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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found a homing pigeon on Sat morning on our property. I contacted the club it belongs to. Spoke to someone who informed me the owner of the bird is in a hospice unit. He didn't know what to tell me to do with the bird. The bird has a small injury on it's back. I am taking him to my vet later this morning. I contacted around 8 different people involved in pigeon clubs. Some just tell me to release it when it is ready(being my vet gives it the ok). My problem is this bird will fly home (near Phila) and I don't know if there is anyone there to take care of him. I have tried to contact the club member from Phila I spoke to and he is not returning my calls. I have the bird in a large bird cage (I could almost fit in it) I got him pigeon food and grit. The cage is in my garage. During the day (when I am home). I leave the garage door open and pull the cage to the door way so he can get some sun and look around. At night he is inside with the door closed. I can't bring him in the house, b/c I have a doberman and five cats. Anyway..can someone tell me what I should do with him? I don't have a problem with keeping him (I am getting attached) I know he will need some type of coop, but I know he should be able to get out and fly around. Will this bird eventually think of this as his home and stay or will he make his way back to Phila where I don't know if someone will be taking care of him? I would appreciate any ideas or help!
 

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You seem to on the right track with him for he is secure and fed and watered and safe in a very large cage.. Its sad when these things happen and the owners of them get sick or die. If you release him he will just go right back to their house. You need to keep him as a prisoner (so to speak) until you find a home for him or other advice comes on this thread maybe to get you someone to take the pigeon off your hands and care for it. Keep us posted and do what you are doing for it: keeping it secure with food and water and taking it to the vet...keep us posted... c.hert
 

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he would fly back to philly, you can keep him or see if a young race club member in your area may want a prisoner bird for breeding. or adopt him out to a good home. I think the vet trip would be wise.
 

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Almlandis,
Welcome to Pigeon Talk :) Can you tell how old the bird is? [Information should be there on the 'band' on it's leg] Chances are that if it is a good homing pigeon then it will try to fly back to it's 'home'. I've read alot of posts like yours;where the owner of the bird is unwilling to take back the lost bird(s). It's sad in your case that there is no one available to care for it, IF it does successfully return. If you do decide to keep him/her, you could try 'resettling' it..a long and testing process. But it sounds like that is most probable ;) Lots of members here keep their pigeons in cages, so your 'big' cage sounds fine..for now. Try to have some perches in there, and put some thing solid on the floor so that the pigeon has some solid surface to walk/rest on, the wire bottom of the cage is not the best for their feet. Have fresh water and food+grit available. Giving it sun is good, but make sure a certain part of the cage is in the shade[ -->if it feels too hot]. Pigeons are great fun...and addictive. Your an animal lover [dog+6cats], thanks for taking care of this pigeon, hope you have a good and healthy time with your newest pet, peace, YaSin :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the advise. The year on the band is 2009. So I am assuming the bird is a year old. How would I "reprogram" him? Can some one tell me how to determine the sex of the bird?
The bottom of the cage is solid, so I am using newspaper to keep it clean twice a day. I do have a couple of perches in for him.
Thanks
 

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someone will come along and tell you how to rehome him and it does sound like you are taking excellent care of the pigeon and yes you will get addicted. What kind of food are you feeding him because you can go and get a good seed mixture for pigeons.(pet stores , seed stores . farm and country stores and I am sure there are other places to try but it would be mix seeds for pigeons and grit and there is a Foys Pigeon Supply that you can call (free call ) and they will send you out a catalogue and it has oddles of information in it --the phone # is 1-877-355-7727 as well as go on the web to look at their supplies: www.foyspigeonsupplies.com and there is also a Siegel's and their phone # is: 1-800-437-4436 and they also will send out a nice catalogue and their web page is www.Siegelpigeons.com and they have a wealth of information in them. c.hert
 

