Pigeon Tales

February 10, 2014

Betty is sitting on the same Plaster Eggs since 38 Days and Gino has Canker

From the

Diary as of 11/23 – 11/28/2013

11/23   Feeding time – this morning the usual chaos in my livingroom again but I truly don’t mind. I love watching them how they line up neatly and tug their little heads next to one another into the wooden food boxes. And then  you hear only “tuck tuck tuck tuck” besides some chitter chatter when the beaks touch the wood of the food boxes. I REALLY HAVE TO MAKE A VIDEO ABOUT THIS. Looks sooo funny but I need more light not the terrible darkness we have at the moment…

11/24   Jimi is still always the first I let inside because he hates all the chaos and wants his peace. He then waddles into our bedroom where he has his own place and his food bowels. He is always the one who needs time for everything and he hates to be in a hurry. After eating he flies to his place on the bookshelf and stays there until late in the afternoon. Poor Fifi is alone for the whole day but apparently she can cope with this because she can come inside to eat something any time and does not need to leave the (plaster-)eggs for a longer time. Strange behaviour of Jimi – isn’t it?

He does not want to fly outside – maybe it’s his tumor, that is still in his chest, that disturbs him but on the other hand he is eating with very good appetite and his poops are perfect. He loves to listen to classical music that runs for the whole day and loves to be in our presence. So he seems to be absolutely content and happy.

Already as a child Jimi was different – he preferred to be alone rather than together with the others. In the late afternoon he indicates that he wants to leave, takes a long drink from the warm water bowl which I always prepare extra for him (he loves warm vinegar soup – lol) and then flies to his house, greets his wife and settles down for the night. And Fifi seems to accept his behaviour. Well – this is obviously the agreement between them: she has a house, regular meals and drinks. And love from time to time… Just like a marriage contract. Funny – isn’t it?

11/26   Betty is sitting on the same plaster eggs since 38 days now!!!

11/27   Gino came in this morning with that typical sad look where I know immediately that something is wrong. He did not start eating instantly as he usually does, was quiet instead of doing his usual chit-chat but sat on the edge of the cardboard wall and started vomiting heavily. So I grabbed him and after a thorough check and a look into his mouth I knew it was canker. There were no yellow nodules to be seen but his mouth was bright red on one side instead of his usual pink. So I gave him a Spartrix pill and prepared quickly Pina’s box to put him inside. I also gave him a warm water bottle and soon he settled down and looked quite content, knowing that Mommy would help him. He did not vomit again but his poop looked like that typical canker poop, dark green, mushy-slimy – yuck!

11/28   After apparently a good night sleep Gino looked much better in the morning. I gave him another Spartrix pill and he then indicated that he wanted to go out again. I let him and he flew immediately to his house where he and his wife Micky greeted each other with so much joy, dancing around each other and being happy that their world was okay again. It was so sweet. The day before Micky had come in for a quick snack several times – apparently she knew exactly where Gino was and did not seem to feel nervous about his where-abouts at all and that he did not take his turn on the eggs. Now everything was okay again, Gino went straight into his house to sit on the eggs and Micky could fly out again. What a happy couple!

And here is one of the rare photos I have of Lucky and Betty:




September 12, 2013

Bad Times – Canker Epidemic and a New Patient

From the

Diary as of 5/15 – 5/22/2013

5/15   Pina is still not showing any sign of laying soon. This is a long pause and good for her body. She seems to feel very well as she is flying out with Rudi several times a day. She has not done that for a long time. I am very happy about this.

5/16   Lucky has definitely Canker – I gave him a Spartrix. He was vomiting several times – after each meal more or less. So I gave him another pill in the evening as I did not know how much of the drug had stayed in his body. His behaviour though is as usual and he continues to eat with great appetite. Very strange.

5/17   Maggie is off her plaster eggs and cuddling with Woodie. I cleaned their nest so that everything is ready for the next “breeding” cycle.

5/18   Today I saw Emily vomiting as well. So I gave her a Spartrix too. Maggie seems to have canker also but I have not seen her vomiting. So she received only a propolis pill – same to  Woodie just in case.

