pigeon control

Pigeons: Auctions and Races

While some pigeons have been considered as pests in many places in Europe and the United States, some of these birds are actually treated as precious "gold-laying" birds by some businessmen around the world. Pigeons are bought and kept in captivity for two main reasons: 1. To have them as pets and 2. To have them as racers. Of these two reasons, the latter earns the most money.

Pigeon racing is fast becoming a popular sport in many places around the world, most especially in the West. Pigeon species which are fit to race are bred and trained to become the next big racing champion. These birds are conditioned to finish different kinds of races, some of which can reach up to 1000 kilometres. Of course, like all races and games, people make the most money out from pigeon racing because of betting.

How to find Pigeons that can Race?

There are many ways to get your first racing pigeon. You can go online and buy any of the "racing pigeons" that they sell there or you can go to specialty shops and buy your pigeons first hand. However, the best way to get a racing pigeon that can actually win a race is through pigeon auctions. In these auctions, pigeons which have won races in the past are put into sale to the highest bidder. Of course, it can be expected that the bird will somehow be really costly, considering that many people will want to get the bird for their own sake. But, like what most people who participate in auctions think, the price will definitely not matter anymore, for as long as you get what you want.

Some of these auctions happen in the internet while some happen in pigeon racing arenas and similar places. Just like all other auctions, pigeon auctions also have different approaches. These are:

1. Complete Racing Bird Sell Out - This particular auction involves not just the actual racing pigeon but also all the birds in an owner's loft (including the supplies, equipment and cages). This is best for those who want to start a pigeon racing hobby but do not want to go into the hassles of starting from scratch. This can be very expensive, but like what has been said, in the context of auctions, it is not the money that matters, it is the item that you get.

2. Loft Reduction - This type of an auction is done when a particular owner wants to reduce the number of birds in his/her loft. Many people still like this kind of an auction because it assures that the birds that they will be getting came from a direct bloodline as those birds which have won the races in the past.

3. Special Pigeon Auction - This auction can be likened to auctioning a Hollywood Celebrity's boots or dress. Now, since it is pigeon auction, instead of an item, the owner will put a real winning bird into an auction, but for grabs to those who can afford.

4. Donation Auction - Much like all the other auctions already mentioned, the only difference is that the money earned through it will not be used for personal purposes, rather, it will be donated for charity works. Many people are willing to pay extra for donation auctions because it translates as an act of generosity to the needy.

Tips When Participating in Auctions

Before you participate in a bird auction, you need to make sure that you are already ready to take on the responsibility of taking care of the birds that you will win. Of course, it is already a given fact that the birds that you will get in an auction are "precious" birds and losing them because of poor treatment is definitely both a waste of money and of life.

More Common Types of Pigeons

In the previous article we have talked about two of the most common types of pigeons. Understandably, there are still other common types of pigeons that were not discussed. We will now be discussing the other species of pigeons in this article. These other types of pigeons are however, less common but they still comprise a big population of the general number of pigeon species in the world. In other words, they are among of those that you most commonly see perching on rooftops or roosting in certain man made establishments. Some of the species are not endemic to US but originated in the European areas. But then they are somehow transferred and were eventually bred into domestication in the area. Here are some of the other species of pigeons that you have to know of.

The Collared Dove

(c) english-country-garden.com
The collared dove's scientific name is Streptopelia Decaocto. They were once native to Britain until 1952. However, in the later years sometime around 1955, they somehow migrated and nested in Norfolk. Now their population extends as far as from Britain to Ireland. And now they are most commonly seen inhabiting the shorelines and boat ports.

Collared doves are not that big of a pigeon species. They are usually medium sized to small and would usually come sandy colors from their head and neck. However in their lower parts in their belly and breasts, they are somewhat paler and a hint of pinkish buff. The reason why they are called collared doves is because of the presence of a collar shaped print on them. The collar band actually extends around their nape area but is cut short that it doesn't reach the front neck area. The collar band is usually colored black and or white and takes a somewhat crescent like shape. However, the younger ones typically don't have this distinctive marking. At flight this collar crescents are quite conspicuous along with stripes of terminal bands.


Size: Usually 11 inches in length or 28cm from wing to wing span

Habitat: they are commonly found in farmlands in the Britain and Ireland areas. They are also quite prevalent in the urban territories such as parks.

Nesting: They normally build flat shaped nests in trees when in the wild and as well as in buildings.

Eggs: White colored and usually lays two eggs per clutch. Their season of laying eggs are sometime around March to September.

Food: Mainly on grain vegetations, but they are also found to have fruit diets, especially berries.

Hatch time: A normal egg would usually hatch within 11 days.

The Turtle Dove

Streptopelia Turtur or turtle doves are known for their deep purring "tur tur" sounds and we can usually hear this sometime around April to September. These doves usually travel quite a distance during these months as they would originate from the tropics of Africa to Britain. Turtle doves are typically small species of pigeons and they are actually considered to be the smallest resident doves in Britain. They breed mostly in the areas of the South and midlands, but they are sometimes found breeding as well in Scotland and Ireland. However, those instances are quite rare. Usually they breed in these areas in passing and that they then immediately relocate to their destinations down south.

The pigeon's plumage is usually chestnut in color and on their back are black scallop markings. They have pinkish colored underparts, head, rump and flanks but sometimes they are noticed to be grey, with a little accent of black and white stripes stretching around the sides of their necks. Their tails are wedged and black in color, with a strong white color borders at the tip which are quite noticeable during their flight. Their legs are conspicuously red.


Size: usually about 10.5 to 11 inches in length slightly smaller than the collar pigeons.

Habitat: Turtle doves are most common in the southern and eastern parts of Britain and are only usually found in forest areas and cultivated land. However, there are instances that they can be found perching park trees and residential gardens.

Nesting: they are quite messy in building their nests often out of twigs and are situated high above the tree.

Eggs: typically lays 2 white colored eggs during the months of May and July.

Food: Their main diet is based on seeds and weeds but special diets are inclusive of Chickweed and Charlock and grass.

Hatch time: Usually takes 14 days before they hatch.

Ring Dove

(c) internationaldovesociety.com
Ring doves and wood pigeons are basically the same species of pigeons and they happen to be the most prevalent species of pigeons in Britain. They also pester farmlands and therefore making them the bane of every farmer in the area.

Shooting campaigns to reduce these species of doves have been going on all throughout the year but have never really ever succeeded in reducing their population. It is said that during autumn culls, wood pigeons are still able to survive despite the limited food supplies during such season and thus have increased their numbers dramatically.

Wood pigeons are actually known for their soft cooing voice which gives any listener the soothing and sleepy ambience and feelings. These coos often take place around spring and summer time. The typical color of these pigeons is grey but lighter in the frontal areas up to its neck. Their tails however are densely black in color. They do have a distinctive tint of reddish tinge in their breast areas. The primary distinctive marks of a wooden pigeon is the white mark present in the neck area and a somewhat large white colored bar on their wings. These marks are quite visible during their flight.


