Is ground feeding safe for Feral city pigeons?

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by 4life, Mar 2, 2016.

  1. 4life

    4life In the Brooder

    Feb 21, 2016
    I have been feeding my birds here in the city where I live( Chicago). I usually ground feed because we have too many birds in the area and not enough places to put feeders in our back yard. I have within the last week had 2 sickly pigeons. One I captured last week died the night I captured it. I have no idea what was wrong with it, it just acted odd, kind of slow going and staying by itself. I have now another pigeon who is acting off as well, just staying by itself. It stayed on my upper level back porch all night last night and has been up there again most of the day today. I am just leaving her/him be. The back porch is semi-enclosed so it is pretty hidden up there and out of the wind and elements.

    Anyhow, I am now worrying maybe they got sick from my ground feeding them?? I mean birds poo everywhere, even where they eat. We try and sweep up the poops daily, but it is hard in the winter months because the ground is so wet outside with the snow and such. We never leave food laying out overnight. In fact the birds gobble up all the food as soon as we put it out usually. We clean the areas once a week with a bucket of hot water and soap. Also we change our bird baths daily. We have a thermostat de-icer that is meant for birdbaths, it prevents the water from freezing.

    Is it safe to ground feed? I worry with the poops they leave all over that maybe this is why two pigeons are sick?? I mean this is just a guess. The other birds seem okay( starlings, and sparrows) as far as I can tell. We did find one dead sparrow last week near our garage, but again, that could be from anything since it is only one bird out of the load that are coming here to eat. I was reading about Salmonella and how it can spread amongst them. I mean lets face it, pigeons and other birds can be messy and they even stand in the birdbaths and poop in it as well. Like I said, we change the waters out with fresh daily and scrub the baths weekly usually. How does everyone else here feed their wild Ferals? Am I making them sick. I just think it is odd I have 2 pigeons so far within a week that have come here sick and not acting right.

  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Free Ranging

    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    Ground feeding is not the problem.. Very likely those pigeons may have eaten poisoned feed by someone wanting to rid their area of pigeons. ( there are cruel peeps in Chicago that hate pigeons) There are pigeon exterminator services also.
    Other thing you should also know.... In Chicago it is ILLEGAL to feed feral pigeons. It is OK to feed all the other songbirds though. Just don't brag to others that you are feeding pigeons. What the authorities don't know don't hurt them.. or bring them to your location and tell you #$%^#...
  3. 4life

    4life In the Brooder

    Feb 21, 2016
    I would hate to think some A-hole is poisoning them, that would be so cruel. It is against the law to put out poison of any kind in Chicago due to other animals having the potential to consume it. I do have a neighbor who is not to nice that I can see doing something like that. However, we have so many other birds and I would think they would fall sick too if that were the case. Also I think if these birds were poisoned, they would be displaying other symptoms and would have died by now. You are correct, it is illegal to feed pigeons, but like you said, it is not illegal to feed other birds which is what we were doing, then the pigeons came. I cannot help that and it is what it is. I love all animals. I can understand that pigeons can be messy, but they have to eat in the winter too as there is not much food out there for them.
  4. laughingdog

    laughingdog Songster

    Feb 16, 2011
    Newport Tennessee
    The town by me came out to lethally trap, poison, and shoot the feral and stray pigeons here.. The ones by you sound like they could have been shot, rock doves/pigeons like other doves are more over ground feeders by nature. Though I've seen mine catch many insects on fly as well, and eat things out of trees and bushes etc.

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