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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got a pigeon from a local bird store by happenstance, I was there to buy supplies for my parrot and on the counter at check out there was a sign that read "free pigeon needs to be hand fed". Turns out the baby accidentally got mixed in with the adult pigeons and they won't keep and raise babies; so I took him home. After lots of research, I estimated him at 10 days old. I got all the necessary supplies and hand raised him. He has always been very "friendly", I put it in quotes because his kind of friendly is very different from my cockatoo who could cuddle me to death. Well now he is about 5 months old, and recently he has gotten kind of aggressive. He still loves being around people, especially me because I am mom, but when on or near people occasionally he will just start pecking and "biting". And he coos and spins as well. Which from what I have read that is a normal behavior I think. But the aggression I am not sure of. I am not certain he is a male, but from all the research I have done I believe he is. So what I am wondering is, is this behavior common for adolescent pigeons? Is it like their puberty stage in relation to humans? Any insight would be very helpful!
 

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I hand raised two baby pigeons that I rescued, and had this exact same conundrum. They went from being totally sweet and lovable to being occasionally nippy and aggressive. At around the same age as your bird, only my two were 4 months old. Turns out they were going through their first molt and losing their baby feathers, replacing them with their adult feathers. After about a month, maybe a month and a half, (my two are indoor birds, so I don't know if that affected the duration of the molt) they were back to their normal, happy loving selves. I guess they just get crabby when they are molting.
 

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When they get older their behaviors change. Males are usually more territorial and aggressive. All is normal. Keep giving him time, feed in your hands, give treats sometimes like chopped peanuts, safflower seeds etc (not much as these are high in fat), he will understand and could calm down. If possible bring him a mate, they are actually happy with mates.
 

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If sometimes when he coos you hear a "wah-wah" sound in between coos he is a male. Other sexing methods such as looking at the head shape or feeling the pelvic bone aren't 100% accurate. Males and females have slightly different sounds. From my experience that behavior is perfectly normal. He is just being territorial which is normal for many types of birds of both sexes. It is something you either just have to deal with or you could try to show him/her that he shouldn't do that. If a bird bites you do not get mad or pull away, you are just giving the bird a reaction like it wants. Instead push into the bite to show biting will not make you leave like it wants or if it is perched on your hand wobble your hand a bit so the bird is instead focused on regaining balance rather than chasing your away. Over time it should stop because you are not giving the reaction that it wants. As birds reach sexual maturity their personalities come to the surface. For a pigeon that would be around 6 months of age. It is also possible that your bird just has a feisty personality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you!

Thank you everyone for the advice! He is molting like crazy right now so that would make a lot of sense! I have to clean up feathers everyday in my house!

I have gotten him a mate, about a month ago. Because all the research I did said it was important to their mental health. But he attacks him/her, so I had to separate them. I am not sure if it because it is of the same sex or maybe just because of his adolescent mood change right now. I have ordered DNA sexing kits so I can figure out exactly what their sex is. Since I am new to the pigeon world I am not confident in my abilities to really judge them based on the ways they can be sexed.

I never pull away when he bites, since I have always had parrots (and lots of other animals) I know that giving in to it will just prolong his bad behavior. I will try and start hand feeding him again, since I haven't done that since he was weened off the formula, to see if that will help.
 

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Hand feeding should help. Maybe give him a toy or two. When I first got Phoebe she would attack my hand.i put some toys in the cage and soon we had a tug of war game going and after that, she was a shoulder surfing flirt.
 
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