New pigeon help

Qualien

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May 9, 2018
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My neighbors, because we casually mentioned we would like to get into pigeons, went out and got us two sets of pigeons. We don't have a loft yet, so currently have them in a dog crate inside, with pine shaving floor. I have no idea if they're male or female, I believe we have two fantails, one is a lite brown color, and the other grey with an irridecent purple around his neck, and two Jacobins, one grey and white with an irridecant green around his hood, and the other is light brown, dark brown, and white. I attempted to post pictures of them, but our data won't support it out in the sticks. I don't even know if these kinds of pigeons can be housed together. If not I have another dog crate. My neighbor did say they are young, and they are still making squeaking noises. The feed stores not open until tommorow, and even when they do open I don't know when they can get pigeon feed in. It looked like they have long lice or mites. How do I get rid of them? Do pigeons take ash baths like a chicken? Do they hurt the pigeons? I'm unprepared for this gifting. I do have chicken feed, and high protein quail feed. I've got them a water bowl, and will add a bathing bowl in tommorow. Any advice would be awesome, and much needed. I feel totally unequipped for this.
 

Pyxis

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You should be fine housing them together, but be aware that they might interbreed unless you take pains to make sure to pair up all the offspring. Even then, there can be infidelity and you might end up with mixed breeds.

Pigeons take water baths, not dust baths like chickens. For mites and lice, get permethrin from the feed store and dilute it down to the value it recommends to use as a spray for poultry. Spray the birds directly and also spray down their living quarters. You'll need to repeat again in ten days.

You can see, for now, if they will eat the chicken feed. It doesn't hurt them to eat it. See if the feed store has a pigeon seed mixture available. Usually it will come in a 50 pound bag. They may also have something like Purina's Checkers feed for pigeons, which will also work.
 

Qualien

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May 9, 2018
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Thank you Pyxis they are eating the chicken feed for now, and I have seen both pair eating and drinking. Can I free range these types of pigeons? Also any ideas on how to sex them? I watched and read a few videos and articles that talked about flipping them over, but I'm not confident on being able to do that without injuring the pigeons. I also read that each pigeon should have at least one foot coop space, but preferably two foot per bird. Is this right? Also what I've read for wintering my pigeons says that they should have a draft free environment, and also have adequate ventalation. I'm at a loss as to how that one works. If it has ventalation it's no longer draft free... What do I do for winter? I've been handling them this evening, and so far they all seem pretty docile. I feel like a new panicking mama. Grin.
 

Pyxis

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Can I free range these types of pigeons?

You can loft fly them once they're old enough. But be aware that when you let them fly, eventually you're going to lose some to hawks. Fantails really aren't great fliers, and jacobins might have trouble seeing because of the feathers, so really for these breeds I'd recommend you just have an aviary attached to the loft for them instead.


lso any ideas on how to sex them? I watched and read a few videos and articles that talked about flipping them over, but I'm not confident on being able to do that without injuring the pigeons.

If they're still so young they're squeaking, sexing them might be hard at this time. There's a video with a couple tests that I was shown recently that aren't hard to do:


As they get older you should see males doing male behaviors, like courting the females and bowing and cooing to them.

You can always get them DNA tested too, if you want to be really sure. iQBirdTesting can do it for $14 per test if you use feathers.


I also read that each pigeon should have at least one foot coop space, but preferably two foot per bird. Is this right? Also what I've read for wintering my pigeons says that they should have a draft free environment, and also have adequate ventalation. I'm at a loss as to how that one works. If it has ventalation it's no longer draft free... What do I do for winter?

My advice to you is to go as big as you can on the loft. Pigeons multiply pretty rapidly, lol. You do need ventilation. Basically just make sure it's not blowing directly on the perches for the birds. They're pretty winter hardy animals. Just think of all the feral pigeons in cities like NYC - they do fine over the winter.
 

cavemanrich

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You have gotten great advice here already. Pretty much all questions you asked were answered. :thumbsup
When you have following questions about housing, and other related things, there are many peeps on these pigeon threads/forums that are more than willing to help out.
WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, :highfive:
 

Qualien

Songster
May 9, 2018
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Thank you so much for the wonderful advice. I tried sexing them like the video showed, and I believe I do have two male female pairs. It shocked me which ones turned out to be female as their colors are even brighter than the males. Coop building should begin soon. 😁
 

Qualien

Songster
May 9, 2018
132
193
136
Thank you so much for the wonderful advice. I tried sexing them like the video showed, and I believe I do have two male female pairs. It shocked me which ones turned out to be female as their colors are even brighter than the males. Coop building should begin soon. 😁
 

Beggs n Achin

Hatching
Oct 27, 2021
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New pigeon owner here as well. I have chickens, turkeys, and ducks already. I'm just cringing at the price of feed right now and wondering if pigeons can eat the wild bird food you buy at like Walmart? Specialized "pigeon" food seems to be a luxury item at the ole' farm store.
 

cavemanrich

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Apr 6, 2014
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New pigeon owner here as well. I have chickens, turkeys, and ducks already. I'm just cringing at the price of feed right now and wondering if pigeons can eat the wild bird food you buy at like Walmart? Specialized "pigeon" food seems to be a luxury item at the ole' farm store.
I have fed my pigeons wild bird mixed seeds along with pigeon mix seeds. The pigeon mix was slightly higher than the bird seeds, but a bag lasted me quite a long time since my pigeon numbers were not very high. The different feeds are formulated to the ideal diets of different birds.
I know one pigeon keeper that feeds chicken feed pellets to his flock. My pigeons did not want that feed. I suppose if that was only food around,,, the pigeons would soon let their hunger guide them.
 

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