Baby pigeon care and feeding
How to Take Care of a Baby Pigeon Properly – Pigeonpedia
If you are going to hand-rear a baby pigeon, you need to commit to the full process until the bird is able to fend for itself. Knowing how to take care of a baby pigeon means understanding each stage of its development and what to feed it, how to feed it, and when. It means mimicking much of the behavior of pigeon parents, including feeding them hatchling formula milk.
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To properly look after a baby pigeon you will need:
- A heat pad or 40-watt heat lamp
- Pigeon hatchling formula milk
- Plastic feeding syringes
If you’re considering breeding pigeons, understanding how to care for the babies is also pretty important.
Proper care of newborn pigeons ensures their survival and ensures that you are raising healthy birds.
Use this guide to help you along the way.
Understanding Baby Pigeons
Pigeon parents are good at caring for their own babies, but if you’re breeding them or you have one with an inattentive mother, it makes sense to know what you’re up against before getting started.
Before you can care for a baby pigeon, it’s a good idea to have an understanding of what you can expect when they hatch.
Generally, it takes about 18 days for a pigeon to hatch once the mother lays her eggs (pigeons generally lay up to 2 eggs at a time).
If you’ve found an abandoned pigeon egg read our article on how to care for a pigeon egg here.
Unlike many other species of birds, pigeon babies stay in the nest for up to six weeks in some cases.
This means that your baby pigeons will need more care in the nest than other kinds of birds.
You can expect your baby pigeons to look more like adults by the time they are ready to leave the nest. Knowing this helps you make the right care choices for your pet birds.
You might be surprised to learn that hatching is very hard work for a baby pigeon and once it’s free of its shell, it will need to rest for about 12 hours before you need to feed it or do any other kinds of care.
The exception to this is if the baby pigeon is in distress, in which case, it’s probably best to have a veterinarian who is experienced with taking care of baby birds have a look at your pigeon.
Top Tip: If you ever find an abandoned baby pigeon and are wondering how old it is, use our pigeon age chart to work it out.
Keeping Your Baby Pigeon Warm
In general, a baby pigeon will spend the first couple of weeks of its life being brooded by the parent pigeons, so without that parent, it falls on you to keep the baby bird warm.
You won’t need to put them near a fireplace or in direct sunlight.
They will only need a gentle source of warmth, such as a heating pad set on the low level or a 40-watt heating bulb like you might use for a pet lizard.
You might also try a pet snuggle heating pad, which you can find in pet stores, or a water bottle filled with warm water and wrapped in a towel.
Make sure your baby pigeon has access to this heat at all times for the first few weeks of its life.
Some experts recommend keeping their area at about 90 degrees. You can line their box or nesting area with newspaper to help hold the heat inside.
What Do Baby Pigeons Eat?
Your baby pigeon will likely sleep for the first 12 hours after hatching and you won’t need to feed it during this time.
Once it’s awake, however, you will need to feed your baby pigeon every couple of hours.
Make sure the bird is warm before feeding it. If it is cold then it won’t be able to digest its food and feeding it could kill it.
Also, do not heat food in a microwave as you don’t want to risk scalding the bird. The correct temperature for baby pigeon food is 39 degrees centigrade.
Pigeon parents feed the babies crop milk, which is a partially digested liquid that the baby bird takes directly from the mother or father bird’s mouth.
When you feed your baby pigeon, the food will need to be similar in consistency and nutrients to crop milk. There are a few ways you can do this.
The easiest way is to buy pigeon hatchling hand-rearing formula products at pet supply stores.
These proprietary feeds are designed to mimic crop milk and will contain all the nutrients a baby pigeon needs as well as the enzymes to enable the food to be digested.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to gradually thicken the formula and increase the amount you offer as the days go by.
Good feed brands will include instructions to achieve this but you should start off with a consistency similar to skimmed milk and by ten days, it should be the consistency of thick ketchup.
Each kind of formula is a bit different so be sure you read the directions carefully and speak with a veterinarian if you need assistance.
Homemade Food Suitable for a Baby Pigeon
If you don’t have hand-rearing formula available, there are some alternatives, though you should talk to your vet before using them as they may not always provide the nutrition your baby pigeon needs.
These alternatives include
- baby formula
- soft fruits and vegetables rolled into small balls using breadcrumbs
You can also buy chick crumbs ready-made from pet supply stores and Amazon.
Although the baby pigeon may indicate hunger by having a gaping open beak, do not feed too often.
Things to Not Feed Your Baby Pigeon
Contrary to what you might have heard, baby birds don’t actually eat worms, nor should you give them dairy milk as you might offer to other baby animals.
These items are not safe for a baby pigeon and won’t provide the nutrients they need to grow.
Non-dairy kinds of milk such as nut milks are suitable but they should be diluted with water. Macadamia nut milk is considered the best of non-dairy milks.
Foods that aren’t recommended for baby pigeons can make them very sick or even kill them, so it’s vital to make sure your baby pigeon is getting the right things to eat. Pigeon hatchlings with feathers
What to Feed a Baby Pigeon With Feathers?
Baby pigeons grow quickly so a hand-rearing diet should follow the appropriate timeline.
Newborn pigeons have little or no feathers. After a couple of days, the fluffy little feathers will begin to grow.
During the first four to five days while the feathers are growing, a baby pigeon being raised by pigeon parents will be fed crop milk. After this, they will be fed crop milk along with a few seeds.
On the 9th/10th day, the parents will offer a baby pigeon an adult diet along with the crop milk.
If you are hand-rearing a baby pigeon, you should follow the same pattern. Much like with human babies, you wean a baby pigeon off the liquid/formula diet onto solids.
By two weeks old, the bird should be completely covered with juvenile feathers and along with the formula (or formula substitute) you can feed it a diet of
- wild bird seed
- defrosted frozen peas
- defrosted sweetcorn kernels
- finely chopped apple
- finely chopped peanuts
- finely chopped fat balls
- finely shredded greens
- wholemeal bread crumbs
Each item should be dropped into the crop one piece at a time until the crop feels like a squishy bean bag.
After each feeding, dip the bird’s beak in clean warm water to encourage it to drink.
Always make sure the crop is empty before the next feeding session.
