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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey guys.

I'm completely new to bird keeping (especially pigeons).

I've been looking for a pet bird (I was after a Princess Parrot) for quite some time, and last night I found this little guy (or girl ;D).

I was driving up my street when I passed him (we'll go with him), I swerved to avoid him and expected him to fly off, but nothing, so I picked him up and took him inside.

At the moment he is inside a large plastic storage container, with water bottles filled with hot water rolled in towels for warmth, and a dish for water.

I believe he has not had anything to drink or eat in quite some time, but he has energy, which I find weird.

I don't have access to any formula or seed at the moment, but hope to buy some later today, along with a syringe to feed him.

I have oats that have been soaked in hot water sitting in a dish for him, he sat and looked at them but didn't touch them (that I saw).

Any help would be great, I hope to maybe keep him as a companion.

Thanks, Jake.

Oh and a beginner question here but, what is "crop" ?
 

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The crop is right below the throat and when filled with food, it fills out like a little balloon.

If you think this is going to be your pet bird I suspect your heart will be broken. For the dove to be so docile, he's clearly ill. I don't know if you have a wildlife rehab near you but if so, I would get the dove there ASAP.
Where are you located in case we know of someone near you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I live in South Australia, and I suspected that he might be ill too.

He can attempt to fly, but his right wing has a flight feather or two missing, so he kind of hovers for a bit and then drops.

He is defecating quite regularly, and they look healthy (from what I know, help here?)

He was very calm last night, and now actually has energy, if I picked him up he does attempt to get away, but usually realises that he will fall, so just sits on my finger.
 

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Hi Jake,

I believe that is an Australian Crested Pigeon youngster that you have. I doubt very much that it is/would be legal for you to keep it as a pet, but bless you for helping the little one.

The little one doesn't look ill to me .. just young. Have you gotten seeds yet? It looks old enough to me to be interested and able to eat seeds.

I will be moving your thread to the non-North American birds forum as you may get more specific help there from someone in your area.

Please keep us posted.

Terry
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Terry,

Yes, I also believe it would be illegal, but I would much rather break a law in order to make sure he's safe.

I felt his crop before and it was empty, so I got a syringe with soggy oats that were soaked in warm water.

After syringing it 2 times, he actually nibbled on the end of the syringe to get the last few drops, which made me happy.

He has much more energy than yesterday, and he is actually making little chirping noises.

I will be purchasing some seed today, do you have any suggestions?

Thanks for the replies guys, I'll update pics as he grows and gets older (which I hope he does, already attached to the bugger)
 

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Jake,

I would start with small seeds like those for canaries, finches, or parakeets and then graduate to larger seed mixes.

If this little one can and will eat seed, then that is great. If not, then you will have to hand feed as you have already figured out. Can you get Kaytee Exact in Australia? If so, then this would be the liquid/hand feeding diet to use.

Terry
 

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Hi JakeSims,

I thought I would pass on this weblink your pigeon (as long as it is a crested pigeon) is exempt from law in SA requiring you to have a license to keep, breed or sell that species

http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/biodiversity/faunapermits/permit.html

good on you for picking up the lil one !

you need to get his/her health checked if you want to keep her - just in case it has parasites ect which could affect its health at this crucial stage of growth.

Dont even bother going to a normal vet - from my experience with budgies and normal vets, it is a waste of time. Avian vets on the other hand, should be able to help, and also perhaps tell you a little of the species characteristics and personality, and specific dietary requirements ect.


Avian Vets of South Australia

Glenside Veterinary Clinic
Pin Needham
294 Greenhill Road
Glenside 5065
08 8379 0222

Adelaide Zoo
Dave J. Schultz
Frome Road
North Adelaide 5006
08 8267 3255

Pam Scanlon
Pam Scanlon
25 Clarke Street
Port Noarlunge 5167
08 8384 4363

Dr Mark Hill
Somerton Park Veterinary Clinic
76 Byre Avenue
Warradale SA 5046
08 8295 6924
Email [email protected]

I havent used these vets myself, as I am based in melbourne, but it would be worth ringing one to discuss your situation. They are all avian vets based in South Australia. I hope at least one is near you - and that the contact details are correct - the internet is so notorious for being out of date!

aside from that, i read on the internet that 85 percent of the crested pigeons diet is native seeds, ect, but that they also eat insects! I think twhatleys idea of smaller seeds, then graduating to larger seed mixes is a good idea.

if the pigeon is not eating enough from seed mixes, then you could supplement with something like passwell hand rearing food (actually intended for parrots - but in a pinch, im sure its better than nothing - my feral pigeon thrived on passwells, mixed with crushed up pigeon seed). There are more specific native hand rear mixes on the market - Roudybush has one tailored for pigeons that also consume insects, like the crested pigeon. im sure these are better, but also much harder to find in pet stores. Again, your avian vet will probably sell alot of these products, and can probably recommend something specific to the breed.

