In winter, the temperature in the dovecote should not be lower than 5–7 ° C, and in the summer - not higher than 20 ° C.
Pigeons come from the southern subtropical countries, therefore, the optimum temperature for their maintenance is within 20 °, the pigeons do not tolerate heat, breathe heavily with their open beaks, trying to remove the excess heat accumulated in the body by enhanced ventilation of the respiratory system. Fat pigeons are especially affected. In hot weather, you can not make pigeons fly, it is a heavy burden on the body. Feeding should be limited, especially to grain, which increases in volume when swelling. The high temperature in the house contributes to the active reproduction of ticks, bedbugs, and down-eaters.
Overheating of pigeons is most often observed in the summer in a hot climate, when nests and perches are located under the roof. And if adult pigeons can find a less heated area of the dovecote, then young animals in the nest especially suffer from overheating. It is important that during this period the bird has fresh water in abundance. Excessive heat can be reduced by increasing the humidity in the dovecot by spraying the roof with water from a hose.
Hypothermia is especially dangerous in early spring. It slows the growth and development of chicks, activates the latent course of infections. Each pigeon breeder seeks to get offspring as soon as possible, but an early start to the breeding period is not always desirable, especially in an unheated dovecote. If at night the pigeons do not warm the chicks, then there is a danger of hypothermia. Sometimes in the evening it is necessary to practice the obligatory planting of pigeons in the nest so that they heat the young growth at night. You can put the nest with the chicks at night in a warm place, and in the morning put it on the previous one, where the incubation took place. In the conservation of heat in the nest, its proper arrangement and bedding material play a large role.
In supercooled chicks, an intestinal upset occurs, growth, development slows down, sometimes yolk substances are not used for a long time. Hypothermia activates the latent course of infections. When hypothermia occurs, the chicks become numb.
After the decision to start breeding pigeons at home has already been made, one must learn that pigeons love close communication with their brethren, so they should be kept in flocks or enclosures in flocks. It is advisable to buy an equal number of pigeons and doves so that the males are not left without a pair. After all, they are monogamous, therefore, choosing a mate for themselves, remain faithful to her until the end of her life and find a replacement only after her death.
Breeding pigeons is not an easy task, and at the initial stage, the breeder will have to deal with organizational issues, take care of the aviary or dovecote and purchase suitable pigeons. Approach the choice of birds you need responsibly.
Rules for determining healthy pigeons:
- sparkle in the eyes
- even breathing
- neat shiny plumage,
- pay attention to the chest, it should not bulge.
Breeding pigeons at home is not an easy task, especially in winter. In the cold season, care for pigeons should be carried out with special care. By observing all the rules for caring for birds, you can improve their quality of life and even get litter.
Pigeons need to be purchased at the rate of one male per female
Features of the content of pigeons
Pigeons are companion birds, they urgently need to communicate with relatives. They are kept in enclosures or pigeons, where birds can freely communicate with their own kind. Pigeon breeding begins with the preparation of the home, the second step is the purchase of birds. But the main thing is to study the basics and rules of keeping these birds.
The main rules for keeping pigeons:
- Pigeon housing is spacious and bright, food is full.
- The room is clean, ventilated, but without drafts. Litter change - weekly, or better - as it gets dirty. Wash the cages, inventory and the whole dovecot with detergent.
- Birds should have constant access to clean and fresh water, as well as a “swimming pool” - a bathing trough.
- Artificial lighting is organized in the pigeon to control daylight hours.
- The optimum temperature in summer is up to +25 ° C, as pigeons do not tolerate heat.
- The optimum humidity is 65-70%. With high humidity, birds are prone to infectious and fungal diseases.
- The area norm for pigeons is 0.5-1 square meters. m for two adult birds.
It is especially important to provide pigeons with the right content in the winter. It is required to maintain their health and ability to reproduce. If in the summer the primary measures are hygiene, disinfection and feeding, then in winter warming, lighting and additional nutrition are added to this list.
Winter Maintenance Rules:
- Birds should not be exposed to rain or fog for long.
- They give a lot of warm water.
- The duration of daylight hours is maintained at 14 hours.
- At the bottom of the dovecote is ventilation. Entrance doors are insulated, nests are deepened.
- The minimum temperature in the dovecote is minus 10 degrees, minus 25 degrees is allowed for a short time.
- Monthly - cleaning and disinfection. Damp places sprinkled with lime.
- Prevent rodents.
- Carefully care for the health of birds. During molting, their immunity is weakened, so enhanced nutrition is necessary. Pigeons are given:
- high fat grains
- crushed corn
- mineral top dressing
- green salad,
- grated carrots.
Which breed to choose?
Pigeons are divided into breeds and species. They differ in external characteristics, behavior and purpose. All pigeons are divided into two large groups:
- Wild. Demanding on the conditions of detention and care. They are accustomed to free life, and keeping in a dovecot becomes a painful test for them. Breeding such pigeons should be justified.
