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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, everyone.

What color should a pigeon’s skin be?

My rescued pigeon Daisy’s skin is purple on her wings. They look bruised, but they are not bruised. (A little background: Daisy was hit by a car about 11 months ago; she has neurological damage and cannot walk or fly. Since finding her, she has substantially improved. For the first few months, she could hardly keep her eyes open for more than five minutes. Now she’s alert, interested in her environment, and often flaps when I hold her in my hands like she wants to fly. I think that, despite all odds, if she continues flapping she might be able to fly short distances in a few months. I am not as optimistic about her standing, even though we do physical therapy exercises on her legs every night.)

Daisy plucked out the feathers on the top of her wings when she had a mite problem. I was able to get the mite problem under control a few months ago; however, the feathers haven’t grown back in those areas yet. (A couple of small, weak looking feathers did grow in.) Her skin is not leathery; it does not smell bad; and she does not have lesions. The skin under her wings is purple too, though not as deep purple and the feathers are fine there. Her droppings are normal; she has a healthy appetite; is drinking; and she seems fine.

I hadn’t been worried about it because a very experienced rehabber had seen Daisy since the skin on her wings turned purple and she didn’t say anything about it. (I didn’t think to ask about it because I didn’t think it was a problem then, but it’s something you can’t miss.) Also, a vet tech who works with pigeons didn’t say anything about it when she was holding Daisy recently.

What makes me ask about the skin coloring is this: Recently, a pigeon fancier looked at Daisy and said her skin was probably like that because she has a vitamin deficiency. So I added a bird vitamin to her water (which contains vitamin A) and started her on a course of homeopathic medicine (sulfur 30C and bioplasma) recommended by a rehabber. It’s been a week with the vitamins and half a week on the homeopathic medicine. No changes yet.

I googled “purple skin on birds” and came upon a post in this forum suggesting that black skin could be something serious. Should I be alarmed or do some pigeons have purple-y skin?

A note about the pictures: Daisy looks disheveled but she’s ok. She’s in the process of molting for the first time and her old feathers are ash gray and her new feathers are silver. When I found her, she did not have feathers on her back or tail feathers and they have never grown in.



 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Side view of Daisy



Thank you for your help. Here's a side view of Daisy. Note: She is very small for her age of one year. The experienced wildlife rehabilitator thinks that she had a vitamin deficiency as a baby and never grew to a full size. She's also thin, but she eats pigeon/dove bird seed mix regularly and voraciously and gained 60 grams since I found her.
 

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Can those legs be folded into a more normal position or are they frozen like that? I was actually worried about something else after looking at the first pictures but I don't think that's it, now that I see the entire bird.

My hat's off to you for not giving up on Daisy.

I have seen dark skin on some very healthy pigeons but I've never looked into why the pigment is different on them versus the lighter ones. Bruising becomes a very dark bluegreen due to the buildup of biliverdin. A hematoma will look dark blue but there will be swelling as well.

Pidgey
 

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Hi enid,



Do you know for sure she was hit-by-a-car? Or is it a surmise, based on her debility when you found her?


This could be long standing Vitamin deficiency...and or the consequence of an early bout of bacterial illness and a long standing vitamin deficiency.

Anyway, there'd be no harm, and maybe a lot of good, to make sure she has a good Calcium enriched Grit, and even a Calcium/Magnesium suppliment for a while, along with a wide-spectrum Vitamin-mineral Supplient...and the latter of course is easy to add to their Water. ( you can just dissolve a people-version of any 'good' multi-vitamin-mineral Capsule or pill, and portion that out according to her weight, roughly...even if you are a little heavy handed, that's fine... )


Exercise, 'flapping-in-hand' and so on, would definitely be good also, all she or you can stand.


I had some 'Leg Issue' ones recently, very weak Legs, and one whose Legs stuck straight back ( who I had to sling...) and these were youngsters, imminent fledglings, born here, but who I did not know of till they wandered out where I could see them.

Anyway, turned out to be a B-Vitamine problem, and I used a regular people version, Gelatin Capsules, 50 mg each, and I'd empty one Capsule into a Gallon of Water, and adding some other general powdered Vitamine-Mineral stuff, this was their Water then for a couple weeks, then at half that strength for a couple weeks, and it took care of the problem and they have normal legs now and walk and fly and so on, just fine.


Now, I am not saying this would sure 'Daisy', but, it is worth a try I think in case it might help to whatever degree.


Best wishes..!


Phil
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you

Hi, all.

