I'm new to pigeons and I have a few questions: breeding, housing, feed, etc...

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by cochins1088, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. cochins1088

    cochins1088 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, I went to a local swap and ended up buying 3 fantail pigeons. They are beautiful birds, but I've never owned pigeons before and after doing some research, I came up with many questions.

    The breeder told me that they were very easy to raise. He said that I could keep them with my bantam chickens and they could eat whatever the chickens ate, but after some research, this doesn't sound like the best idea.

    First question is on housing. I only have the 3 currently and I don't plan to keep more than 6. How big of an area should they have? I planned on keeping them in the bantam coop which is quite large, but since it sounds that they should be kept separate from chickens, my pigeons are temporarily in a large dog kennel that is 3 ft. by 2 ft. and 2 ft. tall. How long can they stay in a place that small? How big should their permanent home be? Could they be kept with the bantam chickens?

    Next is on feed. What do you reccomend for feed? I have All flock pellets which I believe are 13% protein (I'd have to check to be sure) and I have chick starter which is 18% protein. Which is better for pigeons? Should I supplement anything along with the feed or buy a different feed?

    For breeding, the breeder said that he thought that I had 2 females and 1 male but he was unsure. He was mainly going by the size of the birds. Is there any more accurate way? I tried looking it up. One is small, has rounder eyes, and is quieter so I'm pretty sure that she's a girl. The other one that he thought was a female looks a little bit bigger than the one he called male, but also has round eyes. he/she coos a lot. What do you think she is? The last one which he called male makes a low grunting sound when I get close to him, but he doesn't coo, he also has slightly more norrow eyes so I'm assuming he is a boy.

    If I have 2 females and 1 male, will I be able to breed them? How should I go about it? Since I only have the 3, I don't want to single one out. Will the male mate with both females? What if I have 2 males and 1 female? Will they both mate her and help raise the chicks?

    Lastly, it's been 36 hours since I purchased them and I haven't seen them eat or drink yet. They could be, but I haven't seen it. Should I be worried? I tried to dip their beaks in the water.

    If you can answer one or more of these, please do. I want to give these birds the best home possible.

    Thanks!
     
  2. samas

    samas Out Of The Brooder

    hi i currently house 14 roller pigeons with my 8 bantams and they are fine ive heared of stories of them making eachother sick but it seems all untrue to my experiences they will live just fine with your chickens just put the nesting boxes for your pigeons where the chickens cant get up and disturb them if your chickens are terretorial over food and water put waterers and feeders up aswell, your feed is fine the only thing i would suggest is feeding a hand full of feed per pigeon per day if over fed they will become lazy and sit and poop all the time so dont over feed them,place each pigeon alone infront of a mirror i found it takes a few minutes but it works,if your pigeons starts performing and makes cooing noises turns in a circle and becomes aggesive its a male no reaction would be a female,this would work depending on how old your birds are also try holding the pigeon in your hand and pushing his head down with your finger if its a male his tail will also go down if its a female tail will go up, with breeding ive heard of one male with two females but dont see how this is possible as the male sits on the eggs aswell so u would have to get another one, also on the feed crush it fine if its not will help them start eating better
    hope this helps
    good luck
    [​IMG]
    this is my nest boxes for my pigeons in my coop
     
  3. larrylofts

    larrylofts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    PIGEONS WOULD BE BETTER OFF IN SPERATE PEN . MANY REASONS CHICKENS CAN AND WILL HURT PIGEONS FANTAILS ARE NOT GOOD FLIERS AND DO HAVE VISION LIMITS WITH THERE TAILS SEXING IS ONLY 100% WHEN THE HEN LAYS EGG. WATCH AND SEE IF TWO GO OFF BY THEM SELFS NOT 100% BUT ONE WAY TO LEARN PIGEONS NEED TO BE IN PAIRS BOTH MALE AND FEMALE FEED YOUNG . I FEED A GOOD LAYER PELLET FOR CHICKENS TO MINE. THE BIRDS MAY NOT NO WHAT PELLETS ARE MAYBE JUST FEED A HAND FULL AND SEE IF THEY EAT IT WATER JUST DIP THE BEAKS IN IT. 2 FEET BY 2 FEET BY 18 INCHES ARE MIN. ROOM FOR FANTAILS . FANTAILS ARE NOT GOOD FLIERS SO KEEP THIS IN MIND IF YOU WANT TO LET THEM OUT BE THERE FOR THEM BECAUSE A HAWK OR DOG CAT WILL SOON FIND THEM
     
  4. cochins1088

    cochins1088 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks so much! That was really helpful!

