Tragic experience has taught us to issue these warnings as early as possible, but first some reassurance: Handling a sick pigeon will not put your health at risk any more than handling any other bird or animal - wild or domestic - would. Take sensible precautions like washing your hands after handling it.
Now for the warnings:
- Keep sick pigeons isolated from any other domestic birds you have.
- Do not place caged or baby birds in direct sunlight or in front of a hot stove
- Do not squirt water into a bird's mouth. They cannot cough and can die if it gets in the windpipe
- Do not feed a pigeon as soon as you get it. Its digestive system might not be functioning due to starvation or sickness. It will need rehydration first
- Do not hold a pigeon too tightly. They do not have a diaphragm and can suffocate
- If there are cheesy growths in the mouth do not remove or dislodge them. That could start a fatal bleed or suffocate the pigeon
- If there is an egg lodged in the cloaca do not break it or try to remove it
- Do not release a pigeon just because it can fly and seems to have recovered. It will need to be well enough to find food, shelter and avoid predators. Premature release can be fatal
- Do not hand over a pigeon to a vet, rehabilitator, wildlife sanctuary etc without checking their policies. Many of these places with euthanase pigeons as a matter of course. We might be able to help you find someone who will look after your pigeon properly
- Overheated Teflon, air fresheners etc can be toxic to pigeons
- If you find an injured racer and trace its owner check what the pigeon�s fate will be before you return it. They are often destroyed by the owner for getting lost, sick or injured