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Hi. 10 days ago I saw a wood pigeon walking in my front garden, who desperatley kept trying to fly but only ever managed to jump or hop a few inches in the air and then fall straight back down. I left him overnight in the bushes thinking he might just be stunned, but in the morning he was still there. I managed to catch him in a blanket and put him in a cage. I took him to a vet, who gave him a check-up and x-rayed his wing and told me that it wasn't broken (there is one tiny broken bone on the tip of the wing, but the vet said this bone was not an important flight bone and would not hinder him flying). The vet said to give him some TLC for a week. It has now been 10 days and for that time I have been keeping him warm in his cage in my dining room, with fresh water and wild bird seed. For the first 6 days he didn't appear to eat or drink anything and his poop was runny and a bluey/black colour. I ordered some 'Kaytee Exact' off the internet and was about to start handfeeding him when all of a sudden, the next day, he started eating and drinking (there's no stopping him now) and I've noticed that for the last 2 days his poop is now a healthy consistency and is white & greeny grey. I let him out of the cage every few days to see if he is ready to fly but he still only ever manages to jump. The only damage I can see is under his right wing and just above his leg there is a circle (2 inch radius) that is missing all of his little white breast feathers. There are no puncture wounds that I or the vet can see. I don't understand that if his wing isn't broken what could be stopping him flying away?
Please help. How long should I keep him in the cage before I make the decision that he may never fly again. I have read 2-4 weeks but this is for a broken wing?
 

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Did the vet check his poop for worms?
 

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Charis beat me to the worm question...

When he tries to fly can he raise and stretch both wings? I had a feral pigeon that couldn't fly because her wing was bruised, it took a few weeks before she was able to fly again...but what will you do with him if he isn't able to fly again after a reasonable period?

I can give it a permanent home if he can't return to the wild, wood pigeons can and do adapt to captivity and I have one that is unable to fly but his mate died last year so he could do with some company.

Cynthia
 

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Thanks for the advice on the worms and no the vet didn't check his poop. Do you suggest that I still get this chcked out even though his poop has returned to the usual white colour?

If the pigeon doesn't make a full recovery, I'm not really geared up to look after him permanently. I used to have a large indoor aviary where I kept 16 parrots, but my husband developed an allergic reaction to the dust they created and so I had no choice but to give them away to a bird sanctuary. After that I got rid of the aviary. I'm panicking a little as I go on holiday in 9 weeks and don't know who could possibly look after him whilst I'm away. If he/she doesn't make a full recovery I'm sure (s)he'll be glad of a mate. I'm hoping that the underside is just bruised as you suggest. I will keep you posted.

Alex
 

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Hi Cynthia,

I forgot to mention that yes (s)he can raise and stretch both wings when (s)he tries to fly and is really alert and walks around without any issues.

If (s)he can't fly again I was going to try and find a rehabber near me, so your offer of a permanent home is really appreciated if it comes to this. I have 9 weeks left before holiday, so hopefully if it is only bruising this will be plenty of time for the healing process.

Alex
 

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Hi Alex,

Sorry to hear about your husband's illness, a few of us (including me) are also sufferers. It seems such a harsh punishment for enjoying the company of birds.

What part of the country are you in?

Cynthia
 

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Hi Cynthia

Sorry I didn't respond sooner. I've had the family staying over so it's been hectic. I live in Ely in Cambridgeshire.

As an update, I've named the pigeon Bobby. I thought that this name could pass for a girl and a boy. It also saves me having to refer to it as (s)he as much. I've now had Bobby for 3 weeks tomorrow and have just bought a larger cage with a feeding station and perch. I figured Bobby was strong enough now to jump onto the perch, which he has done. It also saves me having to give him daily baths to clean his feathers and toes (albeit he does seem to like the baths, he lifts up hius wings so I can spray underneath). Bobby seems to be getting stronger and is eating like a horse and when I put him in the bath he can now fly to perch on the top rim of the bath whereas before he couldn't. However outside it's still the same story - he just jumps, tries to fly and fails.

Still have my fingers crossed, but still panicking. Whereabouts are you based?

Alex
 

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Hi Alex,

I am in Norwich, so roughly 60 miles...we could meet half way.

He must feel very relaxed to do the "armpit exposure" when you are there.

Cynthia
 
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