Found a baby pigeon - HELP!

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by SarahJane1987, Aug 31, 2016.

  1. SarahJane1987

    SarahJane1987 Just Hatched

    24
    0
    12
    Aug 31, 2016
    Hello, I have just signed up on here hoping that somebody can give me some advice on how to feed a baby pigeon!

    I found one today while I was walking down a very busy road. It had fallen out from underneath a motorway bridge, I tried to find a way to climb up to put it back on the ledge it seemed to have come off. (I walk under the bridge most days and see them up there all the time) but there was no way at all for me to get it back up there. I left it for a while and went and did the errands I had to do and thought if it was still there when I was walking back I would pick it up. Poor little thing was still sat there, huddled up against the wall with its eyes closed. I don't know it if was right to pick it up but I felt like I couldn't just leave it there. It was so close to the main road too and I didn't want it to get run over.
    Ive hand reared a thrush, a hedgehog and a rat in the past so I have a bit of experience with it, but I have read that pigeons are a bit more complicated than the thrush was as they need a formula making?? I have a pets a home right by my house so I can see what they have there, but have no idea really what to get!!
    I've only just picked it up and have put it in a cat basket with some hay and covered the basket over with a blanket and thought I would let it settle and calm down for an hour or so? Is this right? Is hay an ok bedding for a pigeon??

    Its not a tiny little baby, I think it looks quite close to fledging, but still has yellow fluff covering its chest and head but has adult feathers over its wings and tail. Its small though, about half the size of an adult pigeon and still has that fat baby beak.

    Any advice on what to do now!!!??? I read not to give it water, is this right? I don't want it to become dehydrated, although it may already be, I cant tell how long its been away from the nest for.
     
  2. loftkeeper

    loftkeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

    300
    53
    103
    Nov 7, 2013
    first dip its beak in water and see if its thirsty pigeons suck water like horses cows people if you have bird seeds you can feed them that might have to open beak and feed that way keep warm and away from cats dogs and others that may want to play with it good luck they aren't that hard
     
  3. SarahJane1987

    SarahJane1987 Just Hatched

    24
    0
    12
    Aug 31, 2016
    Thank you, I managed to get it to take some water, and also i thawed some peas and soaked them in warm water, then split them in half and its had about 7 peas in total. I thought that was probably enough for now and I should give it a break! I picked up some mixed crushed bird seed so will try it on that in a few hours. :)
     
  4. loftkeeper

    loftkeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

    300
    53
    103
    Nov 7, 2013
    there crop should be fairly full filling try and see if you leave the seed in a bowl if it will pick at it and start eating on its own
     
  5. SarahJane1987

    SarahJane1987 Just Hatched

    24
    0
    12
    Aug 31, 2016
    I've managed to get it to eat some more peas just now. I soaked them in warm water so it gets a bit of moisture. I dripped water in the sides of its beak and it seemed to swallow it. From looking at pictures of squabs I'd say it is about 19/20 days old. I tried leaving seed in for it but it looked confused by it. I tried to put seeds in its mouth but because they are so small they ended up spilling everywhere. Then I put a piece of paper over a glass full of seed with a rubber band and cut a hole in it and put its beak in the hole to try and recreate the way the adults feed but it didn't like it and struggled out of it. It has had about 12-15 peas now in total since I picked it up, so that should keep it going for now. How much and how often does it need feeding?? It seems to have perked up a lot. When it first came home it had its eyes closed a lot and was resting its head on its chest and was quiet. Now its trying to scrabble up my t.shirt and sit on my shoulder and flapping its wings.
     
  6. loftkeeper

    loftkeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

    300
    53
    103
    Nov 7, 2013
    I feed them laying pellets at this age by putting in the mouth how much until crop is full let the bird dip it s beak in water to drink they catch on fast twice a day feeding would be enough but if you can feed more that great the crop should empty between feedings
     
  7. SarahJane1987

    SarahJane1987 Just Hatched

    24
    0
    12
    Aug 31, 2016
    It ate quite a bit this morning, I gave it a mixture of peas and sunflower seeds. I have left a shallow bowl of water in the cage for it. I dipped its beak in it but it didn't drink any, but at least now it knows its there. I dripped some water into its beak this morning and saw it swallow a few times so its had some.
     
  8. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

    59,789
    18,110
    801
    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop

    Welcome to BYC!

    [VIDEO]
     
  9. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

    2,807
    467
    296
    Oct 24, 2009
    Thailand
    Well done rescuing this little guy. I used to work at a Pets at Home store lol.

    You should find rearing this pigeon much easier than a thrush or song bird.

    I hand rear a lot of pigeon squabs (people know I love birds and keep bringing me orphanded or injured ones).

    The above posters video is a very good way to do it.

    I use a similar lower tech method. Just using a small plastic bag with a small hole cut in the corner to push the squabs beak into the food inside.

    I feed it a mash I make of chicken feed crumbs mixed with warm water. That's all I use. I make the paste quite thick.. like thick custard.... just runny.

    I guess at your birds age and size about 4 feedings a day should be enough... one first thing in morning and one just before you go to bed... then the other 2 during the day.

    Give enough food until the chick looses interest in feeding and its crop is full up like a balloon.

    It will then sit about digesting this sack of food the next few hours. You will know when you need to feed again when the crop is empty and the chick is active and restless.

    TIPS.

    Food mixture should be warm. (cold mix will chill the birds crop and will give in digestive problems or slow crop)

    Only feed when the crop is empty (adding new food on top of old is dangerous for bacteria to grow).

    Keep a bowl or grit, seeds and water in the pen... and peck at it with your fingers each times before feeding the squab... this will encourage it to try to eat on its own. And they need grit to eat too when they eat solid dry seeds.

    Add some apple sauce or ACV to the food paste if the bird has crop or digestive problems.

    Clear the birds face with a damp cloth after feeding to remove any spilt food and keep it clean.


    Good Luck and have fun!!!
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. veeb

    veeb New Egg

    2
    0
    6
    Sep 3, 2016
    Dover
    Hi, I have just joined this forum, looking for the same advice, though I'm a month on. The pigeon I rescued also needed to be fed by hand. This one fell or was pushed from the underside of a railway bridge. He (?) has been with me about a month. I did try to contact a wildlife rescue place but I just got a load of advice (abusively) for doing all the wrong things and allowing the bird to imprint itself on me. Actually I am well aware that I did all the wrong things - now. At the time I was just trying to save his life.

    The pigeon has decided this is home and still comes indoors to sleep at night - he is always really hungry because he goes out in the morning and spends most of the day sitting on the windowsill or the fence, avoiding me trying to tempt him to eat. He sleeps in a guinea pig cage - either in the top of an egg box (12 egg size) or on a perch jammed between the bars.
    I have made him a small coop to go outside and also a large (ground based) run to put it in to train him that this is home. Or that was the theory. He hates the idea but clearly he cannot live indoors forever. I am happy for him to stay in the garden if he likes but I don't want to make him totally miserable, or do this the hard way if there's an easy way. Going by the post on here about Pigeon Age I guess he's about 40 days.

    Any advice much appreciated.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by