when to prepare for breeding?

steve&kris

Songster
10 Years
Apr 15, 2011
81
35
113
Pittsburgh
I'm new to pigeons... About a month or so ago I got 6 pigeons (regular pigeons, nothing fancy). I don't know how old they were when I got them, just that they were young and the person selling them said they had just gotten to the age she let's them go (to buyers). Not sure if that makes them 3 week or 3 months or what... I asked 3 times and never really got an answer. The looked full grown to me, but also like clean healthy young birds.
Anyway... not really knowing the age, I'm wondering when I put nests into their loft. I got the egg carton material nesting bowls, not the plastic ones. Do I still need to put a liner in those, or do they just lay directly on the papery/cardboard material the bowl is made out of? Lastly (I think), I have no idea which birds are male or female, or how many of each I have. Do I need to put a bowl/nest in for each bird, or one for each two... or can I get away with just putting one or two in and they'll share.
Sorry, I know this is a lot of dumb newbie questions all at once.... but trying to figure out what to do. I'm also going to try to take some pics of the loft I built and post them to get some feedback on what changes I should make.
Thanks a lot for any advice!!
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
8,648
18,918
726
USA
Anyway... not really knowing the age, I'm wondering when I put nests into their loft. I got the egg carton material nesting bowls, not the plastic ones. Do I still need to put a liner in those, or do they just lay directly on the papery/cardboard material the bowl is made out of? Lastly (I think), I have no idea which birds are male or female, or how many of each I have. Do I need to put a bowl/nest in for each bird, or one for each two... or can I get away with just putting one or two in and they'll share.

I've never had pigeons, but I'm pretty sure they can sort themselves into pairs, and that each pair will want their own nest. I've read that the female will usually lay 2 eggs, and then the parents hatch the eggs & feed the babies.

I don't know whether they need nesting material with those bowls or not.

You could just put in a bowl or two and watch what happens :idunno
 

nchls school

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 22, 2015
7,343
4,651
416
Tennessee
I'm new to pigeons... About a month or so ago I got 6 pigeons (regular pigeons, nothing fancy). I don't know how old they were when I got them, just that they were young and the person selling them said they had just gotten to the age she let's them go (to buyers).
Probably around 6-8 weeks old.
Not sure if that makes them 3 week or 3 months or what... I asked 3 times and never really got an answer.
Odd. An answer like that would make me leery of buying them. Well taken care of old birds look the same as younger ones.
The looked full grown to me, but also like clean healthy young birds.
Anyway... not really knowing the age, I'm wondering when I put nests into their loft. I got the egg carton material nesting bowls, not the plastic ones. Do I still need to put a liner in those, or do they just lay directly on the papery/cardboard material the bowl is made out of?
Is the bottom concave and would hold the eggs away from the sides of the bowl. If the bowls are big enough, I'd give them some straw as a nesting material so they can build a nest in the bowls.
Lastly (I think), I have no idea which birds are male or female,
Males coo louder, When you see one strutting after another, bowing and dragging its tail-it is a courting male.
or how many of each I have.

While it's not likely, I'd figure three pairs and provide a bowl for each pair. Make sure the bowls are placed as far from each other as you can so the birds don't fight over nests.
Do I need to put a bowl/nest in for each bird, or one for each two... or can I get away with just putting one or two in and they'll share.

Pigeon pairs will not share a nest with another pair; each pair needs their own bowl.
Sorry, I know this is a lot of dumb newbie questions all at once.... but trying to figure out what to do. I'm also going to try to take some pics of the loft I built and post them to get some feedback on what changes I should make.
Thanks a lot for any advice!!
My flock are just colorful cross breeds that fly free in the yard. Many are tame and will sit on my arm and accept treats from my hand when they're offered.
 

steve&kris

Songster
10 Years
Apr 15, 2011
81
35
113
Pittsburgh
Probably around 6-8 weeks old.

Odd. An answer like that would make me leery of buying them. Well taken care of old birds look the same as younger ones.

Is the bottom concave and would hold the eggs away from the sides of the bowl. If the bowls are big enough, I'd give them some straw as a nesting material so they can build a nest in the bowls.

Males coo louder, When you see one strutting after another, bowing and dragging its tail-it is a courting male.


While it's not likely, I'd figure three pairs and provide a bowl for each pair. Make sure the bowls are placed as far from each other as you can so the birds don't fight over nests.


Pigeon pairs will not share a nest with another pair; each pair needs their own bowl.

My flock are just colorful cross breeds that fly free in the yard. Many are tame and will sit on my arm and accept treats from my hand when they're offered.
Sorry for the slow response to this... i haven't been on in a while. Thank you very much, that was very helpful.
 

steve&kris

Songster
10 Years
Apr 15, 2011
81
35
113
Pittsburgh
Next questions on this.... So I'm guestimating then that my birds are about 4 months old or a little over right now.
1. When would they start breeding/egg laying?
2. Assuming I'm not lucky enough for my 6 birds to be 3m & 3f, if I have more fem than male, will the uncoupled females still lay eggs?
3. If so, are the nonfertilized eggs edible like a quail egg, or are they too low volume of layers to eat their eggs?
4. When they do lay eggs, should I leave them to the pigeons to hatch or should I candle the eggs and move the fertile ones to the incubator? What about non-fertile eggs (depending on the answer to 3)

For what it matters to the answers above.... again I am in Pgh and it gets cold around here in winter. It's mid november...cold season is coming quickly.
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
8,648
18,918
726
USA
4. When they do lay eggs, should I leave them to the pigeons to hatch or should I candle the eggs and move the fertile ones to the incubator?

Pigeons typically lay 2 eggs and hatch them.
Baby pigeons need quite a bit of care from their parents, so using an incubator and then hand-raising them is pretty rare.

(Sorry, I don't know the answer to your other questions.)
 

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