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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I found a feral fledgling about 4 weeks old. For simplicity, I'm calling it a 'her'.

I've got her warm and Ive been rehydrating her... BUT I CAN'T GET HER TO EAT.

It's been about 18 hrs now.

I've got some millet mix (for budgies) with grit and crumbled peanuts in one bowl and rehydrating water in another, but I have to rehydrate her by hand with a syringe. She's much more alert now; so I figure she's okay to start eating, but she's not doing anything on her own.

Her droppings are ok but diminishing in size, obviously.

Background: About 6:30 yesterday evening she was out front of my apartment (in Cork city, Ireland) in the street with one of her parents feeding her. She's too young to fly yet; she can only get about 12" off the ground. There was also no way for her to get back to wherever it is pigeons go at night. She wouldn't have lasted 5 min on the street so we had to take her in. Her parent was still looking for her out there at 8:30... very sad...

 

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Poor little thing isn't eating because she doesn't know how and so you are going to need to hand feed her if she is to survive. This is what you do...

You can hand feed defrosted corn and peas. Run some hot water over them until they are defrosted and slightly warmed. Put the bird on your lap and hold it next to your body. I f it helps, you can wrap a towel around it or put it in the sleeve of a tee shirt, with the head out the wrist. That confines them without hurting them and makes it easier to handle. Gently open the beak and pop the piece of corn and peas at the back of the throat. You will need to feed 40-50 per feeding and every time the birds crop empties until you know she is eating on it's own.
Pretty soon, she will eat the corn and peas on her own and then you can graduate her into seed.
The crop is located right below the throat and when it has food in it it fill up like a little balloon and with peas and corn it will fill squishy.
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Could you please take a picture of your new pigeon's head? I'm concerned about the bald area under the mandible, it could be a sign of canker.
 

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Yes, a close up would be helpful, as it does look as though she has feathers missing there.
Her crop will probably empty three times a day, at which time, you can feed her the peas and corn again. Not so much as to make the crop feel too filled, like a balloon. Just puffy like a little pillow. Soon, she'll learn to pick them up by herself. They usually love defrosted peas and corn. Let us know how she'd doing. And try to post a close up of her head and face if possible.
 

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Thanks...

Thanks for the replies.

I couldn't post... permissions for 'pigeontastic' are nazi'd...:confused: (mods, please help!).

The corn and peas are a hit; this afternoon she started eating them on her own (along with squashed peanut bits).

I can't get a great close-up picture of her (phone camera sucks), but here's what I have:

If you can't tell if she has canker from this image I'll take another one after her nap. I haven't noticed any lesions around her beak or in her mouth (if that makes any difference to a squab?).

We've named her "Repeeper" (the original "Peeper" was a tiny feral who used to visit our patio a few years ago). She's doing much better after hydrating and eating. I started taking her outside to chase her along the breeze-way outside our apartment. She can't get much altitude but can cover about 4-5 feet (maybe 6-10 inches off the ground).

Thanks again guys... will keep you posted.
 

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That picture really isn't clear. She shouldn't have missing feathers on her throat though, and in the other pic, it looked as though she does.
By taking her outside, you are taking a chance, that when she can fly enough, she may go up in a tree or somewhere where you can't get her. She isn't ready for release, and she would never make it out on her own.
With canker, sometimes, if you can look way down in her throat, you might see some cheesy like stuff. Canker. But they don't always have that. If the bird has canker, it needs to be treated. If not, it will get very sick and die. We need a better picture. Can you see the skin under her throat, or on the sides of her face?
 

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Hi Jay3,

There are what look like fine fuzzy feather-stumps on her neck, possibly growing in.

I can't do close-up photos with my crappy phone camera - BUT - I did find this photo on flickr that looks somewhat like what I'm talking about (see bird on the right, below and between the eyes and beak):


http://www.flickr.com/photos/mapplegate/3347637908/in/set-72157602190854547/

I'll look in her throat in the morning.

Regardless, what is the treatment for canker?
 

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I agree with Jay3, letting the baby outside is a bad idea. Plus chasing the baby would terrify it, do you want to be able to hand feed the bird or have it cower from you?

I'd bet money that the pigeon has canker, it isn't normal to be missing feathers below the jaw.
 

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Thanks JGregg, but I assure you I'd stop letting the bird out long before there's a risk of my loosing her. She simply can't fly yet.

If she has canker, how do I treat it and when do I start?

Now, to the philosophic, flame-bait material... She is not and will not become a pet. She is a feral pigeon and she belongs with her own flock. Consequently, I am unsettled that she tries to nurse from my hand. It may be cute but it's inappropriate and she should be weaning anyway (at which she is progressing better than I anticipated).

Also, I *really* do not want her to get too comfortable with humans. I want to give her the best opportunity possible for her to survive, and hopefully thrive. That will not happen where we are if she gets too close to humans. I've seen people here behave shockingly towards pigeons, the likes of which you would never see in California.

