White dove has long been considered a symbol of peace, prosperity and love. A person who at least once came into close contact with beautiful birds will no longer be able to forget these wonderful impressions. Pigeons can simply bewitch their delicate appearance, ease of flight and romantic cooing.
In the modern world, the content of pigeons for breeding, training and participation in competitions is becoming increasingly popular. The variety of various breeds is striking in its beauty. Feeding domestic pigeons, caring for them, preventing diseases - all these questions are of great interest to newcomers in such matters as the breeding of ornamental birds. Now it is easy to find out such information, the main thing is to follow all the rules so that feathered pets do not suffer from improper handling of them.
Some people are enthusiastically engaged in breeding work, bringing out new colors of bird plumage, others breed pigeons for the sake of participating in sports competitions, but there are also such amateurs for whom just talking with such beauty is pleasure and relaxation. Unites all golubevodov big love for heavenly creatures, causing only positive emotions.
What are the conditions to keep pigeons?
Domestic pigeons, like their wild brethren, are always kept in packs, they simply need to contact their own kind. Naturally, certain relationships are established between members of the pigeon family. The territory of the pigeon house and the aviary is strictly divided into nesting sites, in the center of each of them is the nest itself. The male protects his territory and his female. Together the birds eat food, drink water and sit down for the night.
Based on the foregoing, each pigeon breeder should seriously consider how to contain feathered pets, and how to feed domestic pigeons. Every day, watching the flock, you need to establish to whom which part of the pigeon house belongs, where the youth can rest, and where the birds are of the lowest rank. It is very rarely necessary to rearrange the nest box to another place, it is also undesirable to replace one pair with another very often. Such actions are always accompanied by stress for pigeons, because the flock has established a hierarchy into which people are so rudely invading.
If the birds are kept in a calm atmosphere, then they behave similarly. They give out the best results in sports competitions and from the best sides show themselves in the cells at competitions and exhibitions.
You also need to know how and what to feed the pigeons to accustom them to yourself. It is necessary to ensure that birds are not afraid to take food from their hands and calmly react to the cleaning of pigeon house. The very first rule to follow is to come to your pets in the same clothes. The second is to regularly feed them with a favorite delicacy - sunflower seeds. First, the seeds just fall into the feeder, after a while they can be scattered around them, then carefully try to give food with an open palm.
If it is necessary to catch one or another pigeon, then it is not recommended to do it in the afternoon. The best time for this is twilight. If there is a need for catching in daylight, then the room must be darkened.
Care for domestic pigeons
For feathered pets to feel comfortable, they need proper care. In the house for pigeons need to regularly clean up litter. Particularly in need of frequent cleaning of the nest with chicks and young. Growing birds leave a lot of litter behind. Also, the poultry farmer should know that the eggs in the clutch should be clean. If the testicle is at least partially contaminated, then the shell in these places will not pass air, and the embryo may suffer from it. Easy cleaning should be done daily, thorough - once a week, general - 2 times a year, in spring and autumn in the warm season.
Need every day to inspect their pets. This procedure is carried out during feeding. If the health of the bird is all right, then it quickly flies to the stern and eats with appetite. Sick pigeons peck poorly or not at all approaching the stern and sit to the side, eyes closed and head pulled into the shoulders. Sick feathered must be immediately isolated.
Very often on the claws of the birds balls of litter are formed, which impede their movement. Such pigeons are picked up and carefully removed from the claws of these lumps.
In addition to proper care, winged pets need vitamins. Another very important is what kind of food is used for pigeons in one or another period of their life.
Feeding in the winter months
Each pigeon breeder should know how to feed the pigeons in the winter. It begins in October, when the birds stop carrying eggs. From this point on, you need to feed them grain with a moderate protein content. This is done in order to avoid sexual arousal.
It is also necessary that the feed promotes the formation of subcutaneous fat. This will help the pigeons maintain their inner warmth and serve as the source material for building down and feathers when it is time to moult.
Based on the above facts, we come to the conclusion that in winter the best feed for pigeons is a mixture of barley with oat (70% / 30%). Another mixture of barley, oats, shredded corn and lentils (40% / 40% / 10% / 10%) is also excellent. Useful in the cold for feathered beauties peeled and boiled potatoes in salted water. It is recommended to add to it clover flour, wheat bran and crushed lime.
In a day, flax and rapeseed seeds are given as a top dressing, for 15 pairs about 45 grams.
Feeding in the mating season
What to feed the pigeons during the breeding season? On this question you need to know the answer. Indeed, at this time the birds need special attention. They should eat foods that are rich in minerals and protein. If the pigeons feel the lack of the latter during the mating season, this may lead to a decrease in the reproductive function and vitality of the pigeons.
The best food at this time are legumes. It is from them that the diet of the birds should consist. Beans are bulk food, with their help the birds are quickly saturated. Be sure to enter the menu of pigeons during the mating season includes peas. The following feed mixtures are recommended:
1. Peas - 20%, Vika - 10%, wheat - 10%, millet - 20%, barley - 20%, corn - 10%, oats - 10%,
2. Vika - 20%, corn - 20%, wheat - 15%, millet - 10%, peas - 15%, barley - 10%, oilseeds - 10%.
How and what to feed the young?
Another important point in pigeon farming is the question of how to feed a pigeon chick at home. Baby set out from parents in the first weeks needs increased feeding. Only when the eye iris of the young becomes the same color as that of the parents, can the portion of the food be reduced. Young people are fed three times a day. In the morning and in the afternoon - small portions, and in the evening the chicks receive the bulk of the daily allowance.