- Homework. It is them who grow breeders. Their maintenance and breeding can be mastered by anyone. In this category there are many subspecies - pigeons for exhibitions, for sports, for meat.
Depending on the purpose and purpose of the pigeons are divided into:
These birds are kept for their own pleasure or for commercial breeding. Decorative pigeons stand out for their unusual shape, color, feathers, they have unusual crests, magnificent tails and other distinctive features.
Popular decorative breeds:
- Barb. Birds with multi-colored, but certainly monophonic plumage - from snow-white to dark brown. Around the eyes are leathery growths.
- Curly Dove. Curly feathers are on the body and wings. Plumage - two-tone.
- Brno sack. They have a large inflated goiter, which makes up almost the majority of the dove. The legs are long and slender, and the tail is short.
- Peacock dove. They have a standing magnificent tail resembling a peacock. Coloring - any.
- Saxon priest. On the legs - plumage, and on the head - crest. The colors are different, and there is always a white mark on the forehead.
Peacock white doves are traditional participants in weddings and other special occasions. Thanks to the snow-white plumage and magnificent tail, they look especially impressive.
When keeping decorative pigeons, it is important to maintain their external beauty. To do this, in the pigeon more often than usual, clean and change the litter. To ensure that the plumage is beautiful and brilliant, birds provide balanced nutrition.
These breeds were once called postal. The pigeon mail has not been relevant for a long time, but competitions for the speed of summer are held regularly around the world.
Popular sports breeds:
- English quarry. These birds are characterized by a vertical stance, a large but not deep chest, and a long beak. The structure of their body contributes to the development of high speeds. The eyes have skin folds that protect the eyes from strong winds.
- Russian postal. Graceful pigeons - they have a thin skeleton and a rounded beak. The wings are long, with bends at the ends - for better maneuverability. Coloring - from white to dark graphite.
- Belgian postman. The classic breed of sports pigeons. These birds have unrivaled maneuverability and flight speed. Their head is small, their chest is powerful, their tail is small.
Domestic pigeons are taken at the age of one month - to get used to the house. A ring is put on such birds' legs for identification. Pigeons are regularly trained, and they are ready for competitions for 3-4 years.
A sports pigeon at the age of 3-4 years easily overcomes a distance of 1000 km.
Flying pigeons have their own style and flight features. They are kept for the sake of a beautiful summer, they are able not only to fly fast, but also to perform all kinds of tricks - somersaults, rapid falls and take-offs, turns, turns, turns and much more.
Breeds of flying pigeons:
- Thurman Berlin. This breed has a short beak, miniature size and a lively character. Differ in high speed of flight. Color from white to dark and colorful. On legs - magnificent plumage.
- Cross monk. Fly at low altitude, flight style is like a dance. Bait alien pigeons.
- Nikolaev pigeon. Fly high, freeze and flutter wings. They go up almost vertically. The breed has long muscular wings.
The peculiarity of the maintenance of flying pigeons is regular flights. Birds must rise to the sky every day.
In many countries, pigeon meat is a popular product. Moreover, the first artificial breeds were bred specifically for the purpose of obtaining meat - it is especially tasty with thin fibers.
- Modena English. They weigh a lot - 800-900 g, and fly poorly. Including due to the short tail feathers and wings. Color - colorful or plain.
- Roman pigeon. Weigh up to 1 kg. They have strong immunity, so caring for them is as simple as possible.
- King American breed that has lost summer skills. Weight - up to 1 kg. They have a dense, massive body, a small head and a short tail. Color is white. Black, spotty or brown.
- Carnot. Dense and stocky birds of a dark color. They fly poorly, mostly moving on foot.
The main thing in the maintenance of meat pigeons is proper feeding. These birds do not fly, do not get food on their own, so a person must fully ensure their diet. They are fed cereals, legumes, oilseeds. They give vitamins, shell rock, charcoal and eggshell. They keep meat pigeons not in pigeons, but in enclosures.
How to buy pigeons for breeding?
When buying pigeons, they take the same number of males and females - so that each bird has a pair. Pigeons take their “family ties” seriously - choosing a partner, they remain faithful to him all their lives.
Buying pigeons is undesirable in the winter. The best time to populate the dovecote is February-March. At this time, the birds require special care, which is not always possible to provide in full. If you have decided on the breed, it remains to select healthy individuals.
Signs of healthy pigeons:
- breathe evenly
- have brilliant plumage,
- eyes are open, shiny
- chest should not bulge.
Beginners buy pigeons where necessary. And this is their big mistake. Experienced pigeon breeders prefer to take pigeons not at the market - from unknown people, but in a specific pigeon. Moreover, they first learn about it as much as possible - how doves are kept, how they train, and other details.