When given the choice to leave her to die or raise her myself, I believe neither is an humane option. I chose not to let her die so she could have as natural a life as possible hereafter. So, I let her explore, then I chase her, then feed her, then she sleeps. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I'm sorry if it doesn't appeal, but I am not a pigeon and she is not a human and those boundaries will firmly remain.
 

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Thanks JGregg, but I assure you I'd stop letting the bird out long before there's a risk of my loosing her. She simply can't fly yet.

If she has canker, how do I treat it and when do I start?

Now, to the philosophic, flame-bait material... She is not and will not become a pet. She is a feral pigeon and she belongs with her own flock. Consequently, I am unsettled that she tries to nurse from my hand. It may be cute but it's inappropriate and she should be weaning anyway (at which she is progressing better than I anticipated).

Also, I *really* do not want her to get too comfortable with humans. I want to give her the best opportunity possible for her to survive, and hopefully thrive. That will not happen where we are if she gets too close to humans. I've seen people here behave shockingly towards pigeons, the likes of which you would never see in California.

When given the choice to leave her to die or raise her myself, I believe neither is an humane option. I chose not to let her die so she could have as natural a life as possible hereafter. So, I let her explore, then I chase her, then feed her, then she sleeps. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I'm sorry if it doesn't appeal, but I am not a pigeon and she is not a human and those boundaries will firmly remain.
Don't think anyone is asking you to drop your boundaries. It's just that a bird who is afraid of you is lots harder to handle. And chasing it to the point of scaring it, really isn't going to help anyone. It'll just make caring for her that much harder.
Now, as for the canker. She does look as though she has it. There are lots of different meds that you can get online to cure it. Foy's is one place, and they have a page with different canker meds. Here is the link for that page.
http://www.foyspigeonsupplies.com/catalog/canker.html

There are other places you can order from also. Where are you located? There might be a member in the area that could help you with it.
 

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You could treat canker with Fish-Zole (can be found in a pet store). Give the bird 1/4 tablet for several days (I don't know how many). Hopefully somebody can jump in with the correct number of days.
 

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I think it depends on the strength of the fishzole, how much to give.
 

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Guidance treating canker (with carnidazole)

Jay3, JGregg & Charis:

Thanks a mil for all your input, sincerely.

We're quite certain now she's got canker - yellowish phlegm-like oral excretion; drinking way too much water; not eating enough (but occasionally and now on her own - peas & corn and seeds w/ grit).

I'm in Cork, Ireland - new EU regulations require a prescription and there are no avian vets in Cork (nearest is 2.5 hours away by car; plus, no car).

I was able to get SPARTRIX[tm] (Carnidazole 10mg tablets) today "for oral treatment of canker in pigeons".

Do any of you have experience administering carnidazole?

The 'constructions' included state that "a single oral dose is effective against ... pigeon canker."

Also,
1 tablet per adult pigeon (i.e. 10mg per pigeon). Half tablet per younger pigeon. A single dose is usually sufficient. Cases which do not respond within 3 days may be treated again.​

I'm going to wait for about 2 hours (to hear any thoughts/feedback) then give her a half dose.

Plus, no more outside exercising (as of Saturday). She can now get up to about 6 feet high on her own now (inside, of course) which I find quite encouraging, all things considered.

Thanks again for all your help
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Better Pic

Hey lads,

Here's a *slightly* better image...

 

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Jay3, JGregg & Charis:

Thanks a mil for all your input, sincerely.

We're quite certain now she's got canker - yellowish phlegm-like oral excretion; drinking way too much water; not eating enough (but occasionally and now on her own - peas & corn and seeds w/ grit).

I'm in Cork, Ireland - new EU regulations require a prescription and there are no avian vets in Cork (nearest is 2.5 hours away by car; plus, no car).

I was able to get SPARTRIX[tm] (Carnidazole 10mg tablets) today "for oral treatment of canker in pigeons".

Do any of you have experience administering carnidazole?

The 'constructions' included state that "a single oral dose is effective against ... pigeon canker."

Also,
1 tablet per adult pigeon (i.e. 10mg per pigeon). Half tablet per younger pigeon. A single dose is usually sufficient. Cases which do not respond within 3 days may be treated again.​

I'm going to wait for about 2 hours (to hear any thoughts/feedback) then give her a half dose.

Plus, no more outside exercising (as of Saturday). She can now get up to about 6 feet high on her own now (inside, of course) which I find quite encouraging, all things considered.

Thanks again for all your help

One pill never works. We usually give three, and sometimes they may need more. One pill may be sufficient for the prevention of canker, but not for the treatment if they have it. I don't remember, how old is the bird?
Make sure you take the water away when you give the pill, and keep it away for at least 2 hours.
 

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I just checked. She's about a month old. I'd give her one whole pill a day for at least three days. If the canker is still visible, I'd treat longer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks Jay3

I think she's about 4-5 weeks
 

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I'd give a whole pill, like I said for at least 3 days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks Jay...

I've given her the pill and taken the water.

Will do the same tomorrow.
 
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