Hand-raising pigeons

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by Dipsy Doodle Doo, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. Hi! I've gotten myself into a stupid situation with pigeons.

    My brother gave me two pair from his racing birds in Nov.

    Right pair (f SRI288) laid an egg 1/20 and another 1/22 and started setting.
    Left pair (f AU1909) laid an egg 1/23 and a softshell egg 1/24.
    Against the advice I was given --- I gave AU1909's good egg from 1/23 to SRI1288 to hatch.
    I wanted AU1909 and her mate to have two eggs instead of just the one.

    I figured I would hand feed to supplement the squeekers (aren't they called squeekers?) in the three-egg-clutch IF all three were fertile and hatched, but the parents would do most of the work.
    I've candled and all three eggs were growing beautifully under SRI288 and her mate.

    Until the morning of 2/2 when I went out first thing and *something* had opened one of the pens during the night --- and SRI288 and her mate were gone!

    My incubator was going, so I stuck the eggs in there.
    The advice I was given was to just toss those eggs, but I can't stand to do that.

    I had them in the incubator til this morning, 2/6, then I moved them to the hatcher.

    In the meantime, AU1909 laid an egg 2/4 and this morning, 2/6, and she is sitting tight.

    Just before dark, I swapped AU1909's new eggs for the three eggs in the hatcher and put the new eggs in the incubator (against the advice I was given).

    Now the questions and a plea for advice (not that I'll take it).

    --- Can the broody surrogate pair make 'crop milk' this soon and feed these youngsters at all? I was told they can not so soon, but there are so many differing opinions.
    Since I'm hoping all three hatch, I still expect to need to supplement their feeding.

    --- If they can not feed the youngsters at all, I have the hatcher waiting and am prepared with 'katee exact' to start hand feeding 24 hrs after hatch.

    If anyone has any advice or tips, please post or PM or email. I can use all the help I can get. I WANT these babies to live.

    Thanks!
    Lisa
     
  2. ...I guess nobody has the knowledge?

    Good news, SRI288 CAME BACK! She was back in her pen late this afternoon.
    Unfortunately, still no sign of her mate : (
    I gave her AU1909's eggs (that I had put in the incubator) just to see if she would go back on the nest.
    I gave it about an hour, but she would not, so back in the incubator they went.
    Whadda mess I've gotten myself into : )
     
  3. laughingdog

    laughingdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    sorry so late of reply, but she should settle in on the nest, and in mean time you could use golf balls or some type of fake eggs. the other pigeons probly wont be able to produce crop curds or milk for the young so soon, but you can feed the fosters only laying pellets, and the pellets alone are enough for the young to digest and grow good enough mostly, or at least as much as anything else, as the feed will then have positive effects ect from parents systems.
     
  4. Thanks Laughingdog, I appreciate the reply.

    Looks like I'm committed to handraising them now. This one hatched just after 4: Sat.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. laughingdog

    laughingdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you can find feral fosters, or find someone local in a club or farm and garden sections that may foster them for you, as most non to fancy show types will easily be able to foster two extra babies when put under them in evening or morning especially. ive fostered mine under cheap ringneck doves easily, as seemingly the ringnecks would foster any age egg or chick of any bird spcies and be able to take care of it to fledging, so im not sure if they can constantly produce crop milk/curds or not or what.. the ringneck doves are hilarious to use as incubators for more touchy quail species eggs, as after babies try to venture out to eat and explore, the parents chase them all over and keep trying to feed and cover up all the time.
     
  6. laughingdog

    laughingdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Newport Tennessee
    please keep us updated on them all, and with pics!
     
  7. Thanks Laughingdog! The nearest club I found is an hour away, but I do have a pal coming Fri that raises doves and has offered to foster it.

    I'm kind of attached to it already. I've been feeding it (or attempting to) every hour and at the 5: feeding this afternoon it FINALLY got a full crop for the first time --- yaaay. It was 48 hours from hatch.
    Its' little feet are still curled and hasn't opened its eyes. When will that happen?
     
  8. laughingdog

    laughingdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 16, 2011
    Newport Tennessee
    sounds like yours might just be not to strong yet due to troubles, but can catch up and recover like one cock i have now (he was real runty and sickly slow grower stunted all around bad, but now second biggest strongest cock i have, and a real meanie). so just wait and see first, as fostering may perk it up great, as the young can survive for week on minimal or no feeding but they will be weak. the eyes wont open for a little bit probly, but toes should uncurl shortly after getting good foster parent attention.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  9. Still hand-feeding every hour or so (except when I'm asleep). I wish I had weighed the little one when it hatched : )
    Looks like 'Day 5' is when I can expect its' eyes to open.

    Found this:
    Pics / Day 1 through Day 31
     
  10. [​IMG]
    The pigeon-child is growing (crop grows and is scary huge, sleeps, and then is ready to eat again). It *feels like* I've been hand feeding for a looong while and it should be older than it is --- but we are just 4-days-old as of 5: pm today.
    Seems to me to be a healthy youngster, and (fingers crossed) will continue to thrive on handfeeding. I don't have anything to compare this youngster to except the pics in the link above (my first pigeons, remember), but it looks on track to me.
     

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