Can chickens and a flightless pigeon live in harmony?


8 Years
May 31, 2011
West Virginia, USA
Okay, I have a bird-themed situation in which chickens are a large factor, so I figured I'd join up here and ask those more experienced than myself. First, let me tell you a story. About two weeks ago, I go out to do a bit of light gardening, only to find a pigeon sitting on the back stoop. Well...not sitting so much as flopping around and bleeding. Turns out one of the neighborhood kids got overzealous with a BB gun. The poor bird caught one in the “wrist” of his right wing. I managed to patch him up and he's doing well, but the vet says he'll never fly again. I was completely unprepared to take on a pigeon...but there it is. I named him Quetzalcoatl (Qetzo for short) and have embraced my responsibility to keep him alive and well.

Now, it just so happens that my housemates decided to get chickens. A few days ago we acquired a coop and Qetzo currently resides there. We'll be picking up the young chicks in a few days, so the pigeon has some weeks before he has roommates. Specifically, two americaunas and two buff orpingtons, all hens.

Now that I've set the scene, here's where I need help. I did my homework and have a plan but I'm strictly amateur hour over here and need y'all to “check my math”. A pigeon can live happily off of chicken scratch and grit. A pigeon also needs someone to cozy up to during those cold winter nights. Bullying can be a factor when the chicks get big enough to do so, but this can be reduced quite a bit if the chickens know the pigeon from a very early age. Typically one would provide an elevated food tray and roost for the pigeon, but as Qetzo is flightless, that's not an option. I could, however build a separate “room” off to the side of the coop with an entrance that's just big enough for the pigeon to get through than I just might have a housing system that keeps every species happy...right?

Questions? Comments? Amusing limericks?
Oh darn. So be it. For roughly the same effort I can build a proper 30''X30''X40'' pigeon cage. I know pigeons are social and need someone to cuddle up to at night during the winter. What can I do to keep Qetzo un-frozen and sane?

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