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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today I had to remove two pigeons off a ship. They apparently had made a nest under a dinghy on the bow of the ship. I had to remove the young birds, I would guess around 2 weeks old, off the boat. At the time I did not know what to do and people told me to put them in a near by bush. When I got back to shore 4 hours later I checked on the birds and they hardly moved from where I put them. I did not want to just leave them there so I took them home went to petco and got birdseed. I put them in a cage with a shallow dish of water and a dish of birdseed.
Can I keep them out side with out heat?
Should I keep them in a cage?
How will they learn to fly?
 

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If they are two weeks old, they would die unless properly fed and cared for and kept safely.

It will be another several weeks before they would be able to fend for themselves.


So, if you can do so, bring them home, and, set them up in an ample Box, lined with a Towel, set on a Table or other similar height place indoors, and, once that is done, we can supply further instruction.
 

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As I read it, the finder already took them home and installed them in a cage.

They may not yet be able to peck for food themselves or understand that the seed is food. They will need monitoring to see if they are eating, and drinking the water. Their poops or lack of them would be a guide to how their systems are. If they are not feeding themselves, they will need to be hand fed. Frozen peas and corn thawed out for a short time in hot water can be used. Serve warm, one at a time, popping into the back of the bird's mouth. They may be still at the age where baby bird formula will work best, however. Can you show us a pic?
 

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Thanks. Excellent pics!

They look like they are around the age where they could feed. They certainly have plenty to choose from.
 

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Sounds like they are instinctively pecking, but aren't quite sure what it is yet. Well on the way though. They may find the bigger pieces like corn, white peas, beans a bit too large at the moment, but they should very soon take in the smaller stuff. Supplementary feeding if they are not getting anything down them would be advisable at this stage (the warmed peas and corn). They should then transition to 'real' food themselves. If you have a gram scale, maybe you could weigh each of them? They may be a little flappy and wriggly. Do they squeak at you?
 

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They are roughly 3 weeks old...so Jack, are you good with looking after them for another 5 weeks ? Because they cannot be released until between 8-9 weeks of age (some folks say less, but that is very ill-advised).

Go with the warmed peas and corn per John's suggestion...just buy frozen, thaw it under hot tap water, let it cool to room temperature (test one to make sure the inside isn't still frozen). It will keep 'em fed and also provide much-needed hydration. Keep working on them with the seed mix, too. You can even pop a seed morsel into their mouth while feeding them the peas and corn.

Pick them up, one at a time, and wrap them in a towel so only their head sticks out. Hold them in one arm/lap, with your hand free.

Take the pea and/or corn morsel, one at a time, with your other hand . With your free hand, gently pry the beak open, and pop the veggie into the middle of their mouth (not the tip, nor the back of throat). Close the beak. They should automatically swallow.

If they begin to shake their head, then it got lodged near the windpipe (which is at the back of the tongue) so just pull the pea out and try again (this rarely happens...they usually instinctively just swallow).

Feed about a dozen each per feeding...and feed maybe 3 or 4 times a day. You probably will only need to do this for about a week.

At around week #6 we can discuss Soft Release...which is an acclimation process (required, mind you) which readies them for re-entry into their Feral world. It will require between 5-7 visits to a Feral flock, about 15 mins. per visit. But we will get to that when the time comes.

Goes w/o saying : even though they are babies...in very short order they WILL be ABLE to get off the ground and fly. So don't let them outside, free (people assume babies cannot fly so sometimes let them just walk around on the grass)...because they can physically fly weeks before they are possibly able to survive on their own....and if they get someplace where they cannot be retrieved, prior to min. 8 weeks old....that will not end well.

Nice enclosure, just be careful no predators have access to that area...it only takes a claw or a scratch to seriously injure a Pigeon.
 

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These links that describe how to get them nuzzling and eating seeds, also you can make like you are hunting and pecking with them by crooking your forefinger and tapping at the seeds along with them. Also, start to keep a dish of seeds in their cage (no whole sunflower seeds, along with a small water dish,) as well as spreading some out in their cage for the to peck at. Some catch on pretty quick, with others it may take a bit of time, so be patient with them. Once they are eating seeds, continue to supplement with formula until they are a few weeks older.

http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/showpost.php?p=522565&postcount=11 (information on how to get him to start to self water)
http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/showpost.php?p=523350&postcount=16 feeding seeds
http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/showpost.php?p=508006&postcount=3 feeding seeds
http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/showpost.php?p=507810&postcount=2 feeding seeds


Good luck with him,

Karyn
 

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why should i weigh them?
yes they do squeak mostly at each other
Periodic weighing is one indicator of how they're doing. They should show a steady increase if weighed around the same time on each occasion.

Squeaking is a good sign - they are alert :)
 

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I can't help but notice the shavings in the bottom of the cage. While they look cozy, if they are soft wood,such as cedar or pine, they are toxic to birds and small animals and so you should remove them.
http://cyberpiggies.tripod.com/softwood.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
They peck at their food a lot but i have only seen one of them drink water yet. do i need to use the formula stuff? Also i do not feel like they would ever let me get a hold of them again and pick them up because now when ever i get my hand close they puff up their chest, extend their wings and snap at me.

so what should i put in the bottom of the cage?
 

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Plain old paper would be OK for the cage. Kitchen paper, something similar. Also has the advantage that one can check what a bird's poops are like.
 

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T Also i do not feel like they would ever let me get a hold of them again and pick them up because now when ever i get my hand close they puff up their chest, extend their wings and snap at me.
Well...if they are not eating on their own and you don't want 'em to starve...you have only one choice. You have to handfeed 'em.

You don't have to use Formula if you go with the peas and corn method, which is why it was suggested. It's pretty easy to do, really. But you are gonna have to just show 'em who's boss (or Dad) and go in there and pick 'em up....
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
they eat and drink on their own now and seem to be doing well, but i have a few questions.
At what age do i have to worry about them mating?
they bight at each others faces and "lock" their beaks together and seem to wrestle each other, is that bad?
 

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as they mature the cage space may be too tight for them.. usually they know what sex they are at about 4 to 6 months of age..right now not sure what is going on... ferals may mature a bit faster than a purebred..not sure.
 

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sounds more like the second stage in courting after theyve accepted each other lol
If the "biting of faces" is gentle then they are preening each other, and the beak wrestle is their "kiss".
Normally if they feel comfortable (usually if no one is watching them) the next stage is when the female bows down and lets the male mount her. (sometimes only for a second). ;)
 

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It also sounds like two cock birds fighting over real estate... mine will lock beaks and try to push each other while squabbling over territory.
 
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