Graceful pigeons like many. Some are simply in love with them: poultry farmers are willing to spend the last money on arranging a beautiful and reliable dovecot, finding the right diet and keeping birds. What is the beauty of these cute creatures, what are the breed for breeding, and what are the advantages of this kind of hobby? Read on.
How to breed at home?
Breeding pigeons at home is not a hobby, but the love of a lifetime. Graceful birds are non-aggressive, they treat people very well and carefully - it is not for nothing that all over the world they deservedly received the title of a bird symbolizing peace. They are known to our poultry farmer by the movie, which has already become a classic: despite the hyperbolic idea of a person’s love for birds, it’s almost impossible to breed pigeons at home and not love them.
A beginner amateur poultry farmer should prepare not only for the contemplation of the beautiful, breeding pigeons at home, but also for hard, but pleasant work. Initially, it is worthwhile to equip dovecot, convenient for the life of birds. If you do not give them comfortable housing, the birds will be uncomfortable, and there will be no talk about breeding.
Especially carefully it is necessary to approach the choice of breed, the selection of a suitable diet. Some pigeons can live alone, but the vast majority are better served in pairs. Then you can read about all the necessary preparations before breeding birds at home, see interesting videos with instructions on the content and get recommendations on choosing a breed and caring for little chicks.
Choose a breed
The content of pigeons and its complexity to a large extent depends on the breed chosen. Initially, it is worth thinking about what type of pigeons you want to breed: domestic or wild. The latter are considered more fastidious; caring for wild-looking pigeons will require you to take a lot of physical, material and moral expenses. They are especially sensitive to the correct arrangement of dovecot, feeding, free space. Since these birds are not domesticated to the end, they are accustomed to living in freedom and being locked in a spacious dovecot, but still locked up for them is a huge stress.
Domestic pigeons, by contrast, are considered very simple to keep and breed. More preparatory process will take you, but not breeding or caring for the birds. Initially, it is necessary to determine the breed of domestic pigeons, of which there are a large number depending on the size, plumage and other characteristics. Let's try to identify three main types of domestic pigeons, depending on the purpose of their breeding.
Domestic pigeons can be of the following type:
- Flight breeds. Such birds are bred to demonstrate a beautiful flight. Poultry farmers are competing on who will have a more beautiful flight. Surprisingly, the breeds of such birds differ in flight pattern - this is their distinguishing feature.
- Sport breeds. At home, it is possible to breed pigeons in order to participate in competitions. Such pigeons are descendants of ancient post pigeons, which flew for hundreds of kilometers, carrying important messages to the addressee. Today's post, they are also sports, pigeons do not fly that far, however, this kind of competition is won by the one who goes further or faster.
- Decorative birds. Keeping pigeons for a beautiful plumage or an unusual color is not uncommon. For this purpose, special species of birds are acquired, for which international standards of appearance have been developed. You will be able to participate in exhibitions, proving that it is you who grow the most beautiful and well-groomed birds. Caring for decorative pigeons is quite complicated, you need to carefully monitor their conditions of detention.
Before choosing a particular breed, it is better to pre-examine information about the features of the content: they may differ significantly. In the meantime, you can enjoy on the video beautiful decorative pigeons. Maybe you want to buy just such ones?
We select pairs for breeding
The breeding season in pigeons usually falls in the spring. Experienced poultry farmers know: you need to prepare for it in advance. If you breed pigeons at home solely for the purpose of aesthetic pleasure and spiritual peace, you can not specifically pick a pair. Pigeons will naturally choose their partners and will nest with them.
If it is necessary to maintain a clean plumage of a certain color, exhibition characteristics of the brood, you should choose partners and artificially hover the pigeons. For the most novice poultry farmers a few tips on determining the male and female. The male is larger, he will first start caring for his future partner, increasing the goiter, will perform some kind of mating dance.
Choosing a female for artificial fallowing, rely on birds of average build. If the hen has excess weight, it will negatively affect eggs and offspring: there will be problems with the clutch, the process will be difficult for the bird itself. Skinny build, on the contrary, will not allow to sit eggs. The best choice is a medium-sized bird, outwardly healthy male and female, with excellent appetite and breed characteristics (flying - good flight, sports - endurance, and so on).
Another advantage of self-breeding of these birds at home is the possibility of selection. You can choose different plumage and colors and watch what chicks will appear - many breeds were bred in this way of artificial fallowing. Results can be recorded in a special journal.
