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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We lost another pigeon on Thursday. I am not sure what is going on. My son Josiah had gone out to the loft to visit our 3 remaining pigeons and all was well. He held all 3 and talked to them. Fed them and changed out the water. All was well. He came into the house for a few minutes and went back to the loft. The young female pigeon that had paired up with the cock after his mate died about a month ago was found to be breathing very hard. Josiah picked her up and ran her into the house to my husband. She died in his hands. This all happened quickly. She had been fine as far as I know. She had been eating, drinking and seeming well. The water is changed twice a day and the loft kept clean. Our other hen died about a month ago with no apparent illness. Being new to this I am real confused and I wish I knew more about pigeons. Should we treat the 2 remaining pigeons with anything? The other 2 seem just fine,but then again the 2 that have died seemed just fine too. I am concerned and I would deeply appreciate any advise.
 

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I would check the following on the birds you still have and you could check the dead one, if it still around and you aren't squeamish.
Look at your birds are they sleek feathered or ruffled up?
Are the eyes clear and not watery?
Feel the keel, it should be well rounded and plump.
Look in the throat, it should be clear of obstuctions, especially look for canker a cheesey yellowish growth.
Look at the vent, it should be clean and dry.
On the one that died, feel between the pelvic bones, an egg might have gotten stuck.
Please report back what you found.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Keith for your willingness to help. My son buried the hen yesterday so I can not check her out. Their eyes have been clear, keels plump, and vents clean and dry. A few weeks ago one of the males did have 1 dropping that was a bit loose and bright green. I was mortified when I first saw it but then his poops were fine. So I figured all was well. I have looked down their throats and I see no sign of canker. I have seen them puff up and then start preening themselves. They do not stay puffed up. We feed them a pigeon mix that we get from our local farm market and every few days I add some safflower to their feed. My son did tell me today that it seemed like she was gasping for air when he returned to the loft. She was in her nesting bowl when this all happened.
 

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I would get the poop to a vet and have it checked for bacteria and parasites. If they find something, then they'll know what is going on and what to treat it with. If you have an avian vet then they should be able to check the droppings without your bringing in the birds.
 

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I would like someone else's opinion on this possibility. Could the birds internal organs be swollen from some sort of infection, canker or eggbound even, you said your son was handling them before the bird passed. I'm not blaming your son ,just saying that if the bird was swollen internally the pressure could have ruptured something. I am sorry for your loss and hope you find and correct the problem ASAP.
Kurps
I was wondering that myself.
Are they easy to catch and handle? When I have to catch a bird in my loft, it's a "panic" situation - they don't want to be handled.
But I would most definitely get the poops checked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you all for your input. I was worried when I saw my thread was moved that I would not get any more replies. I have seen other inquiries about health issues posted in the general section and did not think I was breaking a rule. Anyway in response to the replies A) Is there any sure way to tell if the food is bad? It is sealed in a clean plastic 5 gallon container. There is not a weird/offensive smell to it. It is dry. B) I will call to area vets tomorrow and see if they can do a fecal study. As far as I know there are no avian vets around but one vet does travel to farms and also takes on small animals.
This has really taken the wind out of my sails. It is hard to even go to the loft and interact with the other 2. I wish I knew more about pigeons or better yet someone that lived close by that could offer some direction. I do not want this to keep on happening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I was wondering that myself.
Are they easy to catch and handle? When I have to catch a bird in my loft, it's a "panic" situation - they don't want to be handled.
But I would most definitely get the poops checked.
Hi Waynette. Thanks for your input. When we first got the pigeons in mid January they were quite skittish and had nothing to do with being handled. They have tamed down somewhat compared to how they were. The first hen that died was quite tame and always would let us pick her up. This worried me, but aside from that she seemed fine. I am going to call some area vets and see if they can do a fecal study for us.
 

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This has really taken the wind out of my sails. It is hard to even go to the loft and interact with the other 2. I wish I knew more about pigeons or better yet someone that lived close by that could offer some direction. I do not want this to keep on happening.
Stick around and read and you will learn lots here. And maybe find others in your area. It takes time to learn about the birds, but that is what we are all here for. I hope you find out what is going on and are able to fix it.

Is it possible that rodents are getting into your loft? They can make your birds very sick and must always be kept out. Please keep us updated.
 