Arrangement of a dovecote
When equipping a dovecote, take into account the number of pigeons that will live in it. It is not recommended to build pigeons near power lines and high-rise buildings.
Each pigeon should be able to sit down and relax. For this, perches are built - perches for sitting birds. What you need to know when making perches:
- For each pigeon - 30 cm perch.
- Production material - smoothly planed wooden painted poles with a diameter of 3 cm. Bars of 2x4 cm are also suitable.
- The perches are fixed at a distance of 30-40 cm from the ceiling.
- They install poles so that the birds sitting on them do not interfere with each other.
If the breed has a long and magnificent plumage on wings and paws, then perches are necessary for keeping feathers clean and tidy.
To make pigeons comfortable to breed, nests are installed on the shelves for them. Shelves are equipped so that they can serve both for fallow and nesting. Each bird or pair must have a separate cage. They are arranged in several rows. There should be as many nests as there are females in the dovecote, or more.
Features of the arrangement of shelves with nests:
- Cell sizes depend on the size of the breed. Approximate length - 25 cm, width - 35, height - 20 cm. Nests can be open or made in the form of cells - the open part of the cell is covered with a grid in which a 10x10 cm hole is left. A small rectangular perch is placed in front of the hole.
- Nests are arranged in the shaded part of the dovecote - where the females will be calmer. For birds, prepare a place lined with sawdust, hay or straw.
- Each shelf for the nest is made wider than the bottom by 5 cm - so that excrement does not fall on the inhabitants "a floor below."
- Nests with a width of 20-25 cm and a height of 5-7 cm are installed in the nesting cells. For this purpose, boxes of plywood or round gypsum nests are used, the bottom of which is covered with straw or sawdust.
Feeding troughs and drinking bowls
Do not throw food on the floor, it must be laid in clean feeders. Moreover, different compartments are used for different feeds. The main condition for creating feeders / drinking bowls is to prevent debris and bird droppings from entering them.
The number of feeders and drinkers in the dovecote depends on the number of pigeons. One pigeon should have at least 60 cm of approach length, for large breeds this distance is greater. The requirements for feeders are simple, they should be convenient to use - easy to wash, clean and fill. Their material should not be harmful to birds, for example, they should not contain zinc or copper.
To prevent the pigeons from polluting the water and food, they use devices in which they would not be able to stand with their feet — only the bird’s head pokes through them. The most convenient for pigeons car feeders and car drinkers.
Pigeons, especially during the warm season and during molting, like to take baths. Water procedures for birds are taken in small containers. The easiest way is to buy special bathtubs - they are sold in specialized stores. But if there are suitable containers with a side height of 4-8 cm, you can use them.
In cold weather, pigeons organize water procedures weekly, when nesting begins - twice a week. When the birds buy up, they clean the bath so that they do not drink dirty water.
Letok - hole for the exit of pigeons. Its size is adjusted to the size of the birds. Typically, the height of the letok is 10-25 cm, the width is 10-20 cm. One or two letoks are made in the dovecote. For flying breeds, letki are located at a height of 1-1.5 m from the floor, for meat and decorative - 15-20 cm.
Latches are often made adjustable - they are especially convenient for sports breeds. A special plug-in frame is mounted in the window, consisting of swinging rods - not fastened below. The rods are made of thick wire. The frame also has a special stop that can be rearranged.
In order for pigeons to be healthy, active, reproduce, and delight their owners with the beauty of the exterior or the fattening of meat (meat breeds), they need to ensure appropriate conditions of detention. The health and appearance of these birds is affected by temperature, light, the presence of fresh air and the internal arrangement of the dovecote.
Temperature in the blueberry has an effect on health and the ability to reproduce. Optimum temperature conditions:
- in winter - 5-7 ° C,
- in summer - no more than 20 ° C,
- humidity is 65–70%.
The minimum allowable temperature in winter is minus 25 ° C, it should not fall below this mark.
If the birds ruffled feathers and huddled together - they are cold. You should immediately warm the dovecote and give the birds warm water. If the birds often breathe, spreading their wings in different directions - it’s hot, they should strengthen the ventilation and put containers with cool water.
In the extreme heat, pigeons are not allowed to fly - this is too much for them.
Inside the dovecote, a ventilation system is being established, but drafts are not allowed. A hole is made at a height of 10-15 cm from the floor - so that air enters, and cover it with a grill. Near the ceiling make an extract. Doors and latches are installed on the windows - they are used in cold weather.
If desired, along with natural, equip artificial ventilation. Due to the circulation of fresh air, mold, dampness, and infection do not appear in the pigeon.
Short daylight hours negatively affects the puberty of young animals - it slows down. But the birds develop better physically. The puberty is also hindered by bright light in red and orange.
The optimal daylight hours for pigeons are 13 hours. To control the length of daylight, artificial lighting is installed in the pigeon. Windows dovecote do on the south or southeast side - then the room will be more light.