Having relied on artificial fallowing, it is necessary to take care of the so-called steaming box in advance. It should be separate from the pigeon house, if there are several, and there is little space in the pigeon house, it can be one design, with divided sections for each pair. Choosing the ideal partners for breeding, leave them in a box for the night. Usually, during this time the birds have time to understand whether their partner is suitable or not. You will see their predisposition for each other the next day: the pair that has formed successfully will spend all the time together.
Couples are selected, it's time to do the preparation for nesting birds. A responsible mission is assigned to the poultry farmer at this stage: to bring the birds nesting conditions as close as possible to their natural habitat. What does it mean? If you choose wild pigeons for breeding, you should think about light wire frames or large branches of trees that will remind them of wildlife, where they build nests on tree branches or in abandoned habitats of other animals.
Domesticated pigeons prefer to build their nests in hollows, therefore for laying eggs suitable for them are wicker baskets and boxes made of natural materials, wooden boxes. The size should be selected individually: the large box is larger for larger individuals, smaller for smaller birds. The ideal option would be to arrange the boxes away from each other: couples like to feel privacy, it will be easier for them to find out exactly their box if they are not knocked down by the smells of nearby dwellings. Pigeons are different shades, so you can paint the future nesting sites in different contrasting colors.
Then you should take care of the material from which the nests will twist. There is nothing unusual here: it is better to choose small natural twigs, scattering them throughout the loft. The couple will look for themselves suitable for themselves and bring to the nest. By the way, an interesting fact: only females are engaged in the nest arrangement, while their partners simply help them by providing the necessary material. Dry grass or leaves can be added to the nesting material; for larger individuals, larger branches can be taken. The video shows in more detail the process of building sites for nesting.
The incubation period for pigeons takes an average of nine days. The female blows a couple of eggs at intervals of one and a half days. This happens a week after pairing. It is important if you want to get healthy offspring, you need to ensure that the female begins to hatch two eggs at the same time.
How to do it? As soon as you see that the bird has laid one egg, carefully, in order not to damage the shell, remove it from the nest and move it to a dark warm place. Then replace the artificial egg or labeled, but from another pigeon. When the female will carry the second, you can return the real egg.
After the female begins to hatch, it is necessary to check the eggs. After three or four days, check each one for the light: the future chick will already declare itself a black dot with a pattern in the form of veins. If the spring is too hot for incubation, by the end of the incubation period (15-20 days) moisten the lower part of the nest with plain water: this will make the shell softer and make it easier for the chicks to emerge into the light. The pigeons themselves will tell about the appearance of babies when they throw the shells out of the nest, leaving more room for posterity.
The birth of chicks and care for them
Nestlings are born blind, they often have places or completely lack of plumage. The first days of their life are fed by parents with pre-processed food from their beak. Poultry farmers need after the first week to teach babies to the trough, many use special individuals-feeders, which enclose the kids.
As soon as the chicks are ready for independent feeding, it is necessary to provide them with a constant and stable diet. To feed the birds is twice a day, you can not skip serving food. Constantly change the water in the drinkers, make sure that the individuals always have access to them. When a period of rapid growth begins, small pigeons may eat even more adults - this is normal. At this time, the diet should be enriched with vitamins and be as diverse as possible.
Requirements for keeping birds
These birds in the choice of diet is not particularly whimsical. Cereals should form the basis of the menu, you should also add mineral dressing in the form of limestone or crushed chalk. If you breed birds for business purposes, it is better to rely on an already prepared, selected diet - it contains all the necessary minerals and trace elements for the rapid and high-quality growth of birds.
It is possible to breed birds in open-air cages or specially equipped dovecot. It is easier to build an open-air cage, but its contents are subject to greater requirements for disinfection. You will also need to carefully prepare an open-air cage before nesting. It is better to build a pigeon house in advance with ready-made paired boxes and feeders. Regularly carry out disinfection, follow the isolation of sick individuals. The rest of the birds unpretentious in the care.
Before breeding birds, it is necessary to provide them with proper care. At home, it is possible and necessary to disinfect the dovecote. Previously, many used a solution of potassium permanganate, mixed different amounts of slaked lime and caustic soda in a certain proportion for disinfection. Today there is no need to resort to such tricks: in a specialized store you can buy ready-made solution for disinfection.
So you will know for sure that your pigeons are safe. It is necessary to carry out such cleaning in order to prevent twice a year and after one case of infection of an individual with an infectious disease. Processing the room will avoid contamination with salmonella, pseudo-pills and other ailments.
