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.
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.
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.
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.
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.