Grains are recommended to be moistened with fish oil, at least with a few droplets. To keep the chicks in growth, they are fed in large quantities of wheat, adding to it a little wiki, barley and peas. When young people are already flying, gathering in flocks, wheat can be given in smaller quantities, replacing it with peas and vetch.
Vitamins for pigeons
Like all living things, birds need useful supplements to the main feed. Vitamins for pigeons should be given on the basis of how much the birds weigh, what state of health, what physical activities are coming to the birds. In addition, the period of the life cycle is taken into account: growth, molt, egg formation, feeding of chicks.
Strengthening supplements are essential for sports pigeons. Feathered athletes are recommended multivitamins in the form of pills, you can also dissolve them in drinking water. You need to give before and after the competition. In winter and under stressful situations, vitamins for birds are necessary.
What is not allowed to feed the pigeons
Than to feed the pigeons it is impossible that the birds do not get sick and die:
• fish contains a lot of easily assimilable phosphorus, pigeons are not able to process it,
• meat products the bird's body can not digest, after eating meat it may die,
• pigeons have little fermented milk bacteria in the body, if you give them milk, this can lead to calcium decline and dysbiosis,
• cheese contains a lot of preservatives and fat, they are contraindicated for birds,
• The most forbidden product for pigeons is bread, especially black. The fact is that it causes fermentation in the stomach, which can cause problems with digestion.
Interesting facts about pigeons
• Do you know that pigeons have simply unique vision! They are not able to blind neither the sun nor the bright glare from the electric welding apparatus. Even laser flashes do not harm the pigeon's retina.• In the 11th and 12th centuries, when there were no telephones or mail, the pigeon was estimated at the same price as a purebred stallion.
• In ancient times, the pigeon was considered a totem animal that patronized man. In Australia, the bird favored only women.
• Christians consider pigeons to be god’s birds. In ancient times, as a symbol of resurrection, they were placed in the graves of the martyrs.
These are not purely meat pigeons, but rather large birds that cannot take off due to their massive build. Most often, their weight is more than 500 grams. The most famous members of this group are the kings and the Roman giants.
A pair of giant pigeons of the breed "King"
The birds of this breed were bred by American breeders back in the 90s of the 19th century. Birds have unique pedigree characteristics:
- extended legs
- compact body
- bulging sternum,
- raised short tail.
There are individuals with different feather colors, including: red, light brown, black. However, birds with white plumage are of great value. The average weight of pigeons is 550-900 g. Males usually have a more massive constitution.
Individual breed "King"
Pigeons of this breed have a well-developed parental instinct, they independently hatch eggs in nests. For twelve months, the pair brings up to 15 pigeons, which is very beneficial for breeding.
They were bred in France in the years when the active mechanization of the poultry industry began. Doves have the following breed characteristics:
- miniature head,
- neck is tight,
- chest noticeably bulges,
- elongated beak,
- tail shortened
- wings are small,
- there are no feathers on the legs.
The mass of such pigeons does not exceed 600 grams, but the exact weight depends on the sex: usually males are larger.
You can meet pigeons with different plumage: black, snow-white, yellow. They hatch eggs on their own, bringing up to 15 chicks per year.
Bird breed "Carnot"
The highly productive breed of pigeons was bred in the 50s of the last century. The average body weight of individuals leaves about 700-900 grams. The main feature of pigeons are visible sex characteristics. One can distinguish a female from a male immediately after hatching - the male has a shorter beak and a rare down throughout the body (sometimes completely absent), the female has a long, yellow colored, developed beak with a characteristic dark mark.
Differences in appearance and between adult birds are observed. The plumage in males is snow-white, but only the neck and sternum of yellow, light brown or brown hue. The females are darker, their wings come in various shades of brown, and their breasts are silver-blue.
Birds differ calm character, they quickly grow and gain weight. For twelve months bring about 12 pigeons.
Birds have a fairly large weight - about one and a half kilograms. Giants never take off because of their mass. There is a huge variety of colors of such birds: blue, gray, snow-white, black, red.
Individual breed "Roman giant"
For birds, an aviary with a low ceiling is required, but at the same time it is quite spacious nests. Since birds do not have high mobility, they tend to gain extra weight. But at the same time the giants have very good health, rarely get sick and are infected with infections. They will have to be protected only from external enemies, because they are too gullible, they are easy to contact.
According to the external characteristics, such birds resemble chickens - they have a rather large body, elongated legs. The most famous representatives are pigeons of the breed "Modena".
The breed was bred from Italy. Individuals have a dense, colorful plumage. However, the most common birds with blue feather color.
"Modena" wild color
Breed characteristics of pigeons:
- medium sized head
- curved neck
- massive chest
- tail lifted upwards.
The average body weight of such pigeons is from 700 grams to one kilogram. The output of finished meat products is more than 58%, since most of the carcass is considered edible.
Chicken breed "Modena"
Modena birds are used by breeders for breeding other breeds with high productivity, because they are characterized by good health and innate immunity to many avian diseases.
Such pigeons belong to the type of ordinary decorative pigeons, however, they have a rather impressive body weight - about 750 grams. Therefore, they are grown for the purpose of obtaining meat, but meat products of such breeds are significantly inferior in taste to chicken breeds and giants.
These pigeons have a massive build, big head and bulging chest. There are individuals of different colors, including black, white, gray. The strassers are missing feathers on their feet - this is a characteristic feature of birds.
Dove breed "Strasser"
Pigeons differ in a restless temper, therefore conflicts often occur between them. Some poultry farmers breed them only as decorative individuals. For the year from one pair you can get up to 15 chicks.
