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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok, here's the story: I'm an American expat living in Paris, France. I've been into taking care of my (extended) neighborhood flock of pigeons for years and years. This means distributing around eight pounds of grain daily and offering room and board for the injured and sick. Over time, I've lost track of just how many of these guys I've nursed back to health, but it's been a lot.

I've always managed to do this while keeping my place pretty much spotlessly clean - even when they've gotten well enough to release from the 'holding pen' (a large cage on top of a table next to a window) and have the liberty to fly around my small apartment prior to being released back into the 'hood. A favorite activity of many before being sprung: using the ceiling fan as a merry-go-round. When they do this, I know it's time to start thinking about opening wide the 6th-floor window and letting nature take its course....

And now to the heart of the story: in early July of this year, I was biking down a pedestrian street near my place and spotted a very young bird standing near a wall - experience told me that something was wrong with this guy, so I stopped, dismounted, scooped him up and peddled back home with him in one hand, visibly fascinated by this strange way of 'flying'. I installed him in the 'holding pen' and started the routine of observation and care. He was too young to feed himself, so I did this manually for several weeks, after which he seemed capable of pecking up grain all by himself. So far, so good.

Unfortunately, it soon became apparent that he was suffering from PMV syndrome (slight trembling; lack of coordination, 'food-tossing' and worst of all, unable to fly. As he grew into adulthood, I let him out of the cage and gave him free run of my place. Several times a day, he would attempt to get off the ground, flapping his wings mightily and rising several feet off the ground like a badly-piloted helicopter. Alas, it was all to no avail: he'd veer off, crash into walls and even 'fly backwards': all the classic symptoms of viral damage to his nervous system.

I was betting on a recovery, but as the months passed, it didn't happen. What did happen was that he totally lost interest in the world outside the window - including the other pigeons that hang out on my window-sill, and settled into a cushy if uneventful existence as a full-fledged house pigeon.

And here's where the poop literally hit the fan. In the four so so months that I've had him, he's totally destoryed my wall-to-wall carpeting: poop everywhere (healthy poop, but I've never seen so much from one bird) and worse yet, he's wheedled his way into my heart to the point that I now share my bed with him in the evening (his idea - if I don't let him onto it he sulks).

He's a sweet-natured little guy (a sassy blue-bar) but he likes his fun - which includes trying to take my place at the head of the bed every time I get up, biting my toes when he's in the mood, and generally finding his own sweet spot on one of my knees when I drift off to sleep. When I turn over, he's learned to go with the flow, readjusting his position with an annoyed peck or two in retaliation for being disturbed.

He also demands a nightly round or two (or three) of 'Paper Tiger' - a game which we've discovered in which I advance a paper napkin in his direction, and which he bites, pecks and generally shreds to bits until it 'dies'. I never imagined that I'd spend my evenings amusing a pigeon by inventing a sparring partner, but anyone who's ever lived with one of these guys will understand exactly where I coming from....

But I digress, and now back to my problem: I love this little guy, but he's totally taken over my place, throwing his seeds around like a little hurricane and pooping everywhere faster than I can remove it. The apartment is such a wreck that I've stopped inviting people over, and will have to do a minor renovation before I can.

I'm patient (and crazy) enough to try and tough it out for a few more months in the hopes that he'll make a partial recovery, but it's doubtful that he'll ever be able to fly - let alone fend for himself if released: he seems to have lost interest in being a 'normal pigeon'.

In France, few people are interested in pigeons - other than as objects to be hated, persecuted, ill-treated or eliminated. No one here in their right mind would accept taking him on - or in.

I've lived with this guy enough to understand that he has his own life and feelings, just as any of us do, and I have a whole lot of respect for both. But I simply can't accept the idea of spending the rest of my life as a recluse in a pigeon-trashed apartment.

So does anyone have the heart to let this guy into their life, home or aviary?

In for a penny, in for a pound. If I were sure he'd receive the love and attention he deserves, I'd be willing to travel to anywhere in Europe or even the United States to hand-deliver this little guy. It's the least I can do in return for all he's done for me: mainly, wrecking my home and convincing some of my closest friends that I've finally gone around the bend.

All propositions (short of having him for dinner) will be considered. Think about it, people: this pigeon is a genuine and rare life-changing experience: he'll bring you infinite good luck, fortune, love, success - and for sure, tons of valuable pigeon guano!

