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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been working to save a pigeon and don't know a thing about birds! I am in Daphne, Alabama - just east of Mobile, Alabama (I also work in Mobile).

I stepped out of the office this past Thursday to see a pigeon flailing around in the street. Whatever happened to him had obviously JUST happened. I picked him up and moved him over to a gravel park to watch him as it looked like his legs did not work. It took him a few minutes to get his feet under him and gather the courage to try to fly. He flew a short distance, tried to land on a sign, but it looked like his perception was off because as he got within 6 inches, he just gave up and fell to the ground. I moved him back over onto a patch of grass and went home, hoping he would be ok.

When I came in Friday morning, I checked on him - he had moved about 10 feet. So, I moved him to a corner of the park that had a wall on both sides to shelter him as much as possible and keep him out of the hot sun (YES it is quite warm in the sun down here right now). I have been giving him water and wild bird seed, and he periodically moves around somehow, but I don't think he is using his legs at all anymore. I kept thinking I would come back and he would be gone or dead, but he's a fighter and keeps hanging on.

He started off being very scared of me, but as the days have passed by I can see him light up as I approach and loves to be stroked on his head. I gave in and brought him home tonight. As of right now I have him in a plastic aquarium-like cage that has a vented lid. Before reading this forum, I was trying to prepare the cage so that it would be natural and as soft and comfortable as possible since he is not walking at all. I lined the cage in some leftover fir tree bark that is cut into tiny chunks. His bottom is covered in poo from not walking. He is eating and drinking, but I don't know what else I can do? I'm thinking he may have flown into a window and got brain damage? Whatever it is, I think the leg issue is neurological more so than direct injury. Do you have any thoughts on what I can do or someone who may know more to help him? I'll keep him if I need to, but just want the little guy to get some help.

Of course, my home is not ideal for birds. I have a heart for animals, so I have terriers & cats - neither of which will like the little guy! Help?
 

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bumping...... someone may have a rehabber information near you so keep checking back. if he is eating a drinking sounds like he will be fine for the moment....
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you spirit wings. So just water & wild bird seed is ok? Should I attempt to clean up his rear from the dried poo crusted all over it?
 

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Hi Carrie...I don't have many referrals for your state but this is what I do have. If none of these resources are near you, call the one closest and ask if they know of any one in your area that treats feral Pigeons.
It also would be helpful for you to post a picture just so we can be sure you don't have a young bird that can't eat on his own yet.

Alabama (Veterinarians)

Dr William Duke
3454 West Main st.
Dothan, Al
334-794-6333

Opp Veterinary
Dr Faith Drumheller
207 Highway 52 East
Opp, Al
334-493-6687
www.oppvet.com


Alabama (Rehabbers)

Alabama Wildlife Center
100 Terrace Dr.
Pelham, Al 35124
Business office
205-663-7930
Wildlife Hotline
205-621-3333
http://www.awrc.org/
This facility will sometimes accept Pigeons. They are willing to offer advice and instruction if you have
found an injured or ill Pigeon and you are willing to treat and rehabilitate the Pigeon yourself.
 

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Yes you need to clean the poop from his rear. Soak his bottom in lukewarm water to soften the poop and it should clean up easily.

You need to do a complete examination of this birds legs......is he not able to stand at all?

I know you said you were feeding him in the park......are you sure he is eating and drinking on his own? Does he appear to be malnourished? Can you feel his keel bone on his chest?....does it appear to be protruding?

Open his beak and inspect inside his mouth........look for any signs of yellow nodgels....the mouth and throat should be clear and pink.

Is it at all possible for you to take the bird to a Vet?........A bird that has not been able to stand on it's own really needs immediate attention.

Could you possibly post a picture of the bird?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I can absolutely take pictures. Give me a few minutes. I'll do whatever it takes, but I am a single mom (with no child support) who has JUST gotten a job after almost a year. I don't have a fortune to spend, but will do whatever I can. I am just not at all knowledgeable about birds. :( Be right back with pics.
 

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thank you for helping out this poor guy, and if you have a cat carrier or small dog crate it will probably be more suitable for him, just forget about the natural stuff.
if you have soft fleece layer it up for him so it's cushioned as to not put much pressure on his poor little legs
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OH! Also something important to note: when I was touching his leg taking pics, he jumped and moved his leg (which is an improvement from yesterday).
 

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CarrieFlanary, thanks for helping this little guy out.

As altgirl35 mentioned, I think he would appreciate a bit different setup. If you don't have a carrier you could use the aquarium, line the bottom with a folded over terry cloth towel to fit the carrier/aquarium. The if you could get another small towel and roll it onto itself length wise and then loop this around on itself to make a donut and set him in the middle, like a little nest (I tape the two ends together so the donut is firm and does not easily separate). I think he would like the support being surrounded on all sides would give him. Under the donut/towel place a few layers of paper towel so when he voids himself you just have to remove a paper towel to clean up.

Get two small dishes and put some seeds in one and some water in the other right to the edge of the towel so he does not have to stand to eat or drink, just reach over the edge. It would be good if he could be examined by a vet to determine the extent of his injuries. There will be others along with more advice, but sometime rest, warmth and food can do wonders to help them along and some movement in his legs is good to hear.

