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Two white fantail chicks died in the nest about one week apart aged about 3-4 weeks.They were well grown and feathering up. Full of food which is standard commercial pigeon feed delivered via their parents. Didnt appear to have anything wrong.  Your suggestions would be much appreciated.Hope this isnt outside your geographical csope. I am in Tasmania      Peter Bewg

Hi Peter,

Sorry for your loss! It is difficult to know for sure what exactly happened without a necropsy of the youngsters and diagnostic samples of organ tissue and cultures for bacterial and viral testing. Squabs can be more susceptible to disease due to their na´ve immune systems. This sounds more of an acute (sudden) death where previously they seemed fine. One of the bacterial infections that comes to mind is salmonellosis (paratyphoid), which can cause sudden death in youngsters. Do you have an avian veterinarian or know of one in your area? I would recommend further testing if you have the squabs still available (at least keep the most recent one refrigerated/cool to slow decomposition, if you are interested in submitting it).

How are the parents? Is your loft secure from rodents and wild birds that can spread disease like salmonellosis? Have any of your other pigeons seemed to be affected? Any new pigeons introduced into your loft? Some pigeons can remain carriers of disease without actually showing disease. Contaminated feed can also serve as a culprit.

Let me know if have any other additional questions or would like me to expand on something. Again, I am sorry for your loss.



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I can answer questions related to health, care, behavior, and breeding. If you have an emergency situation, please take the pigeon to a veterinarian with avian experience. Unfortunately, I do not know much about actually racing pigeons, but I have shown exhibition king pigeons.


I have raised pigeons for over 15 years now. I got started in the hobby by rescuing an injured feral when I was 6 years old and successfully rehabilitated him. From that feral, I actually realized that pigeons were great companions and I had dismissed any previous misconceptions I had heard about them. I have focused my attention to the show king although I do have a few racing homers, utility kings, and MFC helmets. I no longer breed and show my pigeons at the moment, but I would like to continue with the hobby.

National Pigeon Association (past member); American King Club (past member); The Wildlife Society; Wildlife Disease Association.

Mainly self-taught with my own experiences, but I have supplemented my knowledge with books and information from NPA and AKC. Biomedical Sciences (BS), Colorado State University 2010; Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), Colorado State University 2014.

Awards and Honors
Numerous Best of Breed and Reserve of Breed awards in 4-H shows; Two Best in Shows acquired while in 4-H (12 years ago!); Reserve Champion pigeon showmanship 4-H; Best of Show and Reserve of Show in county fair.

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