Thank you so much for your insight. I don't know what I would do without Pigeon Talk.

I don't know if she was hit by a car. Both her rehabber and her vet guessed that she was probably hit by a car, but I didn't see it happen. When I found her, she was able to stand up, but not fly, and her original vet (she's had two vets and one rehabber) thought she would be fine with a few weeks rest. Within two days, she lost her ability to balance and started tipping forward. That's when I took her to a pigeon rehabber and an avian vet. She almost died and was barely functional for about two months, but she slowly recovered. Now she's quite perky and fun even though she can't move much on her own. Happily, for the past month, she has been flapping much more than she ever has before.

When I found her, she had yeast and coccidia and one other problem that required antibiotics (I can't recall what it was). She was on a lot of medicine, so that may have affected her growth.

She resists eating grit. I have to open her beak and put it in. I'm not sure how much I should be giving her. I wonder if I'm not giving her enough. I usually put some in her beak twice a week.

Phil, I think that you told me to use Brewer's Yeast at one point. (Sorry if I'm mixing things up.) Are the gelatine capsules different?

Her legs do bend, but she holds them straight out. She's always done that ever since she lost her ability to stand. She resists the sling I made (she tips herself over within 5 minutes without fail) and flaps herself out of donut shaped towels when I try to position her that way. We do exercises every night and her strength is improving slightly, but I don't know if we'll ever get her on her feet again. I think that it's a balance issue more than anything. i also think that her feet are extremely sensitive and I think she might be in pain when I try to straighten out the feet.

Thank you again for all of your insight.
 

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Hi Enid,





This could be a B-Vitamin issue...or a combination of B-Vitamin and Calcium deficiency.


I say 'could be', meaning, it 'could be'...


The wierd 'Straight-Leg' issues and weak-Leg issues I have had here, did clear up with supplimental B-Vitamin mixtures...and or with that and a Calcium suppliment.


'Brewer's Yeast' ( whether as a bulk powder, or the bulk powder in-a-can, one can get at any Health Food Store...lightly 'glisten' the Pigeon's Seeds with just a tiny bit of NEW, FRESH, got just for them, Olive Oil, and the powder will then stick to the Seeds for being eaten along with the Seeds...powdered Purple Dulce or other not-salty Sea Weed which one can grind into a powder if need be in any little cleaned out Coffee Grinder, is also good to add, which contributes Vitamine "A", and natural Iodine for their little Thyroid Gland ).


If it was me, I'd just get a five dollar bottle of 50 count, 50 mg, "Multi-B-Vitamines" in the ( 'Horse Choker') Capsule form, intended for people, which any grocery or drug store will have on the shelf.


Open and empty one Capsule into a Gallon Jug of Water, and use that ( or make half batches so it does not get funky sitting there waiting to be used, ) for her drinking Water for the next ten days...then, the ten days following, do it to half that strength...then, do it once every four days at half original strength for a while.

Health Food Stores also sell small plastic Bottles of liquid, which is Water, de-salinated and heavily saturated with 'trace minerals', usually from old Sea Beds or ancient inland Seas.


A few drops of this in her Vitamin Water would be good to do also.



And, either get some plain 'Tums', or other form of ideally, a Calcium-Magnesium which is easily assimilable, and one way or another, get that into her, via the Beak, or in the Water also...but I do not know very well what quantities to suggest, and maybe others here might, on the basis of their experience with Calcium deficiencies.



If you do this, and if her condition is partially or wholely one of a B-Vitamin and Calcium deficiency, then you will see things improve over the next three weeks or month, or five-week, if not sooner.


If it is not, then at least you tried, and I have seen no reason here with the Birds I have done this for, to suppose this regimen has in any way harmed any of them...and in fact, I put everyone here on that regimen, since I was seeing youngsters getting Leg Issues and it freaked me out so everyone got the treatment whether they needed it or not.


Everyone seemed to like or oblige the flavor of the Water which had these things in it, so, I had no one turn up their Beak on that score.


It would sure be swell if this is her issue, and if this regimen would do the trick...


So, if it were me, that's what I'd do...and, with Fingers Crossed...



Good luck..!



Phil
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well, this may sound silly, but when you do her rehab and leg streches, or whatvere you do with her, how's about doing it while holding her in your hand, in a pan of comfortably warm water? The warm water might help loosen up stiffness. Just make sure she's nice and dry after.
Daryl
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you for the advice, everyone!

Phil, I found the vitamin B capsules in the store and started her on it today. I'll try to find some unflavored tums too. My fingers are crossed.

