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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found a small pigeon this evening on my way home from work. He was cowering inside a door in the downtown Pittsburgh CVS drug store during rush hour and pedestrian traffic was very heavy. Knowing from past experience that most people downtown do not like pigeons and are very cruel to them, I gently picked him up and took him to my car, and put him on the back seat. He tried desperately to stay with me and was trying to pull himself back into my hand with a wing (!), but I had to leave to pay the parking fee! When I returned to the car, he kept trying to pull himself toward me so I put him on my lap and he immediately burrowed himself there, probably for the warmth. He cuddled against me the entire hour it took to get to the Animal Rescue League (thanks to a good friend who gave me directions en route). I noticed a little blood on my pants as we drove, (among other things) and after a quick exam the ARL told me he has a broken toe. He was also covered in soot and some kind of tiny yellow twigs. I plan to visit him tomorrow to see how he's doing. Alas, here is my problem: I'm now as much attached to him as he is to me, but after reading many of the posts on this site, as well as other advice online, I'm beginning to realize it is probably best to release him. I have a cat that I insist keep its claws. Though I would provide him with a very large cage, the best of care, and keep him safe and off limits from the predator, I'm not sure this is what the little guy would want. But he seems so dependent on someone. I do have experience with smaller, domestic birds - but not this. Can someone put my mind at ease, and convice me it's best to release? Is it even legal for me to keep him? Or would someone be able to provide an example of coexistence and the possibility of keeping him once he recovers? I live near a freeway overpass in the suburbs and there are dozens of pigeons dwelling up there. I think he would be okay, as long as he's not downtown in that cruel environment. I think he's very young - very soft feathers, dark grey, large beak, and made little chirping sounds when I made sharp turns while driving. Other than that I don't know what type of pigeon he is and didn't get any specifics at the ARL (they were just closing when I got there). Thanks to anyone who had the patience to read my lengthy saga and would like to comment. Any advice would be appreciated!
 

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It sounds like you have found a baby that probably isn't weaned yet and you are going to need to hand feed him.
The first and most important thing to do is to get the baby warmed up. You don't want to feed him anything until you have done that because you don't know his circumstances prior to you finding him, it's best to go through the steps.

http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/f25/basic-steps-to-saving-the-life-of-a-pigeon-or-dove-8822.html


Here are some feeding instructions for after you have followed the steps in the link above.

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 40-50 per feeding and every time the crop empties until you know the baby is eating on his 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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It's perfectly legal for you to help this little pigeon .. good on you! We kinda need to see how it all turns out regarding whether to release or not. There are no laws to prevent you from keeping this bird as a pet, but if you do want to raise it for release then we need to do some things differently.

Bless you for helping this little one and please let us know what the ultimate goal is .. we're happy to help.

Terry
 

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Wow, deja vu!

About a year and a half ago I found Ollie. I've already typed this here...

http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/f17/the-brat-pack-45043.html

I have two cats - both senior, the oldest cat was raised with birds and, generally, it seems to be understood around here that if it has a name, it's mine and not food. I have more issues with the Cocker Spaniel/Bichon than the cats (I think on occasion his bird dog genes kick in), but he doesn't like feathers in his mouth, so it's good.

I think it depends on you and your cat.
 

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Animallover61 - great job in saving your lil' pal's life. It is also great that ARL will release him/her back into your care !

No need to really rush it -whether to release or keep. If a baby and unfledged then your friend will be with you for many more weeks - they should not be released until about 7 weeks old minimum (although my experience and those of others' here suggest waiting until 9-10 weeks).

As TA mentioned, perfectly legal, perfectly OK to keep that pigeon. Regadring cats, etc...all of that can be worked around, really. A large cage and some "outside of cage" time each day while your kitty is secured away is really all the pigeon would require....just that and love.

So either alternative is feasible and you should just not rush to a decision. At about 5-6 weeks, you can begin what is called a "soft release" regimen if you are still entertaining the thought of returning him/her to the feral life. If she catches on during the process, great. If not, that will tell you something as well.

Ask the ARL if they have checked him/her for canker and worms next time you speak with them. Keep us posted...and thanks again for caring & saving your friend's life!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
happy results!!

I just spoke with the Animal Rescue League and the little pigeon is eating on his own, and I'm very relieved!! He had a severed toenail and lost one toe completely, so the wound was taken care of and they expect to keep him for a few more weeks. They are confident he can be released into the wild again and will turn him over to me for release. I have a nice neighborhood with lots of old houses (and ledges) that is 20 minutes from downtown, should he want to return there for some reason. Now that I know he is old enough - and able - to forage for himself I feel a little better about releasing him. As much as I'd love to keep him, I would be plagued with guilt over the cost of his freedom. Also I think my cat's world would be turned upside down - she has been the reigning princess of the household for years. Unless the little pigeon keeps returning to me, that is - then I may have to get that great cage I was eyeing!! Thanks to everyone who replied to my message last night, it was very much appreciated. I was very impressed by the dedication, kindness, and knowledge you all share on this web site. It certainly opened up a whole new world of understanding for me. I'll never forget this little guy.
 

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Well, I think it was great of you to help the little one. I'm sure it saved his life. And your decision to release him to have his freedom is a good one I think. It would have to be a soft release as Jaye has already mentioned, so maybe you could study up on that. Can't just turn him out, it kinda has to be done in stages. Thanks again for everything you have done.
 

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your decision to release him to have his freedom is a good one I think. It would have to be a soft release as Jaye has already mentioned, so maybe you could study up on that. Can't just turn him out, it kinda has to be done in stages. Thanks again for everything you have done.
Yes good news indeed ! But do keep in mind you need to go thru several steps before releasing...so plan on hm\her staying w\you for at least a week nevertheless. You can PM me should the method\process be confusing or unclear.
 

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Hello from Blackpool "UK"

I own three pigeons and all of them are ferrel. The oldest one called "Lucky" is nearly 10 in Feb 2011. Ofcourse you should keep your new feathered friend..My new baby pigeon is only a year old and he had a bleeding toe when i found him..All pigeons have a really pain threshold and soon adapt to this injury..Apar from it looking broken he's perfectly fine..He sits with me on a night when i watch the T.V:D

I feed my rescued pigeons on soft corn, if they are only a few weeks i've fed them on luke warm milk and bread, just to get fluids inside, i know this causes a few problems when they need toilet training but it works just fine..My older pigeons only eat seed and hemp now "even when they are with the other ones that frequent my home" i guess they hate bread now. I treat them with peanuts...

Enjoy your new friend, but i am not sure about the cat, lol?
 
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