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Hercule is an ex-racer, downed with wing injury on his way back to Belgium from England, and rescued by a fancier who owns my nearest feed store. As he is now pretty much grounded, we offered him a permanent home. He nests in the shed at the end of the most recent aviary extension.

When we put out the bath in the main aviary section, we need to close the shed door so that our three worst affected PMV rescues don't get to it and, in turning their heads upside down, manage to drown. The only way in and out is for the still-flighted residents, through a hatch about 56" up the door.

Anyway, yesterday I noticed Hercule was out bathing. After he'd done he wanted into the shed. First, he stood on a tree branch perch low down in the extension and eyed the hatchway. Nope, too high for his limited ability. Then, he climbed up the wire side of the extension until exactly level with the hatch in the door, waited while I dislodged a bird standing in his way, then flew through the hatch and down to the shed floor.

I know it is a very simple occurrence, but it just shows that a pigeon with maybe a little extra thinking power can work out how to solve a problem, when others will just stand 'willing' the door to open if they get stuck outside.

(I figured he gets out by using a couple of boxes inside as steps to a point where he can just about fly up to the hatch)

John
 

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Great story, John. :)
They are incredible beings, that's for sure.

I love watching the ferals in the backyard. Some will cock their heads in such a manner that you just know they are contemplating something. :)

Cindy
 

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You could make it easier on him by building a bird ladder, but would that take the fun out of it? :D
Oh, I don't think he minds some climbing - and having his little think machine stimulated :)

Actually, we're doubtful about ramps and ladders. Many of our birds are non-flying and at one time we did think about that, but we are aware of cases where birds have been badly injured by falling off such things - maybe expecting to glide down - when they have not the mobility in their wings.

We have a wood pigeon in our smaller aviary, for instance, who would fall over even trying to surmount a small obstacle, and be left lying on his back unable to roll over and right himself. We still have to check now and then - especially first thing in the morning and late evening - to see he is upright.

John
 

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Actually, we're doubtful about ramps and ladders. Many of our birds are non-flying and at one time we did think about that, but we are aware of cases where birds have been badly injured by falling off such things - maybe expecting to glide down - when they have not the mobility in their wings.

We have a wood pigeon in our smaller aviary, for instance, who would fall over even trying to surmount a small obstacle, and be left lying on his back unable to roll over and right himself. We still have to check now and then - especially first thing in the morning and late evening - to see he is upright.

John
That's an excellent point, John.
BTW, I have a special request. ;)
When time permits, could you post a few pictures of the aviary? :)

Cindy
 

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That's an excellent point, John.
BTW, I have a special request. ;)
When time permits, could you post a few pictures of the aviary? :)

Cindy
Yes indeed. Will see what I have, but may have to take some next time I'm at Cynthia's.

John
 

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That's cute. I like to see the birds thinking, too. I have one fellow who gives me a gleaming glance if I come in with some pine needles to toss on the floor. He's a maniac for making his nest the best!
 

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Smart bird. Yes, the ferals will do some thinking when I'm feeding them. They just look at you sometimes as if to say, "There's something different about you today, but I don't know what it is." Chubby gave me that look when I showed up in a different car. You could just see the bird thinking that.

And they communicate with each other without speaking. One of them will fly up to a flock and he's just flapping his wings. The others turn around as if to listen to what he's saying and then they just follow him. They must speak to each other without saying anything.
 

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Smart bird. Yes, the ferals will do some thinking when I'm feeding them. They just look at you sometimes as if to say, "There's something different about you today, but I don't know what it is." Chubby gave me that look when I showed up in a different car. You could just see the bird thinking that.

And they communicate with each other without speaking. One of them will fly up to a flock and he's just flapping his wings. The others turn around as if to listen to what he's saying and then they just follow him. They must speak to each other without saying anything.



Yep...:D ... called TELEPATHY...;)

Hugs

Shi & Squeaks
 

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Smart bird. Yes, the ferals will do some thinking when I'm feeding them. They just look at you sometimes as if to say, "There's something different about you today, but I don't know what it is." Chubby gave me that look when I showed up in a different car. You could just see the bird thinking that.

And they communicate with each other without speaking. One of them will fly up to a flock and he's just flapping his wings. The others turn around as if to listen to what he's saying and then they just follow him. They must speak to each other without saying anything.

The first time I went in the coop wearing shorts instead of jeans, the birds all stopped what they were doing and stared at me in shock, like I was some sort of alien. So funny.
 

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They seem to be very bright

Hercule is an ex-racer, downed with wing injury on his way back to Belgium from England, and rescued by a fancier who owns my nearest feed store. As he is now pretty much grounded, we offered him a permanent home. He nests in the shed at the end of the most recent aviary extension.

When we put out the bath in the main aviary section, we need to close the shed door so that our three worst affected PMV rescues don't get to it and, in turning their heads upside down, manage to drown. The only way in and out is for the still-flighted residents, through a hatch about 56" up the door.

Anyway, yesterday I noticed Hercule was out bathing. After he'd done he wanted into the shed. First, he stood on a tree branch perch low down in the extension and eyed the hatchway. Nope, too high for his limited ability. Then, he climbed up the wire side of the extension until exactly level with the hatch in the door, waited while I dislodged a bird standing in his way, then flew through the hatch and down to the shed floor.

I know it is a very simple occurrence, but it just shows that a pigeon with maybe a little extra thinking power can work out how to solve a problem, when others will just stand 'willing' the door to open if they get stuck outside.

