Pigeon Questions

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by Kusanar, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. Kusanar

    Kusanar Crowing

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    Ok, I found a wild pigeon with a broken wing, he/she is now in a cage in my house and is surprisingly tame for a wild bird. But, I have some questions...

    I am currently feeding it Cockatoo food because it has a massive mix of different seeds that it can pick and choose what it wants to eat. Is this ok? Or should I get a different bird seed mix?

    Perches, it does NOT want to perch and instead just stands on one foot on the floor of the cage, could this be because of the hurt wing or is it typical?

    I know the water dish needs to be be deep so they can slurp, but does it need to be any other specifications?

    The bird tried to sleep in the food dish I gave it, and ended up pooping in the food, again, is this typical or something weird?

    Should I give it a nest? If so, what should I do about it pooping in/on it? Also, what should the nest be made of?

    If it is female, will it lay eggs in the spring if not exposed to a male?

    Thanks for answering these questions, I'm just trying to keep it from being cat or hawk food since if I can catch it with minimal difficulty outside, I know a cat can catch it.
     
  2. FlyingNunFarm

    FlyingNunFarm Crossing the Road

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    I'm no pigeon expert but have helped take care of a few.

    You can actually give it chicken feed. Layer wouldn't be the greatest because it doesn't need the calcium but maybe a mix of chicken and cockatoo.

    The ones I deal with don't perch on small perches. They have cubbies on the wall so they sit on a flat surface. I would think much like a chicken roosts to cover their feet.

    They are one of few birds that can use their beak like a straw. If you have a chick waterer I think it would do fine with that.

    They are not the cleanest of birds. (Cue pigeon lover correcting me ;)) The pigeon food set up I've seen has it so they have to stick their head in it to get food. Again a chick feeder would work.

    They make a nest of whatever they find and their own feathers. Usually in a bowl shape. You can buy a nest bowl for them but any type of bowl shape works. And yes they will poop in it.
    https://www.amazon.com/Pigeons-Supp...F8&qid=1507601306&sr=8-3&keywords=pigeon+nest

    They don't have a breeding season. (They have a tendency to multiply like rabbits) A quick look online says she will lay eggs without a male. About once a month or so.
     
  3. Kusanar

    Kusanar Crowing

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    I don't have chickens and would imagine that buying a full bag of chicken feed for 1 pigeon would end up with tossing most of the bag due to old age, would the cockatoo feed be ok as a full ration? I also got it some grit from the pet store, I imagine it's for finches, it's fairly fine, but I figured until I can grab it some small gravel that it will be better than nothing, plus, it should have some grit already since it's only been in the house for less than 48 hours.

    Ok, so if I get a plank, maybe a 1x4 and put it across the back of the cage it will sit on it.

    Ok, most things I saw said that it needs to be deep due to the straw effect, 1.5 inches is one thing I saw. So far it hasn't messed up the water yet *knock on wood*

    I have been reading tonight, and people are suggesting to feed them once a day and in the evening, I guess that way their crop is full at night, that way most of the poop is in one place. I think I will try that soon, it acted like it was starved when i caught it and it's hurt, so I want to get some food in it for a few days before cutting it back again. Also, if it eats with me in the room it may tame down faster than if it can snack all day while I'm at work.

    Ok, I will probably just give it some nest materials and a tupperware and see what happens. Maybe it will make a nest, maybe not... At least then it won't be sitting in it's food bowl.

    Ok, cool, so I should know if it's male or female in a month or 2 due to egg or no egg.
     
  4. FlyingNunFarm

    FlyingNunFarm Crossing the Road

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    I assumed you had chickens. LOL

    Any bird food should be fine. If you have a pet store that sells by the pound you could do that. I was going for the cheaper option if you already had chicken food on hand. They come to bird feeders, they aren't picky.

    In a cage it is fine on the ground. You could try a plank but it may still stay on the floor of the cage. Could be more comfortable that way or because of it's injury.

    https://theiwrc.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Duerr_Splinting_Manual_2010.pdf
    Someone shared this neat link about splinting breaks in birds.

