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Discussion Starter #1
Hello! A few days ago (Sun/Mon) a feral pigeon couple laid 2 eggs outside the window in a flat I rent. I had the area blocked off, as this has not been the first time they've done so (during confinement they raised 2 babies here), and since I had not seen them gathering twigs for 6 months I assumed they found a better window. After reading posts on this site, I determined the most humane thing to do was to boil the eggs, as I did not have time to find plastic ones online. However, in my nervous haste to complete the operation before the mother would notice, I apparently underboiled them. This afternoon, after the father got up from sitting on them for a few hours, I noticed both were partially smashed in. When the mother returned, I saw her nudge them a bit before she got right back on. I have not seen what mother pigeons look like after recently having dropped eggs, but she looks terrible (her feathers and eyes). I have no idea what to do. Could she be sick? Could sitting on what are probably rotten eggs make her ill? I could order fake eggs now but they would take at least 6 days or so to arrive. I could remove them from the nest but they might lay more eggs before fake ones would arrive. Or, I could just do a better job at boiling the next ones. I have been giving her water and some canary seed daily in order to help with her nutrition. I have grown very fond of these two and want them to be healthy and happy. Any input you can share would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
 

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You should definitely take the eggs out. I don't know whether the rotting of them would make her sick, but I do know that if they start smelling it will attract predators such as rats, raccoons, crows, etc. All of these would most likely steal the eggs AND hurt or kill the birds. If the hen is already under the weather, the last thing she needs is a rat she has to fight out of her nest.
 

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Can you post a photo of her close up? The eggs won't make her sick, something else must be wrong. Order some fake eggs, much easier.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi Hania and Marina, thank you for responding, I appreciate the advice. I removed the worse egg but am hoping the other lasts a bit longer until I can get the new eggs delivered. Not sure how quickly she would lay new ones otherwise? We live in a highrise so there are no rats nearby, and the nest is outside my window so I tend to keep watch. Attached are 3 pictures. The one titled Spring was this past March, and the others are now. I notice they had much more nest bedding then, now they have only placed down a few twigs. She is much muddier from the red soil, I think she is thinner, and I especially notice a sallow/ness in her eyes. Also, her feathers are not as shiny, though that could be the dirt. These eggs were laid on Sunday and Monday, and the picture was taken just a few days later. The Spring image was taken weeks after dropping, as you see the babies under her. Not sure if it's simply a matter of being so close to birthing?
 

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She really looks very different in the third photo compared to the first photo. I can see why you are worried about her. What do her droppings look like? In a healthy bird that is eating well, they will be brown and firm with a white dot on top. Resembling a large raisin. If her droppings are green and creamy, then she is either starving or food not getting digested. Do you put down food and water for them? You can put apple cider vinegar in their drinking water twice a week. The ratio is 5 ml acv to 1 litre of water, you can leave it out as their drinking water for the day. This will help with digestion and keeping the good gut bacteria in place. If she is sick, then she will need antibiotics. What does the male look like? Is he still in good form?

Let her incubate the egg until you get the fake eggs. At least you will be able to keep an eye on her. She will leave if you remove the egg now.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The male is the best-looking pigeon I have seen, very big, strong and healthy. I'll take a picture of him tomorrow. I think she laid eggs in an outdoor AC vent a few floors down went I had my planter blocked off better in the summer. She would still come up to visit as I always leave water out. Thinking back, perhaps she started getting sick then. However, with this last batch of eggs, she has gotten worse. (Wish I would have learned about the faux-eggs earlier).

I'm not sure about her droppings. I will check tomorrow in the light when she comes out.

I have apple cider vinegar and will add that to her water tomorrow and yes, I have started leaving her food since I noticed she was looking ill. The only kind I can get in the store is canary/parakeet seed. Is that ok for them? I'm looking on Amazon.es right now to see if there is anything better. Could she possibly be lacking in calcium? I see there is a product called Calci-Pro for pigeons I could try.
 

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The canary/parakeet mixture is ok, much better than the food they will find on the street. You can add the calcium to her drinking water. Observe her while she is eating. If she is not eating well, you will need to catch her. First thing to check for will be canker. They sometimes get yellowish growths inside the beak and back of the throat. You can check by using a flashlight. Other symptoms will be: drinking excessive water, standing upright after drinking, repeated swallowing, difficulty swallowing seeds, rotating movements of the crop.