By week three, a baby pigeon can digest adult food and will not require crop milk.
How to Feed Your Baby Pigeon
Now that you know what your baby pigeon needs to eat, you need to learn how to offer that food to them, which isn’t as easy as it might sound.
For the most part, you will want to mimic the natural feeding methods of the parent pigeons.
In a natural pigeon nest, the baby bird will insert its beak into the mother or father pigeon’s mouth and the crop milk will be transferred from parent to baby.
You can do this by feeding your baby pigeon the food you’ve chosen via a small plastic syringe, a clean plastic bag or a small baby bottle. Give your baby pigeon the chance to open its beak so that you can gently transfer the food into its crop.
It’s important to note that baby pigeons get stressed very easily and you need to be on the lookout for this during feeding.
Since hand feeding your baby bird is different than in the wild, the baby’s instincts may make it difficult at first.
If you notice your baby is in any kind of distress or appears to be breathing through an open beak, back off and give the bird a chance to rest before you attempt to feed it again.
Too much stress in a baby pigeon can lead to a heart attack so pay close attention to its stress levels and adjust your feeding time and methods accordingly.
This article was written by our qualified veterinarian Cristina.
This is part of our commitment to providing you with the most trustworthy veterinary advice for your pigeons.
How Much To Feed a Baby Pigeon
You know what to feed your baby bird and how to feed it, but now you need to know how much the baby needs to eat.
You can use your baby pigeon’s crop as a guide for feeding.
The crop can be found between the throat and stomach.
Because all pigeons have a differently sized crop, this is your main means of determining how much it needs to eat.
Monitor the crop as you feed and stop when it feels a bit soft and squishy. It should feel like a balloon that’s filled about three-quarters full with liquid.
A baby bird also has small bubbles on its shoulders that fill up when it’s had enough to eat.
When they’re full, stop feeding. Overfeeding your pigeon can be deadly so pay close attention as you feed.
Once the crop has become flat and the baby pigeon is cheeping for food, you can feed it again.
Most experts suggest allowing the crop to completely empty at least every 24 hours.
That’s because if you overfill it, the baby may end up with pockets that can trap food and lead to sour food that can make your baby pigeon ill by causing sour crop.
If the crop doesn’t appear to be emptying regularly, contact your veterinarian for advice.
Also Read: Do Pigeons Leave Their Babies?
A Home for Your Baby Pigeon
Feeding your baby pigeon and keeping it warm are the two most important things you can do for your pet bird. However a comfortable home is also vital.
Making a bed that’s similar to the nest is great. A basket lined with a towel is an easy way to do this.
Be sure that there’s a solid base on the bottom to stabilizes the baby’s feet so they don’t splay, which can lead to feet problems as the pigeon gets older.
Never use things the baby might eat, such as sand or wood chips.
As the baby gets older, be sure that its bedding is wide and large enough to give it space to spread its wings so they can become strong and prepare it to leave the nest.
- Comparing the Effect of Different Management and Rearing Systems on Pigeon Squab Welfare and Performance after the Loss of One or Both Parents.
What Do Baby Pigeons Eat and How to Feed Them Properly
Pigeons may be seen almost anywhere. Although feral pigeons and wood pigeons are typically in towns and cities, little is known about how their babies appear, and what do baby pigeons eat in case you come across a starving one.
Pigeons or doves are wild birds that feed on a variety of foods. Pigeons, whether wild or farmed, usually have the same diet of seeds, small insects, and reptiles. But what about baby birds? Are their foods different from those of the adult pigeon?
This article will give you the answer by going into details about baby pigeons’ food and some tips on baby pigeon care. Mostly, newborn pigeons’ diet depends on crop milk in the first week and crushed foods with low sugar and salt levels later on. You also have to keep the baby warm and prepare a syringe to feed it.
Table of Contents
- How Does a Baby Pigeons Look?
- What Do They Eat?
- What to Feed a Starving Baby Pigeon?
- 1. Look for newborn birds formula
- 2. Use non-dairy milk (Macadamia milk prefered)
- 3. Use infant cereal without milk powder
- How to Feed Baby Pigeons?
When newly born, pigeon chicks are generally about 5 centimeters long. Their skin is pink or black with a patchy coating of yellow that will later turn into white feathers. Their beak is typically pinkish, sometimes it can be a deeper hue and their feet are in slate grey.
In comparison with the body, their beak, wings, and feet are relatively larger; however, as the chicks grow older, their bodies will develop more evenly. Baby pigeon eyes’ are closed when they are born and not opened until they are four or five days old.
In general, unless you domestically raise pigeons or manage to wander around a pigeon’s nest, you’ll never get to see the chicks in this condition; nevertheless, this is rare because birds nest in high and remote areas. We usually observe baby pigeons once they hit their juvenile age, which is mostly identical to the adult form.
Newborn pigeons less than four weeks old are called squabs, and they are not yet able to fly.What Do They Eat?
Both of the parent birds provide regurgitated crop milk to their newborn pigeons. Crop milk, often known as pigeon milk, is a secretion of the crop lining (a ‘container’ where pigeons store food until digestion). It also contains a lot of proteins and fats. For the first four days, this is regurgitated to the squabs within two hours after hatching.
They will be given crop milk and seeds for the next 5 days. About nine days after hatching, the baby pigeons will be fed an adult meal. This includes fruits, seeds, and invertebrates on occasion.
The food amount provided to young birds grows by the day, especially when seeds or grains are included. During the first week, both parents must feed two newborns. After that, one adult can usually nurse two squabs.
After one week, squabs will be able to eat a variety of food along with its crop milk. Only during the third week do baby pigeons no longer need crop milk and their metabolism can adapt to adult pigeon food.What to Feed a Starving Baby Pigeon?
If you come across a newborn pigeon on the ground, it is better to just leave it alone. It will usually live better without your intervention; if you believe you know better, you generally don’t. If you do believe that there is a problem with a pigeon, please contact a local wildlife rehabilitation facility in your neighborhood.
On the rare occasion you have to raise the baby bird yourself, you should know what and how to feed it. As you do not have their parents’ crop milk, things are more complicated in the first weeks but let’s see how these following tips may help you.1. Look for newborn birds formula
You can check out the two popular formulae: Nutribird A21 or Kaytee Extract. These can be easily purchased from pet stores or online. However, ready-made bird formulae may be rather costly. Your local wildlife rehabilitation team may also be able to assist you if the bird is of a wild species.
