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"Did You Know" is an addition to Foy's Site, with the goal of sharing things that I feel would be interesting to you as well as informative and helpful. This feature will be up dated every week, and this being the first one, you may want to consider printing it and saving it.
Over time, there is no doubt that you, like me, may forget some of these tips, but by putting them in a small binder, you may be able to review them once in a while. If you have Tips or suggestions, I would be happy to hear from you and may use your tip or suggestion. I will recognize you as the person supplying the tip. Send to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. A lot of the shared information will relate to the health of pigeons, but not all.
If a squab is Gurgling, it is most common just prior to weaning, often there appears to be very little wrong
If a single bird in the flock shows difficulty in breathing, with a whistling sound, the most likely causes are either a fungal or Canker.
Question: The feed sack/ chest is getting swollen and filled with air... Any idea of what this can be or what meds can be given?
An adequate grain mixture for pigeons may be mixed at home as follows;
Do not use lime or strong disinfectants on the floor of the loft.
Unmated pigeons in a loft with the breeding pairs are a source of constant trouble.
Infertile eggs in older pairs may be caused by the loose fluffy feathers around the vent.
This is a typical swelling and enlargement of the tear glands located in the bottom inside eyelids of pigeons. Once this gland has enlarged it will sometimes never revert to its normal size in spite of treatment. The cause of this is either Mycoplasma or Chlamydia or both. Birds affected should be treated with Spiradox tablets every day for 40 days and the rest of the flock should be given Spiradox powder in drinking water for 7 days followed by Aviodox powder in drinking water for a further 14 days.
January 26, 2015 - Splayed Legs
Splayed legs is not an uncommon problem with young pigeons in the nest. Splayed legs is a condition where one or both legs slip out to the side and in less than a day, they stay there and the bird will be unable to walk. It is usually a condition seen when only one young is in the nest, as with two in the nest, one braces against the other. Some things to do to prevent the situation; If there is only one bird in the nest, and you have another single bird in another nest, and they are about the same age, combine the two.If you can not combine two birds, fill a sock with grain to about the size of the young and place it next to the baby, it allows the single baby to brace itself. Use a smaller nest bowl, pack nest bowls with nesting material to allow for a better grip. The condition is caused by a slippery bowl surface.
January 19, 2015 - Medicating Pigeons
When pigeons are sick many fanciers start medicating based on what they think might be the problem. So many symptoms are the same for many illnesses and this shotgun approach to retiring pigeons is the worse way to go. Why not get the droppings of your flock analyzed and based on the analysis and the symptoms, your chances of choosing the correct medication are much better. Foy's offers a droppings analysis by a trained poultry/pigeon vet.
Hawks are a real problem for anybody who flies pigeons. A customer has had success with a mirror. She tells me on sunny days she has a mirror facing the loft. If she sees a hawk in the area, she reflects the sun into the hawks eyes. The hawk is quite disturbed by this and will fly away.
January 5, 2015 - Breeding Season and Medicating
It's breeding season and lots of folks think they should medicate before the birds start breeding. You can not medicate to good health. So don't use antibiotics at this time. If you do want to do something before breeding season, put the birds on 3 in 1 as directed. That takes care of Canker, Coccidiosis and worms. 3 in 1 does not contain an antibiotic.
December 29, 2014 - PMV
A pigeon that had PMV (a virus), it does not become a carrier. If you are going to breed from a pigeon that has had PMV, only breed two rounds. If you are not sure if new birds have been properly vaccinated before you got them, vaccinate again, as directed, it will not hurt and is an additional safeguard. The second shot is very important, do not skip it. If you would like to reduce your cost of vaccinating against PMV, the second shot can be a much less expensive chicken vaccine.
December 22, 2014 - Isolation Loft
When introducing new birds to your flock, it is very important that you isolate the birds for a minimum of 30 days. It is very important that you consider a small isolation loft or cage, and it should be upwind from you other lost. Some diseases are airborne and could travel to your current loft, from the Isolation Loft, if the wind is blowing from the Isolation Loft towards you current loft.You may want to use a loft coat when in the Isolation Loft, and remove it when leaving the loft.
December 15, 2014 - Canker & Pigeon Pox
Canker - In your drug of choice to treat Canker, be aware that Emtryl and Dimetryl are not the same. Emtryl is very dangerous and could kill, if used during very hot weather. Dimetryl contains B1, which makes it a safer product.
Pigeon Pox - If you are going to vaccinate your birds against the Pox, and you have mixed the product as directed, keep the mix out of the sun and cool.
