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Late last year two fancy pigeons were brought to my work because they had been found in the wild unable to cope with being out of captivity (they had either escaped or been stupidly released). They came in separately, but once they were put in an aviary together they promptly fell in love. :)

One is a male West of England Tumbler and the other a female of unknown breed (possibly a mix. Any ideas?).

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West of England Tumbler pigeon on the right

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Unknown fancy breed on the left

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They love each other!

We found them a forever home since the resident aviary at work is full, and the day I put them in their carrier to wait for their transporter was a loud one. As soon as the male Tumbler started cooing to his mate all the other pigeons in the Intensive Care Unit started cooing too. He also set off the baby pigeons we had in there. Just listen:

What darlings!! :)


Remember Davey pigeon’s foot injury? (See: Davey pigeon in care) Well, it healed up nicely, no infection or other complications, so we removed the stitches and put him back into Dora’s aviary. All the male pigeons came down to greet him and Davey got straight to work in establishing his territory after having been away for a week and a half. :)

Last week it was rather wet and windy so it was a relief to have Dora’s aviary cleaned and given dry bedding (the pigeons love fresh bedding. I love watching them pick up bits of straw to take to their nests). But of course it rained today so the aviary is a bit wet again. The pigeons don’t mind the rain to be honest (they do have shelter in the aviary). I often see them with their wings up to let the rain wash their “wing-pits”. :)

I went over to check for eggs to replace with fake ones and to do a quick visual check of all the pigeons in there. Everyone looked fine and healthy, which was of course a relief after the scare when Davey injured his foot.

I managed to take a few videos of Dora and the other pigeons for your viewing pleasure. As usual, Dora had fun attacking my fingers while her mate, Pidge, thought they were worthy recipients for mating.

Here’s a list of all the current resident pigeons (fancy or disabled) at my work:

  1. DORAfemale - fancy pigeon (paired with Pidge)
  2. PIDGEmale - feral pigeon (paired with Dora)
  3. GERTIEfemale - racing pigeon (paired with Marmaduke)
  4. MARMADUKEmale - Archangel breed (paired with Gertie)
  5. FLEURfemale - fancy pigeon (paired with Marmalade)
  6. MARMALADEmale - Archangel breed (paired with Fleur)
  7. MADDIEfemale - feral pigeon (paired with Lord Nelson)
  8. LORD NELSONmale - West of England Tumbler breed (paired with Maddie)
  9. PEACHESfemale - fancy pigeon (paired with Stanley)
  10. STANLEYmale - feral pigeon (paired with Peaches)
  11. SPECKLESfemale - feral pigeon (paired with Horatio)
  12. HORATIOmale - Highflyer/Tippler breed (paired with Speckles)
  13. LUMIfemale - feral pigeon (paired with Turk)
  14. TURKmale - Turkish Takla breed (paired with Lumi)
  15. MOUSIEfemale - racing pigeon (paired with Rudderford)
  16. RUDDERFORDmale - feral pigeon (paired with Mousie)
  17. DAVEYmale - feral pigeon (single)
  18. BUTTONmale - feral pigeon (single)
  19. BIRDIEfemale - feral pigeon (single)
  20. TUXfemale - feral pigeon (paired with Burko)
  21. BURKOmale – feral pigeon (paried with Tux)

I would like to thank everyone for their amazing support after reading my last post, Under attack.

THANK YOU!!!

You’ve all been wonderful and lovely in your comments and views. The world is a much better place with you in it. :)

While I know in my heart that I’m doing the right thing to provide a safe and loving home for Elmo and Georgie and no one will be able to convince me otherwise, I feel a bit sad that someone else disagrees so much. It’s silly, really, to get upset about it when I know that there will always be someone who will not be able to understand what wonderful creatures pigeons are. When I look at my two darling pigeons I cannot help but think, “Who in their right mind would want to harm them?”

Elmo and Georgie send everyone their love!!

This is one of my favourite photos of Georgie snuggling up to me (photo taken in 2008):

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Revati and Georgie

Elmo has such trust in us that he’ll fall fast asleep without a worry in the world:

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Richard and Elmo


We’ve recently had a few people (racing pigeon people by the looks of it) contact us on our YouTube account who are critical of us and our two tame, disabled pigeons, Elmo and Georgie.

We have been told to get homer pigeons instead since they are smarter and better looking than Elmo and Georgie (who are feral pigeons).

How superficial!! As if we care what pigeon is the best looking or the smartest. We love our pigeons because of their loving nature and amazing character.

We have also been told that our pigeons are not as happy as we think they are because they are ill.

Let me first state that neither Georgie or Elmo are ill. They both were affected by disease when they were babies – 11 years ago in Elmo’s case and 4 years ago in Georgie’s case – but are now perfectly healthy. However, according to one man (who has 34 years of experience keeping racing pigeons), our pigeons are not happy, we are spreading disease and we should euthanise them.

