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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

I rarely post, but enjoy reading the discussions. My problem is 10 out of 13 of my hatched baby pigeons have died so far this breeding season, most of the time because the parents just stopped sitting on them. I have also incidentally had 2 cocks lose weight and die (one was a yearling and the other was a 2-year old). I keep my birds locked in breeding boxes and feed them individually during breeding season as I have the previous 2 years without any problems. The rest of the adult birds look nice and healthy. I just cannot figure out why, after the birds are 1 to 2 weeks old, the parents seem to quit sitting on them and then they die in this cold weather we've been having in the Northeast USA. The 3 squabs that have made it so far seem to be nice and healthy as well and have long been weaned from the parents and put into a separate area. Any help would be greatly appreciated because at this rate, I won't have any young birds to race this year!

skobie
 

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hmmm... Skobie have these pairs that stopped taking care of their young like this, meaning have they done this consecutively? If yes, perhaps its their characteristic (bad breeders).

Had a male once that never took his turn in sitting on the eggs and barely fed chick(s). Most of the time the young died or only one survived. He did everything else normal, like chasing his female before she lays her egg; mated etc.

Sometimes its best not to breed these bad traits. If they are the best racers in your loft you can exchange their eggs with another pair to which laid their eggs nearing the same time?

Sorry I do not have an official answer to all of your questions but, it seems like you are doing everything right (even better than me)... and yet you are experiencing these situations...

I do not want to question your feeding or cleanliness of your loft but those two things would be the first two that comes to my mind when these situations appear.

I hope you luck with your 3 YB that survived.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No, no pair of breeders have allowed birds to die more than once so far and I keep the loft as clean and dry as possible. Another interesting characteristic is that after a pair of breeders have let a brood die by freezing, they seem reluctant to lay another set of eggs as well. Could it just be too cold this winter? Again, I have not had this problem with any of these breeders the past 2 years, so I don't know what's going on, but would like to know if anyone else has had this problem and what their remedy was. I would even just accept a remedy, but I'm worried that there may be some sort of disease involved.

skobie
 

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I have the same problem sir I don't let my birds lay in the winter at all if they do there eggs are switched out my reasoning is simple... mom and dad can cover eggs easy then day olds easy you all no once the babies hit 1 week there quite larger then eggs or day olds and naturally they keep growing once mom and dad cant cover both of the babies fully they get to cold and have no feathers to keep warm on there own I strongly suggest that you find a safe way to heat your loft or stop breeding in the winter or even bring a few pairs into your home over the winter if you have to keep breeding IMO...
 

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Could be that the babies are sick. Salmonell/Paratyphoid or maybe E-Coli, will kill babies in the nest. Or as was mentioned, could just be too cold, but I know others have raised babies in the winter time. I would get the droppings checked for bacteria.
 

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DONT LET THEM BREED IN THE WINTER! the babies get too big for the parents to sit on and keep warm as early as 7-10 days old.... trust me I had some birds do winter breeding this year and it has been nothing but headaches..I havent had any young ones die but thats because ive been bringing them in the house. Just switch out for fake eggs until the weather gets warmer if they lay more....if your birds have good appetites and no coughing, sneezing, abnormal stools, I would be inclined to think they are just thrown off by the weather, out of season breeding, and probably most pertinent: the babies growing too large for the parents to brood over.... good luck with your birds- j
 

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Hello All,

I rarely post, but enjoy reading the discussions. My problem is 10 out of 13 of my hatched baby pigeons have died so far this breeding season, most of the time because the parents just stopped sitting on them. I have also incidentally had 2 cocks lose weight and die (one was a yearling and the other was a 2-year old). I keep my birds locked in breeding boxes and feed them individually during breeding season as I have the previous 2 years without any problems. The rest of the adult birds look nice and healthy. I just cannot figure out why, after the birds are 1 to 2 weeks old, the parents seem to quit sitting on them and then they die in this cold weather we've been having in the Northeast USA. The 3 squabs that have made it so far seem to be nice and healthy as well and have long been weaned from the parents and put into a separate area. Any help would be greatly appreciated because at this rate, I won't have any young birds to race this year!

skobie
So sorry to hear that your ybs died and racing season will not begin for you this summer.

