Thinking of raising pigeons...

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by sydney13, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. sydney13

    sydney13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2010
    Massachusetts
    Hi, I've been interested in keeping a couple birds probably for squab or maybe just pets but I'm kinda confused on how people raise them. From what I've read people raising pigeons for squab usually keep them in cages but Id rather raise them in less of an enclosed setup. I'm interested in letting them be able to fly off in the day and returning to their enclosure at night. I'm guessing this wouldn't rlly work though with the meat breed because the hawks would probably get them immediately, right? So in that case would it be better to have the in a pen/avairy?
    And also are the non meat beeds any good for raising for meat? Or are they too scrawny? Because if they can be used for meat then maybe they would be able to fly free with less risks off hawks?
    Thanks for any replies :) , Id rlly appreciate any advise anyone can give me on raising squab
     
  2. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    If I were you I would breed my own dual purpose bird. I would get some King pigeons and cross them with some homing pigeons. This is about the minimum space you would need for a pair of nesting and roosting birds as long as they were allow to free fly. You would have to expect some losses and be more cautious when letting your King pigeons fly. Then breed the birds that have your desired characteristics. You can sometimes find king pigeons that already fill the bill once you had your first rodeo.

    Hope this helps Sydney13,
    Hokum Coco

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    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  3. laughingdog

    laughingdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    interesting idea breeding a flying homer, and squabing king ect together, as i know most would be against, and i prefer the sleek look and healthy vigor of homers, especially racers maybe, but the old breeds kept for eating and flying/sending messages, seemed pretty cool too and strong (there were no fancy things to protect against predators of large or microscopic kind then and still the birds thrived on nothing but what was found locally usually probly).
     
  4. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    If one only listen to what most people say we would still think the world is flat among other things. It does not hurt to experiment in my opinion. You may get what you are looking for or you may fail.

    Best of luck in whatever you decide
    Hokum Coco
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012
  5. larrylofts

    larrylofts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    FIRST OF ALL NO ANIMAL IS SAFE IF LET ROAM FLY OR CRAWL WITHOUT PROTECTION FROM THE OUT SIDE WORLD.SO IF FREE FLYING IS THE WAY YOU WANT TO GO EXPECT LOSES. ANY BREED OF PIGEON CAN BE USED FOR MEAT JUST THE SIZE WILL BE DIFFERENT. THE BEST TIME TO HARVEST PIGEONS FOR MEAT WHEN THE FEATHERS UNDER THERE WINGS ARE JUST FULLY FEATHERED
     
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  6. sydney13

    sydney13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2010
    Massachusetts
    Thanks for the advise :)
    I think I'm going to start out with homing pigeons and then maybe try breeding them with the white kings. So I was thinking of housing them in their own part of a pre existing structure and adding nest boxes and roosts for them. I was wondering though is it ok if their door to leave was floor level? Because there is already a small hen door there and I would prefer to use that. But do you think they would be able to return to their loft through a entrance that is ground level as opposed to being on the wall?
    And does anyone have any advise on perch design? Do the pigeons have a preference between the different types?
    And lastly, where to people tend to place the feeders and waterers? On a platform off the wall or on the floor maybe?
    Thanks again :)
     
  7. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    Pigeons are very smart bird and can adapt to any sort of entrance. I assure you if a hen can do it a pigeon can do it twice as fast! My experience with pigeons and hens co existing has always been good with the hens being introduced to the (parental units) pigeons as peeps. I think you might be headed for trouble with adult hens being introduced to pigeons. Hens would eat a pigeon alive if it became sick or injured and unable to take flight and avoid a flock of hens. Also a squab if it fell out of the nest at an early age would also be eaten alive by a flock of hens. I hope you take this into consideration before you proceed. Good luck in when every you decide. I would apply due diligence if you try an adult hen & pigeon mix and be prepared for the worst.

    Pigeons can adapt to what ever feeding or perching method you provide for them. It is all a matter of YOUR personal preference. I feed and water off a platform on the wall. I personally like the inverted "V" perch. However what ever works for you is all that matters. I would look at a few lofts on line and incorporate what ever you think would work best for your situation.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2012
  8. sydney13

    sydney13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2010
    Massachusetts
    Well I was actually thinking of keeping the pigeons separate for those reasons, the chicken door is only because I used to have hens in this shed
     
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  9. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    A lot of fanciers employ a trap system on the pigeon entrance to the coop. This is done to keep predators out and keep pigeons in so they can be easily catched when entering the loft. When you control their flying habits you have less problems with neighbours who may not appreciate your new hobby. You might consider looking into pigeon traps on line if you think you have neighbours who may not appreciate pigeon droppings if they are left to fly willy Neille around the neighbourhood. Some traps employ bob wire, teeter toter ramps, or even PVC pipe. Check on line for models if you think it is a good idea.
     

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