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Hello! About three weeks ago I found a baby pigeon, I guessed her around 15 days so she's around 5 weeks now. I started her on the Exact formula which she loved, but the past week 1/2 she started to reject it. I started feeding her peas rolled in crushed grit popping about 25-30 in her mouth. She starts to struggle after that and gets a little shaky like she's scared. I would feed her peas both morning and afternoon then at dinner time I would offer her the formula and she would eat it.
She has learned to pick seed up in her mouth and drink water now, (which I put vitamins in every morning), but she's only eating the Milo seed and leaves the rest. I don't feed her peas in the morning hoping she will eat all her seeds (leaving the Milo out) and she doesn't eat. But I still feed her in the afternoon and again before bed. 25-30 peas. (No formula in the past 3 days)
She is now flying short distances and I have her in a big cage I had built outside to make sure she's happy. (Also she has almost all feathers in except some still coming in under her wing)

So my question is how do I get her to eat other seeds? Do I just keep feeding her peas and eventually she will learn? I try and put the other seeds in her mouth and she will throw them out, but she goes crazy for the Milo seeds! I just feel bad because I know she doesn't like me feeding her. I also feel like she's going to want to leave soon and go on her own adventure but I don't want to release her until I know she's eating other food other then Milo.

Thank you for any help!
 

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It will take time, but she will eventually start eating other seeds. The pigeons I've raised usually start of eating the small round reddish seeds for a long time and then after a while start going for the others. Just keep on putting out a variety of small seeds. Stop feeding the peas, sometimes a bit of hunger is the best way for them to learn. But just make sure she gets enough to eat.

Keep her for another 2 months or so outside to get use to the surroundings and don't release until you are sure she's able to eat all types of seeds.
 

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Guardian Angel
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That's good advice, RooBird. Also, if the bird gets into trouble after you release, s/he will most likely return to you for help.

Sometimes I take a tube sock that's lost its mate and fill with seeds for about
eight inches then tie to side of enclosure and cut a small slit in the sock...not too big. Then I poke my finger in the hole while the bird is watching and let some seeds fall out. It gets their interest and before I know it the juvenile is going at the sock mommy...

When they realize that they can pick through the seeds and leave the ones they don't like, that is what they will do. Sometimes pulling the seeds after 15 minutes reminds them to chow down.

Ferals eat every seed you throw in front of them. Take the same ferals and set up a living area with 'room service' and they might get picky as well.
 

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Hello! About three weeks ago I found a baby pigeon, I guessed her around 15 days so she's around 5 weeks now. I started her on the Exact formula which she loved, but the past week 1/2 she started to reject it. I started feeding her peas rolled in crushed grit popping about 25-30 in her mouth. She starts to struggle after that and gets a little shaky like she's scared. I would feed her peas both morning and afternoon then at dinner time I would offer her the formula and she would eat it.
She has learned to pick seed up in her mouth and drink water now, (which I put vitamins in every morning), but she's only eating the Milo seed and leaves the rest. I don't feed her peas in the morning hoping she will eat all her seeds (leaving the Milo out) and she doesn't eat. But I still feed her in the afternoon and again before bed. 25-30 peas. (No formula in the past 3 days)
She is now flying short distances and I have her in a big cage I had built outside to make sure she's happy. (Also she has almost all feathers in except some still coming in under her wing)

So my question is how do I get her to eat other seeds? Do I just keep feeding her peas and eventually she will learn? I try and put the other seeds in her mouth and she will throw them out, but she goes crazy for the Milo seeds! I just feel bad because I know she doesn't like me feeding her. I also feel like she's going to want to leave soon and go on her own adventure but I don't want to release her until I know she's eating other food other then Milo.

Thank you for any help!
Weaning can be a tricky time. What you do is use your fingers to peck in the seeds and grains that are in a food dish he can't tip over, act like youre hand is a pigeons beak and peck at the feed while he is next to it, then pop a few grains in his mouth far
enough for him to swallow them and keep pecking, do this before any hand feeding if your still doing that. They will start to pick up some and before you know it they swallow them on their own. At this point you can dip his beak in his water dish to show him the water if he has not drank yet. Leave food and water in with him at all times now.
 

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Guardian Angel
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Well, to be clear, I only spoke of pulling food for limited periods of time to help generate more interest in the bird for the food. The bird is eating, just picking only one type of seed from the rest. There is alot of sway in using food with animals to help train for a desired result. Not to be done in a punitive way, but training for a desired result and only limited periods of time.
 

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This is normal for a bird to pick out one preferred seed. In time he will try other seeds. Just give him time and it will happen. Not really anything you need to do. Just be patient.
 

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Guardian Angel
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My unreleasable ferals continue to pick out their favorites and scatter the rest, after all they know they get a refill every day. They will never be releasable so I figure, what the hey? Reminding a releasable that food can come and go is not a bad idea if done w/heart. At the Hay and Grain place I get pigeon mix at, the owner is a racer and there are many racing guys who hang there. From their discusions, all I know is that food is used to help train pigeons and there is alot of science-as in studies on birds and animals in general -using food rewards or in training to achieve desired results. Alex the African Grey is just one example of this.

As Marina mentioned earlier, keeping the bird for a couple of extra months is a good idea as your rescue won't have had the benefit of being trained by pigeon parents nor getting the requisite debut in the flock by the parents to learn flock behavior. Your rescue will learn to adjust and will most likely find other pigeons to hang with in time. Having learned to eat a broader range of seeds is a good thing that doesn't just come naturally if they can get away with picking out their favorite. Can't blame them, but you may need to try different approaches to coax them from the behavior.
 

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Believe me, if eventually released, and living feral, the bird will learn to eat other seeds. He will try anything thrown down, as he will have no choice. If he is even that lucky. He may more often have torn bread and french fries offered to him. Maybe you need to offer that also so that he recognizes it as food. Sad...............but true. The life of a feral is hard.
 
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