    If you have it in a wire bird cage I would think the feeder and waterer that hang on the side would be fine for both things. (Again I had given my thoughts assuming you had chickens. LOL)

    Generally the pigeons I deal with roost in their cubbies and only nest when they are trying to hatch. It may take to the nest it may not.

    I do know that a rescued pigeon that was living in the loft with the homers got strong enough to leave one day. So you may be able to release it again if that's your plan.
    If not you may consider a friend.
     
  5. Kusanar

    Kusanar Crowing

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    Yeah, most people on here have chickens, I'm the weirdo who's only bird is one gimpy, wild, pigeon... lol

    He's in an 18" x 24" dog crate, so he's got a decent amount of room to wander around and even has room to open his wings (if he could).

    I have a hanging water container in there right now for him, I need to figure out how to lower it, he can reach it, but I have to keep it completely full or he can't reach.

    If he can fly reasonably soon, I will release, but I don't want to keep him for a few months and put him back out in the winter when it's harder for them to find food, plus, tossing him from a heated house into the outdoors, if he doesn't recover pretty soon, it's probably best to keep him inside as a pet.

    I'll also be giving him an opportunity to take a bath once a week or so, I figure I can give him a shallow dish of water in the bath tub, since he can't fly, he can't get out of the bathtub, and that would be a good place for him to be splashing around and making a mess.

    Thanks for the link to the splints, probably tomorrow we will try to at least do one of the immobilization ones to get the wing off the ground, at least then it can walk around more normally and maybe be more comfortable.
     
  6. FlyingNunFarm

    FlyingNunFarm Crossing the Road

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    They take to captivity fairly well. I agree if he needs to over winter with you that would be better then putting him out in the cold. A splash in the tub would be good as long as he can move his wing around. You could try the shower head on a sprinkle if not.
    Lucky bird to crash land in your yard!
     
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  7. Kusanar

    Kusanar Crowing

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    I believe it's name will be Felix which is somewhat gender neutral and also is Latin for "lucky" because it is a very lucky bird. I think it knows it too, I can pet it with minimal fuss and change the puppy pad in the bottom of the cage without it doing anything dumb.
    Funny thing is, the one cat I have that has seen it is scared of it!
     
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  8. LamarshFish

    LamarshFish Songster

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    Ok, I found a wild pigeon with a broken wing, he/she is now in a cage in my house and is surprisingly tame for a wild bird. But, I have some questions...

    Good for you taking the injured pigeon in. I have found ferals are quite tame, even compared to my racers. My racers will fight me when I handle them, and they are incredibly strong, but ferals won't do that, they almost seem happy to have me catch them and handle them. Not sure why.

    I am currently feeding it Cockatoo food because it has a massive mix of different seeds that it can pick and choose what it wants to eat. Is this ok? Or should I get a different bird seed mix?

    That seed mix is probably fine, just remember pigeons NEED GRIT when they eat seeds. Pigeons like peas (vetch and maple), milo, popcorn, and millet. A mix like that should suffice, so if your cockatoo food has that it should be fine. If not, most pet stores sell a dove mix of some sort, and that should work. Pigeons will also do fine with wheat, safflower, and I know some people who keep lofts of ferals that they claim do fine on sunflower seeds alone. Remember, ferals live in the wild and in our cities and seem to survive.

    Chicken layer pellets work fine too, and eliminate the need to feed grit, but it will cause their poop to be more runny, and you must make sure the pellet food is NOT medicated.

    Shelled, unsalted peanuts make a great treat (pigeons seem to go absolutely NUTS for them, no pun intended), but they are high in fat, so keep them as a treat only and don't over feed.

    Pigeons also LOVE greens. Romaine lettuce works, but I have my birds LOVE dandelion leaves. I think they are higher in nutrients. Pick them in the yard, rinse them clean, tie them in a bundle and put them in the cage.

    For grit, pigeons should really have a red or gray clay grit made for pigeons, but if you can't find that a chick sized grit mixed with crushed oyster shells should suffice temporarily. If you can't find that type of stuff, try to find a red clay brick and smash it up into pieces no bigger than bird seed and use that. If you soak that in anise or garlic oil the pigeon would be even more inclined to use it.