Litter is needed in the pigeon. It is made from sawdust, hay, straw, dry peat, thin branches, coarse sand. Layer thickness - 5 cm. Thanks to litter cleaning is simplified. Litter should be clean. It is completely changed twice a year - in autumn and spring, during disinfection. Raw or rotten litter is changed immediately - to prevent the spread of mold and infections.
Aviary for walking
Domestic pigeons of meat and decorative areas are equipped with an aviary for walking. In the aviary, birds get used to the street, bask in the sun, enjoy the fresh air. Aviary equip on the ground or at the top, putting support. The aviary is also equipped on the roof of a dovecote or a suspended structure is made.
Rules for arranging an aviary:
- minimum dimensions - 5x3 m, but at least 0.5 square meters per bird. m
- the roof is equipped - to protect against predators,
- An enclosure is created using a grid with cells up to 5 cm - so that wild birds do not fly into it, from which pigeons can catch the infection,
- install double doors - so that the pigeons could not fly away,
- the floor is made concrete or cement - to be cleaner,
- earthen floors are updated periodically - they dig a shovel on a bayonet, and sprinkle sand on top,
- A trench is dug around the enclosure, broken glass is poured into it, mixed with earth - this is protection from undermining that predators can do,
- on the north side the enclosure is covered with plywood or plastic sheets,
- inside the enclosure, feeders, drinking bowls, bathtubs and everything else that is necessary for the daily life of pigeons are installed.
To ensure the daily needs of pigeons and maintain the cleanliness of the dovecote and aviary, pigeon breeders need additional inventory:
- drinking water canister
- litter basket
- sieve for sifting sand,
- mortar - crush mineral components,
- rakes of different sizes,
- objects with which pigeons are transported.
Also in the dovecote there should be a first-aid kit in this composition:
- silk threads,
- cotton wool
- potassium permanganate,
- boric acid
- zielonka and other medicines that may urgently be needed to treat birds.
The Basics of Proper Feeding
The principles of feeding pigeons:
- The basis of the diet is barley. Carrots, apples, potatoes are added to it. Barley is allowed to be replaced with barley.
- Daytime soldering necessarily contains wheat. The rate is increased during molting and feeding offspring.
- High-grade nutritious grain mixture contains millet. This food gives birds a lot of energy. Millet is especially necessary for sports breeds - when flying over long distances.
- The menu contains legumes. Many do not give them - so as not to cause obesity. Legumes are necessary during molting, during transportation, reproduction and feeding of offspring.
- Shelled oats or oatmeal are added to the grain mixture.
- In the warm season they give fresh grass.
- It is important to meet the need for protein. If the birds do not receive protein, then its absence is compensated for some time by carbohydrates and fats, then the body begins to expend intramuscular protein. But excess protein is harmful - birds lose their productive qualities. The protein norm in the nutrition of pigeons is 13-15% of the feed volume.
- Fat-containing grains and eggs are introduced into the diet of meat breeds.
- One individual receives at least 40-50 g of feed per day. In winter, food intake is increased.
- To strengthen immunity, birds are fed with decoctions of chamomile, thyme and succession.
Pigeons are forbidden to feed:
- Fish. The body of these birds copes poorly with phosphorus.
- The meat. The digestive system of pigeons is not suitable for the digestion of meat products. Birds can even die.
- Black bread. It causes fermentation in the stomach.
- Dairy products. In the digestive tract of pigeons there are few fermented milk bacteria, and the digestion of dairy products is difficult.
- Sweets and products containing oil. The liver of pigeons cannot digest fatty foods. Oil can kill birds. Even sunflower seeds can damage them. If the seeds give, it is very limited.
- The salt. In large quantities, for pigeons it is poison. To kill a pigeon, 1.5 g of salt is enough. Pigeons cover their need for salt with conventional feed.
For adult birds
The feeding regime for pigeons is determined by:
- time of year
- state of birds
- lifestyle (open or closed dovecote).
Catering depending on the season:
Feeding time, h
- at 4:00
- at 13:00
- at 19:00
- at 8:00
- at 17:00
The diet affects the life span of birds:
- Molting. It lasts from March to November. The share of protein products is growing. Lack of protein leads to prolonged shedding and the formation of poor plumage - feathers with narrow webs are formed.
- Reproduction. The period begins in March-April. Fish oil is needed - 10 ml per 1 kg of feed. Mixtures with a high content of protein, amino acids and minerals are given.
- Oviposition. It starts 7-10 days after mating. It lasts 18-21 days. In the feed there are many vitamins, amino acids, minerals. A little greens, potassium iodide (per 1 kg - 70 mg) and vitamin E (2-3 drops per 1 kg) are added to the feed - these substances are necessary for the formation of eggs and high-quality fertilization.
