I Am New To Pigeons and Doves

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by CountryBoy16, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. CountryBoy16

    CountryBoy16 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have chickens and quail and would like to add a pair of doves or pigeons to my backyard birds. I have no experience in keeping them and would appreciate some advice. I would like to get a variety that I could keep outside but I do not know anything about the different kinds or where to get them. I have the ability to build a cage or an enclosed run but I do not know what size I should make it. Can it be on the ground or should it be above the ground. Should I build them and enclosed box for roosting and nesting? How big should this be? What should I feed them? Any info, advice, and pictures will be greatly appreciated, Thanks [​IMG]
     
  2. larrylofts

    larrylofts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    go to npausa.com national pigeon website has some info
     
  3. laughingdog

    laughingdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    for anything but parlor pigeons i always say at least 40" x 40" x 40" for cage for breeding pair (remember this size will be for one to two sets of young in with them in this space at a time with one to two nest bowls, as females will lay again about two weeks after first pair of squeakers hatch, then again after second pair of squeakers are about two weeks). especially if they are in there most or all of time (not trained to free fly and recall on command or at certain time), as the standard pair cage of 24" squared basically seems to not be good for them to keep fit and raising babies at all and they burn out after one round of young and need rest to build back up for a season or longer. for parlors only 20" height as adults as they cannot fly and then will go up to top and tumble or roll down possibly injuring selves. for group of six non parlors, you can have something size of or made out of large dresser/small closet (for young birds, fliers, unmated adults/same sexed group or "kit"). ive tried all sorts inside and out, and especially outside these sizes and shapes seem to work optimally for my flying and show birds alike. a 36" x 30" x 16" wire rabbit cage made to either hang free against side of buildings (barns inside or out usually, about four or more feet of ground, or however highest you can reach to get at them to pull down or what not, and hopefully not have pest/pred problems), or to set up in free standing metal rabbit breeding rack, would work ok for a breeding pair let out to stretch their and their youngs wings till weaning, or a group of six young or small birds. if you cannot find pigeon food, which all are not seeming the greatest, besides manna pro poultry conditioner for racing and showing pigeons also, you can feed (unmedicated preferably) laying pellets (chick feed make mine sick on it as to rich, maybe to much protein maybe also, and usually medicated). even cheapest wild bird seed adding in a grit dish with it containing "grit and gravel" with calcium already in it, can both be found cheap at wal-mart if your in the states. i like to give mine fresh dandilion greens, that most consider weeds, but some know to be great super leafy green food. mine also love to eat chickweed, spinich, kale, and any bugs they can catch on fly on ground or dig up (they learned from my bantam chickens i think). you can also i found feed them budgie ( most in states call parakeets), food. mine love to pick out the parrot pellets as my budgies never ate them anyway, though then you have to add some form of grit again as not in it like already included in pigeon or chicken feed. scratch feed for chickens will work well im told and i tried breifly, but know pigeons will do fine on peas and/or supposedly wheat alone even, or mixed with split/cracked or small corn. milo, salflowers, small/cut sunflowers, are also great for them, as well as other grains and seeds im sure im forgetting others will chime in with hopefully. corn can be essential for cold weather and prep of if your birds are out in cold not in inclosed barn or coop supposedly. ive had some of mine choose for while to live and nest down by goats dogs, ducks, quail, and chickens, and live mostly off cheap crushed dry dog (ol' roy complete red bag) food. ive kept mine in climate of east TN, and even in up most north eastern WI. in nothing but wire cages with one or up to three sides blocked by wood of walls ect and/or and tarping to block full sun wind and rain, and they seemed to love that more then when i pampered them and closed them in. just make sure always are dry, clean have fresh feed once or twice daily, and fresh clean water once to twice a day. some pigeons like chickens will do also and other poultry or fowl (as well as reptiles, amphibians and some other non mammals), will reguritate into their water undigestable material from their crops and stomachs ect.
     
  4. wildflights

    wildflights Out Of The Brooder

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    My nest boxes are 16" deep x 24" wide x 16" tall. Each breeding pair will have it's own nest box. During breeding times, I provide a nest bowl which is a dog bowl with a coco fibre liner.

    The coop area that I keep them in is about 6' x 12' split into two sections. They live and breed in the coop area as opposed to chickens who need a coop and a separate run.

    When I want them to exercise, I open the doors and chase them out (or box the homers up and drive somewhere to release them). There is a "one way" trap door on the coop for them to get back in.

    I feed my birds Chicken Layer feed with some peas mixed in. There are a lot of opinions on feed. Most around here, feed whole seed grain feed specifically for pigeons. http://www.tradewindsbirdsandfeed.com/Pigeon_Feed.html

    As to ground/above ground. I keep my birds on sand, just like the chickens. If I was going to build a new pigeon coop, I would put in 1" square wire flooring raised off the ground. This lets the droppings fall through and keeps the living area dryer.

