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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Yesterday, I took in a pigeon who had her/his feet all wrapped and bound together horribly with a string. Unfortunately, as I was catching her, she slid out of my hand and all of her tail feathers to my dismay came off. I've done this many, many times and this has never happened before. Luckily, it seems that it was only the beginning of the string injury so her feet haven't gotten damaged yet. I cut and removed all of the string. But, now my question is: Should I let her go or keep her safe until her tail grows back? I am concerned about her possible mate and the nest she was most likely making out there. However, I am guessing that the nest must be at the beginning stage since the string got tangled only recently and I am also guessing that she was using this string trying to build the nest.

I would appreciate any feedback! Thank you!
 

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It's a hard call but I would to keep her until her tail feathers grow back.
 

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Hmmmmm- You have to keep her until the tailfeathers grow back - pigeons use them to turn and maneuver - they cannot do so if they are gone. Should take 3 weeks or so. As for the string - can you post a photo of her feet ? Did you get ALL of the string out of the feet ? (Oftentimes the string will actually have grown or swollen skin over and around it - so you have to get in there with a syringe\surgical scissors\needle to make sure it still isn't 'strangling' the toes and leg) Are the feet swollen ? Then you'd need some sort of antibiotic. Good job on the catch BTW !
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thank you! I will then keep her until the tail grows back at least 2/3 of the full length or so. I have to figure a way to keep her isolated because, at the moment, I am taking care of few other pigeons who are sick and may be contagious.

The string is definitely all off. I've dealt with several other pigeons with the string injuries in the past and these were difficult but with this one it was easy because the string wasn't embedded into the skin yet. However, there was a lot of it tangled around both feet and her feet were tied together by it, so it seems it would've been very bad case if the string stayed on for much longer.

One more thing... I just noticed as I was holding her that she seems to be unusually hot. Could this be a sign of fever or something?

PS It would've been a great catch if she still had all of her feathers (exactly 11) on her tail.
 

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Hi ante bozanich,



If all else is well, they fly just fine with no Tail...they maneuver fine, take off and land fine, turn fine, etc.


If the Tail is the only reason in question, it is not a reason to keep her, waiting for it to grow back before release.


They compensate for it's loss very quickly, in making the adjustments needed.



Let her practice indoors for a few days if you like, to feel assured she flies fine as-is, before release.


Phil
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, Phil! I thought that I read something like that somewhere about their tails not being essential as their wings are for flying. Anyway, she seem to be strong. Her body and her feet do feel hot (I don't know what to make out of that) and her stool is green but otherwise she appears alert, strong and wants to go back with her flock. I am taking care of another one whose stool is similarly green but that one is also weak and anemic. I took her yesterday to rehabbers. They gave her iron shot, did blood test, took the stool sample but are not sure what is wrong.

Keeping this one (the missing tail) for another day or two maybe a good idea. I have two couples of recovered PMV victims nesting here right now so the males are not going to like to see this one flying around, specially if she/he happens to be a male, but this will give me a good idea how well he/she holds when challenged.
 

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Hi ab,


Oh yeahhh...if there is any question about her Health, then hold on to her, have her in an Observation Cage for a few days, till satisfied with the poops and Urates and whatever else.


'Green' meaning...bright deep Green? Or..?

She might indeed be fighting an infection of some sort, or a virus...Liver involvement, dumping excess Bile...feeling 'hot' to your hand-touch.


I have one at the moment also who had Canker, and, also, while about over the Canker now, is still making way too 'green' and slimey-ish fecal matter...


I may just reach for the Doxycycline and see if a week or ten days of it straightens things out. They SEEM Healthy and vital and rubust otherwise.

Viruses can cause conditions for the appearence of the unusualy sort of 'green' too, and it's just hard to know what the heck we are looking at with these things.


Good luck!


Anyway, I have had Tail-less Pigeons here who did just fine flying perfectly well in all phases, indoors and out, and did just fine when released, me seeing them over time, amid the feral flock as their Tails grew back.

They look a little like a Duck when flying...you kind of do a double-take seeing it.





