Looking into getting homing pigeons

Solanacae

Crowing
Mar 10, 2021
511
2,756
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Cache Valley, UT
I have two Brittany spaniels and am looking to get some homing pigeons so I can continue their gun dog training. I have a chicken coop (4’x4’ excluding the 3 nesting boxes) that I’m thinking about converting into a pigeon loft. I’ve included a pic of the coop, but it’s now got a run attached to it, just FYI.
What modifications should I make to the coop? Should I look to get breeding pairs? Is there a color that’s better than others since they’re going to be flying from where I train them to the loft? How many would you recommend getting and how many would reasonably fit in the coop space I have?
Any other advice or things I need to know/consider?
 

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I would usually reccomend mated pairs but for doing homing pigeons like you want you'll want young birds (also called squeakers) but that's kinda the end of my racing knowledge! Color shouldn't affect much besides y'know a white bird might be a little more easily seen by a hawk? And make sure your local feedstore has a nice pigeon seed or checker mix in stock or that they can order for you!
 

cavemanrich

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8 Years
Apr 6, 2014
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Melrose Park Illinois
What modifications should I make to the coop?
You would be best if you converted those nesting boxes into a Pigeon trap entry. I also see need for more ventilation. Besides that I also see a need for windows to allow daylight into loft. Pigeons do enjoy being inside loft, and not only in Run area. (referred to as aviary when for pigeons) They do not like to be in a dark LOFT during daytime.
I suggest getting about 4 pairs of pigeons. This will get some of them breeding, and producing your own Loft born stock. Those are the ones to return to your location much more surely.
If you could locate feral pigeons, these would be fine for your purpose. They are generally homing pigeons. You would have to raise young squabs, and train them to return to your loft. The feral parents may decide to stay, or leave. It is a toss-up. Often times, after parents raise a few clutches of young, they stay at new location. Nothing guaranteed though. The newborn will keep returning to your loft. Once they are adult, they will keep returning, even though the parents decide to leave. They will not follow parents to stay away. If they would by chance go for a flight, the young ones would return even if the parents chose not to.
Getting a loft functioning like you want, to have pigeons return after dog training does take some effort. It is something that also takes some time and devotion.
Ask anything else you would like more explanation about. There are many pigeon peeps on this forum willing to help.
WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and :welcome
 

laureloakirws

Hatching
Apr 30, 2021
1
3
5
I bought 3 pairs last Summer, of 2020. I did not know that pigeons multiply fast. I have 6 new babies, I lost 5 babies, and there are 5 eggs currently being laid on by the 3 pairs...all this from July 2020 till April 2021. I am now going to swap out fake eggs because I have enough pigeons. They are fun and I really enjoy them. Just a hobby. Mine are very tame and eat out of my hands. Come when I call them. Good Luck and have fun. By the way..I bought a 4x6 shed from Lowes, and built a 7x8 avairy.
 

biophiliac

Traveler in BYCLand
5 Years
Apr 22, 2016
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I bought 3 pairs last Summer, of 2020. I did not know that pigeons multiply fast. I have 6 new babies, I lost 5 babies, and there are 5 eggs currently being laid on by the 3 pairs...all this from July 2020 till April 2021. I am now going to swap out fake eggs because I have enough pigeons. They are fun and I really enjoy them. Just a hobby. Mine are very tame and eat out of my hands. Come when I call them. Good Luck and have fun. By the way..I bought a 4x6 shed from Lowes, and built a 7x8 avairy.
Yes, welcome from a WI pigeon keeper! :) Where are you?Sounds like a nice setup for your flock. Agree w/ @cavemanrich - We need pics.
 

Solanacae

Crowing
Mar 10, 2021
511
2,756
296
Cache Valley, UT
I haven’t gotten any . . . yet. I need to finish the big chicken coop so I can move the girls out of this one! It may be a get things ready this year and get the pigeons next year. I’ve got too many yard projects I want to do!
 

Beggs n Achin

Hatching
Oct 27, 2021
2
2
3
I bought 3 pairs last Summer, of 2020. I did not know that pigeons multiply fast. I have 6 new babies, I lost 5 babies, and there are 5 eggs currently being laid on by the 3 pairs...all this from July 2020 till April 2021. I am now going to swap out fake eggs because I have enough pigeons. They are fun and I really enjoy them. Just a hobby. Mine are very tame and eat out of my hands. Come when I call them. Good Luck and have fun. By the way..I bought a 4x6 shed from Lowes, and built a 7x8 avairy.
I was looking up when pigeons start needing bc I just bought two breeding pairs a couple weeks ago to start a rock of homing pigeons for a hobby. The man I bought them from said they are "married" other. He made sure to get pairs that were together. I'm so new to pigeons. I was wondering if you are in a warm climate, bc it sounds like they laid eggs right through the winter months? I'm over in western Washington State. We've started to get less light here in October and a lot of rain. I see no signs of nesting and the pigeons just sit there and look at me like they are ticked off because I put them in a low chicken tractor in the yard. Not ideal, I know, but hubs has to put a roof on my mini garden and then they can go in there. When I first brought them home, I had them in a large dog kennel ( cage) inside for a while until I could transfer them outside. They were cooing then, but my allergies can't handle the dust from them kicking up the wood shavings at the bottom of the cage, so outside they went. Sad, bc I enjoyed their cooing. Pigeon cooing is very peaceful.
 

cavemanrich

Addict
8 Years
Apr 6, 2014
19,713
74,591
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Melrose Park Illinois
I was looking up when pigeons start needing bc I just bought two breeding pairs a couple weeks ago to start a rock of homing pigeons for a hobby. The man I bought them from said they are "married" other. He made sure to get pairs that were together. I'm so new to pigeons. I was wondering if you are in a warm climate, bc it sounds like they laid eggs right through the winter months? I'm over in western Washington State. We've started to get less light here in October and a lot of rain. I see no signs of nesting and the pigeons just sit there and look at me like they are ticked off because I put them in a low chicken tractor in the yard. Not ideal, I know, but hubs has to put a roof on my mini garden and then they can go in there. When I first brought them home, I had them in a large dog kennel ( cage) inside for a while until I could transfer them outside. They were cooing then, but my allergies can't handle the dust from them kicking up the wood shavings at the bottom of the cage, so outside they went. Sad, bc I enjoyed their cooing. Pigeon cooing is very peaceful.
You do understand that they will not make nest in a unfavorable environment.
(chicken tractor.) Take note that feral pigeons make nest under bridges. Out of the weather as much as possible.
Whatever housing you will try to provide,, make it dry, well ventilated, and draft free. Pretty much like for chickens. Also try to provide natural daylight with windows if possible.
Pigeons need aviaries, while chickens need runs.
Generally, aviaries are usually open to the loft all the time,,, if they are well predator proofed. Some peeps do close off aviaries since they are not built as predator proof, as the lofts. Chicken wire secured aviaries are fine for daytime use. Raccoons can break thru chicken wire with not much effort.
Nice when the mini garden gets roofed. Will they have access to fly around in there??

WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and :welcome

Edited my spelling:)
 
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