During the first days, you mix the formula with warm water until it looks like skim milk. Then, you can make it consistent like ketchup after 10 days.2. Use non-dairy milk (Macadamia milk prefered)
If you can’t find any baby bird formula or prefer to make the food on your own, you can try non-dairy substitutes like Macadamia milk and blend it following this recipe from The International Dove Society. You will need:
- 71 grams of chicken baby food
- 1 boiled egg yolk
- 15 grams of low-fat yoghurt
- ¼ teaspoon of corn oil
- ¼ diluted vitamin E
- 2 drops of cod-liver oil
- little pinch of vitamin B
- 25 milligrams of vitamin C
- 247 milligrams of calcium carbonate
Put all the ingredients in the blender and mix them up thoroughly. During the first 3 days, you can add a bit of digestive enzymes to the food and wait 30 minutes before feeding the baby. From the second week, you can feed it with seeds, grains, and pigeon foods.3. Use infant cereal without milk powder
You can use dairy-free baby cereal if you don’t have any options. Mix the cereal with warm water until it reaches skim milk consistency. However, you should only use this if you are in a hurry and the baby is already three to four days old. You should find better alternatives as soon as possible.
Puppy biscuits are another alternative, but they must be soaked in warm water until they are softer.How to Feed Baby Pigeons?
The baby pigeons should be warmed up before feeding. You should put the baby in a box near a 40-watt desk like a reptile bulb. You may also use a low-temperature heating pad or a bottle of hot water but make sure to wrap anything you use in a towel.
When it’s too cold, a newborn pigeon can’t digest the food. Actually, the poor little bird is meant to be brooded over by their parents and kept warm during their first two weeks.
You should prepare a syringe (with no needle) to pull up the food. First, you need to remove the plunger and wrap the broad end with a self-adhering bandage or dental rubber dam.
Then, use a rubber band to keep it in place and make a hole on it big enough for the baby’s beak. The baby bird will eat from the little hole just like pigeons usually eat from their parents’ mouth. You can gently wipe up any spills on the bird using a warm-water-dipped cotton ear swab.
When the baby is eating, you should keep an eye on its crops to make sure that it consumes enough food. The crop sits directly above the baby’s breastbone and stores food for digestion. If you see the baby regurgitates food, you need to stop because you have overfed it.
Or you can watch for another feeding technique here by AAyan LoftConclusion
Feeding baby pigeons not only requires knowledge about their special diet but also how to feed them properly. Baby pigeons require adequate nutrition, which primarily includes crop milk. However, you can try alternatives like premade bird meals, the special recipe with MAC milk, or non-dairy infant cereal. Make sure that the food is tender and warm.
I hope you find this article on what do baby pigeons eat helpful, especially when you raise a baby pigeon yourself. If you have any questions or experience with the baby pigeon, feel free to share with us!
Moreover, you also can refer more to other interesting topics of birds:
- Baby mockingbird foods.
- How long can birds go with no food?
- What foods do dodo birds eat?
- Pigeons Pigeons in the nature of
- How to care for home -made pigeons
- than feed the pigeons in winter
- During a reproduction
- What diet of young 9000,
- Vitamin additives for pigeons
- What food should not be given to pigeons
- How to feed a pigeon that is sick
- What treatment do pigeons need
- Worth taking into account
- Interesting to know
Nowadays, many poultry farmers are thinking about breeding pigeons at home. But there are problems, in particular, with feeding, because not everyone is well aware of this issue. Some people draw conclusions about the diet simply by observing birds in the wild, but this is an erroneous decision. Many breeds require special nutrition.
Feeding pigeons outdoors
Many people are accustomed to feeding local pigeons on the street with bread crumbs, biscuits and seeds. It is not right. Pedigree birds need a good balanced diet. Due to improper diet, birds living in the yards of houses often do not live more than 5 years, although life expectancy should reach up to 15-17 years. nine0003
A dove and a sparrow share a piece of bread.
Pigeons living in nature feed on various plant seeds, grains and greens. In big cities, the massive slope of grass and cutting down of trees leads to starvation of the bird. Therefore, they have to peck at bread crumbs, cookies and other products that caring citizens offer them. In fact, they do not like this food, there is simply no other way out.
How to take care of domestic pigeons
In order for pigeons to be successfully bred at home, they need to be properly cared for. The poultry house where handsome feathered birds live should be clean, special attention should be paid to cleaning the nests where small chicks are located. nine0003
Poultry breeders take note! It is necessary to keep the poultry house clean, and the eggs that the dove incubates. If they are contaminated, then the access of air will stop, and the embryo will die.
Pigeons eat in the dovecote.
Cleaning should be carried out once a day, diligently once every 7 days and general cleaning at least several times a year (preferably in warm weather, autumn, spring).
Pigeons need to be examined every day. The easiest way to do this is while feeding. If the bird quickly flies up to the feeder, and begins to peck at the food with great appetite, this indicates that the pigeon is healthy. Birds that are susceptible to illness appear lethargic, stand aside, and are reluctant to eat. Also, they hide their eyes and pull their heads into their shoulders. Such individuals need isolation, let them live separately for some time. nine0003
If the poultry house is not cleaned, the droppings will roll into balls and get stuck in the claws. This phenomenon complicates the movement of the bird. In this case, the depth is taken in hand, and the nails are gently cleaned. In addition to proper maintenance, feathered friends need a balanced vitamin diet.
Keeping pigeons at home, watch the video.
How to feed a pigeon in winter
If you decide to keep a pigeon family, then you need to familiarize yourself with the winter diet for this bird, how much it should be given. nine0003
Winter fattening starts in mid-autumn. It is during this period that egg production ends. Cereals should contain a minimum amount of protein. In this case, there will be no sexual activity.
For the winter you need a food that promotes the accumulation of fat under the skin. Thus, they will be able to retain internal heat, and in the spring, molting proceeds more efficiently.
The winter diet is very different from the summer one.
From the above, the conclusion suggests itself that in cold weather it is more rational to feed pigeons with a mixture of barley and oats (collapsed). The ratio should be 70/30.