Currently I am under siege: due to the totally crazy weather – one day 13°C – the next day 25°C – and then down again – we have a real canker epidemic here. I have never faced something like that. Besides changing the water every hour and adding a lot more organic ACV to the water than usual I cannot do much here. I am keeping a list of who has been treated with propolis of those who are living on our balcony because otherwise I am losing control. Lucky is treated with Spartrix, same for Emily because they were both vomiting heavily.
Have to clean up the stinky stuff for the whole day. Have never witnessed such a bad fishy smell. Hope this will be over soon – I am really getting nothing else done.

And as if this weren’t enough I have a new little patient, called her Fifi because she is so small but very vocal – with a bad injury on her leg (on the tibiotarsus) – must be a bite from a predator. Deep wound in the flesh – bone could be seen – but thank heaven no bone broken. I cleaned and disinfected the wound, removed the feathers sticking in the wound as good as I could, added antibiotic cream and bandage and put her on Baytril. Now she is in one of the small hospital boxes with fresh water and something to eat. Will see tomorrow how it goes.

5/19   Gave Emily another Spartrix to make sure that the canker has no chance on her. She has already stopped vomiting – same as Lucky. Thank heaven. No-one else seemed to vomit but I could see some awful stinky poops still. I treated Maggie and Woody with propolis only. This seemed to have solved the canker problem as their cases were not as bad.

5/20   No stinky poops on the balcony any more. The canker epidemic seems to be over. This was quick and I am very thankful that it did not become worse. The ACV in the water must have helped.

5/21   Maggie should have laid by now but she did not either. Apparently she is having a pause as well. Pina is still not laying. This is now more than 3 weeks over her time. I am happy about this because she needs a pause. I wished she would stop laying entirely. Both Rudi and Pina are doing very well – flying out regularly, eating with great appetite, pooping well and cuddling with each other every day. In the evening they are relaxing – look at my little princess – how cute is she:


5/22   Fifi is now the 5th day on Baytril and doing quite well. She has started to sing a lot so I think she is feeling better.


January 16, 2013

Micky abandoned her Plaster Eggs and Gino is recovering quickly

From the

Diary as of 10/30 – 11/3/2012

10/30   Micky abandoned her eggs (were only plaster eggs anyway – so no harm done). This is better for her because then she can come in regularly for eating instead of sitting on the eggs and worrying about Gino.

Gave Gino his second Spartrix, Bene Bac (pro-biotic) and Propolis for his immune system. I realized that his mouth is not quite as red as before. I am still tubefeeding him.

10/31   As Gino has stopped vomiting entirely I decided to stop any further canker medication but instead gave him only Bene Bac and Propolis. I wanted to see whether his immune system was strong enough to fight the canker instead of weakening him further.

11/1   Gino is down on 284 gr but I am not too worried about this.

Gino is much better and on the way to recovery. During the night he made a lot of good poopies!!! So he just got another millet cereal with yoghurt, applesauce and propolis this morning and I let him out of his box again in our bedroom. Now Micky is with him together in the bedroom and they are grooming each other and enjoying classical music and peace. Yesterday already Micky stayed with Gino nearly for the whole day inside and I think this added a lot to his quick recovery. He has lost a lot of weight though and we need to foster him back up again. He’s never had much on his “ribs”. Just like Micky he is a delicate pijjie and I doubt he will ever become such a bull like Rudi.
I think I keep him inside today still because outside there will be stress again and the low temperatures are no good at all. But I am extremely happy that our little djungle boy is nearly the old one again. I very much missed his voice: quak quak – aw-ee aw-ee (like a donkey). He is so funny. This morning Gino and Rudi sang together while they were still in their sleeping boxes. Sooooo sweet and beautiful. <3 <3 <3

11/2   Gino had another millet cereal with Propolis and he is doing well.

11/3   Weighing day for Gino:  287 gr. Not much more but he is increasing his weight! So this is the day to let him out again.

It was interesting to watch how intelligent our little Gino is:  instead of flying around like crazy he stayed on the balcony and saved his energy to get used to “fresh air” again. What a clever little pigeon boy. So he slept outside for the first night again. Micky must have been incredibly happy.


Cuddling time again…




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.