Size: Are actually the largest of all pigeon species spanning from 15 to 16 inches or about 41 cm.

Habitat: Originally in the woods and forest areas but have evolved to adapt in highly urbanized environment which they are also very common.

Nesting: Flat nests and are usually found in shrubs and trees.

A Complete Beginner's Guide to Pigeon Care

For starters, there are three primary things that you have to take into consideration when outlining the important factors on how to effective care for you pigeon pet. These three things are: housing, feeding, and water. These three primary considerations are the most important factors in making sure that your pigeons stay safe and in good condition. All these three things have to be optimally and effectively implemented to ascertain the desired output.

Pigeons are fascinating and docile creatures and they deserve every bit of care you can offer to make them live a healthy and safe life. And it's completely up to you on how you will do about that process. Actually, there are many ways on how to ensure your pigeons wellbeing and we will be giving you some of the best beginner instructions on how to effective uphold pigeon care. These approaches are very doable and you can practically do them all by yourself without the assistance of any professional or experienced individual. All you have to make sure is that you completely understand what you will read through in this article and follow precisely through the instructions given. Rest assured, if you are to implement everything that will be mentioned in this guide, you will not have any problems at all.

Guides and Tips on Pigeon Housing

Pigeon housing can either be a loft or a cage. Any of these two housings will do just fine. Just make sure that they are properly built or comfortably appropriated so that your pigeons will never feel inconvenient in any way dwelling in such a place. As much as possible you don't want them to feel as pets but rather household companions or a family member that gets the kind of care that they deserve.

For Cages:

A pigeon cage has to be spacious enough for them to move around. If you can build an entire aviary for a single pigeon pet then feel free to do so, just make sure though that you are capable of coming up with such. Oftentimes, pigeon pet owners are misconceived between the importance of high and wide pigeons. Give more importance to the wideness of the cage rather than its height.

In order to measure the appropriate wideness of the cage that you will have for your pet, make it a point that the containment is wide enough for your bird to stretch its wings fully. Measure the appropriate dimensions in accordance to that level of convenience.

Make it a point as well that the cage is located on a high place or wherever it is improbably accessible to your other pets in the house, especially dogs and cats. They may "meal" their way to your feathered friends without you knowing. Also keep the cage away from drafts, fans and any forms of heat sources. Exposure to temperature extremities may lead to the ailment of your pigeon pets or worse, death.

Most pigeons like their cages when they are semi-open. They like this kind of conditions to protect themselves into the covered area of the cage whenever there is extreme heat or cold. It somehow serves as their refuge.

Ventilation is also very important in pigeon housing as pigeons do still need to breathe fresh air. Also, if your pet pigeon is to be caged the entire time, you have to ensure that your pet pigeon gets regular exercise every time. You can probably allot at least two hours in a day for your pigeon to stretch out.

Like all pigeons do, they like perching and they like perching in flat surfaces rather than irregularly shaped ones. Bricks will do just find as perching areas for pigeons and it could also serve as their nail trimming maintenance tool.

Hygiene and maintenance is important from time to time to make sure that there will be no development of diseases taking place. There are a lot commercial, non-toxic cleaning agents you can purchase, but if you are kind of short in budget, you may just use vinegar.

Feeding Guidelines

Generally, pigeons have always been grain eaters. Protein and carbohydrates are among their fundamental mineral intakes in a day. In feeding grain to your pets, make sure that there is a mixture of a 12-15% ratio of protein in it.

Finding a pigeon feed store can often be tricky and rare. But if you can't find one, you may use chicken feed instead but that's not advisable to go on in the long run. If ever you do find a feed store that sells pigeon feeds purchase from there immediately.

You may also do some personal mixtures of pigeon feeds depending on your preference but make sure that it is still based on the nutritional values given by the feeds. By doing some improvisation yourself, you will be able to come up with a diet that is more complete and balance for your pet pigeon.


Fresh water for your pigeons every day is very important. It is perhaps the most fundamental intake for any pigeon on earth. They may go on without food for days but they can never last longer than a day without water.

There are certain compositions that can be compounded to the water you give to your pet pigeons that can make it more nutritious and thus healthier. For example, Apple cider vinegar is often mixed by a lot of pet owners to the water they give to their pets because of their nutritional value. You may add a little drop of this to the water but then make sure that you still give your pet clear water after. A once per day dosage of this mixture will do just fine.

Other considerations


Since your pet(s) is more than half the time kept indoors, it will need sufficient amount of vitamin intakes. Mineral supplements are also necessary, and make sure they contain Vitamin D3. This vitamin will help energize your pigeon even if kept in a condition where there is less sunlight.

Rarest Pigeon Species

On this website we have talked about the presence of some rare pigeon species and as well as those that are already extinct. In this article we will be identifying many of the rarest pigeons on earth and we will also give a brief description of them. However, just a disclaimer though, the purpose of this article is not to give you an idea of a shopping list as to which rare pigeon to buy for your personal endeavors but this article is to provide you information and awareness of the present condition of these rare pigeons and how much they are endangered so that you will also take part in protecting them in your own way. Be aware that the list of pigeons mentioned below is truly endangered and any of them could perish anytime if any further hunt will be committed.

It has always been our moral obligation as more powerful creatures on earth to protect those creatures that are weaker than us and to prevent any possibilities of extinction and to preserve all creatures on earth as possible. As humans we have a task to safeguard all that lives in this planet and that would include saving the pigeon species as well from the brink of utter destruction. The best way to start out effectively in our moral responsibility to protect is to know first the creatures that we have to protect. The idea of this article is to enlighten the readers the real endangered state of the species that are going to be mentioned and hopefully it will foster critical thinking and initiative to look for ways on how to truly protect them and eventually save their species of endangerment.

Here are just some but not all of the species of pigeons that are endangered:

1. African Green Pigeon

(c) treknature.com
Its scientific name is Treron Calvus and they are species member of the columbidae family. The African green pigeons are endemically found in Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Botswana, etc. Despite their presence in many countries within Africa, their total number of population is to small that it almost reaches the unviable stage. 


2. Band Tailed Pigeon

(c) birdinginformation.com
The Patagioenas Fasciata are average sized birds found in America. These rare birds are close relatives to the Chilean pigeons and Ring-tailed pigeons which are more common in the southern continent. These species form the clade of Patagioenas with the distinguishable trait of a terminal tail band as well as their lustrous plumage in the neck area.



3. Banded Imperial

(c) rarepigeons.com
The scientific name of the banded imperial is Ducula Zoeae. They are also commonly known as the Zoe Imperial Pigeons. They too are members of the columbidae family.



4. Beautiful Fruit Dove

(c) calacademy.org
The beautiful fruit doves are rarely distributed species of pigeons in the New Guinea rainforests. They are also found in the islands of Bantata, Salawati, Waigeo, West Papua Indonesia. The female of this species would periodically lay a single white egg in every year.

