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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, Everyone --

A friend of ours (who volunteers with animals) found a banded homing pigeon and has had no success in finding or contacting the original owner. The pigeon was banded (I believe) 15 years ago.

She can only keep the bird a short while longer. My wife and I would consider taking the pigeon on a permanent basis but believe our circumstances would not be conducive to a good life for a pigeon. I wanted to ask you all what you think.

Here's the situation: We share a small, one-bedroom apartment with a cat. We could construct a large cage, but the pigeon would not be able to roam freely unless strictly supervised (because of kitty). And, for the time being, the pigeon would be without companions. He would have no outdoor time. We couldn't provide him with a room to himself, but we would do our best to let him out when kitty wasn't in the room. It would clearly be a compromise in a situation where we don't have too many other options.

We both love animals of all kinds, have some experience with birds, and would do our best to provide a good life. But that's the key: the well-being of the animal comes first. We're concerned that our place just isn't right for a pigeon pet -- given their size and exercise needs. I've had opinions across the board, ranging from "absolutely do not keep a pigeon in a small apartment" to "pigeons are wonderful pets if you can give them love and attention."

What I wouldn't give for some property to house some rescue pigeons. In the interim, what would you do? Our only alternative right now is to take the pigeon to a local no-kill shelter where they do not euthanize and where they work hard to find good homes for avian rescues. They have a great reputation. Although I'm reticent to take this path, I'm wondering if this might be preferable for him in the long run.

Thanks so much for your time, opinions and consideration!
 

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Hi mfiggis!

Perhaps my situation can help you make a decision.

I live in a 660 sq.ft. apartment with 4 non-releasable pigeons and 2 cats. 1 pigeon can fly fairly well, 1 not quite as well and 2 do not fly. My bedroom and bathroom area is where I let out 3 pijies in the morning to exercise. I put a shower curtain on my bed to protect from poops and a towel over items on my dresser. Each of their homes is large enough for them to able to flap their wings without touching the sides. I am fortunate that I can close the door between my bedroom and living room/kitchen/dining area. This latter area is too dangerous for flying pijies. My bedroom has glass doors with screens that face East and a window that faces South for light.

The 4th pigeon is the first one I found, Mr. Squeaks, a racing homing pij, whose wing was so badly broken that half had to be amputated. I had him a few years before getting my others. He is spoiled and considers me his mate. He was raised with the FOUR cats I had at the time and rules us ALL with his ATTITUDE. Squeaks does not like the other pijies and considers them intruders! He stays in the living room with me and the cats while the other 3 are let out to fly.

Two of the pigeons are ferals and the third one is a fancy West of England Tumbler, who found a mate with Gimie, the feral with a broken leg than healed badly. Both have been trained to fly back into their home when fun time is over. Dom, I catch with a towel that he runs into.

Also, we have a member who custom makes "diapers" for pijies (called PGWear) to wear when out and about the home. Something to consider if you decide to keep your pigeon, which I hope you will.

Pigeons DO make great pets and they are very intelligent!

That's my story in a nutshell...hope it helps.

Wishing you, your pigeon and your kitty all the best with love, hugs and scritches

Shi
Mr. Squeaks
Dom
Gimie
WoeBeGone
Twiggy (kitty)
Timmy (kitty)
:) :) :) :)
 

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Shi gave you pretty good picture of pigeon happiness. :)
They can be kept in cage; they make excellent pets and must be under supervision when outside the cage, even if you had no cat.
This pigeon you are considering adopting is raised by humans and cannot live outside as wild birds. On other hand it is too old to be relocated in a new loft with free flight. Large cage and loving home are his best option.
 

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Yep- Listen to Shi---:cool:

Lots of us keep pijies in cages... Add me to that list as well... I make time for them everyday and TRUST me- we have 3 dogs, 2 cats...(among many other lil' critters!) Our dogs don't dare mess with the birds... They get Wing popped by the pijies..:eek:. so have learned to leave them alone... But, I do supervise them - ALWAYS! As for the kitties... They were eyeing them the first week, now they just don't care! lol....


Yours is a senior pijie and would most likely welcome a place to call home for his "golden" years...
If I could put my vote in...:rolleyes: it would be Conragtulations and welcome to the WONDERFUL crazy world of pigeon keeping!:D I vote; he has found his home...


AS a post edit:
You can Find PT Member Boni, here: www.birdwearonline.org ... All of mine have them you can check out my albums to see them in action.....lol...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you!

Wow! Thank you all for your kind and quick responses. We had pretty much resigned ourselves to NOT keeping the pigeon, thinking he would be unhappy in our circumstances. Now it actually seems viable. I love pigeons and would like to have the experience of caring for one. But, of course, not at any cost to him.

One follow-up question: I know pigeons are social. But my understanding is that you simply can't introduce a pigeon and expect harmony. If we do adopt him and it goes well, would it be irresponsible to find another rescue to add as a companion? I know there are several bird rescue groups looking for adoptive homes for their pigeons.