Conditions of keeping pigeons
Some poultry farmers prefer to keep birds in attics or in small barns, and sometimes build a separate poultry house for individuals. But it is worth considering that the room with pigeons should be under a canopy to protect birds from drafts, direct sunlight and precipitation. It will be necessary to provide for normal ventilation and a heating system in the house.
For the comfortable maintenance of meat individuals it is necessary to equip the pigeon house in accordance with the following requirements:
- install windows facing south,
- positioning nests at a short distance from the floor, because it’s pretty hard for large birds to take off,
- near each nest to make a kind of bridge path along which pigeons can climb,
- put on the floor straw and sawdust flooring (periodically disinfect it or replace it),
- equip the room with automatic drinkers and feeders.
An important point! The air temperature in the house should never fall below 0 degrees.
It is necessary to provide an artificial daylight for birds for at least 15 hours. It is important that the rays of the sun get into the dovecote, but if there are no large windows in the room, then you will have to install special lamps.
As a litter, you can use small sawdust
It is necessary to maintain an optimum level of humidity in the room, because as a result of the accumulation of moisture in birds, various infectious diseases occur and parasites are inflamed.
It is advisable to build an aviary for walking birds in the summer - fresh air has a beneficial effect on their condition. In the warm season, pigeons love to swim, so small tanks with warm water are installed in the aviary or on the promenade.
Despite the fact that individuals have strong immunity, it is recommended that a feathery vaccine be put twice in 12 months. It is better not to vaccinate yourself - in the absence of experience, it is desirable to use the services of a veterinarian.
Table 1. How to make an injection to a bird: step by step instructions
An important point! It is possible to make injections to birds only if there is an appropriate practice. It is better to entrust this business to a veterinarian or ornithologist.
In order to grow healthy individuals, you need to adhere to the correct diet. When feeding pigeons use various products that are presented in the table.
Table 2. Menu pigeons meat breeds
So that the birds gain weight well, they are fed two or three times a day.
In addition to the classic feed, in the diet of individuals should be present and special additives:
- rubbed eggshell
The average consumption rate of feed mixtures for each bird is 50-52 grams per day. In this case, all food must be fresh, it is forbidden to give the feathery spoiled food waste, grain with signs of mold.
Premix for pigeons
Birds need to replace water in drinking bowls daily. It is advisable that it be at room temperature or slightly warmer. Поилки располагают на некотором расстоянии от пола — делается это для того, чтобы в воду не попадал мелкий мусор, птичий помет.
Кормушки для голубей
Для разведения птиц потребуется в одном вольере оставить одинаковое количество женских и мужских особей — голуби самостоятельно выбирают себе пару. Процесс спаривания происходит естественным путем. But some poultry farmers prefer to forcibly select pairs for their breed characteristics - in this case, individuals are temporarily deposited in a separate poultry house.
Puberty in individuals begins at 7-8 months. However, high fecundity should be expected only in a year. Under natural conditions, pigeons make 2-3 clutches in 12 months; however, with good care, females lay eggs 5-6 times a year. You can make sure that the pairing happened by the characteristic behavior of the pigeons. Usually, the female and the male sit side by side, they can use their beak to touch the feathers to each other.
Often the female lays eggs two weeks after mating. It is possible to make sure that there is an embryo in each egg using a special device called an ovoscope. However, this should be done very carefully, so as not to disturb the integrity of the shell. Another clear sign of fertilized eggs is the characteristic gray color of the shell, which appears a week after the appearance of the clutch.
Low nest for pigeons meat breed
The process of incubating eggs takes from 16 days to one month - it depends on the breed of pigeons. Nestlings are born rather weak, need parental care, for the first thirty days they feed on dairy products from the female goiter.
Pigeons meat breeds
The meat pigeons are raised all over the world, and the variety of breeds is quite extensive. Breeds of pigeons are significantly different among themselves, but they have one common feature - they have delicious and tender meat, from which chefs prepare incredible dishes.
This bird is from the United States of America. Its average weight is from 600 to 800 g, and the period of feeding is 45 days. There are also exhibition-type pigeons, whose weight can reach 1.5 kg. King pigeons are quite prolific and can produce up to 18 healthy and large chicks in a year. The percentage of individuals that go to slaughter ranges from 50 to 70 - it all depends on the conditions in which the pigeons were bred.
This breed is the earliest ripening of all existing, whose birthplace is France. The weight of meat that can be obtained from one individual is 700 g. Birds of carnot are raised exclusively in special enclosures. Cooks note that the carcass of young chicks is much more tender than the carcass of adult individuals.
Monden is also a French breed that was bred in a small town called Mont-de-Marsan. Birds have a very attractive appearance, and the mass of an adult individual is more than 1 kg. The main culinary feature of this species is the ability to eat the entire individual as a whole, since the index of edibility is more than 80%.
This name birds received due to the fact that they were bred in Italy, and their weight can reach 1.5 kg. The output of edible meat is 60% of the total mass of poultry. The advantage of this breed is resistance to various diseases. Roman giants are great for breeding new pigeons.
These fairly massive birds can have an impressive weight, which reaches up to 1200 g. Already at the age of one month, the nestling weighs almost 700 g. Experts recommend not keeping individuals older than 5 years in the common aviary, as they contribute to reducing the mass of future offspring. Females can produce up to 10 healthy chicks per season.
Highly efficient breed, which can give in one year to 24 individuals of offspring. Texan belong to massive birds, because their weight reaches 1 kg. The output of slaughter meat is about 65%.
