pigeon tractor -- i think this is a really bad idea

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by tokies, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. tokies

    tokies Out Of The Brooder

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    about a little under a year ago i put my quail into a tractor. mostly cos i was lazy and i didnt want to clean the poo as much as i had to. so it got me thinking which isnt always a good thing. Ive wanted pigeons for squab for a very very long time. the problem with pigeon is ive never seen a good system (except for the way the middle east does it) to keep them. i always see them in a little cage and they never go out. i never liked that much plus id have to clean the poo and im not a huge fan of that. im willing to do it sometimes but not as much as if they never left the cage that's a lot more cleaning then im willing to do. so free range pigeons. how hard is it to pull this off? i know hawks and owls will be an issue. (so again tractor maybe) but i doubt they will be too hot on living in a really big moving cage
     
  2. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

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    I have a great system where I never have to clean the loft out. I only have to clean the nest boxes after the squabs have left the nest.

    I keep my pigeons and one large covered run / aviary. The back and one side is solid, the top is waterproof and has a large overhang all the way around to make sure no rain gets in.

    The floor of the coop in natural dirt. This is covered with a deep layer of coarse river sand.

    Because everything is so dry, the poop lands on the floor and dries up, then gets mixed into the sand. I just rake the lot over once a week.

    When the birds are moulting the feathers all collect up in the corners. I just scoop them out once a week also to keep it looking tidy.

    Along the back wall are all the nest boxes.. which have mesh floors. On top of the mesh I place nesting material. The mesh floor provides good ventilation, again drying up the poop.

    I have one chicken water thing on the floor, stood on some bricks.. to stop feathers and sand getting into it and making the water dirty. I just change the water once a day.

    Its really easy to keep them clean like that. I also have 3 long thick oval perches running the length of the coop. As they are oval the bird poop just falls down onto the sand under them. I used to use flat planks as perches, but these get covered in poop, which gets onto the birds feet and they spread it everywhere. The THICK oval ones are much better.

    I even let my king pigeons out to fly free when I am about to watch them. They don't go far... but I use this time to give them a pan of water to bath in (about once a week). Then they splash about .. and the coop stays dry, they get clean, and then they fly up onto the coop roof to sunbath and dry out.
     
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  3. tokies

    tokies Out Of The Brooder

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    that is a really cool system can you take some pictures or video.. that sounds workable and without the guilt.. if they can fly a bit.. how do you get them to bond? is there another area you do that in
     
  4. tokies

    tokies Out Of The Brooder

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    do you think biochar rice hulls? will work as well? mix with some sand .. cos the hulls i think are cheaper.or mix it with another thing.. ? like fire ash and hulls?
     
  5. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes.. I think that will work. The main thing is to make it deep... and keep it DRY.

    Rake it, and mix it about once a week.

    Probably take out some and add an extra layer about once or twice a year... depending on how many birds you have. The more birds, the more frequent the clean out.

    You don't have to get them to pair up. They are happy to do that themselves. Buy a few young birds and put them in. Make sure there are more nest boxes than pairs. They will pair up naturally and get down to breeding very quickly.

    Once they have been in the coop for a few weeks, and have settled down to making nests, then you can open the door to let them out. They should all go back in at dusk to roost, then you can close the door.

    If you have to opening high up its best.. so that will stop dogs (if you have any) wandering in and disturbing them.

    I will try to get a photo of my coop tomorrow. It about 10ft X 8ft and 6ft high. I have about 12 pairs in there. (also some Japanese Bantams and my old pair of ring neck doves).
     
  6. tokies

    tokies Out Of The Brooder

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    that's really good info. i dont know if i can get my hands on that much sad on the cheap but i can get organic rice hulls then char em so that's why i asked. i could probably use a mix of not charred and charred maybe i dunno


    but that's a really good idea... im gonna put it to use..


    do you have any ideas about feeding options.. i would rather grow my own feed.. / scraps. but i dont think i could keep them healthy doing that.. ive got enough land to pull it off.. but i know they will fly and nibble themselves.. also do i need to feed inside the run id rather not.. cos i dont want rats?
     
  7. subhanalah

    subhanalah Overrun With Chickens

    How do they keep them in the middle east? Sorry if this is OT.
     
  8. tokies

    tokies Out Of The Brooder

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    no problem.. they have a link to it there.. pretty much made of "clay" kinda like cob house with sticks coming out.. and they free range.. i figured if you lived in mostly the country it could be a really good way to keep them just modify the design a bit..

    http://squabblog.wordpress.com/tag/middle-east/
     
  9. subhanalah

    subhanalah Overrun With Chickens

    Wow, that's really cool! Thank you for sharing.
     
  10. fowlsessed

    fowlsessed Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good posts, jak. Like that system.

    One great thing about pigeons is that you can keep them in a pen planted with ground cover, to keep things green and alive. This is, if there is a separate roosting and nesting area, kinda like Jak's system. Free range pigeons works great. Just use feral pigeons, they seem to be the best option for what you're wanting. Some compromise on meat, but low investment and best free-rangers.
     

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