Do not forget to isolate the birds from contact with harmful chemicals during disinfection, it is better to treat the pigeon house so that the birds do not breathe even in pairs of harmful substances. Cleaning is done without bedding, everything is handled - nests, walls and floors of the pigeon house. You can use the thermal effect of a blowtorch.
A few simple rules will help keep the dove clean and get a healthy population of birds:
- Once a week or several times, it is worth washing and disinfecting the feeder completely - this way no harmful bacteria and microorganisms will accumulate in it.
- Make sure that rats and other rodents do not penetrate the dovecote: clean the feeding troughs from food after serving food. Animals can infect and infect birds.
- In one loft there is no need to keep more than twenty individuals, if there are more of them: divide the room into sections.
- The walls from the north and east should be isolated from the draft, it is better to use plywood for this. The floor is concreted.
- Regularly it is necessary to carry out disinfection of the pigeon house with special solutions.
Video "Doves: how it all began?"
In the video, an experienced poultry farmer will tell you how his love for these graceful birds began. The information will be of interest to both experienced feathering riders and beginners.
- We make a first aid kit for pigeons
The touching process of hatching in pigeonsHigh flying pigeons - above only aircraft
Classification of pigeon communities
Communities are classified according to the type of pigeons they breed. Communities create:
- Lovers of sports pigeons. They breed sporting or post pigeons. Birds are trained on the range of flights and orientation to the terrain. They can fly at a speed of 100 km / h. And go back home, covering a distance of thousands of kilometers. Held competitions in figure flights.
- Lovers of decorative pigeons. They are interested in the color of plumage and body shape. They are engaged in crossing and selection work.
- Lovers of flight (gonny) breeds. Their task is to preserve and develop flight qualities in pigeons. So that they do not disappear in pursuit of a beautiful plumage or as a result of indiscriminate crossing.
- Farm or meat pigeon. Breeding pigeons for the most part is an occupation for the soul, but as an agricultural branch, it is not yet very developed here. Although it is gaining popularity occupation pigeon meat. In Europe, farms and industrial enterprises for the production of pigeon meat have long existed. And the menu of restaurants with Michelin Stars includes dishes from it. But still this exotic.
Where to begin
Before you breed,
- you need to decide on the purpose of the event,
- and according to this choose a breed of bird,
- prepare comfortable conditions for its existence,
- think over the organization of ensuring the reproductive function of birds.
Depending on the objectives pursued, it is recommended to select the following breeds.
Pigeons meat breeds
If you want to breed pigeons in order to get dietary meat to your table, you need to acquire birds that multiply rapidly, grow and gain a lot of weight. The meat of such pigeons is highly valued. The following breeds are suitable for such breeding:
When buying pigeons you need to follow the following rules.
- According to their exterior and size, they must match their breed.
- Visually and really be healthy, energetic and clean, not to have lameness.
- Uncover the wings. There should be no holes in the plumage. Their presence indicates parasites and mites.
- The color of the skin should be uniform, without scratches and wounds. If not, then the pigeons have lice.
Regardless of what breed you choose, you must absolutely follow the three basic rules of their content.
- Properly equip dovecot.
- Fully feed.
- Apply different types of care depending on the season.
Observing these three “P” you can fully discover and improve the pedigree features of your pets.
At first, it is not necessary to equip a complex special dovecote. As its summer, fenced with grid space is suitable. There must be placed boxes-nests. In the cold season, you can use the garage or shed.
High rounded head with flat.
Long beak with short.
Protruding round chest with a flat.
Wings, lowered below the tail, with lying on the tail.
Low setting legs and high.
Feathered legs with non-feathered.
The dependence of eye color on the color of plumage.
White doves or colored ones with white heads have dark (brown) eyes.
Black and dark or black-headed pigeons have red, red-yellow or light (pearl) eyes.
For a better understanding of this mechanism, it is necessary to understand what a genotype and phenotype are.
A genotype is the collection of all genes that characterize the hereditary characteristics of a pigeon.
The genotype is of 2 types: homozygous, heterozygous.
Homozygous genotype means that a pigeon has all the same genes.
Typically, such a genotype occurs in purebred birds, since the same type of genes can be achieved only if both parents have the same characteristics, and hence the genes that determine them, are also the same.
A nestling of such parents, having received one and the same gene from each, will already have a pair of identical genes for each of the relevant traits. Thus, the chicks will be homozygous.