This breed originates in ancient Egypt and the Far East. Birds reached the territory of Europe already in the 14th century and acquired excellent external and flight characteristics. The quarries have a massive body, dense plumage and a small head. A distinctive feature is the beak, which has growths, the so-called warts.
Brussels pigeons are among the oldest representatives of pigeons that live on the continent. This breed was bred in the XIX century. Birds are distinguished by a large rib cage, a rounded body and head. The tail is narrow, the eyes are dark, and the wings are pressed to the body. Individuals can be painted in different colors: gray, black, gray, and in some cases - red.
Russian carrier pigeon
Russian pigeons have a high level of endurance, which allows them to overcome much greater distances than other species can. In appearance, these birds look a bit like German birds, but at the same time they have more powerful wings with curls at the ends. The legs are deprived of plumage, the head is elegant, and the bill is very sharp. Often, Russian pigeons have a white color, but there are individuals of more motley colors.
Flying (breeding) breeds of pigeons
Flight breeds differ from the others in that they have special abilities to fly. Each species of flying pigeons has its own flight style, so that they can be divided into the following types:
- scooters - individuals who are able to fly somersaults through the wing in flight,
- chasing - can make unusual circular flights,
- martial - do not rise to a great height, but make complicated tumbling through the tail,
- high-flying rocks - rise to a sufficiently large height, which can be up to 10 hours.
Berlin short-eyed turman
Individuals of this species belong to the fighting and are the most numerous. The birds got their name from the place of breeding, which became the city of Berlin in the XIX century. Males are very similar with females and have a small body, small head and a very short beak. The brightest feature of the exterior are the wings that hang below the tail. The character is very fighting and active.
Representatives of this species belong to the turman and stand out for their beauty. It was bred, like the previous breed, in Germany, but a little earlier - in the XVII century. A distinctive feature is the low altitude and its short duration, but there is an opportunity to attract other birds to the flight. In appearance, there is also a difference - a feather hood on the back of the head.
The first presentation of this breed was carried out in the Ukrainian city of Nikolaev. Flight feature is the rise up in a straight vertical line. During the flight individuals do not perform any circular movements. The appearance of birds also has its own characteristics:
- small muscular neck,
- big wings,
- short legs.
Bohemian kosmonogaya magic swallow
These birds were bred in the Czech Republic and always attract the attention of unusual chess color on the wings and legs. Large body dimensions and massive plumage distinguish them from the main mass of pigeons. Experts attribute these pigeons to the group of colored.
The most unusual species of pigeons, because it has the most non-standard appearance. In appearance it seems that the body is tied up with a belt after the goiter, and the goiter itself is of a very large size. The paws of the birds are very long, but when walking they attack only on the toes.
In individuals of curly breed, there is a special curly plumage, and the color can be either monophonic or spotty. Especially curly feathers are located on the paws and tips of the wings. Such birds are a dream for many connoisseurs of bird beauty.
Representatives of the peacock species are the most beautiful and tender, because they have a lush tail. The name was chosen precisely because of this tail, which creates the effect of a peacock. In nature, there are different colors of these birds, but the most popular are white pigeons. Representatives of this breed are used in circus performances and at weddings.
Representatives of this species of pigeons have a double tuft and a large number of luxurious feathers on their paws. In all varieties of color, the crest of these birds is always white. Thanks to this unusual plumage, the birds got their name.
Requirements for dovecote
To understand the basic principles of arranging dovecot, you need to determine the purpose of keeping birds.
The size of the dovecote directly depends on the type of doves that will live in it:
- meat animals need a lot of walking space,
- for sports you need a lot of additional equipment
- for the race - specially equipped places for takeoff and landing.
During the design of the premises should take into account such moments:
- Birds need a lot of fresh air and natural light.
- Pigeons must walk on soft sandy ground.
- The main materials for the construction of dovecote are brick and wood.
- Do not forget about the ventilation system to freshen the air and pull harmful substances.
- Increased moisture levels that lead to dampness should be avoided.
- In order for the birds to be healthy, it is necessary to install feeders and drinkers in the pigeon house, in which food and water must constantly be. The most convenient for birds are glass or plastic feeders. Such feeders may have sliding elements.
- It is also necessary to equip the room with perches, baths and nests.
- For each individual it is necessary to equip a special place, the so-called perch. There pigeons will be able to sleep and recover their strength. The thickness of the pole should be as comfortable as possible so that the birds can grasp it with their fingers and lock themselves.
- Individuals that are paired must have their own storage box. Such boxes should be installed in several tiers, if there are several pairs in the room.
What should take care in the winter
In winter, pigeons need special care.
Among the important nuances in this period it is necessary to highlight the following:
- In winter, care must be taken to improve health and improve reproduction capacity. Nutrition should be made more balanced and add more vitamins to the diet, as well as various cereals. To improve the processes in the body of poultry, you should increase the portions of corn and reduce the amount of protein consumed.
- During the cold weather, it is important not to forget about cleaning and disinfecting the enclosure.
- To avoid deformation of the plumage, it is necessary to limit the stay of birds in the rain.
- Regarding temperature, under no circumstances should it fall below -10 ° C.
Additional inventory required for bird care includes items that can improve the quality of life of pets.
Not superfluous on the farm of the golubevoda are
- scoop and broom. This inventory will help better remove excess garbage from the premises,
- scraper. This item will allow you to scrape off litter and traces of pigeons from the floor and other elements of the pigeon house
- a basket in which you can put a litter and prevent it from falling apart all over the room,
- A broom is necessary for cleaning large dovecotes.
