Pigeon Tales

May 31, 2014

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

From the

Diary as of 2/8 – 2/13/2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




After a bath:




She was our little water rat…



Chica and her mommy Maggie


Chica right in the middle


wet T-shirt party….


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


isn’t he handsome????


look at her – how happy she is!



April 27, 2013

Worried about Micky – Chica and Johnny try to conquer the Balcony

I have to apologize again – had several emergencies with our pigeons so the posting had to be left behind….


From the

Diary as of 1/15 – 1/27/2013

1/15   I am really worried about my poor Micky. She is still stargazing heavily and frome time to time she seems to be a bit confused even. Watching her closely. She is flying sometimes like crazy in circles but she always manages to land safely. I cannot keep her inside in a box as I would like to.  She would feel even more stressed. Micky always has been a very difficult patient and even more difficult to handle.

1/16   Micky laid her second egg #14 – another perfect one. Our little princess Pina laid also an egg, her first in this breeding cycle, it is #72

1/18   Pina laid her second egg #73 and it is perfect again. So calcium supply for Pina is enough.

1/19   Chica finally has found a partner. After she tried to get Rudi and did not succeed she even tried to make eyes for Gino. But Gino has Micky as his mate and besides running after any female he is not really interested. So Chica chose Johnny. It is a very nice couple and I wonder whether they will stay together. Johnny looks like Jimi, is only a bit smaller. The only downside currently is that they both try to stay on the balcony as well. That cannot work!!!


1/21   Emma is off her nest and cuddling with Lucky. Oh my – now it is calcium time again every day until she lays.

1/22   Maggie is also off her plaster eggs.

1/23   Chica and Johnny are becoming more and more aggressive towards Emma and Lucky. I have seen Chica fighting with Emma several times. This cannot be tolerated! This is much too much stress for Emily so I have to grab my old weapon – the water sprayer. It hurts actually but there is no way that they can stay here. They bring only chaos to the group and the peace is gone. They try to conquer Gino as well and want to own his hanging pot which he uses as sleeping place. Poor Gino has to fight off two: Chica and Johnny. This is really unfair. They also fight with Woody and Maggie. Woody and Maggie are Chica’s parents. So there are also problems. Can you believe this? Fighting against all and everyone. This must be stopped.

1/24   Chica and Johnny are stubborn. At least they have learned that they cannot sleep on the balcony. I hope that they will find their own place soon because this all adds a lot of unnecessary stress to all inhabitants.

1/25   Bought a new plastic box for Maggie and Woody. They definitely need a new nest, one that is not getting wet. It’s a similar box like the ones I use as hospital boxes – only much smaller. I put it at the same place where the “temporary” nest was and closed the lid. Only when I put the lid off the box they were ready to inspect the nest more closely. They were not used to a “cave nest” as Emma and Lucky have one, or Micky and Gino. It was simply a small basket which I had placed on a bucket, filled with dried moss and hay. The place was not so good although right beneath the balustrade there was always the danger of rain coming in so that I had to place a large glass plate on top of the balustrade to keep the nest dry. This was not the best solution.

When Maggie and Woody have become used to the new box I will put back the lid on top of it so that no rain can come inside.

1/26   Very cold weather still. The pijjies are in bad mood and very hungry. Chica and Johnny were both very aggressive again, trying to occupy one of the hanging pots near Casa Gino and poor Gino had to fight both of them off all the time. Not easy for our little boy but he is so brave and I try to help him as often as possible.

Micky is still stargazing heavily and not feeling very well. Only when she is inside and perching on the closet she is doing well. But I cannot leave her alone inside when Rudi is not sitting on the nest. This causes problems. It is really hard to see her so confused. She also flies in circles sometimes or is landing in circles. This reminds me of her active PMV infection. But she still manages somehow to cope with this all. Her appetite is very good, her digestion also works perfectly. I hope that she will feel better soon as well. Poor little Micky – she’s had enough problems.

