Basics for House Pigeons

Birbseeb

Chirping
Aug 26, 2020
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Hello, I'm planning on getting a pair of pigeons as house birds next year-ish, and have been reading and watching a lot of things about pigeon-keeping recently to get an idea of what all I will need. Most of the sources are for loft birds, whereas lots of advice about house birds are geared for parrots, so not sure how well that some of that info carries over... I've had dogs and rats, but this would be my first bird. I've always loved pigeons, so I really want to give mine a good life.

I'd like some advice as to what medicines I should have in a basic health kit, and how often to deworm/delouse a house bird (I assume not as regularly as outdoor loft birds). I've read that a little Borax in their bathwater helps with lice and such, though I've seen pre-bottled 'bird bath salts' for sale as well. What do most people here use?

Also, apparently diet needs to vary by season? There are so many different formulations of pigeon foods out there, I'm a little confused by which would be best for a non-performance pet. Would a mix of pellets with a general seed blend cover most bases? Should it be 50/50 or another ratio?
So many brands of pigeon food seem to come in huge bags, so I hesitate to just experiment.
And what types of vitamin mixes are recommended, and how often. I see there are powder and liquid types; what are the pros and cons for each?

I've seen dog crates, double flight cages, and two-story small animal cages all recommended, and they seem to all have potential to work. If anyone has pictures of their house pigeon's cage setups, and what toys they seem to like, that would also be cool to see.


Thanks for your time. :)
 

cavemanrich

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6 Years
Apr 6, 2014
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Let me offer some suggestions:
For an Indoor pet, it is better to get one, rather than 2. I will Tag @Serin , since he keeps one indoors, and is a wealth of info on keeping indoor pigeon. If you choose to keep 2, they do not bond to you personally, like a single. You also will be faced with possible of-springs down the road. If you keep 2 hens, then still no of-springs, but they still may tend to lay eggs. If you keep 2 males, sometimes they are not the friendliest to each other.
Food: a wild bird seed mix would work. Available in smaller quantities than 25 pound bags of pigeon seeds. You would want to provide fresh seeds, so after a stretch of time, get fresh bag, and offer rest of seeds to wild birds outdoors.
I will tag @backyard pigeons , he has feed down pact. :thumbsup Can suggest how you can formulate your own mixes.
WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and,:welcome
 

Serin

Crowing
Feb 3, 2019
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Chicagoland
One bird is recommended as an indoor pet if someone is home most of the time. Two birds will not bond strongly to a caretaker in the same way.

I've taken to feeding Petco's dove seed mix this year without issue, but I also feed Zupreem naturals parakeet pellet food. An indoor bird that doesn't get sun needs pellets in the diet, or a vitamin supplement, to get vitamin D to process calcium in their diet. As winter is coming soon and we don't be able to take her outside, I am considering a UVB light as well, which mimics sunlight and lets birds make their own vitamin D, in which case the diet can be entirely seed. You just want a few types, including peas and grains, which the Petco mix contains.

No need to deworm or delouse a house bird at all, except maybe when its brand new. They wont get parasites indoors.

My bird has a 30 x 18 finch cage also from Petco with a shelf added but this would be much too small for a larger breed or for a bird that isn't allowed free flight in the home most of the day.

If you have a discord messenger account, I can talk to you more thoroughly, my tag is Salamander Man#4246
 

Birbseeb

Chirping
Aug 26, 2020
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Pai#4665
Your account is set to not accept messages from non-Friends, so I couldn't say it was me when I sent it.
 
