One year in, thoughts on my utility king pigeons

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Zass

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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.
 

Nymphadora

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Zass":2nxj87jz said:
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)?
 

Zass

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Nymphadora":39ibw150 said:
Zass":39ibw150 said:
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.
IMG_0539.JPG
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.
IMG_0702.JPG
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. :?
IMG_0720.JPG

Just maybe, these two will manage to lay some eggs in a box. :p
IMG_0516.JPG
 

guardianoasis

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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.
 

alforddm

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

Zass

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alforddm":67r2yti9 said:
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.
 

GBov

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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!
 

Thorn

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

GBov

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Thorn":n1ssd19t said:
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.
 

Zass

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Thorn":23ywcb2u said:
Ive been looking for a good pigeon site, similar to Rabbit Talk , but I haven't found anything. Any recommendations?

There was an old pigeon-talk site, but I guess they wouldn't allow anyone to talk about eating pigeons, or even euthanasia, lumping both those topics in with cruelty and abuse..
Doesn't sound like they would be very helpful for someone who actually wants to manage a healthy flock, and I'm sure the word "utility" is banned. :roll:
 

michaels4gardens

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Zass":1xia1czm said:
Thorn":1xia1czm said:
Ive been looking for a good pigeon site, similar to Rabbit Talk , but I haven't found anything. Any recommendations?

There was an old pigeon-talk site, but I guess they wouldn't allow anyone to talk about eating pigeons, or even euthanasia, lumping both those topics in with cruelty and abuse..
Doesn't sound like they would be very helpful for someone who actually wants to manage a healthy flock, and I'm sure the word "utility" is banned. :roll:
Don't you love it-- I wonder what their new world would eat if they ever got their way..
 

GBov

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michaels4gardens":2kk6kgej said:
Zass":2kk6kgej said:
Thorn":2kk6kgej said:
Ive been looking for a good pigeon site, similar to Rabbit Talk , but I haven't found anything. Any recommendations?

There was an old pigeon-talk site, but I guess they wouldn't allow anyone to talk about eating pigeons, or even euthanasia, lumping both those topics in with cruelty and abuse..
Doesn't sound like they would be very helpful for someone who actually wants to manage a healthy flock, and I'm sure the word "utility" is banned. :roll:
Don't you love it-- I wonder what their new world would eat if they ever got their way..

Air?
 

Shea

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The sun. Only True free energy could possibly be sustainable and earth friendly. . . . Sun worshipers are weird :shock:
 

Nymphadora

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GBov":1255pmc3 said:
michaels4gardens":1255pmc3 said:
Zass":1255pmc3 said:
There was an old pigeon-talk site, but I guess they wouldn't allow anyone to talk about eating pigeons, or even euthanasia, lumping both those topics in with cruelty and abuse..
Doesn't sound like they would be very helpful for someone who actually wants to manage a healthy flock, and I'm sure the word "utility" is banned. :roll:
Don't you love it-- I wonder what their new world would eat if they ever got their way..

Air?

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:
 

Zass

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The little yellow hatchlings I pictured earlier are all ready for harvest, it's been 4 weeks, hasn't it? I should go get a pic and weights.

__________ Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:40 pm __________

Yep, they hatched March 23, making them 33 days old, 5 weeks.
I could probably have harvested them sooner. maybe next time I'll take weekly weights?

Pied squabs.jpg

Sorry it's blurry, I just snapped a quick pic cause it was raining.

Both squabs turned out pied, so now I know the pied genes are coming from my white male. :)

We weighed them today; 20.3 and 20.4 oz. That was before feeding, so that their weight wasn't offset by a full crop.
I don't know if that is good or not, but the adults are in the 20-24 oz range, so I think it's OK?

I don't think squabs are supposed to weigh more than adults? :?
 

Nymphadora

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Zass":31zqvx2o said:
Both squabs turned out pied, so now I know the pied genes are coming from my white male. :)

We weighed them today; 20.3 and 20.4 oz. That was before feeding, so that their weight wasn't offset by a full crop.
I don't know if that is good or not, but the adults are in the 20-24 oz range, so I think it's OK?

I don't think squabs are supposed to weigh more than adults? :?
:p
That sounds great! Any chance you can add pictures of what they look like after butcher, and cooked, too? Haha, ok, maybe I'm kidding... but I am drooling just thinking about it!

And I wonder if the weight gain is because they haven't started been flapping around as long as the adults? Although you'd think muscle weighs more than fat... :?

:popcorn:
 

Zass

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Nymphadora":kl84jixc said:
Zass":kl84jixc said:
Both squabs turned out pied, so now I know the pied genes are coming from my white male. :)

We weighed them today; 20.3 and 20.4 oz. That was before feeding, so that their weight wasn't offset by a full crop.
I don't know if that is good or not, but the adults are in the 20-24 oz range, so I think it's OK?

I don't think squabs are supposed to weigh more than adults? :?
:p
That sounds great! Any chance you can add pictures of what they look like after butcher, and cooked, too? Haha, ok, maybe I'm kidding... but I am drooling just thinking about it!

And I wonder if the weight gain is because they haven't started been flapping around as long as the adults? Although you'd think muscle weighs more than fat... :?

:popcorn:

You know I will post ALL the pictures. :lol:

These guys haven't flown at all yet. I have plans on culling two other mateless young males (under a year old) at the same time. Then, I will attempt to pluck and grill them medium, crispy on the outside, with lots of rosemary, thyme and garlic slipped under the skin. Wish me luck. :clover:
 

michaels4gardens

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Zass ,I thought of your pigeons today-- as I was passing a old brick commercial building [on my morning walk] I saw someone had thrown a pile of dead pigeons off the roof - a reminder to me of why not to have pigeons in the city- and let them fly.. I am sure they were poisoned... such a waste..
 

Thorn

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[/quote]There was an old pigeon-talk site, but I guess they wouldn't allow anyone to talk about eating pigeons, or even euthanasia, lumping both those topics in with cruelty and abuse..
Doesn't sound like they would be very helpful for someone who actually wants to manage a healthy flock, and I'm sure the word "utility" is banned. :roll:[/quote]
Don't you love it-- I wonder what their new world would eat if they ever got their way..[/quote]

Air?[/quote]

Just finding a site where I could talk about eating rabbits is difficult. Add onto that the attempt to feed them without pellets and everyones at your throat. This website is an exception.

I am hoping feeding the pigeons the same fermented mix of cracked corn, peas,oats,and BOSS that we feed chickens will be sufficient. Also talking with the family "builder" about building a moveable pigeon cage so they can be on grass every day without being hawk food.Thinking something like this, for when its warm out, with a tarp or metal over top and smaller wire around the cattle panels.Would have a door of course.

717b66d2df0998edfc574f1762ea3d6a.jpg
 
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