5. Black Billed Wood

(c) birdforum.net
Turtur Abyssinicus are pigeon species found widespread in the African continent and in the Sahara desert. They are able to survive extreme conditions. The black billed wood doves usually dwell in warmer areas for habitation. But their meat are constantly being sought as an ingredient to certain delicacies.

6. The Birmingham Roller

(c) nbrconline.com
They are actually a breed of highly domesticated pigeons. They are said to originally come from England. They were said to be once developed breeds. They are selected for their unique abilities when flying. They have the ability to rapidly fly backwards and do somersault.

7. The Capuchine Pigeon

(c) wwingsaviary.lbbhost.com
Are actually derived pigeons from selective breeding for the purpose of reproducing offspring which would manifest more unique iridescent characteristics. These fancy birds are usually sought and purchased for exhibition purposes for their lustrous appearance and brightly colored feathers. This pigeon's plumage resembles a Dutch's fur overcoat hence the name, the Old Dutch Capuchine Pigeon.

8. Choiseul Crested

(c) nwseed.com
These pigeons are actually considered to be extinct species of pigeons at some point until some of them resurfaced around mid 1900's somewhere in the Solomon Islands of Choiseul near the pacific. These species of pigeons were once hunted down for their delectable meats as an ingredient to certain exotic delicacies across the globe. This breed pigeons would have followed after its descendants, the passenger pigeons which have gone extinct during the early 1900's.

9. Dodo Pigeon

(c) dodosite.com
These pigeons are literally descendants of the first flightless and huge birds on earth, the dodo. Their appearance also looks just as the same only miniature. These birds are also flightless like their predecessors and are native to the place of Mauritius Island in the Indian Ocean.

10. Galapagos Doves

(c) discovergalapagos.com
These are very rare types of pigeons that are only endemic and of course naturally only found in the Galapagos Islands, somewhere near Ecuador of South America. This species of birds are amongst the first subjects of Charles Darwin's initial theories of evolution along with the Galapagos turtles.

11. The Mindanao Bleeding Heart Pigeon

(c) robertoanil.com
The gallicolumba pigeon (Gallicolumba Crinegera) is species of birds that belong also the Columbidae family. They are endemic only to the island of Mindanao in Philippines. However, some of the species are bred in captivity and they have scattered across the Philippine archipelago.

12. Madagascar Green Pigeons

(c) tolweb.org
Are actually species of birds that still belong to the family of Columbidaes. They are naturally found in the island of Madagascar, Mayotte, and Comoros.

13. The Mariana Fruit Dove

(c) memphiszoo.org
Known for their other Carolinian name Mwee'mwe (Ptilinopus roseicapilla) are actually species of birds that mainly feed on fruit vegetations and are endemic in the Mariana's islands. They are usually small and could only range from 22-24 cm long.

14. Tippler Pigeon

(c) tossingtipplers.com
This breed of highly domesticated pigeons is usually bred to compete in bird racing and endurance sports. There have been reports that the pigeon can fly non-stop up to 22 hours.

The Old German Owl (Pigeon)

For some unknown reasons (scientists think it might be because of their big, creepy eyes), pigeons do not like to associate themselves with owls. Many people have even made use of owl decoys to scare away pigeons out of their properties. However, no matter how odd it might sound, there are some pigeons which are actually called owls! Of the most popular ones are the Old German Owls. In no do these birds look like owls, in fact, they look more like doves; they are small and would practically fit in an adult's hand. They are also very friendly and tame, these traits make them easy to breed and reproduce. Most people keep these birds simply because they are fun to own; they are cheerful and sensitive, most importantly, they are very good "parents" -- they are capable of taking care of the young of other pigeons apart from their own children.

Apart from all the characteristics mentioned, these birds are also known because of their energetic demeanour. They can be trained to do acrobatics and will not mind to perform in public. They can twirl and swirl, they are also do some other tricks depending on the extent that they are taught. Moreover, their beautiful plumage makes their bodies very visible while they are on air doing the tricks. This adds to the fun element of watching birds do terrific moved while on flight. Most Old German Owl keepers allow their birds to freely roam around their yard because just like other pigeons, these birds also have very strong homing characteristics (they can find their way back into their homes no matter how unfamiliar their new location is).

Bird Distribution

These birds became known as "old" because there is a pigeon specie that looks like them and are called like them (only without the "old" prefix), they are the German Owls. The distinction was placed in order to determine which birds where introduced in the 1800s and in the 1900s. The "alteration" of the birds happened after they cross-bred with the Anatolian Owls and the Oriental Frills from Germany. Their offspring developed a certain level of distinctness from the original German owls and so in the early 1900s, the prefix "old" was added and the name "German Owl" was then used to refer to the birds that have evolved from the mating of the German Owls and the other birds brought during the 1870s. Nevertheless, it was only in 1956 that the government showed active participation is preserving the original German Owl breeds. Since then, the two birds have reached a very stable level of population, and each breed has been treated as distinct and separate from the other.

In addition, these birds (both the old and the new ones) have long been acknowledged by the United States government as an important entity that needs to be protected by the state. They are listed in the "National Pigeon Association's Encyclopaedia" as one of the more sought-after pigeon breeds in the world. However, the new breed of German Owls were the first ones to be recorded by the association that many people used to believe that the "old German Owls" are actually the new breed and the German Owl breeds are the first ones to exist. Well, this error has long been corrected by many people who have interest on pigeons, it is really just up to the reader of this post to choose which side will he/she take.

Bird Description

(c) mypage.uniserve.ca
Although it has been argued that the Old German Owl is an "old" breed, somehow it can be considered as a "new" one. Beyond this, we know that these birds have already made it big about 40 years ago when popular animal magazines and news channels have started to make a fuss about these birds. Eventually, these birds became so rare in the United States that some dealers are able to sell each of these birds by $150 each, not to mention that these birds actually need companion in order to stay active and alive. That means that anyone who wishes to own a German owl should invest at least $300 on a pair of pigeons.

If we look closely to the German Pigeons, we will realize that not all of them look the same. This is because there are 3 varieties of German Pigeons that are known to us. Overall, about 19 different types of colors and shades have been recorded to be exhibited by these birds.

The three varieties can be distinguished through their marks; the three marks are called shield-marked, self-colored and tail-marked. These three are mere general labels and the different appearances of these marks simply fall under these general descriptions.

Most Old German Owls have the same size as that of ordinary field pigeons, but the latter have less broad breasts and their tails are not as pointed as the first one. Old German Owls have wings which are snugged into their bodies. Their legs are also relatively shorted that that of the field pigeons and they also have shorted necks. Moreover, the German Owls have excess feathers around their neck and head areas. Scientist argues that these excess features may have been used to support the bird's neck.

