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Discussion Starter #1
I acquired my white hen a couple of days ago, and put her in the cage with my male, with a barrier between them. At first it was a solid plastic barrier, but since things seem to be going well I swapped the plastic for a metal barrier.

Since then they've been spending most of their time next to each other. The male now tries to climb up the metal barrier by flapping his wings. The female seems to like to watch this display, and a couple of times she has joined him by marching up and down her ledge at the same time, flapping her wings until she just leaves the ground. She will also sit touching the barrier with him on the other side, preening herself extravagantly. I looked her over for parasites in case they could be the real cause of all the preening, I didn't find any sign of them. They both sleep next to each other, through the bars.

So I'm wondering when it would be a good time to remove the barriers? I can easily put them back if needed, they just slide in between the cage bars. I would supervise them closely after the barriers are removed. What behaviour or body language should I be looking for as signs they are getting along - or not?

Here are pics of them in their typical position:



 

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Would give them brief supervised visits and see how they get along but wouldnt rush it. Would also put some twigs or straw or hay in because when i introduced Blue to Fiona, she was more accepting of him after he picked up twigs.
 

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She should actually have been quarantined for a few weeks before putting her near him, just to be sure that she isn't carrying anything he could catch. A few weeks gives you time to watch for illness. Some have had their whole lofts made sick by introducing a new bird who looked healthy at first, but turned out to be sick. I did mention this in your other thread when you got the first 2 birds.

But after that period, and after doing what you have done, when they both seem interested, then I would let them both out in the room, rather than into the same cage. See how they act, and they will eventually go into his cage together. I don't normally put one or the other into the other birds cage. They view that as their territory, and it will sometimes cause them to fight.
 

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As Jay3 mentioned, a quarantine is essential. We have always quarantined new birds for 30 days. It kept our existing birds from getting circovirus from a squeaker we adopted. It is essential to quarantine and do vet checks before introducing birds.
 

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It's a little late for them to be quarantined as they have been next to each other for a few days. But at least they aren't sharing food and water yet, so she could be moved away in another cage. Should actually be in different rooms.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Unfortunately things haven't gone as planned from the start. My original plan was to buy one bird and keep it as a pet. Due to circumstances and yes, mistakes on my part, I now have to house three birds, and in separate rooms and cages.

When I split up the male birds because they were fighting, I had a smaller spare dog crate to house one of them. I didn't have any more space in the living room to put the second cage, so I put it in the bedroom. I could swap the male in the bedroom with the hen, and put the solid plastic partition back into the big cage with the other male. However, they will still be able to see each other which means they will probably try to fight each other through the partition.

I've ordered another large dog crate which can be stacked on top of the first one, but that won't arrive until later this week/early next week. In the meantime I guess I will put the two males in the split cage in the living room, and move the hen into the smaller cage in the bedroom. I will have to clean out and disinfect all cages in the process, so I'll do it tomorrow.
 

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It is a good idea to keep an extra cage or crate on hand. You may be able to find them cheaply in local papers or craigslist. Hope your birds are settled soon. We started with one bird and now have six. Please get fake eggs if you arent going to have a large loft!
 

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A small cage would have been fine for a few weeks. She doesn't need a full dog crate. It's just better to have the time to watch them to make sure they are healthy. Worm them if they need it. If you end up putting the other male in the other side of the cage, they don't have to see each other. You can tape paper or cardboard to the plastic. You have been kind of rushing things. Slow down and wait till you have everything in place. It'll be much easier if you do. The eggs are important as cwebster has said.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
1. I already had a spare cage, which is now occupied by the male bird which I didn't know was male when I bought him. I always keep spare cages or the materials to build one when possible. And as I mentioned earlier, I do have another full sized dog crate on order. The purpose of the second dog crate is in case I can't find a buyer for my "spare" male, he can't be kept in half a crate or a small crate forever since Jacobins are relatively large birds.
2. I do plan to buy fake eggs, but since it will be several weeks before the hen is in contact with a male, it's not a top priority at the moment. When I go to the local pigeon feed store within the next week, I'll see if they have them. If not, I found some on Amazon.
3. The spare cage/crate *is* smaller, its a medium sized wire dog crate as opposed to the large size.
4. I found a large piece of cardboard this morning, I will use that as the barrier between the two males
5. Re rushing things - I was under the impression that pigeons are social animals and require the company of their own kind. When I bought my males I was told it would be a bad idea to buy just one of them because a lone bird could stop eating or become ill. I expected that they'd keep each other company, instead they turned out to be both male and started fighting. I had to separate them, and am trying to sell one of them. In the meantime, I was concerned again that the one I'm keeping would be lonely, so I bought a hen for him, and was planning to buy a hen for the second one *IF* I still can't find a buyer for him after several weeks. Apparently I was wrong, or I misinterpreted the information I found or was given. Now what's done is done, so I have to care for these birds as well as I can.
5. Re worming, I did the males with Ivermectin a week ago. I plan to worm them again in a week. I can worm the hen as well. I also have external parasite spray on order. It should arrive in about a week (give or take with the holidays). It can be used on cages as well.
 