Don't pass this offer up, please!

All suggestions, feedback and offers are welcome.
 

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Well, I think you're stuck giving him to someone in the European Union. I had to laugh heartily at your story, given some of the pigeons that we've had and have. I've had them sleep on the bed, play merry-go-round on the ceiling fans and, oddly enough, poop on the carpets.

You... are not alone!

Probably your best bet would be to get him to some of the UK members as they've had experience with PMV.

Pidgey
 

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Hi ryannon,

Welcome to Pigeon Talk

Thank you for caring for our noble pigeons in France and also for helping this little guy.

I SO enjoyed your story, and I SO relate.

Pigeons are one of the most amuzing and enjoyable birds on the planet.

This sounds like it might be a male, and male pigeons will literally TAKE over and claim any property in their posession that you allow them access too. He sounds like such a lovable character, he is only trying to be a normal male pigeon in a human world. He is trying to adapt.

First, you can take his actions as a compliment that he accepts you as his equal, and then some.

Second, he will only take as much as you give.

Third, as pidgey mentioned we have several PMV experts in England who have alot of experience with PMV birds. I will notify them of your thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks to both of you for your encouragement and suggestions. It's nearly four in the morning here (I've just been woken up by some idiot screaming in the street) and thought I'd take a look at the replies thus far.

The pigeon in question is also awake, preening his feathers and 'supervising' with an occasional peck on my arm as I write this from my bed. I'm sure that if he could type, he'd send his hello as well.

Actually, something tells me that if he could type, he'd be trying to find someone to adopt me....:rolleyes:
 

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Thanks for the smile you put on my face ryannon. He sounds sooo cute. I too can relate to much of your story (especially the pooping on carpet!).

I hope he can find as wonderful a home as you've given him.
 

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Hi ryannon,

Loved your story and can certainly relate. I have such a bird here, she definitely has taken over way more real estate than I originally intended for
her.

Still, having the poo consolidated on the carpets like that, is kind of thoughtful
in a way....seems better than needing a ladder to clean deposits dripping off the top seven foot bookcases, right?

I hope you are able to find someone to help you with your little rescue a little
closer to your home....at least on your continent, lol. I'm sure you will, though
it will make your bond all the tighter doing international travel together :p

fp
 

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Sounds like the two of you have bonded. Could be hard on him to go with a new owner at this point...

Would a pigeon diaper help? Would having poop in a diaper instead of your carpet make a difference in keeping him?

If so, the site has a member who may be able to help...:)

Shi
& Mr. Squeaks
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Sounds like the two of you have bonded. Could be hard on him to go with a new owner at this point...

Would a pigeon diaper help? Would having poop in a diaper instead of your carpet make a difference in keeping him?

If so, the site has a member who may be able to help...:)

Shi
& Mr. Squeaks

It would be hard on both of us...as for him, I'm not convinced he's looking to find a new keeper to own - he's having too much fun taking over my life. You can see the look of absolute assurance and justice in his eyes: every inch won is another giant step forward for all of pigeondom.

I have considered the idea of pigeon diapers, but if I'm not mistaken, they're not really designed to be worn 24/24 - or perhaps only if the liners were changed every few hours or so....

I might try one out, but something tells me he's going to go for it just about as much as if were a 'Paper Tiger' strapped around him: this guy has learned not to take any poop from anyone....
 

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Maybe a crazy thought but what about putting him in a large cage while you're not home and out when you are home. The out part could involve some diapers. Could be a good solution for both of you.:D
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Maybe a crazy thought but what about putting him in a large cage while you're not home and out when you are home. The out part could involve some diapers. Could be a good solution for both of you.:D

Not a bad idea....I'll have to test whether he'll accept being limited to a small space again without wanting to fight his way out...it could work. It would essentially mean around eight hours maximum (and not every day) in a cage and at least 16 having the run of the place.

The carpet is shot and I'm going to have highly-varnished wooden flooring put in...on the other hand, I've got these lovely oriental rugs which will not be improved by his artistic additions....

Decisions, decisions....

Writing this has made me realize how attached I really am to him - if I actually let him go it would have to be to just the right sort of person. I'm sure that there are members like that here, but one would really have to be dedicated to the cause to take him on: as I said above, I believe he's lost all interest in the outside world and has become an authentic house pigeon...with all that implies concerning human contact and affection.

