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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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My husband brought home a half-dead pigeon a few days ago after no vets or animal control would take it due to avian influenza.

We have decided to care for it as best as we can in the hopes it can be released or have a good life in our care.

It cannot fly and hobbles around, I think perhaps it's foot is broken and maybe a wing too (we think it may have got clipped by a car). Because it can't stand properly, it gets poop stuck in its feathers. It is eating and drinking well, and looks way better than it did when we first took it in.

we.feed it bird seed and sunflower seeds, it is in a small dog kennel that has been covered in 1/2" chicken wire mesh.

are there any tips for bathing it or trying to remove the poop from it's feathers? Is there anything else we can do or change to help it better?

thank you so much for your time!
 

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He looks quite young, maybe a month old. I'd give him a bath in room-temperature water with boric acid added, about one teaspoon per quart. Boric acid isn't toxic to birds and it won't harm him if he drinks the water. It is antiseptic, and will kill or repel external parasites such as mites and flies, and it also kills fungus and yeast which might otherwise make him ill. I bathe birds in a large mixing bowl half-full of water with boric acid, using one hand to keep the bird from flying away or submerging his head, and the other hand to pour handfuls of water over the bird's body (but not over the eyes and the nares / nostrils in the upper beak) until thoroughly soaked and cleaned of any droppings. Also look for any wounds and run your fingertips along the bones of the wings and legs to check for any obvious breaks.

Probiotics will help him to digest seeds, and since he isn't getting any friendly bacteria from his parents feeding him, it would be good to add either avian/bird probiotics, or a tiny amount of yogurt with "live cultures" to his food (mix it onto the seeds.) It would also be good to feed him a bit of crumbled hard-boiled egg with the seeds. The egg is easier for him to digest, and it provides the wide range of nutrients that growing birds need for proper development -- it's like a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement with protein and fats needed for growth.

Post a picture of a dropping that is representative of those he normally passes. They often provide clues about the bird's health.

Oh and pigeons and doves don't spread avian flu.
 

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They love bathing. You can provide him with a large flat dish (potplant holders works well) and he will probably take a bath himself. Make sure he has a nice sunny spot to get dry. Otherwise you can soak his butt in lookwarm water until the hardened poop gets loose. You can also trim the feathers around his cloaca.

He is still a youngster. He might be lacking in calcium and vitamins. You will be able to get these from a petshop. Get liquid calcium with added Vit D3 that you can add to his drinking water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
He looks quite young, maybe a month old. I'd give him a bath in room-temperature water with boric acid added, about one teaspoon per quart. Boric acid isn't toxic to birds and it won't harm him if he drinks the water. It is antiseptic, and will kill or repel external parasites such as mites and flies, and it also kills fungus and yeast which might otherwise make him ill. I bathe birds in a large mixing bowl half-full of water with boric acid, using one hand to keep the bird from flying away or submerging his head, and the other hand to pour handfuls of water over the bird's body (but not over the eyes and the nares / nostrils in the upper beak) until thoroughly soaked and cleaned of any droppings. Also look for any wounds and run your fingertips along the bones of the wings and legs to check for any obvious breaks.

Probiotics will help him to digest seeds, and since he isn't getting any friendly bacteria from his parents feeding him, it would be good to add either avian/bird probiotics, or a tiny amount of yogurt with "live cultures" to his food (mix it onto the seeds.) It would also be good to feed him a bit of crumbled hard-boiled egg with the seeds. The egg is easier for him to digest, and it provides the wide range of nutrients that growing birds need for proper development -- it's like a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement with protein and fats needed for growth.

Post a picture of a dropping that is representative of those he normally passes. They often provide clues about the bird's health.

Oh and pigeons and doves don't spread avian flu.
I recently learned about the AI thing from my mum (she is working on AI cases in Canada right now). But vets still won't see it unfortunately.

We bathed it today as well as we were able to, I took photos to show its body condition better, as well as the poop before I cleaned it's cage. How often should we change the bottom mat? I want the pigeon to be comfortable, but also want to avoid unnecessary stress for it.