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CooCooBird, am sorry it has been so hard. It is initially hard with pigeons because you cant rely on the gender peopke tell you when you get them. Thats how we ended up with six instead of just four ("Blue is a female" when Blue was a male).Yes pigeons are very social but they engage in a lot of drama. They have to like their mate...just like us. They bicker and have dominance postures...hopefully not like us too often. Once you have your pair or pairs set up, and getting along, it should be a lot more fun. They are a little more trouble initially than parakeets but much more rewarding down the line. Sounds like you are trying very hard to take good care of them. Hope things get easier soon. I am jealous if your jacobins and white hen. They are really beautiful. Please take things slow and enjoy the bumps along the way. I have learned that with pigeons, they are picky but it is worth it.
 

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Any young bird is hard to determine what sex they are, guessing is better when they mature, but a DNA can take care of that.

I'm so glad I don't have birds in the house any longer, they are messy. But hats off to anyone willing to.

I think it is a good sign the new bird and your male are sitting close. Let's hope all is well with the new bird, keep your eye on the droppings.
But just a heads up if the hen is laying age and she starts nesting at some point they can have very loose stools before and during egg laying, and then large volume loose stool when incubating fake eggs, they expel when they take a break from incubation which is usually mid morning to afternoon when the male is supposed to do his turn. So be prepaird, and it smells pretty bad too.
 

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Your bird wouldn't be happy being alone forever, but it could have waited. Could have waited till you hopefully sold the other male even. I doubt that the place you get your feed will have the eggs. You could order them now.

Yes, I agree, they are very messy in the house. They molt, throw their seed...............
I hate it when I have to have them inside for a while.
 

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All I can say is I hope I don't come back as a female pigeon in an after life. The males are so aggressive to their females. Chasing and pecking them, pulling at their wings. It may be natural behaviour but if my boys get too bad they go into the pet carrier while the girls come out for a fly, if I put them back in their cages they just go bananas to get out but the pet carrier only has a wired door which faces the wall until the little bullies calm down. I really hate that part of their character and when I put the girls away I let bully beefy out WITH GIDEON, no way will the two 'hubbies' take him on and when they go back in with wifey they behave themselves. I just won't have them treat my girls like that.
So even paired males can be little so and so's.
 

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FredaH,am also glad not to be a girl bird,although Blue and now Fiona Jr (ok, he needs anew name) have really mellowed out now that they are secure in their "marriage" to Fiona and Buzzy, respectively. Hopefully once each of CooCooBirds males have a female and everyone gets to know one another, peace will reign. I did have to "time out" Fiona Jr a few times for being such a bully at first.
 

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Ladygrey,youare right about the hormonal female poop. It is horrific sometimes. :) Another reason im glad im not a female pigeon.
 

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All I can say is I hope I don't come back as a female pigeon in an after life. The males are so aggressive to their females. Chasing and pecking them, pulling at their wings. It may be natural behaviour but if my boys get too bad they go into the pet carrier while the girls come out for a fly, if I put them back in their cages they just go bananas to get out but the pet carrier only has a wired door which faces the wall until the little bullies calm down. I really hate that part of their character and when I put the girls away I let bully beefy out WITH GIDEON, no way will the two 'hubbies' take him on and when they go back in with wifey they behave themselves. I just won't have them treat my girls like that.
So even paired males can be little so and so's.
The males will usually calm down some after a while. But some will always be that way. On the days that I set up the bath in the aviary, there is always some stupid male who won't even let his poor mate out to bathe. I tell him that it is his time of day to be on the nest and lock him in. Sometimes the dumb hen will just fly up to the perch outside the box and sit with him. I like the other ones. The ones that look around to be sure he is well confined, and then run outside to join the others in the bath. If one of the males is acting like that and really going overboard, I put him in time out to cool his jets. Never boring around here.:rolleyes:

I do however have some females who won't take any bull from the male. And the male knows it. We also have males who are always gentlemen. Those are the ones I like.
 

