Friday, 4 September 2015

The babies progress - and I help doves with bad eyes

My last blog ended with me worried about the babies not being able to stand/walk .... and I considered how I would feel if they worsened and died....devastated.... so ....
Fri 21st Aug – I decided that I would try to get an appointment with the vet, and hang the cost, but found out he is away til next Friday. They had got a locum in but I was told she wouldn’t see pigeons – and I don’t particularly want Tink and Pan to see HER! The receptionist suggested I try Wildlife Aid, but I know they would just put them down. I’ve got an appointment for next Friday and hope the babies will struggle on til then.  From what I can discover online I think they have a virus or a bacterial infection, as these cause weak legs. While I wait for the vet, I will try to get some vitamins/minerals for them.
There are several birds around with bad eyes – at least four or five. Maybe some infection is going round. There is one particular white dove that seems to be struggling, with both eyes sore and crusty. I have caught her a couple of times to wipe her eyes over – only with water as that is all I have got but I ordered a homeopathic remedy from someone on ebay who sounds like he knows what he’s doing. If it works I’ll give him a mention!
Sat 22nd Aug 15 – We had a mini one day heat-wave –  it was really hot. So warm that I took the babies drinks of water in between their regular feeding times and arranged old muslin nappies as sun-shades over the hutch - but they were fine. I obtained some vitamins from the pet shop – Johnsons Vit-Min – I felt they couldn’t do any harm and might do some good. They gave the dosage for varied sizes of birds and I felt that the babies would be about the size of cockatiels! I put it in their drinking water  as directed– making their little glass mug look like it was filled with orangeade! Luckily they didn’t refuse it. I’d also been giving them little grains – ‘pigeon conditioner’ - which is also very nutritious.

Sun 23rd Aug 15- Solo didnt turn up all day (and as I edit this blog I have to regretfully say that he hasn't been seen since - he was 4+ months old, very pretty, quite tame and much adored by me)

Below, Pan and Tink (the little one)

Monday 24th Aug 15 – Dreadfully rainy all day, and so dark! I kept the three adult homies in all morning, then they went out for a short while but had to come in again about 1.30pm. I see no point at all in them sitting miserably outside in the rain. Of course the general flock had to do so, and the one with the bad eyes sat miserably on the back roof of the cottage, away from the others – she has not been down all day. Eventually about  5pm she came down to the patio where I was sheltering in the porch, throwing grain. I had already decided that if I could I would grab her and bring her in for the night, out of the rain, and it was easy to do. She felt very wet and hadn’t got much body heat – besides feeling thin – but was quite feisty and struggled– but I felt a pot of food to eat at leisure, a night in the dry and her eyes wiped again would be beneficial. She’ll be set free in the morning, after she’s had the chance to eat again, provided the weather is not appalling. You can see the state of her eyes, before wiping, in the photos – I hope the homeopathic remedy arrives asap!

The babies were out today, but of course, in the hutch, which now belongs totally to them and is perfectly dry. I am delighted to be able to report that they seem to be able to stand better!  Maybe this is down to the vitamins  but how would I know. Anyway, I also decided to try to give them calcium in the form of ground up (to powder) eggshells – which I mixed with the Kaytee powder that I’ve got in the cupboard which I keep in case I have to feed very new baby doves. This must be full of all the right vits and minerals, so I mixed it all up and made little pea sized balls – which I put to dry out. Unused mix can be kept in the fridge for a day.

Crushing eggshells to give baby pigeons calcium for weak legs

Kaytee mix for feeding baby pigeons

At about 7pm a bat was suddenly in the sitting room – it must’ve come in when I opened the kitchen door. I managed to catch it in a tea-towel and took it into the conservatory to take a photo before release, but it escaped and flew madly round, upsetting the birds. I put them all early to bed, to be out of the way, including the poorly one – (I think she can be Florence 2) – and continued to try to catch it. I like bats with their cute crumpled cross faces! – I caught it in a plastic jar but didn’t get a very good photo. I felt it wouldnt be fair to keep trying, as it was probably stressed out, so I released it.

Tuesday 25.8.15 - Tink and Pan are four weeks old today.
 Pan now stands
 and preens....
 While Tink, below, can't stand or walk....
 Pan pecks....
 and so does little Tink....
 Happy 4-week birthday babies!

Thursday 27.8.15 - Pan is walking well now and uses the whole space in the hutch - the nestbox and beyond. They have had a little dish of seeds in there for a few days now, and a shallow dish of water - and he helps himself, though not always effectively. I take both the babies out into the garden for supervised play/learning time but Tink just sits on my lap or a soft cloth, while Pan will explore the raised bed or the grass. When it's time for them to go back in the hutch, I hold Pan some feet away and he jumps/flutters in - thus getting a start at practising flying. He now seems on track for his age.

