Pigeons As Pets: Outside or Indoors

King Pigeon Yuzu (wearing pants) with his adopter Shae

King Pigeon Yuzu (wearing pants) with his adopter Shae

Pet lovers are embracing the joys of adopting dogs and cats from shelters in ever greater numbers, but few people realize how many birds there are in shelters and rescues needing to be adopted.

Pigeons Make Great Pets — And They Need Our Help

I started MickaCoo Pigeon & Dove Rescue in San Francisco, CA when I discovered domestic (unreleasable) pigeons were being killed in shelters for lack of homes. Pigeons such as Kings, Fantails, Tumblers and Homers are smart, beautiful and gentle birds. They’ve been selectively bred and tamed and, while they can’t survive in the wild, they thrive as pets. Many pigeons (and other birds as well) wind up in animal shelters, either surrendered or found as strays, but they need adopters to get out alive.

Pigeons make great pets both indoors as part of the family or outside in a rodent and predator-proof aviary.

Adopter Helen and her flock of six pigeons are very happy with their aviary

Adopter Helen and her flock of six pigeons are very happy with their aviary

Pigeons as Pets in an Outdoor Aviary

Rescued pigeons can’t be safely flown (they are easy targets for hawks and cats) and so, when outside, must be protected in an aviary. It needs to be predator-proof (sturdy and securely built all the way around including top and bottom), rodent-proof (use 16 gauge or better hardware mesh with openings half inch or smaller) and include a sheltered corner that will stay shady on the hottest days and dry during the rainiest. No one has ever wished for a smaller aviary so make it as big as possible. Minimum size for four birds would be at least 6 feet long by 4 feet deep and 6 feet high.

Pigeons excel at the leisure arts and spend their time bathing, preening, lounging in the sun, foraging for favorite seeds, watching the sky, napping, showing off and courting. Every four to five weeks, mated couples will lay a pair of eggs (which need to be replaced with fake eggs for pigeon birth control) and take turns sitting on them. Pigeons are extremely devoted to their family and mate for life. They require fresh food and water and a quick poop-scrape daily and a thorough aviary cleaning weekly. Pigeons are beautiful, peaceful and full of personality. With time and attention, most can be hand-tamed. All can be befriended. It’s easy to create a charming, attractive and safe aviary for rescued pigeons.

West of England Tumblers Beau & Cher are devoted mates

West of England Tumblers Beau & Cher are devoted mates

Pigeons as Indoor Pets

Pigeons can also live inside with the family. They need a big cage for their home base (a double-flight cage or an extra large dog kennel is a good size for a pair) with daily out-of-cage time to stretch their legs and wings and have some fun. They’ll walk around more than fly and will pick out some favorite spots for hanging out. Pigeons are smart, easy going birds that quickly learn household routines. They do fine in homes with other pets and can live peacefully and unafraid with dogs and cats as long as they are kept safe. Pigeons are very emotional and do need a BFF, whether another bird or a human with whom they can spend the day. (Home all alone in a cage isn’t a good life for a pigeon.)

Janelle & Beep chat up Petey & Pineapple in their double-flight cage

Janelle & Beep chat up Petey & Pineapple in their double-flight cage

Using Pigeon Pants for Indoor Birds

The main inconvenience to having pigeons as indoor pets is probably their droppings. Healthy pigeon poop is odorless and not too hard to manage with hardwood or tile floors or with strategic placement of liners. Pigeons can also be potty trained or they can wear pigeon pants! Pigeon pants are adorable little harnesses with a diaper to catch droppings. The pants are easy to put on and pigeons tolerate them well. Once dressed, they can walk and fly around the house and sit on laps and shoulders poop-free. The diaper, lined with half a panty-liner, should to be changed every 3 hours.

Frances flirting with his teddy bear

Frances flirting with his teddy bear

Share the Word: Pigeons Need and Deserve Good Homes

I absolutely adore hearing my pet pigeon Frances pitter-pattering around the house on his little pink feet. He’ll do his own thing for a while (lounging in the sun or strutting in front of a mirror) and then come looking for me and always brings me a smile when he comes.

There are lots and lots of beautiful, sweet, innocent domestic pigeons like Frances in need of homes. Lacking survival skills, they cannot be released into the wild and, if they aren’t adopted, they are killed. Please share this story with everybody you know. Most people are completely unaware of the plight of birds in shelters.