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Gabe and Gully have just realised their plastic eggs aren't going to hatch and abandoned them and he's gone all violent again. After his time out in the carrier and then with Gideon I put him back with Gully and she was all over him like a rash. I've a lot to learn about pigeon behaviour, so much more complicated than dogs, lol. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Your bird wouldn't be happy being alone forever, but it could have waited. Could have waited till you hopefully sold the other male even. I doubt that the place you get your feed will have the eggs. You could order them now.
I have to say that when asking for advice on anything, "woulda coulda shoulda" are my LEAST favourite words.

I mentioned on this board several days ago, that I was thinking of buying a hen to keep my male company, BEFORE I went out and bought one. I mentioned that my reasoning for getting a hen was that I was worried about the male being alone and pining away for another bird, and that I was concerned that it would be cruel to keep him alone. Was I told not to get a hen? No, the verbatim response was: "He would be much happier with a mate than without.
When you do get one, don't put her into his cage. They need to get used to each other from separate cages that are beside each other."

Was I told I didn't need to get a hen right away? Was I told it wouldn't be cruel for the male to be alone for a few weeks? NOPE. So guess what - I went ahead and bought a hen. Now I'm being lambasted for it?

And remember the quote above about the separate cages next to each other? I replied to that, stating I don't have separate cages but that I'd be building a barrier in the cage instead. Was I told this wouldn't be sufficient for quarantine? Well, I woulda coulda shoulda been told, but - not a word about quarantine. Now the birds are exposed to each other. I'm being slammed for keeping the birds in the same room, much less the same cage, because the hen needs to be quarantined in a separate room for weeks. Once again, I wasn't told this BEFORE I brought the hen home. Now I'm being told that I have to uproot three birds that are just starting to get used to their new homes, and swap them around between cages so the two males are in the same cage again and the hen can sit by herself in a tiny cage, to be quarantined from a bird she's already been exposed to for several days. I'm being told that I have to split the hen from the male, when they're starting to get along, and cooing back and forth at each other.

Yet, I was told, when I was about to buy a different hen, that if she's bonded to another male it would be cruel for me to split them up, so I gave up the hen that I wanted (not that I don't like the one I have) because she was paired. Now I'm being told to split this hen that I have from the male she's getting used to...

The problem with "woulda coulda shoulda" (also known as second-guessing) is that it denigrates people for doing, or not doing, something that's now in the past and beyond their control - unless I take the hen back to the breeder, I guess. That's not acceptable to me. Hindsight is always 20/20 - but it doesn't help anything, it's just insulting and patronizing.

Please understand that I do appreciate the helpful advice - but second guessing and finding fault with everything I do is very frustrating, confusing and makes me feel like I can't do anything right.
 

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Am sorry you are feeling criticized. We have all done a lot of the same things as you and are trying to spare you some of the frustration and heartache we have experienced. I know i have learned slowly since i joined this board and have made every possible mistake, in others eyes. Please dont let anything people say here detract from the fun you should be having now that you have three really great birds. I would give a body part to have such beautiful birds. :)
I am sorry you are feeling upset by what people here say. I am sorry if i have offended you by any comments. i know i just want to spare you any heartache. We didnt quarantine our birds at first. If we hadnt learned to do so, they would all be dead now from circovirus. I grumbled when people here told me to quarantine any new birds but i learned from their experience. Things will be ok. Take the parts of what people say to heart that seem to fit but dont feel you have to follow everything because you will get a lot of advice that may be contradictory or not fit. Its all learn as you go with living things which is part of the fun i think.
Your cages and arrangements will work out. Things dont have to be perfect. Part of the fun with pigeons is learning their communication and social patterns and weird quirks. Just enjoy the positive aspects of your new birds. They will get along soon. I have spent hours introducing birds to other birds and wanting to strangle them due to their dramas and bickering but they work it out. So please enjoy your birds. i hope you will get back to the joy and excitement that led you to get them originally. You arent doing anything wrong.
 

