Pigeon-Talk banner
1 - 20 of 39 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I really need some help. We had a nest blown down in our garden containing 2 baby pigeons. We picked the nest up and nailed a new platform up in the branches of the same tree hoping the parents would continue to feed them. This hasn't happened despite one of us watching most of the time. We got them back down this morning to find them very quiet. However (not knowing the first thing about pigeons) fed them some water from a teaspoon in an attempt to rehydrate them. This must have done some good as within 20 minutes or so they were flapping wings and pecking me and looked brighter.

I have so many questions, sorry.

As I live in Spain there are no rescue centres that I know of (they struggle to care for their dogs here). Does anyone know how I can get help?

Assuming I can't, what can I do to get them to eat?

What should I give them? I tried ready brek but not interested despite using a baby bottle with a slit cut in the nipple

I'm not sure how old they are but from internet photos between 2 and 3 weeks.

Thank you everyone in advance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29,797 Posts
Can you post a pic of the babies so we can see how old they are?

You don't cut a slit in the nipple of the bottle. You cut the nipple shorter and cover the opening with the rubber from a balloon or the finger of a rubber glove in which a hole has been cut.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you Jay3

I am trying to get a photo on now so I hope it works. I have also got a syringe now so will try that. I still can't get them to take anything voluntarily so I have used a small dropper to put some very runny ready brek in but have probably only got a teaspoon in each. I have never handled a bird before and am scared of hurting them but they do seem to be surprisingly strong when trying to eascape. Also, they are not making any noise except a sort of click when I approach them. The photo is taken in the only safe place I can put them, which is an air kennel, supplied by British Airways when I flew my cat over from the UK. Thank you for helping.

http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=54378&stc=1&d=1498408136
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
More questions

Could you tell me how old you think they are? One is noticeably larger than the other. Then what I should be feeding them, how to do it correctly and how often? Please bear in mind I am in Spain and getting hold of pigeon food is going to be nearly impossible as they are seen as pests here. Thank you, I am doing my best for them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29,797 Posts
They are probably a couple of weeks old. Please don't put anything runny in their beak, as they are easily aspirated. It isn't a pigeon formula that we use here, it's a parrot and cage bird formula, but can be used for pigeons.

It would be easier at this age to hand feed them frozen peas which have been defrosted and warmed under warm running water. You want them warm.......not hot.
This is how you would do that.

If you need to feed peas to a pigeon, hold the bird on your lap and against your body. This gives you more control. Reach from behind his head with one hand and grasp his beak on either side. Now use your free hand to open the beak, and put a pea in, then push it to the back of his throat and over his tongue. Let him close his beak and swallow. Then do another. It gets easier with practice, and the bird also gets more used to it, and won't fight as much. If you can't handle the bird, then use the sleeve cut off a t-shirt, slip it over his head and onto his body, with his head sticking out. This will stop him from being able to fight you so much. Just don't make it tight around his crop area. It helps if you have him facing your right side if you are right handed.

You can feed them about 30 peas, probably about 3 times a day. You would see the crop go up when you feed them, (like a holding pouch on their chest). You want it to be like a soft pillow, but not hard and firm. You let that pouch go back down before feeding again. So you would probably feed them about every 5 or 6 hours. The peas do hold some moisture so that helps to give them some water, but you can teach them to drink by gently dipping their beak into a small dish of water, but not over the nostrils. Keep doing that and they will eventually learn. After feeding them a few times, they will start to recognize the peas as food, and should eventually start trying to pick them up by themselves. After feeding them for a few days, start to leave some peas in with them so they can practice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29,797 Posts
Don't think you have done any harm. The ready brek is a good idea, but just not watery. Should be more like pudding, and you still need to be careful not to aspirate them. There are other ways to feed them, but at this age they are so close to weaning, and the peas are easier. Pigeons don't gape to have you feed them. In nature they put their beak into the beak of the adult to be fed. So you need to open their beak as they won't. They are also scared, and view you as a predator which is why they cluck at you when you go near them. For pigeons most things are predators, who want to kill them and eat them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Update

Good morning. Well, my babies had some peas last yesterday and made it through the night. They have had a breakfast of peas this morning and were a lot calmer and you're right, peas are a lot easier! Will they be ok just having peas at this age or should I give anything else? Again thanks for your advice Jay3, I followed it exactly and found it invaluable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29,797 Posts
They will be fine on peas as they are almost ready to be weaned. Once they begin to view them as a food source, you can leave some with them so they can begin to practice picking them up on their own. You can also sprinkle some seed around them and let them practice with that. A pigeon/dove mix would be good. They are curious little creatures and will check things out and try to pick them up, so in time will be picking them up on their own. Try introducing them to water by gently dipping their beaks, but not over the nostrils. And leave a small crock of water with them. In time they will learn. Good job!:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Good news

Glad to hear they will be ok on peas for the next few days. They were quite enthusiastic during their last feed!

