Pigeon Tales

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.



December 30, 2012

Caught Jimi who has a large Body Tumor and new Eggs

From the

Diary as of 10/20 – 10/27/2012

10/20   Maggie has laid her first egg #7 in one of her little nest bowls right beneath the balustrade.

10/21   I caught Jimi today. He still has this huge tumor in his chest on his right side. It is a hard lump and must be very annoying. Sometimes I have the feeling he feels a bit clumsy with this thing. But what can I do? I gave him Calcivet for his moult and a propolis pellet for his immune system.  I wished I could catch him more often because of the propolis but he is such a sensitive bird and easily spooked. It took me several days to re-gain his trust so that he jumps on my knee to eat the sunflower hearts from my hand. He simply hates to be handled. It is very difficult with him. He is also such an intelligent bird. I tried to trick him with the propolis by adding it to a few sunflower hearts and mixed them with crashed peanuts in order to hide the taste and smell. But this worked only twice then he noticed what I had done and refused to eat the sunflower hearts as well as the peanuts.

I really don’t know what to do with his tumor besides waiting for this damned thing to fall off again. I also don’t understand why he continues to develop them. It is the 4th time now and each time they are getting bigger. I feel so helpless…

 10/22   Maggie laid her second egg#8 and Micky laid her first one #7. Both girls produce perfect eggs.

10/23   Weather is still quite warm although the forecast says that the temperatures will drop dramatically during the coming weekend. So the pijjies are all in good mood still.

10/24   Micky laid her second egg#8 and I exchanged the eggs of Maggie and Micky now before I forget about them.

10/25   Were driving to the forest  to get some moss before the snow comes. Best stuff for protecting not only the plants, but I dry it for the piegeon’s nest also. Emma loves it and it makes a perfect nest material for her large nest, inside as well as outside for perching on the roof. And when I stuff all empty planting pots and let the moss sit on top it stays green and adds a lot of colour to the otherwise grey concrete of the balcony as I hate it in wintertime.


Lucky drinking


this is how my balcony still looks like at this time of the year



the pot with the pigeon in it is always empty – it is a kind of landing spot…

10/26   I cannot believe it but the remaining plants have to come in – it starts snowing!!! Temperatures have dropped by about 23 degrees within 5 days. Awful.

10/27   It is freezing cold  – below zero now – and the pijjies are very hungry.


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 16, 2012

Poor Lucky is really sick and Things are getting worse!

From the

Diary as of 10/7 – 10/15/2011

10/7   It is unbelievable how peaceful it has become again. Emma and Lucky often sit on the middle of the balustrade and enjoy their peaceful place again.

Gave Emma another portion of Calcivet. Just to make sure there is no potential problem.

10/8   It is cold outside and there are still some hardcores like Charly and QuakQuak who try to sneak inside but I cannot allow this any more as we would probably have the same situation as before. For the sake of Emma’s and Lucky’s peace I cannot do this. It is hard but I do not want Emma to become sick again.

10/9   Weather is cold and unfriendly. Pina went out nevertheless – brave little girl.

Lucky is not feeling well. I think as a result of the stress with our pigeon mob and the cold and wet weather he has a light respiratory infection. I watched him “caughing” several times today and breathing through a slightly open beak – but not constantly. He still seems to be in a quite good mood, was flying around with Emily several times, was eating but not very much. I put him on Spartrix to prevent any outbreak of canker – whether he needs antibiotics we will see tomorrow. I don’t want to medicate him yet. His voice was very subdued today. Poor Lucky – I hope he is better tomorrow. I will watch him closely. His weight was a bit low – 330 gr – I have to watch this also.

Pina started to get off her nest now and then. Gave her a portion of Calcivet today and a small portion of Bene Bac – the remnants from Emily’s treatment. Could not hurt….

10/10   The weather is simply awful – cold, rainy and Lucky is still caughing. I have to take him in tonight so that he gets some warmth. Gave him another Spartrix and Baytril  course in the morning.

10/11   Lucky still has big problems to breathe and has some mucus (clear)  in his mouth – he is really sick. I left him out because Emily was crying for him and I was so worried that she might become sick again too. The weather was quite mild so I thought it would be better. But this was a mistake. When I tried to catch him in the evening he flew away and spend the night outside. This was really not good. I should have known that these birds are not clever enough to know when something is bad for them.  At least he had his medication.

Oh my – this is really getting complicated. I really don’t want Emma to become sick again. And I cannot leave both inside because of Pina and Rudi – they are getting crazy when other pigeons are inside – they are afraid of losing their home. You should have seen Pina and the fits she got during the time Emma was inside. She bit me all the time and attacked my feet whenever I walked near her. She absolutely felt betrayed. Poor girl. It’s not her fault. Unfortunately I don’t have the space to keepmore pigeons inside and separated from one another.

10/12   Things are getting worse: Lucky is really sick now and I am very worried. I discovered a large canker nodule in the middle of his trachea which makes it very difficult for him to breathe.  I deeply hope that the Spartrix is working soon and kills this abominable parasite. I feel very sorry for him. When he came in in the morning that was it – I put him immediately in a hospital box and put a warm water bottle beneath the box.

He is on Spartrix #4 and Baytril #3. In the evening his condition became worse and I started to really fear for his life. He was caughing all the time, trying to get rid of that lump in his trachea. I decided to try to get hold of the darn thing with a disinfected tweezers but did not succeed besides putting the poor bird even more under stress. What a shitty birthday this was for me!!!

10/13  This morning I weighed Lucky – he had lost some more weight: now on 310 gr. Not too worrying yet but not good either. No change in his condition – he was caughing terribly.