If you’d like to adopt, please complete our online adoption application.

Please visit our Donate Page to see the ways that you can help support this unique effort.

Click here to download our flyer about adopting pigeons and doves.

The birds and I thank you!

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60 Comments

  1. Hi,

    I’ve adopted a Pigeon who got lost and whose owner didn’t seem very interested to come and get him cos he was way off where he was meant to be. He has a nice cage and I let him out all the time. He’s been with us about two and a half months now but he still is very suspicious of myself and my girlfriend and always maintains a two foot radius.

    Any ideas on how to make him a bit more friendly? I thought he’d have twigged by now that we weren’t going to eat him!

    Jonathan

    • I love the fact that u got interested to adopt a pigeons ..!!! I rascu one that failed from the nest and couldn’t fly she have been with me for 3 years . She was the best think that ever happened in my life in friendship relaruonship meaning .. I am French we love pigeons , we think that they are beautiful and smart .. In America they take u to jail if u feed them , it dam .. The pigeons are so smart that they were used as spy’s during the war .. I have had the most amazing experience with mine she even learned how to play piano .. It hard to believe bit I have a video I of her .. Making the story short .. My pigeon started to spent the nights out she came every day to eat play some music and hang out but she didn t show up for 2 days now .. I am hart broken .. Anyway ., for ur question .. The best way to get ur pigeon more friendly u have to get ther trust .. By feeding him personally don t just put food in a plate give him little but at the time with ur hand .. If u want more spesefic a feel free to call me will explained better .. And perhaps will shoe u the photos and videos of my pg copter ..:) my phone is (415) 623- 8816 merci for ur compassion!!!

  2. Hi, Jonathan. Thank you so much for helping this pigeon. Birds are prey animals and shy of predators like us by nature. But that said, pigeons are very smart and with patience, kindness and lots of trust-building, you can win his affection. Try to make all of your interactions calm and non-threatening and positive. Offer him his favorite seeds (often safflower or hemp or chopped non-salted peanuts) in your open hand and, if he won’t take them, just put drop them in his dish so he can see that your hand brings good news. In time, you’ll gain his trust. (All pigeons are individuals though and so how close you become will depend on you both.) Read through the blog here to see stories of pigeons becoming friendly. You can also see lots of stories and pictures at http://www.Facebook.com/MickaCooRescue.

  3. I found a pigeon of 20 days when he fell off his nest, I fed him like a baby, saw him growing, changing his voice and his new tail. since he arrived he filled the house with joy and poo, his name is martincito and loves the mirror, watch tv, fly with other pigeons, taking baths, trees and food. He is now 8 months old and he is the king of the house, Such a sweet creature, so quiet and loving, wish I had a pigeon before, thanks martincito for your love.

  4. heyy great to hear that plz find him a mate so that they can’t start reproducing n multiply.

  5. hi am kevin it’s justice that am finding it abit difficult trying to rear pegeons. every time I buy aeast a pairs they’re just end up getting lost or even preyed on.please help me..

    • Hi, Kevim- It sounds like you are keeping your pigeons in unsafe conditions! Please- before you put any more innocent birds at risk, get some expert help to create a safe and healthy environment. AND please DON’T BREED pigeons! There are too many homeless pigeons that can’t be released nor get adopted and that are killed. Please- don’t buy, don’t breed- adopt rescued pigeons!

  6. So my dad found this famcy looking pigeon and we have had it for years but I live in colorado and he’s in his inside cage in the basement where I sleep and he is always loud and constantly how can I get him too not be like that

    • Hello, Joshua- Single pigeons will call because they are lonesome and trying to find a mate. (Pigeons are all about being married.) Does this pigeon have a good quality of life? If he’s just living alone in a cage in a basement, it doesn’t sound like it. Perhaps you can help this pigeon to have a happier life- either by improving his living quarters and adopting a mate for him (and replacing their real eggs with fake eggs so that they don’t reproduce!) or by finding him a wonderful new home where he would be a welcome family member. You can find other pigeon lovers in your area by visiting Pigeon Talk at http://www.Pigeons.biz/forums. Good luck to you and the pij.

  7. In May of last year a white pigeon started coming around to my feeders. He is a lot bigger than the other birds so we named him Fat Dave.

