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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there. My name is Cheri, and I have a female pigeon named Edgar. She is 7 years old. I rescued her when she was about 5 days old. She was badly injured. She had a head injury, which has caused her to have balance problems. She is on her 3rd terrible molt. I am a veterinary technician, but don't work with any doctors who see birds. I took her to a bird vet this morning, because I noticed her shivering and her feathers looked really bad. The vet said because her balance is off, she cannot preen properly and because the feather loss is so bad, she cannot regulate her temperature. He also said she may have a hormone problem. She quit laying eggs a while back, so he may be right. She lives in a large ferret cage that has a big shelf that she climbs up the side to get onto. Her wings are so bald that she has bruised her wings and caused a bit of bleeding from climbing. She is on an antibiotic to prevent any infection. I have to work full time and am very worried about her, as I cannot watch her like I need to. I came home and put her into a 20 gallon glass critter cage with a blanket so she can't hurt herself, and to keep her warm. Does anybody have any advise on the situation? Thank you.
 

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How often is she out of the cage for exercise and socializing? Do you give her vitamins? A calcium and D3 supplement if she doesn't get outside in the sun for vitamin D3? Did you remove her eggs when she had them, which would only cause her to lay more to replace them, which would eventually deplete her of calcium? What do you feed her? Does she get Hi-calcium grit? So many questions. Could be so many things.
Can you post pictures of the bird?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
She gets calcium grit in a separate bowl daily and Avian Plus vitamins 3 times a week, along with her Pigeon/Dove mix. I work swing shifts, so I take her outside in the mornings for sun. I would let her sit on her eggs for a couple of days, then remove them.
I cannot let her fly around as she has coordination problems from her head injury as a baby. She was in a huge cage. She is growing in some of her feathers so she isn't so cold anymore, but I have her confined to a cat carrier so she doesn't bang herself back up again, and have to take her to work everyday. I let her flap around outside on the grass twice daily for exercise, and she is eating and drinking really well. Thank you for the reply. She has another vet apt this Tuesday. I think we are going to do blood work. I can't figure out how to post a picture. I am new to this site.
 

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I don't think she gets enough out of cage time to be with you. You don't have to let her fly if it is unsafe to do so. You could have clipped her wings if needed.
You shouldn't have taken her eggs after a few days. That will just make her lay more. Eventually they deplete themselves of their calcium stores, and can have a lot of problems. Since they weren't fertile, you could just leave them with her for the 18 days or so that they would normally sit on eggs to hatch them. Eventually she would have gotten tired of them and ignored them. You can also replace the real eggs with fake pigeon eggs that you can get online from pigeon supply places. But it's important to give her that time to rebuild calcium stores.
 

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Agree with Jay3, would not let her exercise outside while she is sick as this sounds unsafe. Hope she finishes her molt soon. Agree strongly, never just remove the eggs. We have three females who lay eggs, sit on them and eventually get bored with them. We substitute fake eggs if one gets broken. It is important not to take they eggs until,they stop sitting on them as it endangers their health due to calcium depletion. Thank you for rescuing your bird and for taking her to an avian vet!
 

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If she is also having a terrible molt, that leads me to believe she may not be eating enough and/or nutrient deficient. She needs to be hand/force fed if not. Is her keel/breast bone sharp or noticeable when you feel around it? Her balance may also be off because she is weak and lacking in calcium/D3 and other nutrients, such as B complex, (extremely important for nerves and muscles). Also, you need to give her supplement heat if she is not able to keep herself warm. Do not force her to do anything she doesn't want to do since she is not well.

Is she eating enough, what do her poops look like?

The calcium/D3 is definitely needed, and she probably needs a good probiotic after finishing the antibiotic to replenish her good gut bacteria. Without the proper gut bacteria she may not be absorbing any vitamins/minerals.

I would add a good garlic supplement to her diet once a week to help with feathering.
Garlic does wonders for feathers and much more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
She can't fly, so I take her out on the grass to do some running around with me standing right behind her. She would lay 2 eggs per month, and sit on them for a couple of days, then blow them off, so I would take them out. She is on a very good vitamin and mineral supplement and eats calcium grit daily, so I don't know how she could be calcium deficient. The doctor is thinking auto-immune. She eats and drinks fantastic and her poops are completely normal. She doesn't act weak at all, and her personality is exactly the same. She lost her balance in her water the first day and got soaked and was cold because of her feather loss. I have her in a cat carrier with a fleece blanket around it on the inside to keep her warm and to keep her from hurting herself. What garlic supplement would you recommend? Her balance is still off really bad. I am thinking that because she had the head injury as a baby, that she has always been like that and now that she doesn't have her tail to prop her up, she is falling backwards. Thank you for the replies.
 

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A hen can still be calcium deficient even with calcium grit. Not saying that is the problem.
She may not get enough D3, and that would cause her not to be able to use the calcium.

It can be so many things, usually ill or vitamin deficient. She really could use a vet to be sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I didn't know you could do that with garlic. Thank you for that. She stopped laying eggs almost a year ago. She has seen 2 vets and neither are sure of what is going on. I am willing to try anything, so I will get some Calciboost.
 
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