Pigeon has feathers missing on neck

by christina
(melbourne, australia)

Hello, how are you going? :-) We have a flock of pigeons who visit our backyard every day, and we feed them and give them water and love them all a lot. I have named them all and they each have their own little personality. My beautiful Brownie (a brown pigeon) went missing for a few weeks. I was very worried about him so I prayed that he would come back home. The very next day, he appeared. That was today. But he looks scruffier than he usually does, and around his neck there are hardly any feathers. Like, it looks like in a ring shape around his neck, the feathers are just growing back, as the feathers there are only a few millimetres long. My Mum says he might have got into a fight with another bird. What do you think, and what should I do to help him. Brownie is very independant by nature so I dont think he would like it if I put him in a box and took him to the vet as he is a wild bird, but if I have to I will. Thanks heaps for your time, I really appreciate it a lot :-)

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Apr 30, 2010
Pigeon has feathers missing on neck
by: Linda

Cheers Australia! The bird's feathers sound like they are coming back in. Sometimes birds pick on each other, and the feathers around the neck are easy to get to and pull out. I know winter is coming there, so just make sure feathers keep on getting longer as they are in the pin feather stage right now. Otherwise and unless you notice something else and/or he looks sick, I'd leave him be. As Tracie said, wild birds do not adapt to captivity and unless they are very sick or injured where they cannot fly, we have to leave them be. Now, if any of your flock gets obviously sick or injured where legs or wings are hurt, do take them to the Avian vet and while they are healing, you can put it into a fairly large cage with easy access to food and water. Once the bird has healed or is well, then you can safely release him back out with his friends.

Thanks for caring about these birds, and sounds like they like you too very much.

Linda

Apr 30, 2010
Wild pigeon with missing feathers
by: Tracie

I am sorry, but there is really nothing Dr B can suggest for you to do with a wild bird. Catching the bird and taking it to a vet would be the only solution, but if you are going to release him back into the wild this would probably be folly. I doubt a bird that has been wild would enjoy captivity.

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