What do you feed baby pigeons

Feeding Pigeons and Doves | VCA Animal Hospital

General Information

Our knowledge of bird nutrition is constantly evolving, both from heightened awareness of the importance of nutrition and from increased research into birds’ different needs. As with all other animals, birds need a proper balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals, and water. Different species of birds often require different foods. 

Should I be concerned about what my pigeon or dove eats?

Proper nutrition is commonly neglected and critically important with pet birds. You should discuss nutritional needs with your veterinarian. Too often, owners assume they are feeding a proper diet to their pigeon or dove when, in fact, they are not. Poor nutrition is a common reason for many health problems in birds. Birds’ health depends on how well they are fed, so it is essential that bird owners are educated about what to feed their birds. Bird owners should stay in contact with their avian veterinarians to stay current on their birds’ nutritional needs.  

What do wild pigeons and doves eat?

Wild pigeons and doves eat a variety of grains, seeds, greens, berries, fruits, and will occasionally eat insects, snails and earthworms. 

What should I feed my pigeon or dove?


Pigeons have traditionally been fed all-seed diets. Commercially available seed mixes for pigeons may contain 2-5 different kinds of seeds. However, the seeds tend to be high-fat and nutrient-deficient and are not the same kinds of seeds that wild pigeons eat. Seeds are also deficient in calcium, vitamin A, and other nutrients. Many times, these seed mixes are fed as the only source of food, leading to ill health and potentially, a shortened lifespan. Seeds can be part of a pigeon’s diet but should not comprise the entire diet.  

There are pigeon diets available that contain some seed plus grains. Some are also enriched with brewer's yeast plus vitamins and minerals. Different diet formulations exist for performance birds, resting birds, and breeding birds.  The problem with offering pigeons and doves diets containing seeds is that they selectively eat only the seeds and do not get any of the nutritional benefits from the pellets. 

"Seeds can be part of a pigeon’s diet but should not comprise the entire diet." 

Pelleted Diets

Several types of commercially formulated pelleted diets in various colors, shapes, and sizes have been developed to meet all birds’ nutritional needs. Compared with parrots (hook-billed birds), pigeons and doves have very small beaks and do best with small-sized pellets. Hand raised babies are the easiest to start on a pelleted diet. Pellets should ideally represent approximately 50% of a pigeon's diet along with small amounts of seed and fresh produce.

Fruits and Vegetables

Finely chopped vegetables and greens, plus smaller amounts of fruit, should be offered as part of a pigeon’s or dove’s daily diet. Pale vegetables, with a high water composition (i. e., iceberg or head lettuce, celery) offer very little nutritional value and should not be offered. Avocado is reported to be potentially toxic to birds and should not be offered.

Fruits and vegetables must be washed thoroughly to remove chemicals. Unlike hook-billed parrots, pigeons and doves have small beaks, so vegetables and fruits should be shred or cut up into tiny, manageable pieces. Fruits and vegetables should be offered in a separate dish from pellets and other foods. If your bird appears to develop a particular fancy for one food item, reduce its volume, or stop feeding it temporarily to promote the consumption of other foods.


Fresh clean water must be available at all times. Depending on the quality of your tap water, you might consider the use of bottled water. Dishes must be cleaned thoroughly every day with soap and water. 

What about people food?

As a rule, any wholesome, nutritious food that you and your family eat, your bird can also eat, but in very small quantities.  Follow the general guidelines discussed above. Some birds enjoy a very tiny amount of lean cooked meat, fish, egg or cheese occasionally. Dairy products should be consumed in moderation, as birds are lactose-intolerant. Junk food, chocolate, salty foods (chips, pretzels, popcorn), as well as products containing caffeine and alcoholic beverages may be toxic to birds and should not be offered. 

Will my bird have any different needs throughout its life?

Birds that are extremely young, stressed, injured, laying eggs or raising young may have certain special requirements. There are specially formulated pelleted foods available for birds with specific nutritional requirements. Consult your veterinarian regarding these situations.

Does my pigeon or dove need extra vitamins, minerals or amino acids?

Your veterinarian can help you assess your bird's diet and its particular needs. In general, birds that are eating pellets as the basis of their diets do not need supplements.  Specific vitamins or minerals may be more important at various times during a bird's life (e.g., egg laying requires calcium supplementation). Calcium supplements are available if your bird is determined to be deficient.

"In general, birds that are eating pellets as the basis of their diets do not need supplements." 

