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These are my own breeding experiences, difference of opinions are always welcome. To become a breeder is not a joke, you have to fight against the diseases, dead in shell chicks, infertility problems, young dying in nests, extreme of weathers, out break of viral disease, vaccines at proper time, checking feed and water bowls on daily basis, some time you are so exhausted to check the pigeons, but you have to go and check them. I think patience is the key to overcome all the above obstacles. Is patient comes with experience or its in built, that is a question of debate. What about luck then, everything is going in your favor and all of a sudden bad luck starts. 

I keep and breed fantails, Indian fantails, pouters, Jacobins and frill back. I must appreciate the breeding qualities of fantails and Indian fantails, they are very dependable and hard working parents and in 90% cases raise their chicks to independent stages. I found heavy breeds of pouters and Jacobins are not very reliable parents, although they can improve by experience, but they are more erratic in raising their chicks. Especially in pouters I could not get very good breeding results with Pomeranians, hana, reverse wing pouters. 

My method of feeding are that feed, grit and water are made available all the times to my pigeons. I give them mix seeds and know I give them chicken feed rather feed given to broiler chicken to my parents flocks. Inspection of pigeons on daily basis is very important, as it gives you more clear pictures of your parents flocks. I have a loft about 23 feet long, 10 feet deep and 8 feet high, it is divided into two parts, one part is about 9 feet wide, 8 feet high and 10 feet deep, where I keep young ones and bachelors, I have a flying pen about 10 feet long 6 feet high and 7 feet wide, pigeon fly around. Basically there are two stages of raising chicks, once they are independent they are kept for about one month in nursery cages, where almost equal ages of chicks are kept together, the disadvantage of removing from their parents and keep them in fly pen is that they are not mature enough to take care of them, and normally grown up pigeons especially males chases them, and they come under stress and stops eating. So it is better to keep them about a month separately so they are confident to face the coming tough days. 

Infertility problems do occurs in fantails, Indian fantails, heavy breeds of pouters and Jacobins. I trim the tail of male and female both and also clear the feathers around vent area and found that it works very accurately. Very strangely I sell a pair of Pomeranian to friend of mine, he returned the pair after keeping three months, he said that pair is laying but all the eggs were infertile. I put the pair in the open loft and they had laid the fertile eggs. I usually believe in breeding in single pair system, but in this case it was hundred percent correct. 

Some pairs are very good breeders and always rear pair of their chicks, some are erratic and only rare one chick out of two. I believe pigeons are basically very dedicated and good parents. 

I also observed that like human in birds there is also likes and dislikes about choosing their mates. I have observed that male who are mature and have louder voice can attract more younger females as compared to other males. 

Strangely in chicks few males chicks are vocal or shows that they are male at the start of their weaning stage, it is very rare but I have observed in many cases. 

In single pair environment, I a firm believer that in the non breeding seasons male and female should not be parted. I do allow my breeding pairs to give rest on my own, they do get rest when they start molting, normally in August till November. However, the breeding pair should get some rest in the flying pen after two or three clutches. 

 Although pigeon make strong pairing bond, but I saw some voluntary divorces in colony system. I could not explain it, but it do happens that a very good breeding pair , who are producing chicks got separated and married to some one else. 

Donít disturb breeding pairs too much, although pigeon donít mind too much of checking the eggs and chicks but they need privacy and should not be disturbed unnecessarily. 

I use earthen bowl for breeding purposes. I put grass or hay in the pots and also spray some insecticide so it kills mites etc. When first eggs laid I put date on the egg by using a marker, one should be careful while handling eggs, as most of the cases parents do attack the owners hand by wing flapping and eggs can be damaged or fell down on the floor. I check the eggs on the fifth day for fertility, it is very simple I keep them against a bulb and can see the web development. On 18th day, if weather is too hot it could be one day before the chicks would start to come out. In very hot weather, before two days before hatching I dip the eggs in the water so humidity level can be maintained other wise mostly chicks dies as they could not broke the egg. This practice could also be done in the rainy seasons. Most of the parents gives toomuch water to their chicks in the hot weather, in this case the grass below them should be replace more frequently. 

While making grit I use chips, charcoal, black salt, white salt, bricks (which are not fully baked), different types of salts given to animals for correcting their stomachs. 

I am firm believer that chicken feed should be given to all the pigeons. Many  fellow pigeon fanciers in my country disagrees to me, but I got very good results. 

Always try to obtain chicks of any breed you want to start with. Reason being they are used to with your feeding system, environment and routines and produces very good results. Since we in Pakistan donít uses pigeon rings it is more obvious that we should go for the chicks as In this case we should know about the age also. Itís a drawback and few efforts are being made to make rings, but only for homers. I hope one day our dream of producing pigeon rings comes true.


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