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Pigeons: The Peaceful Pets

Published: Saturday, January 19, 2008, 11:54 [IST]

Pigeon Care Tips

Pigeons are gentle birds who thrive on each others company. Their cooing and "laughter" are joyful addition to anyone. Like all birds, they have specific care needs that must be met over the twenty years they will live. Doves and pigeons are very peaceful and those kept as pets will even seek out affection from their human family. These quiet and peaceful birds will make excellent pets if proper care is taken.

Pigeons have a subtle appeal due to their special characteristics. Most have a pleasant voice, generally a 'cooing' sound, they take off with a whirring sound, and

they do head nodding. They have also been noted for their flying behaviors, aerial acrobatics and a homing instinct, which can be quite entertaining. Throughout history these birds have been used to carry messages. The homing instinct is demonstrated today in the popular use of white pigeons for wedding releases, and it has influenced the popular sport of Pigeon Racing. The pigeon species is categorized into two, namely 'doves' and 'pigeons'. The difference between doves and pigeons is mostly size. Doves are generally sleeker and smaller with pointed tails, while pigeons are larger and stockier with rounded tails. Both doves and pigeons make excellent pets. They are attractive, quiet, unobtrusive, have a calming, gentle voice, are fairly easy to tame, generally healthy and hardy, active but not demanding, require little maintenance and are usually inexpensive. They are easy to breed and make excellent parents.

The pigeon has a noble history and is one of the most loyal and devoted of birds, and, when raised with love and attention, can be a faithful and treasured companion. There are several pigeon varieties found across the world. They are mainly 'Crowned pigeon, Bleeding Heart pigeon, Crested pigeon, White Headed pigeon, Wonga pigeon etc...

Raising a pigeon as a pet is not a much difficult task. Although it is possible to hand feed the young squab, it is not necessary. Pigeons are excellent parents and will continue feeding their youngsters well after they fledge. Pigeons bond easily with humans, especially those that feed them, and a tamed pigeon, kept alone, will become a faithful and loyal companion to its human. Pigeon droppings are messier than doves', so keeping one inside means constant clean-ups. Pigeons like to fly. Allow for at least some free-flight time, either inside or out.

Protect them from heat and predators. Caging needs to be large enough to allow the bird wing-flapping room and to avoid striking tail or wing feathers on the sides. These birds are ground feeders, so provide their seed, water and grit on or near the floor of the cage. Pigeons enjoy fresh seed gasses and other greens, whole wheat bread snacks and whole seeds such as safflower, popcorn, peas and other grains. Commercial pigeon seeds or pellets are available at most feed stores. They need larger grit than doves and also should have some eggshell or oyster shell available for calcium. Fresh daily water in a 2" deep dish is essential. Pigeons love to bathe therefore provide them with enough water to bathe.

The only way to determine the sex of most pigeons is by behavior. At maturity, males tend to bow and coo and strut with fanned tails around their object of affection. They are quite vocal. Females are more demure. A pet pigeon can be a true delight for the entire family.

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