Pigeon Tales

November 8, 2013

Pina’s Birthday, a Miracle and Betty is limping

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From the

Diary as of 7/21 – 8/6/2013

7/21   It is Pina’s birthday today!!!! My sweet little baby has turned 4 years! Oh my – I still can remember those times when she hardly made it to her first birthday when she was scalped and badly injured by a foreign pigeon who wanted to steal and occupy the nest of Pina and her little brother Peppi. And then came that awful PMV infection where she was sick for many months and where we thought that she would never be able to fly again if she would survive at all. I dearly wish that she will have a long and happy life from now on. Happy Birthday, my little princess! loveFifi laid her first egg #3 in her new house!

7/22   Maggie laid her first egg #25. Oh my – time flies by…

7/23   Fifi laid her second egg #4. She is also creating perfect little eggs!

7/24   Maggie laid her second egg #26.

7/25   Now it’s Micky‘s turn: she laid her first egg #27. I wished she would give her body a longer pause as Pina does.

7/26   I forgot to tell you that we have two new little ones – the kids of Sandy and Adele with breathtaking colours. Amanda – with colours I have never seen in our area:


Amanda’s sibling is Vroni:


And here are some pics with Sandy and his kids together:


7/27   Pina is still not laying. After she and Rudi started to build their nest again now for the 3rd time without Pina laying, I thought I might try something different and put one of the plaster eggs into her nest. I had the impression that Rudi became somehow frustrated that he had nothing to “sit on” because he went to the nest and sat there for quite a while as if Pina had laid an egg. And Pina became somehow stressed also because no egg wanted to appear. So why not help them with a simple trick. Since the plaster egg is in the nest they both behave normal again and are very content. Oh my – now I am also a pigeon-shrink!!!

Micky laid her second egg # 28.

7/29   Jimi is totally happy with his Fifi. Did I tell you that I built a wooden house for them also, similar to the one that Gino and Micky have? It took less than 2 hours until Jimi and Fifi claimed it to be their own. They simply loved it. Also Jimi has started to sit on my knee again to have his meals there. He has become even more trustful towards me and defends his seat when anyone else is trying to sit on my knee. Oh my…



Both are very tolerant when I exchange their eggs for the plaster eggs and have no problem to sit on the fakes. Fifi is also very trustful and always wants to eat on my knees as well. How sweet is that?

7/31   Btw – regarding Fifi’s foot/toes – it healed completely!!! I really don’t know how this is possible with a broken tendon but apparently she somehow can cope with it. Since WEEKS I haven’t seen her curling her toes – instead the toes are perfectly normal and she can walk as if never anything had happened. It appears like a miracle to me and I am dearly happy about this.


this was the original condition in June – curling toes

8/3   We had another nearly patient – it was Nermel – with both feet bound together but thank heaven there was no damage done yet – not even a swelling and the job was easy. I don’t know what this little bugger was up to but apparently he had been too curious and went somewhere where he shouldn’t. I hate people who just shake their carpets on the balcony never thinking a bit what consequences this might have. I can only repeat again and again – these string injuries are terrible. They are mostly not only long time healing wounds but pigeons who are unlucky suffer extremely from pain and infections. PLEASE BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU DO WITH YOUR CARPETS ETC!!!

8/5   What else? Berty and Babsi were here again. Berty is the one with only 3 toes left. All others have fallen off. I only could help him several months ago when one of his remaining toes was still bound. Poor little fellow – I wished I had met him before this all happened. He is such a beautiful one – totally black with huge eyes.

Tonight I have to check what’s the matter with Betty’s left leg – she is limping heavily. I very much hope that it is nothing serious and that I can help her quickly. We will see.

