Pigeon Tales

May 31, 2014

New PMV Cases, Betty left her Plaster Eggs after 114 Days and Chica has disappeared!

From the

Diary as of 2/8 – 2/13/2014

2/8   Today Roberta came in with severe PMV symptoms. She was totally unoriented and groggy. Before I could actually react she was gone again.

2/9   You would not believe it: Betty has left the plaster eggs and this was my opportunity to finally clean out the nest and make everything new! Betty sat on the same eggs for 114 days!!!

Roberta came again and tried to get inside. But she disappeared again when I tried to lead her inside. Oh my what can I do? I have no place for quarantaining a bird. I am so sad. What’s going on here? Do we have to face another PMV epidemic here?

2/10   Lucky and Betty are cuddling publicly!!! This is really a change. Betty was always so very shy and hardly ever cuddled with Lucky outside their house or somewhere else. She must have had a very prudish family.

2/12   Betty already laid her first egg – it is #9.

2/13   Johnny, the mate of Chica, has also PMV. He was showing heavy symptoms when he came in for feeding. The usual – unfocussed pecking of the seeds. I am totally sad. But I realized that he managed to actually eat some of the seeds. Chica has disappeared though – she did not appear since several days although she did not miss a single day having her meals here and sitting on my knees. I fear the worst. But it could also be that she left with some others to save her own health. Freddy has disappeared also and some of the younger birds. Maybe they sensed the oncoming problems and escaped. I really really hope so. What makes me believe this is that I could not detect any symptoms in any other bird.

I will miss Chica dearly. She and Johnny were such a lovely couple and I am so sad now that this happened. Chica was one of the most beautiful pigeons here and so very gentle. I hope that she is doing well. I am heartbroken that she is gone. Chica was Woody and Maggie’s last child (before they were “put” on plaster eggs) and had always slept on our balcony during the night for a long time before she left to look for a partner for the first time.

This was Chica with her sister Micky (from an earlier batch and Gino’s mate):




After a bath:




She was our little water rat…



Chica and her mommy Maggie


Chica right in the middle


wet T-shirt party….


Finally!!! Chica has a partner – Johnny – Jimi’s son


isn’t he handsome????


look at her – how happy she is!



January 29, 2012

Micky has Canker, Pina has a treacherous Lump in her Chest and Rudi is showing some Canker Symptoms

From the

Diary as of 11/16 – 11/30/2011

11/16   Weighing day for Micky331 gr!!!! She has increased her weight nicely. She also received Calcivet.

11/17   Today I gave Emily her Calcivet.

11/18   Micky had seizures again which were quite heavy. I gave her Conium again.

11/19   Discovered today that Micky has quite a big lump in the middle of her crop and a very red mouth. Although I could not see any lesions I knew that the canker was lurking in her body.  So I put her on Spartrix.

11/20   Micky got another Spartrix. Her lump was still there and did not change. In the evening I gave her Calcivet, Emily and Pina as well.

11/21   I still could not see any lesions in Micky’s mouth this morning – so I decided to leave it with the two Spartrix. Her mouth was still very red though.

11/23  This morning I discovered lesions in Micky’s mouth and the lump on her chest had become a bit bigger again. So I decided to put her on Flagyl. Pina and Emily received their Calcivet.

11/24   Micky got her second portion of Flagyl. No changes yet. Micky still seems to be quite okay.

11/25   Micky started vomiting after lunch.

11/26   Weighing day for Micky: she has lost some weight but not too much: she is on 308 gr – so she lost about 23 gr.

Micky is still stargazing and circling a lot. Some days are worse, some are better as it is common with PMV. But we let her out of her box each day during lunchtime and she loved to spend the time together with us. She was always sitting as near as possible to me and in between she tried to helicopter and fly a bit which ended always in circles. But never mind – this way she is still training her flight muscles which become a tiny bit stronger each day. Her coordination though is still very bad. But we know that she will recover again. It takes only time. Today she was out of her box for more than 3 hours and she hated it when I had to put her back into the box. But I cannot watch over her for 24 hours as she would like to have it.
You should have seen her: while I was sitting at the computer she was perching on her little saucer as near as possible to the wall of her box, her “nose” right at the transparent wall and watching me. Her little belly was full with peas and she was a  100% content little bird. Oh my, what a sweet little one… I wonder how it will be when she is outside again together with the others.