February 6, 2012

New Canker Growth and hoping for Success from a homeopathic Remedy: Propolis

From the

Diary as of 12/1 – 12/5/2011

12/1    Pina and Micky got their  Calcivet.

Today I discovered that Micky has developed new canker growth on her tongue and her mouth altogether has become totally red again and the lump in her chest has also grown again. On Tuesday she had her 7th Flagyl portion i.e. no medication for the last 2 days. I am a bit clueless what I should do now? Go back to Spartrix for a couple of days? Or rather wait whether she can combat this herself. I am very worried of over-medicating her and killing everything that can make her strong again. Her immune system seems to be very bad still. Yesterday evening I started her on pro-biotic. Her poops are a bit soft due to the food she gets but colour is totally normal and there is no smell. Also she does not smell out of her mouth. She does not vomit – her digestion is working good.

I tried to take her outside on the balcony in her box again because I know that sunlight is a good help – she hasn’t had sun and fresh air for 4 weeks now but whatever I try – even holding her in a burrito – makes her go totally berserk with heavy seizures. Apparently she is still very sensitive to bright light and of course the noise outside.

12/2   Gave Emily her Calcivet because she is off the eggs and soon due to lay new ones. I am regularly giving her more calcium in the week before laying.

What makes me really wonder is that despite a very red mouth and new canker lesions on the sides of Micky’s mouth and a slightly larger lump in her crop Micky still eats well and makes good poops. In the morning I am feeding her an organic baby cereal with millet flakes, I add apple sauce, joghurt and a few drops of ACV and some carrot juice. She eats 30 ml!! of that stuff! The only problems she got is with fat – if I put a few drops of oil into the mixture she starts vomiting again. Apparently fat is not good for her at the moment but I do not know whether this is rather  related to the canker or to the PMV – I can remember that our Willy also had big problems with fat and also Pina. Micky eats around 40 peas for lunch and a bit less for dinner. So this is altogether enough that she does not lose her weight.

Today she also did some helicoptering and was running around quite a lot. So this behaviour also lets me hope that she will pull through. Of course she becomes very tired in between and falls asleep on my pillow on our bed or on my arm. But she is very lively in her active time. And she sings from time to time. And she grunts angrily at herself when her circle flights do not work as they should – which is very funny.

12/3   Weighing day for Micky: she has 312 gr which is actually not too bad considering her additional problems with the canker. But she makes progress every day – tiny steps but bit by bit.

Today she even took a leap over out little breakfast table from the bed which looked very funny and today she jumped onto the breakfast table nearly on my plate and started picking at the bread. She even managed to eat one or two little crumbs. Her head does not tremble any more and her pecking movements are more direct now – not a whole cm beside the object. It seems like a miracle to me.

12/4  Micky is doing quite well. Despite the fact that she still has canker the lesions have become less prominent – are paler and the lump in her crop is a bit smaller again and softer. Maybe her immune system is taking up and her body seems to fight it. She is getting stronger every day, runs around much more, does more little flights – with crash landings still but on the carpets nothing bad can happen. She is still stargazing but also trying to straighten her head immediately. So very much like Pina.

It becomes more and more tricky to catch her because she can run much faster now and tries to escape all the time. We have to watch her now much more carefully especially as Pina tries to teach her a lot of stupid things. Pina can be such a little devil, showing Micky how to jump on the plants in the window and promptly Micky tries to imitate her as soon as we turn around…

I am still feeding Micky with cereal in the morning and thawed peas for lunchtime and dinner. In the evening I give her Bene Bac now every day. Possibly this pro-biotic has helped the turn-around. I also ordered some Propolis (as an alternative medication) which is supposed to combat the canker besides a variety of other ailments. I hope it will arrive soon.

At the moment I think I will refrain from giving her more medication but as soon as it becomes worse again I have to put her on antibiotics again. I hope so very much that this will not be necessary as Micky needs to go outside again. We cannot keep her as a pet as this would not work with Rudi and Pina. So I have to do everything possible that Micky gets strong again to defend herself outside.

12/5   Nothing special – Micky is making good progress.

