Pigeons taking over my chicken feed area

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by janeinboise, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. janeinboise

    janeinboise In the Brooder

    Dec 30, 2009
    Help! I have three Old English Game hens, tiny little girls, living happily in my small backyard. They have the chicken house equivalent of "Fort Knox" which they happily go into at night and in inclement weather, but not a secure coop for daytime. They are very safe and secure at night, however, the door to their house is open during the day. Basically they are free-range in the backyard during daylight hours. While we sometimes see evidence of raccoons, we have not had a serious problem with predators. Our problem is that squirrels and pigeons have discovered the yard and the chicken feeding area - what a mess! My little hens are smaller than the largest pigeons and don't even try to defend their territory from them or squirrels. If I feed them in their house the squirrels get in and make a mess during the day. I hate to restrict the hens to a small coop - don't have room for a large one - they love roaming the yard and taking care of bugs is their primary purpose in life. They take this job very seriously. [​IMG]

    I'll start using cayenne pepper to irritate the squirrels, which will help. Any suggestions for discouraging pigeons? They are such frequent visitors that it stinks out there. ugh.


  2. jhm47

    jhm47 Songster

    Sep 7, 2008
    The only way to effectively get rid of pigeons is to trap them and humanely dispose of them. Do not relocate them, as they will likely be back before you are. Pigeons have a very well developed homing instinct, even those that are not considered "homing pigeons". They are very good to eat.
  3. Ibicella

    Ibicella Songster

    Nov 13, 2009
    Everett, WA
    Quote:Are wild "city" pidgeons safe to eat considering they normally feed on garbage?
  4. nzpouter

    nzpouter Songster

    Jan 19, 2009
    new zealand
    make pigeon pie.... since you're not sure how old they are, soup or pie is best...

  5. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Are wild "city" pidgeons safe to eat considering they normally feed on garbage?

    They dont "feed on garbage" any more than your chickens do
    Pigeons mostly eat seeds and grains​
  6. gsim

    gsim Songster

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Where do you feed your flock? I feed ONLY in the coop, except for treats which disappear like time-lapse photography. [​IMG] Reason I will never feed outside is situations like you are in. If you are not feeding in the coop only, that is what you need to do IMO. May require modifying the coop, but worth it IMO. [​IMG]
  7. Casey3043

    Casey3043 Songster

    Sounds like pepper for the squirrels and indoor feeding to defeat the pigeons may be your best choices. Either that or feeding on a schedule when you can watch them, and not leaving the feed out there all the time.

    I have feed and water inside the coops and also inside the covered runs. During the day, the run doors are propped open on a brick so the hens can come and go to the large fenced chicken yard and garden. Have occasionally found a wren or house sparrow inside the runs, but I think they came in for shelter rather than food. They are usually terrified and confused and just trying to get out.

    I have outdoor water bowls, and all the wild birds and squirrels drink there, that is until the chickens run them off. The hens seem to be real defenders of their territory.

    Good luck to you.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by