Thinking about pigeons

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by theguy67, Feb 19, 2011.

  1. theguy67

    theguy67 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 23, 2010
    I have thought about obatining 1 or 2 pigeons to be pets, but I want to fully understand the entier aspects to keeping these birds. I would like to have messanger pigeons. ( speifically)

    1. I have heard that you can keep them in a loft and allow them to fly freely. Is this true? if so explain....
    2. How do you train them to "return home", i never really understood how they get to know where home is.
    3. Also can they be tamed like parrots are?

    any advice will be appreciated.

    thanks
    luke johnson
     
  2. Mary Of Exeter

    Mary Of Exeter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2009
    Rowan County, NC
    1. Yes, after keeping them in the loft for a while so they get settled in, you can start letting them out to fly around the house. They won't fly away like parrots. They'll come back inside to eat, sleep, and hang out. Make sure to lock them up when you are not around so hawks don't pick them off. It's easier to call them in if they are hungry when you let them out. Let them fly, then call them in for food. A simple whistle or rattle of a can every time you feed them, will teach them to associate the sound with food in the loft.
    2. You don't have to teach them, so to speak. They are born with the instinct to come back home. However, if you plan on tossing them (releasing from a distance - say, 10 miles, for example), you'll need to train them. After they are flying a good amount around the house, then you can start taking them out a little at a time. I start about a mile away from the house. If all goes well, it's up to 2, then 3. Then they go to 5 miles, three times. Then 10 miles, three times. And farther in 10 mile increments (each distance I take them 3 times before going farther). This helps get them used to the stress of "Oh crap, where the heck am I at?" [​IMG] It also keeps them in shape and lets them take some landmarks into their memory as guidelines. There are several different ways pigeons can tell where home is. Scientists still don't know which they use, or if they use multiple tools. Magnetic fields, sun position, sight/memory/landmarks (like treelines, railroads, highways, bodies of water, unique large buildings and other things that stand out like sore thumbs), smell, etc.
    3. Yes, they can be tamed into the sweetest of companions [​IMG] If you only plan on getting 1 or 2, and as tame pets, then I suggest not road training them and only allowing to fly around the house at your own risk (keep a close eye on them as hawks LOVE to eat/attempt to catch pigeons).
     

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