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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!

I've very recently taken in a pigeon with a broken wing. It's been wrapped at the vet, but apparently the break is pretty severe.

It was found injured, we don't know who the owner is, but I definitely think it's domesticated. Can eat from my hand, enjoys pets, etc.

It's also eating and drinking more regularly now that I've been caring for it. Apparently at the vet it wouldn't eat at all.

The main issue I'm having at the moment is the fact that it can't walk, as it can't balance at all with the wrapped wing. I've helped it walk around a bit by holding it upright with my hand.

I wanted to know if it will gradually learn to balance again, or if this is an issue that will only be solved once the wrap is removed? The vet has said the wrap is possibly staying on for the next six weeks.

Any advice on how to properly care for it would be very much appreciated!
 

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Perhaps post a picture of the bird and especially the wrapped wing? Usually the material used is very lightweight and I wouldn't think that it would off-balance the bird. Maybe it is somehow constricting or interfering with movement of a leg as well?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Perhaps post a picture of the bird and especially the wrapped wing? Usually the material used is very lightweight and I wouldn't think that it would off-balance the bird. Maybe it is somehow constricting or interfering with movement of a leg as well?
Thank you so much for answering. I've attached a picture where you can see it leaning on my arm.

Actually today my friend who works as a vet cut some of the wrap around the birds feet to try and help with the problem. I think it can use it's legs better now compared to before, but still having the balancing issue.

I'm hoping its just a temporary issue. It was found over the weekend, for reference.

If a better picture is needed I can take one in the morning!

Wood Fawn Feather Fur Tail
 

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Looks like the professional pretty-bird type. :)

Just guessing, but perhaps some feathers are not laying flat due to being partially under the wrap, and to the extent that when the bird tries to walk it causes them to be pulled or pushed unnaturally? Sort of like if you had an arm cast and long hair stuck in it, you might not want to try to move for fear of having your hair ripped-out?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Looks like the professional pretty-bird type. :)

Just guessing, but perhaps some feathers are not laying flat due to being partially under the wrap, and to the extent that when the bird tries to walk it causes them to be pulled or pushed unnaturally? Sort of like if you had an arm cast and long hair stuck in it, you might not want to try to move for fear of having your hair ripped-out?
Yes it's very pretty and quite sweet :giggle: I think if the owner doesn't come for it in the next month, I can adopt!

And that's a really good point I didn't consider at all. Should I try adjusting the wrap slightly? I'm a bit worried to fiddle with it too much though, as I wouldn't know how to fix it back up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@Doves Witness quick update this morning. Had an attempt at getting in there with a Q-tip, however the wrap is pretty tight. I noticed it doesn't make much of an attempt to use it's left leg (it's broken wing also being on the left).

Will try to have another go but I'm starting to think it's the wrapping that's maybe too tight? It's supposed to be going back to the vet next week for a check up.

Guess I'll try to keep it upright until then!
 

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If the bird is breathing normally, not holding its beak open or gasping for air, then the wrap around the body is probably not too tight. There is a tendon which affects both wing and leg on the same side. I have a feral pigeon here who can't fly and I suspect that is due to a torn tendon on her left side. It may be that your bird's injury has caused extra strain on that tendon which would explain the leg issues. It would probably be best to leave the wrap as is if that is the case, because more strain on the tendon might otherwise produce more damage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If the bird is breathing normally, not holding its beak open or gasping for air, then the wrap around the body is probably not too tight. There is a tendon which affects both wing and leg on the same side. I have a feral pigeon here who can't fly and I suspect that is due to a torn tendon on her left side. It may be that your bird's injury has caused extra strain on that tendon which would explain the leg issues. It would probably be best to leave the wrap as is if that is the case, because more strain on the tendon might otherwise produce more damage.
Oh I see, that makes a lot of sense! In that case I'll be sure to ask the vet about it, too. Do you know if the tendon will heal over time? I feel bad because I can tell it's getting frustrated with not being able to walk or explore anywhere.

Bird seems to be breathing normally. Sometimes while I'm feeding it (holding it upright) it will gently nudge me and open its mouth wide for a moment. Not sure what that means yet, I could possibly be hurting it? Since I have to hold onto the wrap to sit it straight(ish...)

It does stink a bit, but it hasn't been able to bathe so that makes sense. I've been trying to wipe it's bottom every once and a while.

Hoping things will get easier for it soon.
 

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Yes, as long as a tendon isn't completely severed, it can heal and regrow new tissue.

Very young pigeons usually thrust their beaks at their parents while opening their beaks wide to be fed. He probably wants more food!

