I want pigeons. Info please?

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by PerfectPlumage, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. PerfectPlumage

    PerfectPlumage Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would like to get some pigeons, but I don't know much about them. I need info. Coop designs, common breeds of pigeons, common must-know things, etc. Oh, and here's some questions of mine:

    -How often do they lay eggs? Will they raise chicks in a home made nesting box?
    -Are wire floors okay for there feet?
    -What bedding should I use?
    -Can they free range and fly around every day but will return home if raised from egg/chick?
    -Will they get along with other poultry?
    -How many should I get for them to be happy?
    -How big should the coop be?
    -How do I care for pigeon chicks?

    I am full of questions, any answers will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Lozuufy

    Lozuufy Pigeons are nutty Premium Member

    1,785
    245
    201
    May 20, 2012
    MA/VT
    Pigeons mate for life, they lay 2 eggs about once a month but it can vary and they don't usually lay in the winter. The eggs take 18 days to hatch and they hatch blind with only a little bit of wispy down and can't walk, the parents feed them "crop milk" which is actually not milk but a slurry of partially digested seeds that they regurgitate and feed to the young, it is full of good bacteria and digestive enzymes and the babies need it for the first few days of life or they will not grow right and die. Yes, mine use my homemade nesting boxes but they also try to nest on the floor and on any other ledge that is wide enough. Supplied with food and water most parents are great at raising babies and I hardly ever have to intervene. Both parents sit on the eggs and raise the babies.

    The size of the coop depends on how many pigeons and how much space you have. I have 15 pigeons, 4 doves and 20 quail in my cage that is about 6'x8' with an attached flying part that is 12'x7'. I use woodchips for bedding and the quails scratch it up and all the poop gets mixed in and doesn't smell which is great. They do great with the quail but not sure about other poultry, they also love to be in a flock although they can be happy if you just have a pair. New pigeons purchased as adults should not be free flown until they have raised a batch of babies, homing pigeons take much longer though. The babies can be free flown though and they should come back to the coop unless there is another flock of pigeons nearby that they might try to join. Also if you have hawks around they will try to eat the pigeons, don't free fly any that you are not okay with losing.

    Hope this helps, pigeons are fun to keep!
     
  3. PerfectPlumage

    PerfectPlumage Chillin' With My Peeps

    That did help a lot. I would probably start out with 6. We have plenty of land... PLENTY. We will have to build a pretty big place for them to fly around in because we have a golden eagle hanging around our house. When it leaves and when I know they would return then I will let them fly around.. Our other birds are chickens and a really old turkey hen. I will be probably making nesting boxes out of old sport's balls. I think we will do the frame of the flying open part/run out of PVC pipes, is that okay? We are working on our coop being a old stall in the barn that has a small window which we are gonna bust out and use as a entrance into the run. All our birds will live together. The inside of the coop isn't super big but we will make the run as big as possible.
     
  4. PerfectPlumage

    PerfectPlumage Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh, and I forgot one question.. What's the difference between a normal pigeon and a homing pigeon?
     
  5. ducky 13

    ducky 13 Chillin' With My Peeps


    I'm glad you are interested in pigeons, I have a pair of NY Flying Flights. Pigeons are very friendly and they mate for life, unless they lose their mate or are forcefully separated. When they court each other it is adorable. Homing pigeons are fast and are used in races. Other pigeons are usually a little slower or don't fly much at all. Right now I keep my pigeons in a cage, until a loft is completely built. It is 3 feet long and 2 feet wide. Pigeons will want to breed soon after being rehomed(about 1-3 weeks) if you have opposite genders. The male will strut around his hen with tail spread, crop inflated and he will usually be cooing. A nest box is needed if you wan babies, so you can make one out of just about anything, I find clean rabbit/ferret litter boxes work great. Just spread some hay along the bottom of the literpan and make sure you have plenty of leaves hay and twigs at the bottom of the cage for nesting material. Get young birds, especially with homing pigeons, because if you go to free fly your pigeons they will fly right back to their old home or they will get lost. Keep them in for at least a few months to make sure they get used to your loft/cage. My pigeons were adults when I got them so I kinda have to keep them in the cage for a while. Mine are getting ready for eggs right now. Building a nest etc.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. PerfectPlumage

    PerfectPlumage Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks a lot! This info is helping a lot.
     
  7. ducky 13

    ducky 13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you do build a loft, the best way of cleaning is putting 2 inches of sand on the floor, so when the birds defecate it will land in the sand, and you can rake it up easy. At least once a month you should sift the sand through some wire so any left over turds, lol. Get taken out.
     
  8. PerfectPlumage

    PerfectPlumage Chillin' With My Peeps

    We were already planning on using sand, lol. That's nice, its a really good bedding for chickens too, I heard.
     
  9. Lozuufy

    Lozuufy Pigeons are nutty Premium Member

    1,785
    245
    201
    May 20, 2012
    MA/VT
    PVC pipe sounds great for the frame, my pigeons also love to bath in at least a 1 1/2 foot in diameter bowl with a couple inches of water in it.

    Homing pigeons just have been bred for their homing ability so some will fly from hundreds of miles away to get back "home" (wherever they were raised/learned to fly). Most other pigeons will settle down in a new place after a little while.
     
  10. ducky 13

    ducky 13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    My pigeon layed her first egg, she seems to not want to leave the nest, is this normal? I thought they didn't start brooding till they have two eggs?

    You can handfeed baby pigeons, but pigeons feed their own babies, and hand feeding is time consuming. It's best to leave caring for babies to the parents, then you can tame them when they are pushed out of the nest. The parents are always broody but it doesn't mean they'll care for the young, some breeds ditch their young just because they aren't the best parents. Some breeds can't feed their young so it's best you handfeed the babies or you can use foster parents. I think the NY flights are good beginner pigeons. I have them and these are my first pigeons. The NY flights are quite easy to care for, they don't eat a whole lot, they don't drink a whole lot and can be tamed easily if young, the adults are harder to tame.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by