- Winter season. Reduce the amount of protein - to reduce the sexual activity of birds. In the daily diet, it is advisable to add flaxseed and rapeseed - 4 g per 1 kg. Legumes are excluded, wheat is reduced to a minimum. Mix with boiled potatoes and bran.
Sample diets for feeding pigeons, taking into account the period of life:
The consequences of a lack of vitamins in female pigeons:
Substances that the body of pigeons lacks
The growth of young growth depends on the usefulness of the diet. Young pigeons are more vulnerable to disease than adults. The incidence rate is reduced if the feed contains enough vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
In the first few weeks after depositing from parents, young animals need a lot of food. They look at the iris, as soon as it becomes the same as in adult pigeons, the portions are reduced.
Features of feeding young animals:
- In the morning, the serving is smaller than in the evening.
- Grain is watered with fish oil.
- To young growth well, they feed him a mixture of barley, peas and vetch.
- When the pigeons learn to fly, they give half as much wheat - they replace it with peas and vetch taken in equal parts.
For one individual - 40 g of feed. An example of a grain mixture for feeding:
- wheat - 20%,
- Vika - 10%
- peas - 10%
- corn - 10%
- barley - 20%,
- millet - 30%.
As the birds grow, beans are added to the diet, reducing the number of wikis.
Pigeons that are stunted are given an enhanced diet — they add peeled rice, corn grits, millet, fodder yeast and fish oil (5 drops per day) to wheat. A 5% glucose solution is added to the water.
Daily juvenile green fodder is given to young animals - 10 g per day for each individual. Potato and porridge are used as additives, but they cannot be given without grain - birds will have an indigestion.
A pair is selected before the start of the mating season - in autumn or winter. Principles of choosing a pair for breeding:
- Male and female are of the same breed.
- Lack of flaws in the exterior.
- Both partners must be completely healthy.
- Both birds are strong and energetic.
- The body weight of the female should not exceed the norm.
Obese birds often carry unfertilized eggs, the process of laying them is complicated. Skinny females are also not suitable for breeding - they are not able to hatch and feed offspring.
In nature, the male is engaged in arranging the nest. It is he who searches for “building materials” - branches, straws, blades of grass, brings them to the construction site and builds a nest. Females are engaged in "design" - trim the nest, shift twigs and feathers from place to place. Give the pigeons woolen threads, fluff, twigs, feathers - let them build the nest. They take about 2-3 weeks to work.
To breed offspring, nesting boxes are installed in the pigeon. It is desirable that there are more than the number of pairs - then the birds will be able to choose a nest to their liking, and will not fight because of the nesting places.
When the couples are matched, they are placed in the prepared compartments of the nesting boxes, and left overnight - the birds will decide whether they fit together. In the future, couples spend all the time together.
The female begins to lay eggs two weeks after mating. Dove shows less activity, there is an increase in the area near the anus. Young doves can lay only one egg. And not everyone manages to sit him.
Individuals carry 2 eggs each. Usually, high-quality offspring are produced by experienced females - strong and healthy. It is important to note when the egg is laid. Egg weight - 15-20 g. Hatching duration - 20 days. Moreover, the timing is affected by temperature - the warmer, the faster the offspring is born. The female and male hatch eggs in turn.
On the 4th day, the eggs are checked whether they are fertilized or not. Taking the egg with their fingers, they look at it in the light - a dark embryo is visible in the fertilized egg. After 7 days, the egg becomes completely dark. The unfertilized eggs are removed by putting dummies in their place - so that the birds do not get nervous.
The appearance of a brood
The eggshell chicks pecks on days 16-19. 12 hours after the first bite, a crack appears on the shell, then a hole. The chick usually appears in the morning. Before it hatches, the nest is cleaned of litter and debris. They do this very carefully so as not to unnerve their parents - they immediately rush to protect the masonry.
As soon as the chicks appear, they must be inspected for defects. In healthy chicks, the yolk sac must be fully retracted - otherwise death occurs. Newborn pigeons are naked, wet and blind. In a few hours, parents completely dry and warm them with their bodies. Having dried, the chick is ready to eat food. If he is not allowed to eat for more than 24 hours, he dies.
No immediate care for the pigeons is needed - parents do everything themselves.
The task of man is to create favorable conditions for the life of birds. What you have to do is clean up, and weekly. The dovecote and the nests should be clean.
First of all, the eggshell is removed from the nest. Maintaining cleanliness is necessary to prevent infectious diseases. For the destruction of microorganisms, regular disinfection is carried out - using chemical solutions that are non-toxic to birds.
During harvesting, pigeons are removed from the box. Detergents must not get into water or feed. First, a soap solution is prepared - 500 g of soap are taken per 10 l. They wash the boxes and perches. Then they begin to disinfect - for example, with a solution of bleach.