I put a folded blanket under the pee pad so that the bottom is a little softer for it while it's stuck on the floor. Last night it started practicing flapping its wings, which I'm hoping is a good sign!

Thank you so much for your help!
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I forgot to add: I also out a little yogurt/sunflower seed mix in with it as well as a little hard boiled egg yolk. We will look into getting some boric acid and vitamins as we didn't have any on hand.
 

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He's definitely young, doesn't have all his feathers yet. He'll need plenty of protein and fat in his diet for growing new feathers, and hard-boiled eggs will supply both.

The droppings look like diarrhea with undigested seeds in them, but that appearance could have been caused by them being trampled by the bird. Their color looks too dark (unless you are feeding the bird some type of dark fruit), but the color of the droppings on the bird's feathers and toes in the first picture looks normal -- green.

If there are undigested seeds in the droppings, the probiotics from the yogurt should help the bird's digestion. Perhaps increase the amount of egg and yogurt, and decrease the seeds a bit until he is actually digesting them well.

I have a pigeon who can't fly, so she sleeps in a large, white, plastic, laundry basket rather than a cage. I line the bottom of the basket with paper towels, and replace them several times during the day because she had foot injuries when she arrived and I wanted to keep her feet clean to prevent infection. Now I'm just in the habit of replacing the paper towels whenever I see that they are soiled with droppings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
He's definitely young, doesn't have all his feathers yet. He'll need plenty of protein and fat in his diet for growing new feathers, and hard-boiled eggs will supply both.

The droppings look like diarrhea with undigested seeds in them, but that appearance could have been caused by them being trampled by the bird. Their color looks to dark (unless you are feeding the bird some type of dark fruit), but the color of the droppings on the bird's feathers and toes in the first picture looks normal -- green.

If there are undigested seeds in the droppings, the probiotics from the yogurt should help the bird's digestion. Perhaps increase the amount of egg and yogurt, and decrease the seeds a bit until he is actually digesting them well.

I have a pigeon who can't fly, so she sleeps in a large, white, plastic, laundry basket rather than a cage. I line the bottom of the basket with paper towels, and replace them several times during the day because she had foot injuries when she arrived and I wanted to keep her feat clean to prevent infection. Now I'm just in the habit of replacing the paper towels whenever I see that they are soiled with droppings.
You are amazing! Thank you so much for all of your help! How quickly should the droppings change once it's diet improves?

Thanks again for sharing your knowledge!
He's definitely young, doesn't have all his feathers yet. He'll need plenty of protein and fat in his diet for growing new feathers, and hard-boiled eggs will supply both.

The droppings look like diarrhea with undigested seeds in them, but that appearance could have been caused by them being trampled by the bird. Their color looks to dark (unless you are feeding the bird some type of dark fruit), but the color of the droppings on the bird's feathers and toes in the first picture looks normal -- green.

If there are undigested seeds in the droppings, the probiotics from the yogurt should help the bird's digestion. Perhaps increase the amount of egg and yogurt, and decrease the seeds a bit until he is actually digesting them well.

I have a pigeon who can't fly, so she sleeps in a large, white, plastic, laundry basket rather than a cage. I line the bottom of the basket with paper towels, and replace them several times during the day because she had foot injuries when she arrived and I wanted to keep her feat clean to prevent infection. Now I'm just in the habit of replacing the paper towels whenever I see that they are soiled with droppings.
Here are some recent poops. I'm a little worried though because it appears to be holding its one wing weird now and I'm worried we hurt it while we were holding it to bathe it. It also seems more fearful again, so I worry it is in more pain now. It keeps trying to judo chop us with its wings when we are putting food in. Unless it's actually a good sign.

Sorry for the barrage of questions and updates, I feel so bad for this poor little guy
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The droppings look better formed, and I don't (or can't) see any undigested seeds. The color still seems a bit dark but that may only be due to the lighting.