The following mixture is prepared:
- Barley - 40%.
- Oats - 40%.
- Shredded corn - 10%.
- Chopped lentils - 10%.
Also, in cold times, potatoes boiled in salted water will benefit the bird. It should be mixed with clover flour, wheat bran and lime.
Linseed and rapeseed are given every other day. This will be a wonderful supplement.
Feeding meat breeds is practically no different from others. We can offer a recipe, how to prepare food, how many ingredients to use, for meat pigeons:
- Regular corn - 35%.
- Millet - 20%.
- Peas - 20%.
- Wheat waste - 15%.
- Oatmeal (groats) - 5%.
- Hemp seed - 5%.
Meat pigeons need constant feeding with greens. In winter, it can be grown at home in various containers and trays.
Proper winter care will help to avoid spring malaise and cure.
What do pigeons that live on the street and fly to the window in winter feed on? nine0003
Feeding during breeding
Poultry farmers who intend to breed pigeons must be aware that the diet during breeding differs from the usual. At this time, pigeons need more fortified food. If vitamins are not enough, the productivity of young offspring and its vital activity will significantly decrease.
Legumes are the most optimal food during mating season. They make you feel full very quickly. You can't do without peas at all. The recipe for the mixture for the mating season, how many ingredients are needed:
- Common pea - 20%.
- Vetch peas - 10%.
- Wheat - 10%.
- Millet - 20%.
- Barley - 20%.
- Common corn - 10%.
- Oats - 10%.
Another option how to cook, how much to use feed:
- Vetch peas - 20%.
- Corn - 20%.
- Wheat - 15%.
- Millet - 10%.
- Common pea - 15%.
- Barley - 10%. nine0006
- Oilseeds (seeds) - 10%.
The correct feeding of pigeons can be seen on the video.
What is the diet of young animals
An important role in the maintenance of pigeons is played by the nutrition of young animals. What to feed the chicks? First of all, they need to be planted. Nutrition should be enhanced. Portions of food should be given plentiful. They should be reduced only when the eye shell of the chicks becomes the same color palette as that of the parents. nine0003
Babies should be fed three times a day. The next morning and lunch portions may be small, but in the evening you need to give more.
Grains that are given to young animals are pre-moistened with fish oil. You can only have a few drops. That the development has been good, the emphasis is on wheat with the addition of peas, vetch and barley. After the young naked begin to actively fly and gather in flocks, the amount of wheat can be reduced or replaced with peas, vetch. nine0003
Vitamin supplements for pigeons
Like all housed birds, pigeons need vitamins. Their number directly depends on the weight category, health, breed. The amount should be increased during the period of molting, growth, feeding the younger generation and egg production.
Pigeons of sports breeds simply need vitamin complexes, they spend a lot of energy. They give vitamins in the form of dragees, they are easy to use, diluted in water. They are given before and after competitions. nine0003
Vitamins are especially needed for meat breeds, for full development and weight gain.
What food should not be given to pigeons? Pigeons cannot process this amount of phosphorus.
If there was a consumption of such food by pigeons (no matter how much), treatment cannot be avoided.
How to feed a pigeon that is sick
The diet of a sick bird is not very different from that of a healthy bird and is not difficult to prepare. If the disease is associated with various infections and microbes, then antibiotics are added to the food (how much, the specialist will tell). If necessary, you need to enter inside.
Be sure to give vitamins to strengthen the immune system. Whatever you do, it is better when it is the instructions of a veterinarian.
What kind of treatment doves need
Today you can find a lot of dovecotes in which magnificent and beautiful pigeons live. But in fact, in their content, not everything is as smooth as any other birds, they are prone to disease. In this case, the main thing is to notice the indisposition of the bird in time and start timely treatment. nine0003
If you go deeper, there are a large number of diseases that pigeons are susceptible to, but the most common is a different kind of infection. It can be caused by all sorts of bacteria, viruses or parasites.
If treatment is not started on time, the disease will progress, there is a huge risk that the bird will not survive. It is very important for diseases to correctly determine the cause of the appearance. Then measures are taken very quickly and the chances of survival are great.
If there are certain skills, treatment can be started at home.
In order for the treatment to bring good results, it is necessary to completely eliminate the source of the infection. Provide fortified food, surround with care and attention, then all diseases will definitely recede.
Any medicine for poultry can be bought at the pharmacy. It is strongly not recommended to engage in amateur activities, but to contact a veterinarian. He will tell you how to give and how much to give. In case of inexperience, treatment can aggravate the situation. nine0003
A healthy adult pigeon needs about 20-40 grams of feed per day. All dry food (cereals, grains) should always be in the feeders.
Before making a choice in the direction of any grain feed, it is advisable to understand what its composition is (minerals, vitamins, useful components).
How to prepare mineral feed for meat pigeons that live at home, watch the video.
It is obligatory to have food in the feeders, but also to be of energy value. Experienced poultry farmers recommend periodically changing the grain feed, as diversity in food is important.
Domestic pigeons can be given dried berries, juicy greens. For them, it's a treat.
Domestic doves cannot lay eggs for breeding alone. Therefore, in this case, pigeon breeders recommend putting a mirror in the house. Oddly enough, but with his presence, the dove does not feel lonely. nine0003
In captivity, pigeons very often turn out to be bad parents and leave their offspring. Therefore, rearing the young falls on the shoulders of the breeder.
If you are going to walk in the park with pigeons, you do not need to take bread with you. As mentioned above, it is quite harmful. Better take the grain, if it is not available, offer the birds regular oatmeal. They will definitely like them.
If it's easy, prepare some grated vegetables, such as carrots, pumpkins, cabbages, or take an apple. All this will certainly be to your taste, most importantly, without oil. nine0003
Interesting to know
Not everyone knows that pigeons have amazing eyesight. Uniquely, they cannot be blinded by the sun or very bright lighting.
Many centuries ago, pigeons were used as postmen, delivering letters even over long distances. The cost of such an individual was equal to the price of a thoroughbred stallion.
feeding, conditions, care, breeding and health
How to feed a domestic pigeon and pigeon chicks? How to feed a sick pigeon at home
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Keeping pigeons at home is a rather troublesome task. And one of the most difficult questions is how to feed a domestic pigeon, because in many respects the bird's diet will depend on the breed, of which there are a great many.
