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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:#46  Unread postby GBov » Thu May 24, 2018 11:44 am


Nymphadora wrote:
Is it bad that I really want to say "chicken"? :twisted:
Because, you know, they can grow that on styrofoam trays at the grocery store... :roll: :lol:


Actually, the way my chickens eat styrofoam, I think you can raise chickens on the stuff! :lol:

Zass, your pigeons keep impressing me, by gum they are pretty birds!!!

That made me sad Grumpy but you are right, time marches on for all of us.

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

Post Number:#47  Unread postby LunarFantom » Thu Aug 23, 2018 5:58 pm


Zass wrote:
MaggieJ wrote:
I'm afraid there is little to no market for them here on the east coast, which is part of why they are so expensive, and almost nonexistent. They are one of those vanishing heritage breeds.


On the plus side it sounds like you have a monopoly on them then. :mrgreen:

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

Post Number:#48  Unread postby Ghost » Wed Jan 22, 2020 5:49 pm


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

Still doing the pigeons? How is it going?
You have to do the most good for the most. You must remember that a few won't make it. Don't be ashamed to shed a tear for the ones lost along the way, we will not hold it against you. Just remember "the herd goes on".

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

Post Number:#49  Unread postby GBov » Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:52 am


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

Still doing the pigeons? How is it going?


How funny, I have been wondering that as well!

Just waiting for either an allotment or spring (whichever comes first) to get my first King pigeons. Ooooooo pigeon is fantastic meat and I had no idea they were used for eggs as wel at one time. :shock:

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

Post Number:#50  Unread postby Zass » Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:27 pm


I missed this post. :oops:

The short answer is no, but with much regret.

:cry_baby:

I don't know if anyone remembers that my critters were living in a veritable fortress?

Sometime last summer my :buds: neighbors decided to cut trees on my property.
Not just any trees, of course, they included a fairly large ash in an unfortunate position.
Let us not forget that most of my property is something like a 60-70 degree slope.

Gravity, being what it is, the unfortunate ash fell strait down, which happened to be directly onto my hen house.
:evil:

The good news is that my hen house was built from massive old picnic tables and could withstand much more than a mere tree.
The bad news is that the roof was only corrugated steel, and bent from having had a good sized ash tree dropped square onto the middle of it.

I let the neighbors know that I was supremely unimpressed by their current decision making process :angry: , did the best I could to get things back into shape and left it at that.


The problem showed up in the form of a weasel. :x

Of course I didn't know that at first. I did everything I could to block up every possible entry point I could find, but all the while I was losing several birds per night. :cry:

We eventually tracked the bloodthirsty villain's entry point to the bent steel roof, which unfortunately, was too damaged to bend back into place.

Before the problem resulted in the termination of my entire utility king line, I had the remaining birds sent to an interested buyer across state.

We eventually decided to take down the hen house entirely and seal off that mode of access, which seems to have worked for protecting my quail, who survived because they spend the summer in cages for breeding.

So for right now, I have to settle for raising silver tuxedo coturnix quail, and be happy with that.

I would love to have pigeons again, but in the future, I think, I would strongly prefer them to have their own aviary, mostly for sanitary purposes.
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Re: One year in, thoughts on my utility king pigeons

Post Number:#51  Unread postby GBov » Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:31 am


Did they live flight free in with your hens? And how bloody stupid of anyone to do that!!!

The older I get, the stupider my species seems to be. :roll:

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

Post Number:#52  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:30 am


sorry Zass, that is such a drag..
Hope you can find a way to raise pigeons again ...
I love pigeons, but have not had any for many years,
... and,- I raised the "underpass",and "grain silo " breed of pigeons...
meat-mutt rabbits, a few laying hens.

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

Post Number:#53  Unread postby Zass » Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:19 pm


GBov wrote:Did they live flight free in with your hens? :roll:


I had an 8x10x8 aviary attached to the hen house that allowed for a little flight, but we have far too many hawks here for me to allow these big heavy birds to fly free.

I don't believe I have any hens at the time? I'm not sure if my little bantams were out there yet. :?

The pigeons got along marvelously with my quail during the winter months while the little birds weren't breeding.
I always have the quail on the ground and use the "deep litter" method in winter to allow them to nestle into the straw and keep warm. So far, I've never lost one to cold.
The quail always get moved up into the wire cages in summer, for various reasons. To make egg collection easy; so I can separate them into harems with one male to several females for breeding; and because our summers have been very very rainy and I don't like them on muddy ground.

So while the pigeons were targets for the weasel, the quail were safe and sound in my good klubbertanz rabbit cages, at least, while easier prey was at hand. :(

My idea pigeon aviary will have a sand floor, A LOT of perches and nestboxes, and no rabbits to muck things up in there. I don't see why a few quail couldn't hang out in there with them though, as long as they were as mellow as the ones I had before.

