue, and put the food there. Not too much at a time. But a drop at a time, you'll have to feed non stop.I think one or two day olds should be getting should be getting about 2 mls of formula at each feeding. As the baby grows, you can increase the amount. By one week, they should be getting about 10 or 15 mls per feeding. At least, this is what I read on a web page. I just eye it, and go by that as all babies are different sizes. I either use an eye dropper, and put about 1/4 of that to the back of the tongue. When they get bigger, I probably give them 1/3 of an eye dropper at a time, let him swallow, then give more. Or, I had had luck with the cut of syringe, covered at the end. Just depends on the bird. But to get enough into them, you'll have to open the beak and go in.
 

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Thank you so much, Wolfwood!! I appreciate your advice! I found the crop, thanks! I think the formula brand in Hagen and the food is called Tropican. Is that good? Jay3 told me to open their beaks and feed them by gently squirting the syringe down their throats. I have 2 chicks; one eats well and cooperates and I clearly see the crop fill up. The other chick is always very uneasy and his crop doesn't seem to fill like the other's. I feed them the same amount but I'm worried that this chick never eats well. He was so fidgety that I was scared to choke him! I would think he's uncomfortable in the position I hold him but the other chick doesn't seem to mind it. The strange thing is that the chick who doesn't eat as well, is a little bigger than the other chick. Any advice would be appreciated! Thank you everyone!!!!
Shira, I didn't say to squirt the syringe down their throats. I said to put the food toward the back of the throat. The back of the tongue, if you will. Some people get them to eat from a baby bottle nipple that they fill with the formula. And the baby will gobble it up from the nipple. I gave you a link where they show you how to cut off the end of a syringe, fill the syringe with formula, and feed that way. Try different things, until you find one that works for you. If you are feeding them both the same amount, then the crops should be filling equally. Unless you're not getting the food into the more difficult one. That's why you open the beak and deposit the food inside. That way, you know they are getting it.
 
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