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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi, i found a fledgling collared dove 2 days ago, fallen out of nest in high winds...
we got to till this morning, when i fed it and it arched its head back and closed eyes and keeled over.
i feel terrible for having probably choked it in some way. i have no experience in this and knew nobody near me to show me how to do it, so the last feedings have been very slow and probably more food around on on the bird than in it. i really want to know how (using a small syringe of 5ml) i could have avoided this death. how do i know i get the food in the right place? how slow? how far into the beak? how to make sure i miss the airway, but the food goes down? what makes them swallow? how runny or claggy should it be? how often how many milliliters? like, 1 ml, then wait a few seconds, another ml then wait or...? any help appreciated... thanks
 

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It's possible that he aspirated, food going down the trachea instead of into the crop. One should never squirt food or water into their mouths. The best to feed a fledgling dove or pigeon (or when they are older than 2 weeks) will be frozen peas defrosted in warm water. You will then have to hold him on your lap, force the beak open with the fingers of one hand and insert a pea with the fingers of the other hand. 30 peas 3 times daily is usually enough.

For a pigeon or dove younger than 2 weeks, one can do syringe feeding. Youtube have a lot of video's about how to do this, just google "how to feed baby pigeon" and all the info will be there.

It's a pity you did not post sooner, but don't beat yourself up about what happened. We all make mistakes, and the fact that you posted here shows that you are willing to learn from the mistakes. Next time you will be better prepared.
 

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How were you feeding it? It sounds like you were sticking the syringe down it’s throat? That’s not ideal for doves. I was taught to tube feed them, but a lot of people use the cut off syringe method. With a fledgling you could just force feed frozen peas.

If you open up a birds beak and look down the throat you will see a small hole at the base of the tongue. That’s the glottis and you have to get the syringe past that. That’s easy with song birds who gape, but with pigeons and dove you basically have to force feed if you’re using a syringe. If you must syringe feed them like that, you would give them a syringe full, then wait until there’s no formula at the back of the throat.

Bird formula should be pancake-batter thick when they’re doing well. There should be instructions on the formula, but ive never actually followed them. I feed until the crop is full and wait until it’s mostly empty, letting it empty completely over night. I know that’s pretty useless for someone with no experience. 1ml per 10g of weight is the basic guideline for pigeons.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thank you for your replies. i learnt a lot of new stuff, but then, it was all new to me. i m really
grieving for what i did to this little dove, and hopefully will be much better equipped next time.
 
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