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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This morning I was unlocking my shop and to my surprise on my front steps was a wounded pigeon. It was surprising because of the obvious startled response I had, and because it’s the middle of Dec. in Kansas City, MO with below freezing temps, gusty winds, and a wet icy snow mix. I guess I pictured all the birds relaxing in Boca right now, certainly not waiting for me on a nasty Monday morning. As an avid animal lover my first response was to help, but my “love” for animals has always been the domesticated type that enjoys human interaction, so you could say this was my first rescue mission. Not quite sure what to do I thought it best to grab a snow shovel, scoop it up and place it in the grass. Then in a moment of clarity I googled “how to take care of a hurt pigeon” which lead me to this site.



I read the most important thing is warmth, which ruled out the aforementioned sub-arctic wet grass idea, so I grabbed a box and clean towel and headed outside. Once I got Midge (her new name) in the box she seemed fine; as a matter of fact I picked her up by draping a towel over her and carried her to the box, by the time I uncovered her she had already tucked her head under her wing and went right to sleep. Judging by the amount of cleaning up I have to do on my steps I’d say she was there all weekend, so I know she must be worn out. As I said before, I am new at this so once she was tucked in her warm box in a dark room I consulted the gurus again, which is where my questions began to arise.

I usually search through a forum for answers that someone else in my position has already asked, but the answers on all other occasions have not had this type of severity. So please do not bash me for asking questions that have already been answered, and I will try to ask more specific questions relevant to mine and Midges case.

F.Y.I.

Been “warming” for about an hour now in a clean dry box placed carefully in a warm dark room.

Appears to have wing problems judging from the chase to get her in the box

Appears to be as alert as possible, but doesn’t try to fly or move when I put my hand near her


Questions

#1 Should she have water in with her?

#2 Will she try to bite me if I try to look her over for more wounds?

#3 If she bites me will I get Avian Flu and die?

#4 What and when should I feed her?

#5 What do I need to do to make sure she doesn’t die?

Any help will be greatly appreciated by Midge and me.

Thank you
 

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Thank you for saving Midge. You can't contact Avian Flu from her. If she does bite it won't hurt and it won't draw blood usually. I have never had one draw blood anyway. Any question will be answered if not by me, by someone, I'm new at this also. Yes, you do need to provide water in a deep dish, like 2" deep. Wild Bird seed would be nice also. Yes, keep her warm. Again, thank you for saving her. She came to you hoping she would get help. The only dumb question asked is the one you don't ask, so ask anything. min

I have to go to work, but I'm sure others will be along.
 

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Hi Mbuggy and thank you for saving this pigeon.
So far you did everything right. Most important thing is warmth.
Next step is to provide dish with lukewarm water and mixed seeds to hydrate and feed him.
I would get thawed corn and pea, run warm water on them until slightly warm. Then wrap Midge loosely in towel and open his beak and pop piece of corn/pea in the throat. Let him swallow and repeat procedure. For begining give him 20 pieces and let him digest. Monitor when he starts pooping and post picture of poop here.
Pigeons need feeding twice a day and amount per feed is 40~50 pieces of corn/pea. Because we don't know how long he was starving, I would go first with less.
Keep us posted how is he. Hopefully he is just injured and not sick.
While holding him, please check for any wisible injuries, wounds, bruises, broken bones, blood etc.
You don't need to worry dhere is no danger for you health when handling him. Just wash your hands afterwards. Despite stories of how dangerous are pigeons for people, most of their illness' are specific for birds and cannot affect humans. It is more dangerous to handle dogs and cats then birds.

P.S. Pigeons do not bite and they do not carry avian flu.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the speedy response! Just to be clear is the thawed corn and pea a type of bird seed, or are you talking about actual corn and peas? Lucky for me there is a pet store five mins from my shop, so I have access to more than a grocery store, but I want to get the right stuff. Also she's (he's) not moving around in the box. I put water in there thirty minutes ago and she has not moved from the corner where I put her earlier this morning. Is she just scared?
 

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Thanks for the speedy response! Just to be clear is the thawed corn and pea a type of bird seed, or are you talking about actual corn and peas? Lucky for me there is a pet store five mins from my shop, so I have access to more than a grocery store, but I want to get the right stuff. Also she's (he's) not moving around in the box. I put water in there thirty minutes ago and she has not moved from the corner where I put her earlier this morning. Is she just scared?
Hi mbuggy and thank you for taking in this little pigeon
It's the human type, frozen peas and corn. Also, you can get a "dove mix" at the pet store.
Pigeons use their beak like a straw, so the water has to be at least 2" deep. You can add a pinch of salt and sugar to the water to help rehydrate.
You can hold her and dip her beak (don't go past the cere - fleshy part of the beak) into the water to see if she'll drink it.
And don't worry, you can't catch anything from her. Just use common sense, as with any animal, and wash your hands after handling. Plamenh is right, you can catch more from a dog or cat than a pigeon. Most bird diseases are "breed specific" and they don't carry avian flu.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Okay, feeding Midge is proving to be a bit difficult. I tried to open her beak but she keeps it shut pretty tight, and I deffinatley do not want to break it. I put her back in her box with some water and a small dish of corn. I have confirmed that her left wing is the problem as she cannot tuck it back to her side like the other one.

How do I tell if it is broken or just hurt?

How do I get her to eat or will she eat on her own?

Thanks again for the help!
 