Maybe you should have tried heating the loft! Cuz cold could be the reason as squabs may have problems keeping their body warmth in cold.
Does your ybs showed any symptoms in particular before dying?
Ybs have lesser immunities so if parents are carrying something then they're gonna give it to already weak babies from birth. Did you treat your birds for common illnesses like canker,cocci,worms etc before breeding them. Getting the droppings tested would be best.

Now time for breeding is coming ahead. If your adults are healthy then you may let two or three pairs to breed and see how it goes. If problem still occurs,take your live squeaker to the vet.
 

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I really get surprized when I hear from some people that their birds are breeding fine in winters. In my loft breeding things don't go smooth in winters. I never breed in winters but this winters a falcon took many of my birds and I sold 21 birds for feed. So I had to breed my birds and lost nearly 10 squabs to freeze.
Many people claim to breed their birds in winters successfully without any artificial heat source and I wonder how???
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Though I'd like to, I'm just not buying the cold weather for the problems. People breed in the winter all the time and you don't have much choice in the northern USA and Canada. And I don't know too many people who heat their lofts either. Heck, when I was a kid, we use to climb under the bridges in the dead of winter and see all the wild pigeons and their broods sitting there happy as can be. Sometimes it doesn't warm up until May around here.

I guess what I really need to know is: what kind of disease(s) could these youngbirds have and what could I treat it with. I know that may not be an easy question to answer, but I'd just like some ideas so I know a possible direction to go in. I don't mean to sound stand-offish, but I've got to get to the bottom of this rather strange problem. Any help is much appreciated.

skobie
 

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Though I'd like to, I'm just not buying the cold weather for the problems. People breed in the winter all the time and you don't have much choice in the northern USA and Canada. And I don't know too many people who heat their lofts either. Heck, when I was a kid, we use to climb under the bridges in the dead of winter and see all the wild pigeons and their broods sitting there happy as can be. Sometimes it doesn't warm up until May around here.

I guess what I really need to know is: what kind of disease(s) could these youngbirds have and what could I treat it with. I know that may not be an easy question to answer, but I'd just like some ideas so I know a possible direction to go in. I don't mean to sound stand-offish, but I've got to get to the bottom of this rather strange problem. Any help is much appreciated.

skobie

I would supply supplimental heat if you breed in winter up that far north. without feathering if their parents don't sit on them then they will die..they can't digest food if they are cold. they have to be warm for the feedings to go through them.

wether you have an illness remains to be seen but if you can't do testing then you would be carelessly using antibiotics which can become resistant if not used for a specific illness or bacteria.

I would always treat for canker before breeding as that is an anti protozoal.

If you used supplimental heat and all works fine then there is your answer.
 

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When young birds are from 5 to10 days old. They are getting or have gotten to large for the parents to cover them well. They are prone to becoming chilled then dieing as they can not maintian body heat. After they open there the pin feathers open they survive much better during cold times. Now some parts of the country the birds are paired later last week of Feb, so that they birds will be march hatched. Is you loft sealed for winter breeding. Is the water kept from freezing. Or is at least changed out 2 times daily. As the parent birds will get off the nest when they have NO water. Other then this I would look at sickness in the young. Do the young look healthy. Before they die. Are the nest bowls deep enough to help the parents cover them a little better.
 