Thank you again. It's very much appreciated!
 

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Wow! Thank you all for your kind and quick responses. We had pretty much resigned ourselves to NOT keeping the pigeon, thinking he would be unhappy in our circumstances. Now it actually seems viable. I love pigeons and would like to have the experience of caring for one. But, of course, not at any cost to him.

One follow-up question: I know pigeons are social. But my understanding is that you simply can't introduce a pigeon and expect harmony. If we do adopt him and it goes well, would it be irresponsible to find another rescue to add as a companion? I know there are several bird rescue groups looking for adoptive homes for their pigeons.

Thank you again. It's very much appreciated!
Do you know if your bird is male or female? IF a male, then you could introduce a female and eventually they would take to each other. Vice versa if yours is a female. OR if yours is a female, you could introduce another female and they would eventually mate up.
So a male/female or two females but NOT two males.........that just likely wouldn't work out at all.
If you have one of each sex, she will lay eggs, so you need to replace with plastic/wooden eggs and if you should get two females, BOTH of them would lay eggs and of course they would not be fertile, but to keep from having broken eggs accidently, it would be best to replace those too with plastic eggs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
re: Male or Female, Not Sure

Do you know if your bird is male or female
I'm not sure. If we take "him" in, we'll definitely get him to a bird vet, make sure he or she is well. I'm assuming that's also the best way to determine the sex?

Good to know about possible companion options. Thanks!
 

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Unless you have a DNA test done, determining the sex is darn near impossible until you are around the bird and can watch it's behaviour.
Got any pictures of it? Is it a homing pigeon, fancy, ???
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Unless you have a DNA test done, determining the sex is darn near impossible until you are around the bird and can watch it's behaviour.
Got any pictures of it? Is it a homing pigeon, fancy, ???
I won't have any pictures until I pick up the pigeon from its current foster care. I was told it was a homing pigeon. I'm still in my earliest educational phase of pigeon-dom. I've had some limited experience with feral pigeons but I'm not yet well-versed in domestic pigeons.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Renee,

I followed your link. What an amazing setup you have! We aspire to have that kind of space someday . . . for rescue birds and animals. It can't come soon enough because rescues always seem to find us, and we're almost always having to give them up to other homes.
 

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Keep in mind you don't need a companion for your baby, it's nice yes but you can wait awhile before you do that to get comfortable with things and until you can determine its gender.My Petey is an only-pigeon child and he is fine with me.I would like to get a mate eventually (maybe) but there are plenty of folks that just have one and a houseful of other pets.Besides there are many issues that take time to learn and this would give you an opportunity to have one and get used to it first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
My Petey is an only-pigeon child and he is fine with me.
Thanks, Tamara. Is Petey also an indoor pigeon? What kind of space do you house him in? I imagine building a custom cage is what we'll end up doing if we take in this guy. Two non-carpenters, should be a breeze. :eek:
 

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Thanks, Tamara. Is Petey also an indoor pigeon? What kind of space do you house him in? I imagine building a custom cage is what we'll end up doing if we take in this guy. Two non-carpenters, should be a breeze.



LOL..:p... You could always use a dog cage..:rolleyes:. Here is ours....:D
Maybe Shi could post pictures of hers as well??? We really need to have a sticky on INDOOR cages around here...lol...
 

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Don't have pictures to post but I can give you dimensions.

Squeaks (29" L x 21" W x 23" H) and Dom (24"L x 18" W x 20" H) have a small animal cage (available through pet stores).

I got Gimie and Woe's cage at a bird store down the street. The bars are closer together and thinner. Their home is longer and not as high (30" L x 18" W x 171/2" H) as Squeaks and Dom.

Good Luck and let us know what you decide...

ALL THE BEST!! Looking forward to updates!

Shi :)
 

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Unless you have a DNA test done, determining the sex is darn near impossible until you are around the bird and can watch it's behaviour.
Got any pictures of it? Is it a homing pigeon, fancy, ???
I've got a question, since the bird has a band...

If the bird had been a racer, would it be possible to find out whether it is a hen or a cock by checking racing results? I've noticed that some OB racing results list the gender of the birds.

robin, learning (right now I know just about enough to get into trouble) :rolleyes:
 

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Yes Petey is an indoor pigeon...I am downloading pics today and his cage will be on my album page after noon. I lucked out and got a nice cage through Craigs List and then modified it...that is what most members do.
 

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Although a large dog crate makes an good indoor pigeon home, if it will be anywhere your cat might have access, you would want to make sure the bar spacing is too small for a kitty paw to reach through and snag the pigeon. Attaching pieces of hardware cloth to the crate sides and top would give you safe spacing and it comes in plastic (less likely to snag you than the metal type). I know you will enjoy your new pet!
 
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