Pigeon Tales

September 17, 2013

Fifi is improving, Jimi has fallen in Love and another String Injury

From the

Diary as of 5/23 – 5/31/2013

5/23   This morning I changed Fifi’s bandage again (every 2 days) and expected that the wound had closed more or less but it had not. It was a bit wet and seemed to be lightly inflammated although it was not swollen. So I washed it again with hydrogen peroxide and added another big portion of Neosporin ointment. Fifi is such a brave patient – she did not wince once while I was working on her little chicken leg. I continued to give her antibiotics.

5/24   Emily laid her first egg #110. It came out as a whole but looked terrible as usual.

5/25   Today was the last day, day 8 with Baytril for Fifi. After I renewed her bandage I saw that the wound looked much better. Not infected at all – so it was healing well. She still curls her toes but in between she is able to put her toes the normal outstretched way. I always forget that she is here for just a week and the wound looked very bad. So it takes some time until the feeling comes back in her feet.


5/26   Jimi has fallen in love with Fifi. For the whole day he sat in front of her box and sang together with her – how sweet is that?  I wonder how this will continue….

Emily did not lay another egg. I am glad about this as it gives her body some peace.

Weather is absolutely awful: 7 °C and raining, raining, raining – snow in the mountains. When will the sun come back???

5/27   Pina has a new tick: she is knocking on all kinds of objects with her beak. And in the morning she knocks on her box walls when she wants to be led out. I think our pijjies are nuts…

Maggie laid her first egg #21.

5/28   A REMINDER: Be careful what you do with hair in your house, on your carpets when you are cleaning. Human hair that is just released into the open may become the killer of the next bird’s feet.

Today a foreign pigeon landed on our balcony, seeking help: he had only 2 toes left on BOTH feet. The reason: human hair. I just could remove the rest of it, because one foot’s toes were curled under because some hair was still binding his remaining toes. There was no infection any more – the damage was already done and the necrotic toes had already fallen off. I cleaned the remaining toes. That was all I could do for this poor bird. Still he flew off happily… but left me very sad for his situation. I don’t want to think about which pain he must have been through!

Jimi went out for about 7 hours. He left quite early in the morning at 8.30 and came home around 4 pm. The weather was very nice and warm and so this clever bird just took advantage of it. Poor Fifi had to stay in her box of course. But you should have seen the greeting when Jimi came home again but only after he had had his meal and some minutes of relaxing. He was very tired. But then he spend the rest of the afternoon and the evening sitting besides Fifi’s box and singing with her.


5/29   Maggie laid her second egg today, #22 .  Pina still does not show any intent of laying soon and Emily is definitely only on one egg.  I am glad that they give a pause to their bodies. I think it must be the awful weather we have currently.

5/30   Raining today as if the heaven was crying. Awful weather – everything is so wet and cold.

5/31   Still raining like crazy and there are some heavy floods in the region. I am so glad that Jimi is staying at home. He does not like rain. On the contrary Pina and Rudi love to fly in the rain. They are doing so several times during the day. I am really amazed about this.



April 29, 2013

Emma laid awful Eggs and Jimi has a PMV Relapse

From the

Diary as of 1/28 – 2/1/2013

1/28   Emma laid her first egg#104 and Maggie as well. Hers is #13. While Maggie’s egg was perfect Emma laid quite a bad one again.  There was a bit blood INSIDE the egg. But at least it did not break. The shell was a bit thin but it came out in one piece.


1/29   Jimi came late in the afternoon  – which he sometimes does – and I thought he wanted to eat as usual (which he did the day before) and then would leave again. He did not want to eat though  but only sat in the sandbox and gave no sign that he wanted to leave again. So I knew something was wrong. I put him in one of the boxes I am always using for sick pigeons and where Rudi and Pina are also sleeping in. I intended to keep him inside to see how his poops would look like in the morning and check whether he would eat and drink something. He drank some water but did not touch the seeds at all. His poops looked terrible, all mushy, dark brown-greenish with urinates around and a larger water part (see photos).


poops after first night


poops after second night


As he did not want to eat this morning either I gave him millet cereal with joghurt and applesauce for lunch and another portion this evening. His digestion was low, he was very calm, a bit puffed up and perched most of the time on his little saucer. His feet were warm so I refrained from giving him extra heat for the moment which might have been too much for him. His poops were still looking the same – shitty!