(I figured he gets out by using a couple of boxes inside as steps to a point where he can just about fly up to the hatch)

John
That is a neat story and I've seen quite a few that were able to get up very high even though they could not fly or could barely fly. They are very adept at finding the necessary steps to get where they want to go.

My birds that I've had like this were mostly due to complications from Paratyphoid and the arthritic wing joints that follow. This doesn't happen under my care but I have bought and found birds like this and once cured, I'd have no fear of keeping them with my other birds. I have a 10 year old roller cock bird that has a droopy wing. He is now setting on eggs with his mate. He flies OK but probably not a good candidate to fly loose. I used to provide a sort of ladder of perches for some flighless birds that we had many years ago. They were Pensom rollers and I bought them at a local bird swap only to find that none of them could even fly. I treated them for Paratyphoid and 3 out of 4 became breeders. The 4th may have been too old or had the disease so long that it was no longer able to even reproduce.

I noticed that you mentioned birds with the supposed neurological disorders associated with PMV and that you must keep vigil over them. Are they now considered to be cured of PMV or still undergoing treatment?

I read the posts about PMV and I have to admit that I am still quite confused about this virus. What is the cure? Does it just have to run it's course?

The reason I'm asking all these questions is that I still think these birds could benefit from some vitamin B treatments whether you use the old remedy of brewers yeast or something new with no yeast. I am hoping you will try this and inform us of your findings. What could it hurt if they are on no other meds?

Bill
 

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Hi Bill,

I'm not entirely sure what happened to Hercule. Apparently, he had a broken wing and some pretty bad lacerations too. He was found during a spell of bad weather and they believe he hit some wires. Just fortunate that he was found by a fancier who took a lot of trouble over helping him.

I noticed that you mentioned birds with the supposed neurological disorders associated with PMV and that you must keep vigil over them. Are they now considered to be cured of PMV or still undergoing treatment?

I read the posts about PMV and I have to admit that I am still quite confused about this virus. What is the cure? Does it just have to run it's course?

The reason I'm asking all these questions is that I still think these birds could benefit from some vitamin B treatments whether you use the old remedy of brewers yeast or something new with no yeast. I am hoping you will try this and inform us of your findings. What could it hurt if they are on no other meds?
Way we look at it, once the birds have had a good period of isolation - six weeks minimum, but we now do a lot longer - they will no longer shed the virus, so in that sense it has run its course. However, since the virus can cause inflammation and lesions in the brain, some may be left with permanent neurological symptoms. It can also cause irreversible kidney damage which will shorten the life expectancy.

Those I mentioned may never fully regain 'normal' functioning, although one is now able to fly up to a mid-height nest box after quite a long time. Others seem to make a good recovery but have a recurrence of the nervous symptoms (not of the actual virus), and there is nothing documented about this apparent limited period of remission that we have found to explain it. Still others have shown no further signs at all over a period of several years.

For us, treatment ends once they have finished isolation and can be seen to eat and drink unaided, maintain a healthy weight and are mobile (even if flightless). Treatment, really, is just supportive care, in the absence of any proven and available anti-viral drug. One of our members had good results with the steroid Prednisone, which may have relieved the inflammation, but we have not had success with that, so it is something of an unknown (to me).

I have one PMV bird isolated in my apartment currently. If I can establish the dosage, I may well try Brewers Yeast - although I am wondering if a general multivitamin for Pigeons which contained B1 and B2 might serve the purpose? For people, the BY is up to three tablets three times a day (I have a very old bottle, too, with each tablet containing 0.16 mg B1 and 0.18 mg B2), but I don't want to guess at what is OK for a bird.

John
 

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I'd sure try it

Hi Bill,

I'm not entirely sure what happened to Hercule. Apparently, he had a broken wing and some pretty bad lacerations too. He was found during a spell of bad weather and they believe he hit some wires. Just fortunate that he was found by a fancier who took a lot of trouble over helping him.



Way we look at it, once the birds have had a good period of isolation - six weeks minimum, but we now do a lot longer - they will no longer shed the virus, so in that sense it has run its course. However, since the virus can cause inflammation and lesions in the brain, some may be left with permanent neurological symptoms. It can also cause irreversible kidney damage which will shorten the life expectancy.

Those I mentioned may never fully regain 'normal' functioning, although one is now able to fly up to a mid-height nest box after quite a long time. Others seem to make a good recovery but have a recurrence of the nervous symptoms (not of the actual virus), and there is nothing documented about this apparent limited period of remission that we have found to explain it. Still others have shown no further signs at all over a period of several years.

For us, treatment ends once they have finished isolation and can be seen to eat and drink unaided, maintain a healthy weight and are mobile (even if flightless). Treatment, really, is just supportive care, in the absence of any proven and available anti-viral drug. One of our members had good results with the steroid Prednisone, which may have relieved the inflammation, but we have not had success with that, so it is something of an unknown (to me).

I have one PMV bird isolated in my apartment currently. If I can establish the dosage, I may well try Brewers Yeast - although I am wondering if a general multivitamin for Pigeons which contained B1 and B2 might serve the purpose? For people, the BY is up to three tablets three times a day (I have a very old bottle, too, with each tablet containing 0.16 mg B1 and 0.18 mg B2), but I don't want to guess at what is OK for a bird.

John
As I said, I threw mine out as they were so old. I cannot say which B complexes are in brewers yeast tablets but a fresh bottle from the health food store would answer that for us. I know that mine were 750mg and was written as 7.5 grams. Old school I guess. I am certain that I gave whole tabs but you could try half of that with no risk.

Bill
 
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