    I started to get concerned about Fat Dave because he didn’t seem like a wild bird. He pretty much stayed right by the feeders and didn’t seem overly skittish about people. When we had a cold spell, Dave tried to follow my dog into the house. I felt bad for him (he was shivering) so I gave him run of the laundry room in the carport. I set him up with a space heater and feed him twice daily. Dave has lived in there for a few months full time and only comes out to take a dip in the bird bath now and then.

    I’ve been out of town for three days and my son has been feeing Dave. I got home late tonight and Dave was gone! My son says he’s been coming in and out. I’m worried. At this point the bird is family, I love him and I’m concerned that my being gone made him leave. I’m worried he won’t come back and I don’t think he can feed himself.

    I hope to see him in the morning. I’m baffled why he’d stay gone at night and sleep somewhere else. I’m very upset about his absence.

    When he returns, I wonder if I should get a cage to keep him in? Or if I should turn him over to someone who already has pigeons (I would rather see him safe and taken care of and keep him, if I can’t manage his care). I rent a house so a permanent outdoor structure would not be an option. Is there a type of structure that could move with me?

    I am worried about Dave and his care when he returns. Any advice would be most appreciated.

    • Thank you for helping Dave. He sounds like either a King or Homing pigeon and in either case is domestic and unable to survive in the wild for long.

      Where do you live? You need to look for him- he wouldn’t have gone far but likely will need help to get home. You should put up flyers in your neighborhood with his picture (or something that looks like him from Google Images), post to craigslist & contact your area shelters and wildlife rescues. Tell them you’re looking for a lost white pigeon.

  8. It makes me happy to see these posts. How I found pigeons was through volunteering at a bird refuge. Out of eagles, hawks, falcons, song birds, etc. I fell in love with pigeons…in my opinion they have the most personality, I felt like I could really bond with them, and the fact that they never strayed to far after release made them my favorite friend. Over the years I have become a volunteer caretaker of abandoned or injured birds. I have had the ultimate gift of being handed 9 baby homing pigeons one day in July of 2012. Right out of the egg, eyes still closed. Thanks to my skills from working at the refuge I knew exactly how to care for them. I banded them all with bright orange bands that had my name and phone number printed on the. They were like my kids. My neighbors ended up shooting and killing all but one of them. That last pigeon ended up living with me, he was so attached that even if I tried to let him go from a distant place he wouldn’t leave my side, and I know from flying pigeons they immediately gather their perception of where they are going and start to fly in that direction. They usually get to my front door before I do. But not this special little homer, he was so scared, he wouldn’t leave my side. I decided he’d be my best little friend forever. His name is Squirt, and he is the best little homer any pigeon fancier could ever ask for.

  9. I need someone to take about 15 pigeons,moving to Texas and
    cannot take them with me.I live
    in Los Angeles,Ca,phone # (323)
    734-2604. Thank you, Bobbie

    • I’m so glad that you found a good home for your pigeons, Bobbie. People please- don’t buy, don’t breed- ADOPT! And keep your pets with you as your family! Don’t leave them behind when you move. If you can’t take your pets with you, you’re moving to the wrong place.

  10. Pingback: Working Together: MickaCoo & The SF SPCA | MickaCoo Pigeon & Dove Rescue

  11. I used to feed pigeons in my yard and they became tame, they sat on my head and in my lap. I moved, and, amazingly there aren’t pigeons around the place.I decided to adopt a pigeon so I read this blog to see if I can. I think I can take all the responsibilities, I’m sure of it. Thank you very much for posting this.

  12. Pingback: Bubba’s Story | MickaCoo Pigeon & Dove Rescue

  13. I’ve read these posts and find them very enlightening!
    Ray

  14. Hi im makena I cought a wild grown up pigeon and i want to keep it should i?

    • Hi, Makena- If the bird is healthy and able to live free, then you should release him back to his free life! He’s got a mate and either eggs or babies to help care for. He deserves to get back to his real life. If the pigeon is sick, weak or injured, you should get him to an expert wildlife rehabber that helps pigeons ASAP. If for some reason, once treated, the pigeon can’t live free, then you could keep him and give him a good life as a pet (if you’re prepared to make the commitment).

