Pigeons are brought into care almost every day. Most of them are feral pigeons, but the number of wood pigeons is increasing rapidly.

Wood pigeons used to be country birds, fairly shy of people, but now they are commonly seen at garden feeding stations and will often nest in garden trees and hedges.

Less frequently we get a fancy pigeon, usually a pouter. These are large birds that are especially popular in Glasgow. You may have seen their lofts, tall and narrow, usually on stilts, and the ladder will have been removed.

Apparently there is a lot of trading in pouters, and some people wouldn’t be shy of helping themselves to a bird from someone else’s loft.

When pouters come into care they are often skinny. This is because the pouter people feed them special diets, often mixed themselves from various items bought from the corn shop. Pouter pigeons don’t eat pie and chips like ferals, but give them a dish of pigeon peas and they eat straightaway.

The latest pouter pigeon came with a broken leg. We could feel the break, midway between knee and ankle and knew it had a good chance of repairing.

We have special splints for pigeons. They are made of plastic, come in two halves, and can be taped to hold the fracture in place. We just used one half on the pouter and held it with micropore.

It worked a treat. In eight days he was standing and now he is up on his perch.