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Discussion Starter #1
Hello there! Soo as the title suggests, I'm a new pigeon owner. I just got my little guy (atleast I think it's a male, not too sure) a couple of days ago. I got him from a shop which had a lot of birds in it so the owner didn't really have anything to say about him but he looks healthy enough. Would it be better to get him checked though?

Right now I have him set up in a large cage in my room, big enough for him to spread his wings fully and move around, and have placed a couple of wooden perches for him as well as a food bowl, water bowl and a make-shift nest. I heard they liked nests even if they're single pigeons, is this true? Right now what he usually does is sit on his perch and groom himself, sometimes he'll flap his wings and jump around a bit but other than that he seems to like staying in the same place. Also he sometimes starts cooing rather loudly while puffing himself up. Should I be worried about this?

Since I'm still new at this I'd like to get some advice from more experienced pigeon owners. I spend a large amount of time at home so I'm planning to just keep this one pigeon. How long should I keep him in his cage before I can let him out? Is there any particular thing I should do in other to get him to bond with me? Any advice would be appreciated! :D
 

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First of all you did the right thing by providing a cage , food , wood perches Etc as you describe the Pigeon seems Fine and healthy, but double-checking won't hurt.
"cooing and puffing himeself " males do that and yeah it is natural.
 

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Well I'd take it to the vet for a check up but I'm not sure if doctors in Malaysia even know what to do with a bird. And I'm glad to know it's natural, I was afraid it night be too hot or cold for him, I try to keep the air cool since it's pretty hot here. Is it also natural for pigoens to stand on one leg? He does that sometimes.

Well I hope those people you mention happen upon this then! :p
 

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Were there other pigeons in the cage with him where you bought him? Depending on the coo, he could have had a mate that got left behind. He could be calling for her. They generally mate for life.
Are your wooden perches flat? That is what pigeons prefer to perch on. Like a little shelf in the cage, or even a brick on the cage floor for him to climb up on. If you can post a picture of the set up and the bird, it would help.
 

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Is it also natural for pigoens to stand on one leg? He does that sometimes.

Well I hope those people you mention happen upon this then! :p
yes It is Natural for pigeons to stand on one leg but if he/she stands for too long or can't stand on both legs than he/she is likely suffering from an Injury.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Were there other pigeons in the cage with him where you bought him? Depending on the coo, he could have had a mate that got left behind. He could be calling for her. They generally mate for life.
Are your wooden perches flat? That is what pigeons prefer to perch on. Like a little shelf in the cage, or even a brick on the cage floor for him to climb up on. If you can post a picture of the set up and the bird, it would help.
There was only one other pigeon, which looked really sickly, in there with him but I'm not sure about it's gender so I don't know if it was his mate. And here's a picture of the bird and cage:





As the cage isn't very big I can't really put more then those two perches and I'm working on getting another water bowl that can also be hung up. The pet shop I got him from provided him with a smaller cage that had a water and food bowl fitted for it but I felt bad for him not having enough space to move so I moved him into this one that I had laying around which is why I don't have a proper water bowl yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Oh well then I guess his fine. He only does it for a few minutes or when he's grooming himself.

Is it okay to turn on an air-conditioner around them or is it better to not do so?
 

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Hey Wingie,
Thnx for showing interest in pigeons. They are amazing birds,u will get to know soon.
Do u want to let him out for free flying? What breed is he? First he should get used to ur place. Then u can let him out. I don't know how big ur cage is? U can take him in the cage out to get him used to ur place(if the cage is cat attack proof).or get a carrier cage. I would advice u to get him a mate unless he will continue to cOO.
U can win his confidence by spending ur free time by his side,and by offering him seed by ur hand. It will take some time but pigeons recognise their owners so he will jel well with u.
Pigeons love to bath so do give him a big flat bowl/small tub with few inches of water to bath atleast once a week. Keep his drinking water fresh and clean. Don't let him defecate in water(buy a drinker or make one at home)
Pigeons use nest when breeding. Lone pigeons roost on perches. So make the perch wide enough(like Jay said) so that he can lay down on the perch if he wants to rest.
 

