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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

So, I picked up another pigeon from the wildlife rehabilitation society yesterday and I'm wondering if anyone can help me out with him. He is in really good shape- heavy and in good shape -eyes clear, nares clear, vent is clean except for some white urate staining. He seems to potter about on the ground just fine and "flies" if you hold him by the legs and move him up and down in the air (not paralyzed in legs or wings). He is so tame, though, that the wildlife rehab couldn't get him to fly away from them when they went to release him. This pigeon had been brought into a vet clinic and assessed- nothing was the matter (according to the vet clinic, although most vets know about as much about pigeon health as my barn cats do - no offence intended to any pigeon vets out there - this has been my experience with pigeons and poultry in my city). Anyway, brought the non-flying, fat, bright eyed pidge home and decided I'd better quarantine him before I put him in with the other fat, non-flying, non-release-able or over-wintering pigeons and I've noticed that he hasn't touched his food or water and hasn't really moved more than a foot from where I put him (downstairs bathroom). I went in to see how he was doing and he ran behind the toilet, but apart from that, no indication that he was eating. Droppings are showing that he is stressed and not eating: green with some white urates. I'm concerned about newcastle, but I'm somewhat of a newbie and I'd like some other opinions. Any bird that I've seen with newcastle that has gotten to the point where they can't fly is obviously very thin, lethargic, has a green vent and is dying. This guy is not any of those things. Could he just be totally stressed out and on a starve-out? Should I toss him in with my others and risk disease just to see if he'll start eating? I can literally pick this guy up and he'll sit on my shoulder- he may have been someone's pet. Not banded, though.

Laura
 

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How do you know that he knows how to eat on his own?
You absolutely should not toss him. Separate him in a cage of his own and monitor is intake and output and hand feed if there is no input or output. Posting a picture would be very helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
WHen you say "handfeed", should I tube feed him or just hold him and see if he'll eat out of my hand? I don't have a cage (except for a cat carrier) for him, but he has the fully-tiled downstairs bathroom all to himself. I will put out some wheat kernels and see if he eats those on his own, and try to monitor water intake. Output is below average, though, and greenish. I'll try to post a pic soon...
 

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You can hand feed defrosted corn and peas. Run some hot water over them until they are defrosted and slightly warmed. Put the bird on your lap and hold it next to your body. If it helps, you can wrap a towel around it or put it in the sleeve of a tee shirt, with the head out the wrist. That confines them without hurting them and makes it easier to handle. Gently open the beak and pop the piece of corn and peas at the back of the mouth and over the throat.
You will need to feed 40-50 per feeding and every time the bird’s crop empties until you know it is eating on their own. He should start eating them from your hand after a few feedings.
This is a wonderful method for teaching babies to eat because they feel the whole food in their mouth and it’s soft and easy to pick up and hang on to. The next step… seeds.
The crop is located right below the throat and with food it fills up like a little balloon. The peas and corn make it lumpy and squishy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, I weighed him - he's 377 grams (around 13 oz). I towelled him and fed him some corn and after I was finished, he wiggled out of the towel and promptly walked up my leg and snuggled into my sweater. This guy is definitely someone's pet. He sat happily on my hand and preened for some time, then tottered up my arm and sat on my shoulder. He poked at some seeds on his own and had a little drink. I've since brought him upstairs and he happily hopped into a big cage that I have set up here. I think he was stressed and lonely. Now that he is around us, he has been preening and poking at feed. I'll be able to see by tomorrow how much he's eaten and what his droppings look like. Poor little guy - he must be missing whoever it is that lost him. I've gone on a few "lost and found" websites and nobody has reported a lost pet pigeon. So, he'll stay here and either live in the house (which likely isn't an option, as my husband isn't keen on the idea...) or in the loft with my other un-releasables. He/she's a cutie! :)

Laura
 

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Could be someone raised and released him thinking they were doing a kind act by setting him free.
 

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I agree with Charis, people just don't know if they are hand raised that they can't survive on there on. They set them free thinking that is what they should do and it really isn't. I set a starling free for 5 months then I found starling talk because the bird wouldn't leave and found out that it was human imprinted and they were surprise that it had survived that long outside already. The only reason it survived outside for 5 months was just pure dumb luck and that I was still feeding it outside and it was living with the chickens. It crows like a rooster all day long still and its been a year inside now. I hope your husband lets you keep it inside it sounds like a terrific indoor pet. But even if it has to go outside with the others it still has a home. So I guess its still a win win. min
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, the little guy is depressed again this morning. Should I be trying antibiotics? If this were a chicken I'd know what to do, but I'm still just learning the ropes with the pigeons! He's had a bit to drink, but his droppings are still greenish, though a bit more solid than they were yesterday. I"m going to force feed some more corn today, too.

Laura
 

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Well, the little guy is depressed again this morning. Should I be trying antibiotics? If this were a chicken I'd know what to do, but I'm still just learning the ropes with the pigeons! He's had a bit to drink, but his droppings are still greenish, though a bit more solid than they were yesterday. I"m going to force feed some more corn today, too.

Laura
Bright grees, scant poop is often an indication of starvation. The green poop is caused by the internal oragns, muscles breaking down to feed the bird. It could be the bird isn't getting enough food.
Follow the instructions I gave you last night, coupled with Trees' instructions about 3 meals a day with probiotics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Update on "Pudge". He was eating on his own quite well last night and by this morning, was bright eyed and chipper, pooping normally and eating and drinking. He was trying to fly like a young bird does (hovering on the spot about 6 inches off the ground). This is definitely not a young bird - not recently hatched, anyway, from what I can tell. Anyway, I'm glad to see that Pudge is feeling much better and I'll be able to put him in with the others fairly soon, once I am sure all is well. I'm getting quite a collection of orphans out there. I have Pidge (the bird who survived having his outdoor aviary flip over during a tornado and then have a tree fall on it), Slick, who came to me from the wildlife rehab and had been "oiled" with a thick, gross tar. Slick will hopefully moult and then be releasable in the spring, as despite washing him, I couldn't get the crud out of his feathers. "As yet unnamed" is a white and grey, feathery-footed cutie-pie who is quite tame and now Pudge will be out there with them. Oh, and Roo lives in my fig tree in my house (white ringneck that was found injured in one of our canola fields).

Thanks to all for your help,

Laura
 

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Crazychic, it does sound like you have a nice little collection of birds that you have rescued. If slick is happy why would you release him? I think its great that you have helped all of these birds. Good job. Glad pudge is feeling better this morning. min
 
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