Pigeons drink water.
Plain water is essential for a pigeon’s rehydration and good health.
Do not give your pigeons anything else, as it may be harmful to them.
Squabs get all their nutrition from their parents’ crop milk, which is like a thick liquid.
Maybe for the first week after they have hatched they will be exclusively fed crop milk only.
After this the parent birds will introduce some solid food.
Only after about six weeks, when the hatchling is eating solid food, will they take water.
Water isn’t only for thirst, but it helps the birds to flush their food into their gullets.
How Do Pigeons Drink?
Pigeons submerge their beaks in water completely and then suck it up.
Many birds fill their beaks with water and tilt their heads back so the water can flow down their throats, but not pigeons.
They actually defy gravity!
They can drink with their heads down and they can swallow.
As they don’t have lips or tongues, pigeons cannot lap liquids and because they don’t have cheeks, they cannot hold water.
Pigeon Should Only Drink Water
As pigeon owner you shouldn’t give your pigeons any water that has been adulterated.
That is, no water that has colourants or sugar. Pure or bottled water isn’t advisable either.
Pure water is sterile and has absolutely no nutritional value. Stick with tap or rainwater.
You should also avoid giving them mammalian milk as they are lactose intolerant.
Some pigeon owners may add different things to their birds’ drinking water, but that isn’t advisable unless you consult an avian veterinarian beforehand.
This is usually because of a perceived health problem. Adding vitamins and minerals is fine.
Many commercial bird feed brands include them, but home remedy dosing of birds through their water can cause more harm than good.
The only other kind of liquids your birds should be exposed to are the juices from the fruit that they occasionally eat.
This is natural and won’t harm them.
Pigeon fanciers can obviously control what their birds drink, unless, of course, they let them fly free.
Feral pigeons, on the other hand, especially are exposed to all the different types of liquids.
Being curious birds, you can imagine that they have tried all sorts of human drinks.
Although soft drinks are saturated in sugars, it’s hard to determine if they actually harm the birds.
Could they become addicted to coke cola or Pina Coladas? Maybe they just try them once and then instinctively shy away from them?
Can A Pigeon Drink Too Much Water?
On the pigeon forums some people talk about their pigeons drinking too much water.
This could be because of the climate in which they are living.
Pigeons have very high metabolic rates and the addition of extreme heat would make them drink more.
On the other hand, excessive drinking could be caused by an illness of some kind.
It is best to have their droppings examined to determine the real cause before administering any type of home remedy through their drinking water.
Introducing Hand Reared Chicks To Water
If you are hand-rearing pigeon fledglings and weaning them off the crop milk mixture onto solid feed, you can start introducing water to their diet with an eyedropper and then gently pushing their beaks into a bowl of water.
They will soon get the idea.
So Pigeons need and do drink water, without any additives unless recommended by a vet.
Like all creatures, including us, pigeons need good clean water to survive.
If you are a bird lover and would like to attract pigeons and other birds to your garden, one way to do this is to leave out sufficient water, so they can drink and bathe.