Egbert the pigeon-chicken

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by Birdcrazy, Oct 2, 2018.

  1. Birdcrazy

    Birdcrazy Songster

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    Hi everyone,

    This is the story of Egbert.

    The beginning of this year I rescued a baby (ish) pigeon from the ocean. The plan was to let him dry off, eat a bit and fly back home. It turned out the pigeon was quite young, still had that awkward looking face, yellow fluff and possibly only just learning to fly? If not quite there yet. I'm not a pigeon keeper, wasn't too sure.

    So, Egbert stayed a while. I had him in a bird cage and then transferred him to my chicken coop so he could learn to fly in that space, and eventually go home. Egbert bonded immediately with the chickens, and when it came time to 'fly the coop', he stayed.

    Egbert lives a pretty good life, he cuddles with the rooster at night (his bff) and is let out with the chickens everyday. He follows his chicken gang, mimicking their behaviour. He also flies around, but always within eyeshot of his rooster. Egbert is quite friendly, I've caught him sneaking inside onto the couch a few times, he'll hang sociably with us while we are outside and he particularly likes to bathe in the dog bowl.

    I felt guilty that he wasn't getting any pigeon socialisation, so when a friend rescued another baby (ish) pigeon, I took it on to give Egbert a mate. However, Egbert thought that pigeon was the most terrifying creature he'd ever laid eyes on and proceeded to run/fly away whenever it came too near, and hide behind his chicken friends. Unfortunately, that baby had been in the water too long and died a few days later (its stomach looked a little infected, I realised afterward).

    Anyway, Egbert is officially a pigeon-chicken.

    Everyone loves Egbert, he's a real character. However, Egbert had been acting a little weird lately. I thought it might be those 'spring' vibes. As it turns out, Egbert now identifies as Egberta.

    Egbert has decided to join our clucky hens, create a nest and lay an egg! *She* is quite besotted with her little corner in the coop and super aggressive towards us and the dogs, understandably.

    Help me! I've never had pigeons before or had to deal with this, is it similar to chickens? Can I just remove her egg and she'll get over it? I'm concerned that if I do so, she'll nest outside the coop perhaps. Our chickens free range during the day, so I can't exactly prevent her going elsewhere. I also read that pigeons co-parent, so I've been putting down feed next to her. Should I be concerned she'll burn herself out on a nest without a mate 'helping'?

    Do pigeons lay eggs without having a mate? Because I don't think I've seen another pigeon in the area (I live out of town on property, the small pigeon population is in town by the beach). But she is out everyday so I suppose it couldn't be entirely ruled out. I think it is unlikely though.

    What is the kindest thing to do here? Should I give her a fertilised pigeon egg if I can source one? Should I remove her egg? Should I let her sit and see what happens? Also, she's nesting on the ground. Not entirely smart if there were a baby, although the other chickens love her and she does peck them if they get too close to her egg.

    I appreciate any advice, I've only had chickens or ducks. I don't thiiiiink we would want another pigeon, as Egbert fits so nicely into the family. I'm not sure if another pigeon would ruin that dynamic. (if Egbert wasn't terrified of it).

    I've attached some photos bellow. I have some funny video, too, but not sure if I can add that to this.

    Cheers,
    Britt

    Here she is with some of the gang:
    (This is her usual sleeping arrangements)
    IMG_6187.jpg
    Her rooster BFF and one of the hens
    IMG_5662.JPG IMG_5657.JPG IMG_5659.JPG
    Her current predicament:
    IMG_6188.PNG
     
  2. CCUK

    CCUK Free Flying

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    That's the sweetest thing! It's great that the chickens seem to have accepted her so readily! Mine chase any out from the run! Its a shame about the other one that didn't make it. I would probably think that the egg she is sat on isn't fertilised so won't hatch. If you remove it she will probably lay another so I'd be inclined to leave it or switch it with a fake. I have moved a nest before and the pigeons just followed where it was. You may want to do this if it is on the floor. If you dont really want anymore than its not really a problem if she abandons it. A bowl of some description would be better higher up out the way of inquisitive beaks if she is persistent with wanting to nest. How come she got rescued in the sea?
     
  3. WVduckchick

    WVduckchick For The Birds!

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    :pop

    Sweet story! I love Egberta. And her BFF is quite handsome too!
     
  4. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Crowing

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    Enjoyed your post. I was amazed the chickens adopted the pigeon. Usually that mix does not work. Thank you for posting.
     
  5. Birdcrazy

    Birdcrazy Songster

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    Thank you for your kind words!
    Thats a great idea, if she'll follow her nest I will definitely move it off the floor. I am thinking of making her something that the chickens can't get to, so she can nest as she pleases without any results.

    We have a small population of pigeons here and they nest under a jetty (we are a small coastal town in rural Australia). Occasionally, there'll be a pigeon in the ocean, but often they float to shore before drowning, if they receive no help. I actually was working on a boat and found Egbert a way off from shore - floating, waterlogged and completely out of energy. I scooped her up using a boat hook and made a little nest out of my jumper.

    She actually spent the entire day on the boat, went for an island cruise and back. Once she'd dried off, I realised she was only very young! So brought her home with me. I managed to scoop her up right before a cruise ship vessel came through, it was a bit dramatic actually!
     
  6. Birdcrazy

    Birdcrazy Songster

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    Thank you!
    I was quite surprised too, it's a decent size coop and she could fly (albeit not well) at the time introduced her, so I presumed she'd do her own thing and strengthen her flight muscles. But they adopted her immediately and she became part of the flock. Lucky for Egbert!
     
  7. Birdcrazy

    Birdcrazy Songster

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    Thank you - he is! I'm not quite sure what breeds he's a mix of, but I know he does have a teeny bit of silkie - the hairstyle gives it away :p

    He is such a sweet thing!
     
  8. Birdcrazy

    Birdcrazy Songster

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    Egbert this morning
    IMG_0018.JPG
     
    biophiliac and Chickencountryuk like this.
  9. WVduckchick

    WVduckchick For The Birds!

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    I’d say he is silkie crossed with bantam cochin. I hatched several of those crosses a few years ago. :)

    So sweet! :love
     
  10. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Crowing

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    She is lovely. So interesting to read you story and see the lovely pictures.

    I had a pigeon pair that hatched out a bantam chicken egg by mistake and raise the little chick, much to my surprise.

    I would take out her egg, in case it goes rotten and explodes on her.

    Or you might replace it with a fertilised hen egg (but be prepared to raise the chick in a incubator or get a brood chicken hen to adopt it if the pigeon does not do a good job).
     

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