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Raising Pigeons for Meat??

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi, I'm completely new to pigeons, but I see a few people raise them for meat and I'm considering getting some meat pigeons myself. I've had jumbo quail, but they have too little meat on them to make it worth raising them, so pigeons seem like a good idea since they are a bit bigger than quail and I probably won't have to worry about them trying to kill each other like the quail.

But before I go buy any pigeons, how quickly do they reproduce?
I'm probably going to get Homer pigeons (only ones that won't cost an arm and a leg to get)-would these be good meat birds?
What are their space requirements?
Do I have to worry about any aggressive behavior?
And what temperatures can they handle?

Thanks smile.png
Edited by Little Byrd - 4/26/16 at 9:54am
post #2 of 9
Cold weather wise as long as get warm water a couple times at least daily when freezing, cheap layer feed, n out of wind n wet/damp/moistness, they can handle anything, and a cardboard box with layers of newspaper on bottom that they can have a nest or two in (each female does better with two nests), mine would breed n raise young through winter (I'm in tn now, was WI). Summer they'll do good in any heat open out of sun, but I've had some stop feeding in heat wave of over ninty when new parents. Homers make great first time meat birds. Flying them changes taste texture and thickness of meat it seems. I like amount and flavor of meat better than quail, and they eat less seems, though takes six months to breeding age, one month about of incubation, and about one month to raise babies to eating. When her first hath are two weeks, female lays second set of eggs and male takes over more care of first round (why two nest bowls per female better n stops lots of problems many pigeon keepers have aggression wise), this continues as she keeps laying eggs when her last nest are about two weeks when she healthy. I've heard of ten year old hens still laying eggs a lot. I find when breeding n eating, cheap layer pellets seem to work good for food. A small shed etc would work good for home. My most productive birds breeding constantly, had thirty to forty square inches, per pair of adults n two rounds of young at time in, before moving or eating young. In small shed or partly covered dog run, they'll be fine with ten pairs. I've heard of meat breeders etc keeping four to six females nests next to, just separated by cardboard, only one nest per female, and only one male mating with them all.. But only seen few times, n not sure how long this worked for or could raise more than one round of young this way. I raised squab under parlor rollers and NYC flying flights, as they were best feeders seen n they'd set extra eggs n squeakers making them morbidly obese, raising four to five in nest. If you fly homers they'll need less cage space and eat less being healthier, but then you may loose some to hawks etc too. Oddly found I love eating the hearts their tasty. People who have ten pairs say they get enough for family freezer, and can get overwhelmed.
Edited by laughingdog - 4/28/16 at 7:23pm

keeping assorted bantams and standard chickens..    pigeons: "white dove release" racing homers, flying flights, flying birmingham rollers, parlor rollers, parlor tumblers, "coop tumblers", Chinease owls.

    Looking to talk to others who enjoy our pigeon/dove hobby.  Also looking to talk chickens, especially black bantam true rosecombs i hope to have again someday, as well as silkies, and...

Reply

keeping assorted bantams and standard chickens..    pigeons: "white dove release" racing homers, flying flights, flying birmingham rollers, parlor rollers, parlor tumblers, "coop tumblers", Chinease owls.

    Looking to talk to others who enjoy our pigeon/dove hobby.  Also looking to talk chickens, especially black bantam true rosecombs i hope to have again someday, as well as silkies, and...

Reply
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by laughingdog View Post

A small shed etc would work good for home. My most productive birds breeding constantly, had thirty to forty food square, per pair of adults n two rounds of young at time in, before moving or eating young.
Thanks for the info. But 30 to 40 square feet per pair? 0_o umm...That's a whole lot of space! Quail only require 1-2 square feet per bird. Is 30 square feet the minumum or could I get away with 10 square feet per pair if I were to get say 5-10 pairs?
post #4 of 9

Hi.

 

I breed pigeons for meat and 'pets'.

 

Don't use racing or homing pigeons.. they don't have enough meat on them and produce squabs that are too small and long in the leg...and they don't always make the best parents to churn out lots of squabs.

 

Get white utility king pigeons or some other kind of meat pigeon breed.. these are usually less expensive than pedigree homers.

 

The don't need 30 - 40 square foot a pair!!!

 

Easiest way is build a pen / aviary and put up nesting boxes on the back wall.  They will breed like crazy.  Use dry sand as the floor litter and you can rake it once a week to keep it clean of feathers and dried poops. Make sure the coop is very well ventilated... and kept dry at all times.. then it will stay clean, hygienic and not smell.  They don't mind the cold. 