Up-close, it can also be observed that the German Owls have very big and dark eyes which are surrounded with cares which can be liken to human eye bags (although they are extremely different). These excessive feathers around the neck are also called the Shell Crest. Now, many other pigeon birds may not be getting the proper attention that they need, thus better watch out for my future posts as well as my posts from the past to get good insights as to how these birds should be raised.

The German Owls are not the only ones which were called owls instead of being called pigeons. There's the European Owl, the Spanish Owl and so many other pigeon species. Scroll down into the archive section of these blog to learn more about pigeons.

Pigeon Racing and Medication

Did you know that pigeons are not only domesticated to become pets but they are also bred to become participants of a racing sport that has been a growing trend of hobby to many pet pigeon enthusiasts? Some people would find it weird to hear the phrase "pigeon racing" as most people are not yet accustomed to this kind of sport. It's not a surprise thought that a lot of people still don't know a thing about pigeon racing as it is just new and still gaining popularity. And not only that; as of the moment the said sport is still exclusive to only those that know it. One may never know anything about pigeon racing at all.

They say thought that the sport has started all the way back during the early 1900's, when they have discovered that not only can pigeons be used as an ingredient recipe to delectable delicacy, they could also be bred for recreational purposes, in the same way with horses. They can be raced with each other. The said sport is said to be the foundation of the evolution of pigeons being used to deliver top secret messages across seas during the World War II. But at present, only the sport lives on since there hasn't been any war as much as the WWII and technology now is far better than it was before and suppose there's no need for messenger pigeons anymore with cellular phones and hi-tech radio communications around.

Although the sport hasn't gained widespread appreciation yet and its popularity is still limited, those people that are accustomed to the sport do the best that they can to showcase the beauty of the sport in the light of hope that they could foster interest to those that witness it. They hold public events so that many people are able to watch the actual sport. However, most of the time it's exclusive since there aren't a lot of areas where the sport can be conducted; rest assured though, if the sport has gained sufficient popularity, venues wouldn't be a problem anymore when the time comes.

Pigeon Care

Like any animal sport, the owner of the competing animal should always make it a point that their pet is given sufficient care that they need so it will be able to perform optimally during the competition. The same thing goes as well with pet pigeons for racing. They also need to be taken care of and being a different kind of animal, they also have a special set of care guidelines, even a specific set of medications in order for them to stay healthy and competitive for the sport. Also another goal to having specific sets of appropriate medication is to ensure that the pigeons will produce robust offspring using the most natural approaches. This is important because through natural means, the immune system of the younglings will never be compromised in anyway. Unlike using artificial approaches or medications wherein a lot setbacks often do take place.

There are actually two general types of medicines that are induced to a racing pigeon for it to become fit. One is the preventative type of medications and the other is curative. You can already deduce the difference in the function of both medications but for your further comprehension we will be discussing both types thoroughly as possible in this article.

Preventative Medications

You can say that all birds are endanger of the risk of contracting diseases at any time through the circumstances of their environment or surroundings as well as in the activities that they do. In order to ensure that these external factors of risks will not reach your racing pigeon, you have to make sure that your pet is boosted with the necessary supplements and vitamins it would need to become healthy and sick-free. This type of medicines is called preventative medicines; medicines that are basically induced to ensure that the contraction of any diseases will be prevented by keeping your pigeon as healthy as possible.

Usually preventative medicines are associated with boosting the immune system of your racing pigeon pet. It ensures that your bird has a natural resistance to any forthcoming diseases in the environment. Having a racing pigeon will surely pose the risk of it having certain illnesses and when it does happen it will definitely compromise its performance. Also, most preventative medications help prevent respiratory diseases in birds.

Curative Medicines

When there is a disease outbreak that takes place during the racing season, then that's the time curative medicines will be used. As the name would imply, it exists the cure an ongoing disease. It is equally important to that of the preventative medicines as it is crucial that ongoing diseases be cured right away in as much as it should be prevented. Since, we can't be truly certain that there will be no disease that would ever inflict our pet pigeons, even when we have already used preventative medications on them. Hence, there is always the need for curative medicines.

It is important though that the sick bird be brought to thorough observation first to make sure what type of disease it has contracted. This way, you will be able to know which appropriate curative medicine you should use to deal with the disease at hand. As it is called "curative" medication, it is only used to destroy diseases and not used as a supplement to boost the immune system. Using curative medications as preventative means would only result to negative side effects to the pigeon's system. The side-effects could range from sickness due to wrong inoculation of dosage and sterility.

These methods of medications should collaborate with each other in order to ensure that your pet pigeons will always be healthy and competitive during competitions. Don't allow lapses in implementing these medications as they can be the cause why your entire efforts will fail at the end of the day. Make sure that you sustain the medications all the way so you won't have to fear any possibilities that your pigeon will contract any disease.

Pigeon Loft Basics

Pigeons as pets can be quite controllable. Unlike having pet cats or dogs or any other critters, they don't litter around everywhere, and you wouldn't have to keep track all the time of the mess that they do to your home as they can actually be confined in one place like a cage or a loft that would encapsulate all the mess that they do instead having scattered all around the house. However, there is a need for you to ensure that level of control by making it a point that their lofts are well built. If you don't build a well-secured loft for your pigeon pets, there is a big possibility that they may cause hassles to you and to your clean and peaceful living. Plus, it would also risk in the danger of losing your pet knowing that pigeons do fly and they may very well escape your domestication. Therefore, you have to make sure that your pigeon's pet house is sturdy and has the necessary capacity to control all the mess that pigeon do. However, you need to know first how to do that.

More than half the time, people who have pet pigeons build pigeon lofts out of haste and immediate urgency, making their pigeon lofts quite unstable and unable to sustain the pigeons living in it. The truth is, there are prim and proper ways to do about building a pigeon loft than just hammering nails and woods to create a box. The dimensions should be well forecasted as well as the interiors should be well braced. There are also other factors that have to be considered so that your pigeon pets will be able to live in peace and harmony and not in unintentionally inconvenient restriction. As a good pet owner, you would want your pet to not feel as pets but instead they would feel like that they belong. Even though that they are just animals, they do somehow feel the sense of difference between being imprisoned and the feeling of being in a good habitat and it is your responsibility as the owner to make sure that they do feel the latter.

(c) montedacoelha.net
The basics in building a good pigeon loft is quite simple and you really don't have to consider rocket science on it. In fact, most of it is just common sense and the preparations you would need are not necessarily found in high end stores. You can readily find all the preparations you would need in your garage and your toolbox. In this article you will find the most important and crucial considerations in building an effective pigeon loft. The rest of what has to be done can be derived from your resourcefulness and creativity. Make sure that you read through the points in this article thoroughly and understand what they meant. Rest assured, if you are able to follow through and understand all the factors to be considered enlisted in this article; you will surely have a better pigeon loft which will definitely make your pets feel better being domesticated by you.