Does my pigeon or dove need gravel or grit?

Controversy exists over the need for gravel or grit. It was once believed that grit was necessary for the mechanical breakdown of food in the gizzard to aid in digestion. Unlike parrots that remove the outside seed hull before they eat the seed kernel, pigeons and doves ingest seeds whole and seem to do fine without grit. To aid in the breakdown of food, pigeons and doves may be offered a small amount of crushed eggshell or digestible oyster shell grit which can also serve as a source of calcium. Many birds will, in fact, have gastrointestinal problems if they overeat grit, so only digestible oyster shell should be offered.

What pointers should I remember about feeding my pigeon or dove?

  • Always monitor the amount of food eaten every day by each bird.
  • Offer fresh water every day.
  • Offer fresh fruits and vegetables every day.
  • Clean all food and water dishes daily.
  • If a bird rejects a food one day, it may accept it another day. Keep trying!

Some suggested food items include:

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?
  • Conclusion

How Does a Baby Pigeons Look?

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 Loft


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?

Basic rules for feeding pigeons.

| Pigeons of Kazan

The right diet.

Pigeon diet has an impact not only on the appearance of the bird, but also on life expectancy and health.

With daily feeding, the pigeon breeder has a wonderful opportunity to observe his pets. Success in breeding pigeons directly depends on regular monitoring of the entire flock as a whole and the health of each individual bird. Pigeons' food first enters the goiter, where it softens for several hours, and then into the stomach. thus a long uniform digestion occurs. It practically does not matter how many times a day you feed the pigeons - one or two, since they, depending on the amount of food, evenly consume it, and eat the rest throughout the day. If, under normal conditions, in winter, pigeons are fed once a day, then, as practice shows, they eat everything without a trace. nine0005

For hygiene reasons, the pigeons should be fed in separate troughs to avoid infection. To make pigeons more trusting of you, you should feed them in pairs or individually. It is good if you take an individual approach to each cage or each pigeon family. If each pair gets their food individually, the question of malnutrition of some pigeons will disappear by itself. The advantage of the separate feeding method is confirmed by the following fact. Growing pigeons learn to eat from their parents very early, from 21 to 24 days they can simply not leave the feeder. There have been cases of overeating. nine0011 When feeding chicks, pigeons especially need a complete, varied and characteristic food for this species. In addition to the grain mixture, some species require animal and soft food. Pigeons willingly eat compound feed for poultry, white bread soaked in milk, dry cottage cheese, flour worms, insect larvae, hard-boiled and finely chopped chicken eggs. When feeding pigeons with a variety of feeds, it is easy to determine which components they need when feeding their chicks. When compiling a diet, special attention should be paid to providing birds with vitamins and minerals. Chicks of almost all species of pigeons are prone to rickets and are more sensitive than adult birds to a lack of vitamins and minerals. nine0005

Plumage appears gradually. First, pegs of feathers are visible, then flight feathers appear from them, then all the rest. Almost all chicks have a short tail by the time they leave the nest and have the ability to fly.

Feeding young animals.

Jigging of young birds. Young wild pigeons that have flown out of the nest become independent in 2-3 weeks; up to this point, the chicks do not search for food energetically enough, and without additional feeding by their parents, they can become very weak and even die from exhaustion. During this period, more food should be given so that the pigeons regularly feed the young birds that have flown out of the nest. nine0005

Often, shortly after the chicks have hatched, adult birds begin to build a nest and lay eggs. Through observations, it is established which of the parents is the initiator of this, they are caught and isolated from the chicks. Most often it is a male. The remaining bird continues to feed the chicks until they are completely independent. When young birds begin to do without parents, they are placed in a separate cage. Young animals often do not take food from feeders and starve, therefore, the first time after jigging, food should be placed in several places and scattered along the bottom of the cage or aviary. Quarrels can begin between young birds, which are usually harmless, but it is better to keep a close eye on them. nine0005

Until the onset of puberty, young animals are richly fed the same food as adults. During this period, they eat more than adults. If the pigeons give up feeding the chicks, then the brood will surely die. Young growth must be especially carefully protected from drafts and dampness, since at this time it is very sensitive to colds. It should be kept in a spacious room so that the birds can fly and run freely on the floor.

