My best homers had squabs about 1 week old and their nest was deplorable. Made up of debris and droppings (they did not employ my nest bowl like every other pair of pigeons I own),
In the past I have cleaned up numerous nest with no repercussions.
I cleaned up their nest and put the squabs in the nest bowl with fresh shavings. Long story short they died because the parents did not incubate them after I tampered with their nest.
It was a hard lesson learned by yours truly and it is not my first rodeo with pigeons. Be careful how much you tamper with their nest is all I am saying. Some pigeons do not mind it. However every pair of pigeons do not respond the same.
From now on I will not disturb nesting material until the squabs are about 2 weeks old and nearly fledged.
I never had any problems checking on the squabs. I think it is a good idea to handle the young squabs personally. That was the first time I had problems with a nest to be honest.
I have tampered with nest on many occasions prior to that. Thought I would bring it to light. In my case I think tampering with their nest for me from now on is not worth the risk.
This is a chance for someone to take advantage of my stupidity.
Especially considering the short period of time (2 weeks) when they are at their most vulnerable state. After the first 2 weeks have passed then I would feel more confident tidying up the nest and nest box area.
Now you know the worst case scenario when it comes to trying to keep thing as hygienic as possible.
I did notice that as the nest got wet my birds would drag in more nesting material and debris to almost make matters worse in my opinion.
In retrospect I now see the pigeon actually knew what was best. They were dealing with the problem in their own unique way..
Another thing that is maddening is I have taken the time to make more than ample nest boxes for all my birds with more than enough to spare yet I have 2 pairs of pigeons nesting on the floor (one a lesbian pair setting on 4 eggs). The lesbian pair have already raised one squab to squeaker stage nearly all fledged) and my best pair have squabs on the floor. I am not touching their nest this time I guarantee!