Please help me care for a found Helmet pigeon!

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by RachelFromTheBlackLagoon, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. I work for AC and my coworkers picked up a gorgeous Crested Helmet over the weekend. It is not banded and an ad is going in tomorrow's paper in the case that there is a worried owner. In the meantime, I've got a few questions!

    First of all, what's the best thing to feed this guy? All we had in the office was parakeet food so that's what it has been eating. Does s/he need grit? If so, is chicken or parakeet grit alright?

    Next, this bird's droppings are VERY GREEN and pretty runny. I read that this can be a dietary issue but I am concerned. My coworkers put the pigeon right next to our parakeet cage (because they apparently don't understand the concept of quarantine and I wasn't there to correct this) and this morning I came in to a deceased parakeet. Prior to the pigeon moving in next door our parakeets were very healthy and are quite young. I'm wondering if coccidiosis is the culprit and there was cross contamination during feeding/watering without washing hands in between cages. Should I treat for cocci? What should I use? I have Corid for my chickens....

    After we figure out what's going on with this cool guy and, if needed, treat him and make sure he doesn't have an owner looking we will find him an appropriate home. How do you suppose he ended up outside? Are Helmets used for racing? Think he ended up off track? Are they generally pet birds? I find it odd that this one is not banded.

    Anyways, any help would be much appreciated!
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2009
  2. bethgranberg

    bethgranberg Songster

    Apr 20, 2009
    Hi, I am not sure about the runny poop-I have an elderly white ringneck dove that is over 20 years old, I have always fed him dove food commecially avalaible the one I buy is by kay-tee(spelling?) and parakeet grit given on the side as he wishes. He does not like much else in the way of treats when he was younger I used to give him fresh corn but he does not seem to like that anymore-I am sure others will come thru for you on more advice!
    Good luck to you![​IMG]
  3. Emzyyy

    Emzyyy Runs with Deer

    Jul 14, 2008
    Derby Kansas
    I have a Piegon loose on our back deck I was raising back to health I just throw some Parakeet food out for it and some millet but I really don't know much about him but he seems to be doing fine on it. [​IMG]
  4. truecolorsloft

    truecolorsloft Songster

    May 12, 2009
    campton NH
    First of all, You're really lucky to have that helmet, even if it's until you find the owner. I waited a year, and i finially just got three of my own. Helmets are basically a show bird. Their homing instincts are rather poor. But they can free range like a chicken and they will go to their loft at night. But if they stray too far, then they are as good as gone. The green poop may be coccidiosis, and if you put the bird on a mild anitbiotic regimine, you should be fine. It's also possible that your parakeet passing was a total fluke. We've has doves and pigeons act totally normal at night, and by morning be stone dead when we do the morning head count. They'll be no other sign of sickness, so nature can be weird at times.
    Toni Pati from New England Pigeon Supply has alot of pigeon meds available, and he's located in CT. Up here in NH, Crested Helmets are fairly rare, good luck and keep us posted.
  5. Wow, bethgranberg, I had no idea that Ringnecks can live so long!

    Truecolorsloft, thanks for that info! What type of antibiotics would I be looking for? I just read that Coccidiosis is species specific, so apparently that is not what killed the poor little parakeet. This bird is so gorgeous but absolutely terrified of people. S/he sort of growls and shakes whenever you approach the cage, then backs into the farthest corner. Hmmm, I wonder where it could have come from.
  6. truecolorsloft

    truecolorsloft Songster

    May 12, 2009
    campton NH
    Personally i've used both of these products for my pigeons.

    As far as the pigeon's behaviour, it'll take time and gentle handling to calm down. My three are becoming buds with my rollers, however when i walk into the loft, the helmets fly off and avoid all human contact. My Giant runts do the same thing, however, since they can't fly, it's not too hard to catch them [​IMG]
  7. BoiseBubba

    BoiseBubba Serama Psycho

    Feb 11, 2009
    Boise, ID
    Could you post pics of the bird. I would like to make sure that this bird is actually a Helmet #1 Does the bird have coloring exclusively on its face or does it have a "bib" extending down to the chest? #2 Does it have any black flight feathers? Or are they all white? #3 Does the bird have a large crest or a small one? is it high on the head or rather low? is more of a tuft? Does it wrap around the head like a half cresant? #4 What color/colors is the bird?
  8. I can't post pictures but yes, I'm positive it's a helmet. It's white with a little brownish cap that starts at the beak and ends just before the crest and a brown hiney and tail. No black at all on this bird, just white and this light brownish/red color. I wouldn't say it's a large crest but it looks exactly like the crests on all the Helmet pictures I googled.
  9. Mary Of Exeter

    Mary Of Exeter Songster

    Apr 10, 2009
    Rowan County, NC
    Helmets are pretty birds [​IMG]
    Parakeet food is fine, and chicken grit is fine as well. Those droppings can come from a lot of things, but usually it is something to do with diseases in the bowels, like coccidiosis/worms or e coli. Inadequate food intake, trush, and liver problems can contribute too.
    Make sure it has plenty of food, but if you are medicating, don't give it grit. Calcium and charcoal bits can interfere with absorbing the medicine.
    If you happen to have any antibiotics/sulfa drugs, that would be great to give. I think the best in this case to give, that is usually locally found, is Sulmet. That would help knock out salmonella (paratyphoid/e coli) and coccidiosis.
  10. truecolorsloft

    truecolorsloft Songster

    May 12, 2009
    campton NH
    Quote:Here's the link to the American Helmet association

    The bird should have color on the tailfeathers and top of the head only. And may be crested or not.

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