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 housekeeping question

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Special Pigeon Angel

Posts : 344
Join date : 2009-09-20
Location : UK

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PostSubject: housekeeping question   housekeeping question Icon_minitimeWed Sep 23, 2009 4:58 pm

as can be seen in my other thread there is poop everywhere in Luna & Apollo's nest

i am worried that it is not as dry as it needs to be - there is nowhere for the poop to go
plus there is a noticeable smell when the door from the communal stairs to our balcony is opened
i don't mind this but it could alert somebody else to the location of our little family

i know they are wild birds and i don't want to interfere but is careful intervention ok
...for the health & safety of the pijies can i clean up?

Luna & Apollo take a break from the kids quite frequently now so i could do it while they are out
if i take the poop & the soiled material and replace with more of the dry leaves that they used to make the nest
will they mind?

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Siam Sam
Special Pigeon Angel

Posts : 291
Join date : 2009-09-13
Location : Bangkok

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PostSubject: Re: housekeeping question   housekeeping question Icon_minitimeWed Sep 23, 2009 9:16 pm

If you look at the photo links over in my thread, you'll probably notice a gradual build-up of poop, especially in the first batch of squabs, when we had the small flowerpot, before we switched to the larger flower box. Early on, we bought into the myth that the parents would reject the squabs if there was human scent around. We know now that's not true, but we didn't know it then. But even after we realized it, we left the nest alone. While we cleaned the balcony at least once a week, we simply switched out the flower box after every couple of batches. But the poop seemed to get mulched into the nest and dirt of the flower box over time. (Putting down a layer of dirt might be a good idea for you.)

We did not have a problem with smell, though. The breezes here carry that away. If you're worried about being outed, I don't think it could hurt to do a little housekeeping in the nest.
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Special Pigeon Angel

Posts : 1374
Join date : 2009-07-25
Location : Munich/Germany

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PostSubject: Re: housekeeping question   housekeeping question Icon_minitimeThu Sep 24, 2009 12:27 pm

To be honest I have cleaned the nest of our balcony pigeons several times per day! Sitting in wet poop is not good at all for the little ones - dry poop is not so bad but nevertheless I would clean it all off. The poop attracts all kind of flies and bugs besides the unpleasant smell. And don't worry about scent or anything else from humans - that is fairy tale. Even if the babies get used to human hands - when they start to fly free they change their behaviour towards humans totally and behave pigeon-like again.
Please check my pigeon diary Pigeon Tales - you will find a lot of useful information there.

The only thing is that you need to be vey careful when taking the babies into your hand - they are very fragile and their skin is very thin. So put your hand carefully beneath their belly when you lift them from their nest. I had always a little bowl handy with kitchen paper in it while I was cleaning the nest. And I always had an old table spoon handy when those little buggers made their poop to immediately remove it when I saw some (only when the parent was not present).

Lately I have realized that they love to sit on hey. They don't need much of it, it is easy to clean and much more comfortable for the parents as well. Our pijjies all love it. A thick layer of granulate for hydro plants beneath the hey provides a solid ground for babies and parents and it does not attract bugs or flies. If you leave soil from flowerpots in the nest there is always the danger for aspergillosis for the babies - so this is not the best material for a nest. It also can create a lot of dust when they move around.

You can also use a layer of small round pebble - avoid stones with sharp edges. On top of that a layer of hey and you will see they love it. You can buy hey in any pet shop that has supplies for rabbits f.e. And - btw - hey is better than straw because straw is hollow and can contain bugs.
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Posts : 452
Join date : 2009-01-18
Location : Southern England

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PostSubject: Re: housekeeping question   housekeeping question Icon_minitimeThu Sep 24, 2009 3:39 pm

When PP was here, they always nested in plant tubs or troughs filled with earth, good old garden soil, and didn't build much of a nest at all.

The immediate area of PP and later, the growing squabs, was usually not particularly dirty, but around it was the pooping area. What I did was remove some of the poopy soil around them and top up with clean stuff.

Occasionally, a brood would seem messier than others and I would just pick up the squabbies and put some clean soil under them. I guess for clean soil one could read 'clean nesting material'. As long as the nest stays in the same place and the look of it is not noticeably different I wouldn't see there being a problem in a little housekeeping.

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