You might be able to bathe the bird's bum without soaking the wrapping by using a very shallow water level in a wide-flat dish. I use a 9 inch glass pie pan. Hold him in place for several minutes with his bum in the water and the poop should start to dissolve from his feathers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes, as long as a tendon isn't completely severed, it can heal and regrow new tissue.

Very young pigeons usually thrust their beaks at their parents while opening their beaks wide to be fed. He probably wants more food!

You might be able to bathe the bird's bum without soaking the wrapping by using a very shallow water level in a wide-flat dish. I use a 9 inch glass pie pan. Hold him in place for several minutes with his bum in the water and the poop should start to dissolve from his feathers.
Oh that's good to know! Was worried I was possibly hurting it. It doesn't make any noises whatsoever either. Didn't even consider that it could be very young, too.

I'll definitely be trying that bathing technique tonight! Thanks for the tip!
 

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He looks young in the picture that you posted because the operculum at the base of the beak doesn't appear to be white, but that could just be due to the lighting. That is usually not white color on Rock Doves before 2 or 3 months of age, but is not a good indicator of age for many other varieties of pigeons/doves. I don't know that he is very young, but as you are caring for him he may be reacting as he did when he was very young. I'd say that it is a sign that he knows that you are caring for him like a parent would. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
He looks young in the picture that you posted because the operculum at the base of the beak doesn't appear to be white, but that could just be due to the lighting. That is usually not white color on Rock Doves before 2 or 3 months of age, but is not a good indicator of age for many other varieties of pigeons/doves. I don't know that he is very young, but as you are caring for him he may be reacting as he did when he was very young. I'd say that it is a sign that he knows that you are caring for him like a parent would. :)
I just had a look and you're right, no white on the beak! Now I'm even more curious as to where it came from. We thought maybe a racing pigeon but it didn't have a band on the leg.

For reference it does have feathers on both its legs, I think I've seen some breeds that have the same.

The bath worked great! I'll be doing it again tonight, it didn't seem to mind it too bad. I'll be keeping it at mine for the next two weeks before it goes back to the vet for a check up and x-ray. Here's hoping all goes well!

I also think I've read before that younger birds tend not to coo, and this one hasn't made a sound at all, so that could be another sign of its age?
 

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Definitely one of the "fancy" breeds. I think that his coloring is called yellow, I can't tell from the photo whether it is more red but that is the other possibility. Usually very young birds squeak to be fed, but that stops around 2 months, then their eyes become orange, if they had black legs they turn to red, operculum starts turning white... So perhaps he or she is about 3 months of age or just a bit less.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Definitely one of the "fancy" breeds. I think that his coloring is called yellow, I can't tell from the photo whether it is more red but that is the other possibility. Usually very young birds squeak to be fed, but that stops around 2 months, then their eyes become orange, if they had black legs they turn to red, operculum starts turning white... So perhaps he or she is about 3 months of age or just a bit less.
I'll definitely keep that in mind going forward! If it's a fancy breed I guess there's a higher chance their owner will come looking for it.

Can I also ask if it's poop is meant to smell? Its not anything too strong or strange smelling, but its something I've noticed while cleaning. I've read that there isn't meant to be any odor at all.

Thanks for all the help and info so far, its greatly appreciated!
 

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I only notice that the bird's droppings have a scent when the weather is cool and wet, and then the scent kind-of reminds me of being on the shore of the ocean for some reason. Usually the droppings aren't notably wet and don't smell. There is a common illness, canker (caused by a single-celled internal parasite), that is said to cause smelly droppings but even in birds who clearly had canker (yellow growths in the throat / esophagus), I still didn't notice any smell. I live right in the middle of a frequently disgusting city though, so it may just be that I have become accustomed to foul smells. :cautious:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I only notice that the bird's droppings have a scent when the weather is cool and wet, and then the scent kind-of reminds me of being on the shore of the ocean for some reason. Usually the droppings aren't notably wet and don't smell. There is a common illness, canker (caused by a single-celled internal parasite), that is said to cause smelly droppings but even in birds who clearly had canker (yellow growths in the throat / esophagus), I still didn't notice any smell. I live right in the middle of a frequently disgusting city though, so it may just be that I have become accustomed to foul smells. :cautious:
Haha it's possible I'm just not used to that smell at all. It is cool and wet at the moment so I guess that would make sense!

I'm not seeing any worrying symptoms so far. It eats a lot, and wants to explore around the house. Unfortunately no walking yet :/
 
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