Despite the quality of the designed dove, disinfection is necessary in any case. The procedure helps to get rid of pests that can cause irreparable harm to birds. When choosing a disinfectant, it is necessary to consider what pests it will target. Even if there are no sick birds in the room, experts recommend disinfection once a month.
How to feed a pigeon at home
If these birds grow at home, their diet will differ from the diet of individuals living in pigeon houses. All of them should receive a complete feed, which will contain the necessary amount of proteins, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins. It is also important to constantly monitor the availability of water, which contributes to good digestion and assimilation of food.
The diet of young individuals has such features:
- Newborn chicks are fed with a syringe of chicken yolk or starter combined feed. The number of meals per day is 6,
- At the next stage, the pigeon’s diet changes and consists of milled and steamed grain. You can use peas, millet, or barley,
- later you can start adding honey and a little red clay,
- at the age of one month, one should radically change the diet, which should consist of a large amount of vitamins. You can feed a variety of fruits and vegetables, and you should not forget about the large amount of water.
The diet of adult birds directly depends on the lifestyle and on the purposes for which they are raised.
The basis of any diet includes the following elements:
Adults need as many vitamins as babies. Therefore, the menu should include chopped greens, cabbage, clover, nettle and spinach. During the periods of molting and reproduction, nutrition must be strengthened, in particular, by increasing the amount of protein. To reduce sexual excitability during the period of molting, wheat should be replaced by oats and barley.
Vaccination against diseases
Birds, like people, often suffer from various diseases. To prevent diseases of all individuals need to be vaccinated. There are a large number of vaccines, but by looking at and examining each of them, you can be sure that they are all equally effective and can prevent the same diseases.
Mandatory for all birds is a vaccine against salmonellosis. Thanks to this vaccine, pigeons form a strong immunity to the disease. The initial production of immunity occurs a few days after the second vaccination.
Vaccination against smallpox should be carried out exclusively in areas where there is a high risk of disease. Vaccinations against Newcastle’s disease should be performed only by a specialist, as self-administered medication can harm the pigeon.
Appearance, body structure
The length of individuals from 14 to 74 cm, weight from 32 grams to 2.9 kg. Body structure is dense, small head on a short neck. Wide wings, rounded at the edges. The tail is elongated, usually in it 12-14 feathers. The beak is small, expanding at the base, and there is a cropper - a stretch of bare skin. Such skin is present around the eyes. In most species, there are no pronounced differences in the plumage between the male and the female. The legs are short, four-fingered - three fingers in front, one behind. Columbidae has no gallbladder. This is a generalized description of the pigeon. Of course, each breed has its own characteristics.
Dove - a symbol of peace and love
Everybody is familiar with the image of a sizar carrying an olive branch in his beak. These birds will certainly attend wedding ceremonies or emblems symbolizing peace. Pigeons have a unique charm. They can be a worthy companion, gentle and faithful friend for a person.
If to breed decorative breeds of pigeons in open-air cages, they easily breed and differ in extreme endurance.
Historical facts about the blue-winged
The man began to breed them, hybridize for various purposes a very long time. Breeds of domestic pigeons displayed a lot. Their representatives differ in size, body structure, color and structure of the plumage, flight characteristics, character and many other features. In the world there are more than 1250 breeds of domestic pigeons.
The most ancient image of the sizar dates back to 2600 BC. Aristotle mentions him in his writings. For thousands of years, humans have used this bird for food, sports, and message passing.
Dr. Matthew M. Words, a world-renowned expert in the field of ornithology, in his book “Pigeons - everything about buying, breeding, feeding, diet, diseases and behavior” expresses his point of view. In the world, numerous breeds due to selective reproduction for about 50 centuries have evolved from one wild species - Rock Dove (rock dove, lat. Columba Livia). In our country - the gray dove.
This is an international sport common around the world. Only special, specially trained individuals compete in flight speed. Birds are driven to a given distance and simultaneously released. The speed of each flyer can be calculated, knowing the distance and time he spent on achieving the goal. A microchip or a special electronic device attached to the paw of each competitor helps to determine the winner.
This sport was born before our era. Widespread in the 19th century. For the first time competitions were held in the Netherlands, then in France, Belgium, and the UK. Nowadays, such championships are held around the world, as well as in our country.
How to feed domestic pigeons?
These birds are granivorous, so they like sunflower seeds, corn, wheat, barley, millet and peas. Birds with the same appetite eat these seeds at any time of the year, but some of them are preferable in a certain season. What to feed the pigeons in the winter? In winter, birds need more seeds with a high content of oils to help them survive the cold season. For periods of molting and breeding need a suitable diet. It is best to feed your pets a mixture of seeds so that they receive all the necessary substances. If the pigeon family has offspring, they need a more varied diet. On average, one individual should consume 35-50 grams of feed per day, depending on the breed.
Pigeon food must be properly balanced.
The main part of the diet should be cereals. В них примерно 70 % углеводов, 10 % белка и 5-7 % жира и минералов. Они богаты витаминами В и Е, но не содержат витамина А. С другой стороны, много витамина А в кукурузе. Итак, чем кормить голубей?
- Пшеница богата углеводами. Ее надо давать в небольших количествах, иначе вашим подопечным грозит ожирение.
- Corn must be included in the diet. The queen of the coarse fields is characterized by high energy value, high protein content. The cereal is well digested, rich in calories, which can lead to weight gain. The amount of corn consumed needs to be controlled.
- Oats are not the favorite kind of cereal for pigeons, but it is good for the health of feathers and muscles. It also helps birds feel good in cold weather, good for the blood and nervous system. When doves carry eggs, its amount should be reduced, because it is not very useful for eggshells.