Parents give goiter milk to newborn chicks for 12 days. By the beginning of the second week, pigeons add grains to it. If one of the parents dies, the whole clutch dies of hunger. Chicks are looking for foster parents. Or feed yourself - with a syringe. A nipple is put on the syringe and filled with a heated yolk. Also, babies can be given compound feed steamed to a state of gruel.
With artificial feeding, the chicks are fed 6 times a day. For 2-3 weeks they are given crushed grain - barley and peas. Sprinkle food with feed chalk. During this period, chicks begin to learn to drink water.
The goiter determines the fullness of the chick, if it is full - therefore, the bird is full.
Is winter breeding possible?
Breeding pigeons in winter is complicated due to a slowdown in physiological processes. But pigeons tolerate low temperatures well, if birds are created with suitable conditions, reproduction in the winter is possible.
Winter breeding conditions for pigeons:
- Carefully monitor your health, timely suppressing the first signs of infection.
- The nests are deepened to 40 cm.
- The entrance to the dovecote is insulated.
- The temperature should not fall below 10 degrees - otherwise the chicks will freeze.
- Daylight hours are increased to 12 hours - due to artificial lighting.
Pigeons, like all scavenger birds, are active carriers of infectious diseases, including bird flu. Many diseases are dangerous not only for pigeons, but also for humans. The most dangerous diseases:
- Ornithosis. This is an acute infectious disease. Especially often affects young animals, which often die in case of infection.
- Trichomoniasis The causative agent is Trichomonas. Spreads through water. Leads to death.
- Campylobacteriosis. Bacteria invoking, asymptomatic parasitic in the body. It is treated with antibiotics.
- Listeriosis. Another bacterial disease. It is characterized by a long course. There is no effective treatment.
- Tularemia. A bacterial disease that does not have a specific treatment. Use regular antibiotics.
- Pseudotuberculosis. Chronic disease that causes a variety of symptoms. There is no specific treatment.
And this is only a small part of the diseases that pigeons can hurt (what diseases do pigeons have, read here). Due to the fact that people are affected by bird diseases, when breeding pigeons, it is required to settle the issue with the sanitary and epidemiological station.
To legally keep pigeons in the courtyard, you must obtain the following documents:
- Permission - 20,000 rubles.
- Certificate of quality - 5,000 rubles.
- Veterinary conclusion - 200 rubles per bird.
Wild birds pose the greatest danger to domestic pigeons, which is why it is important to prevent their access to the flock.
Pigeon health and factors of influence:
Business or just a hobby?
Speaking of breeding pigeons, one should distinguish between hobbies and business. For real pigeon breeders, this occupation is a hobby that takes all their free time and does not bring any income. For those who want to create a profitable business, pigeon breeding can be a good source of profit.
For profit, you can breed meat pigeons - for meat, and sports, flying, decorative - for sale. Features of the pigeon business:
- The meat of pigeons is very tasty - it tastes comparable to quail meat. It is recommended for dietary nutrition, so there is always a demand for it.
- It is necessary to have a private house or a summer house - to equip a dovecote. You can use farm buildings, or build a separate structure.
- If breeds that are not allowed to fly are bred, open-air cages are arranged.
- Birds are bought on specialized farms. The cost of one bird is on average 500-1000 rubles.
- The most famous meat breed is King. These birds look more like chickens than pigeons. The weight of one individual is about 2 kg.
- Chicks grow quickly, in a month they can be sold. Moreover, both carcasses and live pigeons. If non-meat breeds are bred, then naturally, only live birds are sold.
- Those who breed meat breeds find meat in cafes and restaurants. Here pigeon is served as a delicacy, which often becomes a business card of the institution. By concluding a contract, you can supply meat at a price of about 900-1,200 rubles per 1 kg.
Practical tips from pigeon breeders:
- Take measures to destroy rats and mice. Prevent cats and ferrets from entering. To protect the nurseries from rodents, they use a special poison - Deutran. Read the instructions and follow all instructions - mice and rats will leave for six months.
- If there is some free time, rinse the grain feed - you will see how much dirt is in it. This will reduce the risk of bird infection. Do not block the container in which the dried grain is stored.
- Cereals and mineral feeds disinfect microwave ovens well - one minute is enough to disinfect.
- Do not heat the dovecote - birds will lose their resistance to disease. But in cold weather below minus 10 degrees, you need to raise the temperature.
- Do not put lick salt in dovecots - this is dangerous. Salt absorbs moisture, softens, and the birds begin to peck large pieces - this will cause poisoning and a quick death.
- The biggest enemy of pigeons is dust, which is taken from dried litter. It harms breathing and contributes to the infection of all kinds of diseases. Therefore, after cleaning the dovecote, be sure to vacuum it, and then do a wet cleaning.
Breeding pigeons is a specific, troublesome and costly process. If you decide to do this business for profit, first carefully consider all the costs, evaluate the risks and your opportunities.