    I'll try to build some nesting boxes up higher for my pigeons so that they can live with the bantams for now and I'll try to build a loft this summer. It's nice to hear that the bantams and chickens can live with each other with very few problems. I'd rather they be in there for now so that they can have more room to fly.

    Which of the feeds is better for pigeons? The All Flock, or the chick starter? I'm giving them chick starter currently because they are probably under a lot of stress and need the protein boost.

    Thanks for the tips on sexing them! I'll go out and try them in a bit.

    For breeding, I won't be able to get any more fantail pigeons until the next swap which is a month away. Could 2 of them pair up, and just leave one singled out? Also, do they breed year round or just in the spring?
     
  5. cochins1088

    cochins1088 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, so maybe they shouldn't be with the bantam chickens... Thanks for the additional information on the fantails. I'll try to sex them again today, but I realize it won't be 100%. Then I will buy the extra opposite sex in a month so that I will have 2 pairs.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
  6. fowlsessed

    fowlsessed Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, if they get along with the bantams then good, if they don't then make sure they have roosts, nests and feed/water up on shelves. They CAN get sick, doesn't mean they WILL. Some chickens wont let them land, it's not very cool them being denied access to the ground as they are primarily ground foraging birds. They need to be in pairs to breed successfully, the coo-ier they are the more likely it's a male, the quieter, the more likely it's a female. They can subsist quite well on what you would feed your adult chickens, giving them some wild bird seed (or similar) is nice. They need grit like chickens and make sure everyone is wormed. If you want them separated,1 Sq. foot per bird is the min. space they should have, I like at least three feet high, but it can be even less. Wire or solid floors work, just make sure they stay dry and are protected from predators (including rodents) and protection from wind is good, but they can be kept in three-sided rabbit hutch type setups very well. If they are in an enclosed type of housing than make sure they can get out, by way of a wire fly pen (can be small, 2x2x2) so they can get sun and fresh air, and you should put a bath pan out there so they can bath. Chickens use dirt, pigeons use water. Don't do that inside the loft if they have solid floors because they will get everything wet and DRY is one of the most important things.
    Hope that's of some help and good luck with the new birds!
     
  7. fowlsessed

    fowlsessed Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What Larry's Loft said, good post.
     
  8. larrylofts

    larrylofts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    to leave pigeons and chickens togather is a disaster in the makeing. fantails are not good fliers yes they can fly but are slow and have some vision problems when something comes up from behind them. a nest higher up is not the solution for bantams for the most part are pretty good fliers and will roost pretty high if they can solution find a old rabbit hanging cage the all wire kind hang it in the chicken house i bought them on craigs list and from indivuals about ten dollars a hole check your feed store people that raise rabbits have them that is why i ask around feed stores and county agent
     
  9. cochins1088

    cochins1088 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks everyone for all of the information and ideas! You guys have really helped me.

    I'll leave them in the 2 ft. by 3 ft. cage until I finish building their loft. I'd rather not risk putting them with the bantams.

    I tried pushing thier heads down while holding them. 2 of them kept their tails down, and 1 of them put it's tail up, and down. Guess he/she couldn't make up her mind but I'm pretty sure that one's a girl. She's smaller than the other 2 and is very quiet.


    If I do have a pair, when can I expect them to start breeding? Also, they always keep their chests puffed out and bob their heads. Is this a characteristic of the breed? or are they scared?
     
  10. samas

    samas Out Of The Brooder

    i agree what works for me might not work for anyone else i have rollers who thinks they are chickens,and i have a door at the top of my coop for my pigeons to come and go as they please my floor is shared by all my birds and they all eat out of one container chickens and rollers even when they are out they stay together my coop is cleaned every second day and my chickens every weekend where i live there are no predators so all my birdies live in harmony when i feed them ill have chickens on my shoulders and pigeons on my head i also introduced a new hen on the 14th and tonight she is cuddling up with the rest of my girls and my roo who lays on his back when i cut is nails and tickle his belly
     

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