11 Years
Jun 24, 2008
Port Orchard, WA
Ok, so I went out to measure my old rabbit hutch to use for quail, and on my doorstep there was a small bird.

About the size of a 6 week old standard chicken. Just finishing feathering out. I approached, expecting it to take off. It hopped a bit and fluttered, but let me catch it. Then, it let me carry it around while I gathered stuff. No apparent injuries... but it's not keen on being inspected. Just held. It's got a birth defect. On one foot 2 toes are semi joined, and on the other, 2 are completely joined (with just a ridge to show where they would have been separate). I don't see a bird like that surviving to become a juvie without human help.

Not sure if it really is injured, I put it in a carrier and gave it food and water.

It seems so tame. Furthermore, I don't recall of seeing any pigeons in the area. NEVER on my acre, at least. In my neighborhood we get crows, eagles, hawks, and some of the smaller songbirds. But the general shape looks like a pigeon.

( I can't wait till DH gets home. He raised pigeons when he was a little boy, and would know a heck of a lot more than I. Funny, I just posted a comment in the last 24 hours here about how for not having any chicken experience, he sure gives his opinion. God's little joke, I suppose.)

Normally I would not capture a wild creature. My mother worked for a wildlife center when I was a small child and taught me better. HOWEVER, the bird's lack of flight/balance and lack of fear of humans made me suspicious. It is well fed, which is surprising considering it's birth defect and lack of extended flight. It made me think that perhaps one of my neighbors has a hidden pigeon hobby, and the bird got out and was attacked. It doesn't mind being held, but not inspected, so maybe I'm missing an injury.

Any advice?
put o hood on him,, give him a few minutes to calm down,, and you should be able to inspect him,,or,, just feel and squeeze him everywhere ,, you should be able to tell the diff., between not wanting to be touched,, and ooowww.
good luck ,,my wifer went to the pet store for supplies for my lizard, and came home with 2 "normal" pigeons,, baby, babies,, someone brought them to the pet dude cause they saw their cat "get" the mom,, and since its illegal for a pet store to have wild animals,, he gave my wife a good deal < so she said,,,heh,,, and gave them to us to care for. they've always been allowed to come and go,,,and STILL come back for breakfast lol
wow! But i will say that even feral pigeons are pretty much calm once caught. So the calmness factor really doesnt mean much to me personally. I've caught feral pigeons and once caught just kind of looked at me like "now what?"

what kinda advice are you lookin for exactly tho?
I say keep it if you'dliek (if it is a pigeon) since it sounds like it would have a pretty complicated time getting around. Least i would
So, I put him in a cage, and covered it a bit. I came back to check on him and it didn't look like he ate. "Hmmm..." so, I put my hand at it and he gets startled. I coo..... and he starts cuddling and looking for food!

When I'd see my momma feed baby birds at the center, she'd soften dog food and put it into a balloon, hold it in her hand and let them eat out of it. (like a momma regurgitating for the babies.) So, I went back inside, got my Magic Bullet, and ground up some chick feed with some water. For being married to a sometime clown, his balloons suck! Balloon animal balloons DO NOT WORK. I found an old Airborne tube (I saved to store buttons or needles or stuff) and filled it with food. I went out there and started cooing and stuck my hand out. As soon as he figured out what was in my fist he ate about a teaspoon or so.

I'm keeping him outside and whenever I'm near him I try to not talk and just coo. Hopefully my human impact on him will be less.

I've been trying to get a hold of my Mom to tell me anything about when they should be old enough to stop wanting to cuddle and such. I know she worked with pigeons occasionally. I want to make sure that he doesn't become dependent on me, and can eventually live on his own.
Pigeons are ridiculously resilient, adaptive birds. Don't worry about your impact on him: remember, they've evolved alongside people and have changed their behavior to live _off_ of people. They know how to make our buildings into perfect nests and make our leftovers into dinners fit for kings. They are also an extremely social animal and learn from one another in a flock. Whatever you teach him he'll probably just pass on to whatever flock he ends up joining

Pigeon food can be expensive, but if you don't mind that you may want to try getting him some and feeding it to him. If you can't find any small bags of pigeon feed then just get wild bird seed. He'll pick out what he does and doesn't like.

Since he's fully feathered out he doesn't need to be fed by his mother anymore. Pigeons that look like adult pigeons have already left the nes. Before then they are giant fugly things and can't fly - the moment they can fly somewhere they're ready to meet the rest of the gang.

Make sure that the water dish you have for him is deep since pigeons dunk their whole beak in water to drink. Small mirrors and pigeon-sized stuffed dolls are also appreciated.

Expect him to hang around after you've decided to let him go. Pigeons aren't wild - they're feral - and have spent enough time around people (both in the "wild" and throughout history) to know a good deal when they find one. He'll probably groove around your house. Our barnyard pigeons go wherever they please, stay 100% in the yard and greet us for food by nearly bowling us over in the air as they fly/soar over.
^^ awh i bet that's a cute yet funny sight! I'd love to have a whole flock one day but we have redtails taht nest right out back that would probablythink i was giving them offerings! LOL!
lol. Actually, it's almost feathered out. It still has a few downies sticking out around it's neck and pin feathers under it's wings. And it doesn't get much height in flight. 2 feet, actually.

I've been referring to him as The Teenage Mutant Pirate Pigeon (only because I like Pirates better than Ninjas.
). I'll probably name him Bugsy Goodfeather. LOL

The only way I've gotten him to eat is by making a slurry of chick mash, water, and ACV. He ate about a teaspoon or so yesterday, and this morning ate about a tablespoon. I did find our bag of wild bird seed and added a bit of that.

Hey... since my poultry is pastured, and aready exposed to what "wild" birds are... can I keep Goodfeather in with my guineas? (who are still a bit too small to be with the main flock. I've tried and thought the hens were going to crush them!) That way, he can be a part of a flock mentality and they can encourage him to forage on his own...

I've not noticed any mites on him, and his droppings are looking fairly good (just a little wet, but that's probably from stress. Big scary human locked him in a cage!) He actually looks well cared for...
Clarification: My guineas are in a separate fenced run that I normally use for quarantine. They can see the others and the others can see them, but they have more room and greenery so they can grow a bit more and not be picked on... It's about 65-70 sq ft. and there's 3 birds in it, a lean-to, and food and water. That's it.
There are a lot of complaints about keeping different birds together, but my chickens did fine when I had a few pigeons in the cage with them. Make sure no one picks on him and that he has a nice high (small) roost to groove on.

I want to say dried peas are a pigeon favorite, but I could be wrong. I buy pigeon feed in a pellet form in 50lb bags, then let them roam around for anything tasty they find in the yard. You may want to try mixing a little honey in with the seeds and see if that makes him happy.
Update: I put Goodfeather in with my guineas and pimped it out a bit. I set up a dowel in a corner. Then, I put a dog crate under it, and a ramp-like thing up the side of the crate. That way, he can get down to the food and feed easily, but still has a perch that makes him feel elevated. I sat him upon the dowel. It took him a bit to get his balance, but he settled right in. The guineas have yet to care about him... they did see him though. They just don't care. They ran up the ramp and on top of the crate, and he pecked at them a bit. He realized they didn't care, and so he decided he didn't care about them either. LOL. He seems more content now that he's surrounded by other birds. My gimpy guinea seems to enjoy hanging out near him though. Moe (the gimpy one) hangs out on top of the crate, under Goodfeather.

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