Birds may also be orphaned if one of the adult birds dies. To save them from imminent death, it is necessary to place the chicks with foster parents. A laughing pigeon can be used as a foster parent, whose merits as a "nanny" are established and recognized. nine0005

When selecting "nannies", one must take into account their biological characteristics, as well as the characteristics of the reared species. So, domestic pigeons can feed the chicks of a wedge or pigeon, and various exotic small doves, respectively, are the same small species. When breeding, it is always necessary to have in reserve several pairs of pigeons capable of performing the duties of foster parents, which are best kept in pairs in separate cages measuring 70 × 60 × 50 cm. Keeping “nannies” in one aviary is not recommended. Earthen, pheasant and some other pigeons are kept in low cages, since the chicks of these species leave the nest when they are still bad at flying and when jumping from a high-lying nest, they can damage their legs or wings. Pigeons fed by "nannies" retain all the features typical of their species. nine0005

When laying eggs in the nest for "nannies", it is necessary to take into account the period of incubation. If the foundlings hatch earlier than 4 days or more, the adoptive parents will not yet have goiter milk and the chicks will die by this time. When placing already hatched chicks of valuable species in the nest with foster parents, their own eggs or chicks must be removed. The age and size of the chicks of the nested species should approximately coincide with the age and size of the chicks of the adoptive parents, the difference should not be more than 3-4 days. When raising chicks by other types of pigeons, the danger of "imprinting" foster parents is not noted, as in weavers and parrots. Fosterlings retain all the features of this species and subsequently choose a partner of the same species. nine0005

Consider the feeding of pigeons according to the seasons of the year.

In spring and summer, at the time of breeding, feeding chicks, pigeons expend a lot of energy. To restore it, they need food with a high protein content, such as legume grains, skim milk mash, etc. Young animals especially need mineral supplements to build the skeleton.

From July, the birds begin to molt, which sometimes lasts until October. For the formation of a feather, pigeons have to spend a lot of nutrients, mainly protein. Therefore, increased feeding is again, only one must not overdo it, otherwise the pigeons from abundant food can break out the instinct of reproduction, and by the end of the summer this is useless. nine0005

In autumn, pigeons are transferred to winter food. If you can still find fresh greens, they must put them in the feeder, and if not, then dried greens, carrots and pumpkin as a vitamin supplement. In the winter months, the food is selected so that there is no excess protein, otherwise the pigeons may decide to hatch the chicks at the wrong time. Therefore, it is better not to give high-protein grains (lentils, peas, beans, vetch) at this time. From grain feeds, barley, oats are included in the diet, or even do without them. A mash will be quite sufficient in terms of nutrition, for example, from potatoes boiled peeled in salt water, wheat bran with the addition of vitamin feed and crushed slaked lime. In winter, birds look great when fed every other day with rapeseed or flax seeds, 20-50 g per day for 15 pairs. nine0005

In winter, only homing and chasing pigeons on a special diet. Even during this period, they have more energy costs, and they can be replenished with feed rich in starch and sugar. And there are many of these substances in corn, rice and barley. Rapeseed and flax seeds are also very useful for them - about 3-4 g per pigeon per day. During the competition they are fed with sugar.

About competitions. Before the start, the pigeons are not fed, but after a long flight they are allowed to peck at some seeds of rape, colza or other oilseeds mixed with crushed wheat. For pigeons, these seeds are a delicacy. Some fanciers, in order to accustom birds to returning from walks to the dovecote, lure them with this particular delicacy. During the transportation of birds to the competition, they are not fed with legumes, since the birds need to drink plenty of water to soften it in the stomach. On the road, you need to drink, but the strong thirst of the pigeons will complicate the matter. nine0005

Food is taken out 2-3 times a day at a strictly defined time, the feeders are placed on an equipped area in front of the nursery. The site should always be clean so that crumbs do not lie on it and mold, which birds can then peck at. During the feeders, they observe: if the pigeons pecked and went to the drinkers, nests, then they were full, the feeders can be removed, and the site put in order.

An important factor determining the rate of development, growth and live weight of pigeons is feed. The reproductive ability of birds also depends on them. Changes in feeding, both quantitatively and qualitatively, affect the functional activity of organs and systems, their morphology, the appearance of the pigeon and its general condition. nine0011 All feeds are composed of organic and inorganic substances. Inorganic feeds include water and mineral salts. Organic substances are more complex in structure - these are proteins, fats and carbohydrates. No single food contains all the nutrients necessary for the body of pigeons. Therefore, their diet should include a variety of foods.