I wondered whether this was a sort of PMV relapse because the poops looked exactly like those of Pina and Willy when they were in the middle of a full PMV infection – not the spaghetti poops – but the mushy stuff they made from time to time.

I did not want to give him antibiotics unnecessarily when this could be resolved with propolis and probiotics. When I gave him the cereal for lunch the tube went easily into his crop. So there was no obstruction from the tumor which I feared first.

1/30   This morning I gave Jimi Propolis (on a homemade pellet and Bene Bac (probiotic).

Emma laid her second egg#105 and this time it was better. The shell was strong but very rough and there was no blood inside the egg. Maggie laid her second egg #14. A perfect one as usual.

1/31   Jimi is still sick but doing a bit better. His poops were still looking like those typical PMV poops – spaghetti-like and a large puddle of water additionally but at least the colour was better. Today he started to preen himself and he showed more interest in his seeds but did not eat any. I was still tube feeding him though to give him extra fluid and easy digestion: millet baby cereal with applesauce, polenta (corn semolina), joghurt and 2 drops of organic rapeseed oil, for breakfast, lunch and supper.

Look at this sweet chap:


Pina is such a treasure and angel. For quite a while she sat in front of Jimi’s box again, apparently to comfort him as she does with any sick creature, bird or human. I love her so much for her kind heart!!! Btw – Jimi is Pina’s uncle.


In the morning, while Gino was still on his hanging pot outside, I played with him again. So funny, as he learned the fencing game from me and Pina, he loves to play with me exactly the same way  and is really disappointed when I have to go. What a sweet little chap.

2/1   I think I have good news and am quite sure now that Jimi has the same PMV relapse in a mild form as our Pina and Micky. Other than the ladies with stargazing etc. he has it via his digestion. The poops from the night looked completely different and rather like the typical PMV – spaghetti poops. Also the colour has changed from that very dark olive green to rather light olive green. The quantity told me that he digested everything I gave him yesterday evening. So no slow crop any more. During this morning he made even better poops, more formed, not so much water again.

The poops he made before did smell only a tiny bit and only after smearing them a bit on the paper – now they are not smelling at all or are smelling normal.

Jimi also looked different today – not so tired any more and he had interest in his seeds again. I cannot say how much he ate after his cereal this morning but a few definitely went into his crop. I think in a few days he wants to leave again. Yesterday he just wanted his peace and nothing else. I know him. He was like this already as a baby.

So I am quite optimistic that Jimi will be his old self  again soon. What a clever boy that he came immediately back to his mommy when he felt bad. But then I had asked for his promise to do so the last time when he was sick!!

It is strange that our pigeons here (the ones from the balcony) do not seem to suffer from the ailments other people are so often describing. Worm infestation apparently is not a problem here and coccidia neither, at least not in a pathogenic form. I am relieved about this. I don’t want to have more patients. It’s been enough. Maybe it’s the regular good food and clean ACV water that helps them to develop an intact immune system. My greatest wish is that this will stay as it is. There is nothing more sad than a sick creature…


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.


January 5, 2012

Emma is very sick – potential Peritonitis after Egg laying Problems

From the

Diary as of 9/22 – 9/30/2011

9/22   Emma laid her first egg #77 – does not look very good – there is blood inside and the shell looks grey and rough – not quite as coarse as before but still not as it should be. Additionally I realized that there is some blood INSIDE the egg when I candled it. I am not worried about babies not hatching because the eggs will be exchanged anyway but I am bit concerned about the blood inside and whether this might be an indicator that something is wrong.