  15. My partner and I found a four-day old baby pigeon that had fallen out of the nest and been trapped in pigeon spikes in Sydney, Australia. We hand-reared Beaky, got an avian specialist to give him a cast ( as his hips/leg had been displaced from the pigeon spikes and otherwise he would not have walked), and he’s now a happy 17 month old boy! He has his own room to play in and is known in the local area as he goes to cafés with us in his carrier….
    I’ve had many dogs, cats, budgies and cockatiels, however, for love, cuddles and personality Beaky is unsurpassed!!!!
    What you are doing with increasing awareness of rescue pigeons as pets is wonderful!!!
    Cheers,
    Karen and Beaky

  16. I love wild pigeons I think they are beautiful. I had no idea you could really have a pet pigeon til I saw one on an adoption website. If you adopt a single pigeon how to you adopt another bird? Do pigeons have friends or only mates? How do you know that your pigeon will like the second pigeon you adopt? Do the pigeons need to be of the same breed of pigeon?

    • Hello, April. Only unreleasable feral or domestic pigeons (birds that can’t live free & survive in the wild) should be kept as pets. (Please never make a free bird captive.) Pigeons are all about having a mate and, if they can’t have an opposite sex mate, will often bond with a same sex mate. (Two hens will usually bond more easily than two henrys but male-male couples do develop sometimes. Other times, they remain rivals.) Pigeons can connect with different breeds but should not be housed with doves (size differential is too great and a single conflict can be fatal for the dove). I’d recommend connecting with a pigeon-knowledgeable and experienced person in your area to work with that can help you adopt and learn about caring for pigeons (rather than learning the hard way). We’re in the SF Bay Area of Northern CA but you can find pigeon lovers all over the world on Facebook and at Pigeon Talk (www.pigeons.biz/forums). Thank you for appreciating pigeons and for making adoption your option!

  17. I’m a veterinary assistant and one of the doctors I work with often raises and rehabilitates injured or abandoned animals. She took in a wild pigeon and treated its physical injuries but it is having trouble learning to fly again and will likely never survive in the wild. She can’t keep this bird because of her other pets. I would like to take it in, especially since it will be euthanized if no one can provide a home. Keeping wild animals as pets is illegal, but since some pigeons are pets, and a licensed DMV says it can’t return to the wild, I’m not sure about the legal status of this particular bird. Any thoughts?

    • Unless this bird is a native (like a Band Tailed Pigeon), it is legal to keep. Feral & domestic pigeons have no protection under the law. You’ll never regret having a pet pigeon. They are incredibly emotionally intelligent, adaptable and charming. Thank you for helping her!

  18. Hi! There has been a black and white pigeon hanging out in my yard for a couple days. I’ve fed it and given it water for the last few days. I know its someones pet because of the tag on its leg, I called the number but the owner doesn’t seem to care. I’ve been thinking about keeping the pigeon because I have grown to like having it around and I found out that he/she wont be able to survive in the wild for long. I’m not sure how to go about bringing it inside though. It is pretty comfortable around me (it comes up to me and eats from my hand) if I try to pick it up he/she will just open their wings. I don’t know what kind of pigeon it is. Anything helps? Thanks. :)

    • Hello, Erin- Thank you for helping this pigeon. Please open a door into your home of garage and lure the pigeon in with food. Once he’s inside, close the door behind him and then you’ll be able to catch & help him. Or, if he will land on you, walk slowly into your open door (have kids & pets locked up so as not to spook him). Where do you live? I can have one of our volunteers contact you to provide more info. The pigeon is living on borrowed time outside and is at risk from hawks, cats, owls, ravens, etc. Please help him to get safe. We call what he’s doing “self rescue”. Here’s a link to a great story about another clever self-rescuing pigeon- http://www.pigeonrescue.org/2013/04/30/pigeon-self-rescues-through-the-cat-door/

      Thank you!

  19. I rescued a pigeon boy last August. I found him 3 days old on my roof. His name is Loki and I’m going to be moving so I can’t keep him. I want to find a good home for him how should I go about it?

