As human’s newborn child is helpless and cannot do its care by itself and totally depends upon their parents. Similarly, pigeons baby dependent on their parents during the early days of their lives. And like humans, parent pigeons have the responsibility to feed their babies properly and take care of them properly to grow well. But the question is that for which period do parents have to feed their babies after hatching eggs. Or when can baby pigeons feed themselves?
If you are interested in knowing about it, then navigate this article as I’m going to explain it. Not only this, but we have a look at what we can offer to feed a pigeon’s baby.
However, parent pigeons take responsibility to feed their young ones with their crop milk. It is a kind of milky liquid which they prepare after regurgitating their food in their crop (an area under their necks).
And both male and female pigeons used to do this to feed their babies. However, they continue to feed this milk to baby pigeons for almost two weeks.
Moreover, pigeons are one of those birds that can produce bird milk. And after the birth of nestlings, both parents took equal responsibility to feed them.
And feeding period by parents to baby pigeons fluctuates between 20-25 days, and sometimes this period can expand up to 35-40 days. However, it depends upon the physical condition of baby birds. As weak baby pigeons learn late how to feed themselves.
Let’s have a detailed look at when baby pigeons will be able to feed themselves.
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When Can Baby Pigeons Feed Themselves?
However, pigeon’s eggs hatch after 18 days of proper sitting or incubation, which both parent pigeons do. But the female pigeons used to sit on eggs most of the time, and the male pigeon look forward to the food arrangement for female pigeons.
And when the eggs hatch, then the foremost priority of parent pigeons is to make crop milk, which is a milky secretion from their crop which contains essential amount of proteins and fats. This crop milk is highly effective for baby pigeon’s as it fulfills their necessary nutritional needs.
However, the importance of crop milk can be measure with the fact that baby pigeons survive on crop milk for almost two starting weeks of their lives
And after that, pigeon parents may start feeding other foods to them. However, baby pigeon’s food does not consist of many insects and worms like the food of baby chickens.
And the minimum time in which a baby pigeon can start eating by itself is 20-25 days. However, this period can vary depending upon the health of a baby pigeon. And that’s why sometimes people say that it took 35-40 days for a baby pigeon to feed itself.
However, the easy criteria about that is if a baby pigeon is healthy and starts learning to eat by itself, then it can feed itself earlier. And if a baby pigeon is weak then it needs more time to learn to feed itself.
Moreover, if you have baby pigeons, then you can also teach them how to feed themselves. And you can do this by putting them together with their parents when they start eating. The advantage of this is that baby pigeons learn how to pick food and eat. And thus they can learn fast to feed themselves.
What To Feed a Baby Pigeon?
Newborn pigeon babies are known as squab until the age of 30 days. And for almost two weeks, pigeons make crop milk for their squabs. And this pigeon’s milk is highly nutritious, that the baby pigeons become double their size within 48 hours.
However, this milk is essential for the growth of baby pigeons and to boosts their immune system. Not only this, but you can also feed them or teach them how to feed themselves. And for that, you can offer them seeds after soaking into water. So that digestion will be easy for them.
However, if you want to feed baby pigeons, you can start when they are almost 8-10 days old. As after 8-10 days, they are able to eat seeds, bread crumbs, etc. But make sure that you can soak them into the water before feeding them.
Moreover, you can also feed them pet dog’s food to baby pigeons but after soaking into water. So that they can quickly eat it and also easily digest it. However, don’t try to feed too much to a baby pigeon. And keep at least 3-4 hours’ difference in their meals. So that you can avoid baby pigeons from crop stuffing.
Read also: Why Do Baby Birds Die in The Nest ?
How Can You Feed a Baby Pigeon?
Feeding a baby pigeon might be a hectic task to do. Because handling a baby pigeon and then feeding them properly are the tasks on which their life depends. As feeding in the wrong way will be fatal for baby pigeons. That’s why to avoid from such situations have a look to feed a baby pigeon.
As baby pigeons are unable to peck food, so you have to put food inside their mouth. And for that, the best thing to use is the feeding syringe. And for that you can follow the following steps.
Firstly, make sure that the baby pigeons are in a warm place so that they can eat well. Moreover, their warm body help them to digest food properly.
Secondly, prepare the food syringe and pour tiny food amounts into the moth of baby pigeons until their crop is filled.
Moreover, feed baby pigeons four times a day during their first week of life. So that they can get proper nutrients and fulfill their body’s nutritional need.
When Can Baby Pigeon Eat Seed?
Different kinds of seeds are also used as the bird’s food. And seeds also make a large part of bird’s food. As, many people prefer to feed seeds to birds like sunflower seeds, grains, wheat, corn, etc. However, we have to avoid feeding only seeds as their primary food.
Because seeds are unable to provide all essential nutrients to the birds. However, as seeds can provide many nutrients, you can also feed them to baby pigeons. And baby pigeons can able to eat seeds after 20-22 days.
As after 20-22 days, baby pigeons can digest adult food. Not only this, but you can also feed them seeds after 15-17 days alongside their crop milk. But for that, at first, soak them in warm water for almost half an hour. So that they can easily digest them.
Do Baby Pigeons Need Water?
However, water is the necessary need of every living body in the world. And so for baby pigeons also. But baby pigeons don’t need water when they are drinking crop milk from their parents. But, after almost ten days of their birth, you have to start offering them water.
And for that, you can use an eye dropper to pour water into their mouth. As in the start, baby pigeons don’t know how to drink water. But we have to offer them water so that they can avoid dehydration.
But adult baby pigeons or baby pigeons who start to feed themselves can drink water by their selves. And one thing you have to do is to provide a water bowl with their food. So that they can avoid dehydration.
How Can You Tell If a Baby Bird Is Full?
When baby pigeons eat, their food is stored in their crop rather than moving directly into the stomach like humans. However, the crop is temporary food storage for pigeons under their neck, and they produce crop milk from regurgitating food in the crop to feed baby pigeons.
Moreover, when a baby pigeon eats food, the crop starts to fill, and you can easily check after touching it with your index finger. So, if you feel a filled crop of baby pigeons, then there is no need to continue feeding.
Read also: Can Baby Birds Eat Bread ?
When can baby pigeons feed themselves? Baby pigeons can feed themselves when they are 20-22 days older. However, some people suggest that they start feeding when they are 35-40 days older. But this depends upon that how quickly a baby pigeon starts learning to feed themselves.
However, you can also teach baby pigeons to feed themselves by placing them with their parents when they eat food. So that baby pigeon can learn how to feed itself.