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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, we have two Young pigeons here that I am caring for and was hoping I could get some advice here.
One fell out of the nest last Saturday, one fell out yesterday, both from the same nest. The second one seems a bit older, could be a fledgling that meant to leave the nest, but I am too inexperienced to accurately Judge that and Living in an area full of cats I thought I'd take him in too. The first one (called Chickpea) is fed out of a beaker with a rubber glove with a hole in it, it adapted to that quite quickly and has been to the vets, who told me to use Baby Food for feeding and told me that ist leg that was broken has healed together well and now just needs recovery time. The second one refused the Syringe method and beaker method last night, took a Little bit from the beaker method this morning but still not much. I kept them seperate last night, but have put them together this morning (in the cat-carrier box chickpea has been Living in) and they seem perfectly calm sat next to each other. Can I leave them together like that? should I move them both to the larger Cage outside? Any hints for feeding?
 

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It will be better to keep them together inside the house in a cage. Both can be fed defrosted peas. You can get a bag of frozen peas from the supermarket, defrost in lukewarm water and feed them about 30 peas 3 times daily.

To do this you will have to put each one on your lap, facing to the right if you are righthanded. Reach with your lefthand over the body and head and open the beak with those fingers. Have a pea ready in your righthand and put deep inside the mouth over the tongue. Give him time to swallow and then continue with the next pea. If he spits out the pea, you are not putting it deep enough inside the mouth. You will struggle in the beginning, but it will become easier. They quickly learn to eat the peas by themselves, so always leave a small bowl filled with peas with them.

To get them to drink water, you can dip the tip of the beak (not over the nostrils) in a small bowl of water. Once they are eating the peas by themselves, you can start adding small seeds to that. Keep them inside the house for another month or so, then put the cage outside. They will need to get used to their surroundings before release. Keep them outside for another couple of weeks, and then you can just open the cage and let them go out by themselves. You will need to supply a backup food source, cause they might return when hungry. Only release them when they are able to eat all kinds of seeds, and able to fly well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
It will be better to keep them together inside the house in a cage. Both can be fed defrosted peas. You can get a bag of frozen peas from the supermarket, defrost in lukewarm water and feed them about 30 peas 3 times daily.

To do this you will have to put each one on your lap, facing to the right if you are righthanded. Reach with your lefthand over the body and head and open the beak with those fingers. Have a pea ready in your righthand and put deep inside the mouth over the tongue. Give him time to swallow and then continue with the next pea. If he spits out the pea, you are not putting it deep enough inside the mouth. You will struggle in the beginning, but it will become easier. They quickly learn to eat the peas by themselves, so always leave a small bowl filled with peas with them.

To get them to drink water, you can dip the tip of the beak (not over the nostrils) in a small bowl of water. Once they are eating the peas by themselves, you can start adding small seeds to that. Keep them inside the house for another month or so, then put the cage outside. They will need to get used to their surroundings before release. Keep them outside for another couple of weeks, and then you can just open the cage and let them go out by themselves. You will need to supply a backup food source, cause they might return when hungry. Only release them when they are able to eat all kinds of seeds, and able to fly well.
Thanks much for the Reply, but is there anything wrong with the bottle method? the vet said to give chickpea Baby food through a Syringe or bottle and to start giving her seeds this week some Point... The other one (sweetpea) has also accepted the bottle method after seeing chickpea eat that way and I let them peck at some seeds after feeding with the bottle, which they do seem to be Eating. Is it at all possible to let them learn to eat the seeds (/defrosted Peas, will buy some later) without "forcefeeding"? Sofar I was thinking that I would start gradually giving them less from the bottle and more seeds, really dont want to accidentally hurt them by Holding them too tight when they struggle :x
Will certainly try to use this method, just in case I chicken out in fear of hurting them, could I give them chopped bits of Peas to peck at by themselves (assuming they dont peck at the whole Peas by themselves)?
 

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If the syringe feeding method is working for both of them, stick to it rather. Sometimes, especially if they are older than 2 1/2 weeks, then they refuse the syringe method and then the best option will be to forcefeed peas. You can also start adding small seeds to the food you are syringe feeding and always leave some seeds with them. Leave seeds of all shapes and sizes. They will eventually start pecking at the seeds by themselves, so no need to force seeds into them. When eating seeds, they will also need to start drinking water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
If the syringe feeding method is working for both of them, stick to it rather. Sometimes, especially if they are older than 2 1/2 weeks, then they refuse the syringe method and then the best option will be to forcefeed peas. You can also start adding small seeds to the food you are syringe feeding and always leave some seeds with them. Leave seeds of all shapes and sizes. They will eventually start pecking at the seeds by themselves, so no need to force seeds into them. When eating seeds, they will also need to start drinking water.
Just to clarify: The Syringe method isnt working, neither will accept that. Instead I have been using a bottle method I saw on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_U1YodwvCc
Only difference being the Food, which is a Kind of Baby Food with a similar texture to the Food in the Video... Both accept this method, neither accepted the Syringe method.
Is this an acceptable alternative?
I have added a small bowl of small seeds used to feed budgies, is that ok or should I add other seeds/Peas to the mix as well?