Phil
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks again Phil! No, her droppings are dark green like a dark green leaf. This could be normal, I am not sure. I am getting a large soft dog tent crate for her (what do you think about those for a temporary sick pigeon home?) and will keep watching her for couple of days. I am sure she is one of the regulars, but hard to tell since she is of solid dark brown color like several others that visit me daily. I'm sure that when I let her go she'll come back and now I'll know who she is at least until her tail grows out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey Charis, I am sure that the tail is there for the purpose as you stated but I think they can probably manage without it even though their flying abilities will be impaired. So the question is: Which is better for them: a few weeks of confinement without a mate or not being able to fly perfectly for these few weeks which are needed for their tail to grow back? I guess the issue to consider would be their safety in case they have to get away quickly from a predator.
 

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Hey Charis, I am sure that the tail is there for the purpose as you stated but I think they can probably manage without it even though their flying abilities will be impaired. So the question is: Which is better for them: a few weeks of confinement without a mate or not being able to fly perfectly for these few weeks which are needed for their tail to grow back? I guess the issue to consider would be their safety in case they have to get away quickly from a predator.
Yes, Ante...that's the issue.
 

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Hi Charis, all...



I am not trying to be contrary merely out of ignorance or dogma.


Assuming the Pigeon is healthy and fully functional otherwise, I have never seen anything to suggest that the absence of a Tail is a liability worth being concerned about.

I have had several pro-tem, or, permenently Tail-less Pigeons through the years, and, all of them flew, maneuvered, did acrobatics, and landed "perfectly" both indoors, and, out of doors once released to their feral bretherin, where, I would continue to see them in the following days and weeks and months as their Tails yes or no grew back.


I had one who had been badly chewed by a Dog...and, ( miracle of miracles, ) once all was healed and resolved, Body Feathers all grown back, and, he was released, where, for five years or so, I saw him pretty well every day, getting along perfectly in the World, flying in and landing, with no Tail at all, since his Tail never did grow back. He was a marvelous indoor acrobat in flying and maneuvering in here prior to release, also.


They compensate when Tail-less in the management of nuances of their Wings for Flying and Landing or doing hard turns...and having no Tail is no big deal for them...they do everything just fine without a Tail...nor does their Tail play any role in managing a heading, direction or speed.

We see the Tails 'fan' when they are landing which aids only very slightly in increasing the drag while slowing to land...or, we see the Tails twist or go to one side when they make hard turns, and, this latter condition is to go along with the Air flow far more than it is to contribute anything positively for maneuvering...it is done to reduce drag the Tail has, rather than that the Tail is per-se being used as a control surface.


The analogy of a Boat's Rudder is a bad analogy...and no matter who originated it, it does not improve for being Hear-Say handed out as Gospel.

Whoever originated it had never bothered actually or critically watching how Pigeons Fly and Maneuver, nor how they use their Tails, and why the Tail is seen to fan or shift as it does.

Generally, traditional kinds of Boats do need Rudders to steer or to elect or decide direction, since they have nothing else but their Hull shape and propulsion method to govern how they pass through the Water, and the Water's own currents or flow direction relative to the Boat.

Birds have very sophisticated Wings, with which, they can manage all the fineses and controll needed for perfect flight, perfect Landings, perfect hard fast turns or other maneuvers, and everything else, even when no Tail is present.


Waterfowl manage very well with barely a little stub of a Tail, and, one sees them turn or manage their Webbed Feet, carried back where a Tail would be, in a manner which goes along with the Airflow, far more than to effect the Airflow.
 

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As a P.S.


Same as for any Pigeon considered for 'release' -

Try them out indoors for a while to see how they seem for strength and general flying.

If as in individual, a particular Pigeon who is missing a Tail, does not seem fit and able, then do not release them, any more than one would release any other Pigeon who does not seem strong and fully able.
 

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hello,

i have had doves and pigeons realesed with no tails and they do fine.

you need to let her go as she is brooding and that is why she feels hot. the heat keeps the eggs warm and at a temperature ideal for haTCHING. WHITHOUT HER, HER MATE WILL ABANDONE THE EGGS, OR WILL NOT BE ABLE TO FEED BOTH SQUABS.