She has been really flapping a lot more over the past few weeks so I am optimistic she's improving. Today, I saw her trying to push herself with her foot. She couldn't get it to work because her toes are turned around backwards and she wasn't bending her leg enough, but hopefully she'll get more bendy with the homeopathy/vitamin-B/calcium treatments.
 

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Hi enid,



I am still learning, or trying to learn, or both, or stumble-ing-along anyway.


If my understanding is correct, Calcium needs Vitamin "D" to assimilate decently...probably it needs other things also 'ideally' to assimilate best. Fresh Chlorophyl is good ( for Calcium assimilation ) but not easy to get into Pigeons unless they eat their fresh Greens.


Yesterday, I was seeing my Vet, and someone had brought me a young Pigeon similar to yours who I brought to be examined.


Now, Vet ran me through some of the Calcium-things, and he said one good way to address a situation like this, is to buy the 'Baby Parrot' formula, and to tube feed a meal or two of that every day for a month.

He said he felt that was a far better formula anyway, than KT or other 'general' or generic kinds.


Okay...


Now, can you Tube Feed? Do you have experience in it?



Now too...I also stopped at the Health Food Store yesterday, and got this

http://www.vuru.com/supplements/product?productId=852


Or the one I got is the Vegetarian version anyway...has Vitamin "D" in it and a lot of other 'Minerals' everyone needs, Pigeons included.


Now, these 'caps' are easy to open and sprinkle out the contents of...one can sprinkle the contents onto "lightly-glistened" Olive Oil seeds, or, one can try putting the powder into Water, or into ACV-Water which probably would best suspend it since the ACV would dissolve the powder into finer particles so it would not 'settle' to the bottom...I do not now for sure yet, but I will find out soon how well that works.



Now too, I found out about a thing which can happen to Bird's Legs ( but I do not believe that this is what is going on with yours, but, just to mention it ina general way...)

Sometimes, a joint, in Babys or the very young, can get hyper-extended, and, the Tendon can slip off and end up on the wrong side of the Joint.

This can make for a 'straight' or bent leg, which never gets well...

If caught in time, one can physically 'massage' and maneuver the Tendon, 'back' into the groove or position it is supposed to be in, and things will re-adjust theselves from there, and the Leg will return to normal.


Now, I don't think that is the deal with your Pigeon, but since I just learned about it, I just wanted to mention it.


There is a lot of potential finesse and informed oversight, food-combining, etc, which should govern our administration of Vitamin and Mineral suppliments, whether to normal Birds, or those whom we suspect of being Vitamine-mineral deficient...or for ourselves.



I do not now enough about this to have any 'finesse' or informed oversight, and hence, any advice or sharing I can provide about it, is on the crude and naive side.


I can not find anyone to ask, and while my Vet does know quite a bit, I did not have time to ask as much as I would have liked to.



I can say, that the several post fleglings I had a while back, whose Legs were either too weak to stand on, or, whose Legs were sticking 'out' straight in front...that they responded well over a couple weeks, if not less, to the "Multi-B-Vitamin' regimen I provided, which was one 50 mg Capsule, dissolved into a Gallon of Water.



I also was poviding a clumsy Calcium supplimentation, where I was trying to suspend a nice Calcium-Multi-Mineral liquid in Water with the Vitamin Solution, and this tended to seperate seriously leaving little in suspension for them to be able to drink the Calcium-Mineral part, but, I'd stirr their Water Bowls often trying to help that issue.


Well, they all did get overtheir Leg issues and started walking and standing and so on and are fine now.


Now, these Capsuled of Calcium-etc Powder I just got...this should work well to add to Olive Oil 'glistened' Seeds, so that would likely be a good way to go for that.

Or, ( sorry to be repeating myself, still waking up! ) possibly the powder will dissolve in mild ACV-Water and be practical that way...


Anyway, this was my hunch or guess or feeling, as for what might help your Lovely little Pigeon there with his Leg issues, and his Health generally.


Why these things manifest AS 'Leg Issues' I do not know, but, we can surmise anyway, that seeing Leg issues of weakness or 'stuck-out-ness', when no other pathology is discoverable or to be deduced to account for it, that we might as well try a regimen of 'Milti-B-Vitamin', and, 'Calcium-D-Vitamine-multi-mineral' and...see what goes from there.


Till next..!


Best wishes! Best of Luck too..!


Phil
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I took Daisy to an avian vet last night. She looked at Daisy's skin color and said that, even though she had not seen anything like it before, it was probably nothing to worry about. Yay!
 
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