Proteins - the most important component of plants and animals Once in the digestive system of an animal, feed proteins break down into components - amino acids, which are absorbed by the body and used to build organs and tissues. Without protein, the existence of a living organism is impossible. Excess protein taken with feed is not absorbed, which adversely affects the condition of the bird. Grains of leguminous plants (peas, beans, lentils, etc.) are rich in protein. There is less protein in the grains of cereal plants. nine0011 Fats, like proteins, are part of plant and animal organisms, but are used by animals as an energy source. In plants, fat accumulates mainly in seeds. Most fat in sunflower seeds, hemp, flax and other oilseeds. Of the main feeds for pigeons, corn and oats contain the largest amount of fat. Fat reserves are deposited in the body of the animal (under the cat, in the muscle tissue, near the internal organs). Feeding fat-rich feeds must be done very carefully to avoid obesity in birds. With insufficient intake of Fat in the animal's body, there is an increased consumption of proteins and carbohydrates. nine0005

Carbohydrates, like fats, are used by the body for energy. Plants are mostly made up of carbohydrates. Juicy feeds (green feeds and root crops) are especially rich in them. The group of carbohydrates includes fiber, starch and sugar. Fiber is poorly digested in the bird's body, so the less it is in the feed, the higher its quality. Little fiber (2%) in the grain of corn and wheat. Starch is a valuable component of grain feed and potatoes. Starch and sugar, after digestion and absorption into the body, ensure the work of muscles, are used to generate heat, and serve as a source of fat formation. nine0005

Vitamins are complex organic compounds found in feed in very small amounts. They are involved in many biochemical processes occurring in the body, therefore, with a lack or absence of vitamins in the feed, the animal's metabolism is disturbed. They are contained mainly in green plants, germinated seeds, root crops. Feed yeast, fish oil and vitamin preparations produced by the industry can serve as a source of vitamins.
Minerals are part of all cells and tissues of the body. nine0005

They are divided into macro - and microelements. Diets of birds should be balanced in three macronutrients: calcium, phosphorus and sodium and in six microelements: manganese, zinc, iodine, iron, copper, cobalt. Macronutrients include calcium, phosphorus, sodium and potassium. With their deficiency, the growth and development of young animals are delayed, the backbone is weakened, and the egg shell is thinned. Therefore, crushed and sifted shell rock and chalk (3% of the daily feed intake) are introduced into the feed mixtures. Sodium and Potassium regulate the reaction of the blood and metabolic processes in the body, affect the absorption of nutrients and are part of some enzymes. nine0005

Magnesium, calcium and phosphorus are involved in metabolism. Sulfur is a good feather growth stimulant and is essential in the diet of pigeons, especially during molting. With a lack of iron, the synthesis of hemoglobin in the blood is disrupted, which leads to anemia. In addition to iron, other trace elements also participate in it: copper, manganese, cobalt. Cobalt stimulates the formation of red blood cells and affects protein synthesis. Copper promotes the use of sugars, affects the activity of sex hormones. Manganese affects the redox processes in the body and the intensity of protein metabolism; its deficiency delays the formation and growth of pigeons. Zinc is part of enzymes and hormones; with its deficiency in poultry, gastrointestinal diseases often occur. Iodine is part of the thyroid hormone; its deficiency affects the growth of young pigeons. nine0005

With the monotonous feeding of birds with grain feed during the breeding period, the need for minerals increases sharply. In percentage terms, they should be contained in the following quantity: bone meal - 80, calcium phosphate - 5, mineral components - 1.5 (ratio of manganese, iron and copper - 6: 1: 0.3), iodized salt - 13.5. Gravel. Along with minerals, pigeons require the smallest pebbles (gravel), which settle in the muscular stomach and grind food.

nine0002 The gravel should have a rounded shape, the diameter of the part should be about 2-3 mm. Chalk, shell can not replace it. Sometimes gravel is replaced with coarse river sand. The amount of gravel consumption is regulated by pigeons. From 10 to 100 pebbles are found in the stomach of an individual bird. Gravel should always be in a separate feeder, it is recommended to add it to the feed mixture once a week. In the absence of gravel in the stomach of a pigeon, the absorption of feed is reduced by 25-30%. It not only grinds food, but also has a beneficial effect on the development of internal organs. With a lack of gravel, weakness, depression, intestinal upset, and ruffled plumage appear. In its absence, pigeons die from atrophy of the muscular stomach within 20-30 days after the onset of the disease (with clinical signs of general underdevelopment and increased thirst). nine0005

