I thought I'd share this recent observation for those who might be considering raising young pigeons from hatch. I realize it can be done but I think the attached photo exemplifies the importance of the highly nutritional early feelings by the parents or at the very least having on hand a very close substitute. The bird on the left ( the small one ) is actually two days older than the bird on the right. The smaller bird was hand fed from hatch a kaytee product with some puréed purina pigeon pellets for two days until I was able to establish a suitable foster parent. I've subsequently observed the hatchling daily to assure he was accepted and being adequately fed, which appears to be the case. None the less, he seems stunted in growth, obviously. Granted there could be other variables ( genetic) but the parent birds are of the same size. I've raised some birds by hand after they were a week or so old with success. They become very friendly to the point I suppose some might describe them as imprinted. Anyway, and again, the only purpose of this post is show what has validated in my mind the importance of real pigeon parents during the early days. Perhaps a more squab specific substitute product would have made a difference .