I have not seen kaytee exact in melbourne, australia.

I wonder if the old defrosted peas and corn would work for a native australian pigeon?

anyway, best of luck and...your bird is a real cutie :)very cute! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the help guys, I'm about to leave to find some seed at the local pet store.

I'm glad that it is not illegal to have him, but I'm sure if he was I'd get myself a licence anyway :)

Thankyou for the contact details Kamz, I shall be making a call tomorrow, and maybe drop him in for a quick check up.

He might finally be the bird I've been looking for :)

Thanks all, Jake.

(And yes, he's incredibly cute :D)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So, I went down to the local pet store and grabbed some no brand Canary mix (it has many small seeds with a few sunflowers in it).

He would not eat it on his own so I had to hand-feed him a few seeds.

Will he ever take them by himself? He feels really thin and I'm worried.
 

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Jake, it sounds like your pigeon may be too young to feed on seed on its own :/ There are more experienced people on here, but until they chime in i'll put my two cents in :)

See this link.
http://www.pigeons.biz/forum/showthread.php?t=8822

You need to make sure your birdie is primarily hydrated. By the sounds of it you dont have formula yet. thats ok. you could offer pigeon a spoon full of international rehydration formula (see link above) and see if it drinks it - or put its beak down into a dish of water and see if it drinks. pigeons (well domestic ones anyway) need to have their beaks right in the water fairly deeply to drink. You may need to try this a couple of times to encourage it to drink on its own (either method).

if you cant get water into it one of these ways, i would suggest that you crush the seed and mix with water. You could create a watery grinded up seed mixture, which would keep the bird going overnight. Definitely take to the vet tomorrow!

Now how to feed? There are a number of methods. As your bird is older and is used to reaching inside a beak to feed, it may be easier to feed it from a rubber glove with the tip chopped off. You can also syringe feed, but that is probably something i would explore later.

If all else fails, i reckon try defrosted corn and peas, warmed to approximately body temperature (not hot! you dont want to burn the crop) You could chop the corn/peas in half if it is too large for the crested pigeon

it is important if you do manage to get food into the pigeon that you dont overfeed it - feel its crop beforehand. only feed a couple of peas or corn, then wait a while. you want to make sure they are digested, and that you get used to how full a crop feels.

why are you worried about the pigeon - is it looking sicker, quieter, eyes closed?
 

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oh, and what your doing with hand feeding seed is fine - if the bird is pooping ok, and drinking. jmake sure you feel the crop, then feed a small quantity of seeds, then feel the crop a couple of hours later. if the crop is the same fullness, then best not to feed - it may not be digesting the food which may make it sick.

just remember, better to feed less at first, in case their digestion is slowed - too much at first and they can get very sick. make sure its crop empties fully once a day. down the track, worry about whether the bird is getting enough for its nutritional needs - you are still slowly reintroducing it to food.

good luck, and i hope lil un is well
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So, a bit of an update.

He seems to really enjoy sunflower seeds and the larger seeds in the mix (the tiny round ones are impossible to hand-feed).

I will try to slowly coax his head into the water to see if he drinks it today.

No, his condition hasn't changed, I'm just worried that he may not learn to feed himself.

But as a positive note, he does seem to be pecking around the box a bit. I mean, he misses the seed, but is pecking at the ground, is that a good sign?

I generally feed him around 2-4 large seeds, and he lets me know when he's full by moving his head around, is that a good amount? How long is the general rule of digestion?

Oh, and does an increase in noise (ie chirping) mean anything?
 