Good luck with him,

Karyn
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'll go rummage in the shed and see if I can come up with a more suitable temporary home for him. This was the best I could do with such short notice. The poop on his body is from where he was laying in the grass at the park. I am about to try to wash him up in the kitchen sink. Suggestions duly noted. I like the idea of a rolled towel to give a nest feel and easy clean up of paper towel underneath! I don't have proper heavy dishes, but these deeper plastic ones are working for now. At least he IS eating and drinking, which seems to be a good sign.

We do have an environmental center here, but I know first-hand that they put injured birds down depending on injury. I rescued two flycatchers from a cat a few years ago - one with a broken wing and one with a broken leg. I asked the average cost of rehabilitation ($50) so I sent $100 to cover both. They put down the baby with the broken leg. :( It's heartbreaking. Scared to take this little guy to them for fear all the time and effort I've put into him will be wasted.
 

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Scared to take this little guy to them for fear all the time and effort I've put into him will be wasted.
CarrieFlanary, I'm sure you will get things organized for him to make him as comfortable as possible. You could always check before hand the PTS (put-to-sleep) policy of where you may take him ahead of time. I am not saying this is the case for this poor little guy, but sometimes with a traumatic injury there is swelling and pressure on nerve centers that take a good amount of time to heal, in order to regain proper flight/leg ability again. Sometimes many places don't have the resources or time it would take to bring a really hurt bird along and opt for PTS, and being a pigeon sometimes does not help matters.

Karyn
 

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hi carrie, by law rehabbers have to put federally protected species down if they are unreleasable and they have to decided if the treatment would be inhumane.
i have had to put birds down with broken legs to because the only way their lives could be saved would be amputation cause the leg was so badley broken and they were not the kind of bird that does well with one leg, but i have released many gulls with one leg because they do all right.
pigeons are not federally protected which means you can seek out veterinary care for them and if they are un releaseable you can have them as a pet, doesn't necessarily mean that every injured one can or should be saved if they are suffering but a vet will help you figure it out.
the wildlife center probably would determine that also depending on their view of invasive species, some places won't give them the same chance as a federally protected bird but some will give them more of a chance, i know i do because i know i can probably find them a home if they cannot be released,
i think it's great they were able to save the one with the broken wing, broken wings are hard to fix on little guys depending on the break of course
 

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Just a thought, but any chance this is a hen that recently laid an egg? (egg paralysis?)
This happened to one of my hens a couple months ago. Shortly after laying an egg, she had no use of her legs (same as described here). Cage rest for 2 weeks, she was as good as new. I also rescued one years ago on the side of the road - same symptoms. After a couple weeks of cage rest, food and water, she was fine again. BUT, every time she laid an egg - it reoccurred. So she could never be in a loft situation.
Just a thought :)
 

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Just a thought, but any chance this is a hen that recently laid an egg? (egg paralysis?)
This happened to one of my hens a couple months ago. Shortly after laying an egg, she had no use of her legs (same as described here). Cage rest for 2 weeks, she was as good as new. I also rescued one years ago on the side of the road - same symptoms. After a couple weeks of cage rest, food and water, she was fine again. BUT, every time she laid an egg - it reoccurred. So she could never be in a loft situation.
Just a thought :)
I was wondering about that too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Sorry I haven't been here to reply today. I was at work all day and couldn't update. I was checking on the bird this morning and when she/he saw me coming, it stood straight up, lifted its head in a stretch and then fluffed its feathers all over the place. It wasn't a threatening movement as far as I could tell, but more of a happy greeting. No stress in the movements whatsoever. I was so thrilled to see it standing for the first time in so many days. I went to Petsmart to try to find a more suitable environment for it. A birdcage for medium birds was $100 giving no room for flight whatsoever. I found a ferret "home" that I thought would work really well. It is 2'x2' square and almost 4' tall. After I get it all set up, I'll send pics to make sure it's suitable. :) I'm so relieved that it's doing so much better. Thank you all so much!
 

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Oh that's wonderful! I'm so glad he is doing better. Looking forward to pics.
 

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CarrieFlanary, standing and a stretch/fluff/shake is a very good sign indeed. It was very kind of you to go and get him a new "home", sounds like it will be a suitable place for this little guy to rest and recuperate. When you post the photos, if you could post some are photos of his/her droppings it will help in getting a better idea just how (s)he is doing health wise. If you are up to it, giving him/her a good going over to look for any cuts, wounds or abrasions may be a good idea, to try and figure out how she/he came to be as found, take your time and part open the feathers if you suspect any area for a better look.

Also, while examining him/her gently spread the wings open and have a look underneath and see if there are any thin, pencil-mark-like-specks that move around on his/her feathers. Some ferals have something called pigeon lice, don't worry they only like to live on pigeons, and are easy to get rid of and since this little guy is there with you, we might as well take care of them if they are there.

Finally, have a good look inside the mouth area, it should be pink and clear with no growths of any kind, report if you see anything other than a pink mouth.

Nice going,

Karyn
 
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