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Is my pigeon too skinny?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Rescued baby pigeon (20-dayish?) a few weeks ago. (Progression photos here

So many questions.... But for now, is she too skinny/little? She lives in a cockatiel cage on the front porch with the door open, should she wish to fly away with a local pigeon (?). Feeding her "pigeon/dove" seed mix from Amazon plus corn/peas. She must be about ... 45 days old now? She seems super skinny/small to me. What do you think?

post #2 of 12
How prominent is her breast bone?

post #3 of 12
And welcome to BYC!

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you! I feel it, but it's not super prominent. She likes fresh corn and peas. Are there other things besides the seeds I should give her? I've only seen pigeons eat popcorn "in the wild", lol.
post #5 of 12

What a little cutie! She looks ok weight wise if shes weaning or just weaned. They can lose a lot of weight at that stage. If that pigeon is anything like mine, you have a new friend for that pigeons lifetime! And if it can, it will find a mate and bring it home to meet you 


I would expand the diet a bit. Especially if you are planning to eventually stop leaving food out for it. This age is when they learn what to eat from their parents and if they're given a limited diet, they often have a hard time of it later. The greater variety they're given to eat now, the healthier the bird and the better its chances once on its own. The older they get, the more likely they are to starve before trying new foods.


Wild pigeons are a lot like chickens diet wise. If they can swallow it, they'll probably eat it. If your getting the bird ready to live without you, then feed it any table scraps you have as well as dog food, cat food, bird seed etc...just offer it as much variety as you can think of. If your happy to keep feeding it, then I would get a bag of chicken layer crumbles for it. Or bird seed mixes, chicken scratch, small sized dog food...whatevers convenient for you. The crumbles would give it a fairly well balanced diet. Bird seed mixes etc would give it a less balanced diet but plenty of healthy nutrition as it learns to find and try new foods on its own.


Just add any new foods into its normal food and mix it up. Start by adding small amounts and gradually increase the the amounts when you can see that the bird is eating the new foods.


Nice job raising the little one!

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you!! So so helpful smile.png

She's/he's pretty picky already (how do I figure out gender?). She's pretty funny. When she sees me she makes a giant racket, and totally whacks my hand while peeping and climbing on it then eating out of it. What's with the whacking/twitching/peeping eating? I totally love this bird. I keep putting her in trees because, hey: birds! Trees! It seems like birds like trees. But she always flies right back to the cage.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

"What is wrong with this cage??"
Edited by judybee - 10/14/15 at 6:59pm
post #8 of 12

Lol...they are pretty funny when they eat. Theres usually 2 babies per nest and they flap and can even spin in circles while begging. It seems crazy but its a good way to get first dibs on dinner!


I'm glad to hear you really love it! If its a little girl, it might eventually leave to join a mate. If its a male, it'll probably drag a mate home and try to convince her to nest in that cage or somewhere near by.


I can't reliably tell boy from girl on pigeons until they start showing adult behaviors. The boys coo, head bob, and strut. The hand raised ones might even try to feed your hand. Those hand raised babies can get pretty confused sometimes! 


I don't know how you have the cage set up on your porch, but hanging it up is safest; so the little ones not at risk while it sleeps. If its a male and drags a female home...the wild birds most likely to accept the cage as a nesting area if its up high and in a quiet part of your porch. Its delightful when they bring home a mate and you get to see them raise the babies. Although that might be a good time to stop supplementing its diet....otherwise you could end up with more pigeon friends then you 


I love the cage in your picture!

post #9 of 12

Just something I thought I'd add, some hand raised female pigeons will also display like a male. My first pigeon who I hand raised everyone thought was a male until she layed an egg LOL.

17+ pigeons, about 20 coturnix quail, 10 chickens and 2 angora rabbits
17+ pigeons, about 20 coturnix quail, 10 chickens and 2 angora rabbits
post #10 of 12

Rofl! Poor little girl was probably trying to show you how you're supposed to behave and wondering the whole time if her poor confused mate-hand would ever figure it out! 

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