My own Experiences of Breeding Fancy Pigeons
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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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.