Her canker though is still not gone. There are still lesions in her mouth and the lump in her chest is still there although a bit smaller. I think I have to give her the full 7 days of Flagyl. This damn canker seems to be a strong one again – same as with Lucky. But we managed to heal him – so we will manage to heal Micky as well. I hate this damn canker thing!!!

11/27    It was not a good day for Micky: after her first breakfast this morning – millet cereal with apple sauce and carrot juice she started vomiting heavily – so I had to wait before I could give her the Flagyl against the canker. Then she started having seizures quite heavily – I could not calm her down even after I took her out of her box which always worked so far. So I put her back and covered her box with some towels for the most part to give her some dark environment. Finally she calmed down and fell asleep. After 2 hours I tried a second attempt to feed her – again cereal – and this time it stayed inside. After waiting for another 14 minutes I could finally give her the medicine. Poor little Micky.

During lunchtime we left her out again while we were having our breakfast-lunch. She did her helicoptering and was heavily preening – as usual in circles – but on the bed she was totally safe – she could not hurt herself  – and she seemed to feel so much better.

When Pina came back from her flying time outside I realized that she was breathing heavily with an open beak: I checked her immediately and realized that she had the typical canker lesions in her mouth and a small lump in the middle of her chest. So I put her immediately on Spartrix.  Other than that she seemed to be quite okay still. We will see how it goes tomorrow.

In the evening – while Rudi had his foot treatment (bathing his feet, cutting his nail on the one toe which is bent upwards, massaging his foot pads with DMSO) I checked his mouth: he also showed some canker lesions in the beginning state – so off he went with Spartrix as well.

I am quite shocked. This time the canker seems to be quite aggressive and as I have seen with Lucky and now with Micky not an easy thing to get rid off. I hope I do not have to treat Pina and Rudi with Flagyl also but if this should become necessary – well what choice do I have?

The weather is crazy – we have temps around 12 °C again and this end of November. I think this makes the birds crazy as well and very susceptible for illnesses. The weather ups and downs are real stress.

11/28  I gave Pina another Spartrix and Micky got her second last portion of Flagyl.

11/29   Gave Emily her Calcivet. Micky got her last portion of Flagyl.

11/30   Refurbished Emily’s and Lucky’s nest again. Now look at this luxury villa:

And now look at Emma sitting happily in the middle of her house – only the whiteness of her cere radiating from the entrance….

Lucky is coming to check out the little flower garden in front of the house:

…and now he is going to do his part of egg sitting…

…and Emma is going to have her free time now:


January 28, 2012

PMV is receding due to the Carrot Juice but Micky is really sick

From the

Diary as of 11/7 -11/15/2011

11/7  It was very frustrating and worrying at first when I realized that this happened again. I was so very much hoping that I i.e. the poor pijjies would have been spared to face this terrible sickness AGAIN. But – luckily – it turned out that it was not as bad as it looked like at first. Besides Micky everyone else who got infected seemedto be able to fight it off by themselves i.e. with the help of extra food and the carrot juice. I am quite convinced that the carrot juice really helped.

I made sure though that all sick pijjies were able to feed themselves and they were. I fed Woody – who showed the heaviest symptoms besides Micky – partially from my hand in order to check on him thoroughly, whether he was able to pick up the seeds properly. Often it looks as if they are eating when in fact they cannot swallow the seed. I also gave him the carrot juice per syringe several times to make sure that he really had his share – did the same with Lucky.

In the meanwhile I have not seen any more sick pijjies. Woody is still keeping his head a bit tilted though – so does Lucky – but that’s all. They are a bit more anxious than usual still but everything else works fine. They are all in good mood, preening as usual, flying without any problems.

Micky though is a different case. She is inside, I am keeping her in the hospital box.

