Baby pigeon question -- would love some advice!

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by SilverPhoenix, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. SilverPhoenix

    SilverPhoenix Bantam Fanatic

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    Dec 15, 2009
    Penn Valley, CA
    Hi everyone!

    I have a lovely pair of pigeons living in one of my chicken coops, and they have about a week old squab that they're raising. They had a nest high up on a platform in the henhouse (the henhouse is an adapted shed). However, my chickens are very curious and many are small flighted bantams, and I was worried for the little squab's safety, so I moved both parents and the baby in the house. They're in a quiet room in the back of the house in a very large terrarium. (About 4 feet long, 2.5 feet wide, 2 feet tall or so.)

    However, I moved them in there about a day ago, and I'm not sure if they're feeding the baby or not since I moved them. They don't seem to be sitting on the baby any more or protecting him, and every time I check on them the parents seem to just be awkwardly hanging out in one corner of the cage, away from the baby. The baby is fine so far (it helps that he's on a heating pad, turned on low, with a towel on top of it), but his crop isn't as full as I've seen it before (not totally empty either, but definitely not full). The baby does a little bit of typical baby pigeon begging when I touch him. I'm just worried I stressed the parents out too much by putting them in the house and that as long as they're in here, they won't do the typical parent behaviors. Or maybe they're just still acclimating and will resume parenting duties soon?

    What do you guys recommend? Should I move them back out to the henhouse, where they were happier, and risk the possibility of the chickens killing the squab? I'd feel awful if that happens. But I'd also feel awful if the parents abandon the poor baby because they hate being in the cage and I end up having to raise him myself. I could do that, theoretically--I did wildlife rehab for a number of years--but of course I feel the baby will do best with the parents. They were doing an awesome job with the baby until I moved them, but I just can't help but worry about the baby if I leave them in the coop.

    I'd greatly appreciate advice from more advanced pigeon people!
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
  2. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    In about another week or so your pigeon parents would be thinking about raising another clutch of eggs. From that juncture on it becomes mostly the responsibility to feed the squab while the incubates the new clutch of eggs.

    The pigeons will soon only start to feed the squab only twice a day. It is a simple matter to check the crop of the squab to see if it is ballooned out with food.

    Worst case scenario you may have to hand feed your squab.

    Here is a link to show you some methods; https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=feeding+squabs

    You were wise in my opinion to isolate the pigeons it usually ends in the demise of the squab and a high protein meal for your chickens. You would be wiser still to construct a separate area for your pigeons to call home.

    Check out this link for a peak at my pigeon set up:
    http://globalnews.ca/news/1478351/carrier-pigeons-continue-to-connect-family/
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
  3. SilverPhoenix

    SilverPhoenix Bantam Fanatic

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    Dec 15, 2009
    Penn Valley, CA
    Thank you so much for the advice, it's just what I needed to hear! Fortunately, I came home from work today to find the little squab with a very full crop, so they're back to taking good care of him! Going to keep them inside for now.
     

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