To provide pigeons with minerals and gravel, mixtures are usually prepared, which are given in the form of scattering or so-called loaves. A mixture of mineral feed can be prepared from four parts of red brick crumbs, two parts of old plaster crumbs, one part of eggshell, one part of meat and bone meal, one part of coarse river sand and one part of a mixture of calcium carbonate, copper and iron sulphate and cobalt sulphate. . All this is well mixed and poured with an aqueous solution of sodium chloride (in a ratio of 20 g per 1 liter of water) to such a state that small flat bread can be molded. They are dried in the sun or on a tile. If not dried, they become moldy from the inside and become unusable. Store bread in a dry place and, as needed, give it to pigeons in crushed form. nine0005

Water. It is involved in all metabolic processes as a solvent and carrier of nutrients, minerals and active substances in the body. During the life of the body, water is constantly consumed and, accordingly, must be replenished. The body of a pigeon contains from 60 to 80% water, depending on age. They drink relatively much - from 30 to 60 ml of water per day, and feeding chicks - sometimes more. The need for drinking water in pigeons depends on the temperature and relative humidity of the air, body weight, type of food (some feeds require a lot of water to swell) and the work performed (hatching eggs and rearing chicks). Lack of water affects the pigeon worse than starvation. nine0005

In pigeons, unlike other types of poultry, the intestines are short, its ratio compared to body length is 1:7, so the need for feed and its quality is very high. In connection with the special structure of the intestine, plant fiber is not absorbed enough, and the diet should contain at least 15% protein and no more than 5% fiber. Stern. Feeds for meat pigeons are largely similar to those used for chickens and turkeys. However, there are a number of features in the feeding of these birds. In addition to traditional grains (corn, wheat, barley), pigeons are fed grains of legumes and oilseeds. Green and juicy feeds are necessary for pigeons as sources of vitamins, carbohydrates and other nutrients. As these feeds, they are recommended to feed finely chopped lettuce and cabbage leaves, spinach, sorrel, clover, germinated oats and barley, carrots, young nettles, alfalfa. nine0005

In winter, green fodder is obtained by sowing oats in boxes with soil; the removed greens are given to pigeons. At the same time, it is necessary to cope so that the germinated seed does not get into the feeder along with the sprouts. Sometimes pigeons are fed potatoes. Peeled potatoes are boiled, mashed and mixed with grain feed. Such feeding has a good effect on the pigeon's body. Grains of cereals are the main food for birds, containing many easily digestible nutrients. On average, cereal grains contain protein - 9-13% -, fat - 1.5-8%, fiber - 2-9%, starch - 65%, minerals - 2-3%. Grain feed can serve as a source of vitamins B, E, K (there are few other vitamins in them}.

Feed grain must be dry, free from harmful insects, fungi, mold, dust. It is not recommended to eat cracked grain for feeding, as it absorbs moisture and quickly becomes moldy. Feeding pigeons with freshly harvested grain should be avoided, as it causes diarrhea. It is better to feed with grain from last year's harvest.
When buying grain, you must first make sure it is dry; for this, they put their hand into the bag with it: if it slides easily and the grain does not stick to it, then it is dry. There are several ways to check the quality of the grain. With the help of a magnifier or a magnifying glass with a 3-5-fold increase, a suspicious grain (especially along the seam) is viewed with a lagging husk. The presence of black spots indicates its defeat (for example, fungal diseases). nine0005

In another test, a small portion of the grain is dipped in a saturated aqueous solution of common salt. The affected grain, beetle larvae float to the surface, they are drained together with water, the remaining grain is examined as in the first case. Some pigeon breeders practice immersion in saline solution of all grain to be fed, especially peas; unaffected grains are washed and dried. Pigeons eat wheat willingly, but it is recommended to feed it in small quantities, as it contributes to obesity. It is recommended to feed durum wheat varieties to pigeons, as their grain contains more protein and less starch than soft varieties. Barley is the best food for pigeons, as it contains all the nutrients in the required amount. It does not cause sexual arousal, so it is especially appreciated in winter. Pigeons, accustomed to other food, are reluctant at first to eat barley, leaving it in the feeder. In this case, the feeder should be removed, and the remaining grain should be fed to the hungry pigeons at the next feeding. nine0005