    • Hello, Ashleigh. Thank you for helping Loki when he was a baby. I am reminded of the quote by Antoine de Saint Exupery,’Many have forgotten this truth, but you must not forget it. You remain responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.‘ My first suggestion would be for you to reconsider rehoming him. You’re his person. He’s bonded to you and depends on you. Why move some place where you must give up the life you took into your care? But, if you truly can no longer care for Loki, then reach out far and wide to all the animal-loving communities in your area. Create an “Adopt Me” post about Loki that explains who he is, what kind of pet he is and what he needs to be happy. Share that info throughout your network, through social media and to avian vets, wildlife rehabbers, bird rescuers, etc. etc. Make sure that whomever you consider knows how to care for Loki properly (can’t just be left in any old cage outside or live in the yard, etc.) And make sure you review and approve the home before letting anyone take Loki. It’s easy to give a pigeon away (people use them for all kinds of terrible things) but it takes a little work to find a good home for a pigeon.

      • Thank you for your advice. Create a adopt me post on this website? I truly don’t want to give up my baby but I’m left no choice, moving is out of my control.

  20. My neighbor has 20-30 homing pigeons who used to get out several times a day to fly then back into a fairly small coop. The owner is getting old and does not care for the birds anymore. The birds have not been let out in over a month! I’m not sure who feeds or waters them. I have left several messages with the family but no response. How can I help these birds?

    • Hello, Nancy- Thank you for noticing and caring about the birds’ plight. Where are you located? If it was me, I’d visit with the owner first and see what sort of help or support he wants/is willing to accept and see if animal welfare/rescue advocates in the area can help. If you feel like the birds are abused and/or suffering from neglect, you’ll need to involve animal care services in your area. It’s really important that these birds be prevented from breeding as the 20-30 will be 40-60 in no time! Here’s a link to pigeon birth control info. and I’ll email you our flyer on the subject as well. Also- please make sure that anyone and everyone involved with helping these birds knows that they cannot be “released” and expected to survive.

  21. Hello, first of all I want to say that I have nothing but respect and admiration for MickaCoo, you guys are wonderful for caring for these beautiful and underappreciated birds. I wish there was a similar organization in San Diego…at the wildlife rescue I work at we get a few domestic pigeons here and there and I always try to find them homes with our volunteers. it’s usually not a problem because all our volunteers love pigeons (who wouldn’t, especially after working with them??) but every so often we have to turn them over to Animal Services, and I don’t know how hard they try to find adopters before euthanizing.

    Anyway, I have a pet fantail, Kiwi, that I adopted from the wildlife rescue I used to work at in Sacramento. He (at least I think he’s a he) is very bonded to me, but I am constantly worried that his quality of life could be better. I keep him in a finch flight cage (about 3 by 2 by 2 feet) at night and when I’m away, and give him free reign of my room (hardwood floors, easy to clean up after ;) whenever I’m home. I like to think I am a good pigeon wife, as good as a human can be at least, but I worry that since I work often he gets lonely and bored. I would hate to adopt another pigeon only to have them fight all the time, or for him to fall in love and not want to be affectionate towards me anymore (selfish, I know).

    So, to make a long story short, should I adopt another pigeon? Would I be able to bring Kiwi with me to meet potential pigeon friends and make sure they got along? I am moving back up north to Davis, CA in 2 weeks, so I’ll be somewhat in the area.

    Again, thank you for all you do for pigeons and doves, and sorry for the novel of a comment!

    • Thank, Julia, for your kind words and for rescuing Kiwi. We’d love to help you adopt a friend for him and you could also find a friend for him at Wildlife Care Association in Sacramento. I’ll email you.

  22. Hi
    My neighbour has about 60 fantail pigeons nesting on the back roof of his house and all over his back garden. He has put numerous dog kennels up on the roof to house them. Aside from this being an eyesore, could it be dangerous from a hygiene perspective?
    Regards,
    Nicole.

    • Hello, Nicole- no, I wouldn’t consider them a risk to humans (you can read more about that at PiCas Pigeon Control Advisory Serivce) but the way they are being cared for sounds risky for them. Sixty pigeons is a big flock and your neighbor is probably allowing them to breed. We recommend against breeding because there are already so many domestic (unreleasable) pigeons like his in need of homes at shelters and rescues. It also sounds like they may not have adequate protection. Pigeons are very intelligent but domestic birds like his have no skills for evading predators and need humans to provide safe, predator-proof housing. You might reach out to your neighbor and talk with him about ways that he could care for his flock (safely in an aviary).

