All about pigeons as a pet

The pigeon is also known as the rock dove or rock pigeon or even the common pigeon.  Pigeons are some of the first animals to be domesticated by early humans. Their association with people dates back to 4500 BCE. The earliest ones were found in Iraq and had been a source of food for the people. White pigeons are typically associated with peace and love. The dove has always been a sign of love. In Christianity, the white pigeon is considered a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Pigeons are social animals and extremely loyal to one another. They are monogamous in nature and stay with only one partner all their lives. If you are a bird lover, pigeons are the best pet birds for beginners. They are gentle and lovable creatures.

Types of pigeons

Pigeons can be of many types of which some are raised for sport and also as a hobby. If you want the best pet birds for beginners you can try pigeon birds for adoption.

Homing and racing pigeons:

These can be of a variety of types and colours and are most commonly kept as pets. The racing pigeons are strong flyers and are banded by the owners so that they can be traced back home. This variety, sometimes, joins the wild ones after getting lost.

Fancy pigeons:

This variety is bred and raised for participating in competitions. Tumblers, Owls and Pouters are some of the varieties which are made to participate.

Feral Pigeons:

Feral pigeons are usually found in urban settings and make their nests on the tops of buildings, bridges, barns, and cliffs. These are the common blue-coloured pigeons that you see in towns and cities. They are well-adapted to live in rural and urban areas. They often breed with domestic ones and hence you get a wide variety in terms of plumage and colour.

Band-tailed pigeons:

These are actually wild pigeons but true to their name they have banded tails and a white iridescent patch on the neck. The band-tailed pigeons usually are not found in such a wide colour variation as the rock pigeon. You will find these in the deciduous and coniferous forests and prefer to stay on trees for most of their time.

King Pigeons:

The king pigeon is usually bred for meat because they are larger than the homing or the feral pigeons. This variety cannot survive in the wild because it lacks the ability to fly properly. They are habituated to human touch.

Food for pigeons

If you are wondering what do pigeon eat then know that they like corn, millet, barley, rice, lentils and wheat. They also love to eat different kinds of fruits, greens, berries, and sometimes insects or even earthworms and snails. You also feed bread crumbs to your pet pigeon even though the nutritional value in them is very low. Mostly, grains and seeds form most of the nutritional content. Special pigeon food is also available in stores, so, you can also try the same. But most importantly give a lot of water to the bird. Pigeons, when left on their own, are very adept at finding food and water. It is important pigeon bird information that you should always remember.

Regular pigeon bird information

  • The average pigeon lifespan of this incredibly intelligent bird is approximately 3 to 4 years. You can call them brainy because various lab tests have revealed that pigeons can recognise themselves in the mirror.
  • They can also recognise human alphabets, distinguish between photographs and also recognise humans with their photographs.
  • Among the many interesting pigeon bird information is their fantastic navigational skills. They can even use the human motorways and roadways for travelling, change directions and also make use of landmarks like signposts.
  • They are an excellent judge of time and space. It has been observed that pigeons find their way back home even if they have been taken away in isolation. This capability of finding their way back is what made pigeons carry messages. During the World War 1, these passenger pigeons were used for saving the lives of hundreds of injured soldiers.
  • Pigeons are excellent at multi-tasking and can even switch between jobs at a great speed. With practice, they take even lesser time to switch from one job to another.
  • By nature, pigeons are monogamous. So, for pigeon mating, they will have only one partner all their life. In case of the death of a pigeon, the partner accepts another partner very slowly for pigeon mating.
  • Pigeons tend to raise only two chicks simultaneously and both parents take turns to incubate the eggs. The mother sits on the egg through the night and the father by the day.
  • Baby pigeons are fed on crop milk which is produced in the oesophagus of both the parents. This whitish crop milk contains fats, nutrients, antioxidants, and even proteins. Newly hatched pigeons are fed on this till they are four weeks old.
  • These birds are usually very clean even though they are perceived to be dirty. They are rarely found to be transmitters of diseases.

Problems caused by pigeons

In spite of their amazing talents, usefulness and pigeon bird information, pigeons can be considered a menace in modern life. With pigeon mating frequent in a year, the birds multiply easily and can lay eggs on even flat surfaces. They are naturally attracted to buildings and houses, stores and all kinds of rooftops. Also, since pigeon droppings contain uric acid these can quite be damaging to the structured of buildings over time. Feral pigeons are responsible for damages worth millions. The amount of pigeon problems leads to people taking certain measures against them.

Take away

Pigeons make great pets and are really quiet in the house. If you can control prevent the house from being dirtied by the droppings then the rest of the work is easy. It is among the best birds for adoption because they can even adapt to household cleaning routine. Since the pigeon lifespan is not too long you can replace them with other birds for adoption also.

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Also see: All about koala bear


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