8/6   I checked Betty’s leg yesterday evening: it must have been broken some time ago. I could not detect any injury on the surface of the skin but when I felt her bone thoroughly I detected a “sharp” edge where there should have been smooth bone. So I think it was broken but the bone did not align cleanly. It healed but apparently she still had some problems with it. So I gave her some extra Calcium and massaged the leg with DMSO. Repeated this procedure after 2 days with positive results. No limping any more. And another pleasant development – Betty becomes a little more trusting: she even flew on the shelf – sitting next to Pina…





July 8, 2013

New Patient: tiny Flea and Tibby is running around

From the

Diary as of 4/10 – 4/12/2013

4/10   Bad thing happened:  a new patient. We called her Flea because she is really tiny. A squeaker still that had appeared a few days before. Unfortunately I did not foresee what was coming because it did not occur to me that there might be a danger:

When I got up in the morning and went to the balcony I found Flea, our new squeaker,  completely entangled between 2 planting pots in the net we have on the balcony. In the evening before I had realized that Flea had chosen to spend the night on our balcony, perching in the middle of one of the containers. She had managed to squeeze through all the sticks I have in the containers to keep the pijjies out of certain plants but thought I leave her there for a night. Big mistake!!! During the night she probably tried to get out again, because it started to rain a bit, and chose the wrong direction and landed in the net which is behind the pots. There she hung, helplessly, totally undercooled and traumatized Idon’t know for how long.

I cut her out of the net and examined her. Gladly she had no injuries probably due to her low weight. She seemed to be very undernourished. Immediately I put her in a box, gave her a warm water bottle and some time later when her feet became warm I tubefed her some cereal. She was still very unresponsive and her little body felt like bone and skin only. Poor little thing. I already feared the worst because her poop looked quite bad. I fed her again in the late afternoon.

The next day she was still very quiet but at least she feeped a bit – a tiny voice. The warmth of the water bottle certainly helped a lot. On Friday she started to be more vivid, she had increased her weight and started to squeak when she saw someone. Sweet little thing. Her poop became normal again and today we let her out of her box to see whether she could fly. She was still too weak to let her go of course but she seemed to be happy to have some time outside her box. We will continue to exercise with her until she is more confident and able to survive outside. She will tell us when she is ready to go. Oh my – I am so relieved that nothing worse happened but could slap myself for not foreseeing what had happened.

Pina laid her second egg #80.

4/11   Today we removed Tibby’s bandage after she pecked and pecked at the plaster. It was already so loose that it did not make any sense to further give her problems. She wanted to get rid of it. The foot looked really good – no discolouring, nothing strange to see – only at the place where the break had been, there seemed to be some additional bone growth, indicated by some very small “swellings” on both sides of the leg. She jumped and ran around as if he never had any problems. What a relief!!!


Weighing day for Flea: 225 gr – she is definitely thin and we have to do a lot so that she grows bigger.

Micky has laid her second egg #20.

4/12   Tibby is in good mood. We are always happy that she is such a cheerful pijjie. I think she will be ready soon to be released. Well – we let her out for the first time today after she was vandalizing her box and did not stop. We noticed that she could walk without the tiniest limping, even jumped from an object nearly 1 m high and landed safely without showing the slightest sign of pain. She could even stand on the narrow edge of an open wooden box which told me that she had all her feeling back in her toes.

We plan to let her go on Monday, will watch her tomorrow when she’s had her first bath and will let her roam the bedroom tomorrow to see how she is doing. Tibby is so eager to get out of here – I don’t want to torture her. I am extremely happy that this went all so well.

Tibby’s character reminds me so much of Gino’s. She is incredibly vocal and friendly and greets anyone who is coming near her. Very sweet. I hope she is coming back for breakfast etc.

Flea has increased her weight a little bit: 230 gr now but still far too less. But at least she seems to be on the mend…



May 11, 2013

Pina is flying again, Jimi is out of his Box and All have their big Bathing Day

From the

Diary as of 2/2 – 2/22/2013

2/2   Pina is her old self again btw and flying out again and Micky is doing better as well. She is still stargazing but not flying like a kamikaze any more. So there is light at the end of the tunnel as well.

Only Emma still gives me heartaches still. Her first egg 2 days ago was awful again, but it came out as a whole at least, the second egg was a bit better and had a stronger shell. If she only would stop laying eggs! But as long as high doses of Calcivet help her it is okay for me and apparently for her as well. I do not consider an implant for her nor any hormones as these have side effects and are not really recommendable if the egg laying problems can be kept under control. Other than laying thin-shelled eggs Emmily is very lively and healthy and gives Gino a lot of slaps when he is behaving  too naughty.

