Pigeon Questions

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by CCCCCCCCHICKENS, Jul 29, 2014.



    Dec 3, 2012
    I am thinking about adding pigeons next year and I have been doing research on them. And there are some questions I can't find the answers to.

    And before I ask any of them, I apoligize if some seem like they have obvious answers or if they seem silly. I am used to chickens. I raise, show and breed SQ chickens. I also like having them as pets.

    Also I don't know if this will help you answer any of my questions, but I am wanting to get fancy breeds.

    How well do pigeons do with snow and cold?
    I live in Indiana and played on build little hutches with an attached flight pen. We have some pretty ruff winters so I wanted to make sure.

    Can I keep multiple females with a male, or would it be best to only have one with a male?

    Can I house multiple females together without any males?

    Can I house multiple males together without any females?

    If I only have a male and a female together will the female get overmated?

    Ideally I would like to house in pairs. How much housing area does a pair need? How big does their flight pen need to be?

    Is there any good pigeon mixes at Rural King or TSC, or should I just make my own?

    How much feed do they eat?

    I would like to show the pigeons I get so, I am going to be getting from good sources. I show my chickens and know what to look for in chickens, but what do they look for in pigeons? IS there a SOP for pigeons?

    Can pigeons get lice and mites like a chickens could?

    Do they need bedding? Would sand work?

    What should I use for feeders and waterers?

    Are pigeons good pet in general? Like I have some chickens that would love to be your best friend until they die and then I have ones that don't want a thing to do with you. Is that how pigeons are? Are they easily tamed?

    Do males or females get aggressive like roosters sometimes do?

    Anything in general about pigeon behavior?

    I would love to see pics of your set ups. Including feeders, waterers, housing, flight runs, feed mix, and anything else that I need to see.

    Also if you think you have any information I need to know to raise pigeons, please let me know.
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    1) Pigeons are quite cold hardy as long as you keep them in a dry, draft free loft.
    2) Pigeons are pair mated one male with one hen.
    3) Pigeons can be separated by sex - many breeders do exactly this when they are not raising young. Understand that sometimes such housing will result in same sex pairs.
    4) Pigeon mating is a far more subtle process than most poultry - the male can only mate if the hen is willing. After mating and nest building the male will 'drive' the hen, chasing and pecking at her for several days until she lays the first egg - it appears violent, but it is a normal process.
    5) Pair housing is a great way of assuring parentage, and space will vary from breed to breed depending upon size.
    6)Here (NJ) TSC carries pigeon feed, but are overpriced. I buy from a local feed mill that carries a good mix.
    7)) I feed twice a day - as much as they clean up in a 10 minute period. Breeding birds are fed ad lib.
    8) Decide up9on your breed and buy from a successful breeder and develop a mentor relationship with them.
    9) Pigeons do get lice, mites, and worms, and the same husbandry practices that you use on your chickens will work with your pigeons.
    10)I use a deep litter bedding in my lofts. Crushed corncob is my favorite (expensive), but wood chips, pelleted wood horse bedding, even sand if kept dry are good beddings.
    11)Do a computer search on Foy's Pigeon supplies - they carry any and all equipment you many need.
    12)Pigeons are very much a prey species and as such MOST do not like being held, but they can be tamed.
    13)Pigeons may wing slap or peck at you when on eggs, but are generally not human aggressive.

    Use hardware cloth on your aviaries as hawks can and have killed pigeons through larger wire. Also if you decide upon flying your birds understand that you will lose birds to hawks. I flew Birmingham rollers, and the hawks have put me out of business. You might want to consider flying racing homers - they are somewhat more hawk resistant. Good luck in establishing a flock. Pigeons are a long time love of mine.


    Dec 3, 2012
    Thank you for your answers.

    I already have contacts for successful breeders and have friends that raise pigeons that can give me contacts. I would ask them all these questions, but they are more go with flow and I like to have a plan. I was wanting to know what they were judged on. I don't just want to take someones word that they have good birds even if they have the best pigeons around. I want to know what to look for. That is what I was wanting to know if there were standards for each breed like chickens.

    I will not fly my pigeons. The ones I get will be for showing. I am looking at getting some English trumpeters and maybe one or two others that I like.

    So when they "drive" the hen can that temporarily ruin them for show. (plucking feathers?)

    I will have to take a look at that website
  4. loftkeeper

    loftkeeper Songster

    Nov 7, 2013
    pigeon shows are generally started late fall most pigeon breeders break up there pairs in middle summer due to hot weather lets the old birds rest this is the time to separate pairs these way if you to show old birds they rest and go through the moult young birds need a seperate loft at weaning so they don't have aggressive adults bully them at weaning handle young often so they are use to handleing in judgeing pigeons they put them in judgeing pens and place the classes from top to bottom English trumperters and muffed breeds need to be in a loft that have perches built away from the walls there are pigeon feeds and pellets I prefer pellets and I feed chicken laying pellets a big show in Louisville ky. is the national young bird show held at the end of october each year go to the national pigeon assn. site npausa.com there you will find more links and info


    Dec 3, 2012
    We have shows in spring, summer, and fall here. Nice to know time frame that I should seperate them though. I have observed the pigeon judging portion at a few shows here that I happened to be at for my chickens. And I already have the pigeon association bookmarked. Though I am still considering it, I think I might just stick to chickens. Or possible just get a pair for fun

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