How to raise homing pigeons?

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by chicken farmer, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. chicken farmer

    chicken farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,505
    74
    174
    Feb 7, 2012
    Southern,Ohio
    I'm wanting to get a few homers and I've never raised pigeons before,I'd like to know what to feed them,what kind of coop/loft I should make,and anything else.
     
  2. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

    3,492
    878
    316
    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    I live in Canada and am subject to -40º weather.
    Here is a quick peak at my set up.
    Pigeons basically fall into 4 categories Show or Ornamental, Performance, Utility, and Homing.
    I would suggest starting with "Young" homing pigeons that have "Never" been flown.
    I fly white homers. At least the parents of all my birds are snow white homers. My birds have a Belgium blood line.
    My point is not all pigeons will orientate to a loft when kept in captivity for 2 weeks.
    This is what one bird accomplished after being sold kept prisoner for nearly a year. This pigeon was mated and had raised numerous clutches of eggs in that time. It was a happy reunion when he came home to his original mate:
    https://maps.google.ca/maps?saddr=2...E1FfsgXOTDHtFd0x4VFqig&oq=Otta&mra=ls&t=m&z=7

    I feed mainly egg laying pellets with some extra corn thrown in for good measure in the winter months. I also feed a variety of grains (especially if a bag of feed gets tore open at the feed warehouse).

    I make my nest boxes the size of a feed bag. Line the nest box with a feed bag when it gets soiled fold it up and pop a new one in EASY PEASY.

    [​IMG]

    This is what I use for nest bowls approximately 10" in diameter available at the Dollar Store.
    (It is wise to have 2 nest boxes for each breeding pair)
    [​IMG]

    Nesting material can very from pine needles, twigs, grass, hay, and wood chips. My loft is a converted baby barn.

    [​IMG]

    There are many types of trapping systems this is mine. Top is window hinged and doubles as roof, floor is hinged doubles as shutter for window in winter, Landing ramp doubles as door forming a small aviary to train pigeons to go through a bob wire trapping system.


    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
    I house an assortment of birds in this baby barn (¼ inch veneer plywood between birds and elements) no heat no light no problems.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015
  3. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

    3,492
    878
    316
    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    I have done presentations and interviews for news papers, science clubs, schools, and local TV stations.

    Here is an interview our local Global TV station did on me. Hope it will play for your enjoyment.

    http://globalnews.ca/news/1478351/carrier-pigeons-continue-to-connect-family/

    Here is another interview done near Remembrance Day 2014 by our local CTV television network. Hope it plays for your viewing pleasure.

    http://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=480823&binId=1.1145729&playlistPageNum=1
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015
  4. chicken farmer

    chicken farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,505
    74
    174
    Feb 7, 2012
    Southern,Ohio
    Thanks a lot,this is real helpful!
     
  5. samsprik

    samsprik Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    22
    Jul 15, 2015
     
  6. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

    3,492
    878
    316
    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    In a perfect world a pigeon reaches maturity at about 4 to 6 months of age. You will find however especially with the hen bird it is best to wait a year before you commence a breeding program.
    For homers you will find they usually begin to breed and lay eggs around February 14, if we start to experience rain and warmer temperatures (northern hemisphere).
    Some fanciers (in order to get a jump on the racing season) will provide heat and light in late December or early January to encourage breeding.
    That being said my birds are a hobby and I do not race mainly because pigeon fanciers are a dying breed in my area.

    Here is an interview of me and my grand daughter I am proud of you may have to suffer through a commercial and I hope you gain some insight to my set up and hobby.

    Click on the link I hope it will play for you:

    http://globalnews.ca/news/1478351/carrier-pigeons-continue-to-connect-family/
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by