She has lost her ability to eat by herself and cannot fly at all. When she tries to helicopter it mostly ends in uncontrolled movements. Still she is in good mood and tries again and again. She becomes quite frustrated when she tries to eat and cannot pick up the seed i.e. swallow it but then I take her on my arm and comfort her. She has become such a sweet pet pigeon who loves to be cuddled and stroked the whole day

Weighing day for Micky – amazingly she had more than I thought: 308 gr. She had felt very thin.

11/8  Micky and Pina got their Calcivet.

11/9   Micky has 315 gr in the meanwhile – so she gained 7 gr in 2 days. Wow!!!

11/10   Micky, Pina and Emily got their Calcivet. I am continuing this with all the females no matter whether sick or not.

11/11   It’s Friday and nothing special.

11/12   Weighing day for Micky again: still 315 gr

Pina and Rudi are heavily cuddling with each other:


11/13   Pina laid her first egg #47  in the evening after I had given her Calcivet in the morning. It was so funny when I checked on her in the evening because she did not want to go back to her box instead she was sitting on the little platform in the bookshelf . When I got out the ladder she immediately came towards me growling and making her cat’s arched back to protect her nest. She knew exactly that I wanted to have a sneek peak into her nest.

Lucky spent his night somewhere else but was back in the very early morning.

11/14   Let Micky out in our bedroom to give her some opportunity to stretch herself but she rather loved to sit on my shoulder or arm. She always wants to be close – still irritated when outside her box.

11/15   Pina laid her second egg which is #48 and another perfect one! She received another portion of Calcivet.


October 9, 2011

Pina is stargazing and has a few Seizures…

From the

Diary as of  4/26 – 5/4/2011

4/26   The weather has become a bit colder again after Easter was so beautiful!

Lucky is cooing the whole day and I suppose Emma will be soon leaving her plaster eggs. Both have already inspected their renovated nest which is now luxury class with a moss roof!!!!

4/27   I finally made some photos of “BrokenTail” as I re-called one of the black pigeons. Some raptor must have caught him because his tail really looks awful – totally tattered. His behaviour is also very nervous. It must be difficult for him to navigate with these hardly existing tail feathers. Poor fellow – what a trauma he must have.

Poor little fellow – he really has problems navigating and especially landing. It is amazing how birds can cope with this.

5/1   Weather has become quite ugly – rainy and cold. Not May-like at all….

5/2  It is still rainy and the birds are rummaging our balcony again – always with bad weather and cold temperatures.

Emma laid egg #67

5/3   Weather is still cold so Pina and Rudi went out flying only once during the late afternoon. It is so sweet: while we had our afternoon nap Rudi came into our bedroom and flew on the TV to indicate that he and Pina wanted their afternoon flight. So I got up and opened the door for them and off they went. They came back after a short hour again. How is that about communication????

5/4   Pina had little seizures today and did a little stargazing!!!! I am very worried. I hope it is only the stress of pre-egg-laying…

I heard her dancing around in the last days on one cardboard box beneath one of the chairs and misinterpreted as her playful behaviour but I think it was a seizure. Today I observered her doing some stargazing – definitely! She will be under very close monitoring now. I cannot stand the idea that my little angal darling is getting sick again… Heaven help!!!!!

Emma laid egg #68


October 24, 2010

Flecky introduces his Kids: Snowy and Patchy

From the

Diary as of  5/23  – 5/31/10

5/23 Emma laid second egg #47

Today is weighing day again and here are the values of our ladies:

Pina 321 gr and Winnie 362 gr

Something very sweet happened again: Flecky was introducing his kids to us after he came several times a day inside to eat like a pig. He has two absolutely beautiful kids: one is totally white – so we called her (I think it’s a she) SNOWY of course. The second one is colourful as Flecky himself but has a completely white head cap – very beautiful – we call her PATCHY.  But look for yourself:

And this is their dad Flecky (photo is from last year when he was a youngster):



This reminds me very much of Angelo being introduced by Willy and Winnie. Where are you Willy and where are you Angelo? I miss you both so much!!!

5/23 Jimi’s hot love has considerably cooled down. He is still mating with Pina or Winnie and somtimes both of them but obviously the longing is not so strong any more. Now he is rather interested in eating again. Alice and Jimi are coming now at different times and more often – apparently their babies (?) have hatched and need more food now (only an assumption – I really don’t know whether they have babies).