How should the food be?
As in the wild, at home the pigeon feeds mainly on grain and grass. If the breed assumes large sizes (dragons, quarries, German show dogs, etc.), then the grain in their diet should be large:
- crushed acorn,
Small and especially short-billed pigeons need small grains, such as: from the daily diet of birds.
How to feed a pet at home?
What else to feed a pigeon at home? Some poultry farmers say that you can buy ready-made food intended for parrots in a regular pet store. But in this case, you need to carefully read the composition and monitor the size of the grains in the mixture. In addition to grain, birds need grass, which you can also buy at a pet store or grow yourself. nine0003
What to feed the baby pigeons?
Sometimes it happens that a chick is left without parents immediately after birth. In this case, it will be very difficult to get out of it, but it's still worth a try.
For the first 6-7 days of a bird's life, it needs special milk, which is produced in the goiter of the parents. But if it is not possible to receive this milk, then the chick is given boiled yolk, slightly soaked with water, through a nipple put on a syringe.
If the chick survives the first week, then its diet should become more nutritious. Pigeons older than seven days are given a "porridge" made from the following products:
- warm water,
- powdered grain,
- powdered egg shells,
What to feed baby pigeons when they are about one month old? They are being converted to grain. At first it should be slightly soaked in water, and then you can already give just crushed grain, as for pigeons of small breeds.
Feeding sick birds
The very first thing to do if a pigeon is sick is to separate it from healthy birds. The causes of the disease can be very different, but in many cases the malaise is associated with a violation of the diet. Therefore, first of all, it is necessary to reconsider what the bird eats. nine0003
How to feed sick pigeons?
What to feed a sick pigeon differs little from the usual diet. But if the disease is caused by microbes or fungi, then antibiotics are added to the food. They are mixed with feed and, in severe cases, administered intravenously. Pigeons can also be given vitamins to strengthen immunity
In any case, it is very important to seek help from a veterinary clinic for advice in time.
Checking eggs and hatchlings
The first 5-7 days after planting the dove on the masonry, it is better not to disturb her.
On the 8-10th day, slowly, so as not to disturb the pigeons, check the eggs for the presence of an embryo in them. This can be done with an ovoscope or just hold the egg up to a very bright light. When the egg is fertilized, you will see a dark spot with a network of diverging blood vessels. This is a germ. If the egg is transparent without spots inside, it is removed, replacing it with a dummy.
Chicks are born weak, without plumage and blind. The couple keeps them warm and feeds them for the first time a couple of hours later. If the first feeding is delayed for more than a day, the pigeons will die. nine0003
The breeder should check to see if healthy offspring have hatched. This is determined by the state of the yolk sac. If it is not fully retracted, the chick dies.
How much water to give?
When birds live in the wild, they get water from natural sources. If kept in captivity, they need only fresh every day. If the water becomes dirty, change it immediately. Contaminated fluid is the cause of many diseases. Pigeons drink every day immediately after eating, and then a second time within an hour. During hot and dry periods, they drink more than during cold periods. nine0003
If a couple is nursing chicks, water intake increases. Drinking should be arranged so that it is not spoiled by droppings. Vorkuns drink by sucking up water. Sometimes a pigeon chick may be thirsty because it cannot find water. It takes several times to lower his beak into the drinker. Water should be left in open places, not far from the feeder.
Winter maintenance rules
In the cold season, keeping pigeons should be given special attention. Constantly monitor their health and be attentive to the feeding of birds nine0003
It is also recommended to give your pets warm water to drink.
In addition to these tips, follow these rules:
- Feed your pets from your hands, as in this case it will be easier for you to determine which individual has lost appetite and activity.
- Daylight hours must be at least 13 hours.
- Insulate nests additionally with bedding.
- Disinfect as often as possible.
There are many nuances and problems in breeding pigeons at home, but if you follow these recommendations, you will get healthy and beautiful birds. nine0003
Breeding meat pigeons
The meat pigeon breed does not differ in breeding features. They are not whimsical and their conditions are close to natural. An important criterion for breeding pigeons for meat is the presence of a veterinary conclusion that the bird is healthy and vaccinated.
With the proper maintenance of meat breeds, it is necessary to observe daily cleanliness in the dovecote, temperature control, carry out general cleaning once or twice a year, in winter, with short daylight hours, additional lighting should be installed. A notch in an aviary for meat breeds is located no higher than 20 cm from the ground. nine0003
For a quick set of sufficient weight (about 800 grams or more), it is important to organize competent fattening. There are two methods of growing meat breeds:
- Intensive, in which food intake is carried out forcibly 3-5 times a day with a mixture (about 60 grams) of cereals, grains, legumes, minerals.
- Free, or extensive, implies the independent production of food by a bird on a constant range. This method is less effective, since there is a possibility that the bird will not gain the required mass in the allotted time. Meat breeds are slaughtered as early as possible, at about a month old. The meat of such pigeons is very tender and tasty, and carcasses are easier to clean from feathers than those of older individuals. nine0006
For more information, watch the video about meat pigeon breeding, where experienced specialists tell and show how to properly care for pigeons, how an aviary should look and many other features.
Features of keeping birds in a dovecote
Pigeons need perches for good rest, they should not be located too close to the walls so that the birds do not damage the tail. For one bird, 20 cm of perch length is recommended to avoid quarrels and fights. Perches should not be too thin and sag under the weight of the birds, the optimal thickness of the perch plank is 3-4 cm. Sometimes individual perches are made. nine0003
The floor in the dovecote must be flat, with no gaps, tightly fitting boards. Holes should be carefully sealed, through which rodents (grey rats are especially dangerous) and small predators from the mustelid family (ferrets, martens, ermines and weasels) can get into the dovecote. It is recommended to sprinkle the floor with clean river sand, sawdust or shavings. Litter is best cleaned daily. The walls must also be free of gaps to avoid drafts
It is important to regularly whitewash the walls with lime
For bathing birds, trays or trays with clean water should be placed. The pallets should have a side 4 to 8 cm high. In order to avoid dampness in the dovecote, it is better to put the baths on the paddock. After the birds have bathed, the containers should be removed so that the birds do not drink dirty water and spill it. nine0003
Mineral fertilizer in a separate container must be kept in the dovecote at all times. Gravel, red brick crumbs, fodder lime, shell rock, earth are used as mineral top dressing. Pigeons are very fond of table salt, but it can cause poisoning in birds. It is recommended to add a small amount of salt to drinking water.