Tink, on the other hand, seems about half Pan's age. I was very busy today with people over, so couldn't spend quite as much time as I would've liked with the babies, but Tink's feet seem even more crumpled than before and she is unable to stand. There is a part of her back that the feathers have not grown on - rather odd. But she moves about, sort of, and eats, drinks, preens and poops, so I am hoping that she might pick up eventually. The homeopathic eye remedy arrived and seems to be helping the feral birds eyes so I am going to try to get advice/remedy for Tink. There are three main birds - all white or whitish doves - that I am able to pick up (if I get it right!) Florence2 who I will obviously just call Florence (she's in the photos above), Siena - who has only one bad eye and one who has a black tail and two bad eyes. 
 BT, above and below

 Above and below, Florence's eyes show some improvement

Friday 28.8.15 - Siena, with the one bad eye, was there at the morning feed, but wary of me now and I couldnt catch her. Her eye does look better though. The one with the black tail, who I have mentally called that for too long and not having chosen a name she has become Black Tail or BT! - anyway she turned up and I was able to grab her. She is a poor skinny little thing so I gave her a hand feed before putting the remedy on her eyes. I do this by laying her on my lap and holding her beak down and closed and then just dripping a couple of drops on her eye, before turning her over and doing the same in the other. Her eyes too look improved, and I am so pleased.

I obtained the remedy from ebay. EUPHRASIA HOMEOPATHIC EYE DROPS FOR DOGS,CATS,RABBITS,HORSES & BIRDS The homeopath is called Andrew and he was kind and helpful. His ebay name is healingsun - but you can also find him at

Tink seemed even smaller this morning, with her worst foot very much crumpled underneath her. While I let Pan have a few minutes in the raised bed while the flock was around, I carried Tink around in the crook of my arm, wrapped in a cloth. Although the sun was trying to come out, the morning had a Septemberish chill, so I didnt want her to get cold. The homies stay in the conservatory until the day has warmed up a bit and I usually put them out about 9am, but the babies needed to be in the nestbox - so I half filled a hot water bottle, and well wrapped it, before settling Tink on it - she has to be propped a little by a rolled up cloth so that she is supported,comfortable and can see out well. In the photo, Pan, next to her, looks so much older! Later he sat down right next to her which was nice for her, giving his support and warmth also.

Aft - I managed to catch Siena this time and did her eye, but she feels quite plump and her eye is pretty good now so I unless I feel it needs it  I won't upset her by catching her again. Florence was caught and her eyes anointed. She, like BT, is a skinny poorly thing so I hand fed her some peanuts first. Later on, at pigeon bedtime she was sitting on the outside light, apparently asleep - so quietly I got the steps and the net - slowly, slowly, catchee pidgee.... and grabbed her. I was then able to do her eyes again and brought her in for the night. And of course now I can feed her up a bit in the morning and do her eyes before releasing her. 

Pan now spends periods of time in the garden when the flock is there, and when I can loosely supervise him. He walks or runs about, and does little short flights. I am still feeding him but less than before to encourage him to feed himself - but I always make sure he has a good supper because I don't want him to go back to the poorly thing he was before. I make a little nest for Tink and put her out too. Luckily the other adult birds seem to ignore her. Pan joins in with the homies, and they tolerate him (mostly)

 Tink in the rug, while Pan walks around

Tink is adorable!

Sat. 29.8.15 - In the morning, Pan was practically climbing out of the babies night time arrangements (not very secure!) but Tink was quiet and still - getting me worried she hadn't made it through the night....but I touched her and she started to squeak....thank goodness! I love them both - my big baby, and my little under-developed baby who still has plenty of personality!

I saw Siena but I didnt try to catch her today. In the afternoon I caught Florence, did her eyes and hand fed her before releasing her. I was glad I caught her because her eyes were a bit gummy and it wouldnt take long for them to get totally sticky. I do feel when I do these birds' eyes that they know I am trying to help them. There was a pigeon, obviously getting old, sitting on the grass alone.

When the flock flew off, I picked it up and put it back on the roof - and this evening when it was sitting on the little porch roof, I climbed the steps and brought it in for the night. BT turned up a bit later, and also perched on the porch roof so I was able to get her, feed her and do her eyes. I was glad these two were not out in the rain all night. It was easy to bring them in as hubby is now away for a week. So tonight I have 3 homies, 2 babies and 2 poorly ones inside the house!

Earlier on in the day, here were the homies -
You can just see Tink in the hutch (top left) and underneath Chino, partially hidden, Cloud in the middle, and Pan, bottom middle and Cissie, Pan and Tink's mum, right

 Eventually the three older homies moved to the other side of the garden, to relax 
and get away from the Young!

To be cont.........


Fennie said...

So nothing happening in the cote! Glad to hear that Pan is coming on. Tink though seems not quite all there though she will no doubt become a bit of a pet. I guess the eye problem is an infection that will clear itself up naturally, though it looks most sore. I know have almost as many sparrows as you have pigeons. I think lots of odd ones have joined my flock. But how can I make them forage instead of just hanging around from one feeding time to the next?

hopeinparis said...

Pan and Tink are so adorable. I do hope Tink makes it and I will be eager to read what the vet says about her condition. I'm really sorry about little Solo, though, Faith, you have my sympathy for your loss. I hope the eye infections clear up completely and that you and the birds have some sweet late summer days ahead. xx