Micky doing a lot of nonsense in my shelves:


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 19, 2012

Lucky’s Recovery and Reunion with Emily

From the

Diary as of 10/19 – 10/31/2011

10/19   Lucky’s weight has not changed yet – still only 301 gr. But today he started to move around and did some helicoptering after I constructed a little pen for him with the mosquito net on my working table. Rudi and Pina did not like it though – both hate it when we have a patient inside. I can understand them – it is their home!!!!

Lucky received Flagyl #6 and in the evening his Bene Bac and Calcium #3.

Pina did not lay a second egg. Maybe the reason for this is her molting still – I don’t know. I don’t think I need to worry. The egg she laid was perfect and also fertilized.

10/20   This morning I decided to leave the Flagyl now off and give Lucky a chance to get his intestines in order again. He was a bit down this morning, and when I fed him thawed peas he vomitted them all again after 10 minutes. I don’t know what the matter was, maybe it was too early for him, maybe he still had not digested everything – my suspicion was that the pellets from yesterday were still a bit too heavy – too much fat from the peanuts and sunflower hearts. I think I have to be more careful. So I waited 2 hours and gave him his rice pudding with fruitsauce and joghurt. This at least stayed inside. He also had a visitor: Emma. I simply grabbed her and put her inside his pen made from the mosquito net. Lucky greeted her and she appreciated. But that was it – maybe Emma was not quite sure what to do. But none of them both got aggressive which I consider as a good sign. After 10 minutes I let her out again. Since her sickness she has become quite tame as well.

A short while after that I saw Lucky  perching (making sitting bull – as we call it) on his board and taking a little nap. He seems to feel well now. How sweet this looks.

In the afternoon Emma came in again and I let her into Lucky’s pen again. This time they kissed each other and Lucky started to coo abit. His voice is not fully there but it sounds much beter than 2 weeks ago.

10/21   Lucky is free again!!! I released Lucky this morning. He was so eager to get out of his “pen” that I gave in. I realized that he was feeling very warm – his wings slightly apart from the body and when Emma came in and was slightly panting I was sure that his body heating was functioning again. So I let him go. You should have seen how happy he was, being together with his wife and able to fly again. The weather was cold but sunny so I thought it would be okay.

At first he was still a bit insecure, he stumbled a couple of times, had to get used how to jump up but with every minute he grew stronger. He and Emma came in several times to get a snack. So my world is ok again!!!!!♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥
Piece by piece Lucky gained his kingdom back and chased off the pijjies who did not belong on our balcony. Of course he also had his dispute with Rudi who had to accept  that the former outdoor balcony owner was back. But everything went well – no injuries.
I only wondered how Lucky would do in the night because it was quite cold. In the evening he quarreled a bit with Emmy who did not want to give up her sleeping place she garnered on one of the pots but also this ended finally in a consent.

10/22   During the night I could not sleep of course so I checked several times on Lucky and Emma but both were sleeping deeply on the balcony – everything was perfect. This morning both came in as usual to take their breakfast and life seemed to be as it always was….

10/23   This morning I realized that Emma had a few small lesions in her mouth so I put her on Spartrix immediately. Probably the stress again because Lucky was hospitalized.

Jimi is heavily molting – in my opinion this happens quite late in the year:

10/24   Emma got another Spartrix and then she disappeared for 5 hours. She has never done this before and I already feared the worst: that she finally was fed up with waiting for Lucky etc. etc. But after 5 hours she re-appeared as if nothing had happened. Oh boy – was I relieved!!!

10/25   Lucky’s poop is firming up. He started to court Emma heavily. They are re-newing their relationship. What a sight – I am so happy about this. They are both enjoying the still-life on the balcony so it seems and…

…and Lucky can read his newspaper again:

10/27   Today everything seems to be in order. Temperatures are still about 10°C but the wind comes from east and is very cold. This morning I discovered a dead pigeon on the opposite building – seems as if a raptor got him. Jimi and Pina must have witnessed because both came in quite panicking. It is very moving that Jimi still seeks shelter here when something is wrong…

The crows and the kestrels are now quarrelling over the corpse – it will soon be gone.

10/30  Weighing day for Lucky:  356 gr. So he is well in shape.  Both he and Emma got a last portion of Bene Bac and Calcivet of course.

10/31   Nothing special – Lucky is doing very well and Emily also.


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