Free flight flock

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by GBov, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. GBov

    GBov Chillin' With My Peeps

    617
    8
    154
    Apr 3, 2009
    Trying to find SOMETHING to raise for meat that the city ordinances havnt managed to ban and have started toying with pigeons. Living in Ireland for many years I would watch the flocks set out to fly in the evenings when people got home from work but reading on here I dont see many people talking about flying their meat birds. Are meat birds let out to fly or if not, why not? Living in Florida now it would be nice to have something that woulnt mind the heat and could forrage a bit for itself, hence costing less but I also dont want to loose the lot so any info and ideas would be really GREAT [​IMG]

    Cheers
     
  2. seedcorn

    seedcorn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    NE. IN
    Can't speak for Florida but in Indiana, enjoy feeding the hawks. Whenever I let them out to fly, hawks pick them off.
     
  3. GBov

    GBov Chillin' With My Peeps

    617
    8
    154
    Apr 3, 2009
    Ah, I was wondering about hawks!

    What kinds of pigeons am I seeing when I see peoples flocks flying if they arnt worried about hawks or kestrels? I do see flocks flying down here. Would they be wild pigeons then?
     
  4. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    don't know of anyone that keeps pigeons that would lose them at night, having many of the larger owls and hawks resident year around would make for a little flock.

    Also coinciding you want to EAT these birds and people poison 'nuisance' animals you may end up very ill... weather they birds eat some poisoned mice.rats, get into bug spray when mosquito are sprayed for or get poisoned directly- or eat from a carcass that has something that can be transfer like roundworm, ringworm, tric- and all.

    Doves/pigeons released in FL are racers that are actually racing at that time, blond (white) homing pigeons for special events, magician's doves (but these are inside), or shows for tumblers/rollers and the like.
     
  5. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

    9,491
    30
    293
    Aug 24, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    Meat birds like kings are heavier, so not that fast at flying easy meal for all hawks, plus most people eat squabs before they start flying. 5 weeks old
     
  6. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    5,545
    224
    288
    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    The heavy breeds wont fly very far anyway. Mine just hang around the yard or on top of the barn.

    I lose one to hawks every now and then, but they enjoy being out, and I enjoy seeing them.

    At night they are inside where an owl would have a very hard time getting in, so I've never lost one that way.

    I started out with 20, and eat some every now and then. I have about 40- 50 now and about a dozen eggs that will hatch in the next few weeks.

    I might have more if I kept them enclosed full time, but I wouldnt get to see them fly, and would probably have to feed them more
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  7. seedcorn

    seedcorn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    NE. IN
    I can see where the size of the pigeon could influence hawks. I had rollers and then helmits, both small. Maybe hawks wouldn't be as hard on a larger breed? Again Indiana is not Florida.
     
  8. GBov

    GBov Chillin' With My Peeps

    617
    8
    154
    Apr 3, 2009
    Thanks for the replies guys [​IMG]

    The only info I have on pigeons is from living over seas and I know its different here. And the flocks I use to see flying about Dublin in the evenings - NOT NIGHT TIME, just late afternoon - were most likely homers and tumblers let out for exercise. I didnt even know that there was such a thing as meat pigeons [​IMG] Silly me [​IMG] Of course there are!

    I liked the look of the hutch? coop? housing? Dont know the proper name of pigeon housing even but Bear Foot Farm's pigeons look the bees knees [​IMG]

    If one had, say, 6 pair of breeders how much meat will one actually raise in the year and how much will one feed them? I know that the parent feeds the squabs so that it looks like one is feeding HUGE amounts to a small bird so some figures will be most helpful.

    Oh, with meat pigeons, how many per person make a meal? With quail it would take HEAPS to feed my family of 5!
     
  9. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,450
    16
    171
    Jun 15, 2008
    Quote:I have been asking these questions on the amount of feed to raise the squab and carcass weights produced in the real world for quite a while now ... I am still waiting for an answer. ANYONE ???
     
  10. srsmith69

    srsmith69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    320
    5
    121
    Aug 25, 2009
    Oklahoma
    Quote:I have been asking these questions on the amount of feed to raise the squab and carcass weights produced in the real world for quite a while now ... I am still waiting for an answer. ANYONE ???

    See if this link helps. Looks like it is a publication put out in 2007 by an Austrailian group. http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/213221/Squab-raising.pdf The pigeons in the study were utility kings. The article says:
    • 25 breeding pairs will eat about 3 kg of feed daily.
    • 1 breeding pair will eat about 45 kg of feed and 4 kg of grit yearly.
    • 1 pair of birds will eat 22 kg of feed to breeding age.
    A 500 g squab is produced from 3 kg of feed, giving a feed conversion ratio (FCR) of 6:1.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2009

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by