Corn. Although the grains of corn have a shell as hard as a cornea, yet they are easily digested, and pigeons eat them with great greed. Corn grains are too mealy, pigeons grow fat from a large number, become lazy, inactive, with flabby muscles. Feeding corn alone causes diseases of the digestive system, which often end in the death of the bird. Small amounts of corn in the diet increase the activity of the gonads, especially the ovaries. It should be fed in crushed form. Millet is considered a very good food for pigeons, especially its brightly colored varieties rich in vitamin B2 and carotene. Millet is a light feed and is especially recommended for young animals that have left the nest prematurely. The disadvantage is its hard, hard to digest shell. Pigeons of large breeds spend a lot of time and energy to fill the crop with one millet. nine0005

Oats. Whole grains of oats with an intact shell are not allowed to be given to pigeons. Hulled oats (oatmeal) is a very good food, which is given to them in feed mixtures. The high percentage of fat and minerals makes it especially useful in winter. Despite a significant percentage of fat, oats do not cause obesity.
Rice contains more starch and less fat than other grains. In pigeon breeding, rice is mainly used as a fixing agent for indigestion. With diarrhea, pigeons are given semi-cooked grains of rice sprinkled with chalk. It is not recommended to give peeled rice in large quantities and for a long time, as this can cause a disease that affects the nervous system - beriberi B. Buckwheat can be included in the feed mixture in small quantities, but it is not recommended to give rye to pigeons, as it causes diarrhea. nine0005

Oilseeds. Seeds of rapeseed, hemp, flax, colza, sunflower contain a lot of fat. Pigeons eat them more readily than other cereals, but they must be used in food very carefully and moderately. As a rule, oilseeds are mixed with other feeds in small quantities and only occasionally. Hempseed greatly excites pigeons, and frequent use causes inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nostrils. It is recommended to give it in small amounts before mating and during molting. Rape and colza are also recommended to be given during molting, they speed up the process of its passage. Aniseed is a delicacy for pigeons. It is considered an aphrodisiac. Aniseed is added to feed mixtures for weakened pigeons to increase appetite. nine0005

Legumes are superior in protein to cereal grains. The composition of legume grains in sufficient quantities includes calcium and phosphorus, which are necessary for mineral metabolism in birds. Legumes should be fed from the previous year's harvest, the seeds should have a natural gloss, if it is not there and the seeds are shriveled, then their nutritional value is negligible. All legumes, especially beans and peas, are fed during fallow and molt. Legume grains need a lot of moisture to swell, so it is best not to feed legumes during transportation of pigeons. Beans quickly saturate the pigeon, this is especially beneficial during the feeding period of the chicks. Peas mixed with cereal grains are the best food for pigeons. This feed mixture contains all the necessary nutrients. Pigeons are usually fed with field yellow peas, the grain of which should be bright yellow and shiny. Feeding freshly harvested peas causes diarrhea, greatly weakens the body of pigeons. nine0005

Vika contains more protein than other legumes and is well eaten by pigeons. It is recommended to feed it in the second year after harvesting from the field, otherwise it causes stomach diseases. Vetch is fed in feed mixtures.
Lentils are good food for pigeons. It is especially recommended to feed lentils to young animals. It must be remembered that its flat grains can stick to the palate of young pigeons. Adhering grain irritates the sky, makes it difficult to breathe. Therefore, when feeding with lentils, it is recommended to inspect the young every day and, having found the grain adhering to the palate, remove it with the blunt end of the pen. Lentils are flat, small and well ripened as feed for pigeons. nine0005

Beans are also fed to pigeons. It is only necessary to choose fine-grained varieties; too large beans are crushed.
Acorns. In Belgium, pigeons have long been fed acorns during the winter months (20-30% of the total feed). Before use, they are cleaned and, after complete drying, crushed. Grain waste. Pigeons are better than other birds at digesting weed seeds. Therefore, grain waste is a valuable food for them, in which there are often many seeds of wild grasses and weeds.

nine0002 Compound feed. In industrial poultry farming, compound feeds containing all the elements necessary for the body are widely used. Pigeons are reluctant to peck mealy feed because of the structural features of the beak and oral cavity, adapted to receive grain feed, therefore, granulated feed is used to feed them. A complete feed contains all the necessary nutrients, vitamins, amino acids, however, such feed can contribute to the obesity of pigeons, so it should be used in limited quantities. Some pigeon breeders give compound feed as a feed additive only during the period of young growth and molting. nine0005

