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It seems that our move up North has the full approval from our animals. They enjoy exploring our new home, especially visits out in the garden, which I ensure are regular occurences to give them a varied and interesting life. No animal should be stuck in a single place all the time.

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Georgie nibbles my hand.

The other evening, after returning home and letting Elmo out of his secure area, Elmo walked with purpose into the kitchen and waited by the patio doors. I usually spend the evening chilling out after a long day at work, but I simply couldn’t ignore Elmo’s obvious gesture that he wanted to go outside. As soon as I opened the door Elmo hopped out and proceeded to preen himself in the cool evening wind (with me sitting by his side). He was so adorable, it was a pleasure to relax with him.

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Elmo rock climbing!

Elmo also enjoys eating dirt. I believe he does it to receive minerals and little stones to aid digestion. Or he may simply like the taste! :D

Georgie and Elmo continue to tease our cat, Hugo, by insisting on having baths in his water bowls. :) But they otherwise co-exist fine, no real drama to talk about. I still (foolishly) hope that one day they will all fall in love with each other and be one big happy family! Wishful thinking, I know, but miracles can happen (right?). :)

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Georgie has a bath while Hugo watches.

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Wet Elmo!

 

 


At the beginning of last year I wrote about how many eggs Georgie has laid (click here to read the post) and I feel I should update the list.

Here are the numbers:

  • 2008 – 2 eggs
  • 2009 – 16 eggs
  • 2010 – 7 eggs
  • 2011 – 8 eggs
  • 2012 – 20 eggs
  • 2013 – 14 eggs
  • 2014 – 3 eggs to date

That makes 70 eggs in total.

I captured the moment when Georgie laid an egg this month:

Poor darling, it always looks a bit painful and stressful, but Georgie takes a moment to recover and is fine. It is interesting when you see the egg laying behaviour because now I can recognise it for what it is. The first time I saw her all puffed up and moving her tail in that manner I was quite alarmed, especially since we thought Georgie was a boy! Certainly wasn’t expecting an egg to appear! :D

Moments before she started to lay the egg (in the video) Georgie was in her nest on the sofa and Hugo boy (our pigeon-fearing cat) was very intrigued in what was going on. Georgie was all puffed up and looking different and I think Hugo thought she was something other than a pigeon. I moved her to her cage so she could lay her egg in there. If I were to move her after she had laid the egg then there would be a big chance she’d reject the relocation and insist on going back to the sofa. This has happened in the past so now I know to quickly move Georgie and her nest to her cage for the egg laying to ensure she incubates them happily in her cage. Thankfully, her eggs are infertile so I don’t have to worry about Georgie rejecting them, although I prefer her to incubate instead of laying another pair of eggs so soon after the first pair.

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Georgie girl all puffed up

 


Elmo and Georgie pigeons have been enjoying the sunshine in February. As soon as the sun peeks through the clouds I dash out with my darling pigeons so they can benefit from some UV rays (see The importance of ultraviolet light for pigeons and doves). It can be hard, though, to juggle so many animals, since Hugo cat also likes to go out for a walk when I take the pigeons out. I’m reduced to taking each animal out one at a time for supervised fun in the sun, since Elmo doesn’t like Georgie or Hugo and will peck them if they come near and I cannot leave any of them alone outside since, A) predators may be about, B) Hugo will fight with the neighbourhood cats, C) Georgie or Elmo may flap about if it is windy and be lifted into the neighbours cat-filled garden, and D) I only possess two hands and cannot hold safely on to 3 animals at a time if I need to quickly take them back into the house.

So when the sun comes out I have to time things right to give each pet a fair share of time in the garden. I wonder what the neighbour’s think when they see me popping out with a cat on a harness and lead for a stroll and sniff around the garden, then back out with a pigeon for a peck at the grass and dirt, then out again with another pigeon for a bit of sunbathing. They must think I am mad! … I always suspected that I would become a crazy pigeon-cat-knitting lady. :D

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Georgie pigeon

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Elmo pigeon

 

 

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Georgie pigeon

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Elmo pigeon

 


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Elmo pigeon

My two pigeons live indoors since they are both disabled and bonded to humans. I have written a lot in the past about their special needs and their requirements for living indoors, especially stressing the importance of ensuring their emotional needs are met as well as their dietary ones. One of the latter requirments are minerals. Out in the wild pigeons will find and eat minerals to supplement their diet (as do many other animal species), but where in my household are Elmo and Georgie going to find these minerals?

When I bought the first red mineral pick-pot I was amazed at how quickly Elmo knew that it was for eating and at how much he enjoyed doing so. When out in the garden Elmo would always eat some dirt, so I knew he had the need for minerals, but how did he know that the pot contained them? Whatever the answer, Elmo started a love affair with the pick pot and I had to ensure that I had a steady supply of them (previous posts about the subject: Pet pigeons can be so silly sometimes… and Pigeon video introduction)

After a house move I had to think of where to put the pick-pot so Elmo could enjoy it. I had concerns about putting it in the kitchen – which is where it was in our previous home – because the spillage was great (Elmo is not a neat eater!) which left the floor stained pink. So this time I placed the pot in Elmo’s little corner near his food and water since the area is covered with a cloth that I can wash.