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as far as i am aware, sunflower seeds are not part of a normal pigeon diet! perhaps just give him the other larger ones.

it is good that he is showing interest in pecking. you can help him out by pretend pecking with your finger at the seed to encourage him to eat.

you need to increase the amount you are feeding. you should perhaps be feeding approximately 3-4 times per day - and try to make the crop full. you need to make is so the crop feels extended, but not hard at all. just increase the feeds now, so you half fill the crop - and then see how he digests it. and then if it seems to deflate somewhat before the next feed - then feed so the crop is full. You have had this pigeon for a couple of days so it is kinda critical it is getting enough food and water now.

it is important that you give him water with every meal if he is not drinking on his own. If you are finding it hard to get him to drink, you can buy a syringe from the chemist (with NO needle) and dribble a little water into his mouth. You need to be cautious with this as the bird could aspirate.
are you sure he is digesting the seeds you have given him?

defrosted peas and corn are good as they have water content anyway, so they can help if you are not sure you are keeping it hydrated.

an increase in chirping could mean a couple of things - that he is hungry and thirsty, and that he is beginning to associate you with food and water :)

the best thing you can do is take him to a vet asap - the vet can show you how to feed the bird, and keep it alive safely. after all, the advise i am giving you is based on experience with a feral baby pigeon, not a crested pigeon. Take it to a pro who can physically show you what to do, and help you get the right seeds ect. otherwise your little one could potentially sicken and die:(For all you know, there could be something wrong with the little one already - and we know at the moment he is probably not getting enough food and water. please please take it to a vet for assessment.

Anyone out there in pigeon talk have experience with raising a crested pigeon?

best of luck with raising your cutie -
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I've been generally getting all my information and tips from a family friend who used to raise birds.

I've contacted a vet, just waiting for a reply.

I may even get my aunt to have a look, as she used to work as a vet nurse at a local clinic.

I am going to buy some Passwell formula/mix today, and I'll see how he likes that.

I just fed him about 2ml of a mixture of weetbix, oats, and warm water, which he seemed to eat quite nicely.

When a pigeon drinks, do they keep their head in the water (like a dog), or quickly peck at it?

I'll increase feeding, alternating between crushed seeds and the oat mix.

Thanks guys :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I just fed him about 4ml of the oat and weetbix mixture, he's getting more and more used to be syringe fed.

I went out and purchased a 300g box of Passwell Hand Rearing Food, but I think I will wait to feed him a little bit longer.

How much would be a good amount? As I'm finding it difficult to tell when the crop is full or not.
 

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Hi Jake,

Sounds like you and the little bird are working things out. I think it probably needs to be getting a bit more food than it currently is. I could be quite wrong, but I think trying to get at least 5 ml of formula per feeding would be a good place to start. If that doesn't fill up the crop then increase the amount to 7 ml or so. After feeding, you should be able to see the crop has expanded, and it should feel plump to the touch.

When doves and pigeons drink, they place the beak in the water and suck it up sort of like we do when drinking through a straw.

If you look at the thread that was posted regarding the little crested in SA, there are a couple of pictures that show a nice full crop.

Continued good luck to you and the little one, and please do keep us posted.

Terry
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Okay, because I watched him dip his head into the bowl of water, kind of peck at it, lift his head and then shake a bit.

Not too sure if that is him drinking or not.

I shall be feeding him 5 or 6ml of Passwell's in a second, hopefully that leaves him nice and full.

Thanks Terry :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
A couple of hours ago Galen (pronounced Jharlen, it means "calm" in Greek), consumed about 7ml of Passwell and now has a nice full crop, so I now know how much to feed the little guy :).

Thanks for all your help guys, I may post a new picture or 2 when he starts to grow.

On a side note, what have people done (that works), to get a baby bird to drink by itself?
 

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really glad things are going so well jake, and that you have some supports who are able to help you if you need. it sounds like you are doing a brilliant job as daddy pigeon! :)

i dont have tips regarding drinking other than what I have told you im afraid, i was rather lucky that my little feral gulped down the first thing we offered him - a spoon ful of water.

Watch to see if the neck moves in a gulping motion when he puts his head in. This may take practice for him. just make sure the container is nice and deep so that he can get his beak in deeply enough to drink.

great that you have the passwells, hopefully that should do for keeping him hydrated now. if he is not getting much water, but is getting seed, just make it a little runnier if you are using it as a supplement.

sounds like you are doing a really awesome job - its just a bit nerve racking at first isnt it!

hoping you have some more cute photos soon, kamz
 
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