1/27   Today Pina flew out with the others again. I am so happy. It was slightly warmer and I had the balcony door open for a split while I was cleaning up so that she could go out if she wanted and she did. During the last days she definitely did less stargazing and obviously felt a lot better than before. I am really very happy. What a clever girl she is – she rather stayed inside while she felt insecure due to her PMV relapse than risking her health.

Rudi went out today as well without me pushing him (more or less) to take a “round trip”. It was a bit worrying for me in the last weeks that he wanted to stay inside as well while Pina did not feel well. What a mate! The only thing I feared was that he was going to lose his confidence as well and it would not have been good for them to play the couch potatoes all the time. They need sunlight and fresh air!! Just like humans do!! Now everything seems to be on the right path again and the weather is supposed to become better as well.


March 6, 2013

Noisy Night, no-fly for Pina and Rudi and celebrating Gino’s Birthday

From the

Diary as of 1/1 – 1/14/2013

1/1   The night was terribly noisy. I checked on the birds several times during the evening – they could not sleep of course. Gino was very nervous. In order to avoid that he flew off in panic when the worst would start I took him in after 8 pm. I put him in his box and placed him nest to Rudi on the sofa in the living room. Now my sweet little boy was safe and could sleep in peace and I as well without having to check every 5 minutes. All the others sleeping on the balcony were used to the awful noise and did not care really.

1/2   Again Pina as well as Rudi refused to fly out. I don’t understand why. I don’t think it is the construction site opposite of our building because the birds should be used to it in the meanwhile. Even Gino tried to stay inside as long as possible these days before Rudi was having the crisis and tried to “beat” him up. It is so funny to see how Gino tries to provoke Rudi all the time by dancing in front of him and “making faces”. At least it looks like this…

1/3   The weather is quite cool again but still no frost. Still neither Rudi nor Pina want to fly out.  Even Woody stayed inside for at least half an hour, as well as Lucky. Strange. I have no explanation. It cannot really be the temperature because they can cope with worse. But apparently they love to be inside from time to time to enjoy peace and warmth.

1/4   Another day where neither Rudi nor Pina wanted to fly out. I could understand why Pina was reluctant to leave the appartment as long as she was stargazing because she might have felt insecure. But I don’t understand why Rudi wanted to stay inside as well – maybe simply solidarity and emphasis for his wife…

1/5   Today Jimi did not show up for breakfast/lunch. This was the first time since his recovery from PMV 3 years ago that he missed his meal. It could be though that he appeared on the balcony while we were having our nap and he lost patience to wait for me any longer. My poor baby!

1/6   This morning I was totally hysterical and in tears because Jimi still did not show up. I already thought that he had decided to go somewhere else and I would not see him ever again. Stupid me – late in the afternoon – who appeared on the balcony? JIMI!!! Oh my, there must have been an earthquake from the bump the huge rock made when it fell off my heart. No my whole world was totally okay again. And Jimi spent even some time inside…


here you can see the lump in his chest from the tumor


Pina and Jimi – Pina loves her uncle…


Pina – my sweet one


Jimi and Pina dozing off a bit…



1/7   Micky was heavily stargazing today. It looked terrible when she had her little head between her legs. Strange thing was that she was doing fine otherwise. She continued to fly like a little devil and she was eating well. But at the moment she spends most of her time inside, sitting on the closet or in the bedroom listening to classic music. Apparently she needs the peace and I let her of course. With her symptoms I rather have her inside than outside.

1/8   Micky is down from her nest – which is quite late, 2 weeks over – and cuddling with Gino again.  I am glad when she takes longer pauses between laying because this is another stress of course for her. Especially as she is still heavily stargazing. New stress for her now while Gino is chasing her around. So I am glad when they both come inside and spend lots of time on their favourite perching place on the bookshelf in our bedroom. There Micky can find peace.

1/9   I wonder whether these PMV relapses are happening due to crazy weather changes. There must be also a reason why it rather affects the girls and not the boys. I have never seen Jimi with any symptoms ever again. Also I think it might become rather bad for those who have been very young when they were infected. Apparently this damned virus damages more in a young bird than in an adult one. That’s at least my observation.