Birds are fed and watered from special feeders and drinkers. Dishes should be easy to clean. Disinfect drinkers with soda solution. Water must be changed daily to avoid contamination. In the warm season, water should be freely available to birds all the time. It is advisable to put the drinker on a pallet so that the birds do not spill water and do not breed dampness. During the day, the drinker can be placed on the run. If the water freezes in winter, then the birds are given warm water after eating, and then the drinkers are removed. Instead of water in winter, you can put pure snow. Tap water for birds is recommended to defend for several hours. nine0003
Special nest boxes are hung in the dovecote during the nesting season when doves and doves are released together. It is desirable that the number of nest boxes coincide with the number of existing pairs, because pigeons are strictly monogamous. Because of the extra nests, fights between males can begin.
Optimum dimensions of the nest are 20×25×7 cm. A layer of coniferous sawdust or wood ash is poured on the bottom of the nest, twigs, straw or hay can be placed on top.
It is necessary to carefully monitor the cleanliness of the dovecote, carry out daily cleaning and preventive disinfection, because diseases of pigeons are much easier to prevent than to treat. It is also necessary to monitor the integrity of the mesh doors of the walking room, the serviceability of bird care equipment, and even the cleanliness of the clothes in which the pigeon breeder works. nine0003
For bathing birds, trays or trays with clean water should be placed
Signs of improper feeding
Violations of the conditions for pigeons, especially poor quality or inadequate nutrition, are the main causes of poor health and well-being of birds. It is necessary to review the diet of birds if:
- loss of feathers;
- loss of appetite, the bird partially or completely refuses to eat;
- inflammation of the mucous membranes; nine0006
- weight loss;
- inferiority of laid eggs;
- small rashes in the form of grains on the larynx, goiter, oral cavity;
- deterioration in the condition of the skin, change in its color;
- visual impairments;
- violations of coordination;
- digestive problems: liquid droppings with impurities of undigested grain, an unpleasant pungent odor, the appearance of blood clots;
- dead eyes without natural brilliance. nine0006
Do you know? In order for a female dove to lay an egg, she must definitely see a male. At home, the bird is successfully deceived by placing a mirror near it.
Pigeon breeding - mating
Only young, healthy, purebred pigeons should be mated, avoiding mixing of blood. There are two types of pigeon mating - natural and forced. With natural mating, the dove chooses a female for himself, and with forced mating, when a person himself selects a dove according to the necessary parameters and qualities. With forced mating, a person can control and conduct breeding work on his livestock. However, if you keep pigeons of the same breed in the house, then there is no point in forced crossing. nine0003
It should also be noted that during natural crossing (when the pigeons themselves choose each other), a very strong pair is formed. They lay eggs before everyone else, in larger numbers. Their fertility and hatchability are the highest. With forced pairing, the picture is completely different
Males become aggressive, pay less attention to their partner, thereby the formation of a family is delayed, respectively, and the chicks appear an order of magnitude later, while hatchability is much lower than with natural mating nine0003
Pigeon breeding - forced mating
Forced mating of pigeons is characterized by the ability of the breeder to select pairs himself. Birds should be selected with good flying qualities, healthy, not too large.
Having chosen a pair with the necessary breed characteristics, the pigeons must be placed in a closed box. Usually pigeons are planted together at night. After mating, they are gently released back into the dovecote.
Usually, young birds mate very quickly and make an alliance with each other. It is quite simple to determine whether mating of pigeons has occurred or not. If the pigeons sit tightly pressed against each other, take care of their companion, then the mating was successful. After that, you can definitely release pigeons into the common room. nine0003
After mating, do not remove the box to another place - pigeons will nest there. If the pair decided to choose a different nesting site, then the box must be moved to the selected location.
Pigeon Breeding - Natural Mating
If you have pigeons of the same breed in your house, it is better not to box the pigeons or form artificial pairs. Then the pigeons themselves will find each other, lay eggs and hatch chicks. In this case, the family will be very strong. Egg fertility and hatchability will be much higher. Such families, in most cases, converge the next year. nine0003
Common bunting ( Emberiza citrinella ) has a bright yellow-brown color, females are more dull. The song of the oatmeal is rather uncomplicated, monotonous. The basis of the oatmeal diet is plant foods (cereals, weeds, berries, etc.). During the breeding season, insects are consumed, and the chicks are fed mixed food.
In the photo: oatmeal
In a oatmeal cage or aviary, place suitable perches with bark, a bathing suit, feeders. Be sure to place the mineral mixture and stones in the cage. Often offer the birds greens, buds, germinated grains, insect larvae. nine0003
The oatmeal cage should be spacious and in a bright place.
Peculiarities of feeding in different periods
It is necessary to adjust the diet of a pigeon depending on the season and the period of development. An example of what products and in what ratio to give to the birds is shown in the table:
Pigeons are one of the most common types of birds in the city. They live next to man and cohabit with him. In parks and squares, pigeons are often fed with bread crumbs, cereals or other products. nine0003
Birds can easily eat any kind of food. However, pigeons are not omnivores. And eating everything they can find, they harm the gastrointestinal tract.
An uncontrolled diet can lead to some diseases. Life expectancy in urban conditions in birds does not exceed 5 years. Wood pigeons can live up to 20 years.
What not to feed pigeons
There are a number of foods that are strictly forbidden for pigeons because they can cause digestive problems, kidney disease, cardiovascular disorders or even death of the bird. nine0479
Such prohibited foods include:
- Any dairy products, as they provoke stomach dysbiosis.
- Black bread. Its use can cause blockage of the gastrointestinal tract and dysbiosis.
- Millet. In large quantities, it can cause intoxication of the body due to the high toxicity of the composition.
- Sweets, candy or chocolate.
- Roasted seeds, as they have a negative effect on the kidneys. nine0005 Meat and fish products, as they can be fatal.