December 8, 2014 - Special Race & Preening Of Feathers
Primaquin may used occasionally, as a very special energizer. It should not be used regularly, but if you have a very special race, try this. Give Primaquin, as directed for 3 days as a stimulant, before the race, but not the day before the race.
Were you aware that when a birds continuously preens itself, it is actually spreading oil through out the feathers?
Pigeons do not always produce one of each sex in a nest. This is a myth going back centuries. If you keep accurate records of the young from any given pair, you will soon prove it for yourself.
November 24, 2014 - Paratyphoid
Paratyphoid in a wing or leg joint is almost impossible to cure. Paratyphoid does not cause most birds to be carriers.
November 17, 2014 - When do you use a nest box and when do you use a breeding cage?
Nest Boxes are used for a breeding pair to create an area for them to raise their young. Most are made of wood and the most popular is 12" H X 16" deep and 24" left to right. The size varies based on personal preference and the breed of pigeon. The breeding pair will claim a nest box and that pair will defend it's choice of nest boxes from any other pair that may want to enter.
The Breeding Cage may sometimes be used as a nest box but most breeders who wish to be absolutely sure of the purity of the young from a particular pair, will use a breeding cage to let the pair raise their young. Pigeons can be promiscuous and the breeding cage prevents the possibility of a hen being impregnated by a male other than her mate. The pair is locked in the breeding cage and has no interaction with other pigeons.
There is no clear cut definition, the term is interchangeable.
November 10, 2014 - The Pigeon Fly
Many fanciers think that the tiny holes in the wing feathers are cause by mites or lice, when in fact they are caused by the pigeon fly. The pigeon fly is quite hard to spot, because it lives on the pigeon but hides itself deep in the feathers. Pigeon Flies cause health problems such as pigeon malaria. Pigeon flies will not be on all the birds, but they do fly from one birds to another. The holes are a result of the fly inserting its feeding tube into the follicle of the feather at the base, which is blood filled. when the tube pokes a hole in the base, as the new feather unravels, it has a series of holes. A clean floor, free of accumulated droppings, as well as disposing of any droppings that may accumulate under a grid floor or a pile you are going to use in the garden, that is near the loft, should be moved. The accumulated droppings are a breeding ground for the Pigeon Fly. If necessary, spray the loft with a Permectrin Spray, and if you know a bird has the Pigeon Fly on it, spray the bird with Secticide. Follow the spraying with a 1 day course of Ivomectin in the drinking water.
November 3, 2014 - Preventing Disease and Keeping Birds Healthy
You can not prevent disease completely, but you can do a lot of things to help keep the birds healthy.
1. Do not crowd you birds.
2. When you bring ANY new birds in, keep them separate, and if possible, in a separate building for at least a month. Treat the birds for worms,
canker and coccidiosis, follow with a probiotic and then treat with a broad spectrum antibiotic such as Amoxicillin or Tylamox for 7 days, once again
follow with a probiotic.
3. Create a year long program or ask Foy's for one. Pigeons must be on a program and they react very poorly to changes. A year round program of mostly vitamins and supplements will gone a long way in keeping your birds
4. Clean the floor after using any worming, canker of coccidiosis program, it will help prevent reinfection.
5. Remove any sick birds from the loft immediately and treat as needed until healthy.
October 20, 2014 - Fresh Medications and Add Weight To Your BirdThese two tips came from a customer, and I thank Jim Lucido. If any readers of my weekly TIPS would like to submit ideas, I would appreciate it, it makes my job easier, and I like you, get some good ideas.
If you want to add weight to your bird this may help. For years now, I do this in the fall and during the Winter. I feed my birds "peanut hearts", and they eat them like candy. I get them from a local Blue Seal feed store in 5 or 50 lb bags. I mix it with the regular grain and the birds eat it with no trouble.When using a medication that will lose its potency in a short time after opening, I seal the medication in a bags, (container and all) with a food sealer i.e. Seal a Meal. So if you need the medication at another time, it will still be potent.
October 13, 2014 - Bird Observation
October 06, 2014 - Fertility Problems?
A customer recently contacted Foy's in regards to what he assumed was a fertility problem, here are the symptoms:
* Eggs laid at the end of March.
* Some eggs have a very course texture.
* Some eggs have been dry inside the eggs.
* The birds have been setting the eggs for a month and a half.
* All birds seem completely healthy.
* Some of the hens are now laying only one egg.
* Of the 20 pair, seven are not laying at all and three have laid only one egg.
* Of the three that laid a single egg, one was a double yoke and the other two were fertile.
