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Raising pigeons for Eggs

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by zaylinda, Nov 8, 2010.

  1. zaylinda

    zaylinda Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So this might be a bit of a strange topic, but I enjoy mind games like this...

    Premise:
    -Pigeons can be quite low-maintenance. My father's homer-mixes have grain, water, and shelter available to them. They fly where they will and multiply like crazy, culminating in a twice-yearly squab feast.
    -People who do not want their pigeons to multiply have to provide fake eggs or break the eggs in the nests regularly, because pigeon are prolific.
    -According to a quick internet search, pigeon eggs are a delicacy in china.
    -Pigeon eggs taste pretty much like chicken eggs. I had one fried once. It was tiny and adorable, and the white stayed clear, which was very cool.

    Question:
    Could you keep pigeons just for eggs?
    If you take the eggs, the hen will lay more, but how soon? ... and will she become exhausted if you keep taking them?
    It seems that pigeons would be less efficient than chickens at being egg layers, if only just for the gender ratio required. Could this be remedied by making pairs of 2 females? I am sure I read somewhere (that I can't find) where this happened. The resulting eggs would be infertile, but if they were just for eating that is fine.

    So, any further thoughts or questions?

    -Zay
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    If you take the eggs, the hen will recycle and lay a new round in 10+ days. As you probably know, they only lay 2 eggs per round. Forcing hens to lay so frequently can deplete their calcium levels resulting in paralysis and death. When fostering eggs from a special pair it is reccommended to take no more than 2 rounds allowing the pair to set on and raise the third round. Considering all of these factors, keeping pigeons for egg production is not a good idea.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2010
  3. Mary Of Exeter

    Mary Of Exeter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Never take their eggs without putting dummies under them. If you don't, it'll stress them out and the hens will have calcium deficiencies. But yes, if you are just going to throw out the eggs anyways, then eat them.
     
  4. zaylinda

    zaylinda Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks guys!
    I don't actually have any pigeons. the pigeons-for-eggs thought was just an idle idea I had laying around and wanted to get feedback on.
    The 10 day wait between batches of eggs would be a bit of a dealbreaker... seems like I should stick with egg-laying specific species/breeds!
    Thanks for the info. This was fun.
    -Zay
     
  5. Sumatra503

    Sumatra503 Kozy Orchard Farms

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    Were you to raise them for eggs you would need to provide them with oyster shells or another form of calcium.

    If you have a large ammount of hens and keep taking the eggs you will have an egg or two fairly often.

    A friend of mine has raised pigeons for 30 years. He takes away the eggs without replacing them and has no problems. He also feeds a special feed with extra calcium he mixes himself.

    If you don't want to have an over abundace of pigeons you will need to take a few of the eggs from the hen anyway. The birds just don't seem to care and some will have another nest sooner than 10 days. Once the eggs are gone they generally have stopped setting and gone about their regular day unconcerned. At least in my experience.
     
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    I have been raising pigeons off and on for over 60 years and have never known of a breed that cycles faster than 10 days. That being said, I have primarily dealt with crosses, homers and Birmingham rollers. Sumatra503 do you know what breeds cycle faster than 10 days?
     
  7. Sumatra503

    Sumatra503 Kozy Orchard Farms

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    My Komorners seem to cycle in about a week and my little roller crosses sometimes take only a few days as well. 10 days is simply an average derived from all the cycles of all the pigeons out there. It is not a set in stone number. Not every pigeon is going to cycle in 10 days or more.

    I've found that the largeer pigeons take longer to cycle and the smaller pigeons are surprisingly fast at it.
     
  8. zaylinda

    zaylinda Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The plot thickens!
    I might just have to do a stealth-poultry pigeon-egg-laying project... for SCIENCE!
    the key things, it looks like, would be to supplement with calcium, keep a very close eye on the hen's condition, and experiement with quick-turnaround breeds.
    Thanks folks!
     

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