Already since a few breeding cycles the eggs of Emma – our matriarch – do not look any more how they should: the surface is not smooth any more, instead it is a bit coarse and bubbly. So I thought – okay – Emma needs some extra calcium and I put her on Calcivet for the last 4 weeks, twice a week 2 drops. As she is not a loft pigeon – only has her nest on our balcony since 4 years – I have not so much control over what she is eating besides the meals she is eating here in our living room. She has access to grit and crushed eggshells on the balcony etc.

9/23   Gave Emma another portion of Calcivet – she had laid her second “egg” #78 what I did not know on that day.

9/24  Things have turned worse: Emma is really sick. Yesterday the second egg should have been due but every time I looked into her nest I saw only one. Emma did not eat anything yesterday and I could not convince her to come in. I tried to catch her but each time I came near her she smelled the trap and jumped on the balustrade. I hoped that she would return to her nest but she did not. During the night she stayed outside ( thank heaven it was not as cold as in the last days). Several times I looked after her but she seemed to be sound asleep so I did not want to disturb her.

This morning I saw that she had urinated a whole lot with a lot of whites but it was too much liquid and she was puffed up of course. So I decided to catch her by all means. I had a piece of bird net still which she would not be as suspicious about and approached very slowly. I threw the net and had her quickly. What a relief

Upon checking her I felt that her abdomen was quite hard so I was not so sure whether she really had one egg inside still. I brougt her into the bathroom and gave her nice warm bath, massaged her very softly hoping that this would help to get the egg out if there was one still – I was still not sure – wrapped her in a towel and put her in a box, warm waterbottle beneath the box and she seemed a bit more relaxed now. No more puffed up.

Then I went out on the balcony and checked the little nest once more and felt inside that the hay was wet and that there was something slimy inside. I took everything out and what I found was this:

I felt so incredibly stupid that I did not check the nest yesterday properly – I could have spared her another terrible day in pain.
She had expelled the egg but apparently the shell did not form properly and then the contents got all spilled. At least the stuff was out of her body but I was sure  she’s had an infection now so I put her immediately on Baytril. I also checked her mouth and recognized 2 very small lesions – so I knew that canker was on the way or perhaps even inside her body already – I don’t know. I put her also on Spartrix this evening.

My poor Emma. I had the feeling though that she was feeling a bit better already – she seemed quite relaxed today, being warm and in a quiet place. I let her out for a few minutes when Lucky came in – who was desperately looking for her today – and they greeted each other. Then I put her back into the box.

She could watch the other pigeons outside and when they came in of course – so she did not feel left out and lonely. Her poops of course looked awful:

I hope it will be better tomorrow.

9/25  I tubefed Emma 3 times today – so she got some calories and liquid. I pray that she will recover soon again. Fingers crossed

This is one of those cases again where a pigeon apparently looks very healthy and from one day to another things go terribly wrong. I am only glad that Emma is a strong pijjie and has been very healthy for a long time but then the weather started to play games with very cold nights already, temperatures going up and down, Emma getting into laying mode again which is always a problem for the immune system and then apparently she had not sufficient calcium supply although I gave her calcivet twice a week since the last breeding cycle. So what went wrong – I am asking myself? I have no answer…

9/26  I was told by other pigeon rescuers that Emma might have a Peritonitis. (Reti, thank you so much). I really hope it is not egg Peritonitis Not feeling well because this sickness can lead to death. Emma seemed to feel a bit better today. So I let her out again a bit when Lucky came in,  in order to remind him that his wife was still there and Emma greeted him. She preened herself a bit and afterwards I put her back into her box standing on a warm water bottle so that it was snuggly warm inside. This morning I tubefed her again 20 ml of baby rice cereal with vitamins added, a grinded peanut and a tiny tip of honey. For lunch she had 20 big defrosted peas which she liked a lot – she wiggled even a bit with her wing after the meal. So sweet.

Her poops are still awful but the colour has changed a bit from mushy dark green to lighter green. Her abdomen does not seem to be so swollen any more. So I take this as a good sign. Currently she is perching on her belly in a quite relaxed mode – so I assume that she does not have so much pain any more and that the medicine is working.