Thank you very much for your replies sofar, hope I'm not annoying you, just trying to make sure I am doing this Right :x

Also: A guy I met while taking chickpea to the vet suggested sweet corn, was considering adding some of that to their Food, is that a good idea or will that do more harm than good?
 

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That method is perfect for feeding. The best food to give them, is actually a handrearing formula for parakeets and parrots, called Kaytee Exact which you will be able to buy from large petshops. Don't know where you are located, you might not be able to get hold of this. You can actually blend up the peas that I suggested, and just feed this to them with the bottle feeding method. They are not so young anymore, will soon start eating by themselves. Try to get hold of a seed mixture for doves (that have sorghum - small reddish seed), the babies that I've raised always start eating them first.

Questions are always welcome, that's why we are here!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thank you very much for the pea Suggestion, they love them! Took chickpea About ten minutes of pecking at a handful until she finally got one properly, but after that they both went nuts over them and dont seem to be able to get enough of em ^^
They now have a small bowl with water and a small bowl of Peas in their Cage (got a new Cage from some Friends today, three times the size of the carrier box per Floor with three Floors, have only built one up sofar as they dont move around very much atm anyway).

I am thinking I will add sweetcorn and some seeds to the mix as of tomorrow to give them some Variation.

My next Question: what is the bst way to clean them? The bottle method was Pretty messy, they still have some slightly matted feathers in places as I couldn't get them cleaned properly with Damp towels… Their feet are also quite dirty as they stepped in their poop in the small Cage due to limited space… Can I just give them a bath in bowl of warm water or is there something else I can do?
 

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You can take a damp cloth and start wetting those dried up pieces of food. It will eventually loosen up. This depends on how tame they are, you don't want to grab them and it all ends up in a struggle to clean them. Otherwise, if the weather is hot you can put down a large dish with water about 5 cm deep and they might take a bath themselves. You can encourage them to bath by playing with your fingers in the water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I may have spoken too soon

This morning when I got them out for breakfast, neither of them ate very many Peas at all but instead seemed to want the budgie seeds more… And as I was getting them out for lunch, chickpea didn't come running to my Hand the way she usually does but instead seemed to be acting defensively (raised wing on the side my Hand was coming from and pecked at it), which has never happened before.
Sweetpea (the bigger one) was also more skittish than usual and made it a Task to get him out of the Cage, constantly Jumping off my Hand whenever I picked him up… :(

Can anyone tell me why that might be? They have been doing so well and just last night enjoyed sitting on my lap together so much they nearlly fell asleep there… I'm worried, it seems to me like sweetpea is having a "bad" influence on chickpea, is that possible?

One more Thing that might be relevant: I accidentally left my Computer running over night (in the same room)… Could that have anything to do with it due to noise?
 

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Are you planning on releasing them one day? Then it will be better if they remain skittish around people and not try to tame them. They are eating on their own now, so it's possible they don't associate your hands with feeding anymore. They were fairly old when you got them, so the chances of them really become tame are very slim. Unless you put a lot of effort into it. They also learn from each other, so if the older one starts acting defensive, then the younger one probably also will.

If you are planning on keeping them, spend as much time as possible with them. They like to be scratched around the head, and will calm down a bit when you do that. When they start eating properly, you can offer chopped up unsalted raw peanuts from your hand. Pigeons love them. But you first have to sprinkle some on their food so that they will develop a taste for them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This morning when I got them out for breakfast, neither of them ate very many Peas at all but instead seemed to want the budgie seeds more… And as I was getting them out for lunch, chickpea didn't come running to my Hand the way she usually does but instead seemed to be acting defensively (raised wing on the side my Hand was coming from and pecked at it), which has never happened before.
Sweetpea (the bigger one) was also more skittish than usual and made it a Task to get him out of the Cage, constantly Jumping off my Hand whenever I picked him up… :(

Can anyone tell me why that might be? They have been doing so well and just last night enjoyed sitting on my lap together so much they nearlly fell asleep there… I'm worried, it seems to me like sweetpea is having a "bad" influence on chickpea, is that possible?