Kevin
 

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:eek: w\all due respect to my Forum mates - please do NOT release her without her tailfeathers - she will NOT do fine !! Releasing a tail-less pigeon in NYC - um...really NOT a great plan. Also we cannot be sure that she was egg-sitting or baby-feeding - that is speculation - and if the alleged babies (again speculation that they exist and more so that there happen to be TWO babes :confused:) are hatched already a sole parent can raise them for a few weeks. And if eggs - then c'est la vie - these things happen (in no uncertain terms have BOTH of my avian vets told me on numerous occasions that a tail-less pigeon is at a significant disadvantage in the feral world). Now if you wanna hedge your bets wait 7-9 days or so - at least until the tailfeathers start sprouting again. But Ante - right now your Charge is this one pigeon which you are trying to help - please do not act based upon possibilties nobody knows about & scenarios which may very well not exist ! Just do right by your patient at hand.
 

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Ante, I tend to agree with Phil and would err on releasing her earlier rather than later. There's no way to know for sure whether she's just sitting on eggs or if there's already young, but I agree with you that she is most likely at least nesting if she had string around her feet.

Flying without tail feathers is not ideal, but they can manage. Did she really lose every single tail feather??? It takes close to six weeks for the feathers to grow back, and that's a long time to keep her if she's got a mate/babies waiting. You could compromise and wait a week or so.

Jennifer
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi Jennifer, how are you. Thank you very much for the feed back.

Yes, unfortunately, every single tail feather came off. I was doing a cat trick; I sneaked very slowly and quietly close to her and then sprung my arm as fast as I could. I thought I had her. I wasn't pulling or anything but I guess I didn't grab her high enough. She slid off and left her entire tail in my hand. I counted exactly eleven feathers. Occasionally, I'll prune a single broken tail feather and you have to pull very hard to get it off. Strangely these eleven got off very easily all at once. This must be an evolutionary adaptation for how they get away from predators. They just let the killers have their tail and live on when they can.

Anyway, I thank all of you for your replies and advice. I would think that most likely she has a nest but I don't think that eggs have hatched yet because (correct me if I am wrong) they stop bringing material to their nest after the first few weeks of sitting on eggs.

I am going to think some more about all of this and hopefully do the right thing.
 

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Hi Jennifer, how are you. Thank you very much for the feed back.

Yes, unfortunately, every single tail feather came off. I was doing a cat trick; I sneaked very slowly and quietly close to her and then sprung my arm as fast as I could. I thought I had her. I wasn't pulling or anything but I guess I didn't grab her high enough. She slid off and left her entire tail in my hand. I counted exactly eleven feathers. Occasionally, I'll prune a single broken tail feather and you have to pull very hard to get it off. Strangely these eleven got off very easily all at once. This must be an evolutionary adaptation for how they get away from predators. They just let the killers have their tail and live on when they can.
Anyway, I thank all of you for your replies and advice. I would think that most likely she has a nest but I don't think that eggs have hatched yet because (correct me if I am wrong) they stop bringing material to their nest after the first few weeks of sitting on eggs.
I am going to think some more about all of this and hopefully do the right thing.


It is.

Not necessarily.
 

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Hi ab,


Yes, they instantly permit their Feathers to come off easily if grabbed or hit.


One sees this even in events of a Bird being hit by a Car...typically, lots of Feathers come off instantly, even though the Bird is not being grabbed literally, but, is being struck, even as it may be in the initial instant of being hit by a Hawk, I suppose.


Otherwise, their Body holds all feathers very tightly indeed.


So, yeahhh...your scenario, as imagined, is a sort of toss up -


If this Pigeon is part of a mated pair who were Nest Building, Eggs are or were likely on the way, whether they had been laid yet...

A solo Pigeon who's Mate is missing for the time being, will usually sit Eggs during his or her own shift, and, the Eggs remain with no one on them, when it is not their shift, though this is not written in Stone.

Neonates similarly - a pro-tem solo parent may decide only to sit them during his or her shift, leaving them to chill during the absent mate's shift.


So...regardless, I dunno...


As long as you feel assured, by seeing this Pigeon do everything well in ample-enough indoor flying spaces, then that would allow you a basis for deciding if they are good to go for release, and, probably, this Bird just unto themselves, may well be the best primary consideration here...since all else is pretty conjectural, as for what if anything is going on with their probable Nest, Mate, or eggs/infants...or could be too late for those anyway...unless Babys were already endothermic when you captured this Pigeon for the String removal.


Phil
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