The left wing definitely looks odd. Could be a dislocation (a.k.a. luxation) of the shoulder, or a broken bone near the shoulder -- either the humerus in the wing, or the coracoid in the bird's torso where the humerus connects to the body. Can you determine whether or not the humerus is broken by gently feeling along the bone with your fingertips?







 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The droppings look better formed, and I don't (or can't) see any undigested seeds. The color still seems a bit dark but that may only be due to the lighting.

The left wing definitely looks odd. Could be a dislocation (a.k.a. luxation) of the shoulder, or a broken bone near the shoulder -- either the humerus in the wing, or the coracoid in the bird's torso where the humerus connects to the body. Can you determine whether or not the humerus is broken by gently feeling along the bone with your fingertips?







Neither my husband nor I can feel any breaks on the humerus, when my husband was touching the forearm part, it chirped as I'm sure it hurt even though we were as gentle as possible.

I'm going to reach out to some vets again Monday in the hopes that they will see the pigeon now that it has been in isolation from other wild birds for a week.

There is the possibility of getting it to a rehab center that said they are able to take it, but it is across the province so it's a little tricky logistically. But I also hate the thought of it being maimed or in pain for life if we didn't make the trip to take it there. However I'm also not sure if they will just euthanize it once there. Do you think this is something that it can recover from at our home?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
They love bathing. You can provide him with a large flat dish (potplant holders works well) and he will probably take a bath himself. Make sure he has a nice sunny spot to get dry. Otherwise you can soak his butt in lookwarm water until the hardened poop gets loose. You can also trim the feathers around his cloaca.

He is still a youngster. He might be lacking in calcium and vitamins. You will be able to get these from a petshop. Get liquid calcium with added Vit D3 that you can add to his drinking water.
Thank you so much for the information!
 

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Do you think this is something that it can recover from at our home?
Broken bones do heal, the only problem would be weather or not he'd be able to fly again.

If the break is in the coracoid bone, then he has a good chance (roughly 75%) that it will heal correctly on its own and he'll be able to fly.

Humerus breaks usually don't need a splint, and wrapping the wing to immobilize it is the treatment.

If the break is farther down the wing, it would be better to locate the break and determine if the bone needs a splint to set it correctly, along with wrapping the wing to immobilize it.


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^ Video in the page at the link shows figure eight wrapping of a bird's wing​
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Broken bones do heal, the only problem would be weather or not he'd be able to fly again.

If the break is in the coracoid bone, then he has a good chance (roughly 75%) that it will heal correctly on its own and he'll be able to fly.

Humerus breaks usually don't need a splint, and wrapping the wing to immobilize it is the treatment.

If the break is farther down the wing, it would be better to locate the break and determine if the bone needs a splint to set it correctly, along with wrapping the wing to immobilize it.


View attachment 102466


View attachment 102467

^ Video in the page at the link shows figure eight wrapping of a bird's wing​
My feeling on what happened was that it was healing in its own and we maybe undid that during the bathing since he was starting to practice flying up until the bathing.

Do you think it would be okay to give it another couple days before I try to see about bandaging it to see if it starts getting better on its own again? I'm just worried I'll make it even worse if I do anything right now

Thank you for the info in the bandages, it looks complicated, but doable!
 

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I don't know. It may not even be a break but rather dislocation or other damage to a joint, or tendon. An obvious break is about the only cause of which you could be certain by feel. If contact distresses him too much, then letting him rest sounds reasonable. Perhaps give him some anti-inflammatory foods that will reduce swellings and alleviate discomfort -- chamomile tea in his drinking water, as an example.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I don't know. It may not even be a break but rather dislocation or other damage to a joint, or tendon. An obvious break is about the only cause of which you could be certain by feel. If contact distresses him too much, then letting him rest sounds reasonable. Perhaps give him some anti-inflammatory foods that will reduce swellings and alleviate discomfort -- chamomile tea in his drinking water, as an example.
He is looking better every day! He has started practicing flying again, and is almost getting air now. I uploaded a video to my husband's YouTube channel so everyone can check his progress. How does it look to you now?

 
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