What did Elmo do? He ignored the pot completely. Instead, he’d walk into the kitchen and look about for the pot there, even though it is a completely different kitchen with a different layout. Elmo seemed to have it in his head that the pick-pot belonged in the kitchen. I kept showing Elmo where the pot was near his food but he would simply ignore it and walk into the kitchen. I watched him do this for a while before I gave in and put the pot in a corner in the kitchen. Elmo immediately went up to it and ate some minerals. Pigeon 1, human 0.

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Elmo is reunited with his beloved mineral pick-pot.

I left the pick-pot in the kitchen for a week then moved it back into Elmo’s area in the living room. I didn’t want the minerals to stain the floor and I also wanted Elmo to have access to them all the time (he’s not allowed in the kitchen when we’re out at work). Thankfully, Elmo realised that the pick-pot was now in his area and continued to use it there, so I am now happy with the knowledge that he isn’t going without at any point. :)

In other news, Elmo briefly perches on our door. He didn’t look impressed with being so high up – since Elmo cannot fly he’s always at a floor level – so we quickly took him down. :)

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I seem to find it difficult to write about only one of my lovely animals at a time. I have to include all three, especially when they spend their evenings snuggled up to us and keep us occupied with their shenanigans. The sofa subject is a cause of friction since both Hugo and Elmo think that Richard’s lap is their spot. This photo was taken on one of those rare occasions when Elmo tolerated Hugo’s close proximity (he usually launches an attack of pecks and wing slaps):

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Elmo (left) and Hugo (right).

Georgie doesn’t have this problem. She only has to share my lap with my knitting, which is more of a problem for me since she will grab the needles and give them a shake whilst I try to knit.

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I seem to remember a time when I only had to worry about keeping two animals on the sofa apart to avoid a fight (read: A complicated relationship), now I have a cat to think about too! Sometimes Hugo is hesitant to jump on the sofa when Elmo and Georgie are on it, and he’ll give me this thoroughly fed up look:

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But when he finds himself on a pigeon-free sofa (at last!), Hugo can relax!

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After looking at some wonderful photos and videos of multi-species households online, I thought about our own multi-species family. We never meant to adopt pigeons – it just kind of happened – and we certainly never thought we’d adopt a cat (pigeons + cats = chaos?). … Well, in this case, the cat adopted us first. (Click on ‘Hugo the cat‘ for his story.)

Can different species live in harmony? Certainly. Even predator and prey species can co-exist without the expected kill. It is, however, never ideal to deliberately put predator and prey species together. Often though, like in our case, the animals themselves reveal their nature and show that living without killing is possible, and a multi-species household is created.

We were very careful when Hugo the cat first came into our lives. It was a while before we introduced Elmo and Georgie to him. If Hugo had shown any sign of predatory interest in our pigeons he wouldn’t have been allowed back in. But Hugo in fact showed us the opposite. He was afraid!

What makes a cat afraid of a pigeon? I’ve seen Hugo stalk and kill a bug, but he wouldn’t dare try that with our pigeons. He’s curious and will come over to sniff them, and sometimes he wants to play with them, but he’s never stalked Georgie or Elmo. If Hugo is too interested in Elmo, Elmo will try to peck him to tell him to back off, and Hugo will run away.

Georgie tolerates Hugo more than Elmo does. Here she is standing on him for no apparent reason:

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And here’s Elmo coming back into the living room with Hugo waiting for him to pass so he can go into the kitchen. Such manners! :)

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As always, I tried to take video of my pigeons and Hugo together, but they were camera shy. I shall keep trying. :)


Happy New Year!

2014 is going to be a fantastic year – I can feel it. :)

And what better way to spend the beginning of the new year than to take photos of your beloved animals. … Or attempt to, as is the case with me and my lovely pigeons. I don’t think I’ve managed to take a single clear, crisp photo of Elmo and Georgie. The light has either been too dim or they’ve moved or my camera pretends to be something other than a camera when I try to take a photo (I think it secretly wants to be a radio).

I was so hoping to show you some wonderful photos of my darling pigeons, but instead you shall gaze lovingly at the blurry shots of Elmo and Georgie. I know that you know they are wonderful pigeons with big personalities, but I would like to portray this through the medium of photography. I must try harder. And also to cure Georgie of her hatred of flashing lights (always a detriment when taking flash photography). And Elmo is so vain that as soon as he sees the camera he has to move about and dance to it. … I know what you’re thinking, “Excuses, excuses.” :)

So after all that, here are the first photos of Georgie and Elmo in 2014:

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Here at Pigeons as Pets headquarters, we’re all getting into the Christmas spirit:

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Georgie playing with the tinsel:

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Hugo takes a nap after wrapping up some presents:

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Elmo thinks the Santa hat is very comfortable:

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I love to knit, and after discovering a pattern for knitted pigeons, I love to knit pigeons! :D

With the permission of the pattern designer, I knit and sell the knitted pigeons on my website: www.revati.co.uk

I update my facebook page with announcements of when the pigeons are ready for sale: www.facebook.com/revati.co.uk

A while ago I knitted a prototype of a likeness of my pet pigeon, Elmo, to give to Elmo’s previous carer as a present. I’m thinking of knitting more “Elmo” pigeons to sell. I know that he has lots of fans around the world. :)

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