Sorry to be a pest but could you give me a timeline on what I can expect i.e. At what age should they feed themselves and what age should they start to fly etc?

We have to find somewhere bigger to keep them as they don't have a lot of space at the moment and I worry that they won't be able to stretch their wings. Also, it is very hot here at the moment, about 34 degrees some days. I am keeping a fan running during daylight hours to try to make sure they don't overheat and Simon plans to make some changes to some space this coming weekend so any tips would be appreciated.

They are not showing much interest in water unless I offer it on a spoon when they will take a little drop or two, is this ok? I have been dipping their beaks to try to encourage them.

I'm sure I'll have more questions in the future but for now thank you
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29,797 Posts
They will practice flying at about a month old. First they will just flap their wings and helicopter in place. It's cute to watch.
They all learn to eat at different rates. Some hand fed babies will get spoiled and want you to continue to feed them. We have had members come on here with babies who are 3 months old, and still refusing to eat unless they are hand fed. My babies learn to pick at seed early while still in the nest box, because I keep a dish of seed and one of water in there for the parents to eat, which shows the babies how to do it. They learn from watching the adults. When I had my first 6 babies and was feeding them, I put a 3 week old down on a towel that happen to have seed sprinkled on it for an older baby. I just put him down to feed another bird, but while down there he picked up and ate a lot of seed and filled his crop. I never expected him to do that as he was so young. So you just never know, but at 3 or 4 weeks you can start introducing them to seed and see what they do.
I don't remember............where do you keep them?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
They are currently still in our cats air kennel which is where the photo was taken. We are thinking of moving them to the laundry (which is a separate building). It is a good size and they could easily fly in there. I'm thinking build in some perches but keep chicken wire over the window for now, but keep the window open for fresh air. It's a large space and above all safe for them to do a little exploring. What do you think?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just to add to the previous post. I have just given them the third feed of the day. They are both just picking the peas up by themselves if I put them one at a time on the towel on my lap! I'm really pleased! This must mean progress?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29,797 Posts
It sounds good except that chicken wire is not safe. Rats walk right through it, and raccoons will tear through it. They will both come in after the birds and kill them. Something like a heavy gauge hardware cloth would work though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29,797 Posts
The first time my baby gobbled up all those seeds, he ate too much, filled his crop, and it didn't empty. I had to give warmed baby apple sauce with a little warm water added, and very gently message his crop to get it to empty. So yes, when first learning they can pig out and over stuff the crop. Just don't put enough down for them to do that. Later on they won't do that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Amount of food

Should I increase the amount of peas the babies are having as they get bigger? Feeding 30, 3 times a day to each one but I get the feeling they are starving at the start of each meal and as they are picking the peas up by themselves they are looking for more at the end of the feed. Are they having enough quantity and all the nutrients they need? They are much improved and quite feisty!

We will make sure we don't use anything that rats can get through (we don't have racoons here) when we get their new accommodations ready. We hardly see any rats that aren't dead as the cat is an excellent ratter, although he brings them home for me as gifts occasionally.

We will get the best seed possible by the weekend.

Thanks Jay.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29,797 Posts
Their crops should feel like soft pillows when done. Can you post a picture of them after they been fed to show the crops? Not holding them. Them just sitting. If they are still hungry give them a few more. The amount of food will grow as they do of course.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Photo - sorry for the delay

Hi again,

I have a few questions again, sorry.

We have now moved the babies to their new accommodation, they have just had their lunch in there and don't seem to be to stressed by the move. We took your advice and have covered the window with a sort of metal mesh (even flys can't get through it!

I will attach a photo at the end of this post taken today just after lunch so hopefully the crops are full enough. Please let me know if you think they are having enough food. There is a lump on each birds beak that I am really concerned about? Could you please give me your opinion as the vet we use for our other pets wouldn't even return my call concerning my pigeons. The lump is as hard as the beak and doesn't seem to bother them.

I can't find dove and pigeon seed mix in the pet shops here so I have bought a bag of probiotic parrot and cockatiel mix, photo below also. Is this ok to feed them and should it be soaked first? How much should they have and how much longer should they stay on just peas? They are both feeding themselves now. I give them a bowl each so I can make sure they both get the same.
 

Attachments

1 - 20 of 39 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top