I think that he's self-centered enough to accept a new home, just as long as he still felt that he occupied a major place in both the home and the inhabitant's heart. And that's a pretty big 'bill' to fill, as it were....

But who knows? Deep down, I have this strange sense of confidence in the mysterious workings of whatever it was that made us cross paths: I believe that it's all to the good and that everything will work out - after I've learned whatever it is he's been sent to teach me.

At the moment, however, the only thing I can honestly say that I've learned is, I've been had. ;)
 

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Many of us have house pigeons that spend part of the day in a cage.When feral pigeons are outside during the day, what do they do?...They hang out, often in the same place, like on the telephone wire of a building ledge. What's the difference between that and hanging out in a cage ?
Lots for you and your house buddy to think about.
 

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I JUST LOVE YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR but you truly add a touch of love as well.:D

Do try the "cage thing" please.

I have 8 great pet pigeons, and after dinner in the evening they retire from their flight pen to the pigeon coop in their portable small animal cages, all of which have their own baskets, toys, and dishes. Thank goodness for old newspapers.

Of course, there is some mess to clean up, but it sure helps.
 

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Well, don't feel badly...I've been "had" too...AND, I think many others may feel the same way...especially those who have a pij with attitude who KNOWS they own the whole house and everything and everyone in it!!

Actually, the first pigeon diaper I had for Squeaks was called a "Flight Suit." While it worked just fine, one of our members, Boni, came up with a lighter, customized "diaper" suit. From reports, they have done a wonderful job and the pigeons don't seem to mind wearing them as much as the more "invasive" Flight Suits. Of course, some may take a little more time to get used to wearing anything, but, so far, so good! From what many members have said, the diapers have made a terrific difference in having their "babies" out and about!

Yes, the "lining" in Boni's diapers are changed every so many hours, but it can be done with the pij still wearing the suit, as only the liner is changed.

Each suit is made for each pigeon based on measurements taken.

Shi
& Squeaks (and yes, we still need to get a pic of Squeaks in his suit...working on it...) ;)
 

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Hi Ryannon,

He sounds rather like our Flakey, who made a good job of destroying the carpets in one bedroom.

Even though PMV pigeons can make a full recovery a small number of them can experience a sudden return of nervous symptoms which could be fatal if they have been released.

Diapers and a cage could help...also a mate! If he had a mate and they were encouraged to use the cage as their nesting place the mess would be contained.

Cynthia
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Hi Ryannon,

He sounds rather like our Flakey, who made a good job of destroying the carpets in one bedroom.

Even though PMV pigeons can make a full recovery a small number of them can experience a sudden return of nervous symptoms which could be fatal if they have been released.

Diapers and a cage could help...also a mate! If he had a mate and they were encouraged to use the cage as their nesting place the mess would be contained.

Cynthia

Thanks for the suggestions, Cynthia, but if anyone needs a mate around here, it's me :)

And despite the fact of temporarily having up to eight pigeons do recup/rehab time here in the past, I can't imagine living permanently with two birds: this little pooping wonder is already a handfull.

Anyway, I think he thinks I'm his mate :confused:
 

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I loved your story. Quite funny.
I started out with one pigeon, then it was two and now I don't count them anymore. I gave them one room of my apartment to fly free in there, and they also have cages, where they nest, eat and sleep. It is a lot of work but I adore each and one of them and I don't mind the three hours a day cleaning.
I think it would work well for both of you to keep him in a cage and give him some time out to roam. For when he's out you can purchase the pigeon "diaper" - no more poop on the carpet and cleaning a cage shouldn't be a big deal.

If it doesn't work out, we do have a member in Belgium who has pigeons and loves them dearly and takes great care of all her rescues. This is the closest member we have to you. I will send her an email.

Reti
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I loved your story. Quite funny.
I started out with one pigeon, then it was two and now I don't count them anymore. I gave them one room of my apartment to fly free in there, and they also have cages, where they nest, eat and sleep. It is a lot of work but I adore each and one of them and I don't mind the three hours a day cleaning.
I think it would work well for both of you to keep him in a cage and give him some time out to roam. For when he's out you can purchase the pigeon "diaper" - no more poop on the carpet and cleaning a cage shouldn't be a big deal.

If it doesn't work out, we do have a member in Belgium who has pigeons and loves them dearly and takes great care of all her rescues. This is the closest member we have to you. I will send her an email.

Reti

Thank you very much, Reti!

