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Hi, I have a rescue pigeon that I have been feeding purgrain daily. The problem is he leaves all the corn and peas. He only eats the small seeds. I have tried just feeding the peas and corn in his dish to force him to eat them but he went on a hunger strike for 4 days. Anyway, I am looking to possibly get him the mix for the short beaks that has Austrian peas, oat groats, red milo, whole wheat, white millet, white milo, safflower, red millet, white rice, and mineral oil. I don't know if this is too much for him as he can't fly and get exercise? Also, should I be feeding pellets too for vitamin and minerals? I use oyster shell and red grit for him also. Just confused on what his nutritional needs are. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!
 

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what kind of pigeon is it and how old is it are the first questions... also Is he handicapped in any way in regards to his beak or ability to eat?
 

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YOU SHOULD NOT STARVE A PIGEON FOR 4 DAYS!
Let him eat whatever he choses, regarding his body type, beak length ... THE IMPORTANT IS THAT HE HAVE ACCESS to food and water whenever he wants, at least 2 times a day!
 

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Feed the bird 1 ounce in the mornings and 1 ounce in the evenings. That is 2 ounces per day. That is normal for 1 bird. Adjustment is if you are flying it or such But 2 ounces a day per bird averages rathere well. AND you will find it will eat All the feed Most often. Another way is weigh the feed Let it eat for 10 minutes then pull the feed and weigh what is left. Then you have a good idea what this 1 bird will eat. t 1 feeding. and give that amount 2 times daily. AND NO the bird does not starve at all.
 

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re lee said:
Feed the bird 1 ounce in the mornings and 1 ounce in the evenings. That is 2 ounces per day. That is normal for 1 bird. Adjustment is if you are flying it or such
I agree. As has been explained give him what he needs and he will be forced to eat all that's being given to him but it may take time. He won't get choosey that way and will eat all kinda seeds and you won't have problem of leftovers.
To be mentioned here, if he's a young bird then he's probably no different as young birds usually prefer small seeds. But he'll learn
Pigeons taste their seeds in their crop. You can try feeding few corn and peas by hand. If he develops taste for them then he'll eat them.
Some birds don't eat whole yellow corn. So many give them corn by crushing them to sizeable pieces which pigeons can easily swallow,mine are crazy about corn but won't touch the peas though.
What breed is he?
 

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Here's what happened. One of my daughter's and her friends found the young pigeon in someone's yard. Looked like it had been attacked by something. No one else was willing to take a pigeon so I got help from this website and treated it with antibiotics and for canker. The wing was broken so I took it to a vet who said it was beyond repair and enjoy the pigeon. He does not have any beak problems. I have an indoor cage and an outdoor cage for him. I don't know how old it is, I have had it for a year now. The kind, well it looks like the feral pigeons in town. I don't know the sex although my youngest started calling it Bob. We kind of love him so I did not STARVE the pigeon for 4 days. He started with his seeds in the morning, however, I did not give him any at night so he had the corn and peas left. The purgrain guy and a reputable pet store for birds suggested that. I have been giving him a little over an ounce a day. But if he gets any amount of the little seeds he won't eat the big ones. I am going to try the 10 minute idea and I appreciate the advice! I was wondering about the smaller feed as my husband thinks the amount I have to pay to ship the feed here and then he sees what the bird leaves and thinks it is wasteful. I just love the availability here in South Dakota....
 

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I am going to try to introduce a different point of view here. Maybe it is relevant, maybe not.

Some things seem so obvious to us, that we do not question them. We buy a bag of bird seed. Birds eat bird seed, so of course a pigeon should eat anything in that bag. We know kids can get "spoiled" and so can birds, and both can be persnickety and waste food. I have some house mice in cages; they eat the seeds of the specially-formulated mouse food but generally leave the pellets. Mice have a good sense of smell, and should be able to tell what is edible. If it is questionable, they will nibble a bit, wait to feel any ill efects, then proceed. They cannot vomit, so once the food is in their system it has to be processed. That is why poisons work on mice. But pigeons do not smell their food, as far as we know, and eat so fast that I sometimes wonder if they appreciate the taste at all.

Some of my adult feral pigeon rescues ignored whole corn kernels and whole dried peas. Some did not. Some changed their feeding habits during re-hab. Same with some of my baby or squeaker rescues.