Breeding pigeons in winter
Breeding pigeons in winter is difficult due to the fact that in the cold season, all physiological processes in animals and birds also slow down significantly. But pigeons are relatively easy to tolerate weather fluctuations associated with cooling and frost. The breeding and breeding of pigeons was influenced by the process of their domestication by humans. Therefore, even during this period, it is possible to plan the breeding of pigeon offspring, the main thing is to take care of the proper maintenance of pigeons.
Caring for pigeons requires constant monitoring of the health of their birds. And the slightest signs of disease must be suppressed in order to prevent the development of an epidemic.
To ensure the proper maintenance of their pets, it is enough to carry out a thorough cleaning, disinfection at least once a month in parallel with this, to clean the water and feed that birds use. Avoid droppings of rodents with food and brood rodents, which can also carry pediatric infections.
Another main condition affecting the quality breeding of pigeons in the winter is the temperature regime in the pigeon, which should not be lower than 10 ° C even in winter, otherwise the likelihood that the offspring can freeze increases.
It is worth paying attention to lighting the dovecote, for these birds it is important that daylight hours last at least 12 hours, which in winter is not possible without additional lighting.
In winter, the dovecote should not be less than + 10 ° C
To ensure active breeding of pigeons in the winter season, it is recommended to pay special attention to the arrangement of nests, deepening them to 40 cm.And it is better to equip the ventilation in the room at the bottom of the pigeon, and hang the front door in the winter with a warm blanket and polyethylene, for additional warming of the pigeon.
In the cold season, even the usual maintenance of pigeons at home causes novice breeders a number of difficulties, so they are not recommended to think about breeding pigeons in winter, and wait for the heat. Only experienced poultry farmers familiar with all the subtleties that are important when keeping pigeons in winter can plan their breeding.
Another point of the correct maintenance of pigeons in the winter is their proper nutrition.
It is necessary to take into account the fact that breeding pigeons requires not only perseverance and knowledge from the breeder, but also not small financial investments, so that in addition to housing, feeding troughs, drinking bowls, you can afford to provide good nutrition for your wards.
The daily diet of pigeons should contain a number of vitamins, fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Each element is indispensable in the daily diet of pigeons. Do not forget about the free access of birds to clean water. It is water that is the main participant in the digestion process. Carbohydrates give the bird extra energy, which is simply necessary for its active movement. Proteins are indispensable for the growth and proper development of internal organs, they also participate in the process of egg formation (in females) and the quality of plumage. Fats help the bird cope with diseases, and in case of starvation, live for some time using its reserves.
With a lack of vitamins and minerals, the pigeon becomes susceptible to disease
If a deficiency of any of the elements is found, both the domestic pigeon and the resident of the city may become ill or weaken. Females need a full set of vitamins when they hatch their offspring and feed it.
Birds of ornamental breeds, due to the fact that they do not fly, have weak muscles and esophagus. They are much weaker physically than domestic or carrier pigeons and require the use of special food at least 40 g per day per individual.
Please note that in the winter season, you need to enrich the daily diet of the bird with grain, which contains a high fat content. These seeds include:
- pumpkin seeds,
- sunflower seeds
- peeled oats
The basis of food for pigeons is wheat, which in winter is also diluted with corn to increase the activity of birds, which is rich in minerals and trace elements, as well as small pebbles.
Breeding pigeons in the winter at home involves feeding the birds with mineral additives, salads from cabbage, green salad and grated carrots.
A breeder who is serious about his hobby, with constant monitoring of the pets, can already determine how much food they need per day so that they do not remain hungry. After the crawfish is fully filled in birds, the feeders are removed to prevent the grain from spreading over the dovecote and to clear them of droppings accumulated during the day and the remains of grain and husks.
Dove everywhere scatters its litter, so feeders need to be cleaned regularly
In winter and during molting, pigeons require a certain attitude and feeding regime. Revision of the daily diet for its balance. To maintain the elasticity of the plumage of pigeons feed rape and flax.
Ways of breeding pigeons
A relatively brief description of the methods for breeding pigeons can be stated in just two words - natural and forced. During natural mating, the male himself chooses a female. It was noted that such pairs lay eggs faster, so they increase their numbers.
Before natural mating, the male actively cares for the selected female, dancing near her and cooing loudly, sometimes courtship involves cleaning the female's plumage and beak.
During forced mating, the breeder himself selects birds for procreation. The selection at home pursues the preservation or enhancement of the selected qualities of their pigeons, whether it is flight qualities, productivity or decorative characteristics of the bird.
Regarding the breeding of sports pigeons, in this case, the breeder, in pursuit of improving the flight performance of pets, uses the forced mating method. Choosing for this small individuals, but with a well-developed thoracic region, not skinny, but moderately well-fed.
With forced mating, the male and female must be put into a cage
The breeder of meat breeds seeks to obtain large and precocious offspring, and for this also forced mating will be the best way.
