Hi, I went to a local swap and ended up buying 3 fantail pigeons. They are beautiful birds, but I've never owned pigeons before and after doing some research, I came up with many questions.
The breeder told me that they were very easy to raise. He said that I could keep them with my bantam chickens and they could eat whatever the chickens ate, but after some research, this doesn't sound like the best idea.
First question is on housing. I only have the 3 currently and I don't plan to keep more than 6. How big of an area should they have? I planned on keeping them in the bantam coop which is quite large, but since it sounds that they should be kept separate from chickens, my pigeons are temporarily in a large dog kennel that is 3 ft. by 2 ft. and 2 ft. tall. How long can they stay in a place that small? How big should their permanent home be? Could they be kept with the bantam chickens?
Next is on feed. What do you reccomend for feed? I have All flock pellets which I believe are 13% protein (I'd have to check to be sure) and I have chick starter which is 18% protein. Which is better for pigeons? Should I supplement anything along with the feed or buy a different feed?
For breeding, the breeder said that he thought that I had 2 females and 1 male but he was unsure. He was mainly going by the size of the birds. Is there any more accurate way? I tried looking it up. One is small, has rounder eyes, and is quieter so I'm pretty sure that she's a girl. The other one that he thought was a female looks a little bit bigger than the one he called male, but also has round eyes. he/she coos a lot. What do you think she is? The last one which he called male makes a low grunting sound when I get close to him, but he doesn't coo, he also has slightly more norrow eyes so I'm assuming he is a boy.
If I have 2 females and 1 male, will I be able to breed them? How should I go about it? Since I only have the 3, I don't want to single one out. Will the male mate with both females? What if I have 2 males and 1 female? Will they both mate her and help raise the chicks?
Lastly, it's been 36 hours since I purchased them and I haven't seen them eat or drink yet. They could be, but I haven't seen it. Should I be worried? I tried to dip their beaks in the water.
If you can answer one or more of these, please do. I want to give these birds the best home possible.