I think that everyone can understand that I really am attached to this bird and would only give him up as the very last resort: I will try the idea of caging him for part of the day, as well as the pigeon diapers.

If the person in Belgium wishes to get in contact with me (or if he/she prefers that I make the contact) I'd certainly be interested, in the event that I can't resolve the situation by trying all the other options.

Best regards,

Jonathan
 

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I do hope it works out as it seems this sweet bird is in love with you too.
I haven't heard from Myriam in Belgium yet, but I am sure she will be on soon.

Reti
 

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Hi ryannon,




Oh..."Hail Brother!" I suppose..!


Get rid of the Carpet...

Get a Mop


I have a similar situation, only somewhat moreso.


Last thing every night, the two Dove Brothers come flying at full speed to the Bed, as does a little Yellow Cockatiel...they end up in the same places every time; Cockatiel on the Headboard, perching, immediately next to my head there, and, the Doves on the pillow next to my head literally, or, at most, some few inches from my head.

Sometimes a recently raised-by-me fledgling will also join and he or she would then sleep in my hand literally, as they had got used to doing from infanthood...and these then soon after fledgling-time, leave this off on their own and instead seek high perches for their night's sleep or roost.

Or, if I have any Infants or Babys, then they would sleep in Hand Nest unless i have too many, and then they sleep in a little 'Warm House' arrangement, into which I keep my hand all night long, more or less on all of them, or under most of them, or however it works out, and these are secure in there so they stay put and they do not wander out anyway for that matter, since to them, that is their Nest.



Come morning, or as may be, when I awake, these three and whoever else, are in their places, and, also, discretely, usually, two, or three free rove, pre-release Pigeons who are far too "WILD" to have anything to do with me otherwise, sheepishly are found perched on my foot, knee, hip or shoulder as I lay there...and these as you mention with yours, have soon mastered the art of accomidating my own acquired knack for s-l-o-w-l-y rolling over once in a while, as I sleep or slumber...if I even anylonger roll over at all from habit of being still or having Babys in my Hand...


My Laundry service considers me among their best and favorite customers, and, I am a good tipper.


Oye...


So, I'd say, get rid of the 'rug' or carpet, for sure...


Mild Soapy Water, with a dab o' Bleach, and some now and then casual scraping followed by Mopping for the floors...


And everyone is happy...


However...!


A nicely appointed and comfortable 'Day Cage', might be just fine, and would see, in theory, maybe 1/3rd of the poops occur 'in' a cage then, during your 8 hour time away or so...and that would be a help, I am sure..!

I also have a number of 'Floor Birds' who for one reasopn or another, are not able or interested to fly...some of these are PMV survivors who do their 'Helicoptering' of course, but limit themselves to the floor or to low perches otherwise.

Some of these insist to stop whatever they were doing if I am trying to walk by them, and, instead of merely staying still as I pass, or moving aside away from my feet, they wait till the last moment and scoot unpredictably as if intending TO get underfoot, so I have learned to walk with a floor hugging shuffle of my feet, day or night, so as to deflect the occasional near mis-hap, rather than to risk anyone actually getting under-foot.


So yes, one makes 'adjustments'...even as they do, in their ways...


Lol...


Phil
l v
 

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Thanks for the suggestions, Cynthia, but if anyone needs a mate around here, it's me :)

And despite the fact of temporarily having up to eight pigeons do recup/rehab time here in the past, I can't imagine living permanently with two birds: this little pooping wonder is already a handfull.

Anyway, I think he thinks I'm his mate :confused:
Hello again Jonathan...

You mentioned that your pij was a baby in July. Since your baby in not yet very old, how do you know you have a male?? Of course, IF a hen, there may be the possibility that one of these days, she will lay an egg for you...especially since all signs seem to point to her wanting YOU as her mate!

Hopefully, an egg would keep her occupied - at least for awhile - and you would just have to furnish nesting material.

Although she might not poop as often, she could poop BIG. I'm sure you have read about nesting hens and their poops elsewhere on this site...;) :D

You have made no mention of a name. DO you have a name other than possible cuss words?

Sure would be a shame to give her(?) up. We would really miss your humorous (well, to US anyway!) updates!

Do give your little one hugs and scritches

Shi

P.S. You think you have problems now? IF you had a mate, you would have ONE JEALOUS PIJ and the fun would REALLY begin!
 
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