10/14   I am very worried about Lucky as he is still fighting very much to get rid of that nodule in his trachea which blocks his breathing. I am so sad that he is suffering so much. I gave him the first portion of Flagyl today because the Spartrix apparently wasn’t enough to solve the problem. I don’t know what to do any more. He is caughing and wheezing all the time and breathing still with an open beak. Yesterday it looked like as if it was getting better but today the poor bird was fighting terribly again. Even feeding him peas did not work. He hardly got any air – so I stopped and tubefed him again. It is awful.

This evening he was so miserable that I decided to try to remove at least part of that lump in his trachea with a disinfected tweezers and a large needle. I managed to remove at least part of the lump without any bleeding. He is still breathing heavily but has stopped to caugh all the time. What a stress for the poor bird. He breathes a bit more calm now but still with an open beak. I hope he will find some sleep tonight. The bird really needs some relaxing. Will be a disturbing night again. I really don’t know what to do any more besides praying and hoping.

10/15  Early in the morning I decided to undertake a second little “operation” after the poor bird had a terrible night again where I had the feeling he would not make it much longer. Either he would suffocate or his little heart would not be able to bear this stress any more. I had to do something even with the risk of some bleeding. Every hour when I checked on him it was the same picture: his back was bent like that of a cat to make it a bit easier for himself to breathe and cramps from the caughing going through the whole body. How can a bird hang on through this?

We did the same thing as yesterday – with a desinfected needle I was able to remove the largest lump in his trachea – it came off and Lucky stopped caughing – HE COULD BREATHE AGAIN AND HIS TRACHEA SEEMED TO BE FREE – at least free from larger lumps. You should have seen the change of his look after a few minutes: from total panicking he suddenly looked relaxed and nearly happy.

The rest was clear. We tubefed him, he got his Baytril and finally he could perch and get some rest. This afternoon I gave him his second portion of Flagyl. He even grumbled a bit when I took him out of his box. What a bird and what a fighter!!! Imagine – he hasn’t really slept since last Sunday, all his energy went into trying to get some air. Thank heaven we managed that he did not lose much more weight because this would have been even worse.

This was truly the worst case of canker I have been faced with a bird. And the most resistant.  Tomorrow I will give him the last Baytril and then start with the probiotics and calcium.
Poor Emma has to hold on still – alone on the balcony. If things go well now, she might have her Lucky back by the end of next week if it is dry outside.

I think tonight we both, Lucky and I, can sleep happily again, knowing that the worst is over. Oh my – what a terrible week.

Here are some pics: one is one of the canker nodules that I pulled out of his trachea and the other one is Lucky after the final “operation”:

How cute is this????


July 30, 2011

Emma’s new Love and Jimi’s Tumor fell off

From the

Diary as of  2/25 – 3/1/2011

2/25   Emma is still doing well. She cuddles with Rudi and with Lucky. But we have to chase Lucky away in the evening – he is much too noisy and very aggressive towards all others. This is not good at all.

Checked Rudi’s feet this evening. Gave him a massage with rescue cream to make his stiff toes a bit softer again. After the massage the blood circulation is really good.

2/27   Lucky started to do his job: he is chasing away all the foreign pigeons. He does the job Pete could not do any more during the last year because he was so tired.

2/28   The relationship between Lucky and Emily deepens and Lucky has become much calmer. He seems to be really in love with Emma. They often sit in the nest together, grooming each other. So sweet and I am so very happy for Emma. She suddenly looks so much younger than before. Can this be?

Pina, Emma and Lucky on my wood carvings….

3/1   Jimi lost his terrible tumor/lump – it fell off and left a huge hole which I filled with vibhuti from Sai Baba. This will help to soothe the pain he must feel. After he looked not so good this evening – I am sure due to the pain –  I decided to keep him inside. I had the feeling he wanted this as well. He did not eat much today so he wasn’t feeling so very well. I know my pigeons! Additionally we have quite a terrible wind outside and the temperatures are going below zero again. So it is much better to have Jimi inside.

Attention – this is a gross photo when his tumor was still there….

Tomorrow I will see whether I will finally put him on antibiotics or not. He was very calm even during the examination and hardly moved even when I draw a little quill from his wound which was awkward and may have caused some problems. (update: it healed completely and left not even a scar)

Tonight is a test: I left Lucky on the balcony so he could sleep together with Emma. I did not want to chase him away in that terrible wind. If he stays calm he can stay here. What a development…


July 24, 2011

Our beloved Pete has disappeared

From the

Diary as of  2/16 – 2/22/2011

2/16    Treated Rudi’s feet with Rescue cream again. I am continuously afraid that something might happen to another toe. This would be really bad.

2/17   Jimi still has his big tumor – I treated  it with holy ashes today.

2/18   Emma laid her first egg #62

2/19   Since this morning Pete has disappeared.

2/20   Pete is gone and I am sure he has gone over the rainbow. I am extremely sad and crying a lot because I loved him so much. He was such a personality. Our balcony family will never be the same again. There are so many memories and when I think about all these little stories I am getting even more sad.

I found something very strange in Emma’s poop today – it looked like a little red bean and I took it into a piece of paper. It was relatively soft, I tore it apart and the inside also looked like a bean but it definitely wasn’t a bean. My suspicion is that this was the second egg and Emma triggered something like an abortion because she knew that Pete was gone – could this be?

I forgot to photograph this ominous thing but then I was still too shocked about Pete’s disappearance.

2/21   I am worried about Emma and how she is going to cope with this.

2/22   I hardly can believe it – Emma is interested in Rudi and exchanges kisses with him! Now we really have problem – or not?

Pete – the beautiful:


Blog at WordPress.com.