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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Several months ago I wrote of adding a heat source to my loft because I had a winter baby I did not want to lose. It worked out well at first but because of the INSANE fluctuating temperatures we've had this winter , having 50+degree days and then days in the single digits in the same week , unpredictable temps at night etc, I decided to move the family into the house where Ive kept them in a large rabbit cage. They have done beautifully and the baby is now about 4 weeks old. He is a mirror image of his dad and is very healthy and seems to be eating pretty much on his own. I never hear him begging for food anymore from the other room and I have seen him eat grain out of the dish. Im not sure when it would be safe to put them back outside again. The weather here is still unpredictable, around 20-30 degrees at night most nights this week. This baby was raised in the house since he was about ten days old and I dont want the change of environment to be too much for him. What are the thoughts on this??

- Also would like to add a Happy New Year! to my mentors and pigeon friends here on PT.
 

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A 4 weeks old baby hasnt grow all their feather yet or in another word, it has not wean yet. And since winter is not over yet, i suggest keeping the family inside for another month. it may seem like the baby will know how to eat on its own but its actually not. But of course it just mimicking and practicing. Baby do these practices when they are 1-2 months old. At this time dad will still be around to feed the baby for another 3-4 more weeks.

Baby pigeon wean at around 2 months of age. That is when they can eat on their own, start to practice flying and venturing out on their own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your reply... I guess the baby could potentially be pushing 5 weeks...but I really dont think hes older than that. He definitely has all his feathers and he can fly! lol as I learned a few days ago....
 

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I allways weaned them at 30 days. Now on fantails I used to go 35 days. But some people will wean at 26 to 28 days. So at 5 weeks old they should be weaned. Good idea to dip the youg birds beak in the water to let it know where to get a drink.
 

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Babies in my loft wean somewhere between 25-40 days completely, depending on growth rate. I start to give feed in parents' presence in the nestbox when squabs are around 20 days old. Some learn quickly,some not by seeing the parents picking seeds. When the start picking seeds I remove them from nest boxes but cocks still feed them outside the nestboxes.

My adult birds are doing ok but squabs have suffered a lot due to chilly weather. Lost 5 squabs already. So if your squab was an indoor grown then let it stay inside for half or one more month.
 

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Several months ago I wrote of adding a heat source to my loft because I had a winter baby I did not want to lose. It worked out well at first but because of the INSANE fluctuating temperatures we've had this winter , having 50+degree days and then days in the single digits in the same week , unpredictable temps at night etc, I decided to move the family into the house where Ive kept them in a large rabbit cage. They have done beautifully and the baby is now about 4 weeks old. He is a mirror image of his dad and is very healthy and seems to be eating pretty much on his own. I never hear him begging for food anymore from the other room and I have seen him eat grain out of the dish. Im not sure when it would be safe to put them back outside again. The weather here is still unpredictable, around 20-30 degrees at night most nights this week. This baby was raised in the house since he was about ten days old and I dont want the change of environment to be too much for him. What are the thoughts on this??

- Also would like to add a Happy New Year! to my mentors and pigeon friends here on PT.
If you are in NJ, IMO, I would wait til spring to put him in the loft, perhaps in a section with young just weaned youngsters. going from one extreme to the other is hard on birds, I would only put him back out there if you were able to acclimate him slowly to cold weather and only if and when he can fly well up to a perch to protect himself. I do not think you need to be in a hurry as they don't know what sex they are untill 4 or 5 months of age anyway. I had two hand reared and put them in the loft at about 14 weeks of age after introuducing slowly from a cage..one day I just opened the cage and said good luck!... they were old enough to fly up so they did fine.
 

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I guess they completely wean when the feathers underneath their wings are fully grown in normal circumstances ...
Happy new year to you too.
 

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If you are in NJ, IMO, I would wait til spring to put him in the loft, perhaps in a section with young just weaned youngsters. going from one extreme to the other is hard on birds, I would only put him back out there if you were able to acclimate him slowly to cold weather and only if and when he can fly well up to a perch to protect himself. I do not think you need to be in a hurry as they don't know what sex they are untill 4 or 5 months of age anyway. I had two hand reared and put them in the loft at about 14 weeks of age after introuducing slowly from a cage..one day I just opened the cage and said good luck!... they were old enough to fly up so they did fine.

This is good advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
so..i agreed with all your advice and baby and parents are STILL inside ..we actually just had a pretty bad snowstorm here and got about 12 inches of snow..I agree that with this baby being raised in the house, going from a toasty 72 degrees indoors to 15 degrees outside might be a bit much. However now that he is weaned and completely self sufficient would it be possible to put just the parents back outside? They were born and raised outside and have wintered outside before...I considered moving them to a cage in the garage where it is usually about 10-15 degrees warmer than outside for a few days to help them adjust..The only reason why id like the parents outside is because the Cock is getting too cooped up, hes constantly flapping and stirring up feathers and seeds all over the room! I really think they miss their outside life lol
 

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I think it is fine as long as you do it gradually, say out in the day only in the cage for 5 days, then overnight in the garage for another 5 then put in the loft. baby can go out in spring.

But keep in mind going from indoors to out with these extremes is hard to acclimate them slow, too bad you don't have a room in the house that is unheated that would be the first step.. you may want to wait till a sunny day with the temps up some like in the low 40's and do it then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Update!

So my little indoor pigeon family is still with me LOL...enjoying a nice toasty North Eastern winter in the lap of luxury . The hen has since layed another egg which is infertile. They are all very healthy and feeling good and I can tell they want to fly. I let them out of the cage about once a week and they like to fly around the room and poop on my RalphLauren comforter set. (lol ive since made the spare bedroom they are kept in a little more 'pigeon proof' ).
I dream of a day when I no longer have pigeons in my house, hear cooing late at night that sounds like its coming out of a guitar AMP, or have to carry my dust-buster vacuum on me like a side-arm. Ive been completely too chicken to put them outside. The weather here has been horrible. Snow, freezing rain, high winds..UGH. With that being said the pigeons in the loft seem completely unfazed by all this..the saga continues....
 

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I would wait till the weather warms up.
 

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Hope the saga ends soon. The weather improves and pigeons go the place where they need to be. And you can enjoy the dander free environment in your house and you can get a good nights sleep. Yes this indoor cooing can get into your head :p :D
 
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