    Perches, it does NOT want to perch and instead just stands on one foot on the floor of the cage, could this be because of the hurt wing or is it typical?

    Pigeons typically like to perch higher up on flat surfaces not much smaller than an inch or two, so floor dwelling could be due to the injury or because it is scared or just getting used to being where it is. Pigeons rest with one leg up to maintain body heat I think. The leg thing is totally normal, all my pigeons do it. When the leg is up, the pigeon is resting comfortably, as uncomfortable as it looks to us humans.

    I know the water dish needs to be be deep so they can slurp, but does it need to be any other specifications?

    I think not, but if it's too deep the pigeon will bathe in it (pigeons love baths) I have found some kind of gravity waterer works best just because they can't soil it. A dish works fine so long as you make sure it stays clean.

    As for baths, offer the bird one. They love it. Put a little borax in the water and it serves to kill parasites. If the pigeon drinks the borax water it won't harm the pigeon, but might make its poop a bit runny for a bit.


    The bird tried to sleep in the food dish I gave it, and ended up pooping in the food, again, is this typical or something weird?

    Pigeons sometimes want to rest in nest bowls. First, don't keep food in with the pigeon at all times. Offer it food morning and night for about 20 mintutes, then remove it. First few times the pigeon may not eat right away, but don't worry, it will figure it out very fast that it must eat when you offer the food. Following the meal, the pigeon should drink then go for grit. Keep a bowl in the cage for the bird to rest in, and a separate bowl for feeding.

    Should I give it a nest? If so, what should I do about it pooping in/on it? Also, what should the nest be made of?

    Pigeons really don't need nests until and unless they are breeding, so I would say no. Pigeons rest and sleep on perches.

    What your pigeon does need, however is sunlight.

    That 18x24 dog cage will work fine for a temporary "hospital" arrangement for the pigeon to heal; however, if you keep it, I think it needs more space, and certainly needs an option to be exposed to natural light.


    If it is female, will it lay eggs in the spring if not exposed to a male?

    I think not, but I'm not sure. If you decide to keep the bird, pigeons don't do well alone and you should consider getting it a mate.

    Thanks for answering these questions, I'm just trying to keep it from being cat or hawk food since if I can catch it with minimal difficulty outside, I know a cat can catch it.

    If you decide to just let it heal and then not keep it, don't be afraid to just let it go where you found it or even from your home if it's not too far from where you found it. Pigeons live in the cold just fine. Most ferals have solid homing instincts, and that bird will fly right back to where it came from. Pigeons are tough birds, and are also incredibly intelligent, if you haven't noticed yet.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
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  9. Kusanar

    Kusanar Crowing

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    The seed mix has most of what you mentioned, so I think it will be a decent base feed.

    I got some grit at the store, it's a granet grit for finches and such, it has the anise already in it. I haven't seen it go for grit yet, but I have seen it eat and drink.

    I left the food in there for the 1st 24 hours because it acted like it was half starved and it was eating grass seeds when I caught it, but I removed the food this morning and left a little bit of feed scattered on the bottom of the cage for it to eat today.

    Tonight we are going to brace up the wing, basically put it in a sling so it's not tripping on it all the time and dragging wing feathers through poop.

    Since it seemed to like the bowl better with the seed in it, do you think giving it a bowl with some "sweet PDZ" in it would work? Then if it pooped in it, I could just scoop it out. Plus, apparently chicks can use the PDZ as grit since it's a small rock.

    This weekend I will take it and put it in the bathtub with a dish of water so it can take a bath and not make a massive mess.

    Also, somehow, the bird hasn't managed to mess up it's water, so there is that... lol

    Thanks for replying. I will try to get some good photos of it tonight when we have it out to work on the wing and post them on here. Any chance that you could tell if it is male or female from a photo? I have read that it is difficult to tell.
     
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  10. FlyingNunFarm

    FlyingNunFarm Crossing the Road

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    @LamarshFish Thank You for chiming in. I'm a temporary keeper/watcher of someone else birds.
    I feel better having the information you shared.
     
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