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Hi I have been bought a 2 week old pigeon chick, I have been hand raising it now for week. It is feathering up well and eating well. It has started pecking a little when do I start trying to transition it over to dry food? I have been putting small pots of seed and small fruit portions in the cages but it shows no interest. As it’s a feral bird can I release it where there are other pigeons or will it need to go to a bird fancier? Thanks for any help.
 

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Hi! Someone more experienced might come along, so I'd defer to what they have to say, but from my limited knowledge, I think they start eating seeds at 3-4 weeks, but they will still need crop milk after they start eating seeds for a bit. You will need to teach it how to eat by showing it videos of pigeons eating and by mimicking eating the seeds with your hand (pretend that your hand is like a beak). Because it is being hand-raised, it will not know how to survive in the wild, so it will need to be kept as a pet or in an aviary. Hope this helps!
 

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He will also need to learn how to drink water. You can play with the water and seeds by using your fingers. Pick up the seeds and drop them again. Push them around with your finger. You can feed him in the mornings and then spend the rest of the day trying to get him to eat. If you think he is not eating a lot during the day, then feed him again in the evenings.

He will be much too tame to be released. He won't have the same survival skills as wild babies have.
 

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He will also need to learn how to drink water. You can play with the water and seeds by using your fingers. Pick up the seeds and drop them again. Push them around with your finger. You can feed him in the mornings and then spend the rest of the day trying to get him to eat. If you think he is not eating a lot during the day, then feed him again in the evenings.

He will be much too tame to be released. He won't have the same survival skills as wild babies have.
Hi,
He will also need to learn how to drink water. You can play with the water and seeds by using your fingers. Pick up the seeds and drop them again. Push them around with your finger. You can feed him in the mornings and then spend the rest of the day trying to get him to eat. If you think he is not eating a lot during the day, then feed him again in the evenings.

He will be much too tame to be released. He won't have the same survival skills as wild babies have.
Hi, pigeons only feed there babies crop milk for the first 9 days after that the start fedding them seeds and to get a pigeon to drink water you have to stick his beek in the water a few times if you see your bird blinking his eyes that means he needs water
 

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Steph, thanks for caring and doing this.

He will be much too tame to be released. He won't have the same survival skills as wild babies have.
The Soft Release process works extremely, extremely well for a human-assisted orphan baby, when adhered to. I have soft released over a dozen human-raised orphans, and instructed a good 10 or more people who have successfully done it as well.

When it comes to releasing....this should not be done before 6 weeks (although actually I think for an orphaned baby being cared for by a human, wait until 7+ weeks at least as it gives 'em an extra week to grow a bit more robust.

The process is called "Soft Release"...you can probably search it here. It is an acclimation process which orphaned pigeons need to go thru in order to be successfully released into the world. Not adhering to it will have sad consequences, because it is a 'stand-in' method for what the baby would learn by following its parents around once it leaves the nest.

The lowdown is, you need to find a local flock, in a relatively safe place, one where the flock looks healthy and there seems to be decent food and water sources. Then you 'use' that flock to show the baby, who you bring out in a cage, how to do feral pigeon things.

The process can take between 1-2 weeks, depending on how fast the kid catches on. Maybe 15-20 minutes or so a day....

If you cannot find info on it, by all means email me: [email protected]
 
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