Oct 18, 2018
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I'd like some advice as to what medicines I should have in a basic health kit, and how often to deworm/delouse a house bird (I assume not as regularly as outdoor loft birds). I've read that a little Borax in their bathwater helps with lice and such, though I've seen pre-bottled 'bird bath salts' for sale as well. What do most people here use?
You are asking questions that are not asked enough! Great job! you have done some research.

for medicine in a basic health kit, I would recommend getting a simple 4 in 1 powder mix, so it covers a broad spectrum of diseases in one treatment. And for mites, I would get Permethrin . it can be misted on them, or give them a pan of water to bathe in to treat for mites. Once mites are gone, in an indoor bird, they will probably stay gone. Same with diseases. For bird bath salts, regular Epsom salt will do just as good for 1\8 if the price! The bath salts don't help much with mites.

Also, apparently diet needs to vary by season?
yes, it does, especially for outdoor birds. But for a indoor bird, not as much as they won't be in extreme heat it cold. But, I would recommend any general pigeon mix with 12-14% protein, and 3 or 4% fat, but doctor it up as needed. and fiber is a must, something that pellets don't provide enough of, so aim for about 8% fiber.

This will be your staple, but when molting season comes, (typically about September through October) they will need more pellets, as they have the necessary minerals needed to produce strong feathers, as well as a bit more protein. When molting season comes, do 40% pellets, 60% grain.

your grain mix should be about 40% wheat, 20% millet, 10% whole corn, 10% peas, 5% milo, 5% oat groats, 5% white kafir, and 5% buckwheat. The more grains in a mix the better, as any flaw in the nutrients will be more balanced out with more grains.

and grit is essential. All nutrients in the grain will be lost without grit, as they will have no way to digest it. I recommend Mineral grit for them.
And what types of vitamin mixes are recommended, and how often. I see there are powder and liquid types; what are the pros and cons for each?
I like to add minerals in their water. Apple cider vinegar is a amazing immune booster. I add two tablespoons of ACV per gallon of water. It also kills any bacteria that enters in the water, (yes, good and bad bacteria, but more bad bacteria enters than good). I also give rooster booster Vitamins, as well as Probiotics.

My water schedule is this:


Sunday: two tablespoons of ACV
Monday: Probiotics
Tuesday: Two tablespoons of ACV
Wednesday: fresh water
Thursday: rooster booster vitamins
Friday: two tablespoons of ACV
Saturday: fresh water

I hope this helps. Ask anything else you need to know!
 

Birbseeb

Chirping
Aug 26, 2020
19
40
64
My water schedule is this:

Sunday: two tablespoons of ACV
Monday: Probiotics
Tuesday: Two tablespoons of ACV
Wednesday: fresh water
Thursday: rooster booster vitamins
Friday: two tablespoons of ACV
Saturday: fresh water

For the vitamin doses, can it be mixed into a gallon jug and kept in the fridge to refill the dish for a while, or should it be prepared fresh every time? I ask because it seems like for one bird, there would be waste of the vitamin mix when changing water every day (same question for the vinegar water).

Thanks for the Rooster Booster suggestion ... I had seen recommendations elsewhere for a brand called RedCell, but that seems to only come in pretty large containers.

Also, do people use UV cage lights? I know they are popular for parrots.
 
Oct 18, 2018
3,258
13,362
667
For the vitamin doses, can it be mixed into a gallon jug and kept in the fridge to refill the dish for a while, or should it be prepared fresh every time? I ask because it seems like for one bird, there would be waste of the vitamin mix when changing water every day (same question for the vinegar water).

Thanks for the Rooster Booster suggestion ... I had seen recommendations elsewhere for a brand called RedCell, but that seems to only come in pretty large containers.

Also, do people use UV cage lights? I know they are popular for parrots.
You can just mix up smaller doses of needed. I don't recommend storing it. But, they will last you forever, even if some is wasted. They both take roughly 1\4 of a tablespoon per gallon of water, so it last a long time. That's why I like them. To many products dilute their meds and supplements for animals where it is like two tablespoons per gallon, and then you see it was diluted to 1%. So you burn right through it, and payed a whole bunch for it. But These supplement, they are not a rip off. :)

Yes, the lights are used some. I have never used them though, so I cant give you much advice. :(
 

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