- Barley in the diet is good in cold weather in January and February. Because of the peculiarities of the digestive tract, young birds cannot eat it, therefore only adults can eat it. Barley has its advantages - it has a calming effect on the stomach and reduces diarrhea.
- Rye has a lower nutritional value than wheat or corn, but can serve as feed.
- In legumes low in fat (1-5%) and carotene, but a high amount of protein (22-40%). They are useful because of the high content of phosphorus, calcium salts, and B vitamins.
- In peas 22-26% protein, 0.1-2% fat and 4-5% fiber, rich in minerals. Birds digest it easily. Peas have a beneficial effect on the development of the body, increases disease resistance, reduces fatigue. It can range from 15 to 20% of the daily diet.
- Vika is an excellent food to strengthen the nervous system. It is good to introduce these legumes in small quantities, not more than 15% of the daily diet. If given in large quantities, there may be problems with the intestines. It is not recommended to give as feed to young animals.
- Once or twice a week you can give fruits and greens.
When bird owners do not know how to ensure the proper diet of their wards than to feed the pigeons, the latter may have problems with their health. To ensure them a long and healthy life, a good owner is obliged to possess information about a balanced diet and to constantly expand their knowledge. The maintenance of domestic pigeons is quite laborious.
Feeders for pigeons have a fairly simple design. They can be made by hand. When creating a feeder, follow a few rules:
- Food in it should be protected from litter and debris.
- Other parts of the body, except the beak, should not go there
- It should be a convenience for birds and a breeder.
How much water to give?
When birds live in the wild, they get water from natural sources. If kept in captivity - they need only fresh every day. If the water becomes dirty, change it immediately. Contaminated fluid is the cause of many diseases. Pigeons drink every day immediately after eating, and then for an hour a second time. During the hot and dry periods, they drink more than during the cold.
If a couple feeds chicks, water consumption increases. Drink should be arranged so that it is not spoiled by droppings. Vorkuns drink, sucking water. Sometimes a pigeon chick may suffer from thirst because it cannot find water. It takes several times to lower his beak into the drinker. Water should be left in open places, near the feeders.
The building materials for the pigeon's nest are small twigs and pieces of garbage. Doves can build a nest in any peaceful place. Usually they build on technical floors, ledges, under bridges, inside barns. Couples monogamous, breed several times a year. One family can grow 3-4 broods per year. The female sits in the nest for several days, before the first egg. Usually in a clutch there are 1-2 pieces.
On the eggs, both parents sit alternately, replacing each other. After about 18 days, the first chick hatch. 29 days after hatching, the pigeon chick will be ready to leave the nest. Juveniles are most at risk of contracting infectious diseases, so fresh water and a clean food bowl are the key to preventing ailments. It is necessary to add vitamins to water for better development. What to feed pigeons, only recently hatched? Young individuals, up to the end of the plumage shift, should be fed with protein-rich feed, and enriched compressed should be added.
Feeding during moulting
In autumn, the plumage usually occurs. In order for this difficult period to pass quickly and as comfortably as possible for the birds, in the daily norm one should not reduce the number of cultures containing protein. Some breeders increase the amount of wheat and barley, and reduce corn. During this period, the frequency of flights decreases, you should carefully monitor the weight. It is best at this time to give food in the morning and evening.
Pigeon house device
The nursery must first of all be safe, protect from predators. It does not need to overflow. The nest for each pair should be constructed in such a way that it contains 0.5 cubic meters of space.
Ventilation is very important, need fresh air inside. This should be airflow, not draft. It will help remove feather dust. It is advisable to locate the letkoe to the east or southeast. Birds may well tolerate cold thanks to corn or other fat-containing crops, but they do not tolerate damp. If the nursery is very humid, then the likelihood of intestinal bacterial infection, coccidiosis and other diseases in your wards is high.
About keeping pigeons at home
If you are determined to seriously get involved in breeding pigeons, you should learn that these birds love to communicate with their relatives. Therefore, they need to be kept in flocks in specially equipped dovecot or enclosures. When buying, take the pigeons in equal quantities in pairs so that none of them is left without a pair.
Buy pigeons better in pairs
These birds are monogamous. They pick up a couple at a young age and remain faithful to her for the rest of her life. At first, keeping and breeding pigeons will be difficult. It will be much easier, because you will gain enough experience. At first, many organizational issues will have to be tackled. First you need to build a suitable aviary or dovecote. The next step is to purchase the first chicks.
Chicks domestic pigeons
How to buy pigeons for breeding?
Go to the selection process seriously. Do not do this in the winter. In the cold, you need to care for them carefully, but at first it does not always work. The main task when buying pigeons is to choose good individuals. Identify healthy individuals by the following criteria:
- even breathing
- plumage is brilliant,
- the chest does not bulge,
- eyes glisten.
With the right approach to growing and feeding, you can quickly get the first offspring.
It is important to choose healthy pigeons
The choice of breed for breeding in the conditions of the house
The complexity of the content of birds in the conditions of the house depends mainly on what particular species for subsequent breeding you decide to take. There are two options: wild or domestic pigeons. Wild are more demanding on the content. For their breeding will have to make a lot of effort, money and time. It is recommended to practice wild pigeons for those who already have at least some experience in breeding domestic pigeons. For wild thoroughbred birds will need to properly equip the dovecot, to provide them enough free space. Wild pigeons do not belong to the domesticated, so they are accustomed to life in freedom. If you decide to plant wild in a small dovecot in cramped conditions, they will be constantly under stress.
