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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, we've had a helmet pigeon at my job (animal control) for probably 7-8 months now, and I'm supposed to take him home to adopt on Friday. Up until now he's seemed very healthy. He was fine last week, I had the weekend off and didn't see him, went home sick on Monday so I didn't really see him then, was out sick yesterday, came in today and he's all puffed up with feathers all over the bottom of his cage, and the tips of some of his wing feathers look pretty tattered. I asked my coworker if something had happened, he said the pigeon started "pulling his feathers out" over the weekend. I *think* he's just assuming this because there are feathers everywhere, but if he had mites or lice would he pluck them and puff up? If he was just going through a molt or something could that explain the puffed appearance? He seems to be eating and drinking just fine, his droppings are normal. The only visible indicators of a problem are the scattered feathers, the puffiness and he keeps perching on one leg...something I very seldom see him do. What could be the issue? What course of treatment should I try? Thank you!
 

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Hi there!
Have you noticed any pinfeathers coming in? It is possible that this bird has just begun his Spring moult. Pigeons usually moult 2x a year - in Spring and in Fall.
If that is the case, he may just need some rest and maybe calcium supplement until the moult completes and his feathers have all come back in.

Definitely check for mites and lice too. Sometimes they can cause a bird to pull it's feathers out.

It could also be an illness, but if he is eating and drinking normally and his droppings look ok, that seems less likely to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the rapid response! I haven't noticed any pinfeathers, but I will check him more thoroughly tomorrow. So it is not uncommon for moulting pigeons to puff out that way? Now, we found this guy so I don't know his history and have no idea if he's ever been treated for internal or external parasites, and I haven't treated him since we got him in. Would it be a bad idea to do so? I have chickens and preventatively treat them twice a year. Also, I have a few different vitamin/electrolyte solutions for my chickens. Would something like that in his water for a few days be be beneficial? Thanks, again!
 

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Pigeons shouldn't be moulting at this time, if the birds is darken and you cut down his lights to less than 8 hours its possible that you are doing the darkening system, which a lot of racing fancier do to their birds. If this is the case just give him ample lights and he should be back to his normal self. Hope this help.
 

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Pigeons shouldn't be moulting at this time, if the birds is darken and you cut down his lights to less than 8 hours its possible that you are doing the darkening system, which a lot of racing fancier do to their birds. If this is the case just give him ample lights and he should be back to his normal self. Hope this help.
All the birds I have indoors started to molt this week - fluffy little feathers EVERYWHERE! :eek: None of the birds in the loft have started yet.
 

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Well, we've had a helmet pigeon at my job (animal control) for probably 7-8 months now, and I'm supposed to take him home to adopt on Friday. Up until now he's seemed very healthy. He was fine last week, I had the weekend off and didn't see him, went home sick on Monday so I didn't really see him then, was out sick yesterday, came in today and he's all puffed up with feathers all over the bottom of his cage, and the tips of some of his wing feathers look pretty tattered. I asked my coworker if something had happened, he said the pigeon started "pulling his feathers out" over the weekend. I *think* he's just assuming this because there are feathers everywhere, but if he had mites or lice would he pluck them and puff up? If he was just going through a molt or something could that explain the puffed appearance? He seems to be eating and drinking just fine, his droppings are normal. The only visible indicators of a problem are the scattered feathers, the puffiness and he keeps perching on one leg...something I very seldom see him do. What could be the issue? What course of treatment should I try? Thank you!
Perching on one leg is normal.....
 

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A pigeon drinking and eating as normal and with normal poops, lot of feathers around the space, it seems to be under a little stress due to molting. As Karen suggested, pls check on pin feathers and for lice. Perching on one leg is common but a one leg puffed up stance with eyes closed most of the time usually indicates the pigeon is not that well. If this pigeon was not dewormed, it would be a good idea to get that done.
 

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I am glad to hear there are no critters and that the little guy has pinfeathers coming in too.

I recently adopted a new dove, and after 1 week in his new home the same thing happened - his feathers were falling out like crazy and he was looking fluffed up & unhappy. I was worried sick, but - it turned out to be just a heavy moult that had him feeling under the weather. Possibly the moult was triggered by a change in lighting in his environment. (though like you - I don't know this bird's history except that he was "surrendered" by a woman who could no longer care for him)

As far as supplements - I do not know what is in the chicken vitamins and whether or not it would be beneficial to pigeons as well. But I'll bet someone else here does. There are a lot of avian experts on this board.
 

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Well, thank you! It's good to know that there is nothing abnormal or wrong! I'll see what more I can look up on those supplements that I have.

I'm brand new to owning a pigeon, so everything is going to be a learning experience for a while. I'm very glad that I found this forum, everyone has been so great :)
You are going to enjoy your new companionship :)
 
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