Yeast. Yeast is used as a feed additive. They are especially useful during molting, rearing chicks.
Fish oil. Pigeons also need fish oil. It is added to grain feed mixtures with a weekly cycle (one week is given, the other is not). It is possible to replace fish oil with trivit (vitamins A, D, E), multivitamins; give them with water or feed. During the heat, fish oil should not be given to pigeons.


how to get out at home if you fell out of nest

The contents

  • second week
  • 4.3 In the third week
  • 4.4 In the fourth week
  • 4.5 After a month
  • 5 What not to feed the chicks
  • 6 What to do if the pigeon chick does not eat
  • 7 How to hatch a pigeon chick
  • 8 Conclusion
  • Chicks, just like human children, need care and attention from their mother. Often in life there are situations in which the chick is torn off from the mother's wing, for example, when he fell out of the nest. If necessary, a person can independently feed a feathered friend at home and, upon reaching the required age, release him into the wild. It is in such situations that it is necessary to know what pigeons feed their chicks, as a result of which there is a high probability of going out and raising a bird on their own. nine0005

    What does a pigeon chick eat?

    If a feathered bird is left without parents and was picked up by a human, then it should be properly fed and then released into the wild when it reaches the required age. As practice shows, it is necessary to feed a pigeon chick from birth with crushed and well-brewed food. In the first days of life, a boiled egg yolk is perfect, which is injected into the feathered oral cavity through a syringe. In the future, it is worth feeding grains crushed to the state of flour and steamed in hot water. As the diet grows, it becomes much more diverse: fruits, vegetables, chopped greens, vitamins, live insects are introduced. nine0005

    What to do if a pigeon chick has fallen out of the nest

    In the event that a pigeon chick has fallen out of the nest, it is recommended to look around, suddenly its parents are nearby and are afraid to fly up to it because of the presence of people. If there are no adults nearby, then it is worth visually inspecting the pigeon chick itself. If there is plumage, it is completely dry, it behaves quite actively and is warm to the touch, then such a bird does not need help. Most likely this is his first flyby. nine0005

    If the found pigeon chick does not fit this description and it is clear that without the help of a person it will die, then you should carefully take it without damaging the bones. Take home to a warm place, starting the feeding process.

    How to feed a pigeon chick

    It is recommended to feed a pigeon chick strictly in accordance with the age category. This is primarily due to the fact that if you give a week-old baby food intended for a pigeon chick aged 2-3 weeks, then the body simply will not be able to digest food and the pigeon will die. For feeding, you can use a syringe, nipple or pipette. Food is introduced into the oral cavity, making sure that the food completely fills the goiter. From the first days of life it is necessary to accustom to water. nine0005

    How to feed a pigeon chick at home

    Feeding a pigeon chick at home is not as difficult as it might seem to many at first glance. As practice shows, it often becomes necessary to independently feed those birds that were found, fell out of the nest and were left without maternal care. In order to understand exactly how to feed and care for pigeon chicks, it is necessary first of all to correctly determine their age - this is the only way to avoid causing even more harm. nine0005

    You can determine the approximate age by the following features:

    • rudimentary plumage appears on the 6-7th day of life;
    • eyes fully open on day 9;
    • fully developed plumage can be seen by the end of 4 weeks;
    • pigeons begin to show the first flitter rides at 6 weeks;
    • the first molt occurs at 7 weeks;
    • the bird stops squeaking and starts cooing at 2-3 months of life;
    • first sexual instincts appear at 5 months; nine0111
    • final molt at 6 months.

    If you correctly determine the age of a pigeon chick left without maternal care, then you can feed and leave the baby.

    In the first week

    If a newborn pigeon chick is in the hands, then in this case it is important not only to properly feed, but also to water. Thus, it is initially necessary to teach the feathered to take water and food. As practice shows, it is most difficult to get out birds that are about a week old, no more. This is due primarily to the fact that in the first 7 days of life, newborns need breast milk. In order to save the pigeon chick, you will have to make quite a lot of effort. nine0005

    A step-by-step algorithm of actions that allows you to feed newborn birds is as follows:

    1. First of all, you need to purchase a 20 ml medical syringe from the pharmacy and carefully put a nipple on it, preferably a pipette.
    2. Egg yolk is perfect as a feed, as it contains a large amount of minerals so necessary for the normal life of a pigeon. You can also use special grains that are pre-ground to a state of flour. nine0111
    3. Received food is gently introduced into the oral cavity through a syringe, allowing time for the processing of the received components.

