I'll be the first to tell you, Pigeon is awesome. Our handpicked, personally trained fleet constantly surprises us, in terms of intelligence and memory as well as physical ability.
Queue up the terror when, 4 months ago, our top performer at the time (Steve) hit a slump for seemingly no reason at all. We knew it had to be a parasite; any pigeon breeder worth his salt can recognize the symptoms of tapeworm or ascariasis. The real problem for us wasn't even disinfecting the loft (not a single member of the fleet picked up Steve's symptoms thankfully).
No, the real problem was deworming, fixing our champion bird in the first place.
- We applied BelgaWormac.
- We used Ascapilla.
- We gave Steve a multivitamin and probiotic religiously.
As our terrible luck would have it, Steve did indeed have worms, Capillary worms. I hadn't even heard about these at the time, and to my credit they're almost impossible to detect. So following two more trips to the bird rehabilitation clinic, we finally obtained the right kind of dewormer and saw steady improvements in Steve's diet and demeanor. I wouldn't say it was our scariest ordeal since starting Pigeon, but it was definitely Steve's scariest.
For more information on the topic and how to properly deworm in cases of capillariasis, you can check out this article: http://msucares.com/poultry/diseases/solutions.html