Pigeon? Sure looks like one... What to do...

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Snowkitten714, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. Snowkitten714

    Snowkitten714 Out Of The Brooder

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    So I found this little "guy" in my plant at work today, Taft, California. It can't fly, so I assume it's young. It sure as heck looks like a pigeon to me, so my guess... About 4 days ago, a hawk made a mean meal out of one of our local pigeons, now all a sudden this little thing shows up. Perhaps they were together? Is it a pigeon? How old is it? Why is it all black? Any help would be great. Hate to leave the little thing defenseless.
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    It is indeed a young pigeon - quite possibly the squab of the bird that got killed. Provide grain/feed and water, and it should be OK.
     
  3. Snowkitten714

    Snowkitten714 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks! You think I should leave it where it is, or take it home. Not really sure which is better, coyotes and hawks, or just a hawk. :) how long until it can fly?
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    I doubt that it will survive on it's own. I'll leave the decision to you.
     
  5. Catch it. It's a fledgling.
    Bring it somewhere dark and warm. Do not! Offer water or seeds. Pic up some feed - they usually sell small packs of dove food - and some Kaytee exact,
    You will want to hand feed him. Usually at this age you CAN offer seeds, but it looks to be in bad condition. And it's winter, so this'll only do good.

    To create the formula, you mix warm water with kaytee exact. It should be pretty thick. Mix in some seeds. Then you decide the feeding technique. Given his age, I'd go balloon. Get a large syringe, and cut off the end. Tape a balloon or something elastic over it. Cut 2 slits to create an X. If you put his beak in it, he SHOULD eat. Try this for 2-3 days. If he's still not eating, wrap him in a towel and hand feed peas that were defrosted with hot water. One pea at a time. At his age, he could handle ~30 peas. I recommend kaytee exact first though.

    He can fly, but not very well. A long handled net will work, or just a box and a stick and some food.

    Please help the poor guy.
     
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Cochinbrahma, you confuse me. First you say do not offer seeds or water, and then you say that it is OK to do so? At this point of development, his parents are no longer pumping pigeon milk. His digestive system has been receiving seeds and grains gathered primarily by the cock pigeon.
     
  7. Sorry - yes, at this point he could technically take seeds/water. I have a little squab that was maybe a tad younger then the bird in the pic, and he did great. However, I also had a bird that was about the same age who just didnt get it, and starved himself until I started over and hand fed him. So I'm a bit more cautious when buying young birds, or if I separate them. Personally, I like hand feeding because its usually better for putting on weight and keeping them alive. Hand feeding peas is good as well, but a newbie can cause issues.

    However, offering seeds / water when she's warming him up is a big no no. Once he's warmed up, then if she chose to, she could. That's what I meant. My apologies.

    And if she chooses hand feeding, then the mix should be mostly feed, but a bit of kaytee will only help.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2013
  8. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

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    It is a fledgling and was probably trying to practice flying on its own. It should be eating a good amount of solid food at this point, though the parents may still be giving a bit of pigeon milk. Anyway, it wouldn't hurt to take it with you and keep it a few weeks (Or forever, if you get attached. Pigeons are perfectly legal to keep from the wild because they are feral). Pigeons and doves can in fact have poultry food. If you feed them layer pellets, they don't need to be supplemented with grit like they do when you feed seeds. I also find pigeon seed to be a lot more difficult to find and there's just something about feeding only seeds to birds that I dislike. It's difficult to keep weight on seed only birds and I find feather quality to be a little less. When I had show pigeons and doves, I would constantly be complimented on bird condition. When one judge asked me what I feed, she told me layer pellets is a "trade" secret of sorts among some breeders because you don't have to supplement.

    Anyway, best of luck. The little guy is quite stunning with those dark feathers!

    Just wanted to add that if you want to release it, it should be good to go in another week or two.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2013
  9. Peaches Lee

    Peaches Lee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, this is just my experience having way too many wild? pigeons at my farm. He has left the nest, probably beginning to fly. If the parents are alive, they will come and feed him. Both parents take care of the young (the male will even sit on the eggs). His coloring is a form of natural selection. Peregrine Falcons (typically pigeons number one predator) can easily see the striking white colored ones, they don't last long, so the greys and super dark greys live on and mate. I have captured and successfully raised several at this stage and fed them my layer chicken feed and they have all been fine and joined the flock back into the wild. A dog kennel works well to put them in. Good luck! [​IMG]
     

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