Hello, Lyna! My name is Britt and I live in Kansas City. I'm not certain if you are looking to place your pigeon in Kansas City or in another city. How old is he and do you know the sex? I may be interested in taking him in. He would be kept indoors as a pet. I don't have any cats or dogs.
Hi Brit. Jo and I just left KC yesterday to go back to Larned, Ks. I am in need of finding him a good home since he is maturing and appears to need other pigeon companionship now. Fairly certain his relentless dancing, cooing and biting me for attention likely means he is a male. He is very healthy as he has been hand fed and raised since he was given to me at about a week old last July. So about 4 mos. old. He was a free flight bird along with his sister (?) until one day Jo came home without her, shaking and now chooses not to go outside much anymore. Do you raise pigeons?
It isn't easy for me to give him away but I want what's best for him. I do not know what he wants from me except possibly to go build a nest and lay some eggs with him. I can't be a pigeon right now. Won't he want and expect the same thing as a house pet for you Britt? Seems to me he needs to find a pigeon mate
First thing! Do not let him outside right now! Read on for why:
You're exactly right, Lyna! He does need a pigeon mate. It definitely sounds like you have a boy, and pigeons, while stubborn, are also adaptable. He will soon realize that his courting efforts are going to remain unsuccessful and at that point he may try to move out and find someone else to court (hopefully a lady pigeon). It's good that he has experience flying around outdoors and probably knows how to find food, though liquid water will become increasingly difficult this time of year.
You seem to have two options:
1. Prepare him for a rehabilitated release.
The fact that he is young and of feral origins is in his favor. Also, he likely knows how to find food, since he's spent time flying around before. However, both food and water are much more scarce now than they were just a month ago, and they'll become increasingly scarce over the winter.
The middle of Kansas is also a pretty dangerous place to be a pigeon, as any of us familiar with pheasant hunting knows. In Kansas Pheasant season started the 8th and will continue through the end of January.
He will also need to become accustomed to the cold before he is released. It typically takes pigeons at least 4 weeks to build up enough feather dust to make a good winter coat. Letting him have a bath every day is helpful. It helps him build up the dust. Ideally, you would have an outdoor aviary/coop that can be heated with a space heater and the heat can be slowly decreased, allowing him to become accustomed to the winter temperatures.
However, I'm not sure how many potential mates he may find in the Larned area. And this is not mating season, so his advances may not be well received. If you do decide on a rehabilitated release, I would tentatively suggest bringing him in to Kansas City where there are many more potential mates. It's typical for the males to relocate to their female mates roosting area, anyway.
In this case, he is welcome to stay at my house where he can become more acquainted with the magnetic lines of the area. We can potentially build a small aviary of the sort I described onto my garage/shed so that he can become prepared for a rehabilitated release. Alternatively:
2. The second option is to attempt to find him a female who is already living a tamed or semi-tamed life.
This can be difficult because you would potentially need to introduce him to several un-mated females before he finds a match. I do know of a lady in the area (I think Leawood, but I'm not certain) who has a large group of king pigeons, and who may be willing to allow him into the group. However, there is some risk that he will be picked on, since he is an outsider and is likely to stick out due to his different coloring.
There is an excellent bird vet here in KC named Julie Burge, who may be able to give us some more information on local pigeon keepers. There are also several other veterinarians in the area that I'm familiar with, who may be able to assist. This forum may also be helpful in finding a suitable mate for Jo.
Most importantly, remember to not let him outside right now, as he may take the situation into his own wings and fly off without being completely prepared for release! Second most importantly, know that you're not alone and that you have every ounce of assistance that I can give you to make sure that Jo finds a happy and healthy solution! If you send me an email at [email protected], I will send you my cell phone number! You've done a wonderful job raising two baby feral pigeons, who would not have lived without your excellent mothering!
Your situation sounds very similar to the one I was in from May 5th til October 20th, when my own beloved baby feral pigeon, Doodle decided to move out. I saved him and his younger sister from being fed to a cat when he was just 4 days old. Unfortunately, his sister was too young and did not survive the first 48 hours of being "raised" by a human who had absolutely no idea what she was doing! I attempted to take them to a wildlife rehabilitation center, but was told that they were not allowed to take pigeons because the species is not native to North America. They were kind enough to give me a five minute crash course in basic baby bird care as well as a small tube and syringe a cup of formula to tide me over. Then it was just me and the internet, along with some formula and kind words from my local pet shop, and some wonderful (and cheap) help from Julie Burge.
Doodle grew to be a strong and healthy pigeon, with preferences for hunting and pecking seed all over the house, a healthy wariness toward strange people and animals, and, oddly, the color orange! He was five months old at the time he flew off from my front porch and he had been attempting to court me for about 4 weeks. His attempts had become very assertive over the last two weeks he was with me, until about three days before he left when he all but ceased his attempts and seemed to recognize that I wasn't going to become his mate. I came to find his courting efforts distressing to the point where I found myself, oddly, wishing I'd been a pigeon, just so I could give him what he clearly deserved: a love and companion of his choice.
Though we'd been out on the porch and front lawn together a hundred times, he'd never flown out into the world on his own, and I haven't seen him since. I can only hope that his gorgeous courting dance won him the affection of some lovely lady pigeon. But I may never know for sure. Please, take this as a warning. The weather was lovely when Doodle left and stayed decent for some time, so I'm very hopeful. But... You may even consider having Jo "tagged" with a tracking chip (perhaps in an ankle bracelet).
Please, let me assist in any way! The best of luck to you and Jo!
Wow Britt. So sorry for your loss of Doodle. I too hope he found his way to a welcoming flock. Just before the really cold temps set in at the end of October, my pigeon Jo unsuspectingly ran off my 8 week old mourning dove "Baby" that I rescued after a bad storm. I hand raised him from just a few days old. All it took was one unsuspecting split second with the door (always) wide open and my intentionally startled "Baby" I called him, flew out the door and outta my life forever. "Baby" was soooo awesome and sweet. Always at my feet, sitting on my shoulder purring or sleeping, always trying to learn something new from me... Heartbreaking to say the least. So I feel for you.
There are many other pigeons that reside in this small harvest town where I have been temporarily living indefinitely for over a year now. I have never seen so many pigeons and all different kinds of doves just everywhere like I've seen in this town. Many of the doves, including some mourning doves are even still here. For the entire winter, idk.
I had just recently been told that they have and will sometimes put poison out to try and reduce the pigeon population near the coop at harvest time. I closed the "always" open door for Jo right after I heard about this. Also because I noticed so unusually many hawks all around town.
Thank you for warning me about Jo possibly giving upon me and possibly deciding to fly off on his own. I can definitely see now, that this could happen. No, I don't think that Jo has near enough survival skills to make it on his own. I think we must have just been lucky that he didn't do this sometime during our last visit to KC because I let him free flight follow me everywhere that we went outside, even in that extreme cold there last week. Jo is now adjusting to his new cage inside for the winter.
A friend is going to give me a fertile chicken egg for him to sit on to try and make him happy for a while. I plan to drive back to KC in a few weeks and I will contact you if you think you or anyone else might still be interested in him.