So I brought home a rescue pigeon.... Now what?


7 Years
Apr 3, 2012
Auburn, Alabama

A neighbor called a few days ago and told me that she had a pigeon on her porch that was injured and couldn't fly away. I went over to check it out---the pigeon/dove let me catch and handle it. I found a band on its leg, but it had no information on it. There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with her, but she won't fly away. She CAN fly. But she won't fly away. We were both afraid that her dogs and cats would kill it, so I brought it home and stuck it in a parakeet cage.

She is eating (wild bird seed and chicken feed mixed) and drinking very well. I took her out of the cage and turned her loose in my guest bathroom for a while. I ran the sink full of water. She splashed about in the water and then roosted on the shower curtain rod for about an hour. She flits about but has no problem being caught. She sat on my lap for a while last night.

I'm sure she belongs to someone, though I have NO idea how to find out who that person is. We live in the middle of no-where. How she even ended up at the neighbor's is beyond me. I have no idea what she needs or what to do with her. Advice and suggestions greatly appreciated!!!
if u like thebird u should keep becasue it probaly really likes u as its owner or if u want to get rid of it maybe the SPCA would take the bird or maybe going to the pet clinic and see why it wont fly away then when u find out why fix the problem if u can then let it go maybe? i dont know i have never been in that situation before!!!! i hoped i helped good luck -chicken lover
Thanks bobelot. I had the bird checked over by a poultry inspector (he used to raise homing pigeons) and he thinks she is a homing pigeon that got lost in the wind storm we had last week. He said he sees nothing physically wrong with the bird. He also doesn't know anyone in the area that keeps pigeons any more. He doesn't want her because he doesn't have time to care for her.

I like her very much and don't mind keeping her---the more, the merrier! Though she's so beautiful and sweet; obviously someone put time and effort into raising her. I would hate if she was mine for her to be lost. I called all three of the humane societies in our area and more or less got laughed at for calling about a pigeon.

I think I will just keep her here, but I have NO CLUE how to care for her! What space needs to pigeons have? What about food? Can she get treats like the chickens? Will she be ok alone, or does she need a mate? What kind of toys should I get for her? I had a parakeet when I was a child. Does she need vitamin drops and cuttle bones like parakeets? Can I trim her nails? They seem quite long. Also, I'm keeping her cage floor filled with aspen pellets. They have stained her tail a bit at the edges a little dingy. What can I do to fix that?

Um, I'm sure I have more questions, but that's all I can think of for now.
Okay on google it said that u should keep it indoors for a year it says u should have a fairly large cage while indoors and once it is old enough (if ur pigeon is old enough already) u should make a enclosure outside for it but if I are planning to only have one pigeon u should leave it inside but if u are going to put it outside it is recommended to get a mate for the bird . U can find pigeon or just regular bird feed at the pet store and the treats will be sold there to I think
I have 3 pigeons in the house and they do fine in parrot cages. Well 2 do, one's in a rabbit cage until I move and have more space (3 weeks and counting) My guys get a pigeon mix from from the feed store. But they like bird seed too. I read some where NOT to feed cracked corn (someone correct me if I'm wrong please) You can also get pigeon feed in pellet form but I've never used it.
As long as your bird has lots of out time she should be fine. My guys love hanging with people more then each other.
Oh, and grit, you'll need pigeon grit.
It's odd the band has no info, normally they do.

Yes you can trim her nails.
No to the cuttle bone.
Mine like bagels with butter.
If you get another pigeon as a buddy do NOT put them in the same cage. Pigeons will kill anothers birds, even other pigeons. A bonded pair is fine together when THEY decide to pair up.
I use news paper.
Baths whenever they want one.
I don't use vitamins...maybe I should...?
Mine guys don't play with toys, they like to play/annoy people :)
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Yes, good info.

No cuddle bone, they don't use it.

I use pine shavings as bedding, but considering it's a white bird, it's likely to get stained no matter what.

A pelleted feed (layer pellets or pigeon pellets) has vitamins and minerals in it so you can just use regular grit and not have to buy the special "red pigeon grit" Which often has to be ordered and is more expensive. I prefer to use crushed oyster shells for their grit, it has more calcium and stuff. If feeding the popular all grain pigeon feed, then they will need the "red pigeon grit" or similar product for added vit. and min.
Treats are wild bird seed or premium scratch. It's like candy for them. they don't eat much green food. Pretty much all grains and seeds. Some people say no cracked corn and some people say "yes". I've used it with no problem.

They love baths. Whenever they want them. But make sure their enclosure stays DRY.
sure, trim the nails.
Usually 2 square feet per bird is the min. recommended space allowance.

and if you get another pigeon it will bond with it more than with you (only matters if you're looking for a pet) If you get an opposite than you shouldn't have problems with aggression as they will readily pair up.

The band didn't have any numbers or letters on it?
I know some people don't band their birds with seamless bands, but just personal ID bands, so if it has nothing on it it may have been just so he could Identify that bird as a hen, cock etc. Is the band kinda like a cork screw? Those are the most common ID bands, but not the only ones.

BTW, beautiful white homer. GL with it. Hope to have one more person raising pigeons!

And you can keep it outside.
Is that poulrty layer you use? I've caught my outside pigeons eating the chickens breeder pellets and grower cal but have never offered it to the "kids" inside.
Good to know about the cracked corn :)
Yep, poultry layer. Though the higher protein one (which is better for the chickens) is not the best for the pigeons. but if not their main/only feed, they'll be alright eating it.
Thanks much fowlsessed! The band has a number on it..... 2.
I figured it was identity for the owner and nothing more. I got some pigeon feed from petco. It honestly looks like wild bird seed to me!
And I went ahead and got a avian vitamin, just in case. It's a liquid to drip in the feed and wasn't the expensive. I've been giving her chick grit since I couldn't find pigeon grit. I have some oyster shell, but it's pretty large. I wonder if she could handle it? I have plenty of pine shavings, so I may try those for bedding instead. The cage is right at 2x2x2, so she doesn't have much space, but I have been letting her out a few hours each day to flit around the guest bathroom and bathe. I run a few inches of warm water in the tub and she seems to like that. Mostly, she just roosts on the shower curtain rod though. And poops a LOT! I don't plan on getting another bird.... I'm wondering about keeping her. She is so loud! Drives the dog nuts! But she's lovely to look at and likes to be around us. I feel like she's bonding to me and my husband, so it would just be mean to get rid of her, right? And where would I take her anyway. She can't go out; we figured that out when she was at the neighbor's and almost let the cats eat her! Maybe this spring we will make her an aviary outside and she'll be quieter... or at least be loud outside!

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