1/10   Emily’s breeding cycle should be over soon also. I wonder for how long she will prolongate this time. I hope she will stay on the nest for a longer time. Currently she gets Calcivet 3x a week and other than her ongoing problems with the eggs she seems to be totally healthy. She eats with great appetite and loves to fly around when the weather is okay and joins even the flock sometimes when she is not on the nest.

Pina left her eggs today and is together with Rudi all the time again.

1/11   Cleaned off Pina’s nest and removed the eggs.

1/12   The weather has become very cold again. The temperatures stay below freezing and the pijjies are very hungry. I wonder wether this may be an additional reason for Micky’s heavy stargazing.

Feeding the gang several times a day…


only a few of them – but how orderly!!! lol

1/13   We celebrate Gino’s birthday today although we do not know exactly when he crawled out of his egg. He was about 4-6 weeks old when he came to us midth of February last year as a totally emaciated baby that could hardly fly. So we decided to give him his birthday party today on the 13th because this was a lucky day for him and for us also because he is such a wonderful personality.

1/14   Micky laid her first egg #13 and it was perfect. As usual.


January 17, 2013

Lucky is tossing Seeds and Gino is getting a brandnew House

From the

Diary as of 11/4 – 11/11/2012

11/4   Gino still does not fly around. Besides being on recovery I think this is also due to his moult he is still in. His tail feathers are a mess and this must be difficult to navigate. Did I already say that he is a clever little boy?

Lucky’s behaviour today was strange. He was tossing a lot of seed and always threw his head back when he wanted to eat larger seeds. I also saw him vomiting so I cought him and checked his mouth: bright red. So I gave him immediately a Spartrix and also Propolis. What a mess – this is not good and I can only hope that no more pijjies are getting sick. This damn weather – I knew it would have consequences.

Because Gino was sick and I wanted Micky to have more peace on the balcony while she would be sitting on eggs I decided to build them a wooden house which would be much better than the hanging planting pot. Especially when it would be getting really cold and windy a complete house would give them shelter and protection. Here are the pics:


Standing on top means: “this is mine!!!!! Don’t you dare!!!”


Micky is “training” inside


“don’t come nearer! Or I call my MAN”


Gino: “my house – my wife!”


Gino totally cool on his new villa




Gino: “Ha – I am the MAN!”

You cannot imagine how quickly they both adapted to their new house. But of course they are my clever babies!!!

Gino is fully his old self again and comes inside for eating together with Micky AT LEAST 4 times a day. Can you believe that? But he has to gain some weight still and he is definitely eating like a little pig! You should see them both, when they are running- yes running – inside into our bedroom where THEIR food bowl is, passing Rudi who always tries to get hold of Gino to beat him up – (I think this is not so serious as it sounds though). Gino and Micky actually look like little soldiers who are running in a kind of goose step one behind the other, which makes us laugh each time. I hope I will manage to get this on video one day. They always make our day – as bad as it may have begun.
My experiment fully worked in Gino’s case: when I noticed his bright red mouth I gave him 2 Spartrix on 2 subsequent days and additionally Propolis (the pure mother tincture in pharmacy quality only for human consumption) mixed in his millet baby cereal. On day 3 I additionally gave him Bene Bac (pro-biotic) and this for the following 3 days. You could actually see how he improved from day to day. So no heavy medication only the 2 Spartrix and then supporting his own immune system.

Currently I am a bit puzzled about Lucky. Last Sunday HE started to behave as if something was wrong – tossing his seed a bit around, not eating much, vomiting once. So I checked his mouth and there it was: bright red colour. Same program as with Gino – 2 Spartrix and Propolis on 2 subsequent days, then only Propolis and Bene Bac. On day 3 his appetite was back and he was much more vivid. He stopped vomiting on day 4.

I continued with this program until he did not show any symptoms any more. Strange was only the seed tossing which reminded me of PMV. But there were no other symptoms visible to me which could have led me to another infection such as Salmonella, where symptoms can be similar. Never had a case though. His poops were perfect.