Three questions arose in my mind when large seeds were ignored:
Could this individual pigeon actually swallow the seed? If there were canker nodules, maybe not. (I have never recognized an instance of canker nodules, so my experience is limited). I have seen street pigeons attempt to swallow huge pieces of pizza and pita bread and wurst (sausage) in Cologne, and succeed, so a piece of corn is no problem for the normal adult feral.
If the size was not a problem, did this pigeon recognize the corn or whatever as food? I have seen pigeons ignore small black rapeseed, until they saw others eating it. Once I had handfed my squeaker rescues corn kernels, and in some instances taught them to peck, they ate whatever I put in front of them. I read that during WWII, in the Pacific theatre, American soldiers (pilots, air crew) would starve if stranded in the jungle. Japanese soldiers ate what they saw the monkeys eating, and did okay. Food might be in front of you, but if it's unfamiliar you may go hungry. If you sample everything you encounter, you will probably poison yourself. Some societies tried out unknown foods on their dogs, or on their children, first.

Maybe the pigeon has to see you pecking and swallowing the corn first. If you won't eat that funny-colored corn or that moldy-colored pea, what's wrong with it? LOL.

In summary, can the pigeon swallow the food? (He knows how to peck, can peck, can pick up the food, can manuever it into his throat, and can get it into his crop). If so, does he know it's edible? If so, is it what he needs, nutritionally? If so, does he have room for it in his crop, or is he full of some "junk food" (something not as beneficial to him, or possibly harmful, but temporarily satisfying him)? The last question, is he like us humans? Faced with plenty of food, both healthy and unhealthy, and plenty of choice, some of us eat wisely, some foolishly. Some of us binge and waddle away. An overloaded pigeon usually needs to be able to fly. We no longer have to be able to hunt and run down some of our food. We open our mouths, and food flows in. Occasionally we might need to employ a fork or a spoon, but we can do without those if we choose. Some of us get spoiled, and eventually depend on others to make rational, healthful decisions for us. It's a crazy world out there. LOL.
 

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Larry has a point. Pigeons LOVE chopped peanuts. But when I first get in a new bird, they don't normally eat them. It's a treat I feed them from my hand usually. Most will mob me for them, but the new guys that have never tried them, don't recognize them as food, and ignore them. So I will mix it in their feed so that they will eventually try them. Once they do, they're hooked! So that could be part of it. Also, maybe they just are not comfortable eating the larger grains. Many of my birds will eat popcorn, but not the larger corn. They all like the course cracked corn, but not the fine cracked corn. Try giving them split peas and lentils instead, as they are good for them, but not as large. My house pigeon Scooter won't eat even split peas or lentils, until I found the smaller lentils. Those he will eat. I don't force them to eat what they don't want to. Instead, I try to add something else on the same idea that they will eat. So they still get what they need. It just takes a little trial and error. I'm sure you will come up with things that he does like, and then you'll both be happy.

You mentioned that you have to have the feed shipped. There must be something there in South Dakota. Some people buy a wild mix and add to it to make it better. It can be done. I add to my pigeon mix even.
 

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I looked up "purgrain" and I see that it is a brand of pigeon seed.

Here in Belgium, the pet stores stock 20kg/50lb sacks of mixed grain suited for chickens and pigeons (there is an illustration of a chicken and a pigeon on the sack). Brand is Versele-Laga. Versele-Laga makes up food mixes of different sorts for different types of animals.

I don't race pigeons or breed them. Merely supplement the diet of a few ferals. I pay about 8 Euros or 11 USD per sack. The $14 sack has pellets of some sort added. No extra transportation costs, other than a short trip to the store.
 

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I don't race pigeons or breed them. Merely supplement the diet of a few ferals. I pay about 8 Euros or 11 USD per sack. The $14 sack has pellets of some sort added. No extra transportation costs, other than a short trip to the store.
That's nice from you Larry :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Larry I was wondering the same thing. If he can't eat them somehow? I have two other birds so I understand picky or getting too much of the "candy" seed to them. I am kind of uptight about taking the best care I can of the animals we take in and I don't know a whole lot about pigeon nutrition, which makes me a little worried about mixing my own. That's why I was wondering if the purgrain mix for smaller beaked birds would be meeting his nutritional needs or if I need to add something to it? Also, should I be giving him a vitamin supplement of some kind? See told you I am anal ;)
 

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Vitamin supplements are a great idea. Everyone seems to use different ones. Getting one for the smaller beaked pigeons would be a good idea.
 
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