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

Post Number:#54  Unread postby ohiogoatgirl » Sat Jan 25, 2020 2:02 am


Somehow I missed this thread until just now! I was researching a lot into pigeons for a while and nearly bought some at the local auction. But at the time I really had nowhere to even try to keep them long enough to build something. Sadly they did not go home with me. They are interesting though.

Sorry to hear you don't have them anymore....although probably better for me bc my plate is already overfull and you're in PA so likely close enough I'd have been all over that....
:dig-hole: that's me digging myself deeper

Would you mind sharing a bit about feeding them? Chicken feed and grains seems simple. I've found several new feed and seed sources and could easily get most grains now. Hmm.. corn, peas, oats, buckwheat, millet,.. My dad is in charge of the grain mill at the historical society and anything I buy I could have them run through a mill to crack. Do they do better with grain or cracked? I think soaked or fermented grains is really neat but I have too much going on to even pretend I'd keep it up! :oops:

I had coturnix for a while and they were fun but had the same annoying bird issues for me. Pigeons interest me because they are pretty well hands off aside from checking nest and removing squabs. And maybe a couple floor quail to clean up spilled feed.

Well heck, guess I'm picking up on my research again :mrgreen: :lol: Not for acquiring any this year though, I'm adding hogs and changing up a lot with the sheep.
Can I get back all that spare time I used to have?

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

Post Number:#55  Unread postby GBov » Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:58 pm


Our 4H group had pigeons and they took about 6 min a day to care for and half of that was spent just looking at them.

I asked my family what they thought of me with a dip net and some bread at the local square and got a "DON'T you DARE!!!"

Awwwwww party poopers. :lol:

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

Post Number:#56  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Sun Jan 26, 2020 7:23 pm


GBov wrote:Our 4H group had pigeons and they took about 6 min a day to care for and half of that was spent just looking at them.

I asked my family what they thought of me with a dip net and some bread at the local square and got a "DON'T you DARE!!!"

Awwwwww party poopers. :lol:


I caught my birds at night, on top of buildings, and under underpasses.. I also set traps on top of buildings-- I had quite a bunch of them in a short time.. feeding and watering was quick, cleaning, and harvesting -not so quick-- but squab is extremely yummy...
meat-mutt rabbits, a few laying hens.

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

Post Number:#57  Unread postby GBov » Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:53 pm


michaels4gardens wrote:
GBov wrote:Our 4H group had pigeons and they took about 6 min a day to care for and half of that was spent just looking at them.

I asked my family what they thought of me with a dip net and some bread at the local square and got a "DON'T you DARE!!!"

Awwwwww party poopers. :lol:


I caught my birds at night, on top of buildings, and under underpasses.. I also set traps on top of buildings-- I had quite a bunch of them in a short time.. feeding and watering was quick, cleaning, and harvesting -not so quick-- but squab is extremely yummy...


Pigeon is really REALLY yummy!!!

Still waiting to hear on an allotment but if one doesn't come through, a 5 by 5 section of the shed will house a few pairs with a sunning cage over the window.

The nice thing about pigeon is it is so rich that it only takes one per person to do a lovely dinner.

__________ Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:53 pm __________

How did they breed in comparison to the fully domestic ones M4G?

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

Post Number:#58  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Sun Feb 16, 2020 7:59 am


GBov wrote:
__________ Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:53 pm __________

How did they breed in comparison to the fully domestic ones M4G?


I had no trouble at all with them breeding, they were at least as productive as the man across the street, with "meat birds" . I think my squab grew just as fast as his did, but- did not get as big.
They [of course] prefered the highest nesting places, and even tried to nest in the rafters a few times. [i just removed the nest, as soon as they started building] I locked them into the coop for a month or two after catching them. After they began breeding and nesting in the coop, I opened the "fly door" during the daytime. It was very common , for the flock to return with extra members... who just moved in, ate my food, and nested in the coop with the others.

__________ Sun Feb 16, 2020 5:59 am __________

I think if I become more comfortable with the rental situation i have,
I will want to build another coop, and catch another flock.
I am now about 4 miles away from "the old city", where poisoning pigeons is so common...
In the past, I saved a lot on the feed bill, when the pigeons flew,
.. because they "gleaned" the grain fields, after harvest.
meat-mutt rabbits, a few laying hens.

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

Post Number:#59  Unread postby ohiogoatgirl » Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:10 pm


michaels4gardens wrote:
I caught my birds at night, on top of buildings, and under underpasses.. I also set traps on top of buildings-- I had quite a bunch of them in a short time.. feeding and watering was quick, cleaning, and harvesting -not so quick-- but squab is extremely yummy...


Since considering pigeons again I've noticed grey doves I believe. They make the weird noise when they take off :roll: I think they are pretty much the same needs and care as pigeons. Think I could set up a feed station in a cage then add the trap door like a flight door for pigeons? Not sure if a regular seed mix would entice them, being rural. Though there isn't a lot of cropland in the area it's mostly woods, cows, hay, then either corn or soy.
Can I get back all that spare time I used to have?

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

Post Number:#60  Unread postby GBov » Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:05 am


I think - though I may be wrong - that doves only breed seasonally?

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