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Pigeon questions? Feral pigeon rescue.

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by Helen_Jayne, Jul 19, 2019.

  1. Helen_Jayne

    Helen_Jayne Songster

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    I have a squab which my partner found in a multistorey car park being attacked by magpies, it was about 12 days old but is now coming up to 16 days and looking good. I've been bottle feeding it. We love it already. However we want to be fair to it, is it right to keep one pigeon as a pet in the house? And is it hygienic?
    Someone is home almost all the time so it wouldn't be alone much. We also have bantams, which free range but I'm thinking of building a walk in coop which the chickens could use as a shelter and perhaps the pigeon could live in if we could get another one to keep him company. That's an option if it would work.
    I just wanted to get other people's take on it that know about pigeons - would it be cruel to keep him? The feral town pigeons don't look like they have a good life and they cull round the car park every now and then so it might not be a great life for him anyway. I've been advised he could only be released to the wild if I handed him to a sanctuary which could provide a 'soft release' with other pigeons. I'm sure it's not out of the question to find someone who could do this but obviously feral pigeons aren't the biggest priority for sanctuaries.
    I'd love to keep him but obviously I want him to be happy, I don't really agree with keeping caged birds. Your views and advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. CCUK

    CCUK Free Flying

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    Looks like you got yourself a pet pigeon! Really you will need at least another 10 to stop it from being lonely! Just kidding! It can do well on its own if you were to keep it in a your house. If you want to keep it in a outside loft then you should really get it a friend. @Serin has a house pigeon and she has done really well on her own but he recently got another he rescued. I wouldn't keep it to near the chickens as if it were to go in there and get caught they could well kill it. Pigeons do make the most amazing pets especially if they are handreared like yours is.
     
  3. biophiliac

    biophiliac Traveler in BYCLand

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    Agree! :)
     
  4. Serin

    Serin Songster

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    Pigeons in my opinion are the best suited birds out of any to keep as a companion in the house! They are very calm, quiet, affectionate and while they are messy with feathers and they do leave little spots of droppings, they are less so than the big parrots that so many people keep indoors and their droppings, if they are fed properly, don't stain and pick up easy in a tissue. They bond very strongly to their caretakers and will always want to be with you, but a pigeon is generally happy just to chill out near you on the couch or in your lap or even just in the room where it can see you but walk around on and do its own thing. They are affectionate without being needy or at least mine is.

    A house pet pigeon will have a much better life than a carport pigeon. Freedom sounds nice but comes with starvation, predators, disease, guns and frostbite among many other threats. Feral pigeons live a couple of years. Captive pigeons can live past twenty. And that is what pigeons are - feral - not wild. They all descend from captive birds and are, in that respect, closer to stray cats or dogs than truly wild birds and given the chance they will try to join into people's lofts where it's safer and food is provided - this happened with @biophiliac . Keep your little guy as a pet and he will be very happy with you. He won't know any other life.

    You'll want a large cage for him with a couple of shelves or ledges and I recommend providing a soft bed of some sort to sleep in. I use basically tiny fleece dog beds marketed for rabbits and guinea pigs and my birds love them. Olive has slept in hers every night since I got it. The best cages for the price are large dog crates but any bird cage 30 x 18 inches or more can work if the bird gets lots of time out of it during the day. For Olive, her cage is only to sleep and spend a few odd hours here or there but even when she is out she goes back in on her own often to rest. Cages, to pet birds, aren't necessarily prisons. My bird views hers as her house and has no issues spending time there.
     
  5. Helen_Jayne

    Helen_Jayne Songster

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    Thanks this is all very helpful.
     
  6. Serin

    Serin Songster

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    Join us in the Pigeon Talk thread and share about your little guy with us. We need someone else with a house pigeon so I don't look so crazy.
     
    Helen_Jayne, CCUK, biophiliac and 3 others like this.
  7. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Enabler

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    Just curious,,,,,,,,,,,,, how is your pet doing??? and can you post some pix:caf
    Of course,,,,,,, WISHING YOU BEST,,:highfive:
     
    Helen_Jayne, CCUK, Hokum Coco and 2 others like this.
  8. Helen_Jayne

    Helen_Jayne Songster

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    He's doing great, he's now 23 days old (approx) so still spends most of his time in the nest but he spends a bit of time on my shoulder while he goes around the house. Compared to the pigeons you see in the street he's really shiny, he picks his favourite seeds out of the conditioning seed mix and then asks for more.
    We got a big dog crate to move him into which we're kitting out with shelves, bed etc. next to the window. When we know what sex he is the plan is eventually to get another pigeon and build a loft onto the pigeon coop so they can live there together. Do you think if we get another pigeon, once they get settled in the loft, they will be able to fly free and come and go?
     
    cavemanrich and CCUK like this.
  9. CCUK

    CCUK Free Flying

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    This sounds really good. I'm glad it's doing so well and seems to be settling down. As far as finding out it's sex you can hold it and feel between its pelvic bones. If there is a notable gap it will be a hen if it's fairly close it will be a male. But at this age it will be difficult to tell and with out anither that you know the sex of to compare, it will also be difficult. You could get another and it wouldn't really matter as two males should get alo g OK as will two females. If you got a make and a female you would just gave to remove and replace with fake eggs any eggs that they lay or you will soon have more than you expect!
     
    Helen_Jayne and cavemanrich like this.

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