Dovecote is a structure for breeding and keeping pigeons, which plays an important role in their lives.
It is much simpler to breed domestic birds. In this case, more power will have to be spent on preparing for their purchase, arranging the pigeon-house, studying information on proper feeding. With the experience of breeding birds will be easier and easier.
Dovecote in the country
If you decide to breed domestic pigeons, then you will need to select a specific breed. Today, three types of birds for home keeping are very popular:
- sports breed. Her representatives take and throw for the competition. Have in the ancestors of the pigeons flying, when hundreds of kilometers to deliver letters. Modern sport pigeons are distinguished by their endurance. Of course, the current representatives of the breed are no longer able to fly over great distances, but they can fully participate in competitions in which the winner is the one who flies the greater distance in the least amount of time.
Post (sports) pigeons
Iranian pigeon, flight breed
Before choosing any particular species for breeding, look for more information about each of them. So you will know what difficulties you have to face in the process.
About the basics of content
For proper maintenance, it is important to observe the following conditions:
- proper feeding
- well-equipped room where they will live,
- quality care.
To keep your beauties in the home, you should organize spacious iron cages or enclosures made of wooden materials. You can simply fence the area with a fence from a large grid.
Some poultry farmers build entire structures for their pets, resembling a barn. You should not keep them in one common room. Equip for each bird cell. In advance, you need to provide facilities for where you will be resettled, and where the couples you have chosen for breeding will live.
The size of the cell for one bird may be different. The best option: a cell that has 40 cm in width and 20 in height. A pigeon should fit in it when its wings are folded. Make a perch near the cells. Do not forget to constantly keep the cells clean and sanitized to avoid the appearance of parasites. Twice a year in the pigeon make a general cleaning and treatment of parasites. This is especially true in the spring. For winter, the cell must be insulated. These birds tolerate the winter well, but if you take care of the additional warming of the pigeon house, they will lose less weight and hurt. For insulation of cells, you can use foam, OSB sheets, mineral wool or drywall.
Pigeon House Interior
How to equip dovecote
In summer, the inhabitants of the pigeon house can be kept in an open area, enclosed by a grid with large cells. The fence must be of sufficient height so that the birds can fly. Take care of the construction of the entrance window. So the feathered will be easier to sit after the flight. In the summer, clean the pigeon house regularly from litter, as well as constantly change the water. Keeping birds is easy. They wake up early in the morning and fly all day, and go home at night to go to bed.
Cages for pigeons
Basics of proper feeding
For a full breeding will require a huge amount of time and material costs. At first, you will have to spend money on the equipment of the pigeon-house, the purchase of feeders, drinking bowls.
Homemade pigeon feeder
In the future, considerable cost will require proper feeding. Every day, the diet of adults should include minerals, trace elements, fats, vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates. If items are missing in food, your pets will often be ill. Clean water should be available to your pets around the clock. For the birds to be energetic, fly well, their food must be rich in carbohydrates. Fat stores allow them to survive the disease, tolerate cold. Even if for some time the pigeon is left without food, due to fat reserves, he will be able to live for a long time.
Feeding domestic pigeons
With a lack of trace elements and vitamins, domestic birds quickly weaken. In order for the female to fully incubate the offspring, she needs to be regularly given food rich in vitamins. It should be noted that representatives of ornamental rocks do not fly, they do not move much, and therefore they need special nutrition. They require at least 45 g of special feed per day. Sports and flying breeds are more enduring, so proper nutrition is necessary for them to be more active. The basic component of nutrition is wheat. It must be supplemented with corn, which has the richest composition of vitamins and microelements. Do not forget to add tiny pebbles to adult food.
Complete feed for pigeons
How much feed should I give? Experienced breeders by eye can determine how much millet to sprinkle daily. Understand that the birds are full, you can fill them with goiter. After this, it is imperative to remove the feeders for the next feeding. So the grain will not be scattered around the dovecote. The diet and number of feedings should be adjusted with the onset of winter. Food in the winter should be more enriched with vitamins and fats. To make the plumage elastic and shiny, poultry farmers recommend feeding them with flax and rape.
Choice of pair and breeding methods
Representatives of any domestic breed begin breeding in March. Therefore, before this is important to prepare an aviary. It is necessary to thoroughly rinse and then dry the room. The next step will be the installation of ready-made wooden boxes or twigs. Fill the box gently with sawdust mixed with plaster. It is in such boxes that the offspring of your pets will later hatch.
Nest in the form of a wooden box
Breeding domestic pigeons
Even before the breeding season, it is necessary to pick up pairs that reproduce offspring. It is worth making a reservation that if you plan to breed them only for your own pleasure, then you should not be puzzled by the selection of pairs. When the female dove is covered, it is in your power to help her. Give her the material for the nest: pieces of woolen thread, feathers, feathers, small twigs.
They can breed in various ways:
- inbreeding (the so-called mating mating),
- random reproduction
- mating of individuals with no kinship, but with external similarities,
- linear mating.
Of course, in nature, the most common random mating method. However, under breeding conditions, this breeding method is rather unpredictable. Therefore, to obtain healthy and strong offspring you need to use the other methods described above.
It is advisable not to allow random mating of pigeons.
To get a certain color of plumage in the offspring, as well as all the exhibition characteristics, you will have to independently select and artificially produce fallowing. Newbies in the breeding of birds cannot identify females and males among their pets. Males have larger sizes. They are the first to start caring for females. When a pigeon is seduced by a dove, it performs a kind of marriage dances, setting fire and increasing the goiter.