5/24 I don’t like the fact that Pina is still a bit too thin. I have taken up feeding her 3 times a day again – apparently she is not eager enough to eat herself so I have to feed her. Maybe it is because she only loves to eat in company but neither Jimi nor Flecky can stand it when Pina eats from the same pot. So I have put several food pots in the same place now so everybody can eat from his own. Maybe this will improve the situation. Winnie still needs to be fed anyway.

5/27 Today was weighing day again:

Pina 320 gr and Winnie 362 gr.

I am still not quite content with Pina’s weight – I think she still eats not enough so I am putting her back on pellets twice, once apple cereal and add a drop of oil.

5/28 Today I am feeling again like having a station restaurant again:

Jimi appeared 7°clock to take his breakfast. Then Alice appeared to take hers. Then Jimi came again to visit his girlfriends and eating a bit. Then Flecky appeared, playing vacuumcleaner again and eating like a pig. Wonder who will be next….

Winnie has seizures today again. So I packed her into her box, towel on top of it to keep her in the dark. My poor little Winnie – she has to suffer so much. I have great pity with her.  Tomorrow it will be better again – I am sure.

5/30 Winnie is still having seizures – especially after feeding she has cramps. I cannot explain why… I don’t like this but I need to have patience and optimism.

5/31 Mr. Bossy is really a nerve. He is stubborn and not giving up to build a nest on the middle of the balcony. HE IS CRAZY! And he is making such a lot of noise. I removed the twigs he’s bringing at least 5 times today but he does not want to understand. He is also very aggressive towards any other pigeon on our balcony. HE HAS TO GO!!! I am nearly at the end of my wits…

June 29, 2010

Alice had her first bath

From the

Diary as of  3/1  – 3/5/10

3/1  There are not only bad news – Alice is definitely feeling much better. She did not only helicopter today but also tried to fly a bit. Not very successful yet but a beginning. Winnie had less seizures today. And none of the pijjies really seem to be sick – their behaviour is as usual, Willy is cheaky and playing the bad boy, so does Pina. Jimi is angry because he cannot get out and is grumping a lot. So altogether today was not a bad day but a better one. Additionally the sun was shining and we were on the bycicle for an hour.

3/2 Today I gave Alice her first bath. She was so much enjoying it – she got really silly – you know that expression they get when they feel so well. She started splashing around immediately and then sat in the warm water for quite a while. Only at the end she probably lost her balance – the water was quite deep for her – I had to save her from drowning as she was panicking a bit. Afterwards I had to wrap her up in a towel because she was soaking wet. But she was so content afterwards and wiggled with her wings each time I cam near her box. She is definitely on the way to recovery.

Look at these photos:


I also decided to keep the baytril currently for further emergencies because as Sunday was the last day where I could give her the medicine (it was the 5th day) – the gap is potentially too big now to continue the medication. I do not want to overmedicate her.

I have fed her baby cereal twice the day and once defrosted peas the last few days and her poop has improved dramatically. First thing in the morning all of the pijjies are still getting chamomille tea to clean their crops – just in case. I also started to let Alice out of the box regularly so that she can do her exercises and she does. She is helicoptering and today she even flew on top of my working table. She has also started to peck at the seeds and is able to eat the one or other small piece. So I consider this as a dramatic improvement. She also does not show any stargazing any more nor any other nervous symptoms.

Fed tea in the morning to all, later peas, and for supper apple baby cereal.

Winnie had bad circling – Willy is sitting on her box as if he wanted to comfort her.

3/4 Winnie is still circling a lot though and she is still very sick. But she also shows some signs of recovery as her head tremors are not that bad any more. I am still keeping a hot water bottle for her. On a positive side she was the only one who did not vomit once. She eats well and digests well. A lot of poop – which still looks a bit awful but is going in the right direction colourwise. So she might not have PMV altogether. But if she has I know what I have to expect. But I am quite confident that she will recover also completely. I think the tea I am giving her in the morning and the fluid nutrition is washing all the bacteria out of her body.