Our pigeons are very happy. I may not have decades of experience, but I do know my two pigeons. Georgie I have known since she was a baby; I’ve cared for her and learnt to read her behaviour and needs. Elmo is an open book. We can see the contentment and love in his eyes when he’s snuggled up to us – there is absolutely no doubt in our minds.

I find it hard to understand how anyone who views our videos of Elmo and Georgie can possibly think that they are unhappy. For someone who has 34 years of experience keeping pigeons he’s not very perceptive.

I will not engage in further conversation with these people since I have found them unwilling to listen, so I won’t get upset and drawn into a protracted argument, however, it does upset me to a degree to know that there’s someone out there who thinks I should put my pigeons to sleep because, according to them, they are unhappy and diseased.

:(


One of the minor problems with keeping female pigeons is that they can lay eggs every month for the majority of their life. Since egg laying uses lot of energy and calcium it can cause a strain on the female’s body. It isn’t easy to stop a female pigeon from laying eggs every month. As far as I know, there is no hard and fast way to do so. Providing the pigeon with extra vitamin D and calcium, as well as proper housing and good quality food, will help with the stress of egg laying and incubating.

In 2009 my semi-blind pet pigeon, Georgie, laid a pair of eggs nearly every month. Then she decided to have a long break (she must have realised that her eggs are infertile and since I, her “mate”, was no help in incubating she decided it wasn’t worth the stress) and only laid eggs for a few months in a row before having another break. After another 6 month break, Georgie laid an egg on the 31st Dec 2011 and the second one on the 3rd Jan 2012.

She’s been working double shifts since I’m no help. Poor girl, she must get cramped sitting all day and night on her infertile eggs. I let her out of her cage for a stretch and a poo, since she holds it in when nesting, but otherwise Georgie spends all her time being the mummy she thinks she’ll be. It is sad, however, I haven’t been successful with finding her a male pigeon that likes her and even when I do, I wouldn’t let them incubate fertile eggs since there are enough pigeons in the world without me adding to the population. (We don’t have an aviary either so we wouldn’t be able to keep any babies.)

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Georgie on her eggs

Georgie feels very safe in the new nest we got her (see Bedtime and new nest), however, I have to leave the whole thing in her cage when I leave for work otherwise she’d freak out since she doesn’t like her eggs and nest being moved about. It’s a bit cramped once the cage top goes on, but since she sits for most of the day it isn’t a problem (and it’s a temporary thing).

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Cramped quarters

I have been going through the previous posts about Georgie’s egg laying, and it’s interesting to read about her nesting behaviour (and how my views change every time).

Here’s Georgie a week before she laid her eggs, preening my arm in her loving way (it tickles!!!):


Last week at work I was informed that a lot of blood was found on the floor of Dora’s aviary. Trying not to panic (thoughts of dying and dead pigeons flooding my mind), I quickly went to her aviary to see what was wrong. Sure enough, there was a lot of blood soaked into the floor substrate and my eyes whipped about to every pigeon in the aviary to find who was injured.

Two possible causes for the blood came to mind: 1) a toe nail had broken at the quick or 2) a rat had bitten one of the pigeons through the wire. Where there is food there will inevitably be rats, and while I haven’t got a problem with wild rats at all (meaning that I don’t mind if they are about), aviaries do need to be rat proof to protect the pigeons in them. Dora’s aviary is rat proof, however, it doesn’t have a solid floor, only wire (something I would like to change), and the rats have started to dig underneath, trying to find a way to the food. As I stood in the aviary I noticed that a wire panel had seperated from the frame and a hole had appeared. My heart stopped. Had a rat gotten into the aviary and attacked one of the disabled pigeons? As I searched for the source of the blood my thoughts were running wild with dread. “Please, please, let them all be safe,” I prayed.

Then I saw Davey with blood on his foot (Davey came to the wildlife rescue centre in 2010 with a broken wing and he cannot fly). Upon inspection I found that the pad on his left foot had been sliced open, possibly from a rat bite or from cutting it on the wire of the seperated floor panel. The 20 other pigeons in the aviary were all unharmed.

So Davey was brought into the Intensive Care Unit (I.C.U.) for treatment. We cleaned the wound and attempted to bandage it, however, it kept bleeding. We booked an appointment at our local veterinary surgery for them to suture the wound. Here’s the result:

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Foot stitched up

Davey pigeon is on pain relief and antibiotics, and thankfully the wound is clean and healing nicely. Here’s the boy after his trip to the vet:

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Davey pigeon in care

I managed to fix the floor panel after ensuring that there were no rats in the aviary, as well as checking for any other holes. Davey doesn’t have a mate so there is no one pining away for him while he’s away from the aviary. He seems quite content in I.C.U. – cooing and dancing for the female pigeons he can see in the other cages. He’s got a very loud voice and I can hear him talking when I walk past I.C.U. :)

I’m sure, in a week or so, Davey will be back in his aviary.

Ps. My pigeon is quite ill but still very feisty. (Read about it: Personal rescue)