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Hey Wingie. Cute bird.
Make the perches wide so that he can make himself at ease,not grabbing on to it all the time.
It looks like a performing breed to me probably a high flyer. U can let him out only after he gets used to ur place. Getting him a mate will make him happy and loyal to ur place.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hey Wingie,
Thnx for showing interest in pigeons. They are amazing birds,u will get to know soon.
Do u want to let him out for free flying? What breed is he? First he should get used to ur place. Then u can let him out. I don't know how big ur cage is? U can take him in the cage out to get him used to ur place(if the cage is cat attack proof).or get a carrier cage. I would advice u to get him a mate unless he will continue to cOO.
U can win his confidence by spending ur free time by his side,and by offering him seed by ur hand. It will take some time but pigeons recognise their owners so he will jel well with u.
Pigeons love to bath so do give him a big flat bowl/small tub with few inches of water to bath atleast once a week. Keep his drinking water fresh and clean. Don't let him defecate in water(buy a drinker or make one at home)
Pigeons use nest when breeding. Lone pigeons roost on perches. So make the perch wide enough(like Jay said) so that he can lay down on the perch if he wants to rest.
Hi Brocky, I'm sure I'll find that out soon. xD

I would like to let him free fly but the problem with that is that there are a lot of cats lurking around as soon as you step outside so I'm not sure if I want to risk it but I'm definitely willing to let him out inside the house. I'm not sure what breed he is, the store owner didn't really specify anything about him so I don't really know much.

How long would it usually take for a pigeon to get used to his new home before I can let him out? I read on some other websites that it's about a week? I'll try to take him outside when the cats aren't around. As for getting him a mate, I can't really do that as my father wouldn't approve. Plus, I'm not entirely sure it's a male.

I do spend most of my time with him right now, I'm on break until next year when I'll be starting college,those times are mostly quiet though as I'm not a very talkative person. Should I try talking to him? I tried feeding him from my hand before but he didn't come near me. I can tell it'll take a while since he's still wary whenever I get to chose to the cage but I'm going to keep trying anyway. I'll be sure to keep in mind to provide him a bath by the end of this week. I do change his drinking water every few hours or so. How wide exactly should I have his perch?
 

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I hate those wires for the floor. I would remove them, and if they can't be removed then I would cover them with a piece of wood or cardboard, then put the newspaper on that. Just change the newspaper each day. Those wires aren't easy for him to walk on and must hurt their feet. You don't need the nest, unless it turns out to be a female and eventually bonds to you and starts laying eggs.
You can take down that food dish and put a board across that end of the cage, a few inches up from the floor. You can put a feed and water dish on the floor. I use small heavy crocks that won't tip over. Can you buy a pigeon mix or get a dove mix to which you can add some split peas and lentis, and maybe some safflower seed?
Pigeons love chopped unsalted peanuts. At first they don't know what they are, but once they try them, they love them. I would mix some in with the feed so that he will try them. Eventually he will come to your hand for them. Just go slow and let him learn to trust you.
 

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This is one cage set up that would work. They like a mirror, as it is company to them.


Here is another.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I hate those wires for the floor. I would remove them, and if they can't be removed then I would cover them with a piece of wood or cardboard, then put the newspaper on that. Just change the newspaper each day. Those wires aren't easy for him to walk on and must hurt their feet. You don't need the nest, unless it turns out to be a female and eventually bonds to you and starts laying eggs.
You can take down that food dish and put a board across that end of the cage, a few inches up from the floor. You can put a feed and water dish on the floor. I use small heavy crocks that won't tip over. Can you buy a pigeon mix or get a dove mix to which you can add some split peas and lentis, and maybe some safflower seed?
Pigeons love chopped unsalted peanuts. At first they don't know what they are, but once they try them, they love them. I would mix some in with the feed so that he will try them. Eventually he will come to your hand for them. Just go slow and let him learn to trust you.
I’ll try and find some wood or cardboard for the floor. Coincidentally I had decided to take the nest out when I changed his water a few minutes ago; he didn’t seem to like it anyway. I’ll put a board up once I find one. I’m afraid either mix would be hard to find in my country since people don’t really keep pigeons or dove for pets so I would either have to make it myself or make do with what I have. I will be buying some safflower seeds and peanuts the next time I go out though so I’ll add those into what he has now. Right now, I’m mostly staying nearby so he can get used to things before I try feeding him again.

And thanks for the pictures! It helps to see examples of what it should look like. :)
 

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That is interesting that bird shop sells pigeons in Malaysia? Your bird is a very pretty bird unlike the ferals... but IMHO, I would rather adopt than buy. But that's me.

Anyway, thank you for being interested in pigeons. They are a beautiful species, regardless of how they look like.

Looks like you've got some of the things covered. Big cage, food and water changed daily, comfortable resting area. Here is a checklist of what you may need as a pigeon owner:

1. Grit - pigeons need grit to digest their food and provide calcium and minerals. Make sure a grit bowl is available for him in the cage anytime he wants it (like food and water) - should be available in the birdstore.
2. Like Jay and Brocky has mentioned, birds need to bathe every week. Drop a pinch of salt into their water to get rid of any skin infection or mites.
3. ACV - To promote good digestion, ACV is recommended to be given in their drinking water once in a while. Brand most people use is BRAGG'S Apple Cider Vinegar with the 'mother' in it. If you can find probiotics (pigeon or baby grade), you can add that into his drinking water too, after the course of ACV.