    Pigeons will crap in their food and water constantly if allowed to do so. I use "bullet" style waterers with something over them so they can't sit on top of the waterer. I have seen a gutter style waterer that is mounted outside the coop. There are holes cut in the wire to let the birds reach through to drink. This keeps their feces out of the water and makes it easy to refill daily w/o going into the coop. Seems like the same could be done with a feeder.

    As to breeds, I have homers, rollers, kings and horseman pouters. I would recommend staying away from overly short billed pigeons that are not able to feed their squab well.

    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2013
  5. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    I got white homers about a year ago personally. Something my grand daughter and I raise and race together (I attach notes that lead to surprises for her to retrieve).

    My grand daughter and I hand raised an orphaned homer that failed to come home on a 20 mile toss.
    It was one of the few times she had not accompanied me on a release. I called later that day to tell her the news. She then asked me where I released the bird from Monteagle was the reply. Her crying retort was "Why did you not release them from "DEAD BIRD ROAD!" sarcastically.
    Dusk was falling and I went out to shut up the loft. Low & behold what should come flying in but Piper (grand daughters bird). I checked him over when he trapped and he had a gash from near his neck almost to his tail on his back. My first instinct was to put him out of his misery. However I brought him into the house to have a better look in the light. My wife said "Yes it is a long gash but it is only deep in one spot. We flushed out the wound with Saline; I then glued the skin back together with a few drops of crazy glue; gave him a coat of polysporn; he flew out of my hands as I was bring him back to the loft. He was good to go in about 5 days.


    [​IMG]

    This is him on squabs that hatched 2012 near the end of December (he does not realize that he was supposed to be snow white like his parents).

    My grand daughter has learned more from being around these homers than she could have learned out of any book. She was on the MOON when I called her to tell of Pipers return.

    Grand daughter has experienced love, loss, heartache. first aid, joy, responsibility, and most of all kinship with yours truly.

    It has given her a good subject for presentations at school. We also are starting up a small enterprise with white dove releases (Pipers parents were both solid snow white just for the record).
    Grand daughter did her first dove release at a wedding this fall also another release for an anti bulling campaign at her grade school. She would rather hang out with Hokum (her name for me since she was one) then any of her friends or parents for that matter. However she will be entering her teens next year (make-up and boys will probably soon shove me aside).
    I know however that these birds have made her a better person regardless what comes in the future.


    Plus I have another grand daughter who is only turned 3 and calls me Coco (since she was one).
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2013
  6. wildflights

    wildflights Out Of The Brooder

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    Hokum, I like the feathering of the pictured bird. Very nice!
     
  7. laughingdog

    laughingdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    my flying flights are the most low maintainance birds i have ever had. they out fly all the BOPs, do fine on whatever fed, great parents, seem to be able to home from were ever they fly way off or around to out of site at times, raise their own and a pair of any other eggs/young i put in with them. take confinement or can be free flown given nest boxes prepared to get out of elements and raise own young on own without help (just protect from preds by locating decent and maybe leaving low light on so they can fight or evade preds at night), tumble sum if bred decent, can be bred to show and for flying standards, and mature at about four months. my flying rollers are great but are BOP bait, so expect high losses compared to any other pigeons if raised for roll and not balance flying and intelligence and starved to induce artificial roll as most do, they mature at about six months. i havent flown any of my new white racers yet (guy got from just bred to sell for white dove release), but hoping to be able to let them raise some to do so soon. my parlors are great, in every way except they lack the fun of my fliers in that when they mature they are after forever grounded, but that seems in mine anyway to be at about three months old, as my young had already paired up and displaying at that age before seperated some and sold/traded rest off. i have tried some show breeds, but they are terrible fiers unless slowely worked with, or some from young, and just all around just side projects and eye candy. guess you can tell after trying many kinds, im biased towards the performing breeds.. though i do love my chinease owls, my fantail, and loved my capuchine, rest of the strictly show/structure breeds were meh..
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  8. jesussaves01

    jesussaves01 Just Hatched

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    Does anybody on here know how and when to wean a pigeon? I have had this wood pigeon Since April 3, and I've been feeding it Kaytee Exact Hand Feeding Baby Bird Solution. He's been fed this ever since we had him and I'm up to about 60mL of solution per day. However, I have some problems. He is starting to learn how to fly, and that means he is going to soon have to eat and drink on his own. However, he doesn't like water, refuses to drink it from the syringe that I've been feeding him with, and has trouble eating the bird seed that I am giving him. The bird seed I'm trying to feed him now is pictured below. He picks at it but isn't able to eat much of it. Does anybody have any advice? I heard off of YouTube from a man who breeds pidgeons that a good time to start the weaning process is when the feathers under the wings of the pigeon are fully developed. Right now, he has more than he did before, but there is still skin showing.
     

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  9. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    You have a head start in raising pigeons where you already have chickens they basically require the same care.
    I would suggest getting homing pigeons or racing pigeons they come in a wide variety of colours and any other pigeon or dove is just something to make you wish you had a good homer.
     
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  10. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    In a perfect world he should be able to fend for himself by May 3.
     
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