1. Proper ventilation

You have to understand that like humans, animals also need a breath of fresh air every time to ensure that they do live healthily. Make sure that there is sufficient ventilation in the pigeon loft that you are building. Create windows and openings big enough to permit sufficient air into the loft and at the same time not that big to warrant escape for your pets. You may opt to create a pigeon loft that looks like a cell instead of creating a close house that would most likely restrict the circulation of fresh air. If a loft is created this way, ventilation will surely not going to be a problem at all.

2. Make sure it's dry

You have to be aware that moisture or sudden shifts in the humidity within the area is a primary factor that causes the sickness of birds. Therefore, you have to ask yourself when building the pigeon loft, "will it really stay dry?" Make sure that the location of your pigeon loft is far from areas where it will get wet when it rains. You also have to make sure that the loft is elevated from the ground as ground temperatures could often cause the wood components of your pigeon loft to go damp. Nothing good will ever come out from a wet or damp environment, especially to your pet birds. Install a pole to elevate the loft from the ground and make sure that you make use of a wood that is sturdy and wouldn't easily brittle even if it gets old over time. You can also opt for wood (plywood) flooring installed on your loft to make sure that the interiors would stay dry. This is still an effective to insulate dampness within the loft.

3. Sunshine

Sunlight is important to all living creatures. And you don't have to be a genius to know that your pet pigeons will also need that. Therefore, make sure that apart from proper ventilation and wetness insulation, your pigeon loft is also inductive of sunlight. Make sure that the loft is not utterly boxed out of light cause that would eventually weaken the inhabiting pigeons in it. Make sure that the loft has sufficient openings to permit sunlight. You may also make it a point that the loft is placed on locations where it will be directly hit by sunlight during mornings.

4. Easy to Maintain

Of course, you would have to clean your pigeon loft from time to time to make sure that your pet pigeons don't contract diseases from its unsanitary surroundings. Pigeon dumps are often the causes why pigeons contract diseases that could potentially lead to their fatality. You may be able to grant yourself full access in cleaning up your pigeon loft by installing detachable components to it. This will enable you to access the interiors of the loft and properly clean every part of it.

Pigeon Protection Laws (Part II)

In our previous discussions regarding pigeon protection laws we have talked about the introduction of the law and the implementing agencies that enact the clauses of the law. In this article we will be discussing the other clauses of the law as well as its scope and provisions. Hopefully, this will provide enlightenment to all individuals who are to implement pigeon control methods in order to deal with their pigeon problem at homes or at work. To ensure that they will be employing methods those are appropriate and in line with the scope of the law provided for pigeons and all other bird species in the area.

The law actually isn't only limited with the providence of counsels or advices to individuals on how to approach their pigeon control methods. The law actually implements sanctions to individuals who use inappropriate lethal methods in dealing with pigeons. The deterrence of the law will be further felt if the rest of the community is aware of the consequences it will have to face if they have undone pigeons. One has to understand the legal responsibility of ensuring the safety of the lives of pigeons falls on the individual property owners and that any employment of illegal lethal methods to rid of pigeon problems will befall on the owner himself and not on the commercial pigeon control contractors. Nevertheless, if the circumstances would dictate so, the ignorance of any pigeon control contractors will also not be tolerated granted that the legal infringement has taken place within the client's property.

The wildlife and countryside act of 1981 mainly deals with the control of any feral pigeons that infringe human territories and the necessary counselling needed in order to become aware the people of what approaches to use. They specifically provide advice to deal with the use of any lethal methods or the possible destruction or removal of pigeon nests in the area. However, for the matters that concern the deliberate or unintended cruelty of individuals to pigeons in the light of the circumstances of protecting establishments with the use of deterrents, the legislation that should appropriate this kind of situation is the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Usually, the issues that relate to cruelty and unnecessary sufferings often come with culling operations, but they are also often associated with the use of inappropriate pigeon control methods. For example, if a person or contractors have used bird netting mechanisms but then have failed to relocate the ensnared birds immediately causing them to suffer and then eventually starve to death, the owner of the property wherein the bird net is installed will be compelled to face the necessary prosecutions in line with the unintentional animal cruelty that took place. The appropriate legislation to be used for this matter will be the Animal Welfare Act of 2006.

Provisions of the Acts

Part I of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981

This provision of the act is entitled "The protection of wild birds, their nests and eggs", has these following confirmations:

• Individuals who will be subjected to the provisions of this act are those:

• Anyone who injured or kills and takes any wild bird;

• Anyone who destroys, damages and or takes the nest of any perceived wild birds while the nest is currently being built or used; or

• Destroys or takes an egg(s) of wild birds, will be subjected to a sanction

• Subject also to the provision of this act if anyone has a possession or control of:

• Of any dead or alive wild bird or a part that came from a particular bird; or

• The possession of any wild bird's egg shall be indubitably guilty of the offence

• A person shall not be guilty in accordance to the provisions of this act if he or she manifests that:

• If the wild bird or egg has not been actually taken or destroyed otherwise if it's in contravention of anything relevant to the provisions; or

• If a bird, egg or any other things in his possession that were apparently sold to him or in any other person, otherwise if there will be any contravention of the provisions of the act. The "relevant provisions" of this act are any of those that fall under the subsection of the act made under it.

• Also, subject to the provisions of this act, if a person will intentionally:

• Disturbs the peaceful living of any bird while it is in the process of building the nest or while it's near its nest or the nest wherein there are eggs and younglings.

• If he or she disturbs the habitation of the younglings or eggs of the wild bird while it is inside the nest area.

• Any infringement of any of the provisions will be subjected to a special penalty or sanction.

These are more or less the provisions and sanctions of the animal welfare act of 2006 and this has been effectively implemented all throughout the time since it's been legislated. It is also made to be the basis of many of the pigeon control methods in the market. They made it a point that all control methods will conform to standards prescribe by the law and anyone who will dare infringe the provisions of the act through the usage of inappropriate methods, whether deliberate or unintentional, will be sanctioned accordingly.

It is important still though to uphold the greater importance of appraising the value of preserving the environmental balance rather than just simply obeying the implemented rules and regulations of the land. One must seek a greater sense of responsibility not out of fear of sanctions but through the genuine sincerity and thoughtfulness of keeping the ecosystem safe from the lethal approaches of mankind. Pigeons may just be birds, but they do serve a greater purpose as well to the entirety of the earth balance and that alone is reason enough for you to care about the approaches you will make in controlling them.

Racing Pigeons and Embryonic Death

Pigeons are not only domesticated for their meat. Today, more and more people decide to keep pigeons for pigeon racing. This particular recreation is not very new to the human civilization, in fact, it was recorded that pigeons have been raised for the same purposes even during biblical times. However, it is only in the recent times when this form of recreation has actually made it in the mainstream. The number of participants to scheduled races has also increase over the years and today, huge pigeon pens have been built to accommodate massive racing pigeon reproduction.