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breeding in the fall

From reading what you have stated and other comments it could be all of those things. Also, to remember that the two that got thin and died could have not been your fault. Paratyphoid in youngsters is common in the first year, since they haven't built up a strong immune system yet and are fragile to infections and bacteria. Both parents or one of them could just be carriers of paratyphoid and spread it throughout your loft. Older birds sometimes fight it off better and some are born with it and dont make it very long. I treat all my birds with 3 in 1, and Paratyphoid cure for youngsters and adult birds before breeding and after. Paratyphoid normaly flares up during the hot months especially July and August. I think in your situation, one of the birds had to be a carrier of it. I have had a few like that, but vaccination really helps on keeping your numbers. As for Breeding in the fall, I use performing rollers for fostering, and they are excellent in raising babies in cold weather. I live in Prosser, Wa and hav banned 22 youngster already. That was in December thru February. They have always done great for me.
Good luck and hope you find the solution.
 

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Though I'd like to, I'm just not buying the cold weather for the problems. People breed in the winter all the time and you don't have much choice in the northern USA and Canada. And I don't know too many people who heat their lofts either. Heck, when I was a kid, we use to climb under the bridges in the dead of winter and see all the wild pigeons and their broods sitting there happy as can be. Sometimes it doesn't warm up until May around here.

skobie
Not sure my viewpoint will help, but I'm gonna toss it out here..

Seems like there are so many variables... If you've got good fresh water, I think you're working the right path. Especially with the winter we've been enduring country wide, it's been tougher than what most creatures had experienced in recent yrs. With these temps, water is crucial as it helps our bodies regulate heat, increase blood flow, etc. Here in Montana, I've had to take different steps. A flat dish with a wild bird de icer plugged in. Much like a livestock heater. Granted, that also means cleaning the water more often, but I feel it's a good trade off when dealing with -40F til we get warm enough to go back to regular water containers.

Next, I'd look at drafts. With the little bit of warming we get then the much more extreme dips at night, I can tell a big difference in my doors and how they stick at particular times of the day. This is everything from my walk in door to the lofts doors for the birds. Constant contraction - expansion. Maybe there's a new draft not there before given these changes. Again checking different times in the day may shed light.

Here, no one heats their loft, I haven't seen the ground (snow) in a while! I wonder if bedding makes a difference?? Mine love snuggling deep in straw, I keep a thermometer in the center loft nest, I can read it from the house. They've been down to -7F so far at my place. I'd guess colder at their 'hatching loft across the village... There they were in a wood chip bedding. Personally, if I were to go lay in either loft in a wood chip bed (made to my size) then a straw bed, I'd be warmer in the straw. You can snuggle in it better. The hollow shaft helps hold the warmth from your body... It seems to me, it also is a better draft barrier.

Just looking in, with some different observances I've had....

The other thing that comes to mind is HUMIDITY - we get very dry snow here you all get very wet snow. When I come back east, your winters feel more brutal to me given the damper conditions. I also am at a much higher elevation, so the sun here is still pretty harsh in winter (I got a mean winter tan going on my face and hands lol).

Anyway, hope my pondering sparks a thought for you to find that solution you need, sorry for your losses. Good luck my friend!
 

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its kind of odd to see so many peoples birds laying when the days start getting short my birds stop when the days get long they lay there is the odd pair that lay but most don't maybe its because im in Canada? or even my breed?
Hi Mookeeman, What breed do you have again? When are they laying?? In the general books about pigeons I've read, they should be able to deal with temps down to -50. That's about where we've been this winter. Chicks have a harder time, of course (less feathers). Some of the young chicks (under 1 mo old) have been lost, but not many I don't believe (not my loft, but where my 1 mo olds are coming from). We did loose a chick that got too close to a male on the bottom of the loft and was killed. I have the sibling to that lost chick, and more coming in the next week. To keep the chick from being alone we took the two youngest birds we could find to go with him, hoping they would comfort him emotionally and add warmth. We didn't want a lone pigeon in the outdoor loft....