Gino is the typical papagallo – he is after ANY girl but somehow Pina and Emily are very special magnets for him and I don’t know really why. Each time Gino tries to get close to one of the both ladies he receives only heavy wing slaps. Maybe he is addicted to S&M???

2/3   It was weighing day day for Jimi today again. Need a lead to be able to check his weight – he had 443 gr – so he did not really loose weight.

2/4   Jimi is doing quite okay. His poops are still looking bad but this will certainly change with time to the better.

2/5   Today I mounted the mosquito net in the bedroom and put Jimi’s box behind it. So he had more freedom to move when he wanted to stretch himself. He was very pleased about it. The net also served as a protection against wild Gino and Micky. This way they could roam the bedroom but Jimi had his peace and was not bothered.

2/6   I think Jimi is looking forward to leave his box each morning in the meanwhile. He does not look so depressed any more and even likes the company of Micky and Gino. When Micky comes alone he even tolerates her presence:


2/7   Jimi is making progress each day – just a tiny step forward each time. In the meanwhile he loves to sit on the box near the large Buddha figure – and Lord Buddha smiles. He is totally satisfied when he has his peace and can listen to the music we leave on for him for the whole day. This way he does not feel so alone when we are not here.


2/8   Jimi is doing quite okay now. He loves to be out of his box and sit where he can watch everything that is going on. It is much better for his mood not to be “hospitalized” any more.

2/9   Gino and Micky are doing a lot of nonsense while they are in coupling mode: using my fruit baskets as nest:


2/10   Today was bathing day. Oh HOW they needed it all. First Rudi and Pina got their bath in the living room. It is always so funny when they hardly can wait to jump into the water. I just had the empty green bath tub on the floor when Pina already jumped into it, looking totally disappointed because there was no water yet. Finally the warm water came and splish splash, half of the living room was already underwater.

Was weighing day for Jimi again: he has 438 gr – not too bad for a sick pijjie!

While Rudi and Pina were taking their bath in the living room I prepared another one for Micky and Gino in the bedroom. When Jimi saw this he was so eager to take a bath as well that he desperately tried to escape through the mosquito net – so I opened it. As a true gentleman he waited until Micky and Gino had finished their bath and then he jumped in and got really soaked:


And after the big bath they had their chilling time – first Rudi and Pina on the old sofa in the living room – how sweet are they?


And then Gino and Micky chilled in our bedroom:


2/12   Micky laid her first egg #15 today and as usual it was perfect.

2/13   Pina laid her first egg #74 today also. So these both girl seem to have an appointment. And of course hers was perfect as well.

2/14   Micky laid her second egg #16. Now she can relax again in her house. No more nervousness and running around like a nut and being chased by Gino. Good for her and good for us.

Gave Jimi Calcivet today to help him with his PMV relapse.

2/15   Pina laid her second egg #75. So she can relax now also. Peace for everyone!

Weighing day for Jimi again: he has lost some weightand is now on 415 gr. I am not too worried about this but have to go back to feeding more again. You see it is very important to constantly check weight on sick pijjies even if you have the feeling everything is okay. It might not be.

2/16   We have two new squeakers: Ronny and Sunny – the kiddos of Sandy and Adele:


2/20   Emily is off her plaster eggs and I have to get her back on intense Calcivet. Oh my – hopefully this time it will be better with the eggs but I fear not.

2/21   It is weighing day for Jimi again and to my joy he has increased his weight again a bit: 423 gr. That’s the right direction.

2/22   Nothing special.


January 3, 2013

Two new Squeakers, an infected Eye, a String Victim and Gino is sick

From the

Diary as of 10/28 – 10/29/2012

10/28   Today is awful weather. My plants on the balcony are deep frozen. And today two new squeakers appeared on the balcony. When the first appeared I saw that his eye was slightly inflammated and he was “caughing” from time to time. So when he came in with the others I grabbed him immediately and put him in a box where he could settle down for half an hour.

When I examined him later – checking for salmonella signs etc. I realized that he had those typical red lesions in his mouth but no real canker nodules yet. So I have him a Spartrix just in case. I don’t have any eyedrops (I have to change that) so I made some chamomille tea, let it cool down a bit and then “washed” his sick eye with the tea:

I took a cotton pad and soaked it with the tea and held it to his eye for a few minutes, repeating this for a few times. While he (called him Sidney) was quite a wild one to catch he was totally calm and obedient while I treated his eye. Such a sweetie. Then I put him back into the box to give him some time to get warm and eat and drink which he did. Other than that he seemed to be in quite  a good shape. I intended to let him stay for the night but things changed.