The most common problem encountered by pigeon keeper is embryonic death. For some reasons, there have been cases in the past when more than 5% of all the eggs would not hatch because the bird embryos inside simply die. It is said that when the embryonic death rate reaches this level, pigeon keepers should act fact and immediately reassess the condition of the entire population kept in the pigeon loft or pen. It was found out that the most common reason why the death rate of the embryos reaches to this level is the presence of the salmonella virus. This virus can cause infections which are fatal to the yet undeveloped bird. Pigeon keepers should make themselves aware of the many reasons why pigeon embryos die in order to prevent further deaths. In general, embryonic deaths can happen during the three different stages of development of the pigeon. These are:

Phase 1: 2-3 days after the eggs are laid (the onset of the incubation)
Phase 2: During the 10-day growth period of the embryo (that is between the 4th and the 14th day)
Phase 3: 2-3 days before the egg hatches

Phase 1

The main reason why embryonic deaths happen during this stage is temperature dropdowns. Once the egg is subjected to inadequate temperatures, the embryo inside it becomes injured and after subsequent injuries, it will experience genetic problems which can lead to death. Genetic problems include anomalies that mutate the embryo into something which cannot support life. The only way to diagnose if the embryo is experiencing this mutation is through an autopsy. Pigeon owners should invest in the autopsy in order to know what the cause of the embryonic death is. This is the most viable way to know how to deal with the problem and avoid further deaths in the future.

Embryos would get injuries because of temperature changes because of their excessive sensitivity to vibrations. When the temperature is not right, the embryo inside the egg vibrates, jarring itself into the egg shell which in turn can cause the injuries. The main reason why the temperature drops is poor parenting. When the adult female pigeons prove to be incapable of incubating their own eggs, then it is imperative that the owner take the initiative and place the eggs in an incubator. Some owners do not even wait to see if the female pigeons would incubate their eggs properly; right after the eggs are laid, owners are quick to remove them from the nests and place them in an incubator to make sure that they hatch.

Phase 2

Embryonic deaths at this stage are primarily caused by malnutrition. The embryo needs extra nourishment during this stage because of the growth that it experiences. This is also the longest phase in the incubation process. The good news is that only a modicum fraction of all embryonic deaths happen during this stage. The main reason is probably because of the fact that the egg in itself is already capable of providing the embryo with all the nutrition that it needs. However, in cases when the egg contains less than the required amount of nutrition, then the bird would die. Unhealthy female pigeons are most likely to lay such kinds of eggs.

Nevertheless, apart from malnutrition, the embryos at this stage can also die out of infection. The cause of the infection is the bacteria commonly called as Salmonella; the other bacteria that causes the same infection is called Chlamydia. The female pigeon may be the carrier of the bacteria and hand it down to its offspring, but is some cases; the bacteria may directly infect the eggs right after they are laid. This happens when the egg shells are contaminated by anything that is a carrier of the bacteria. The first signs of infection are: appearance of fine lines on the egg surface and translucency of the egg.

Phase 3

The most obvious reason why embryos die right before they are hatch is the hatching process itself. This happens because the bird would have to undergo a "difficult" shift as it is being prepared to be hatched. While it is still inside the egg, it gets the air it breathes from the chorioallantois which is found inside the eggs membrane. A few days after hatching, the bird is made to breath outside the membrane without the chorioallantois. This process happens in two stages and in some cases; the birds are only able to survive the first stage.

During the first stage, the bird would have to use its small beak to prick a small hole into the egg's membrane and starts to breathe the air in this portion of the egg. After 12 to 24 hours, the little pigeon will then be able to break through the egg shell itself for its first glimpse of the outside world. The second stage would then start as the bird "drinks" the last remaining amniotic fluid inside the egg. It is during this stage when the chick gets the antibodies that it needs in order to withstand the different pathogens outside the shell. Now, some chicks would already become so exposed to the outside world before the antibodies get into their bodies and they become infected with different kinds of diseases before these antibodies can help them combat the viruses and bacteria that cause them. Thus, the chick dies before it completely gets out of the egg shell.

Endangered Species: Pink Pigeon

In our previous articles we have talked about extinct as well as other endangered species of pigeons on the planet. From extinct passenger pigeons to endangered crested pigeons. However, there are those certain species that happen to be truly even more extinct and we ought to talk about them.

One of the most endangered species of pigeons in the planet is the pink pigeons. They have been dubbed and enlisted as one of the endangered species on January 12, 1995 because of their noticeably dwindling species population. Pink pigeons are the largest known species of pigeon birds in the planet up to now. However, with their rescinding numbers, these large species of pigeon birds will soon be out of the picture and another pigeon bird species will soon assume the throne of being the largest pigeon species. The scientific name of pink pigeon is Columba mayeri; other names and subspecies would include: Nesoenas mayeri, Streptopelia mayeri and naturally belongs to the animal group of birds.

The thing about pink pigeons is that they are often found prevalent in certain areas, but are minimal in a particular location - the Indian Ocean (Mauritius). But still, the accumulative number of species of pink pigeons still count as below viable population and therefore are still considered endangered.

More About Pink Pigeons

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The pink pigeon species are actually very rare species of pigeons that are endemically found in the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. These species of pigeons are actually considered to be the largest species of pigeons and dove species on the planet. It is said that an adult pink pigeon can reach an entire body span of 12.6 inches in length measuring from beak to tail feathers. They could also weigh in as much as 12 ounces. The reason why this species of birds are called pink pigeons are pretty much obvious. They have light pink colored feathers. They also have brown wings, as well as dark pink bills, legs and feet. Pink pigeon's tail is colored brown and their eyes as well. But their eyes are surrounded with a red skin ring. However, they have come to be so rare that they have been considered to be almost extinct.

Normally, this type of birds would prefer inhabiting upland areas of evergreen rainforests but they are not that prevalent. They are seen feeding and even roosting in minute flocks in some trees and often they are really that difficult to detect because of their small numbers. In a given area of upland forest, there could only be a maximum of 2-3 pink pigeons in those area and sometimes they are not seen at all. Their diet is comprised of small insects, flowers, some fruits, buds and as well as seeds of some exotic plants and vegetation in the area. when these pigeons mate, they group themselves into two, a pair of female and male where they then build their nests and thrive to protect their newly borne territories. A female pink pigeon would average giving birth to one or two eggs per sitting. It would take them 12-14 days to fully incubate their eggs until it hatches. Typically, pink pigeons take turns in incubating their eggs. The female of this species would incubate their eggs at night while their males would incubate the eggs during daytime.

It is believed that there are only about 20 of these birds that thrive in the wild and the rest of about 200 are bred in captivity in order to preserve the species until they reach a viable population. Only by then they will be set free to roam the earth once more. The dangers to their existence are not only consisting of human beings, but as well as their natural predators such as cats and hawks. Diseases are also among the primary threats of the species. In 1963, the Jersey wildlife preservation park has been established to serve as home to this endangered species of pigeons and also serves as an aid to their dwindling existence.