My girls are all healthy. And this is obviously due to the Propolis I give them twice a week. I mean it is difficult to say that this always works in any case but my conclusion is that the Propolis definitely strengthens their immune system in addition to good food and the ACV water. If this really helps them spare all the heavy medication I would say this is it to keep them healthy. It is so much motivation to continue and you get so much back from these dear souls. Not a single day passes where I do not laugh or smile about their little sillynesses. This is the true life.

Back to the entries:

11/5   Gave Lucky another Spartrix and Propolis pellet and also Bene Bac to strengthen his immune system. He was still vomiting – saw it in the morning in his sleeping basket. Other than that he seemed to do quite okay. But he was still tossing his seed. Strange…

11/6   This morning I againl found some vomit in Lucky’s sleeping basket – only very few but still some. So there was still an issue to take care of. I tried to treat this by strengthening his immune system with Propolis and Bene Bac. I waited until he was sitting on Emma’s nest again and then gave him the Propolis directly mixed in some applesauce. I fed this with a small syringe.

If he was not going to be perfectly okay again within the next 3 days I would have to start him on Metronidazole although I did not like the idea. But I hoped this would not be necessary and that he would be able to fight the canker off by himself. He was definitely feeling better already because he ate quite well again and only tossed the large seeds into the air. His mouth was not as red as before when I checked him this morning.

11/7   Lucky seemed to have improved a little bit more. So as long as it was not getting worse I continued to give him Propolis and Bene Bac. So far it has worked. Under no circumstances I wanted to face the same problems again when Lucky nearly suffocated from canker in his trachea the last time.

11/8   I am still giving Lucky Propolis and Bene Bac as long as he is still tossing seed. I assume that he might have a virus infection but don’t ask me what. But at least he seems to be able to fight this off by himself.

11/9   Another portion of Propolis and Bene Bac. The latter would be the last now. But I will continue to give him Propolis every other day.

I am still puzzled about Lucky’s behaviour though. He still tosses the larger seeds such as corn and large sunflower hearts into the air and manages to actually eat one of 5. Would look funny if I did not know better. The smaller seeds such as millet, sesam, wheat are no problem for him to eat. Could it be that the “inflammation” from the canker somehow affected the nerves of his tongue so that he has these difficulties with swallowing properly? His mouth is still a bit reddish but far not as bad as at the beginning. Otherwise his behaviour is totally normal, his poop is absolutely perfect. He does not have any tremors or any other symptoms I could detect. He feels normal weight. He is flying as usual. I am quite at the end of my wits.

11/10   This morning I weighed Lucky to make sure that he can eat enough and was not loosing too much weight. I think I need not worry – he has 406 gr and does not feel thin at all. I gave him his Propolis pellet but stopped the Bene Bac.

There was also an improvement to see today:  he was tossing the seed far less than yesterday and he had a good appetite. So I would continue giving him Propolis every day until these symptoms have disappeared.

Btw – Propolis also works on viruses and fungi. I am so grateful that I found this stuff – if only more people would believe in treating with this instead of dumping all those chemicals into their poor birds. I think I should take it myself on a regular base again. If only the stuff would not taste so badly.


January 28, 2012

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

From the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

11/8  Micky and Pina got their Calcivet.

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

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

11/11   It’s Friday and nothing special.

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

Pina and Rudi are heavily cuddling with each other:


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

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

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

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


January 25, 2012

New Outbreak of PMV and Emma continues to lay awful Eggs

From the

Diary as of 11/1 – 11/6/2011

11/1   We have a new outbreak of PMV.

This time it was our Micky who started to show the first symptoms – I noticed that she was showing light symptoms for a few days but on last Sunday I was sure: real stargazing. She had problems to pick up the seed, she was very timid, very nervous. She stumbled from time to time.

So today I took Micky in. She was only skin and bones in the meanwhile and I was amazed that this morning she was still able to fly although she was very wobbly on her legs. So maybe she took her last energy to come to our balcony and walked straight inside. She was the only one with quite bad symptoms – although far not as bad as our other pijjies were 2 years ago – like Pina f.e. who could not eat for several months as you know.