Чубатый голубь, полученный от спаривания чубатых родителей, будет гомозиготным по признаку оперения головы, так как оба гена, определяющие чубатость, у него одинаковые.
Гетерозиготный генотип означает, что у голубя разные гены в паре, определяющей какой-либо признак. Такой генотип характерен для нечистопородных голубей, помесей. In this case, birds receive from parents 2 different genes for the same trait.
A smooth-dove, derived from the pairing of a purebred smooth-headed and forelock, will be heterozygous for the plumage of the head: one gene in it will determine smooth-headedness, and the other, chubatous.
The phenotype is the external manifestation of the genotype in visible signs. Using the phenotype, one can judge the genotype, including the purebred pigeon. Although here you can make a mistake. For a more accurate determination of the purebred pigeon examine its pedigree.
A pedigree is a brief history of the origin of a bird, including a description of its ancestors.
In the pigeon breeding pedigree is established on all thoroughbred pigeons, it must be led by the pigeon breeder.
It is very convenient to use the pedigree when selecting parent pairs, since in this case it will be easier to calculate the offspring.
If a pigeon is of interest or of any value, but does not have a pedigree, then its genotype is determined by its progeny.
For this, the pigeon is mated with a homozygous partner known in advance, and the verifiable signs of the control bird must be recessive.
Pigeon (homozygous) will be that pigeon, in the offspring of which the signs to be checked will be the same as his. If half or at least one of the descendants resembles a control pigeon by any sign, it means that the pigeon being checked is unbreeding (heterozygous).
To determine the genotype of a smooth-headed pigeon, which can be both homo-and heterozygous, it must be paired with a toothed pigeon.
If among the descendants there is at least 1 cub, then the pigeon being checked is unbreed on the basis of the head plumage.
If all descendants turn out to be smooth-headed, this will prove the pure breed of the pigeon under test.
The pigeon's genotype and dominance are interrelated and manifest simultaneously. Their unity characterizes the hereditary characteristics of the bird.
As a result, the pigeon can be: dominant homozygotes (purebred "strong blood"), recessive homozygotes (purebred "weak blood"), heterozygotes (unbred, or a mixture).
For a pigeon breeder who is seriously engaged in breeding thoroughbred pigeons, it is very important to know what type his pets belong to, since the inheritance of different types of pigeons occurs in different ways.
Possible results of mating of different types of pigeons for chubaty.
Chubaty with Chubaty always give Chubaty offspring (parents and descendants are recessive homozygotes).
Pure-bred smooth-headed with smooth-headed always give smooth-headed offspring (parents and descendants are dominant homozygotes).
Chubaty with a purebred smooth-headed always give smooth-headed offspring (the toothed parent - recessive homozygotes, smooth-headed parent - dominant homozygotes, descendants - heterozygotes).
Chubaty with an unbred smooth-headed give half of the forelobe, half of smooth-headed (all longs - recessive homozygotes, all smooth-headed - heterozygotes).
Non-pedigree (crossbreeds) smooth-headed give smooth-headed and chubaty progeny in a ratio between them 3: 1 respectively, this ratio may not be maintained, but there will always be the possibility of odontose pigeons (both parents are heterozygotes, desolate descendants are recessive homozygotes, 2/3 smooth cone descendants - heterozygotes, 1/3 smooth-headed descendants - dominant homozygotes, identical in phenotype with heterozygotes, but different in genotype).
Some practical rules on the use of pigeon genotypes:
›The genotype determines the purebred pigeon,
›Purebred pigeons are homozygous, their descendants are completely similar to their parents,
›Unbreeding pigeons are heterozygotes, their descendants are not similar to parents, as they have intermediate signs,
›When breeding pigeons, purebred birds should be preferred, as their offspring will necessarily have standard or closely related to the standard breed characteristics,
›It is recommended to use non-pedigree pigeons only in cases when it is necessary to obtain or improve certain signs of pure-breed pigeons, but first it is necessary to carefully check the resulting offspring,
›Phenotype, as a rule, reflects the genotype and determines the exterior of the pigeon. However, in order to judge the purebredness of a pigeon by its phenotype, it is necessary to know the breed characteristics established by the breed standard,
›You should use a pigeon as a producer only after checking its pure breed. The most accurate method for determining a pigeon's genotype is to study its pedigree; if this is not possible, then test the pigeon offspring using the method described above,
›It is necessary to be well aware and take into account when selecting pairs the hereditary features of pigeons, characterized by a combination of genotype and dominance of characters. These features determine the characteristics of offspring.