Help for hand feeding: How to hand feed from day one

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by Curtiejlee, Oct 5, 2013.

  1. Curtiejlee

    Curtiejlee Chillin' With My Peeps

    130
    16
    81
    May 17, 2013
    Eastern Washington
    I have a male pigeon who goes around and *unfaithfully* mates with females other than his own mate. The females end up single mothers and can't generally care for their own babies. One mother I have abandons her babies right after they hatch, so I take them in and hand rear them. This is a thread showing my methods and strategies.

    For a first food, mix an egg yolk and some plain yogurt. For a feeding tool, I like to use a syringe with the top cut off and a red balloon placed over top like this picture: [​IMG]
    A slit small enough just for the baby's beak is then cut into the end. I then fill the syringe with the food and place the whole contraption in hot water to heat the food (the food should be around 100 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent crop infection) when that's done, place the bill of the baby into the balloon end like this picture removing every 10-15 seconds or so to let the baby breathe:[​IMG]
    Feed until the crop is looking like a small balloon. Once the baby is around three days old, make cream-of-wheat and blend it with hot water after cooking (to get rid of clumps) and mix it with just an egg yolk. This is pretty close to crop milk in consistency. Feed like last time. When baby is tiny, keep on heat pad constantly and feed around three times daily until baby is five to seven days old. Ou can feed twice a day, but three times is preferred. At one week, feed by putting layer pellets for hens in hot water and letting them soak, after the pellets are soggy, mix them to a creamy consistency and put into syringe. Remember to always keep the syringe tilted to prevent the baby from swallowing air. At around 15-17 days, provide baby with seed and a dish of water and reduce feedings to once daily. For housing when tiny, a large container with a washrag on the bottom (to prevent overheating) and ripped up napkins for bedding.[​IMG] remove and replace bedding as soiled. At around nine days old, a heat pad is not needed except at night. Any input would be appreciated!
     
    2 people like this.
  2. happyfrenchman

    happyfrenchman Chillin' With My Peeps

    257
    26
    141
    Dec 20, 2008
    Central Ga.
    I have considerable experience with pigeons... I have never heard of a hen hatching eggs without a mate... typically you need two parents because the female sits at night and the male sits during the day... and typically it is the male that does the majority of the feeding once the chicks are a couple of days old... so it would be hard for a hen.... I cannot imagine how she hatched them to begin with. That is unique to my experience... I have never encountered that.
     
  3. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

    3,346
    646
    306
    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    @ HappyFrenchman
    It does happen I had one
    pigeon who was setting on a clutch of eggs and for reasons I can not explain began to mate with another ♀ pigeon and raise a clutch of eggs with her also and totally abandon the first nest.

    The single parent ♀ pigeon hatch the clutch of eggs and raised one squab to maturity (one squab died when the ♂ pigeon returned and scalped and killed the first newly hatched squab) He nearly killed the second if I had not been there to intervene and isolate the ♀ in her nest box.

    The single parent ♀ went on to raise a second clutch of eggs with this 2 timing ♂ pigeon. Only one of that clutch survived also. I did aid in the females predicament as I put feed water and grit in her nest box and she incubated the whole time.

    I have to agree HappyFrenchman I have considerable expedience with pigeons also and it was a first for me. I do not expect it to happen again as my single parent female has since paired with another ♂.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2013
  4. Curtiejlee

    Curtiejlee Chillin' With My Peeps

    130
    16
    81
    May 17, 2013
    Eastern Washington
    The babies would die after the first three days (when she left to eat, one of my males would attack and scalp them, then they would be trampled usually by the other birds) I am raising her two most recent babies, almost six days old! Dumb question, should I mix the egg yolk, cream of wheat mixture with layer pellet gruel gradually to transfer them to just soaked pellet gruel? My last few I have just switched cold turkey...
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013
  5. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

    3,346
    646
    306
    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    I personally would start out with the eggs mixture and only after a day or two start mixing in other ingredients slowly.
     
  6. Kleonaptra

    Kleonaptra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ive bookmarked this for my next try, thankyou. I was using mashed pellet in a watery consistancy from the start, maybe thats where I went wrong
     
  7. Curtiejlee

    Curtiejlee Chillin' With My Peeps

    130
    16
    81
    May 17, 2013
    Eastern Washington
    Forgot to mention, Put a mug of water in the microwave for 1:30, then pour it over some pellets and use a beater, waaaaaay faster than soaking!
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  8. Kleonaptra

    Kleonaptra Chillin' With My Peeps

    So just plain natural yoghurt? Ive always avoided dairy because its lethal to a lot of birds. Is there a certain heat pad anyone would recommend?
     
  9. Curtiejlee

    Curtiejlee Chillin' With My Peeps

    130
    16
    81
    May 17, 2013
    Eastern Washington
    Yeah, just plain yogurt. Either that or lactobacillus acidophilus (freeze dried), a probiotic. Lactobacillus is what you can use to clear up a slow crop too! For the heatpad, I use a zoo-med
     
  10. venetianblinds

    venetianblinds Out Of The Brooder

    44
    2
    24
    Oct 17, 2013
    Usk, British Columbia
    I just posted a thread about my experience raising two pidgies from eggs but it's been a few years and I forget exactly what I fed the little guys. I know that I bought a bag of baby bird formula (usually is used for parrots, etc) and I would mix that with a certain amount of cat food as well as goji berries. I put it all in a blender and then warmed it up to feed them. I just bought the baby bird formula at a local pet store. They both survived and grew like crazy! It was a really awesome experience. I'd had no experience with birds prior to that; I'm just letting you know what worked for me. Good luck with yours!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by