Why Raise Pigeons?


why raise pigeons

There are great benefits to be had from raising pigeons for their beauty or for sport.

They are intelligent birds from whom pleasure can be gained as an owner/breeder.

1. They Are Easy to Keep

One of the attractions of raising pigeons is that being an owner is easy. You need somewhere to keep them so as long as you have space to be able to build a suitable coop, you can be a pigeon owner.

It is also fairly simple to build a pigeon coop if you don’t want to buy one.

pigeons in coop

Once you have your pigeons, it is a case of making sure they have a regular supply of food and water and that you keep their coop clean.

You should also make regular checks on the health of you birds, but they pretty much take care of themselves. 

2. They Are Attractive

Some bird lovers raise pigeons because of their beauty.

With over 300 species that come under the Columbidae Livia family line, the scientific name for these birds, there are a lot to choose from.

Many of them, from all over the world, are quite exotic.

attractive pigeon

Pigeons are compact and sleek looking birds that come in many hues and colours.

These are show birds, bred to delight the eye. Anybody who observes a flock of pigeons will be amazed at the variety of plumage even common feral pigeons display.

3. You Can Race Them

Although this sport has fallen off in Europe since its heyday at the turn of the century, it is still practised worldwide.

Nowadays, it is particularly strong in Far Eastern Asian countries.

racing pigeon

Enthusiasts will pay considerable sums for homing pigeons that are champions or are bred from lineages of strong racers.

One champion breeder was auctioned off for over a million dollars!Opens in a new tab.

4. You Can Turn Your Passion Into A Business

Although it isn’t very prevalent, there are those that still raise pigeons for commercial reasons.

Down through history, pigeon meat has been used as a cheap alternative to feed the masses, whether the poor or slaves.

In today’s modern world, pigeon meat isn’t generally considered a staple or regular food source, but you will find pigeon on the menu in many places.

5. They Are Very Intelligent

When it comes to the question of smarts, pigeons are at the top of the tree when it comes to animal intelligence.

They are one of the few animals that can recognize themselves.

Pigeons are very adaptive, as can be seen by the way their relationship with the human world has been sustained and flourished through the ages.

pigeons are smart

Pigeons are capable of learning and can be taught to do different things. 

Because of their phenomenal navigational skills they have become the subject of great interest.

Many theories have been thrown up as to how they can navigate their way home after being released hundreds of miles away in unfamiliar territory.

Many explanations have been put forward, but so far, none have been proven conclusive.

That question still remains a mystery.

6. They Are Clean

Pigeons have been much maligned and stuck with the undeserved label of ‘rats with wings’, which any pigeon fancier will tell you is totally wrong.

Feral pigeons in our inner cities perform a civic function as street cleaners, picking up the debris of our fast food and take-away society.

clean pigeon

Mostly this is because of their droppings.

Much unwarranted fuss has been made about the diseases they can carry, but in actual fact, it is rare that a human can be infected by them without a lot of close contact.

Those that raise pigeons are more prone to contagion, but they care for their pigeons and keep their cages or lofts clean, so that isn’t a great problem.

7. They Are Very Loyal

What any pigeon raiser will tell you is that pigeons are friendly and loyal pets.

In fact, pigeons demonstrate a lot of admirable qualities.

They are tough, determined and courageous.

Racing pigeons fly their hearts out to get back to their lofts, sometimes under terrible weather conditions.

As racers, they seem to thrive on competition.

pigeon and man hand

These birds tend to test themselves to the limits.

Isn’t it any wonder that bird fanciers admire these birds?

Whether this is determination or a sense of duty, nobody knows.

Their valour has certainly been demonstrated during the two world wars.

Used as messenger birds when other forms of communication failed, these birds have flown through artillery barrages, been shot at by snipers and many killed or wounded, but despite that, they have continued flying their missions.

You can find long lists of these pigeons that have been recognized and awarded medalsOpens in a new tab. for their service.

8. They Are Cute

Let’s face it, pigeons are also cute.

They spend a lot of their time on the ground looking for and pecking at food. Despite the acrobatic ballets they perform in the skies, they are ungainly birds on the ground.

mating ritual bowing

They also have elaborate courtship rituals, which are fascinating to watch.

To top it off, they are monogamous, mating for life and caring parents.

Summary

If you are attracted to our feathered friends there’s no better kind of birds to raise than pigeons.

Pigeons have thrived because of their close relationship with man.

These tough little survivalists will reward the person who raises them with intelligence, beauty, loyalty and friendship.  

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