At present, pink pigeons are still endangered and they are even more threatened by the unprecedented influx of poachers that seek them. The remaining 20 pink pigeons in the wild could have possibly diminished in number over time. The legislation and promulgation, as well as the implementation of the laws that restrict the hunting of this pigeon species are not as effective as they should be considering that it would be quite difficult to enforce the law in some unchartered wild areas. Considering as well, that there are still people who take less heed on these legal restrictions, the species may very well be in danger still to this day. Sooner or later, if the attempts to preserve the pink pigeons would fail, they would most likely become like their former relatives, the passenger pigeons whom have gone extinct in the 1900's.

Passenger pigeons are actually extinct species of pigeons. They were once very prevalent in the American areas and they apparently outnumber any bird species population in the area before. However, due to massive hunting for their meat, they have gradually diminished and finally been wiped out from the face of the earth. The last of this species was last seen in the early 1900's in captivity. Due to old age, the bird died out of natural causes.

The pink pigeons are about to face the brink of extinction as well any time soon if we are not that careful in our means to control certain species of animals. We have to make it a point that we would always conform to the specific laws that deal with the preservation of pigeon species on earth so as not to accidentally cause the destruction of their species. We have to understand that despite our dominion and power over everything else as humans, we still have that sublime responsibility to protect them from sheer obliteration. We have to understand that we will still be the one who will suffer the consequences of our wrong actions.

Different Breeds of Common Pigeons

There are many different species of pigeons in this world and some of them we may not even know of. Most of them are already explored and existent and only a very few of them happen to be extinct or endangered. Pigeons are perhaps one of the most prevalent creatures on earth and they belong to the family of birds which is one of the reasons why they thrive throughout time in longevity and are hard to perish; as birds can freely fly in the air becoming less prone to the dangers that beset the grounds. However, there are times when a lot of them are hunted down. This is the reason why one species of pigeons became extinct: the passenger pigeons. Passenger pigeons were hunted down for their meat and hunted down massively; an entire area of passenger pigeons could be wiped out in just one hunting season. Eventually, their species dwindled in numbers until it reached a point that they no longer have a viable population, and its last remnant perished sometime around early 1900's. This kind of thing could happen to all other species of pigeons that live today, especially those that are already enlisted as extinct species.

No pigeon or any other bird species on the planet is safe from human greed. As long as humans will continue to have purpose for some things they find useful, like pigeons for meat, they will always continue to hunt down the poor species. Fortunately, the legislation of bird protection laws came to be and have now implemented certain rules and regulations in the prevalence of hunting down pigeon meat as well as other bird meats. Species protection protocols are now at hand and multitude of pigeons are now well safeguarded from the clutches of poaching. However, there are still instances that these rules prove to be insufficient as there are still those that find their way around the enforcements of the law. As a result, they continue to kill rampantly endangering more species of pigeon on earth. It is now your burden as an individual person to stop this kind of things from happening. You, as a human being have the moral obligation to protect the many different species of pigeons from sheer destruction by your own kind. Oftentimes, you yourself are held responsible for the deaths of a few of them by your own unintentional ways, such as your approaches to pigeon control methods. Sometimes, there are setbacks to these methods that lead to the utter harm of these pigeons and even you kill some of them unintentionally.

Pigeons may have to be controlled as they often become pests by their sheer numbers, but they don't deserve to be killed by the methods and devices we use to control them. They only have to be relocated to their proper habitat at most as their sanction for infringing human territories and never to die in any way deliberate at all.

One way to do about protecting and safeguarding the pigeon species in the planet is to know more about them and getting to know the different species that you get to encounter most of the time.

Here are some of the most common types of pigeons human usually encounter:

Columba Oenas (Stock Dove)

(c) english-country-garden.com
Stock doves are endemic species of pigeons in U.S. and may look pretty much alike their relatives the wood pigeons. However, there are certain highly distinguishable traits that would enable us to identify them from the latter. Traits such as their relatively smaller sizes and the absence of white areas in the wings and in the necks make them different from wood pigeons. However, their size is somewhat the same to another family of pigeons called the Rock Doves apart from the brown pale rump and semi-bold wing bars which are not found in Stock Doves. Their plumage is somewhat grey and somehow paler underneath. A ruddy tinge on its breast area it also has a purples sheen on the neck. There are also two identical bars short at the base of its wings that also happens to have black border on its upper part and as well as to its tail. The bill of a stock dove is yellowish but turns red to the base. Their feet are colored deep pink.

This species of pigeons are not that dominant and prevalent compared to the wood pigeons and they are fairly populated in certain habitats which are absent at the far north areas. Their species is often overlooked along with other pigeons. This species is not that much of a pest to humans compared to a wood pigeon can be. Its main diet is on weed seeds.

Columbia Livia (Rock Dove/Feral Pigeons)

Did you know that Rock doves are actually being kept as food and is quite popular during the middle ages? They are also resident to European territory. But a lot of them are able to escape from the devecotes and thus their descendants of feral pigeons commonly found in city squares, streets and sometimes in railways stations. The feral pigeons we now see today can actually be still interbred with rock doves at present. The rock doves are actually considered as the wild forebear of a modern "domestic or homing" pigeon. This would include other species of pigeons of the same family such as fantails, black and whites, tumblers, chequers and racers.

The true or pure rock doves can now be only found in rocky appendices and cliffs of northern Scotland and Ireland. The rock doves that you see on inland cliffs are actually derived breeds and are domesticated which also eventually became wild or feral. They make noticeably untidy or gruel nests in the cliffs and caves and they lay eggs in intervals throughout the entire year.

There are still other species that are not yet mentioned in this article. They will however be discussed in a follow up article after this. The other species are less common though, but they are still worth recognizing.

Caring for African Owl Pigeons (Part II)

Find the time to read the first instalment of this article so that you will get the overall learning experience that it brings. This article is meant to complement the first two tips outlines in its first part. But you also start with this part and simply proceed to the other later.

3. Be Ready to Hand-feed

(c) pigeon-kingdom.blogspot.com
Part one of this article has already discussed about the "feeders" or the foster bird parents which are supposed to raise the pigeons until they are capable of eating on their own. However, it should be noted that at some points the young birds have to be hand-fed (some circumstances will make this the only option in order to save the bird). Thus, it can be said that a real pigeon owner should somehow know hand feeding. Moreover, hand feeding is one of the most effective ways to make the birds tame and acknowledge their owner. This is extremely important because it increases the bird's sensitivity to its owners command (this makes training way easier). Majority of the most successful African Owl breeders/racers say that they owe their success to the time and effort that they have spent in feeding their birds by hand.

Thus, if you plan to be a successful breeder yourself, then you should learn how to do this too. Fine, you can keep feeders, but you should allocate at least 7 to 10 days of the entire development stage of the bird to feed them on your own. If you have a lot of birds, you can feed them on a schedule, this way, you will be able to cover all your birds while still giving them enough time to be fed by the feeders which are really good providers. Since there is a chance that you will not be feeding them enough if you do the feeding on your own alone, it is very wise that you feed your birds alongside your feeders.

