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Hi everybody,

This is a good one for the experienced "pigeonaires".

A pair of ferals nested on my balcony in mid January. They have sat in the nest for about 4 months but have not been able to produce an egg, probably the hen is sterile. Hence, I managed to get them 2 eggs, which I could say it was pretty damn hard to do. Pigeon owners just don't give up their eggs easy I guess :D.

One baby (named Piuici) hatched ok and up until now the pigeons have been impeccable parents. About a week ago the pair decided to sit for more babies. So the hen stayed in the nest day and night together with Piuici. The cock would join them a couple of times a day and do his crazy cooing :)

The issue is 2 days ago they stopped feeding the baby. He is about 26 days old.
He squeaks to the hen but she just turns her head away. I did wait for a day but yesterday it was clear: empty crop, watery poop. So he's switched to automated peas, all good.

I have a couple of questions for people who have seen this before:
1.Is there a high probability that the parents would hurt him? When I fed him yesterday I noticed the bumps on his beak are still soft so easy to be hurt
2.Is there any point of letting him in the nest with them? He has spent all his life there and he loves it. He definitely knows and will know all his life he is a pigeon, he is not human imprinted. Would they hang out with him later when he flies (teaching him stuff) even it they don't feed him now?
3. The upper beak being soft, does that mean he lacks Calcium? If yes, is there any tablets I could buy for him?

I didn't expect this at all, as this baby is probably the only baby they will ever have. And I haven't planned to have him as a pet, but that can change as I will not give him up to Wildcare.

Forgot to say, Piuici is not of normal breed of ferals, he is a homing pigeon, bigger and all black.

Penny for your thoughts...
 

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bump.......
 

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Hi!

My "thoughts" (mostly gleaned from the book "Feral Pigeons" and John's experience with his balcony pigeons):

When feral pigeons have a new clutch of eggs the female more or less stops feeding the squabs but the father continues feeding them.

You could put a dish of seed and water next to the youngster to help him along, but if you are not always going to be living there it would be best not to encourage him to see the balcony as the feeding station as he could get into trouble when new residents move in..

The parents are unlikely to harm it. When he comes to fledge it will be the father who takes him out on his "maiden flight" and shows him where the food is.

The lumps on the beak will be soft at that age. The lower beak will also be different, it widens out when he asks for, and expects, expects food. Very cute!

Is this the little one in your video? He looks fine!

Cynthia
 

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How sweet of you to provide your feral pair with some eggs. I've never heard of it before and it's quite touching. :D

1.Is there a high probability that the parents would hurt him? When I fed him yesterday I noticed the bumps on his beak are still soft so easy to be hurt


No, they shouldn't hurt him, other than maybe trying to get the point across that he needs to leave the nest. They are pretty much done with them around 28 days--there are exceptions--but it sounds fairly normal.

2.Is there any point of letting him in the nest with them? He has spent all his life there and he loves it. He definitely knows and will know all his life he is a pigeon, he is not human imprinted. Would they hang out with him later when he flies (teaching him stuff) even it they don't feed him now?


He will mimic them to learn to fly but would also pick that up on his own eventually (if he were a pet bird). They will likely NOT hang out with him later when he flies, as they will be busy making another nest, but again there are always exceptions where the babies hang around the nest and even help raise another set. Rare, but it's happened.

3. The upper beak being soft, does that mean he lacks Calcium? If yes, is there any tablets I could buy for him?

Sounds normal for a baby. So it's up to you whether you want him as a pet. Do you have a healthy large flock nearby that he would eventually join for safety? I wonder if you're in Northern California as you mention Wildcare and we have one here in San Rafael. If so, please do not take him to there (I know you said you won't). They're great people ;)but not always the most pigeon friendly.:eek:
 

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Hi

Cynthia has it about right, I'd say. It does depend on whether the male bird is a 'good parent', but both the males I've had here looked after their youngsters' needs once the hens were back on the nest. Of course, I did provide seed, so the young ones soon learned to self feed (didn't stop them squeaking for feeding, though :) ).

What does happen, soon after the pigeon is fledged, is that once there are new chicks the parents (particularly the hen) would drive previous offspring away from the nest area if they return. It sounds like that would not occur with yours, however, if they've never actually managed to produce.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Ty

Thank you for all the advices. We are all good now. The hen gave up "sitting on eggs" for now and she is trying to wean the baby. It goes like this: she's picking up a seed, drops it then pecks the baby gently. Piuici is eating some seeds like this then he gets bored and asks her for food the usual way sqeaking. She turns her head and restarts the lesson. In the end Piuici gets some food from his mother's beak, but not before he gets a beating for not wanting no learn. Quite similar to human behaviour I'd say :)

Feefo:
They will not have another clutch of eggs as the hen is sterile. They usually just take turns "sit on eggs" as their instinct tells them to and at some point they take a pause for a week or so.
As for the "feeding station", I will feed them less and then not at all when I'm about to leave the place. And yes, he is the fighter in the video :)

Maryjane:
Piuici is 28 days old but for sure he cant make it on his own right now. He doesn't fly yet, he's a little unstable on his leggs and not eating enough by himself. I suppose he develops a little slower than a normal feral because his breed is a homing one. At least I hope so.
I am London, UK. I'm not taking him to Wildcare not because they aren't pigeon friendly (they are very pigeon friendly) but because it's impossible to know for sure what happens to him there. They can't spend time tracking a specific animal cause they have so many of them and limited staff. If a couple of people can take care of hundreds of animals for sure I could take care of one.

John_D:
Parpales the father is a good parent, not the best though. He did sit on the eggs about 3-4 hours a day, fed the baby and he's very good at guarding the balcony. Most of his time he's cooing and chasing hens. If the wife is not arround he will even let other hens eat his food :).

And here is a nice pic

 

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Good for you, adopting Piuici! I'm sure he couldn't be in better hands! After all, you've known him from an egg, and your questions show how much you care.
All the best for the two of you! :)
 
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