Mike Tyson’s love of pigeons goes back to his early years as a child growing up in Brooklyn, New York.
As a young child, he developed a love for the birds which arguably was pivotal in him becoming a boxer; his first fight was over a pigeon, he knocked out a garbage man over a pigeon and he dumped one of his girlfriends because of a pigeon.
Even to this day he still is obsessed with the birds, regularly tweeting about them and posting pictures and videos with his pigeons.
I don’t understand why people would want to get rid of pigeons. They don’t bother no one.— Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson) March 5, 2022
Tyson Got Into His First Fight Over A Pigeon
The first time Tyson Tyson ever punched anyone was due to an incident involving a pigeon when he was 10 years old.
Tyson had befriended a pigeon and word had got around the neighborhood.
One particular group decided that they were going to come over and steal the bird.
When one of the boys did manage to steal Tyson’s pigeon he initially ran to get his mother to help him get it back.
In the meantime, the boy tucked the pigeon under his arm and ran off, so Tyson pursued him and was met with slaps to the face followed by the boy ripping the pigeon’s head off and hitting Tyson with the pigeon’s body.
This horrible act provoked Tyson to fight.
In his own words “It’s not like I was sensational, I was just flailing away, but I hit him more than he hit me so I won I guess”.
He Also Knocked Out A Garbage Man Over A Pigeon
Yes, it’s true.
One of Tyson’s pigeons had recently passed away so he briefly left the body outside his front door in a crate while he went inside.
He planned to honor the pigeon before burying it.
However, while he was inside the garbage disposal truck arrived and the garbage man threw the crate and the pigeon into the back of the truck where it was crushed.
In a fit of rage, Tyson marched over the poor bin man and floored him with a right hook.
Tyson said, “He was out cold, convulsing on the floor”.
He Dumped One Of His Girlfriends Over A Pigeon
One of Tyson’s former girlfriends allegedly said to Tyson:
“I don’t know why you’re flying those damn birds, you should be eating them.”
Apparently, she later boiled and ate one of them and tried to serve it to Mike, who refused to eat it and promptly dumped her.
Does Mike Tyson Race Pigeons?
Tyson’s love of pigeons is well documented.
In fact, it is estimated that he has over 2,500 pigeons in different locations.
However for most of his life, he has never raced them, he simply kept them as pets because he enjoyed their company so much.
However, in 2011 Tyson starred in a TV show about himself called “Taking on Tyson”.
A large segment of the show was dedicated to his love of pigeons and featured 300 racing pigeons that he kept in Tysons corner (near where he used to train).
In this show, he set his sights on becoming a world champion pigeon racer.
Tyson said: “You gotta train every day, you gotta prepare. Just like a fight, you gotta prepare or you’re not going to do well at all, but you can have all the training in the world and it all comes down to the tenacity of the birds, their perseverance, and the will to win.”
How Many Pigeons Does Mike Tyson Have?
Mike Tyson has had over 2,500 pigeons at one point, although these days the number is likely to be around 1,300 now.
In his own words “Maybe 1,400 now, I always say 2,500, but we got rid of so many, probably like 1,300.”
The majority of these are based in New York City.
Why Does Mike Tyson Give His Pigeons Fiji Water?
On a tour of his house, viewers noticed that Mike Tyson gives his pigeons bottled Fiji water to drink:
Branded as “the earth’s finest water” Fiji water is significantly more expensive than standard tap water that most people give their pigeons.
Tyson’s reasoning for treating his pigeons so lavishly is that he loves them and wouldn’t want to give them anything to eat or drink that he himself would eat or drink!
How Much Has He Spent On Pigeons?
No one, including Tyson himself, knows the exact figures he has spent on pigeons, at one point his loft of over 2,500 pigeons would no doubt have been worth a huge amount of money.
High-quality racing pigeons can be expensive.
Tyson has bought individual Janssen pigeons for more than $20,000 each.
If each of his pigeons was worth that much that would give his loft a value of $50,000,000!
However it is very unlikely he spent that much on every pigeon in his entire loft, Janssen pigeons are some of the best-bred racing pigeons in the world, there are not a lot of $20,000 pigeons available.
A more realistic estimate for the total amount he has spent on pigeons would be somewhere between $5,000,000-$15,000,000 over the course of his life.
Following the sale of the world’s most expensive pigeon to a buyer in Asia, Tyson publicly stated that he would be willing to pay $2,000,000 for a pigeon in some cases.
He also spends a considerable fortune every month paying for just the upkeep of his pigeons alone.
He spends $400,000 every month on keeping them well-fed, clean, and comfortable.