A few silly questions!

Tanith BHH

Chirping
7 Years
Jun 9, 2012
274
5
93
Hi,
I've just been thinking about keeping a couple of homing pigeons in my yard, and letting them free fly when I'm around (which is most of the time), but I have a few questions about them first, so I know if it is even possible. I feel some of these questions are a bit silly, but I don't know anything, really!
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1. I was thinking of two pigeons. I'm not planning to breed them, I just want them to be tame as pets. Should I get two females, or a male and a female? (i heard somewhere that males fight?).

2. Will keeping a pair make them less tame/affectionate towards humans? And if I didn't keep a pair would they go off in search of mates, and join a wild flock of pigeons?!

3. Let's say I'm happy with two. How big should their house/shelter be? And their flight, how big should that be, bearing in mind that they will be flying about free range most of the day?

4. I've heard you can get special pigeon feed, or should I just make my own seed mix? Which is cheaper, and which is healthier?

5. How often should they have access to a bath and are perches or ledges/shelves better for roosting at night?

6. Should I keep them confined for about six weeks before letting them free range?

7. Will they be tame, and how do I get them to come back from free flight?


Sorry, I didn't realise there were going to be so many questions! I just kept thinking of more! If you can answer any of them that would be very helpful!

Thanks in advance,
Tanith
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Pigeon Power

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 28, 2013
130
19
83
Indiana!
1. If you want a real sweet tame pet pigeon I would not get a homer...even when I've hand raised them the turn out flighty and end up not wanting much to do with their human. I would suggest a utility or oriental breed (runt, giant homer, any owl, any fantail)...Oh and a tame male will attack you all the time or mate with you...get a female (but you really can't tell the sex till older and even then its hard if you don't know pigeons well)

2.If you hand raised (or got them very young) both they would I image bond to you pretty well as long as they were the right breed...but if you got just one it would have a much strong bond with you and as an adult it would consider you its mate and not go searching for one...pigeons mat for life...however if you were not able to spend a huge amount of time with it a lone pigeon might go looking

3. If you don't want your pigeon to be eaten by EVERYTHING (cats, dogs, owls, hawks....ect ect ect) do not free range, If you get a breed that can't fly well I would only let it out when you are outside with it. A nest box and a fly pen 10 by 5ft should be ok...but I'm not the best to ask about that.

4. I do pellets(made for pigeons don't get chicken fed they are not the same animal and do have different nutrition requirements) because pigeons are picky and will waste a lot of seeds (they all like different types it seems)

5. They like to bath some times every day when its warm out and perches

6. I always just wanted 2 weeks but a month if you want to be safe

7. They will only be tame ( I believe in the way you want them) if you get them super young just weaned from their parents (almost all feathers but still have dark eyes and a few pieces of fuzz on the head) They will come when ready in less you condition them at feeding time or something...or if the bird has bonded really well when you call it (I've had this happen just a few times)
 

Hokum Coco

Crowing
8 Years
Dec 6, 2012
4,274
3,640
477
New Brunswick,Canada
Not to disagree with Pigeon Power but all pigeons and pigeon fanciers can not be generalized.

I must agree with the point Pigeon Power made that ornamental breeds are much easier to tame than homers.

I myself have white homing pigeons. It is possible I have more patience than the average fancier.

All of my homers will fly to me on command and overwhelm me practically when I enter my loft. I hand feed my homer treats (sunflower hearts and shelled peanuts this is my secret).

They recognize me from other humans as well. They will not do this for strangers.

If you employ my tip you should enjoy the same results as me especially with young birds born to your loft. However with time even the older aloof birds will succumb to your charms (or should I say treats).

It does not happen over night and it takes patience; Soon as you get one to hand feed it is a domino effect.
 
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Pigeon Power

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 28, 2013
130
19
83
Indiana!
Fair enough! I've never had much luck with the homers I had but you are right. Who's to say they can't be, did not mean to generalize! However I stand by if your a first timer I would go with the more docile utility or Oriental.
 

Tanith BHH

Chirping
7 Years
Jun 9, 2012
274
5
93
Thanks so much for your time and advice. So if I got one or two female, hand reared oriental pigeons they would stick around anyway, like a homing pigeon would? And one would be ok on it's own? It kind of seems wrong to keep one all on it's own, but if you say it'll be happy enough then i guess that's the best option.
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Thanks so much for the info:)
Anything else important I need to know? :)

Thank you:)

Oh, and can you get dark/grey oriental pigeons because i've only ever seen white fantails.
 

Pigeon Power

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 28, 2013
130
19
83
Indiana!
Not a problem and yes all pigeons will stay once they see their new place as "home" Yes Pigeons are broken down into 3 different classes Utility (bred for meat, sporting bred for flying, and Oriental bred for prettiness I guess you could say)

Sporting:rollers, homers, flights, ect

Oriental: Indian fantails, American fantails, Chinese owls, German owls, Jacobens, ect

Utility: runts, modenas, giant homers, kings, ect

Their are hundreds of breeds and most breeds come in just about every color you can think of.

Not that I can think of but please feel free to message me or whatever if you have any more questions :)
 

Tanith BHH

Chirping
7 Years
Jun 9, 2012
274
5
93
Thank you, I love the look of Fantails, but most seem to have feathered legs, the ones without feathered legs are they also fantails? Are they an easy breed to keep for a beginner? Would an aviary 4ft by about 8ft be ok for one fantail that would be free most of the day, and could wander into the house if it wanted to and so be with people and safe from predators? If I managed to get a hand reared bird because the parents died/couldn't look after it anymore then I might feel a bit better about just having one dove/pigeon:)
 

Pigeon Power

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 28, 2013
130
19
83
Indiana!
Yes that should be plenty big...American fantails are smaller, and have the heads that go back all funny like with no feathered feet. Indians have feathered feet are bigger and their head/neck are more normal with the cute little Crest at the top...With my owls I got them when they were just weaned from their parents and they bonded super well. Like I had hand raised them from a tiny chick. Fantails would be good too and the ones I had even when I got them as adults were very tame with little effort. So If you want a strong bond but don't want to feel guilty for taking a little one from its parents ( which is best for the bird...all the ones I hand raised were abandoned by their parents for one reason or another) I would get them just weaned (if you can) if not young before they hit sexual maturity...should be just fine
 

Pigeon Power

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 28, 2013
130
19
83
Indiana!

This is Chuffery he is an Indian fantail (kind of) his parents abandoned him after a week old and I hand raised him after that....He was unfortunately very deformed and had a lot of health issues, I'm guessing that why his parents gave it up so early. Anyway I love the fantail breed its one of my favorites and I had them off and on for a long time and think its a great first time breed. They are easy, super sweet, pretty, and I think would be great for your first time owning a pigeon!
 

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