This is how it looks before Winnie is fed – wrapped up in her “batman” cape:

As an aside – Willy who was her mate before he got PMV – is often sitting on her box when he is not busy with Pina – as if he wants to comfort her. And sometimes – when Winnie starts one of her seizures – he starts pecking loudly on her cover until she stops as if he wants to tell her that it will be getting better soon. Isn’t this this amazing? I also have the feeling that Winnie feels better since she knows that her beloved Willy is near….


April 11, 2010

Jimi can fly again!

From the

Diary as of  1/6  – 1/11/10

1/6 Today Jimi has revealed himself: he can fly again and he has a good balance again. He flew through the whole room without any problems! Who would have thought that this would happen so early. Now I have to be extra careful. He still cannot eat by himself though but I will watch this carefully during the next days.

I know he wants to get out again and he is terribly impatient what I can fully understand. But as long as he does not eat by himself there is no way out for him. But I also don’t want to keep him locked in longer than necessary.

How do you decide whether a bird can be released or not after PMV? This is the question I am asking myself all the time… It is not easy to decide but time will tell I think.

1/10 Jimi and Willy enjoyed their bath. Pina did not want to stay in the warm water – she started stargazing too much so I took her out again. Willy took a short one and his feet were finally clean again. Jimi really loved it. He was lying for several minutes quietly in the rather deep warm water and got really soake (video will follow).

1/11 Today was a good day besides that Willy and Jimi had themselves a fight. But nothing bad  really happened.

Jimi – he is doing really well. He is very calm, saves his energy and gets only upset when Willy is molesting him. He can fly – it is getting harder to catch him but normally he sits on a big stone on the edge on his box and looks out of the window. So when he has to go into the box I just point the finger and move the cover closer on him – he then hops into the box.
He enjoyed his bath yesterday very much – lying for a long time in the warm water and making funny faces. Next time I will use the camera.
He gained weight – 25 gr within last week EEK – he has now 430 gr!

Willy – he is continuously my little baby to worry about. A couple of days ago he had bad seizures during the night again, circling like crazy and vomitting half of his supper. So I put him back on one day babyfood and strict “bedrest” i.e. in the box for one day with the cover closed and darkened. It helped and the next day he was as cheeky as before and ate normal food again without any problems. What amazed me also was that he suddenly could jump out of his box all by himself and fly short distances. He is still quite clumsy when he tries to land – mostly he lands on his nose – but he is exercising and does not give up. He is not so anxious any more and runs around as usual.
he’s gained weight as well – 20 gr within last week EEK – I hardly can believe this. He is now on 380 gr. I think this is really good and shows me that he is improving too despite those little relapses. This gives him more powr to fight off the virus. I am very glad for my little baby.

Pina – she is getting fat EEKshe gained 30 gr within one week. I cannot believe this. How is this possible???? Slowly I have to take care that she is not getting too plump otherwise she will be rolled rather than fly in future. She is now on 360 gr.
She is still showing heavy symptoms like stargazing though. I wonder whether she will ever get her head really straight again. My poor baby – I can only hope that this will improve suddenly one day. At the moment I see no progress. But at least she has a good appetite.

All 3 birds try to peck and exercise eating and I hope very much this will come back one day again, that they can eat by themselves. Currently I have to handfeed them twice or even 3 times  a day still.
Each of them gets 10 ml chamomille tea with a tiny bit of honey and vitamins first thing in the morning. I think this helps to clean their crops if there is anything left from the evening before. I am still quite careful about this as I do not want them to develop some yeast infection or sour crop.

After a pause – while I clean the boxes – I feed them a few peas (10-15) first and then the homemade pellets (ca. 30 pcs.). This seems to work now. I think the peas replace the “green food” they are eating in the wild quite well. I have read that pigeons love to eat the pea plants in gardens.
They get the same for supper. Their poops look still a bit too soft but at least not so sick any more as before. I am checking their mouths each day also and take a good sniff at it. Poops are totally odourless.
Twice a week I also feed them some (very few) herb pellets, containing all sorts of herbs and garlic. And once a week they get Sandoz Calcium in their drinking water. They have access to grit each day and I think they are all able to eat at least some of the tiny stones and shells etc. At least I see them pecking and swallowing from time to time.

If I only had more ideas what else I could do for them to speed up recovery ???


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