Pigeon Tales

October 1, 2013


From the

Diary as of 6/18 – 6/27/2013

6/18   Emily has not come in today for eating. I am worried and I don’t know whether this is due to the incredibly hot weather or whether she has now severe problems with egg laying. Yesterday everything was okay still – cuddling with Lucky, eating well and pooping well and she even took a long bath with Lucky.

6/19   Emily is definitely sick. How can this happen so quickly? She still did not come in for eating and she was sitting in the the hot sun outside the balcony where I could not reach her. I don’t know how to get hold of her. She is going to dehydrate completely if she is not even drinking.

6/20   Emily made terrible poops – only some cream coloured mushy stuff – no green at all. She again was sitting for a long time in the hot sun and only went into the shade from time to time. This is really a strange behaviour. She must have come back when it was dark. I still hope she will come inside so that I can grab her. No way to grab her outside. I am so worried…

All others are doing very well despite the very hot temperatures. They get the bathtub every day. Thank heaven my plants form a real wall now which functions very well as shade and natural air conditioning and the birds know how to use it.

6/21   Very early in the morning I was finally able to grab Emily while she was sitting on the basket  still where she usually sleeps with Lucky. Apparently she was already so weak that she could not react quick enough any more. Or she did not want to flee any more. I put her immediately in a hospital box.

As she did not eat since Tuesday I knew I had to feed her something fluid to keep her hydrated at least. But when I fed her a very fluid cereal with applesauce she vomited everything again. Out came lots of seeds although her crop felt only a bit blown up as if some fluid was in there. Apparently she had hardly digested anything since 4 days! I waited an hour and tried to feed her some fluid again  but she vomitted again. So it goes since then. She cannot keep anything down and is very weak in the meanwhile. At least she vomitted no more seeds so the crop seemed to be empty.

I have started to give her applesauce thinned with water only and with 2 drops of Propolis and Bach Flower Rescue drops every 2-3 hours. I also gave her Bene Bac and Calcivet once a day. I hoped I could keep her hydrated to some extent if only a little bit of the stuff stayed inside. There was a tiny improvement as she started to pass some stuff that was light olive green.

Despite the warm weather I also put a warm water bottle beneath her box to make sure that she was not getting cold due to not eating. I really hoped that the Propolis would do its job as antifungal.

I don’t think any more that this all is related to her egg laying problems as I thought in the beginning and if yes then only indirectly. It IS her time for laying eggs normally but her abdomen is neither swollen nor feeling strange in any way. I assume it was the heat that caused this and the usual weakness before egg laying. I think it is a severe candida infection and I am not very optimistic whether she will survive this….

6/22   Emily is still hanging on but since this early morning she has started to breathe heavily with noises and slightly open beak. I let Lucky visit her and he looked into her box but she was already too weak to even wiggle. I am very very worried…

In the evening Emily started to vomit foam. Her breathing became more and more difficult. I held her and tried to wash the foamy vomit away but apparently her airsacks and trachaea were already full of the stuff that I could not do anything any more besides holding her and covering her with my love. I knew that she was dying. Emily fought terribly and I felt so incredibly helpless. Late in the evening her little heart gave up. Then she was gone…

Emily, my brave and beautiful little Emily was now flying high, together with her first love Pete, free of all the pain and suffering. A chapter of the Pigeon Tales was closed… and I am crying…

My beautiful Emily:


Emily with her first 2 babies on our balcony: Willy and Joey


Beautiful Emily with her almond eyes and her characteristic “breeding spot” (area incubationis)


Lady Emily overlooking her kingdom


Emily with her first big love Pete


Emily (left) in her happy days: bathing with her family


Emily and Pete


Emily and her second big love Lucky


Lucky and Emily kissing


Emily and Lucky in their love nest


Emily sunbathing


Emily proud of her new moss house


Emily sitting on her roof garden


Sunbathing together


perching on the “veranda”


Last photo of Lucky and Emily when the world was still okay


Lucky and Emily on their sleeping basket – last photo

6/23   I still cannot believe that Emily is not here any more and that she will never come back. There are so many incredible memories about her antics and the only consolation I feel at the moment is that the others are still here – Pina and Rudi, Woody and Maggie, Jimi and his Fifi and Lucky of course.

We buried Emily today in our favourite forest beside Flea. So Flea is not alone any more and Emily can take care of Flea. She loved babies so much. The place where we buried her is full of old trees and the ground is covered with many ferns and moss. The next time when we are there I will take my camera with me and make a photo. It probably sounds crazy what I am doing but it is a way of coping with this big sadness I am feeling.

It is very hard to see Lucky searching constantly for Emily but I think he will cope with it as he is not alone on the balcony and he still so young. Jimi even came inside, jumped on the empty box where his mother was in and tried to comfort me by talking to me with his eyes.
Isn’t is strange that he is now back, living on our balcony with his wife? As if this all was meant to be just the same way when Emily and Lucky became a couple a few days after Pete’s death!

Even Gino looked at me and I knew immediately that he knew exactly what was going on. Pina of course the same way. The birds all knew. It was like a wave of comfort they were spreading. Tomorrow is another day…

As an aside – Fifi laid her first egg #1! in one of the hanging pots where she is living together with Jimi. This is how life is going on…

6/24   Maggie laid her first egg #23 and as usual a perfect one.

6/25   Apparently everything was meant to go the normal way – so Fifi laid her second egg #2. It was so sweet to see both of them, Jimi and Fifi, sitting together in the hanging pot, one on the eggs, the other one grooming the partner. I am sure now that this was Jimi’s new family life. What a relief and comfort after Emily’s death.

6/26   Maggie laid her second egg #24 and again a perfect one.

6/27   Missing Emily…



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????


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