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Do you have any pigeon clubs near by--racing or show clubs---in your area--that you could check into for other people in this hobby and get together with them at the meetings or newsletters or something?? If you hold a pigeon too tight you stop its breathing and you could hurt it---just a comment---don't take it personal----you really need to meet a friend in the hobby of pigeons and maybe the vet can recommand someone for you to get to know...c.hert
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Do you have any pigeon clubs near by--racing or show clubs---in your area--that you could check into for other people in this hobby and get together with them at the meetings or newsletters or something?? If you hold a pigeon too tight you stop its breathing and you could hurt it---just a comment---don't take it personal----you really need to meet a friend in the hobby of pigeons and maybe the vet can recommand someone for you to get to know...c.hert
Hi c.hert! thanks for your input. I know of a racing club about 1 1/2 hours from here. I just got a PM from another member here that is going to hook me up with some people that are in my area. I am so excited about that! I am really hoping that we can find someone that will mentor us and teach us all the ins and outs.
 

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I am so glad that you are getting help with meeting other people that will try to hook you up with pigeon people in your area-this is really good and will bring much confidence into taking care of your pigeons and you will become bird smart---glad to see you back on the threads--sorry for the circumstances--thanks for the imput....c.hert
 

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I'm sorry this is happening. When I first had pigeons I would lose some here and there and it was always so difficult and sad, not to mention frustrating. Like you said, it made me scared to go out to the loft each morning. Then I order vaccinations and vaccinated them all, and I have not lost a single bird since I started doing that two years ago (other than one due to old age and poor health in general.) It wouldn't be worth ordering a bunch of vaccinations for your two, as they come in 50+, but often a vet can give the vaccinations, or some people get a few extra from a local club so ask your new friend about that. They would probably be able to help you do them; it is not hard. I did all of my pigeon by myself so trust me when I say it's not too bad lol. I hope things go better and you can enjoy your birds again and they stay healthy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Good news! Today I found a vet in our area that does see birds. I can not just take in some droppings but he has to see the birds. The exam is 50 bucks, I guess not too bad. I just worry that the vet will have a giant list of things he "needs" to do and the bill will be much higher than 50 dollars! I guess it will be alright because this way we will know for sure what is going on. Now I wonder if I should take one bird or both. If he will charge 50 for both that will be alright. Will let you all know tomorrow what we find out. I hope it is good news and that if the pigeons are sick that they are treatable. Thanks again to all for your help and insight. Jay3, I have not seen any signs of rodents but we have set out traps just in case. Of course the traps are not inside the loft.
 

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I'd bring in some bird droppings with me to the vet. Collect fresh ones just before you go, and put them together. Don't think he'll see both for $50. But sometimes they will see additional birds for a bit less than the $50. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I am thinking of taking 1 bird and collect droppings from both. I also am going to take in the feed and vitamins that we use as well. On the upside of things this same vet saved the life of our beautiful red german shepherd some 15 years ago when someone shot him with an arrow. We also attend church with him so I am hoping that he might cut us some slack and make it not to pricey. Will see, but either way I am feeling better now that I know there is a nearby vet who will see birds and also that by this time tomorrow we will hopefully know what is going on with our pigeons.
 

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I'm glad you have a vet that will see pigeons. Does he regularly see birds?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'm glad you have a vet that will see pigeons. Does he regularly see birds?
I know the receptionist said that he will see pigeons. I recall seeing pictures of him in the waiting area with macaws and cockatoos. I had thought that maybe these were his own pets but now I am thinking that maybe they are his patients. I am ashamed to say that I did not to contact him at first because when he saved our dog it took us a very long time to pay the vet bill. I do not think he held it against us, but I was embarrassed that we had to make payments to get the bill paid. We paid the bill in full but I still feel awkward. I am just glad that he will see the pigeons. I hope it goes well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
My daughter and son took both pigeons to the vet today. The vet charged 50 per bird. They both checked out well and the vet said that they are both in very good condition! They are both clear of mites, lice and fleas. No canker and the stools are clear of anything that could be harmful. this makes me happy but I still wonder about the 2 hens. He said it could have been a number of things but suggested that maybe since there was only 1 hen and 2 males that she might have been stressed or that she could have been egg bound. He said the 2 pigeons are very healthy and some of the nicest ones he has seen. I feel better now but still feel bad for the hens we lost.
 

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I'm glad your birds are healthy, but it does make you wonder what happened to the hens.
 
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