Do female pigeons pluck their down when nesting?

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by nxd10, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. nxd10

    nxd10 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2011
    Hi -

    I noticed just this week that one of my white homers has no down on her her chest. Her plumage looks completely normal, but she is essentially bald down her sternum - I can push away the outer feathers and see skin and the sternum bone.

    She is mother to a squeaker who hatched August 16th.

    Some of my chickens pluck their breasts when they are broody. I was wondering if pigeons do too. Otherwise I don't know what to make of this. She got an odd injury a few weeks ago - nasty wound that I almost thought was dry gangrene but may just have been a nasty, nasty scab. But she looks and acts completely healthy now and that wound has healed seamlessly.

    This is one tough bird. She survived a hawk attack last year and was mauled by a chicken with horrific injuries to her neck that required veterinary care.

    --------

    Finally, when and how do squeakers learn to fly? This one seems healthy and now looks completely like its parents, despite them looking to ignore her for the last few weeks. They sit up on their perches. She was hatched on the ground and remains there. I'm assuming she'll figure it out. I put her out on the enclosed pigeon porch today just to let her see the outdoors.

    Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
  2. nxd10

    nxd10 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2011
    Anyone have any ideas about the bald sternum?
     
  3. nxd10

    nxd10 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2011
    Found it:

    http://www.pigeonsaspets.co.uk/tag/bald/

    The bald spot – called a brood patch – on a pigeon’s sternum is very endearing. Both males and females have it and it’s used to incubate the eggs and keep the hatched babies warm. When incubating the mum or dad pigeon (both take turns) will move their chest feathers out, move the eggs against the bald spot, and settle their feathers back down to conceal the eggs. If you put your fingers against the skin on a pigeon’s bald patch you’ll feel how hot it is there. I love to think of the eggs or babies snuggled so warmly and safe against their parents skin.
     

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