    Pigeon chicks need to be fed at least 6 times throughout the day.

    In the second week

    From the second week it is recommended to introduce grain mass into the diet, as very soon the chick will start eating like an adult pigeon. It is worth feeding only grain crushed to the state of gruel and well steamed. This will require:

    1. Thoroughly grind the cereal through a coffee grinder several times.
    2. Mix the resulting flour with hot water.
    3. Let stand for 7 minutes.

    It is important to understand that such a semi-liquid porridge is still incomplete food and cannot be fed. It is recommended to add chicken yolk to the steamed grain and only after that start feeding.

    Since pigeon chicks require calcium for proper growth and development, a solution based on calcium gluconate can be added to food. To improve the immune system, before you start feeding the chicks, add 2-3 drops of honey to the porridge. nine0005

    By the end of the second week, the body of the chick will be completely covered with feathers, it will begin to move and scream even louder. During the day, birds are fed from 4 to 6 times. At the same time, it is worth making sure that the goiter is filled with food to the maximum.

    Tip! If necessary, calcium gluconate can be replaced with crushed egg shells.

    In the third week

    From the third week, pigeon chicks feed completely differently. During this period of time, it is necessary to teach them to eat whole grains. Before feeding the birds, the grains should be placed in warm water for 10 minutes. In their natural habitat, parents give the chicks seeds of plants that have been in their stomach for some time and have undergone all the necessary processing, partially undergone splitting. nine0005

    It is worth feeding with hands, young pigeons put no more than 3 grains into the mouth at each time. During this period of time, pigeon chicks begin to drink on their own. That is why, after they have already been fed (not before eating), you should carefully lower the baby's beak into a container of clean warm water.

    Attention! It is important to ensure that liquid does not enter the chick's sinuses, as there is a high probability that it will choke.

    Chopped greens and carrots can be gradually introduced into the diet. nine0005

    In the fourth week

    3 weeks after birth, pigeon chicks try to start eating on their own. During this period of time, they can be fed more varied. At this age, pigeons can be given a boiled and well-chopped chicken egg and a small amount of white bread. It is important to take into account the fact that only white can be fed, this is largely due to the fact that dark bread varieties have a coarser grinding and are less digestible by chicks.

    It is recommended to sprinkle a small amount of grain on the table and lightly tap on the table top, thereby attracting the attention of pigeons. As practice shows, the chicks quite quickly understand what is required of them, and begin to eat food on their own. nine0005

    Important! For a few more days, it is recommended to additionally feed the birds, giving food from the hands.

    After a month

    After a month, the diet can and even needs to be diversified. In such cases, it is necessary to feed with fruits, which are pre-cut into small pieces, give chopped greens. Small balls are made from the bread crumb, this is necessary so that the birds can independently take it in their beak and swallow it.

    One month old chicks can be fed in the same way as adult pigeons. During this period of time, the babies are preparing for their first flight. Despite this, you should not quickly allow pigeons to adults, it is best to feed them separately for some time. nine0005

    Tip! If the bird looks rather lethargic and eats little, then you need to add 3% glucose solution to the water.

    What not to feed the chicks

    Despite the fact that growing birds need insects, it is not recommended to feed them the following:

    • carcasses of insects of any kind. As practice shows, the death of an insect is a consequence of intoxication, and the poison also has a negative effect on the feathered body;
    • Colorado potato beetles - not recommended due to toxicity; nine0111
    • ladybugs - capable of excreting a toxic liquid. Under natural conditions, if a bird has eaten a ladybug by mistake, then it immediately spits it out;
    • hairy caterpillars - since such insects contain small hairs on their bodies, they can quite easily clog the crop;
    • brightly colored bugs - rich colors indicate that it is better not to risk using these insects.

    In addition, meat and fish products should not be introduced into the diet, as it is quite difficult to process them. nine0005

    Attention! It is best to feed the bird with nondescript bedbugs.

    What to do if the pigeon chick is not eating

    If it has been noticed that the pigeon chick is not eating, then special attention should be paid to the diet. It often happens that the age of the chick was determined incorrectly, respectively, and further feeding is carried out incorrectly. It is important to take into account the fact that at first adults feed babies with semi-digested food.

    It is necessary to feed the bird with a syringe if it is still very small, larger individuals are fed by hand.

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