I pray that she is recovering soon.

9/30  Emma continues to recover.


May 30, 2011

It is Christmas time and Rudi has injured his foot again!

From the

Diary as of  12/15  – 12/25/2010

12/15   We have so much snow and there is more to come they say. I hate it and the poor pijjies too. It is so very difficult for them to find something to eat – so they are staying on our balcony for most of the time in expection to get soemthing. And I cannot leave them starving of course.

And when they come in it looks like this – simply the normal chaos:

Snowy with her new friend Sooty! What a pair – black and white!!!

Pina and Rudi continue to play the couch potatoes – but at least they went out once to fly a couple of rounds  – their wedding flight again. It looks so beautiful when they do this. So close together, doing the same movements at the same time – there is hardly a piece of paper fitting between them and still they do not touch each other.

12/15   Pina has laid her first egg again – #24

12/16   Outside the pijjies look like this – Snowy looking like a cotton wool ball:

12/17   It is still snowing like crazy. Pina was very brave today – she flew depite the heavy snowing. Rudi as well.

Started to treat Rudi’s feet with DMSO again. The toe on his bad left foot is quite swollen again. I have also realized that the deep cuts are starting to close. Maybe this is the reason why his toes is thick again – due to new tissues growing? Or rather a new infection?

12/18   Pina laid her second egg #25

It is very cold and we have a lot of snow. The pijjies are very hungry and I feed them by letting them in in little groups. I have to change the drinking water every 2 hours because it gets frozen.

12/19   Emma laid egg#58

12/20      Today Paulchen and Pauline (apparently a new one)  appeared on the balcony – new love:

12/21   Emma laid egg# 59

12/23   Whenever there is some sunshine the pijjies know how to digest it:

This is Mr. Neighbour (the one who lost his tail) enjoying the sun too:

and our Pete of course, taking a little nap:

and Lucky and Patchy having their share:

12/24   It is Xmas eve and you won’t believe what happened:

Rudi got stuck in the carpet and tore his swollen toe badly – it was bleeding heavily and I thought it was broken. So I had to bandage his complete foot again and treated him with painkiller, holy ashes etc. I think he had quite a lot of pain – I was so sad. And  it looked as if he would lose this toe.

12/25   When I checked his bandaging this morning I realized that the nail of his little toe was pressing on the swollen one so I had to bandage his toes separately. I also realized that the swollen toe which was probably broken was turning dark. I was sure now that he was going to lose this one but I did not know whether and what I could do to help. The thought of amputating the toe with a sharp knife came into my mind but his thought was the pure horror for me.

At least it seemed that the pain had stopped because Rudi was not limping any more. Maybe the dreadful toe would fall off eventually all by itself. That was my hope.


February 14, 2011

Rudi can walk again

From the

Diary as of  8/12 – 8/31/10

8/12 I am still bathing Rudi’s feet every morning because they are caked in poop. This does not help the healing. So I have to do the extra work for him. But he seems to be in a good mood, is preening regularly and tries to stand on his feet.

8/13 Emma lays egg #53

Rudi is more often standing on his feet now. His former good one which was newly inflammated looks a bit better now – still quite swollen though and I still do not know whether he will lose some of his toes. It takes time.

Winnie looks a bit sad today – she is often on the balcony – I don’t know whether she is still together with Paulchen – I haven’t seen him.

Pina is still sitting on her plaster eggs the whole day with some small pauses in between where she runs from her nest to get something to eat and to drink. Then she quickly runs back to her nest. Soooooooooooooooo sweet.  And in her usual hasty modes. I love her so much. She is doing very well I think.

Sneeky is becoming a real pain in the a.. – she is always hungry and a nerve – not really but I had to say this.

My mom’s birthday: she would have been 83 today! What a sad day. How she would have loved to hear all these pijjie stories…

8/21 As usual – Jimi and Winnie are coming often to get their snacks and meet their friends on the balcony.

