I’ve had a lot of different baby animals born here: rabbits, ducks, quail, chickens and mice. But one thing I have never had, and am very excited to finally have, are baby pigeons.
I think few people ever see baby pigeons, or squabs. They are naked, fed on a regurgitated “pigeon milk” by their doting parents and stay hidden away until they look mostly like adults.
Anyone lucky enough to get the opportunity to raise a young pigeon by hand, as I have, will know how amazing these birds are. They are so intelligent and loyal. Not to mention beautiful. I’m actually surprised more people don’t keep them as pets.
I have 16 homing pigeons right now. Six of those are pure white while the rest are blue bar and blue check. The white pigeons were given to me for free by a long time breeder who had lost most of his flock to hawks in late fall and couldn’t take it anymore. I’ll likely keep these birds captive and only fly their offspring occasionally in the summer months when it’s safer.
I love the idea of releasing your pigeon/dove and having it fly right back home as fast as it can.
To keep the white birds white I’ll need a separated loft, otherwise in a few generations everyone will revert back to wild type. That will get built this summer, fingers crossed. I have everyone living together in the chicken coop right now but that is proving to be too messy. Once the separate pigeon loft is constructed I’ll also be able to train my pigeons properly, since I can’t really get them hungry enough in the coop with so much extra food lying around. The plan is to get them trained to load into a box in the coop so they can be easily transported to the release site with minimal handling.
Here’s the technique I plan to use. Prepare to be amazed by the video below, this man is the pigeon-whisperer:
So far I think I have one all white couple who are sitting on eggs, and one blue check couple on another nest. The eggs are white and the size of large quail eggs. Gestation period is 17-19 days. I’ll keep you posted!