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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello.

First off I'll let you know that I live in Kingston, Ontario, in case, like you said, someone is nearby and can provide assistance.

Secondly, a quick summary of the emergency in case you are not interested in the details: I have an injured squab on my balcony. It's sibling hurt it badly and kicked it out of the nest. Now the parents are only feeding the larger, stronger squab and leaving the smaller, injured squab to starve.

The building I live in is home to a large flock of feral pigeons. One day, a little over a month ago, I came home and went on my balcony to find a pigeon egg in one of my flower pots. I thought it would be interesting to see the baby grow so I left it be. I even provided debris on the balcony for the parents to use when they started building a nest around the egg. A few days later they had their flimsy nest built (pigeons are not big nesters it seems) and another egg had been laid. Over the weeks we have been watching them grow and even took a few pics and a video. The squabs now have their feathers coming in and the parents only come back to feed them.

Today, just over an hour ago actually, my family and I came home from a short walk to find the smaller squab on the other side of the balcony from the nest and badly injured. At first I wondered if Neko, my cat, had managed to get at it, but evidence proved that a false lead. First off, I have always been very careful to keep Neko off the balcony since the eggs first appeared, and the balcony door was closed when we left for our walk, and still closed when we got home and found the injured squab. Secondly, the nest was a mess, definite signs of a struggle, and a trail of feathers and blood led from the nest to the injured squab. This led me to believe that the larger squab became tired of sharing the food brought by the parents and decided to get rid of the competition. I searched online to see if this was a common behavior among pigeons and found that I was right.

The smaller squab is badly hurt. A large chunk of flesh has been torn from it's back. The bleeding has stopped but the wound still looks bad. I am afraid to call Animal Control right away as they will most likely tell me to kill it without really assessing it's chance of survival. I decided to watch the reaction of the parents. I wanted to see if they would continue to feed the little guy since it was still alive and close by. So far they have come back once and fed the bigger one. The father just sat on the balcony railing and looked at the little one, but did not go near it. It has become clear to me that if the little one is not helped it will starve to death.

This leads to my dilemma. As I said, the little one is badly injured. I don't know if it's bad enough that I should just... um... well, you know. I hate the thought, I really do, but I'd hate it even more for a creature to suffer needlessly. I guess what I'm asking is advice on how to proceed. Should I call the Animal Control and leave it to them (even though I think they will just see it as an opportunity to be rid of a pest)? Or do I try and help the little guy? I'm not sure how good I could do. It's almost time for it to go on it's own and he's a vicious little bugger, not to mention traumatized. The best I could do is try to clean the wound and feed it. Really, I am lost when it comes to this. I just don't want it to suffer. I'd prefer it survive, but if that will only do harm...

Any help anyone can give would be soooo greatly appreciated. Please help me make a decision I can't make on my own. Whether due to lack of guts or lack of knowledge I don't really know, but I can't make it just the same.
I look forward to any response and thank you in advance for any help or advice you can provide.

Sincerely,
DigiBetti
 

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Please take the little one in and keep it warm if you haven't done so already.

If you have some antibacterial cream, then smother that over the injury...it will help if you take a photo first and post it.

Pigeons have really astounding powers of recovery and healing. A wood pigeon that I passed on to a sanctuary was caught by a hawk and had terrible injuries as the hawk had started to eat it. It has recovered completely and is nesting in the woods now. Another was scalped and had its eye lid torn off...the scalp regrew and it adapted to using the nictitating membrane as an eyelid. And then there was AL (aka Almost Lunch) who had his back half eaten by a sparrowhawk a few years ago and as far as I know is still alive. And, of course, the dove that had its wing chewed up by a raccoon...another survivor. This is why I believe in giving them a chance to live if there is one.

When it is warmed through you can mix 1/2 pint warm water with 1/2tablespoon of glucose, honey or sugar and 1/2 teasponn salt. While it is still warm, dribble some on the edge of the babies beak so it drinks.