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Almlandis,
2009 means born in 2009 :) younger bird should be easier to 'rehome'. For now, just let him get used to the place and the cage. After a couple of weeks, try to get him/her used to a feeding on a schedule. As for the gender, that's hard one...you could try putting a mirror in the cage and see how it reacts to it's own image. Usually the male will try to coo and attract it's own reflection, while females tend to be calm,unresponsive. Some ppl use that method, I never have, but read about it. For me the only sure way of knowing the gender is when it interacts with another bird. 'Rehoming' a bird is never 100%, and it a long process, as I said before. Once you get your bird used to feeding at a certain time, you have to train it to 'trap'...that is, to enter so that it can eat. Lots of good posts here about 'trap training' your birds, give them a read. I'm just throwing out pointers, feel free to ask Q's, peace :)
 

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Thank you for taking in this homeless homing pigeon. I am glad you are considering keeping him.

I don't think you should try to rehome him, many have tried, some successful, others not.

1. It isn't a guarantee he will come back, especially since he is already homed elsewhere.
2. It would be dangerous for him to try to return home where there is no home.
3. A pigeon flying by itself is a sitting duck, they are safer in numbers, a single pigeon can easily become prey to hawk or other predator.

Build him a nice aviary for daytime flying and keep him safe in your garage by night, or build him a coop, should you decide to keep him. Perhaps someday you might get him a friend.
 

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If the owner is in a hospice unit, chances are the owner is never going to be able to give the bird a home again.

That leaves three alternatives.

You keep it.

You find another home for it.

Or you release it and it either survives as a feral, goes into someone elses loft, or becomes food for another animal.

A 2009 pigeon could live another 15 years or so. So it is a long commitment.

Here is what I would do if I was in a similar situation. I would get a rabbit hutch type structure and keep the bird in it for a month. Then on a really nice day. With little wind and little noisy disturbances (lawn mowers, etc.). Then open the hutch door and see if it goes back in at dusk. If it does, then you have a new member of the family. If it does not, then it will most likely go back to its original owners home and someone there is most likely having to deal with other birds belonging to this original owner, and should do the right thing and take care of it or find it another home (may not though, and that is a consideration you have to weigh). My guess is that it will stay in your rabbit hutch from now on. You could keep it a prisoner and never know whether or not you needed to. Many do. But I prefer a bird fly like it was meant to. Soaring the skies and seeing the sights.

There are many many "lost" homing pigeons living in the cities and farm lands, as ferals. Some don't make it though. Many homing pigeons that have wonderful lofts and homes also do not make it. Too many predators and accidents out there. There are no guarantees that any homing pigeon will come home from even the shortest training toss. Bad stuff happens to good pigeons as well as to bad pigeons.

Good luck to it and thank you for caring and doing.
 

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Well as you said you are getting attached and since the owner is in hospice care maybe you could get a couple more from him, that should help your bird feel at home and help the owner out. Wellcome to the world of homing pigeons. Just another choise.
Dave
 

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Is someone tending the coop where the bird is from? What about the rest of the flock? Are they pigeons being flown? It sounds like the bird was in training for the racing season, so I suspect the coop might still be active. Does the club have any plans to step in and help place the birds if the coop is being disolved? My guess is you have yourself a new pet - I don't think you'd have any luck at all resettling the bird - especially if you don't have other pigeons.
Hugh
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I appreciate all the input.
To answer some of the questions posted: If I do keep him, it doesn't matter how long he lives. I will take care of him for the rest of his life and spare no expense on medical care for him or any of my pets. All my pets are life time commitments.
I have purchased pigeon food and grit from a pet and feed store not far from me. It is family owned and they were helpful in telling me what I needed.
Today I put a low good size heavy bowl of water in for a bath for him. He seemed to rather enjoy himself. They are fun to watch.
As far as other birds belonging to his original owner... I asked the club secretary when I spoke to him if the man had other birds and he told me he didn't know. I called him again a couple of days ago and left a message asking if he knew if anyone was taking care of this man's birds or would take care of this one if I released him. He never returned my phone call. I can not release this bird not knowing if he will be taken care of when he gets there. I would of thought someone from their club would of took over the birds for this poor man. Apparently they are not that concerned!
To build an aviary: How big should it be?
Also- What type of feeding schedule should he be on?
 
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