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First Aid for Pigeons

It sometimes happens that you find a wounded bird. When I was young, I cared for a crow with a broken wing. It didn’t see our window and flew straight into it! But what should you do if you find a wounded bird?

First things first

First of all, do not hesitate when you see an injured pigeon, or when your pigeon acts differently. Pick up the pigeon with a towel or dishcloth.

  • Place the animal in a ventilated cage or a box, in a warm and dark area. This environment will calm down the pigeon.
  • Prepare a cup of warm water with a pinch of (dissolved) salt and sugar. Wait until the water is lukewarm, then pour it into a deep cup.
  • The pigeon first needs to be rehydrated, before he is stable enough to eat.
  • Make sure the cage stays warm, for instance with a warming pad. Cover the cage with a towel.
  • Check the pigeon for obvious signs of injury: Drooping wing, bleeding, cuts.
    Watch for pigeon droppings. These often serve as an indicator of what is ailing the bird.
  • When the pigeon is stable enough to drink, you can try to feed him. Pigeons can be fed with millet, safflower, and unpopped corn.
  • In case the pigeons does not eat, it will need immediate help. Pigeons have a high metabolism and need to eat often. Call a veterinarian in order to proceed the care of the pigeon.
  • Veterinarians can also check to whom the pigeon belongs, and if it is a racing pigeon or wild pigeon.

1, 2, Check

You can recognize a racing pigeon by their rings, these rings include numbers which correspond with information about their owner and address. In case of a lost pigeon, check your national pigeon organisation and check the number on their website (in case they have a website). For instance in The Netherlands you can contact the NPO Veenendaal. By checking the number on this website, the contact details of the owner will then appear.

Hopefully, next time you encounter an injured bird, you’ll know exactly what to do!

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