Anyway, I'm higher in altitude than you are, and a good bit north. Days are getting longer now, it's VERY noticeable here!!! Technically we are 2 days from spring... I'm finding we are waiting around to make sure everyone has left the aviary section and flown into the loft each evening. Tonight with no cloud cover (brighter skies) it seemed like we were even another 45 - 1 hour waiting to 'put them to bed'.

The birds at my 'hatching loft' got going in Jan. We had many weeks of dark grey skies, snow moved in and then everything was so bright with all the snow reflecting light, before we knew it, everyone was highly active and pairing up. It was such a HUGE change to all living creatures here to have so much light after many weeks (almost 2 mo?) of dark grey days, that that is what set all this in motion. (I honestly hadn't expected to get birds for several months when I got the call asking if I was ready lol). Well I am now!!

Weather is looking BRUTAL with highs in the NEG teens for highs over the weekend, and NEG near 30s at night. I've got weather coming in following the Rocky Mountains out of Yellow Knife. :( *Sigh* But so far the birds got through several days of NEG 50 in daytime as young chicks... So I am hopeful. NO ONE up here heats a loft...

I'm still wondering if it is the SUDDEN extreme changes that takes them more than anything...
 

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its kind of odd to see so many peoples birds laying when the days start getting short my birds stop when the days get long they lay there is the odd pair that lay but most don't maby its because im in Canada? or even my breed?
Many people will use extended lighting to increase the hours of light . And some people put the birds to gether the day after thanksgiving. Where others will wait until mid to late Feb, In your area I can see not puting the birds together until MARCH first. And you can use lights starting by mid feb to get them ready. TEMPS that get rather cold Heat is the only way to breed early. which people do. BUT they have to be careful. As there hjave been some good pigeon people that lost all there birds to fire. And lost years of work building the quality of there birds. So it is a catch all. You will find many people all ready have there FIRST round of young birds on the floor And have there second round in the nest. But as said where you live makes up the time for breeding.
 

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Hi Mookeeman, What breed do you have again? When are they laying?? In the general books about pigeons I've read, they should be able to deal with temps down to -50. That's about where we've been this winter. Chicks have a harder time, of course (less feathers). Some of the young chicks (under 1 mo old) have been lost, but not many I don't believe (not my loft, but where my 1 mo olds are coming from). We did loose a chick that got too close to a male on the bottom of the loft and was killed. I have the sibling to that lost chick, and more coming in the next week. To keep the chick from being alone we took the two youngest birds we could find to go with him, hoping they would comfort him emotionally and add warmth. We didn't want a lone pigeon in the outdoor loft....

Anyway, I'm higher in altitude than you are, and a good bit north. Days are getting longer now, it's VERY noticeable here!!! Technically we are 2 days from spring... I'm finding we are waiting around to make sure everyone has left the aviary section and flown into the loft each evening. Tonight with no cloud cover (brighter skies) it seemed like we were even another 45 - 1 hour waiting to 'put them to bed'.

The birds at my 'hatching loft' got going in Jan. We had many weeks of dark grey skies, snow moved in and then everything was so bright with all the snow reflecting light, before we knew it, everyone was highly active and pairing up. It was such a HUGE change to all living creatures here to have so much light after many weeks (almost 2 mo?) of dark grey days, that that is what set all this in motion. (I honestly hadn't expected to get birds for several months when I got the call asking if I was ready lol). Well I am now!!

Weather is looking BRUTAL with highs in the NEG teens for highs over the weekend, and NEG near 30s at night. I've got weather coming in following the Rocky Mountains out of Yellow Knife. :( *Sigh* But so far the birds got through several days of NEG 50 in daytime as young chicks... So I am hopeful. NO ONE up here heats a loft...

I'm still wondering if it is the SUDDEN extreme changes that takes them more than anything...
I have mookees ice pigeons and homers they lay first clutch about march 1 - 18 th until dec ish witch is fin for me I don't wanna raise a lot,, but im saying they stop laying no eggs threw the winter at all. odd young pairs sometimes but not this year idk...
 
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