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Anyone raise pigeons?


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Sunday, we found a very tired, very hungry racing pigeon on the farm. We put him up (because barn cats) fed him, and gave him water. We traced the owner and contacted him. The owner says that my son can keep the pigeon if he wants. 

We plan to find a mate for this one and raise a few birds. This is a project my son is pretty excited about. Anyone have any experience? 

(I've read that the pigeon will rehome once he's/she's raised a family in the new loft.) 

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No, but keeping pigeons sounds way cooler than keeping chickens.  I guess the eggs probably aren't as good, but I love reading about homing pigeons and messenger pigeons, and that sounds like a super cool covid hobby.

Except probably way more work than growing tomatoes, so I'm not going to actually take it up.  But I'll be impressed and have very positive feelings towards you if you do.

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1 hour ago, Terabith said:

No, but keeping pigeons sounds way cooler than keeping chickens.  I guess the eggs probably aren't as good, but I love reading about homing pigeons and messenger pigeons, and that sounds like a super cool covid hobby.

Except probably way more work than growing tomatoes, so I'm not going to actually take it up.  But I'll be impressed and have very positive feelings towards you if you do.

So the racing pigeons are amazing. They take the pigeons they want to race, truck them all hundreds of miles from home, and release them. They have computerized chips in their leg bands that record when they made it home. After all the pigeons get home the club gets together, compares data and declares a winner. The guy we talked to says that often the pigeons beat the transfer truck home that brought them to the release site.

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2 hours ago, Melissa in Australia said:

We have pigeons they are an interesting exercise in exponential growth. 

We have way way to many and don't know what to do with them

That is one of my concerns. From the little reading I've done, it looks like two pigeons could quickly become LOTS of pigeons. I wonder if we gathered the eggs or gave the hens dummy eggs to slow them down...would that work?

What kind of pigeons do you have?

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 I haven't, but DS21 had one show up literally on the doorstep (ok...a few feet away) at the vet clinic he works at. He found the owner, but until we got ahold of him we did a bunch of research. I will say...a lot of racers treat them as, well, disposable. We didn't think this guy would want it back, because it was injured and hadn't made it home (hawk attack). Often birds that don't make it home or are not fast are culled. I was really worried about the pigeon going back to the owner but he was super attached, and because the bird had a mate maybe he wanted it just to encourage her to come home when she races? 

Some of the racing practices are pretty terrible...same as any animal sport...think racing horses who don't win, etc. 

But the bird itself was awesome, and if we had more room I'd consider it! 

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5 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

 I haven't, but DS21 had one show up literally on the doorstep (ok...a few feet away) at the vet clinic he works at. He found the owner, but until we got ahold of him we did a bunch of research. I will say...a lot of racers treat them as, well, disposable. We didn't think this guy would want it back, because it was injured and hadn't made it home (hawk attack). Often birds that don't make it home or are not fast are culled. I was really worried about the pigeon going back to the owner but he was super attached, and because the bird had a mate maybe he wanted it just to encourage her to come home when she races? 

Some of the racing practices are pretty terrible...same as any animal sport...think racing horses who don't win, etc. 

But the bird itself was awesome, and if we had more room I'd consider it! 

Even the horses who do win often end up getting sold for slaughter. It's a sick industry - same with dog racing, too.

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18 minutes ago, Selkie said:

Even the horses who do win often end up getting sold for slaughter. It's a sick industry - same with dog racing, too.

Yup. I'm SO glad we got rid of dog racing in Florida - finally!

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1 hour ago, fairfarmhand said:

That is one of my concerns. From the little reading I've done, it looks like two pigeons could quickly become LOTS of pigeons. I wonder if we gathered the eggs or gave the hens dummy eggs to slow them down...would that work?

What kind of pigeons do you have?

Homing pigeons. 

 

We started out with 3.  We have over 50 now

Ds now 16 made a fancy one way door at the top of their pen so he could 6thd release them and they would fly back and go back into their pen.

Sometimes a falcon would find its way in which always caused great excitement trying to get it out. 

They make nests with their own poo. We thought having limited pigeon holes would limit them, but they then just make nests all over the ground

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1 hour ago, Melissa in Australia said:

They make nests with their own poo. We thought having limited pigeon holes would limit them, but they then just make nests all over the ground

So, everyone else was making me rethink my no birds policy, but thank you for removing that temptation.  

Also, the idea of racing pigeons sounds really cool, but the reality sounds so horrible.  I had no idea birds, horses, and dogs were treated so badly.  

Man, people suck.  

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