Methods of Hand Feeding

Of course, pigeon owners have also devised their own ways of feeding their birds by hand. But, the most popular ones involve the use of a ketchup squeezing bottle. This particular container has been widely used because of its long nozzle which makes the feeding easier. The food mix is placed inside the bottle and then it is simply squeeze to squirt out the food into the chick's little beaks. Baby pigeons learn very fast and after two to three feedings, they will already suck the nozzle on their own once you draw the bottle near to them. This is better because when you control the amount of food that gets into their mouth, you might end up giving them more that they need and thus you might even choke them in the process. If they suck the nozzle on their own, they get to decide for themselves if they still want more food or if they already have enough.

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However, ketchup bottle feeding is not advisable if you are feeding very small baby pigeons. The bottle is best used when you are dealing with 10-day old chicks or older. For younger ones, you can try using syringe so that you don't choke the chicks with the size of the nozzle that you have to slip into their beaks. At this stage, the chicks should not be given anything more than 20 cc's of food mix. When they about 10 days old, you may start giving them 20 to 30 cc's of food and gradually increase this amount until they reach their 20th day (it can reach up to 60 cc's). At this stage, the birds will be able to feed on their own, so all that you would have to do is to food enough food inside their feeding plate and you can let them do the rest.

Don't be surprised, but there really is baby bird food available in the market. So, you do not really have to make these mixes on your own. The most popular baby bird food is called "Kaytee Exact". This baby food was originally developed to nourish young parrots but eventually, pigeon owners started to use it and after a couple of years it became a staple baby pigeon food. It is very easy to prepare; all that you need to do is to mix it with lukewarm water and mix it up until its consistency becomes soupy. Of course, you can use other baby bird food brands, one of which is from "Roudybush". You can also do your research and look for other options, just make sure that the nutrition value of the baby food that you will choose is high and it contains the nutrients that a baby African Owl pigeon needs. But, if you have enough time to make your own feeds, you can also try grounding turkey meat and use it as to feed your birds. This is actually a cheaper option but it would take away a portion of your time. Moreover, turkey meat can't be introduced to the birds using the syringe so you will be limited to using it to older birds. Well, the choice is really completely up to you. You can also join forums and read blogs on baby pigeon feeding in order to improve your skills and increase your knowledge about it.

4. Warm and Dry

Don't forget that African Owls like the habituate dry areas and they also love the sun. This particular breed tends to become sickly when they do not get enough sunshine or they you make them live in a wet environment. There have been cases when they caught respiratory illnesses just because their loft is not dry enough. If you are not careful, you might just end up killing your entire stock (that is such a waste in terms of money, time and energy). This scenario should be avoided and the best way to do so is to give the owls exactly what they look for is an environment.

Caring For African Owl Pigeons (Part I)

It is said that the most difficult pigeon breed to raise is the African Owl; nonetheless, these birds have long been kept by different owners all around the world as pets -- most of these learned how to care for them via hand-on experience. But this should not scare you. Now that the internet is very much widely used, information on caring for these birds has also become available. No longer are aspiring African Owl pet owners required to go through the "ignorant" days when it comes to pigeon-keeping. Today, anyone can just go online and make a research himself/herself about the birds and end up like a pigeon expert himself/herself!

This particular article, for example, is one of those materials that a would-be owner can read (even those who have been taking care of pigeons for some time can also learn something new from this). The caring techniques outlined below are hinged on the concept of manipulating the innate characteristics of the pigeons to aid the breeding program of the birds and at the same time, keep them comfortable during the entire time that they have to be kept in lofts and in pigeon boxes. Since African Owl requires more attention than most pigeons, it is normal for first-time pigeon keepers to cringe about the idea of having these birds as their first pigeon pets. But, if you are really after having a bird that is tame, docile and very attracted, then by all means pursue the African owls and read the simple tips below to prepare yourself for the responsibility.

1. Get the Best Stock

(c) pigeonfarms.com
You might have started to become interested in pigeons after you learned that these birds are involved in a kind of "sports". Well, this can be understood because pigeon racing has indeed become so popular these days; it is that popular that there is even a very fat chance that you want keep pigeons for this purpose too. That's alright through, for as long as you take care of the birds properly and treats them humanely. Now if this is your intention, make sure that you get your birds from a participant in the races that owns pigeons that are consistently winning. This is important because in pigeon racing, the overall health of the birds can greatly affect their performance (the same with humans and horses, actually). Thus, if there is an owner who is able to get multiple wins during different periods, you can also assume that he/she keeps very healthy pigeons. This also means that the pigeons that he/she owns have a good bloodline and this can be seen in the performance of the bird, as well as in its appearance.

Of course, we all know that racing skills are not hereditary. But when you choose young birds from a good pigeon family, you can be almost very sure that you will have no problems when it comes to the immune system of the birds, as well as their susceptibility to various diseases (which is actually hereditary). However, you have to realize too that the genes of the African Owls are quite recessive; getting stock from a good bloodline is not a 100% guarantee that you will get good adult birds in the future, but it is still better than just randomly picking any birds.

2. Good Feeder Birds

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African Owls do not thrive well in the wild because of their physical characteristics. You see, these birds have very short beaks. Thus, a mother African owl will definitely have a hard time feeding its own chicks. In most cases, when these birds are in the wild, one or more of their chicks will die because of malnutrition. When they are domesticated, owners somehow shoulder the responsibility of making sure that all the chicks survive. Some owners feed the chicks on their own but this is actually a very painstaking task, especially if the owner keeps a lot of birds. The best possible approach is to get "foster" bird parents. These birds are made to assume that they are feeding their own chicks. It is the responsibility of the owner to find a really good foster parent for the birds so that they get all the food that they need.

The switching of the birds happens immediately after the eggs are hatched. The eggs are placed in an incubator until they are fully developed and then they are left for the care of the foster bird parents. They birds are known as the "feeders". If you are a serious breeder, then this is the option that you should be taking. All the other options have been proven to have loopholes.

Many pigeon owners prefer to assign one foster parent to each African Owl chick. Since African Owls normally lay two eggs, it is also important that the owners keep at least two foster parents for each pair of African Owl he/she owns. This is the surest way to keep each chick well fed during the development period, something which is very important if you are training these birds to become future racers. Examples of good feeders are the Flying Flights and the Racing Homers. These birds can take on big jobs and are normally very passionate about their young. They are not very particular with the appearance of the youngster too (some birds can easily identify chicks that do not belong to their breed). You can also explore your other options and try other feeders because these two common ones are quite expensive. However, you should know that many birds are incapable of caring for the African Owls and during your "experiment" period, you might end up having some casualties. But the choice is complete up to you.


These two tips do not sum up everything that you need to know about these birds; look for the second instalment of this article down in the archive section below. Do not forget that you need to know as many things about African Owls pigeons in order to prepare yourself for your future ownership of such birds.
pigeon control