How to distinguish a pigeon from a dove
When choosing a female, to produce artificial mating, it is worth relying on medium-sized dove. Overweight females often have problems laying and hatching eggs. And for the female, this question will be very problematic. Also, do not bet on too thin females who can not sit eggs. Therefore, try to choose for breeding female of average build and suitable for her size male. Only with the right choice you can get offspring with the desired characteristics (good flight, endurance).
Dove and dove
The main advantage of breeding pigeons at home is the ability to carry out selection. The poultry breeder will be able to choose what the plumage and color of chicks will be. Those who are keen on selection will definitely need to record all their achievements in the notebook intended for this. Most modern breeds were bred by the method of selection.
When choosing artificial boiling, care must be taken to ensure that the place for hatching eggs is best prepared. Experienced poultry farmers recommend making special boxes. If you plan to settle several pairs in them, then in each box you can equip several compartments where the couple will live. When the pairs are picked up, put them in the prepared compartments of the boxes, leaving for one night. During this time, the birds will understand whether they are suitable for each other. The resulting couples will constantly spend time together. Now you can use them for artificial fallowing.
A pair of domestic pigeons in a cage
Requires minimal effort from the poultry farmer. Individuals are fed once, and the rest of the food is harvested by pigeons without human help. It is logical that the birds should be able to go out.
Individuals on the run
However, this method has a large number of negative sides. Thus, during the search for food, domestic pigeons may come into contact with other wild animals that are carriers of infections. In addition, birds can become victims of various predatory animals, because large meat birds do not fly over long distances and can not hide from the offender.
This method involves enhanced feeding - above the norm. Используют его в тех случаях, когда требуется добиться большого набора массы за непродолжительный период. Для интенсивного содержания нужно выбирать голубей гигантских пород — именно они отличатся стремительным увеличением веса.
Для интенсивного откорма выбирают молодняк возрастом около 2-3 недель. They contain such birds in a dark and cramped room, they are force-fed 4-5 times a day with a special syringe. Usually the volume of a single portion is about 25 grams. Thanks to this method, in 14 days, young animals gain about 750–800 grams of body weight.
Force feeding method
Slaughter of birds for meat
Usually individuals are sent for slaughter at the age of 27 - 36 days, during this period most of the birds already have an optimal mass. It is not recommended to grow them for too long, otherwise it will lead to a loss of value of the finished meat products - gourmets prefer precisely the tender meat of young animals.
Some seven days before the proposed slaughter, some farm owners begin to feed the livestock with cumin and dill. Such nutrition affects the taste and aroma of meat, it becomes like a game.
The main expenses are the acquisition of cages, feed and other equipment for the maintenance of birds. On average, for the purchase of twenty thoroughbred pigeons and inventory will have to spend about 180 thousand rubles. However, if there is a consumer of meat products, the farm pays for itself for short juices.
How to breed pigeons at home? More in special article.
What is useful pigeon meat?
Pigeons are valued in many countries around the world. By its dietary qualities, it is several times better than chicken products, and there are a large amount of protein in the composition and there is practically no fat layer on the carcass.
Cutting pigeon carcass
In addition to the special connoisseurs of pigeon meat, the product is recommended to use in people with the following diseases:
- heart disease,
- digestive problems.
Also, doctors recommend introducing such meat into the diet in the presence of weak immunity, because it has a healing effect - it contributes to improving the health and resistance of the body to many diseases. However, the product with extreme caution should be used for people with diabetes.
Prepare pigeon meat for any bird recipes
Video - Pigeons King
Nikolay Zhuravlev Chief Editor
Author of the publication 11/26/2018
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Is it possible to breed in the winter?
Many poultry farmers have difficulty breeding pigeons in the winter. This is explained by the fact that in winter the physiological processes in birds are slowed down. However, pigeons are one of those birds that tolerate low temperatures well. The process of breeding individuals was influenced by domestication. It is possible to breed pigeons in the winter if you carefully take care of their maintenance. In winter, you should especially carefully monitor their health status. Even the slightest signs of infection should be stopped. Otherwise, an epidemic could begin.
Pigeon tick remedy
You should regularly clean the place where your pets live. For cleaning should be used disinfectants. Do not allow rodents around the dovecote. Often they are sources of infection. The main condition that affects winter breeding is maintaining the temperature. In winter, it should not fall below 10 degrees. Otherwise, the chicks may just freeze. In winter, attention should be paid to the process of lighting in the dovecote. For a successful offspring, it is necessary to withstand a twelve hour light day. Therefore, you need to think about the appropriate lighting.
It is important to clean the dovecot more often.
On compliance with sanitary standards
If you plan to breed pigeons for sale, you need to take care that the pigeon house is as clean as possible. For breeding birds on a small scale do not need to register as a legal entity. But, if you decide to do a mass breeding, you will have to register PI. In this case, you will need to obtain an appropriate sanitary permit. Pigeons belong to birds that are carriers of various viral infections. Therefore, compliance with sanitary standards is extremely important when breeding pigeons.
For legal registration of the maintenance of pigeons in a private sector, you must contact your local health authorities. There you can get all the necessary information about what documents are needed to obtain a sanitary permit, which today is paid. In Russia, the price of a sanitary permit is 20 thousand rubles. You also need to get another veterinary permission. Its price is 200 rubles per head. When breeding pigeons, you will need a certificate of quality (strictly in accordance with GOST). Its price is 5,000 rubles.
The process of breeding pigeons is quite expensive. You will have to make a lot of effort to gain experience in this business. The more effort you put into your pets, the better result you will get.