An hour later I heard some turmoil on the balcony and saw Lucky mistreating heavily something wing flapping and realized that it was another squeaker who had entangled himself somehow in the planting pot besides Lucky’s nest, hanging completley upside down. Before Lucky could injure the little one I could grab him and brought him in as well. There I realized that both his feet were bound together by a piece of thread. Thankfully the string had not done any damage yet so I simply cut it loose. I realized that this youngster – still squeaking – must be the sibling of Sidney who started to try to get free from his box in the meanwhile. So I decided to let them free together.

I put the new one (Rodney) directly into the foodbox and opened the box of Sidney. They immediately joined each other and then both started to eat happily together. No-one disturbed them, Pina only watched them closely, somehow fascinated and Rudi was sitting on the nest on top of the closet anyway. After eating they both perched near the window, apparently satisfied to have a full tummy for the first time and being warm. After quite a while they wanted to leave and I let them out. We will see whether they come back tomorrow. But I assume so. What a pair!

Gino is sick!

10/29   Gino spent the night inside. He seemed to feel not so very well yesterday evening – no wonder with this awful weather – so I brought him inside and put him into a box after he did not want to go outside any more. I had realized that he did not come in for eating in the late afternoon but was sitting quite lethargically in his second nest. He started vomiting during the night – so it was clear to me that he was sick.

This morning I checked his mouth and discovered the treacherous reddish interior. I gave him a Spartrix and Propolis (on a pellet). A bit later I tubefed him millet cereal to avoid dehydration and he kept it in. During lunchtime I tried to give him peas but this did not work – everything came out again together with the millet seed he had eaten from his food bowel. I waited for an hour and tubefed him again with the usual baby cereal and apple sauce. This time the stuff stayed in so far. I only gave him Bene Bac this evening but nothing to eat to see how it is going during the night. There were only very few poops in his box during the day, therefore I thought it would be better not to feed him. I also took the food bowel out of his box.

I think it is wet canker because he has these reddish leasions in his mouth but no nodules yet. His poop is slimy green with a bit white urates though – so no bacterial infection really. This damn weather – I knew it would cause problems with the birds – especially the younger ones. It is always the same: their immune system is not really built up yet so they are very prone to infections.

I also weighed Gino in order to have a reference point: he has 306 gr which was surprisingly good still.
Poor Micky of course was widely irritated and left her eggs already after Gino had “disappeared”. I brought her in though and let Gino out of his box for some minutes so that Micky could see where he was. Still she was quite irritated but thankfully came in later again again to eat. I cannot stand the thought that she is getting sick as well because Gino is away.
Oh my – you think everything is going okay and then that!!

A positive note – the squeaker with the inflammated eye is doing better – you hardly could see in the meanwhile that there was something wrong. Maybe I can catch him tomorrow and check again more properly.


May 14, 2012

Hatty released herself and Emma laid another awful Egg

From the

Diary as of 3/9 – 3/15/2012

3/9   Our Hatty released herself today from her hospital box. After giving her this morning the fourth portion of Calcivet I realized that she was standing most of the time during the day.
This afternoon I was so tired that I took a nap for an hour and when I was up again and went into the living room I saw a pigeon on the floor, thought that I might have forgotten to let her out again after feeding and did only realize that it was Hatty after she was gone!!!
So this little bugger had enough energy and guts to escape from her box by jumping on the ledge of the box, crawl through the opening under the crocheted tablecloth I had put on the box and waited for me to open the door.

Oh my – I love these quick recoveries. The downside is that I don’t have a single pic of her and I did not band her yet because I wanted to do this on Sunday when I planned to release her. Now I will have difficulties to recognize her again when she comes feeding again…:(

3/10   The next day Hatty came in for feeding and of course I recognized her without the band. She was walking still a bit with stiff legs and her prominent cere was immediately recognizable. So I decided to catch her in the next days when she would come in again and finally band her. And I took some photos of her:

3/11   Today was weighing day again: Micky had 343 gr although I did not feed her any more, Pina had 359 gr which is a bit less than usual, Gino had 301 gr which was also a few grams less than the last time but nothing to worry about.