8/22 Rudi is on the balcony (in his hospital box of course) for the whole day and he enjoys the sun and fresh air very much.

Pina often jumps from her nest and visits Rudi outside. Her interest for him is growing. Her egg duty should be over in a couple of days. When Rudi’s box is inside she would often sit aside his box and talk to him in a very low voice. Very sweet.

8/23 After Rudi was on the balcony for the whole morning again I decided that Rudi should be allowed to leave his box for the first time in the afternoon – i.e. I opened the cover and Pina jumped so quickly into Rudi’s box that I could not react any more. You would not believe how they greeted each other. Pina immediately started to groom him heavily and he could hardly believe his luck. Both were so incredibly happy.

Since a few days Rudi is walking on his feet – not hopping – walking – and the swelling has come down considerably so I thought I can let him out of the box so that he could train his wing muscles better and he has a better possibility to walk.

And here is a little video I made a little while ago to show how good he could walk again although in between I had to remove his ring again because his “good” foot was inflammated again and swollen and the ring became a bit narrow so I took it off until the foot looked okay again.

8/24 Pina has further increased her weight:  she is now on 355 gr which is really good for her immune system – there’s some substance on her body now.

8/28 On the balcony nothing special – all are getting their breakfast, flying around being happy. Jimmy and Winnie continue to appear regularly several times a day.

8/31 Weighing day for Pina:  375 gr now which seems to be quite high – but apparently she has not pooped yet…need to know how much those abominable stinky heaps can weigh….

February 7, 2011

Rudi is nearly bleeding to Death and Pina gains Weight

From the

Diary as of  7/27 – 8/11/2010

7/27 Rudi received his first chamomille bath – apparently he liked it.  I took a large salad bowl and filled it half with warm chamomille tea. He really “swam” in the tea-bath. After the bath I bandaged his feet again with the usual treatment before.

From now on Rudi’s feet were treated each day as described in the last post and the swellings became better slowly. After 2 weeks I could take off the bandage on the “better” foot but left it on the second which looked still very bad. It went up and down. Sometimes he could stand on both feet and sometimes it would still hurt a lot so that he perched in his box most of the time. I had put some airbubble plastic layers inside beneath the kitchen paper so that he would have a soft floor and I also taped some batting on the side wall so that he could lean against it (I have added some pics below). The poor bird often used his wing to support himself.

Doesn’t he look cute with his bandaged feet? Astonishingly he could walk on them quite good. The bandages are simply made with cotton pads which have been wrapped around his toes and been fixed with band-aid.

Here are some more pics:

7/28 Pina back on 317 gr – yippee – but her poops still look awful.

7/29 I wanted to give Rudi another chamomille bath because the last time it went so perfectly and he really seemed to enjoy it but this time his left foot started bleeding terribly when I put him into the bath. Maybe the water was a bit too warm and the crust on the injury on his blood vein started to come off and therefore started to bleed. I was panicking when I saw all the blood flowing like from a well.

I took him out of the water  immediately and put some baking soda on his wound which stopped the bleeding. Then I applied Rescue drops and holy ash. Finally I took a cotton pad and wrapped it around his foot with a band-aid again. Apparently the bleeding did not worry Rudi as much as it did me. What a little rocket!!!

7/30 I think Rudi is a bit better – more vivid – I changed his bandage – there was no blood any more.

Winnie came only once today for feeding.

7/31 Winnie and Jimi are coming every day for feeding – at least twice. I don’t know where Alice is. She did not turn up again. Don’t know what happened.

Pina has gained a little more weight again:  326 gr – the infection seems to be over.

8/7 Today I removed Rudi’s bandaging completely. He was working on it like crazy so I thought that he might do more harm to his poor feet while pecking at the bandaging all the time than leaving it rather open.

8/8 Pina laid egg #14 – Her weight is 358 gr – but this is not representative due to her egg laying as I suppose there is still one coming.

8/10 Pina laid egg #15

8/11 Emma laid egg #52


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