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One year in, thoughts on my utility king pigeons

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Re: One year in, thoughts on my utility king pigeons

Post Number:#16  Unread postby Thorn » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:50 pm


Wow! I find pigeons very interesting and love to read anything I can find on raising them.Those are beautiful birds. I would like to raise some eventually. I read they can eat fermented feeds and that the fermented grains we feed our chickens (Peas,cracked corn, oats,and BOSS) would work for them.I want to let mine fly but hawks and falcons are everywhere here, and utility birds are slow flyers. I am considering getting homers instead, since they fly better and can somewhat avoid hawks.But their so much smaller...cant win here. :evil:

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Re: One year in, thoughts on my utility king pigeons

Post Number:#17  Unread postby Zass » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:48 pm


SableSteel wrote:Pigeons have three base colors (Ash red, which is dominant, Black/Blue and Brown). Brown is rather rare though, compared to the other two, and the colors are sexed linked with males having two copies and females only having one (opposite of mammals). They come in a few patterns; spread (self, which is dominant) and t pattern, check (sometimes split into dark check and light check), bar, and barless.
http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/ ... attern.jpg
They also have a sex linked dilution gene, which it looks like a lot of these birds have. It turns ash red into yellow, black/blue into dun/silver and brown into khaki. In these pigeons I see some ash red bar, ash red check, silver check, blue check/t pattern, and a yellow check. The dilute squabs, also, are born with very short down so for the most part you can tell them apart from when they hatch.


Ahh, someone who knows!!!!
Thanks for giving me some patterns and colors to look up and compare!!

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Re: One year in, thoughts on my utility king pigeons

Post Number:#18  Unread postby Nymphadora » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:58 pm


I haven't been able to check in as frequently as I'd like, but I'm so happy to catch up on this thread! Those tiger grizzles are stunning! :D

And I like that the color genetics are kind of like brokens in rabbits... it was a good reference for me, at least! Color genetics in general just fascinate me! :oops:

Thanks for the examples, Zass! And thanks for the extra color explanations, SableSteel!
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Re: One year in, thoughts on my utility king pigeons

Post Number:#19  Unread postby Zass » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:33 pm


I took a series of pics that show one of my males displaying to a lady.

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I'm glad I caught it, cause that courting display is the easiest way for noobs (such as myself) to determine gender in adult animals, paired with the loud coo-coo they make while displaying.
I've noticed that males are more likely to have grubby or tattered tails from repeatedly preforming this dance.

Some of the tigers seem to have solid tails, and some have alternating colored feathers like this guy, I'm not sure what it means, but looking at pics online there seems to be a ton of variation with that gene.

I don't know a whole lot after owning just a handful of pidges for a year though, anyone else with more helpful tips is welcome to add them!!

That particular male seems to catch my camera's attention quite a bit, despite being #1 on the cull list for being on the lower end of the male weight spectrum. All were over 20 oz, but he was lightest among them. :|

As a homozygous tiger grizzle, He'd probably make a great addition to someone's mixed flock to add a bit of color and size.. His chosen mate is that soft ash red tiger girl in the pics. I could let them go as a very reasonably priced pair.. (hint hint)

From the colors showing on the tail, I think he must be a black under that white? Help me out here! Rabbit colors come so naturally to me, but I've been struggling with these. The internet floods me with so many different names for the same colors (due to all the different breeds, and names in different countries,) that I have had a hard time finding good pics to compare. The drawings just don't help me much, because the differences in actual birds seem to be more subtle.

Oh Sablesteel, I got most of them in one pic, so the colors can be compared to each other directly.
Only the all-white guy isn't present, because he is setting on eggs right now.
I sure would love to get a few hints on who is who in the lot. :lol:

I think I'm understanding the check, t check, and bar as being the amount of color showing on the wings, and the pattern it's in, and how most of these are ash red or a variant..


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Re: One year in, thoughts on my utility king pigeons

Post Number:#20  Unread postby ozemba » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:48 am


They are so pretty! I just recently found out that a regular customer that comes in where I work has racing pigeons and I want to go see them. He showed me a few pictures. I went to school with his daughter and she never mentioned her dad's "weird" hobby, but we weren't super close either.

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Re: One year in, thoughts on my utility king pigeons

Post Number:#21  Unread postby Zass » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:12 am


They are neat to keep Ozemba, not hard at all when you are accustomed to other livestock. I think racing homers are kept pretty differently than a utility flock.

