Things to Consider Before Purchasing Pigeons
Are Pigeons Right For You?
Pigeon keeping have been practiced by humans more than 10,000 years ago. Regardless of culture, pigeons are thought to be the symbol of love, peace and tranquility all around the world. Pigeons are considered to be one of the easiest pets to keep. Before obtaining any pigeons, carefully consider the following points:
- Why do you want to keep pigeons? Is it for your own enjoyment or are there other factors that have aroused your interest?
- Are the other members of the family receptive to your plans?
- Are you able to afford the expense? Not only the pigeons themselves can be costly but also the cost of building a cote, the daily food, and the occasional services of an avian veterinarian.
- Do you want to keep and breed pigeons for exhibition and competition? Are you knowledgeable enough to enter such competitions? Can you handle the disappointment of failing to win a prize?
- Do you have room to keep pigeons, for example spacious house or large garden? If you want to keep free-flying pigeons, will your neighbors accept seeing your birds in their gardens and on their roofs? Damage caused by your pigeons may not be confined to your own property but may also affect your neighbors. Also, remember that no one will be pleased to find droppings on their patios!It might be wise to share your plans with your neighbors and discuss possible drawbacks as well as possible enjoyment. It is better to have cooperation at the outset than to have problems later.
- Do you have adequate time each day to care for your birds? When you return home from work, you will have to feed and water your birds and clean out the cote. Can you still do this after the first enthusiasm has passed? Have you thought about how you can arrange care for your birds while you are on vacation? Never lightly take up a hobby such as pigeon keeping. Think carefully about all aspects of the commitment and discuss them with every member of your family. Taking care of an animal is a full time job, not to be taken lightly.
Pigeons and Other House Pets
Dogs : Pigeons usually soon get used to a dog, but not every dog remains peaceful towards pigeons. Hunting dogs in particular, however well they may have been trained, will be most unreliable towards your pigeons. The natural hunting instinct will occasionally take the upper hand and can result in a massacre of your free-flying pigeons. Moreover, barking and overactive dogs may result in the pigeons not leaving the cote or spending too much time in your neighbor’s garden or on your neighbor’s roof.
Cats : Experience has shown that cats are “no-nos” in a house or garden where birds are kept. Sooner or later, pigeons will be killed by cats. Free-flying pigeons also attract wild birds to the garden and you do not want to put these in danger from a prowling cat.
Guinea Pigs and Rabbits : These animals and pigeons will pose no danger to each other. If you have guinea pigs and rabbits in outdoor pens, however, the free-flying pigeons will appropriate their pellet food.
Planning For Your Vacation
As mentioned, it is essential to have knowledgeable friends or acquaintances who can care for your birds when you and your family are on vacation. The necessity of membership in a local pigeon club will make itself clear in this case! Neighbors or friends with no knowledge of pigeons will not be aware of the responsibility of the task. Whoever is to care for your birds while you are away should first visit on several occasions to learn how your operation works. Go together through a “dress rehearsals.” It can help for your pigeons to observe the “normal boss” and the “temporary boss” together; the birds will then be less confused than if a caring but complete stranger suddenly shows up and starts doing the chores.
If you have no club colleague to help, it is possible to enlist the help of an “amateur.” Give as much instruction as possible, with a bit of the things to do each day. Be sure to have an adequate supply of food, grit, etc. It would be unfair for your friend to have to do the shopping as well.
Give your helper your vacation address and, in particular, phone numbers at which you can be reached in any emergency. If you are concerned, you can also contact your friend while you are away to advice about special problems that may arise. The telephone number of your veterinarian should also be left with your helper.