A Conversation for Our Love/Hate Relationship With Pigeons

Killing the Pigeons with junk food?

Post 1


As a child growing up in Devon, I used to see loads of pigeons hanging around the takeaway shops in the town centres - and they all had the same problem.

To varying degrees, their toes or often even a whole foot would be missing, having dropped off after rotting away; I lost count of the numbers of pigeons I saw who were forced to permanently hop everywhere on their one remaining foot. Once they got to that stage they invariably died a very short time after.

The reason that was always given for this horrible affliction was the vast amounts of junk food they ate, fed to them by well-meaning humans as they scoffed their fish and chips, burgers and kebabs. The theory was they got so fat on all that junk food their spindly little legs could no longer support their bloated bodies, and the restricted blood flow to the legs caused a kind of gangrene in their toes. The pigeons certainly were VERY fat - practically spherical in the cases of the birds in an advanced state of Peg-Leggedness - but I've always wondered if there was any truth in this diagnosis, or is it just an urban legend (possibly secretly devised by The Government in the days before they began making plasticine characters to tell us all how to eat healthily?)

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Killing the Pigeons with junk food?

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