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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey,
I rescued my pigeon at 2 weeks old (he is about 4 months now). He's been doing well, but recently he's been shedding a lot. We have to vacuum heaps of little feathers every morning. I thought that was normal, but then I noticed these little bald spots around his neck. Just wondering if anyone knows what that could be?

He flew away for 4 hours the other day, and then came back, ate a lot, took a bath in the dog bowl, and passed out on a soft jacket. We noticed the missing feathers after that, so we thought other birds may have beat him up or something, but we're not sure if he had this before or after the trip outside.

Could this be some kind of a disease? Or dietary imbalance? We feed him this blend which is meant for finches, but I didn't think that would matter much since pigeons survive on garbage on the street. I'm thinking of adding some quinoa for protein, and spirulina for all sorts of vitamins.

Let me know what you think this could be!
 

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He is at that age and is just going through a regular moult, post a pic in a few weeks you will be amazed when he is done.
Dave
 

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If you look at the head and neck closely, you can see the pins (new feathers yet to unfurl)...they will soon fill in and he will return to his normal good-looking self.
 

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Oh, what a cutie!

Yes, it is probably molting. However, if the feathering gets noticeably bare around neck area where the bird cannot pick that could also be mites, that you can't see. Get a small bottle of Scatt and that will take care of the blood sucking mites.

Pigeons do need the rainbow of nutrients provided in a good seed mix, especially during the molt.

Here is a sample of ingredients in a pigeon seed: http://www.purgrain.com/ingredients.htm

 

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Your finch mix doesn't fill the requirements of a pigeon. Doesn't have all that he needs in it. Sure, pigeons survive on garbage in the wild, and they also live for 3 to 5 years if lucky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
this is what a good pigeon grain feed looks like. it is bigger and not as fine as a finch's seed which are very small birds.

Ah yes, a friend of ours feeds street pigeons with this stuff, so we took a cup home to let Rupert try it, but he just ate around all the big pieces! Is he too young to eat them?
 

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No he isn't to young. He isn't used to it. They will eat what they are used to. And even then, they will try to pick out what they like best. Feed that to him and he will eventually adjust and eat it.
 

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No blend of grain mix can provide all the vitamins and minerals that a pigeon needs especially when he's growing and moulting. He needs calcium and proteins to grow healthy feathers.
You need to give him supplements preferably water soluble ones.

If you have only one bird then it won't be harsh on your pocket if you can order pigeon pellets and live tension free. They will give him all he needs! :)
 

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*No blend of grain mix can provide all the vitamins and minerals that a pigeon needs especially when he's growing and moulting. He needs calcium and proteins to grow healthy feathers.
You need to give him supplements preferably water soluble ones.

If you have only one bird then it won't be harsh on your pocket if you can order pigeon pellets and live tension free. They will give him all he needs! :)
* While I agree that a bird needs extra support (protein during growth and molting and stress, calcium/D3 during growth and for laying hens), a good pigeon grain seed can provide most of the nutrition a pigeon needs, besides calcium/D3. It all depends on what extra supplements they receive and the quality. They do not necessarily need pigeon pellets.

Vitamins should be given in the most natural state possible, in whole foods.

Garlic caps provide a pigeon with a healthier thicker bloom of feathers, I have got the proof.
 

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I agree that they don't need pellets. Most birds prefer grains. But an all seed diet is deficient in vitamins and minerals, and has already been mentioned that he should be getting vitamins. In natural state is good, but you can also give bird vitamins a couple of times a week. And as has also been mentioned calcium and vitamin D3 is important.
 

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Let's check in with Dr.Colin Walker of Australian Pigeon Company what he has to say about that
Information Picked from melbournebirdvet.com

No grain blend contains good levels of all amino acids, which is why formulated pellets or a good vitamin/mineral/amino acid supplement are necessary for top performance to be achieved.* A good grain blend however, is a good start.
Digestible protein – pigeons do not have the enzymes to digest all proteins in their diet, so the nutrients they contain are simply passed in the droppings.
What needs to be said is that no blend of grains can supply all of the vitamins, minerals and amino acids pigeons require. When feeding a grain based diet, there is definite advantage in using either a fortified pellet or a good multivitamin mineral/amino acid supplement, made specifically for pigeons, from a reputable company, using veterinary knowledge.* Also there is definite advantage in using a probiotic.* These correct gut ph, aid in digestion and protect the bowel from infectious disease.* It goes without saying that these need to be made for the purpose and provided by a reputable veterinary company.
These days, many fanciers find it easier to provide a complete diet for their breeders by using a formulated maintenance pellet.* Pellets do not work so well for race birds because their energy and nutrient requirements fluctuate depending on workload, temperature and other nutritional demands.* However, in the stock loft, nutritional requirements are fairly static.* There are a number of veterinary based companies producing pellets in Australia, US and throughout the world. In the better companies, because the pellets are based on the same science, nutrition in the pellets is fairly similar.* They do however, vary in their taste and presentation.* Using a pellet means that no supplements are required because everything is right there in the pellet. Most pellets are also cost competitive with grain.* With my own stock birds and fancy pigeons, I have now fed nothing except pellets for over 5 years.

I can't take it when people make authoritative statements so I think the above words by Dr.Colin Walker deserve to be quoted. Though you may not race your bird but atleast you can keep him healthy.
 

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Nobody said that pellets were not any good, we stated that pigeons don't need pellets if they have a good pigeon seed mix diet and a few added supplements to that.

I myself would hesitate to give pigeons pellets because they are not a natural/organic diet and I would have to read the label to make any further comments.
 

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Let's check in with Dr.Colin Walker of Australian Pigeon Company what he has to say about that



I can't take it when people make authoritative statements so I think the above words by Dr.Colin Walker deserve to be quoted. Though you may not race your bird but atleast you can keep him healthy.
What authoritative statement are you referring to?:confused:
 
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