A sand floor would be infinitely better for the birds than the hay I have strewn about here, but my aviary is approximately 4-5 steep flights of stairs above street level, and carrying 80 sq feet worth of sand by the bucket up that high is a nightmare. I've done it once, but it became soiled to the point of being unrecognizable under all that organic material after a year (the rabbits had a a lot to do with it,) and it's just not worth repeating.

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Re: One year in, thoughts on my utility king pigeons

Post Number:#22  Unread postby Nymphadora » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:11 pm


Zass wrote:I took a series of pics that show one of my males displaying to a lady.
...
I'm glad I caught it, cause that courting display is the easiest way for noobs (such as myself) to determine gender in adult animals, paired with the loud coo-coo they make while displaying.

I'm glad you caught it, too! That's one handsome boy! I love his coloring (and his mate is just lovely)... yup, I'm a sucker for brokens, pieds, mottled, splash... in any species! :oops:

What's your target weight for the adult utility pigeons (my apologies if you've already answered this elsewhere)?
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Re: One year in, thoughts on my utility king pigeons

Post Number:#23  Unread postby Zass » Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:52 pm


Nymphadora wrote:
Zass wrote:
What's your target weight for the adult utility pigeons (my apologies if you've already answered this elsewhere)?


Strombergs states that adults average 20 oz. Mine were are all just a little bit over when I weighed them, and I'm tempted to select for larger stock.. it should be kept within reason though.
Kings aren't supposed to be the largest breed, the focus is to be on production of large squabs and good parenting skills. The very large meat breeds are said to be less fertile, and even to break eggs due to their great size.

This year, I'll be tracking the amount of nestlings produced, and weight of the squabs at processing.

__________ Fri Mar 23, 2018 12:38 am __________

current events

This is my all white boy, defending his nest from another pidge who got too close.
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His eggs were the ones behind the hay bale. They have just hatched today. :D Will they be whites like their father? I don't know baby pigeons well enough, but in other poultry, blond babies usually indicate pale adults. Their parents are eating right now, but they won't leave them for long.
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This pair was getting pretty cuddly.
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Today, I see they have filled a nest.
I swear they practically spring up out of nowhere; never where they are supposed to be. :?
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Just maybe, these two will manage to lay some eggs in a box. :P
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Re: One year in, thoughts on my utility king pigeons

Post Number:#24  Unread postby Dani4Hedgies » Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:09 am


love the pictures so pretty :)

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Re: One year in, thoughts on my utility king pigeons

Post Number:#25  Unread postby guardianoasis » Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:16 pm


My first introduction into rabbits was with a lady who bred these utility pigeons. I never knew what she did with them other than keep them in her garage. I thought they were pretty cool but didn't know they were a meat bird.
Currently breeding American Chinchilla and Satin rabbits.
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Re: One year in, thoughts on my utility king pigeons

Post Number:#26  Unread postby alforddm » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:45 am


Forgive me if this was asked somewhere and I missed it but....Can you collect down feathers from these?

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Re: One year in, thoughts on my utility king pigeons

Post Number:#27  Unread postby Zass » Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:18 pm


alforddm wrote:Forgive me if this was asked somewhere and I missed it but....Can you collect down feathers from these?


I don't think they are anywhere near as well insulated as ducks or geese, but there have been days I've seen the floor of the aviary dusted with white down feathers. I sure it's possible to collect, but not really efficient. They don't use it to line their nests or anything.
I can check the squabs when I go to pluck the next one, to see if they have down developed by the time they are harvested.

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Re: One year in, thoughts on my utility king pigeons

Post Number:#28  Unread postby GBov » Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:27 pm


Beautiful, simply beautiful!

One nice thing about pigeons is that while they take more to produce, the meat is so rich that it goes farther so there really is not much of a loss.

Mmmmmmmm love pigeon!

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Re: One year in, thoughts on my utility king pigeons

Post Number:#29  Unread postby Thorn » Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:36 pm


Ive been looking for a good pigeon site, similar to Rabbit Talk , but I haven't found anything. Any recommendations?

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Re: One year in, thoughts on my utility king pigeons

Post Number:#30  Unread postby GBov » Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:21 pm


Thorn wrote:Ive been looking for a good pigeon site, similar to Rabbit Talk , but I haven't found anything. Any recommendations?

You might try google.uk instead of the American google as pigeon keeping is alive and well in the UK.

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