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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)