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Gently, but firmly using your nails you can oben his beak. Do not squeeze, just open apart. This is normal way to hanfeed pigeons and it takes bit practice to get the feeling for it. Once open, look inside and check the color of the mouth and is there any abnormalities. By that I mean any slime, yelowish or greyish liaisons. Any bad smell. Sorry if my request sounds strange but I do this with every new bird that comes to me.
Thank you for the pictures of the poop. They look promissing well, but after feeding should be checked again.
If bird poops that means there is still food in there, but is good if you manage to feed him.
As for the wing best you can do is feel carefully healthy one with your hands from outside and inside. Then check injured one and compare if there is any differences on touch.
 

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Make sure she has access to a heat sorce... like a heating pad set to low... and wrapped in a towel. She will need that... make sure that the box is big enough for her to move off of it if she chooses... If it has an automatic timer you may need to re set it after a few hours... or if you have a heat lamp with a red bulb... that would be Great! Poor sweetie... I hope she wil be on the mend. I'll look for resources in MO... and post back!
 

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also add ....just a pinch of sugar and a pinch of salt to her water dish.... sorry Waynette... I saw you said it already!:eek:
 

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Hello Mbuggy,

I've rescued feral pigeons in Cologne, and you can feed them easily enough.

Check the emergency forum for hints on caring for a rescued bird, since any single spontaneous post probably won't cover ever detail.

You can set the bird on our lap to feed it. If you feel the bird is a bit rambunctious and wants to get away, you can wrap it in a towel (like making a "burrito").

I'm left-handed, so I put my right index finger on the side of the beak away from me. (Right hand is under the beak of the bird). Using the nail of my right thumb, I pull down gently to open the beak. Most pigeons don't like to be "force -fed," so maybe do this a few times before you attempt to insert food. I usually pop in a piece of popcorn corn kernel, or large seeds.

Before feeding, however, make sure the mouth looks nice and healthy, pinkish or a certain type of red (you can usually tell if it looks healthy, I think). No bad smells (I can't smell, so have to look carefully). You don't want to see any "cheesy"-looking growths or obstructions in the mouth or throat. If you see growths, inform us.

First requirement: the bird needs to warm. Secondly, it needs to be hydrated.

I have taken a pigeon which seemed to have flying problems, held it gently in my one hand with the other hand partly over it, so the wings and tail were not restricted from movement, but so that the bird could not fall or fly away, and gently lifted it up and down in gentle "falling" movements. If a wing is injured or broken, the bird will not move it much. The tail should also move up and down. I detected a paralyzed tail that way in a baby pigeon with paratyphoid/salmonellosis. He recovered the use of his legs, grew to an adult and flew, but never recovered the use of his tail.

Use reasonably hygiene. I have a lung disease (genetic) but am not too concerned about acquiring something from a pigeon. Pigeon raisers who are around pigeons a lot have to be careful about inhaling too much dust from the feathers (which serves to waterproof the feathers), or from inhaling spores from accumulated pigeon poop. But, this is true of anyone who is around powders or dust (coal miners, who get black lung, bakers, asbestos miners, and so on).

The thing you may acquire is an undying love for pigeons. Can be occasionaly dangerous, that. I've dashed onto an autobahn to save my rescued-as-a-baby and hand-raised Pidgiepoo from traffic.

Larry

----

Okay, I've seen that others have posted about the feeding and such while I was s--l--o--w--l--y--t--y--p--i--n--g my post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Trying again with the food. Is canned corn okay, or does it need to be frozen? She finally drank a little. I dont have a heating pad here so I have her wrapped up in a towel, but I will take her home tonight and make sure she stays warm, and away from my curious jack russells!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Inside of her mouth looks fine, dark pinkish. She swallowed corn with no problem, and is drinking a little at a time. She still does not move around in the box. Its plenty big enough, probably 18x18 but she won't walk over to the water and drink herself. Is this normal?
 

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Oh, definitely keep away from Jack Russells! They love small prey. My daughter's rat terrier was curious about a bird I was holding and had it's head in it's mouth before I knew what was happening. Fortunately, I found my reflexes and whisked her away in the nick of time. Just wanted you to know. Thanks for taking in the poor darling!
 

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You're doing fine. Does it look like it has been attacked by a dog or cat? Make sure it doesn't get cold and with the wing, feel along the underside for breaks. Feel along the top of the wing as well. If it has got a broken wing, if it perks up maybe confine its space so it doesn't hurt itself even more?

Thanks for rescuing Midge, poor thing, I've got my fingers crossed that he makes it and can be realised
 

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I didn't read all the posts but it sounds like she is most in need of a warm quiet place safe place to rest. I have a few pet pigeons that are crippled they are wonderful companions. Pigeons with physical injuries are best left to eat an drink on their own. A very low water dish is good and putting the seed on the floor is best. Raw unpopped pop corn, raw broken peanuts and sunflower seeds are good, bird seed is good, pigeon food and pigeon grit is best. I can be reached at 708-297-5493 if you want to speak on the phone. Good luck, I hope you find a local rehabber, maybe we can advise over the
phone. Wing and leg wrapping/splinting is not too difficult.
 

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Frozen corn and peas are better because they don't have any salt. If the can peas or corn is all you have today then it okay for today but its best for you to get the frozen corn and peas. Your doing great. Since you don't have a heating pad, or a light, then put her maybe in the bathroom with a small heater if you have one of those. Being warm is probably the most important, then of course water and food and rest. Please keep us informed on how midge is doing. min
 

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for a heat source, you can put uncooked rice in a sock and tie the end, make a donut shape with it and put in the micro for a minuet or so, put her on it in here crate or cage. you do have to keep reheating it though, but it something one can do if they do not have a heating pad
 

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sounds like your doing a great job with her, can you tell us where yu are located? we may have members nearby that can help you and help her with her wing
 
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