This is a web page on how to care for a baby pigeon, if you scroll down you will find details of what to feed, how to feed etc. If you let us know how old the baby is we will be able to estimate roughly how much it should be fed and how often:

http://pigeonrescueuk.webs.com/rescuingababypigeon.htm

In the meantime I will e-mail a member that understands wounds a lot better than I do so that he can advise you.
 

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Was out and tried to answer this from the cell phone but that didn't work...

It probably looks a lot worse than it is--they almost always do. If you can post a picture we can assess that better.

Anyhow, might be possible to swipe Mr. Big out of the nest and put him in a box for awhile to allow the parents to feed the little guy. You can keep playing switcharoo until they're ready to fledge. OR... we can just take over. And, you're right, his chances aren't too good if given to many other organizations.

Pidgey
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your quick responses.
@ Pidgey
My husband and I actually talked about getting "Mr. Big" out of the nest for a while, but we didn't think that would actually work. We'll talk more about that option. Thank you.

@Feefo
I can't bring Li'l One into the apartment as I have a seven year old and a cat, but I did put together a basket for him/her with a warmed up towel. I'll give him a little while to warm up and get cozy then I will give him a drink as you suggested. It is getting late where I am so I hope the warm towel will keep him through the night. It's too dark to see right now so I can't do much about his wound and I won't be able to take any pictures until the morning. The last time I checked the wound seemed to be clotting well and Li'l One was cleaning it the best he could. I will look up more about wounds online tonight and hopefully I can help Li'l One out a bit more in the morning. I will also add some pictures of him to this thread so you can get an idea of his age and how bad the injury is. I noticed the first egg almost a month ago so I'm guessing they are about 2 and a half to 3 weeks old. Thank you for the thread about feeding. I will read it over and try to give him something as soon as I can.

As I said, I really don't know anything about this so I appreciate any and all help you can give.
 

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Rather than the sibling hurting the baby, it may have been something else such as an adult pigeon not the parent, a gull, crow or such.
It's really important that you bring the baby inside and keep her contained such as in a kennel or a box in a closet so the cat can't get her. I will do all in my power to help you find a safe place to take the baby on Monday but you need to offer supportive care in the mean time. A little hurt baby may not survive the cold tonight.

Once the baby is thoroughly warmed, you can feed her this...

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. If 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. 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 30-40 per feeding and every time the crop empties until you know the baby is eating on her 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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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
All Is Well. Thanks For Your Help!

I want to thank everyone for their great advice.

Li'l One is doing fantastic. I put him into a plastic box with a towel yesterday to keep him/her warm and safe from Mr. Big. I also gave him a heated towel and a hot water bottle to get him trough the night. I gave him a little drink of the sugar/salt mixture Feebo recommended (and got a lot of it all over the place!) and checked on him often. In the morning Li'l One was looking much better and I was amazed to see that mom and dad were feeding him again!



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The difference in just a day is amazing. Pigeons really are resilient little buggers, aren't they? I really thought the parents had given up hope. Last night I watched them feed Mr. Big 4 or 5 times without going near Li'l One at all, and by the time it was dark I was able to change the towel and water bottle without much reaction since he was so weak. Today they have both fed Li'l One several times and he's back to snapping up a storm whenever I go near. (OH! Dad's feeding Li'l One now! Yay!) I'm very happy that the parents decided to give Li'l One a chance.



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The wound still looks awful but it's healing okay and the wings don't seem to be damaged at all. When he spreads them out to exercise all looks well. All and all I think Li'l One is going to be fine. I will continue to keep an eye on him, changing the towel and checking the wound, until he is ready to fly off into his new life.

Thank you Charis for your help. I don't think we will need to move Li'l One as, thank heavens, the parents are now doing their job again.

Thank you all for your support. I will make sure to let you all know when Li'l One and Mr. Big fly off so no one will worry and we can all share in the joy.
 

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Thanks for the update.
 

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That is excellent news, but keep an eye on the back wound just to make certain that it is healing properly and has no infection.

Cynthia
 
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