One more Thing that might be relevant: I accidentally left my Computer running over night (in the same room)… Could that have anything to do with it due to noise?
I was planning on sort of keeping them, am currently working on a design to make our balcony predator proof so that they can come and go as they like but will Always return… Is that likely to work?
I spend most of the day in the room their Cage is in and have been feeding them four times daily with About an hour or so of letting them sit in my lap and me stroking them behind their heads, which they seem to enjoy as far as I can tell (they lie down when I do this, usually cuddled to each other and up against my stomach, sometimes even close their eyes, especially chickpea).
Just gave feeding them another go, took one and a half Hours but at least sweetpea ate About 20-30, chickpea had less and wouldnt stop cuddling up to me. She pooped three times this time (as opposed to the usual two times, once during feeding and once when i put her back in the Cage), all three droppings being watery and with Little fecal matter, with one she seemed to struggle a bit…
Anything else I can try feeding them/should I go back to the bottle method (for Chickpea at least)? Havent been able to reach a pet supply store yet as I dont own a car and the nearest one is About two Hours away by bike, don't want to leave them alone for over four Hours...
Thanks so much for your help sofar, really appreciate it <3
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Also: they both stretch their wings rather often and Groom/Scratch themselves with their feet and beaks, which chickpea only started doing yesterday… Could this be a sign that sweetpea brought parasites with him? Chickpea was parasite-free when the vet checked her last week and Sweetpea only "moved in" with Chickpea on Sunday... Should I take them both to the vet again or is that normal behaviour? Can post pics/vids if that helps :confused:
And should I add a hot water bottle to the Cage? It's currently around About 20-30°C in the room, today its Closer to 20, is that too Cold for them?
 

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So they are eating the green frozen peas that you have defrosted in warm water and you are offering it to them whole and not chopped up? Whole is better, easier to pick up. Their droppings should then be mushy and darkgreen. If they are drinking water as well, that might explain the watery droppings. But there should be plenty of fecal matter. If you think they are not eating enough peas, then continue with the bottle feeding.

It will be fairly easy to predator proof your balcony, the ideal spot to keep them. Just fasten a wooden frame to the cement part around the whole opening of the balcony, and add to that aviary mesh. If you do let them out, there's always a chance they won't return. If the balcony is large enough, they can live a good life there. You will just need to put up enough perches etc.

It's normal for young pigeon to groom themselves, does not mean they have parasites. They will shed whitish stuff (I think it's called flax) from their feathers as they groom, that's all normal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Are you planning on releasing them one day? Then it will be better if they remain skittish around people and not try to tame them. They are eating on their own now, so it's possible they don't associate your hands with feeding anymore. They were fairly old when you got them, so the chances of them really become tame are very slim. Unless you put a lot of effort into it. They also learn from each other, so if the older one starts acting defensive, then the younger one probably also will.

If you are planning on keeping them, spend as much time as possible with them. They like to be scratched around the head, and will calm down a bit when you do that. When they start eating properly, you can offer chopped up unsalted raw peanuts from your hand. Pigeons love them. But you first have to sprinkle some on their food so that they will develop a taste for them.
"raw unsalted Peanuts": my local Supermarket only has roasted unsalted Peanuts, are those ok too? They are back to Eating Peas and seeds, I just have to offer them both. The new Cage is quite spacious, could they use some sort of Entertainment in there? If so, what could I give them?

Also: when I stroke them after feeding they tend to nibble gently at my fingers sometimes but then refuse the seeds/Peas/water if i continue to offer them… Are they Looking for something else to eat or could that be a sign of affection?
 

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I'm not sure about the roasted peanuts. Maybe you should look elsewhere, a petshop or maybe a hardware store that sells chickenfeed and birdfood.

Nibbling at the fingers is a sign of affection, they would do that to their parents. And the parents would groom them as well, just as you are doing. I've got one now, about 2 1/2 weeks old. I offer him the peas from my fingertips and he will take the first lot from my fingers and then start eating from the bowl. Maybe you can try that as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I'm not sure about the roasted peanuts. Maybe you should look elsewhere, a petshop or maybe a hardware store that sells chickenfeed and birdfood.

Nibbling at the fingers is a sign of affection, they would do that to their parents. And the parents would groom them as well, just as you are doing. I've got one now, about 2 1/2 weeks old. I offer him the peas from my fingertips and he will take the first lot from my fingers and then start eating from the bowl. Maybe you can try that as well.
ok thanks, will Keep Looking then ^^

nice, good to know :)

I've also been wondering if they would appreciate some sort of Entertainment like some sort of games/toys or whatever… any suggestions? Or are pigeons not the playful type?^^'
I don't mind either way, I love just cuddling with them but if there's something they might enjoy I would like to try it :D

Also (again, sorry About all the individual Questions): Would it be ok to listen to Music/watch movies etc. with them in the room?
 

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Yes, you can watch movies and listen to music, just maybe not too loud. They won't play with toys etc like other birds do, they've got each other for company. Maybe you can post a photo of their cage, then we can give advice if necessary.

If they start eating seeds only, you will need to get them grit. This helps with digestion and also have minerals which they will need. If they won't be exposed to direct sunlight (through a window won't help) you will also need to give them calcium with added Vit D3 in the drinking water. All of this you will get from a petshop. They will also appreciate some greenery like chopped up spinach.

Questions are always welcome.
 
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