- Foods high in salt. Such feeds can provoke the death of a bird, since its body is not able to process salt in large volumes.
Do you know? Pigeons have unique vision. Their eyes cannot be blinded by bright flashes of light, direct sunlight, and even lasers. This property is given to the eyes by wave connective tissue, which, depending on external conditions, becomes transparent or completely dark. nine0424
Feed for pigeons must be properly balanced
Cereals must be the main part of the feed. They are approximately 70% carbohydrates, 10% protein and 5-7% fat and minerals. They are rich in vitamins B and E, but do not contain vitamin A. On the other hand, there is a lot of vitamin A in corn. So, what to feed the pigeons?
- Wheat is rich in carbohydrates. It must be given in small quantities, otherwise your wards are threatened with obesity.
- Corn must be included in the diet. The queen of coarse grinding fields is distinguished by its high energy value and high protein content. The cereal is highly digestible, rich in calories, which can lead to weight gain. The amount of corn consumed must be controlled. nine0006
- Oats are not the favorite type of cereal for pigeons, but they are good for the health of feathers and muscles. Also helps birds feel good in cold weather, good for the blood and nervous system. When doves are laying eggs, it should be reduced in quantity, because it is not very useful for eggshells.
- Barley in the diet is good in cold weather in January and February. Due to the peculiarities of the digestive tract, young birds cannot eat it, so only adults can eat it. Barley has its own benefits - it has a calming effect on the stomach and reduces diarrhea. nine0006
- Rye has a lower nutritional value than wheat or corn but can be used as feed.
- Legumes are low in fat (1-5%) and carotene, but high in protein (22-40%). They are useful due to the high content of phosphorus, calcium salts, B vitamins.
- Peas contain 22-26% protein, 0.1-2% fat and 4-5% fiber, rich in minerals. Birds digest it easily. Peas have a beneficial effect on the development of the body, increase resistance to disease, and reduce fatigue. It can be from 15 to 20% of the daily diet. nine0006
- Vika is an excellent food for strengthening the nervous system. It is good to introduce these legumes in small quantities, no more than 15% of the daily diet. If given in large quantities, then problems with the intestines may occur. It is not recommended to give as feed to young animals.
- Fruits and herbs can be given once or twice a week.
When bird owners do not know how to provide the right diet for their wards, how to feed their pigeons, the latter may experience health problems. To ensure their long and healthy life, a good owner must have information about rational nutrition and constantly expand their knowledge. Keeping domestic pigeons is quite laborious. nine0003
Waxwing at home
Common waxwing (Bomrucilla garrulus) , just like the bullfinch, we associate with winter, because it is then that we observe these birds flying from tree to tree and eating mountain ash. Waxwings are also quite possible to keep at home.
These are rather large birds with a body length up to 23 cm, the main color of the body is pink-gray, black, white and yellow feathers on the wings and tail. On the head of the waxwing there is a noticeable crest. The song of male waxwings is quite loud and piercing. In the diet in the summer period there are a lot of insects, berries, seeds. In winter, birds feed mainly on berries. nine0003
In the photo: waxwing
When keeping waxwings at home, you need quite a lot of space, it is better to use an aviary, since the birds are quite large and require a lot of space for flights
This is very important for their health, as waxwings are very prone to overeating and obesity. For keeping, it is better to pick up a couple of birds or place a waxwing in a flock: they are quite peaceful and do not arrange fights
However, waxwings live in captivity for only a few years, in nature often longer. nine0003
Waxwing diet should be balanced and varied, as life expectancy and plumage quality depend on it.
Waxwings have a very fast metabolism, they eat a lot and defecate a lot, this should be taken into account when choosing materials for an aviary. Access to bedding change should be convenient and easy. There should also be washable materials around the enclosure, as waxwings are quite messy when eating.
The diet of waxwings at home should include a variety of berries (various types of mountain ash, hawthorn, sea buckthorn, barberry, juniper, cherry, sweet cherry, blueberry, cranberry and others), juicy fruits, vegetables, greens, sometimes insects and food of animal origin. Birds practically do not eat grain feed. nine0003
The waxwing cage should have access to fresh water and mineral supplements. Perches for waxwings should be of the appropriate diameter and located at different heights, this will help the birds to move more actively.
Care of pairs
Another important question is how to keep pigeon pairs in an apartment. Here you have to solve a moral dilemma.
On the one hand, keeping a single pigeon is much easier. But a lonely bird in captivity will yearn, and some breeds even die without a pair in such conditions. And on the other hand, having started a married couple, you will receive at least 2-3 broods per year. Chicks are very noisy and restless people. nine0003
Since pigeons belong to a small group of birds capable of producing bird's milk, you will not have problems with feeding. But it will be necessary to solve the issue of the implementation of the young. It is a pity to let the birds out - the cats will eat them, all that remains is to give them to some dovecote. Therefore, our advice to you is to take purebred couples, such chicks will be taken away without problems. You can even do business with it.
Taking care of a couple is not difficult. You just need to put a box in the cage and pour twigs, grass, wood chips and other small things next to it - the dove will build its own nest. Plus, you need to think about the option of protecting her from her “husband” while hatching eggs. nine0003
Keeping a family of pigeons brings much more moral pleasure than watching a single bird.
Full breeding will require a huge amount of time and material costs. At first, you will have to spend money on dovecote equipment, the purchase of feeders, drinkers.
In the future, proper feeding will require considerable costs. Every day, minerals, trace elements, fats, vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates should be included in the diet of adults. nine0003
If the elements are missing from the food, your pets will often get sick. Clean water should be available to your pets around the clock. In order for the birds to be energetic and fly well, their diet must be rich in carbohydrates.
Fat reserves allow them to survive illnesses and tolerate cold well. Even if for some time the pigeon is left without food, thanks to its fat reserves, it will be able to live for a long time.
With a lack of trace elements and vitamins, poultry quickly weakens. In order for the female to fully incubate offspring, she needs to be regularly given food rich in vitamins. nine0003
At the same time, it should be taken into account that representatives of ornamental breeds do not fly, they move little, which means that they need special nutrition. They will need at least 45 g of special food per day.
Delicious food for pigeons
The basic food is wheat. It must be supplemented with corn, which has the richest composition of vitamins and trace elements. Remember to add tiny pebbles to adult food.
