Pigeon King Bankrupt-I am saving some-How do I care for them?

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by Nupine, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. Nupine

    Nupine Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 21, 2007
    Ohio
    Ok, our friend at the feed store has pigeons from pigeon king, I think 200 pair. We almost got into pigeon king this year, but glad we didn't because he went bankrupt!! For those of you that are confused, here is some info on pigeon king. You must but a 100 pair minimum to start with. The pigeons are $200 a pair or $20,000 for a 100 pair. There is a 10 year contract. The pigeons hatch their eggs, and then you sell back the 6 month old babies to pigeon king for $25 each. There is a $2000 a month income from 100 pair on average, not counting feed, etc. Well now that pigeon king is bankrupt, those birds have no real value, and most are being killed off. There are many pigeon king people in our area. But this very nice man from our feed store has offered to give me some for free. [He also gave me two hens last week.] I know squat about pigeons, but am willing to learn and would love to have between 10-20 pair. I am not allowed waterfowl, guineas were a disaster, so that leaves peafowl [expensive], pheasants [don't really want any, wild], quail [possible, but veggie head here], and pigeons. I would love to have some. I certainly don't want to cage them, as what is the point of having them. So I was thinking a small house with a wire floor above the ground where they can fly into and eat [pigeon food I am guessing?????] drink, etc. This would make care very easy. And leave a pigeon size opening in the house so they can fly loose and go where they want, raise young, etc. But if they raise young, won't thet mean I will eventually have way too many pigeons? Is this set up acceptable? These are pigeon king pigeons, that come in all different colors, white, black, mottled, blue, etc. Any other help or links would be great. What should I do?
     
  2. Omniskies

    Omniskies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 7, 2008
    Missouri
    From what I've read his pigeons were some sort of roller/Homer cross that were supposed to be raised for squab.

    You can always sell the pigeons off if you don't want to eat squab yourself. Since they're a mix, you won't get much for them. Just sell them as pets if nothing else.

    Pigeon food actually exists and is full of sunflower seeds and peas that they love. If you're in a bind you can use chicken scratch grain and keep them healthy. They don't really care for corn but they'll eat it if they're hungry.

    Your setup sounds fine. Just a little warning: hawks love pigeon. The moment the raptors in your area find out you have a buffet you will start losing them (which may help keep your numbers down if you don't mind seeing nature in action).

    If your feed store has pigeons left over with nowhere to go I wouldn't mind taking some in. I'm not too far from Ohio so the shipping may not be -too- bad.

    Good luck with yours. They're a lot of fun to have around [​IMG]

    PS: I don't see any reason why you can't eat the pigeon eggs yourself. If you do that then you'll have a fresh supply of eggs and won't have to worry about having too many birds around. Treat the pigeon eggs like quail eggs.
     
  3. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 25, 2008
    Hawks really do love them. The local bird collector felt sorry for all her pigeons in their cages so she let them out. They stayed right around her house with no issues, but so did the hawks. Within just a few days the hawks had cleaned out all her pigeons and even attacked a few chickens because they got accustomed to her place. If it were me, I wouldn't let them out, but build a flight cage or aviary instead.

    -Kim
     
  4. Kanchii

    Kanchii Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh no, I wanted to do business with pigeon king! WAAA
     
  5. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    I saw that about Pigeon King before, read their website carefully, etc and almost was tempted to sign up. However I had ONE big problem with the whole thing - WHERE oh WHERE were all those birds going to go? I just couldn't believe that there is THAT big a market for meat pigeons.

    It just sounded too good to be true - I was worried it might be a Ponzi scheme where the first people who invest get their birds, then start producing squabs that are then used as the 'start up flock' for the NEXT investors, etc. At some point they start getting too many squabs coming back for the number of people signing up. Then they can't pay the original investors, and then the whole thing collapses. It's always the last ones in that will lose all their money.

    I could have been totally wrong about that - maybe it was a completely above board legit thing....but those were the concerns that kept me from pursing it myself. Glad now I listened to my little voice of cynicism... [​IMG]

    Anyhoo....

    Pigeons do great in a flight aviary setup. I used the playhouse coop plans that are for sale on Ebay and modified it to house my parakeets in a 4'x8' by 7' tall aviary. Basically I used the 'shell' of the coop and left out the nesting area for the chickens. In the part where the plywood is, I installed some perches and nestboxes. You could do something similar for the pigeons.

    It's nice if they can free-fly, but you would have to be willing to take the chance that they don't come home. Also, your neighbors may be anti-pigeon, depending on where you live.

    I used to raise ringneck and white doves and had a flight cage similar to what I described above and it worked great for them. Just be sure to use hardware cloth - my dove cage was made out of chicken wire and I lost several birds to the neighbor's cat who would fish her paw in the cage and snag the bird, breaking it's neck, but then couldn't get it out of the cage to eat it.

    Edited to add - here's my thread with pics of my parakeet aviary - a similar setup would work great for pigeons.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=55746
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2008
  6. Cara

    Cara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2007
    NM
    I would imagine there are regulations on releasing pigeons also, ie adding to the feral pigeon population. You could well run into problems with neighbours also, as pigeons can transmit some nasty diseases.
     
  7. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
  8. Nupine

    Nupine Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 21, 2007
    Ohio
    Thanks! I found out the pigeons are $3 each, but that is much better than $200 a pair! My friend is taking a pair too. And the man actually has 600 pair!! Wow! I have a different plan. Ok. My golden sebrights will be moving in to their new home soon. It is a 5' x 3' super nice new rabbit hutch with a large nest box and roost from the Amish for just $50!! They are so cheap! We got a bunch of veggies from them for just $3 and a truckload of free sawdust for our animals!!! Any way that will mean I will have a 4'x8' pen. From what the man said, who has had pigeons all his life, I can keep them in their for 2 months so they will know their home, and every time I feed them, I shake the food in a can so they know the sound. Then, I can ''starve'' them, then release them and let them fly around, and then shake the can, they come back, and I feed them. I will be taking about 20 some, and he can seperate them into breeding pairs. Yippee!! We have few neighbors, very rural area, the people across the street are very nice and are our friends, and don't mind when our chickens wander on their yard, so I am sure they won't mind pigeons. I wil be getting them probably next weekend, when I get back from 4-H leadership camp.
    Ashlyn
     
  9. ButtonQuailBoy

    ButtonQuailBoy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Throop PA 18512
    [​IMG] Why don't these things happen near me... [​IMG]
     
  10. Lofty Dreams

    Lofty Dreams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    its a good idea to check ewith neighbors
     

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