Other things that you may have to look at, one point or another:
1. Worming - It's always better to deworm your birds, if you havent already. Have you ask the birdshop if the bird has been dewormed? If yes, good, but if not, chances are, he might pick up some worms from the other birds in the shop. It's better to get rid of parasites in their body so they can completely absorb the nutrients from their food. A healthy bird is more capable to fight future illness.

2. Meds - Be aware where to find these medication in your area so if ever the need arises, you know where to get them and fast - http://www.pigeoncote.com/vet/formulary/formulary.html

3. If you need to bring your bird to the vet (not necessary unless truly ill), best to find an AVIAN vet... I know in our region, it's not easy to find a vet who knows about pigeons... so be careful when selecting one. Make sure the Dr is certified in treating BIRDS and not bias against pigeons. I believe the experts in this forum are more knowledgeable about pigeons than most vets in our region!

4. Food - Try a variety of seeds. Like Jay has suggested, it's best to get a pigeon/dove mix... but if you can't, you can buy some of these seeds and mix them. They are available in the supermarket (organic or dried section) - safflower, buckwheat, barley, wheat, sesame seeds (not too much though!), flaxseed - and from the birdstore - white millets. My bird is also in love with green peas (Thanks Jay! :D) so I cook them everyday and leave in a seperate dish for her to enjoy.

5. Taming the bird - it's very good that you're talking and interacting with the bird everyday! Always remember that, for you, a human, you may have a life outside of the bird, but for the bird, YOU are everything! Especially a lone pigeon. If you keep that in mind and always put the bird's needs a priority, you'll be an awesome owner! The bird will get used to you after a while, like Jay has already mentioned, if you offer some raw peanuts in your hands, the bird will slowly trust you.... once they have tasted peanuts, they will go crazy for them. Give the treat sparingly though, too much peanuts ain't healthy, lol!

6. Keep using the bird's name when you interact with him. Sooner or later, he will recognise his own name. My 3 year old (bird, not human baby, lol) responds to her name being called, be it in the same room, or from the kitchen. I believe if you keep talking to the bird, they will understand your language and instructions. it's MUCH easier to handle them when you know they know what you're talking about!

Ok I've written an epic essay now. I hope this has helped you in one way or another. I get deliriously happy when I read about a new owner who seems very responsible. Thank you!

If you have questions, ask away. Do update us about your birds, with pictures and chronicle your adventures with him. We love bird stories!

Good luck!
 

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I’ll try and find some wood or cardboard for the floor. Coincidentally I had decided to take the nest out when I changed his water a few minutes ago; he didn’t seem to like it anyway. I’ll put a board up once I find one. I’m afraid either mix would be hard to find in my country since people don’t really keep pigeons or dove for pets so I would either have to make it myself or make do with what I have. I will be buying some safflower seeds and peanuts the next time I go out though so I’ll add those into what he has now. Right now, I’m mostly staying nearby so he can get used to things before I try feeding him again.

And thanks for the pictures! It helps to see examples of what it should look like. :)
Go easy on the safflower seeds and peanuts, as they are high in fat. Just a bit goes a long way. They love dried split peas and dry lentils from the super market.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Wow... that was a lot to absorb... I think I'll need to re-read that a few times. But thanks so much for the helpful advice! I'll be sure to look for all the things I'll need!

Honestly the shop I got him from didn't look very good but he seems healthy enough and I was eager to try raising a bird since the passing of my last pet. I think I'll try mixing food for him myself or maybe adding a bit more to the mix I already bought from the pet shop. I'm not quite sure about the grit or ACV though, those might be tougher to find since most major pet shops don't really sell birds anymore. A Doctor might also take a while to find. But hey, I'll try my best for the little guy.

Talking too him still feels a little weird though since, like I said in a last post, I'm a quiet person myself. But I keep him in my room with me, which is where I spend most of my day, so I guess we're enjoying comfortable silence together? I also play music which he sometimes reacts too. As for his name, I haven't really decided yet but I think I might go with Bell. Not exactly a manly name, I know. :p
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Go easy on the safflower seeds and peanuts, as they are high in fat. Just a bit goes a long way. They love dried split peas and dry lentils from the super market.
I wasn't really planning on putting all that much into the mix he already have to be honest. Wouldn't want him to get addicted after all. I'll try getting some peas not sure about the lentils. I don't even know what those are...
 
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