How much food should be given? Experienced breeders can determine by eye how much millet to pour daily. You can understand that the birds are full by their filled goiter. nine0003
After that, it is imperative to remove the feeders for the next feeding. So the grain will not be scattered around the dovecote. The diet and number of feedings should be adjusted with the onset of winter.
Winter food should be more enriched with vitamins and fats. To make the plumage elastic and shiny, poultry farmers recommend feeding them with flax and rapeseed.
Feeding pigeons in an apartment
Salt is poison for a pigeon, if you give him salty food, he may disappear or become seriously ill. It is also impossible to feed pigeons with black bread, it causes bloating in the bird. If you notice that your ward has liquid droppings, he has become lethargic and inactive, has poor appetite or does not eat at all, this is the first alarm signal that you should contact the veterinarian, your bird is sick and possibly seriously. nine0003
In order for a bird to be healthy, not only comfortable living conditions are necessary, but also good nutrition, including
Therefore, it is extremely important to provide pigeons with normal nutrition, which will contain a whole complex of vitamins. And do not forget about water, it is the basis of digestion in pigeons, there will not be enough water - there will be problems with digestion
Because the pigeon is an active bird, it needs a lot of energy for the muscle system, which is produced by carbohydrates. nine0003
The development and construction of the internal organs of the bird, the growth of feathers and the formation of eggs depend on protein, which should also be included in the diet of pigeons. Fats are also one of the sources of energy, in the right amount they can help the bird survive a serious illness or hunger, in other words, the fat supply helps the pigeon survive in critical situations.
The pigeon breeder should be aware that domestic pigeons need vitamins that are added to their food. Vitamins strengthen the immune system, improve the appearance of feathers, support vision and hearing. Especially pigeons need vitamins and additional nutritional supplements, those that are hatching chicks or are already feeding them. nine0003
During this period, the bird cannot fully eat, paying attention to its offspring. The lack of vitamins affects the health of the bird, it starts to get sick and look bad.
Pigeons mainly feed on grain mixtures, small stones and food additives.
What you need to know about pigeon houses
Pigeons can be kept in:
The type of dovecote depends on the purpose of keeping, on the number of birds, their breed, the natural features of the area and the breeder's capabilities. nine0003
An ideal place for breeding pigeons in the countryside is an attic dovecote.
If you plan to keep a small number of pigeons, hanging nests are suitable. Such a dwelling provides pigeons with complete freedom.
For urban dwellers, a ground-based poultry house is a viable option. For example, a dovecote-freemen, which is mounted on a pole.
Dovecote is best placed away from tall buildings and trees that interfere with the takeoff and landing of birds. Also, the breeder runs the risk of leaving the pigeons uncontrolled for a long time, as the birds will land on the roof of a high-rise building or the top of a tree. A close proximity to the dovecote can also bring a lot of trouble to the owners of balconies in a residential building - pigeons will pollute them. Wires can interfere with the flight of birds and even lead to their death, so you should build a dovecote away from them. nine0003
Pigeons should easily find their home, so the dwelling should have an identifiable color and shape.
Suitable building materials:
- boards and plywood (for interior cladding).
The room should be equipped with ventilation and electricity, if necessary, connect an artificial heat source.
Tips from pigeon breeders
Experienced poultry breeders willingly share with beginners the secrets of successful breeding of domestic pigeons:
- It is necessary to take care of regular cleaning of the dovecote from rats and mice, to take additional measures to prevent ferrets or cats from entering the house.
- Whenever possible, grain used for feeding is washed, as it contains a lot of dirt. The use of washed grain will reduce the likelihood of developing diseases in poultry.
- You can disinfect grain using microwave ovens.
- In winter, the temperature in the dovecote should not be raised too much, otherwise poultry will lose their hardiness to the cold. nine0006
- Do not put lick salt in the house. If it softens, the pigeons will begin to peck at the pieces, which will provoke poisoning.
- Cleanliness in the room is the key to the health of domestic birds, so you need to regularly clean the house. Dust, the source of which is litter, contributes to the infection of birds with various diseases.
Breeding pigeons at home is a responsible event that requires the owner to be attentive to the feathered wards
In addition to a balanced diet and the organization of favorable conditions, it is important to maintain cleanliness in the dovecote and conduct regular inspection of the birds.
Features of keeping
Pigeons should be kept in pairs so that no one is left without a second half. If you have the opportunity to buy them in pairs, do so.
Be prepared for the fact that at first it will not be easy, difficulties may arise. The first thing to start with is to build an aviary for keeping these birds at home, and only then you can purchase the first birds. nine0003
Pigeon housing should be spacious and bright, this is very important. It is necessary to provide for the possibility of ventilation, as well as to exclude the possibility of drafts.
Maintenance is as follows:
The bedding will need to be changed daily or it is better to replace it as needed.
The place of residence, inventory and dovecote must be washed using detergents.
It is very important that the birds have constant access to water for drinking, and it is also worth providing a bath for bathing. nine0003
In order to control daylight hours, provide for the possibility of additional lighting.
In summer, the optimum air temperature is +25 degrees.
The optimal indicator of air humidity is 65-70%. With high humidity, it is highly likely that birds can pick up some kind of infection or fungal disease.
For two adult birds, the area norm is 0.5-1 sq.
In winter time, increased attention will be required to the health of birds and their living conditions. In summer, it is important to control hygiene, do not forget about disinfection and feeding, and in the winter period of the year, the need for warming is added to this. In the winter season, the following rules must be observed: nine0003
During the winter season, the following rules must be observed:
- Birds should not be outside for a long time in bad weather.
- They need to be given warm water.
- Daylight hours should be approximately 14 hours. Increases the day due to the use of artificial lighting.
- Entrance doors need to be insulated, and the nests deepened.
- The minimum allowable air temperature in the dovecote can be minus 10 degrees. nine0006
- If there are damp areas, they should be sprinkled with lime.
It is very important to provide good nutrition, both in summer and in winter.
What should be the food?
In order for your charges to be healthy, you need to choose a balanced and nutritious diet for them . Specific components are determined depending on the breed and age of the bird, breeding goals. For example, birds for later consumption and for sports are fed differently.