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I have to say that when asking for advice on anything, "woulda coulda shoulda" are my LEAST favourite words.

I thought I had mentioned earlier that any new bird should be quarantined
so as to give you time to watch it and make sure it is healthy. But you had said that they came together. If I didn't then I'm sorry that I didn't mention that. I should have, but can't think of everything. This thread isn't the only thing I have in my day.

I mentioned on this board several days ago, that I was thinking of buying a hen to keep my male company, BEFORE I went out and bought one. I mentioned that my reasoning for getting a hen was that I was worried about the male being alone and pining away for another bird, and that I was concerned that it would be cruel to keep him alone. Was I told not to get a hen? No, the verbatim response was: "He would be much happier with a mate than without.

Why would we tell you not to get a hen?
Yes, we told you that a pigeon spending his life alone in a cage without another pigeon would not be a happy existence for him. That doesn't mean that he has to have one right away. You seemed to want to get one right away. You could have taken your time and it would have been fine. Wouldn't think that would have had to have been said.

When you do get one, don't put her into his cage. They need to get used to each other from separate cages that are beside each other."

Was I told I didn't need to get a hen right away? Was I told it wouldn't be cruel for the male to be alone for a few weeks? NOPE. So guess what - I went ahead and bought a hen. Now I'm being lambasted for it?

I would think it would be common sense that he didn't need a mate for a few weeks. I mean come on, some things are common sense. We cannot tell you every single step to take. And we have not lambasted you for it.

And remember the quote above about the separate cages next to each other? I replied to that, stating I don't have separate cages but that I'd be building a barrier in the cage instead. Was I told this wouldn't be sufficient for quarantine? Well, I woulda coulda shoulda been told, but - not a word about quarantine. Now the birds are exposed to each other. I'm being slammed for keeping the birds in the same room, much less the same cage, because the hen needs to be quarantined in a separate room for weeks. Once again, I wasn't told this BEFORE I brought the hen home. Now I'm being told that I have to uproot three birds that are just starting to get used to their new homes, and swap them around between cages so the two males are in the same cage again and the hen can sit by herself in a tiny cage, to be quarantined from a bird she's already been exposed to for several days. I'm being told that I have to split the hen from the male, when they're starting to get along, and cooing back and forth at each other.

I don't see how you are being slammed for keeping them in the same room. I don't see where you have been slammed or lambasted.
The only thing we may have forgotten to bring up is that they should be quarantined for a while. Sorry if that wasn't explained to you. I thought I had mentioned it earlier on. If I didn't, then I should have, but again, we all have lives too, with a lot going on, and sometimes may forget to say something.

Yet, I was told, when I was about to buy a different hen, that if she's bonded to another male it would be cruel for me to split them up, so I gave up the hen that I wanted (not that I don't like the one I have) because she was paired. Now I'm being told to split this hen that I have from the male she's getting used to...

If you are that upset over separating her for a few weeks, then don't. Maybe she is healthy and all will be fine. The quarantine is probably the only thing we didn't think of. We do normally suggest that to people. But like I said, we all have lives with lots going on, and things can be overlooked. I think everything else you needed to know has been pretty much covered.

The problem with "woulda coulda shoulda" (also known as second-guessing) is that it denigrates people for doing, or not doing, something that's now in the past and beyond their control - unless I take the hen back to the breeder, I guess. That's not acceptable to me. Hindsight is always 20/20 - but it doesn't help anything, it's just insulting and patronizing.

I don't even know why you feel that the hen should be brought back to the breeder. Is that easier than separating her for a few weeks?

Please understand that I do appreciate the helpful advice - but second guessing and finding fault with everything I do is very frustrating, confusing and makes me feel like I can't do anything right.


What is it that we have found fault with? We didn't think about quarantine as this thread has been changing so much that you lose track. Easy to overlook something. One thing. Well you know what, right now I have too much on my plate to argue with someone on P.T. about how they keep their birds, so enjoy them and keep them however you want to. I'm sure you'll learn as you go and do a good job. I have only been trying to help, but I don't need more stress here.
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