3/12   Yippeee – we have some new squeakers: 2 of them and completely black. They are so beautiful. Without any fear they came in and munched their seeds together with all the others. And I finally managed to take some photos from Sandy – he did not dare to come in until now!!!

Sandy with the awsome colour:


3/13   When Hatty came in today I caught her and banded her. Now she is wearing a white band on her left leg!

3/14   Emma laid an awful egg#86 –  again on the balcony floor. According to her behaviour she was okay although the contents of the egg were completely spilled but apparently there was nothing in her body. I gave her Calcivet – realized that the dosis I gave to the pijjies was much too low – switched from 2 drops to about 0.4 – 0.5 ml. This is even less than the dosage that is recommended on the bottle (0.1-0.2 ml per 100 gr bodyweight depending on the water they drink). But as our pigeons eat also grit and get calcium with the food I reduced the dosage a bit because I give it directly into the bird’s mouth and not with the food or water.

Emma was completely exchanged after the larger dosage of Calcium – it seemed to be like a fountain of youth. This means for me that I gave her not enough all the past months. No wonder that she laid shitty eggs. Poor Emma!!! And I am such an idiot.

3/15   I found a damaged egg on the balcony and I believe it was from Micky because it was lying exactly where Micky often sits with her new boyfriend. Apparently they have not found a good place for the nest yet – so I wonder how this will continue.


May 7, 2012

Hatty is standing, has a Jungle Climate in her Box, Gino starts cooing with his Baby Voice and Pina lays an Egg into my Hand

From the

Diary as of 3/7 – 3/8/2012

3/7   This morning I could not see any major improvement with “Hatty”. She had left some poops during the night which were a bit soft again but the “right” colour with white urinates. So she definitely had no infection. During breakfast I gave her Calcivet again and some time later I gave her a nice warm bath. During holding her in the water I tried to feel whether she had an egg inside but still was not sure whether yes or not. A couple of minutes after she was back in her box I saw her standing for the first time. YEAH!!!!!

Now Hatty is sitting on a damp towel (thank you Teresa), a warm water bottle beneath her box and she has some jungle climate now in her box. She seems to enjoy it and looks quite content. Maybe this is the beginning of an improvement. I keep fingers crossed!!!

Gino had his day today: he courted Micky with his baby voice!!! What a funny little chap! He even made a little dance for her. Early starter!!!!

Look at this cheeky little chap in his pen (a mosquito net):

Today I had the most touching and yet strange experience with “my” pijjies:
our Pina (PMV survivor) was quite in stress today – first because she was short before laying, second because she hates it when we have other sick pigeons in our small appartment. She feels angry and jealous and is afraid of losing her home then. When I picked her up to comfort her a bit that she should not worry she suddenly laid her egg directly into my hand. I was totally “shocked”. She stayed for a few seconds on my arm and then flew to one of the book shelves. I took the egg – which was a perfect one – and put it into her nest on the closet. First I thought she was going to ignore it but a couple of minutes later she flew to her nest and there she is sitting as if nothing had happened… Btw – it was egg #55

Emma left her plaster eggs.

3/8   I have only seen the pijjie with the drooping wing once yesterday but she did not come in for food. She came today and ate with great appetite. She still has her drooping wing of course but she seems to do amazingly well. So even if I can catch her again for giving antibiotics it would not be reliable – so it would not make much sense I think.

The plan says to let Gino go next weekend. He is incredibly sweet and very diligent. He makes his exercises every day, trains his abilities to eat, he trains his beak by hammering on all and everything he can get hold of – he’s probably going to be a crafter – and he is such a funny chap. The name is exactly him! He’s started to court Micky when she is in and dances for her – can you believe this?

His body is full of quills now and his new tail feathers have begun to grow as well although it will take some time still until they are fully usable but I think he will manage well outside. He is going through the development process he should have 2 months ago. I think he is a bit older than originally thought. He had no yellow “hair” but still the typical dark baby feet although he still had the squeaker voice when he came for the first time. His upper “nose” is covered by tiny spiky quills now as well which gives him a younger look now than before. I very much hope that he will come back for food. His eyes also have started to lose their baby colour although they are still quite dark. Maybe they will stay like this. I will miss him dearly!!! And most important: he increased his weight to 305 gr last Sunday!!! (from 210 gr he had before, 4 weeks ago).

