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20140125_101051

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.

2013-12-18 14.35.30

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. :)

2013-12-07 12.08.36