  23. Hi! I came across your website while searching for info regarding foster placement for lost pigeons. I’m wondering if you might know of some resources you could share? Here is the situation briefly.

    I have been feeding and providing water for a white homing pigeon in my back yard for the past 5 or so days. I suspect it must have become lost after having been used in a release ceremony. It is banded. I think the band may have been reddish? The pigeon hangs around nearby and shows up for food every afternoon/eve. Today I was able to get very close, it ate from my hand. It appears to be fairly tame, but a bit cautious. I would like to get this sweetie to a foster so that she (?) can hopefully find her way back to her home again or find a new home ( I really wish I could keep her/him!). I live near the hills and we have hawks that fly through. One almost got her the other day as the pigeon saw me and flew down to the feeding area! There are also feral cats around. Yikes. The pigeon looks to be in very good health. I think I could probably catch it in another day or two of being around it, however I have a very busy work week and I probably won’t be around much so I’m concerned for her now. Do you know of anyone who could help capture her and foster her or find her home/new home? Thank you kindly. :)

  24. Hello! My father saved two baby pigeons last week who were seperated from the parents. Sadly the smaller one died, because it refused to eat. I have Thad the living one for about a week now. I believe his age is probably 7 days because he hasn’t had grown feathers yet. Im just really worried because he has been making clicking noises and I heard its from respiratory problems! Is that true? It makes me really worried.

    • Hello, Leona- Thank you for your desire to help these baby pigeons. Where are you located? Yes- that is a bad sign. If possible, I would urge you to get the survivor to WildCare in San Rafael ASAP! Their number is 415 456-SAVE.

  25. The aviary needs to be close in pigeon/ dove can not sleep where is a drafted thats why lofts is much better than aviary which is like a big cage, rule of thump they can live in cold area but must not be damp and must be well ventilated , when it rains it must not get wet inside your looks like it do

    • Pigeons do great in safe aviaries and fresh air is very beneficial to their health. (Being over-crowded into too small and dark coops on the other hand isn’t healthy.) While we love aviaries that have some exposure to rain (as pigeons love to bathe in it), we recommend (and require for our adopters) that every aviary provide a section that stays dry and shaded no matter the weather.

  26. Hello…so glad I came across this site. Are you familiar with any rescues on the East Coast – specifically in the Philadelphia, PA area? We would like to start an aviary.
    Thank you,
    Marie

    • Hello! Aviaries are awesome- especially when they save the lives of rescued birds rather than support breeding and sales of birds. I’d recommend posting to and searching on Pigeon Talk at http://www.pigeons.biz/forums to find pigeon lovers in your area. I know there are many in need of rescue because of the live pigeon shoots still happening in PA (“the shame of Pennsylvania”). SHARK and the Humane Society are active in PA helping pigeons and you can find lots of folks on Facebook as well. If you haven’t already, please join our page at http://www.Facebook.com/MickaCooRescue and I can introduce you. (And please pardon the delay- we need more support to keep up with all the inquiries we receive!)

  27. I found a pigeon at work, it was thundering and raining outside and opened the door came In I was leaving to go Hone and followed me to my car. my heart melted and caught the pigeon, I called a couple rescue centers left messages also called the humane society and left my number if anyone lost their pigeon. He must be someone’s pet because he was not afraid of me. I’ve read articles of pigeons being culled and afraid if I return it something might happen, need help maybe even thinking about keeping George one of my coworkers named it. I have two dogs and a cat and fish on more pet will not make a difference. I introduced him to my Labrador retrievers and they didn’t seem to be bothered by the pigeon. I need someone’s opinion or suggestion.

    • Pigeons make wonderful pets and are not hard to take care of. You’d need to provide a nice big cage in the house & safe out of cage time daily or a predator & rodent-proof aviary outside and companionship (yours a lot or another pigeon) and you may need avian vet care to heal whatever grounded him. If he did go back into the racing system, he might well be culled (he’s a loser and damaged goods) or, even if he ‘a welcomed back, he’ll still be at risk in another race and maybe not so lucky as to find help from someone like you next time. Keep him. Take good card of him. You’ll never regret having a pigeon as a pet. Join us on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/MickaCooRescue) or visit Pigeon Talk at http://www.Pigeons.biz/forums to find lots of fellow rescuers of racing pigeons. Thank you for helping George!