Micky sleeps each night in her box still. I let her our each morning after giving her a breakfast. After some time she is regularly coming in again, walks straight away into the bedroom to go to her foodbox there and then takes a little nap. I have to keep an eye on her because she still tries to get Rudi of course which makes Pina completely nuts. So I have to separate them immediately.
Micky tries to find a partner outside but she is very picky. And she is very tough. She definitely can defend herself. She has beaten up several guys and girls already. Oh my! She has mated with several boys and even cuddles from time to time with a black one. But that’s only temporarily. Apparently no-one yet has fulfilled her expectations. Which is good. We don’t want our little princess to marry some nobody – don’t we?

I think she’s developed a good basis for survival outside and I am curious how this will continue when the weather is getting warmer. At the moment I am very happy that she is sleeping inside as we have very low temperatures still and it is very wet outside.

Micky taking a nap:

Hatty is making progress too and I hope very much that I can release her in a few days as well. After giving her breakfast with thawed peas – surely the first ones she has ever eaten – lol – she was standing for the first time on the little pottery saucer covered in kitchen paper I always put into the pigeon boxes as a perching place and tried to balance on her feet.

I had already noticed – while she was in her “batman cape” – that she struggled a bit with her feet which she could not do yesterday. Also we could hear her voice for the first time – she did not make a single noise since we took her in 2 days ago. So this is a very good sign as well.
I have realized that all pigeons somehow lose their voice when they are really sick – like an ill human who does not want to talk any more.

Hatty has also started to preen herself today which is a very good sign as well. We will keep fingers crossed.


April 15, 2012

Gino increased his Weight by 30% in 2 Weeks and Micky is free again!!

From the

Diary as of 2/26 – 2/29/2012

2/26   Today is weighing day again including all the other stuff such as vitamins, calcium, propolis etc.:

Micky has her usual 336 gr, Gino has increased his weight to 296 gr!! This means that he has increased his body weight by nearly 30 % in 2 weeks. Oh my!!!! And you can feel it – he now does not feel like a something made of bones and skin – instead he feels like a proper little squeaker with a tummy. I am very happy about this. He looks incredibly content after feeding. And in between he makes his exercises or takes a nap. All things little squeakers do when they have a proper home. He also started to preen himself regularly especially when he can watch Rudi or Pina doing it.

I have changed his diet to thawed peas in the morning (he eats 60 pcs per meal!!!!) and lunchtime and homemade pellets (40 pcs.) in the evening.  Now you can imagine how his box looks like in the morning. I will soon need a shovel to clean his box…

I nearly forgot: Gino has lost his sweet squeaker voice – his voice is now breaking and he rather sounds like a croaky duck than a little pigeon.

Today we also decided to let Micky go on next Wednesday when the weather is supposed to be much warmer. She is slowly getting crazy and so very much longs for being able to fly with the others. I don’t want her to become unhappy and depressed. I love her so much – so I have to let her go. I only hope that she will return for meals. I want her to find a lovely partner and have a long long happy life in freedom. This will be a very difficult day for me and I don’t like to think about it. It makes me incredibly sad and happy at the same time. Sad because she wants to go and happy because we could help her to become healthy again.

2/27   Gini is hammering on everything hard and noisy with his beak. What is he up to??? I think he’s adapted very well to his new home and likes it. Aw – who could complain about luxury service – hey????

2/28   Nothing special – am nervous about Micky. Will she return? I feel sad and should not be…

2/29   This was the day: Micky is flying free again! On one hand I am incredibly happy that she is doing so well, that she is totally healthy again but on the other hand I am crying all the time because I miss her so much. As a comfort – she came in several times today.

Here are some of my favourite photos of Micky in the week before she was free again:

outside again:


Pina has left her plaster eggs today and is heavily courting and mating with Rudi again. I think they both are very happy that they have their peace again. The jealousy drama between Pina and Micky caused a bit stress. Gino is not a problem for them at all. He is still a baby and not a competitor.


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