Woody (Micky’s father)  was also showing symptoms but much less and he could eat properly. His mate Maggie did not show any signs at all.

I also realized that Lucky was having the first signs – yes, Lucky as well, who had the bad canker infection not long ago, holding head differently, being more nervous etc. simply the signs which indicate the existance of the virus. So far no real seizures and all can fly properly – even Micky who was showing the worst symptoms – but not all the time – thank heaven. This time it seemed to be a weaker strain of the virus or “our” pijjies were stronger to fight it off.

Well – I have to take it as it is: as long as they are able to eat – maybe with some help if necessary – there was nothing that I could do besides giving them some more care. There is no way to separate the infected ones from the healthy ones as the incubation time had already done its work.

This time I have started them all on carrot juice, an advice Brad Gibson was talking about in his forum: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pigeon-Pet-Chat/264318763604779.
Each pigeon that I could get hold of got some carrot juice with the syringe the others had to take their carrot juice from the drinking pots I always have on the balustrade. I gave them no choice – only carrot juice with water – 50/50.

It was quite funny to watch them how they lurked around the drinking pot. They waited apparently for the first to try it and this was then the signal to try it too. Some of them were really pissed off, some seemed to love the mixture of juice and water. To be honest I was amazed that they drank the stuff at all – imagine it is a bright orange liquid despite the 50/50 mixture but apparently the smell was good and most of them tried it.

Micky was and still is stargazing, loses her balance from time to time, is very fearful and easily shocked, seems to be in a trance from time to time and has some minor spasms in her feet but only for some minutes. She was and still is having seizures – circling/panicking – but then I take her out and stroke her softly and she stops immediately her trembling and becomes very calm. She is still trying to eat a few seeds but tosses 90% of them around but I have given her a little food dish so that she can continue to try. She becomes easily frustrated though and quickly gives up.

I put her on tubefeeding and she eats 3 x 20 ml without any problems – no vomiting so far. I made baby rice flakes with apple sauce and joghurt and added carrot juice each time. In the meanwhile she gets carrot juice in the evening and eats 50 thawed peas for supper. Of course she has a warm water bottle beneath her box so that it is cosy warm for her. She often perches either on the bottom or on the little saucer covered with kitchen paper I always put in the boxes and seems to relax. She is often taking a little nap which is really good for her. But she still has her seizures especially during the morning. Thank heaven her digestion works good and her poops look good – I am quite amazed about this.

Thank heaven Pina and Rudi don’t make a fuss this time – maybe they know in the meanwhile that Micky is no threat for them. I think there is a good chance that she will recover again.

Btw – Micky is the sister of Lucky from a different batch and such a sweet one. I would be really sad if we could not save her. And Woody is the father of Lucky and Micky. Lucky is still showing only some light symptoms – just a bit stargazing sometimes i.e. rather tilting his head to one side than holding it straight. The same applies to Woody but his symptoms are slightly worse than Lucky’s. Both can eat normally and behave normally besides showing some unusual nervousness and light head tremors. I have treated both with carrot juice too.

Emma still does not show any symptoms at all (she never had PMV), neither does Rudi. She is eating very well and is flying around. Pina and Jimi should be immune as we know. But I treated them also with carrot juice – just in case. Loki and Lotti do not show symptoms either. There are a few more pijjies which are coming regularly – some show light symptoms – others none at all. So I think that this is really a weaker strain of PMV or the pijjies from our balcony have become stronger due to the food and clean water supply and can fight it off themselves. Still my hopes that this would never happen again have ended in smoke. Oh my – as if we had not had enough sick and injured pijjies!!! Apparently this is a never ending story….

11/3   Nothing new. Nursing Micky, observing the others closely. No additional sick pigeons.

11/4  Emily laid another awful egg – it was #79 and she also made some very strange poops but only once:

As you can see the egg was broken again but there was a membrane that covered the hole so that nothing of the content was spilled. So Emma apparently is still suffering from calcium deficiency.

11/6   Micky is safe in the hospital box. There is no way that she can survive outside. I am so glad that I have her inside.


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