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  • Baby wood pigeon questions

    I'm not sure where to post this, so apologies if it's the wrong section.

    Thusday last week, we found a baby wood pigeon which had fallen out of its nest high up in our large old tree.
    The tree is covered with ivy and the nest is somewhere in among it. There was no realistic chance of putting the bird back.

    Looking at pictures online, it was probably about four or five days old when found - it's eyes were still sealed closed but began to slightly open the next day.

    All the nearby wildlife places and local people who look after animals and birds are at capacity.

    We've kept if alive so far, mostly on a diet of plain breakfast cereals (porridge, weetabix, crumbled corn flakes, crumbled digestive biscuit) all mixed with plenty of water into a milky-like liquid that it sucks up from a bent apple pie foil casing. Enormous amounts of patience are required!
    It is being fed about three times per day, around 8am, 4pm and 11pm.

    However, we wonder whether the bird 'isn't right' and maybe it was thrown out of the nest for being abnormal.
    In all these days, it hasn't made a single sound, not even a faint one. My parents used to keep various birds, including pigeons, and all babies made a faint squeak which got louder as they got older.

    Any thoughts on this chick's silence?
    Any additional useful advice regarding trying to keep it alive?

    We appreciate that as its eyes were sealed closed when we found it, the bird - if it survives - might think it is human, may have no sense of danger, and won't be suitable for release into the wild. We're OK with it being a long-term pet if required.
    .

  • #2
    Hi there FB…good to see you

    Well done on your efforts so far.
    I did help a little , a long time ago , with caring for baby birds when the local sanctuary was full, so I do know a tiny bit about looking after them.
    Can you contact your local sanctuary to see what they feed the squibs? I recall a mixture of seeds fed with a pair of plastic tweezers.
    They can perhaps recommend something else to give them instead/ as well.( I’m thinking breakfast cereal may have a high sugar content?)
    If they are so full, maybe they would be happy to pass over the care of a couple of their baby pigeons so yours gets to learn to socialise? No harm in asking!
    No idea why it is silent though…usually they learn from their parents and siblings…it’s just a thought…maybe playing videos of their calls from the internet might at least help it to recognise their species sounds…but probably not their meanings?

    Are you hoping it to be a member of your household?

    "Nicos, Queen of Gooooogle" and... GYO's own Miss Marple

    Location....Normandy France

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    • #3
      Thanks for the reply. Good to see you, too!

      Its beak is so small at the moment that it can't take anything of any size.
      Additionally, whenever we've tried a little thicker food, or with tiny chunks 2-3mm in size, we find that half an hour later it brings it all back up again.
      So we have to stay with milk consistency and particles no larger than 1mm.

      We're using plain cereals mixed with water to form a milk-like substance. The digestive biscuits, while not ideal, help get the consistency right. We're not adding milk or sugar (other than what's been added to the digestives but that's only a small part of its diet) and we're avoiding any cereals which might be significantly processed.

      Regarding rescue centres letting us have more, no, thanks! We didn't really want this one but it seemed cruel to let a tiny yellow fluffy chick die in the sun or be played with by a cat.

      We don't really want an extra member of the household but we'll keep it as a pet if it survives. With its eyes being closed when we found it, the only parents it has 'seen' is humans, so it should accept people as part of its species.

      But I doubt it will survive. It's tiny, not squeaking or making any noises (suggesting it's not right from birth) and we're a bunch of clumsy, bumbling fools muddling our way through.
      Sadly, everywhere that could take it seems so overloaded (or underfunded) that they don't seem to have time for us.
      In fairness, it's not like wood pigeons are rare, so they probably should prioritise, say, hedgehogs over wood pigeons.
      Last edited by FB.; 22-08-2022, 05:40 PM.
      .

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      • #4
        I don't have any advice but wanted to say it's lovely of you to be giving the poor little thing a chance
        Nestled somewhere in the Cambridgeshire Fens. Good soil, strong winds and 4 Giant Puffballs! https://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/gr...lies/smile.gif
        Always aim for the best result possible not the best possible result
        https://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/gr...ilies/wink.gif
        Forever indebted to Potstubsdustbins https://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/gr...lies/smile.gif

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Nicos View Post
          Hi there FB…good to see you

          Well done on your efforts so far.
          I did help a little , a long time ago , with caring for baby birds when the local sanctuary was full, so I do know a tiny bit about looking after them.
          Can you contact your local sanctuary to see what they feed the squibs? I recall a mixture of seeds fed with a pair of plastic tweezers.
          I admit I never raised a baby pigeon before, and don't know how it's usually done when humans have to intervene, however I do know that pigeons and doves feed their chicks on a sort of "milk" (it's not related to real milk, so has no lactose) which they make in their crops, and which is high in protein and fat (even more so than mammal milk), so I'm fairly sure giving a pigeon chick any sort of solid food is out of the question until it gets a bit larger. It needs to be a paste or thick liquid, so FB's mashed up cereal is probably not a bad idea.

          Although to mimic real "pigeon milk", it probably wants to be something higher in fat and protein than mashed up cereal would be.
          Maybe FB could add some smooth peanut butter to the mix? It's high in both fat and protein, and should be an acceptable consistency if thinned a bit with water.
          Last edited by ameno; 22-08-2022, 06:02 PM.

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          • #6
            I think I’ve seen milk for kittens given to baby birds,it’s with the cat food in supermarkets. Also have you got a pipette,might make feeding easier? I used to get pipettes in the box of chemical,like ph down for aquariums or something,there’s so many different chemicals I can’t remember. Good luck all the care is kind of you
            Location : Essex

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            • #7
              I found this article about looking after orphaned doves and pigeons:
              https://vetspace.2ndchance.info/what...doves-pigeons/

              Originally posted by Jungle Jane View Post
              I think I’ve seen milk for kittens given to baby birds,it’s with the cat food in supermarkets.
              Are you sure about that?
              Kitten milk has lactose in, just like any other milk does, and birds can't digest lactose at any age (unlike mammals, which only lose the ability to digest it after weaning).

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              • #8
                I think I saw a pigeon being fed kitten milk. So,Whiskers cat milk is 98% lactose free heres a link Ameno so you can see -
                https://www.whiskas.co.uk/cat-food-products/cat-milk
                Location : Essex

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                • #9
                  There's a recipe here - https://vetspace.2ndchance.info/what...doves-pigeons/

                  It's instant oatmeal, soy milk, and raw egg. Sounds simple to make if you can get the ingredients.
                  Location - Leicestershire - Chisit-land
                  Endless wonder.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for the replies.

                    Regarding peanut butter, wouldn't it be too salty?
                    .

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by FB. View Post
                      Thanks for the replies.

                      Regarding peanut butter, wouldn't it be too salty?
                      I would have thought it would depend on which kind you use and how much of it you use (you'd be diluting it with other things, after all).
                      But most peanut butter is no more than 1% salt, and you would obviously be diluting that further, down to 0.5% or less. I would have thought that would be fine; all animals need at least some salt in their diet, anyway.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by FB. View Post
                        Thanks for the replies.

                        Regarding peanut butter, wouldn't it be too salty?
                        I always hated peanut butter because of the salt, then I discovered Meridian peanut butter, which is just peanuts, no added oil, no salt. It's delicious. Most supermarkets sell it.
                        https://shop.meridianfoods.co.uk/
                        Location - Leicestershire - Chisit-land
                        Endless wonder.

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