Hopefully she is not sick and the extra food will help her gain weight.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
She looks worse today. I just received Tabernil Total and Calcium for her water, and she drank some this afternoon. I also received what I hope is better quality birdseed. Still waiting for the fake eggs and Diatomaeus Earth so I can try to treat the soil. I think that is where the problem is. It must be infested. The pictures are deceiving as they are in zoom mode, and I am leaning over a tall rail that prevents me to get close enough to reach her. If I stand on a stool, with a long kitchen spoon I can scoop out the eggs. Otherwise, I would just grab her and take her to the vet. It looks like she has fewer feathers on her neck from just yesterday, and I can see through to her skin, which looks red, sore, and almost like it is bleeding. I spooned cat litter around her nest after having read that that could help with the dampness and bugs eating at her. If I take the egg away, she will probably leave, and I would like a day with the Diatomaeus sprinkled around as maybe that could help her? Perhaps if they lay in it they can get some on their feathers. Regarding her droppings, I can't make out which are hers. Her partner is in the second picture. Though he looks healthy, I notice his eyes are getting a bit sallow as well. I see those pigeon flies in his feathers, but that is not new, it's been since I first saw the birds. If you have any other input, that would be great. Otherwise, I know there isn't much I can do if I can't get them to a vet.
 

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Poor pigeons. I'm not familiar with that product, is it a powder used for treating external parasites? If so, you can put some directly on the nest. If you fasten a scoop or spoon to a pole, you might be able to reach the nest and sprinkle the powder on the nesting material. She might move away, but will return.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Poor pigeons. I'm not familiar with that product, is it a powder used for treating external parasites? If so, you can put some directly on the nest. If you fasten a scoop or spoon to a pole, you might be able to reach the nest and sprinkle the powder on the nesting material. She might move away but will return.
Great tip, thank you!
The Diatomaceous Earth I learned about on this site. It appears to be a great all-purpose mineral powder that helps with the prevention of all sorts of parasites and mites. I got an inexpensive plastic pump applicator with a long nozzle and can easily pump/spray it over her, the nest, and the entire planter. That should start to kill the mites soon hopefully. Tabernil is a brand that sells all sorts of drops for birds. I've been applying those to their food and water, though they notice that much more quickly, so it needs to be very diluted.
The fake eggs finally came in today. They seem so content to sit on the one that has deteriorated down to 1/2 size. Do you think I should risk adding a full plastic one to their nests?
 

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Rather let them incubate their egg until they lose interest. When they stop incubating, then you can remove the egg. Keep the fake eggs for the next set that will get laid.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Rather let them incubate their egg until they lose interest. When they stop incubating, then you can remove the egg. Keep the fake eggs for the next set that will get laid.
Hello! So the boiled egg went bad quickly so I snuck in the fake egg and they have been happily incubating it. Meanwhile, I have been sneaking antibiotics into their water and treating the soil for mites, and I really see an improvement in their health, thank goodness! However, they are starting to loose interest in the egg as they have both been flying around during the day for long hours, and mating. Last night was the first time they did not sit on the egg, though they both stayed nearby. At what point should I remove it? If they are laying eggs again, I don't want them to go elsewhere as I can't give them medicine if so, nor switch out their next batch of eggs. Will they wait longer to lay new ones if they still see this one here?
 

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You can remove the egg. If you don't, they might go elsewhere to start a new nest. With food and water available, I'm sure they will use the old nest again. Glad to hear they are doing well.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok, so I did that immediately as you suggested. And about 2 days later she laid a new egg, then 2 days after that another, which I noticed this morning. This afternoon they were busy chasing away other young offspring that still want to hang out, or possibly get fed by them. The mother is quite aggressive when she chases them away, the father sometimes give them food. I took advantage of them both being away from the new eggs and quickly switched them out for fake ones. However my question is, will this cause any damage to them in finding out another batch does not hatch? They won't start to fall out of partnership and break up or anything will they? Just don't want to cause any unnatural anxiety. I can't bear to see them turn their backs on their offspring however, the 'teenagers' seem so desperate.
 

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No, it won't cause any damage to them or make them split up. They will incubate them like they do with normal eggs and then will lose interest after 2 1/2 weeks. When they stop incubating, you can remove the eggs again. I forgot to mention, you need to warm up the fake eggs a bit before switching. I'm sure you will let them hatch babies again in the future.
 
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