However, it is worth paying attention to the fact that residents of the city during forced mating are deprived of tenderness in pairs. The male behaves aggressively, pays little attention to the female, which affects the duration of the formation of the family and the brood of chicks. The offspring are fed less willingly, and part of the eggs can be generally unfertilized. Therefore, many breeders give their pets their own choice.
The most common species of pigeons is the Gray pigeon, an ordinary resident of the city, which can be found throughout Eurasia. But regardless of the fact that these birds live in freedom, they are well domesticated and even breed in dovecot. The breeding of such pigeons does not differ much from domestic breeds.
The gray dove lends itself well to taming and training
The female of the gray pigeon is independently engaged in the improvement of the nest. She lays no more than two eggs, but both parents are involved in hatching her offspring. In the morning, the male does this, and if the female does not go to replace him for a long time, she starts invitingly cooing loudly. Offspring hatch from 20 days to a month. Newborn chicks are completely helpless and covered with a light rare fluff.
It is worth considering that the chicks cause a lot of noise, so it is advisable that the dovecote with the brood be away from residential buildings.
Newborns are fed with a special liquid that is released from the mother’s goiter and has great energy value. Gray pigeons (city dwellers) begin to feed the grown chicks with seeds of plants and wheat. A month later, young pigeons are already beginning to learn to fly and can independently fly.
The pigeon is a very adaptable bird that can be easily domesticated. Basically, ordinary pigeons tolerate any temperature conditions and weather conditions in their habitat well. If you take care of the proper maintenance of the bird and a balanced diet, then there will not be any problems with the pet.
Preparation for the tribal period
In winter, it's time to pick up pigeon pairs, so far only on a piece of paper or a special pigeon diary.
It should be borne in mind that you can not pick up a pair with the same disadvantages. Also, you can not pick up a couple consisting of close relatives.
Before mating, the bird is fed with germinated grain, this will increase its fertility.
Cleaning and disinfection
In the cold season, disinfection turns into a real test, especially if the temperature outside the window drops to critical levels. It is impossible to refuse to clean the premises, therefore, once a month, dovecote is completely cleaned using disinfectant chemicals. For a while, the bird is moved to a comfortable place with a similar air temperature.
Cleaning is carried out as follows:
- during the cleaning process, all surfaces indoors should be treated, including the ceiling,
- feeders and drinking bowls are previously removed,
- tools that are used to care for pigeons are also worth disinfecting,
- during severe frosts, heated water is used to breed chemicals
- preference is given to drugs that dry quickly, and are also able to destroy dangerous microorganisms at sub-zero temperatures.
How to feed pigeons in winter
The winter diet is characterized by increased calorie content, since the bird needs to spend energy on warming its own body. Also, in winter there are no many types of feed, and the need for vitamins and minerals only increases, so you need to properly compose a menu.
- rapeseed seeds
- sunflower seeds,
- wheat bran
- crushed lime
- meat and bone meal
- vitamin and mineral premix.
It is not recommended to give in the winter:
It is forbidden to give:
- white, gray, brown bread,
- meat and meat products,
- products containing sugar, flavoring, coloring, salt,
- fats (lard, butter and sunflower oil, sour cream).
What vitamins to give
If there is no way to diversify the diet with fruits and vegetables, then you need to buy a special premix that will help birds survive the winter, and also not “earn” vitamin deficiency in early spring. Vitamins necessary for normal life: A, E, D, K, C. Note that there is a complex of these vitamins on sale, which are sold in an accessible form for pigeons.
If it is not possible to purchase a factory version, then remember that the vitamins listed above, except for ascorbic acid, are fat-soluble, respectively, they are absorbed only with fats, after which they accumulate in adipose tissue and liver. Lack of vitamins of group B, as a rule, does not occur, since they are contained in the grain, which prevails in the winter diet of poultry. Vitamin C comes with root crops. Additional administration is necessary only if a decrease in immunity is diagnosed. Vitamin C is water-soluble, so it quickly enters the bloodstream and is consumed just as quickly by the body. Reserves are not formed even with an overabundance, therefore, it is necessary to constantly maintain its level.
How to water pigeons in winter
Remember that it is strictly forbidden to give pigeons snow or melt water in winter. Such actions lead to severe hypothermia, due to which the bird will fall ill at best and die at worst. This applies not only to capricious breeds, but also to pigeons accustomed to severe frosts.
There are three ways to solve the problem:
- Every 2-3 hours, change the water to warm.
- Install a special heated drinker.
- Several times a day, pour small volumes of water into the drinking bowl, which pigeons will last for half an hour or an hour.
Do not equate captive birds with wild counterparts. City pigeons live 3 times less, and also often suffer from various diseases. Therefore, in winter, create the most comfortable conditions for your birds so that they continue to give you positive emotions.