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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,

This morning on my way to yoga, as I crossed a small bridge I noticed there was a little bird floating by, I wasn't sure if it was dead or alive but as I looked closer I noticed it was twitching a little and had it's head up so it must have been alive. I took off my shoes and went into the canal and managed to grab it. I brought it home and dried it up with the hair dryer and it seems quite OK.

I realize that I'm going to have to raise it myself, I did this a few years ago but I cant remember exactly how the feeding goes, I have a few notes but wanted some feedback, I want to make sure I'm right about what I'm doing.
The pigeon is about 3 1/2 weeks old I'd say, it's got a few sprinklings of baby feathers poking out of it's head and neck but hardly any.

From what I remember, I should feed it about 5 mls of baby bird formula 3 times a day and also leave some small seed mix for it to pick at. I do remember about the correct temperature that the formula has to be at (35-38 degrees celcius ). Do this for a week and then reduce to 5 mls only twice a day the following week.
Is this correct and is there anything else I should be giving it or doing?
 

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I think i old enough to hand feed him defrosted peas. They are high in proteins and make good transition to seeds.

You can hand feed defrosted corn and peas. Run some hot water over them until they are defrosted and slightly warmed. Put the bird on your lap and hold it next to your body. I f it helps, you can wrap a towel around it or put it in the sleeve of a tee shirt, with the head out the wrist. That confines them without hurting them and makes it easier to handle. With babies that have been hand raised, this won't be necessary. Gently open the beak and pop the piece of corn and peas at the back of the mouth and over the throat. You will need to feed 40-50 per feeding and every time the bird’s crop empties until you know it is eating on their own.
This is a wonderful method for teaching babies to eat because they feel the whole food in their mouth and it’s soft and easy to pick up and hang on to. The next step… seeds.
The crop is located right below the throat and with food it fills up like a little balloon. The peas and corn make it lumpy and squishy.
 

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I agree with Dima. Even if you were going to feed formula, 5mls, 3 times a day, would nearly be enough. A more appropriate amount would be 15-20 mls every time the crop empties.
At 3 1/2 weeks though, a pigeon is ready to be weaned and so a more solid diet is better. At this age, the mom and dad would be feeding a chunkier formula in preparation of the pigeon eating on his own.
 

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Can you post a picture of him? Wonder how he ended up in the water? Maybe fell from a nest over the water?
The defrosted and warmed peas really are the best option at this age. He will learn to quickly wean over to seed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi and thank you!

I have just given him 40 defrosted peas. The peas look so big I'm actually surprised to get them down, he fought me all the way though!
You say to give him more when the crop is empty but when I handle them and touch where the crop is, I can never make out if it's empty or full. Maybe I'm touching in the wrong area; could you please give me a few pointers? I have never been sure about this and always chance it and hope it's OK.

Another question, at how many weeks are they OK to fly off and do their own thing. This little one is desperate to get out, I don't know how I'm gong to keep him in until he's ready.

About a photo, I'll see what I can do.
 

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The crop is right under the throat, on the chest, and if you were to feel there before you feed, and then feel it after you feed, you should be able to feel the difference. He would probably need feeding 2 or 3 times daily, but it should be after the crop has emptied from the last feeding.

Because he isn't with his parents or flock, he isn't learning the things that would help him to survive in the wild. At a couple of months old or so, you could maybe do a soft release into a nearby flock, and we would be glad to go over that later with you.
I know there are links on here where it is explained. Just turning him out cuts down drastically on his chances for survival. You're doing a good job. Thanks for giving him a second chance, as he would surely have died without you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Minimonkey for that diagram, it's fantastic, I was touching them on the neck area, no wonder I couldn't feel anything, it's lower than a thought. With this little one I'll get lot's of practice.

I'll definitely need your help when releasing him, I'll get in touch then.

Thanks again to everyone.
 

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Keep us updated. Meanwhile you can put a dish of seeds and play with your finger from time to time by tapping it in the bowl with seeds. Soon he will figure out a new type of " dish" to eat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all your advice, I really appreciate it:)

I'm a bit concerned today as I weighed him and he has lot some weight. Yesterday morning he weighed 231 gms and this morning 216.

Yesterday morning I fed him 40 peas, mid day 5 ml of baby bird formula and in the evening another 45 peas. I noticed his poos didn't seem as good after the formula so I've decided to just do the peas and corn, mostly peas for the protein.

Today: the poos after his 45 morning peas seem good. I'll give him another 45 mid day and the same this evening with some corn.

He doesn't seem to be drinking to much. I'm putting his beak in a shot glass with water but hardly drinks. His poos are solid but moist as well so he must be getting enough water from the peas and the shot glass. I'm also showing him small bird seed and doesn't seem to be interested either. Is it OK to feed just the peas and corn until they get the feeling to start eating on their own, do they get everything they need?

With the crop, I'm still finding it hard, so I'm still guessing a bit when I feed him. I'm leaving 5 hours in between meals, does this sound OK?
When I feel the crop it always seems empty to me but I'm sure this can't be right.
 

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You're doing great. True, it gets the hydration from the peas if it doesn't drink water. You can drop in his beak some seeds while you're feeding the peas. The crop empties quickly because the peas will go directly to digestive system, rather than seeds which have to stay longer in the crop to be broken down.
 

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The crop may not be emptying even with peas, so you need to try and feel if it is or not. You shouldn't feed again if it isn't emptying. That can cause crop problems. Can you feel down the front of him before feeding, then feel again after feeding, to see if you can feel the difference?
Even with peas, he should be drinking. They will give some moisture, but better if he will also drink. Just gently dip his beak into some tepid water, but not over the nostrils. If you keep showing him, eventually, he will get it.
 
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