* No Canker, or babies showing any signs of illness.
Suggested plan for solving the issue, by Dr. Ockert Botha, world renowned pigeon vet.
As there are no dead babies and the shells are rough, I believe it must be a nutritional deficiency. Add Fertical to the food on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays and on Tuesday and Thursday, add Bludform.
Ten tips for healthy babies and a perfect molt: Dr. Ockert Botha (BVSc) Pigeon Vet
We would be quite happy to 5 pages of the Ten Tips offered by Dr. Botha. Place an order of any two Aviomed Products, and it will be included with your order, but you must ask for it. If you want healthier babies and a better molt, you will want this information written by the world renowned pigeon vet, Dr. Ockert Botha.
September 29, 2014 - Clostridium Crop and Intestine Infection
* Birds go light about two weeks old.
* Parents stop feeding.
* Parents drink a lot of water
* Adults go crazy for grit and eat any put in front of them.
The above is typical of Clostridium crop and intestine infection. Use comb of Muscle and Wing plus Entromune and Avio Gel for 7 days. Dose all ill birds separately with Muscle and Wing mix for 7 days.
September 22, 2014 - Multiple Use Products
September 15, 2014 - Water & Weight Tips
Change the water every day. You may add a couple of teaspoons of regular chlorine bleach two or three times a week, not any of the new and improved bleach. Apple Cider Vinegar is good for your birds, it creates an acidic environment in the water and helps fight bacterial infections.
If you want to add weight to your pigeons, try raw peanuts, they really do the job. If your birds have never has raw peanuts, give them nothing but for 2-3 days, once they start eating them, they developed a like for them and will eat them with out a problem. Do not leave any type of feed in the feeders over night, remove what is not eaten and give it back to them the next day. Another product for weight gain is #2483, Gro-2-Max in the drinking water.
September 8, 2014 - Moulting Tip
This time of the year I get calls from mostly new time fanciers asking what is wrong with their pigeons. They seem to be losing their feathers, and around the head they are almost bald. To those who have been with pigeons for a while, know that it is now molting season. Once a year, usually middle of August to middle of February, the birds go thru a normal process of losing feathers and growing new ones. You will have feathers all over the place, and have to sweep out the lofts almost every day. This is perfectly normal and healthy. You need do nothing, but if you would like to help them go thru a better molt, I would suggest the use of #2540 Avio-Moult-Powder, it works wonders.
Most fanciers have stopped breeding, and if you have the room, you should separated the hens and cocks. Pigeons need a rest from the vary stressful process of breeding and raising young. I would suggest separating no later than September. If you are unable to separate the birds, dispose of their eggs and use dummy eggs. They will set the dummy eggs for the normal length of time and the leave them to start the process again. Remove the dummy eggs and when they lay again, replace with dummy eggs again.
September 1, 2014 - Loft Tip
Your ceiling of your loft should be 6 1/2 to 7", no higher. Pigeons learn to fly over your head very quickly, if your ceilings are high enough to allow them. If possible, keep your feeders and drinkers about 4" off the floor. You will have much less contamination of the feed and water. There are times when you may want to switch eggs around. I use a felt tip pen and mark every egg with the date laid.
August 25, 2014 - CoccidiosisWhen treating for Coccidiosis, treat twice, three weeks apart, because there are different stages that one dose may not get. Coccidiosis usually results in bright green droppings. Clean the loft floor after treatment, each day. Blindness in a new born- May be caused by the mating of two pigeons that are grizzled color. It is a genetic occurrence and has happened once in my loft. The bird that was born blind is doing find, finds the water and feed fine, and has mated to a red check and has raised young in a nest box, without any problems. How she can fly to the nest box is beyond my understanding. My great-grandson calls her Birdie and loves her because he can handle her anytime because she can not see him reaching over to pick her up.
Please consider joining the National Pigeon Association.
August 18, 2014 - Tips
1. Place all perches on the same wall which will make it easier to clean the floor.
2. To be sure your young birds can be separated check under their wing and if you see skin wait a bit longer.
August 11, 2014 - "DID YOU KNOW?"
There are just a few things that will make your pigeons vomit" The first thing I would suspect is if you recently wormed your birds with a product called Levimazole. Levimazole will cause some birds to vomit, and if it does, don't worry, it will not hurt them, and if you use the Levimazole, give it to your birds on an empty stomach. Another thing that will make your birds vomit is the Adeno Virus. Like most virus, they are not treatable and must run their course, giving meds may treat the secondary disease that some times pop up during a virus attack, but the virus will have to run its course.