What to Feed a Baby Pigeon

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The common pigeon can be found all over the planet congregating in parks and on sidewalks or roosting on a building ledge. Some people even raise them in coops. Having a baby pigeon around without a mother can be heartbreaking. Knowing how to feed the baby pigeon will help ensure a healthy bird.

Food

  • Pigeons eat a variety of seeds and berries and will eat beans and legumes on occasion. Baby pigeons, however, are fed by their parent's milk. This milk is not like human or regular dairy milk in nutrient quality, although it is white. There are several products on the market that replicate the nutritional value of pigeon milk including Kaytee Exact Baby Formula, Egg Food or a product called Chick Crumbs which must be soaked first in hot water for a half an hour then blended. After blending, any chunks will have to be removed with a sieve so that the consistency of milk is obtained. Pigeons do not open their mouths to feed, which can make giving them the milk difficult.

Young pigeon

  • When a pigeon is very young, it will need to be fed using syringe or a tube so that the milk reaches its crop. It is very important to understand the birds anatomy when feeding with a syringe. A bird has an esophagus that leads to the crop and a trachea, in front of the esophagus, which is the wind pipe. To feed the pigeon, the syringe must go back behind the trachea and into the esophagus. Wet the tubing of the syringe to ease the movement of it along the esophagus. Open the baby pigeon's mouth and look inside. At the front will be the trachea. Push the syringe tube towards the back of the throat and push down. Be very careful not to put the tube in the trachea as this may damage the wind pipe, and, if fluid is released from the syringe, it may drown the pigeon.

    Buy a plastic feeding syringe and fit it with a flexible tube. Using a flexible tube will keep you from damaging the inside of the pigeon. A baby pigeon less that a week old will need to be fed with 2cc at a time. Make the mixture watery as well. Feed the baby 2cc every couple of hours. A baby should be fed between 6 and 20cc. Older pigeons will need 20 to 30cc.

Older Pigeon

  • Older pigeons will be able to swallow larger amounts of food but still will not open their mouths for feeding. At this point you can begin feeding the pigeon seeds that have been wet slightly. To feed the pigeon by hand, hold the pigeon and squeeze at the beak area gently. Do not squeeze at the throat as this will cut off their air supply. Gently press the food into the pigeon's mouth. Do small portions at a time to prevent choking.

References

  • Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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