 

Use double nest boxes so the hen can start on her next batch of eggs while the cock keeps feeding the older squabs.  This will ensure maximum production.   Make about 40cm high, 60cm long, and 40cm deep.  Put a board along the front to keep in the nesting material and eggs.. and put in nest bowls lined with newspaper. 

 

Feed a standard cheap pigeon feed and chicken layer pellets mixed in. (you can also use wild bird seed).

 

They need a bath about couple times a week.. use a couple of plastic washing up bowls.

 

A breeding pair need about 0.6m square including 0.4m square nesting area. 

 

Its also good to provide perches around the place (where you can't bang you head) at different heights.

 

Good luck!

post #5 of 9
Er.. Ment inches if I put wrong. Who would think I ment feet? Hehehe Thirty to forty inches squared if not letting out daily for exercise, for three pairs, if not going to squab but let young grow out to from one pair.
Most breeders for money keep breeding pairs in 24inch square cages, and they burn out not raising young continually, parents and young suffering from probs, only able to raise one or two then needing let out n stopped from breeding. Feeding a pigeon feed with a layer feed will only degrade feed quality. Most pigeon feeds designed for racing pigeons except breeding formulas that other feeds degrade quality of purpose of using. I've never bred meat pigeons, but, have kept very fat meaty homers that one or two filled my belly. The utility pigeons seen locally anyway were half size of my homers maybe at best.
Edited by laughingdog - 4/28/16 at 7:34pm

keeping assorted bantams and standard chickens..    pigeons: "white dove release" racing homers, flying flights, flying birmingham rollers, parlor rollers, parlor tumblers, "coop tumblers", Chinease owls.

    Looking to talk to others who enjoy our pigeon/dove hobby.  Also looking to talk chickens, especially black bantam true rosecombs i hope to have again someday, as well as silkies, and...

Reply

keeping assorted bantams and standard chickens..    pigeons: "white dove release" racing homers, flying flights, flying birmingham rollers, parlor rollers, parlor tumblers, "coop tumblers", Chinease owls.

    Looking to talk to others who enjoy our pigeon/dove hobby.  Also looking to talk chickens, especially black bantam true rosecombs i hope to have again someday, as well as silkies, and...

Reply
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info. Homer pigeons are the only pigeons I can get locally- any other breed would have to come from another state $75-$100 each (not including shipping fee)... So homer pigeons it is! smile.png I'm going to get them once I finish their living area.
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Byrd View Post

Thanks for the info. Homer pigeons are the only pigeons I can get locally- any other breed would have to come from another state $75-$100 each (not including shipping fee)... So homer pigeons it is! smile.png I'm going to get them once I finish their living area.

Don't they have any livestock markets in your state.. or even Chinese markets / farmers markets?

 

I think you are really wasting you time and money with feral pigeons for meat production.  Its like getting sparrows instead of broiler chickens. 

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jak2002003 View Post

Don't they have any livestock markets in your state.. or even Chinese markets / farmers markets?

I think you are really wasting you time and money with feral pigeons for meat production.  Its like getting sparrows instead of broiler chickens. 
No livestock markets that I know of. Farmers markets are around here, but no live animals. I live in a city area, so most farms (at least the ones that sell pigeons) are on the other end of the state (georgia) and they have the fancy type pigeons for sale. The ones near my city only have homers, and they're only $5-$10 each so I thought it'd be worth a try. I just want something better than quail, it doesn't have to be the best.
Edited by Little Byrd - 5/1/16 at 1:25pm
post #9 of 9
If you love the homers after a year, or can try to get meat pigeons while putz with homers, maybe up homers ready as fosters so you can buy pair of meat pigeons and foster eggs under a pair every two weeks, instead of waiting a month for your meat pigeons to lay again while they raise round before.

keeping assorted bantams and standard chickens..    pigeons: "white dove release" racing homers, flying flights, flying birmingham rollers, parlor rollers, parlor tumblers, "coop tumblers", Chinease owls.

    Looking to talk to others who enjoy our pigeon/dove hobby.  Also looking to talk chickens, especially black bantam true rosecombs i hope to have again someday, as well as silkies, and...

Reply

keeping assorted bantams and standard chickens..    pigeons: "white dove release" racing homers, flying flights, flying birmingham rollers, parlor rollers, parlor tumblers, "coop tumblers", Chinease owls.

    Looking to talk to others who enjoy our pigeon/dove hobby.  Also looking to talk chickens, especially black bantam true rosecombs i hope to have again someday, as well as silkies, and...

Reply
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