  28. Hi there – I’m based in the UK and was brought a young fledgling pigeon by a couple of kind kids that had found it. (It probably should have been left as its parents were likely to have been near by, but the children were worried about it as the garden it was in had cats) Anyway, I ended up with ‘Smidgen’ and it wasn’t yet able to feed itself, so thanks to various pigeon rescue sites and armed with some good advice, I was able feed it for a week or so until it turned it’s beak up at my delicious pea and corn mush! Smigde then started to peck for him/herself, so quickly moved on to our cockatiel’s seed, and has since graduated to the ‘big bird’ mix!

    Smidge has been living in a big dog crate and has quickly become very close to the family, showing no fear what so ever of my three dogs. He is currently snuggled on my shoulder as I type this (I thought he was keeping an eye on what I was writing, but I just took a quick peek and his eyes are closed – he is dozing on he job!)

    I would like some advice from people with experience as to Smidge’s future. He hasn’t actually attempted to fly yet although creates quite a stir by having a big flap every now and then – So I’m sure he is more than capable! Should he be released or should I keep him on, getting him some fancy pants and a lead?

    I am more than happy do this as I have grown extremely attached to him (More so since his feather mite friends have been ‘powdered’!) However, I don’t want to ruin his life by keeping him if he was capable of surviving in the wild. Would he learn to be more fearful once outside or would the lesson come too late?

    Thank you for such a great forum and for all you animal lovers are doing for our great feathered friends!

    Tovah

    • Hi, Tovah- thank you so much for helping this youngster and I apologize for the delayed response. (We need more supporters to keep up with all the demand for our help!) I’d highly recommend you connect with the wonderful folks at http://www.pigeonrescue.co.uk They are fantastic. If Smidge can be rehabbed and “wilded up” and reclaim his free life, that is what we always recommend. (There are lots of unreleasable pigeons in need of homes available as pets!) But, if he is too imprinted and missed out on too much pijucation (pigeon education), he can make a wonderful pet. Please though- involve experts to help assess him and assist you. There are lots of ways a release can go wrong. Thank you again for saving Smidge. Good luck to you both!

  29. I’m on my second in my life time rescuing baby pigeons and I love them The first pair lived for several years, until she got egg bound and died. I tried everything to save her and no luck, her mate was very sad and bonded to me strongly until we lost him. This time a friend brought me 6 babies that were knocked out of their nest with the destruction of their building home site. I lost the smallest one, but the other 5 are thriving. SO just enjoying other’s feedback and input. (S) They are such intelligent birds and so fun and glad to know I’m not the only pigeon nut out there! I also have 2 baby starlings I rescued after their nest was destroyed. 3 babies were dead, but 2 were alive, no feathers yet and eyes still closed. they are 2 now and talking up a storm and think they are family (S) They say so many words and phrases and we watch what we say in front of them! So hello fellow bird lovers!

    • Hi, Michelle- Thank you so much for saving these youngsters. MickaCoo encourages folks to work with expert rehabbers in the hopes that rescued pigeons can be “wilded up” and expertly released to claim their free lives. (There are lots of unreleasable pigeons in need of homes available as pets!) Thank you again for saving them. Good luck to you all!

  30. I LOVE TO CARE A PIGEON ALL THE TIME, CAUSE I DESERVE IT JUST FOR MYSELF AND THE PROBABILITY OF WINNING FOR THE RACE.

  31. Hi,
    My mother recently rescued a 3 month old female pigeon and she contacted the owner who said that she could keep it. My mother has since given me the pigeon and I read in your adoption application that they need special lighting to be healthy. I have been keeping her as an indoor bird and I dont have the resources at the moment to build her an outside enclosure. My question is is there a special light I can put over her crate like the kind you buy from a pet store? I want her to be healthy and I’m not sure what to do.
    Thanks

    • Hello, Christy- thank you (and your mom) for helping this poor orphaned pigeon. You can buy a bird-safe full-spectrum light online (most bulbs sold in pet stores are actually dangerous). We recommend this bulb and you can get more info on our Bird Care page (including an article all about avian vision and lighting).

  32. I found an injured pigeon about to get run over on the road by my house. I live in Carteret NJ and I’ve been looking for a place to take him but cant seem to find any place. …..every page I look up has nothing on injured pigeons. Please help, Thanks!

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