The pigeons are now trying to nest in any spot they can. This hen decided a nice location would be right on top of a piece of metal on the quail cage. I also have a pair taking up a third of my chicken nest boxes. The hen on top of the quail is actually one of the first homers I got, and is one of my favorites because of her little white eye stripe.
When I feed and water the quail, she just sits there and looks at me. At least I’ll be able to observe her squabs easily. I had been hoping that the white pigeons would pair up together, but of course every white hen seems to have chosen a blue cock. The first squabs to be born here have a blue mother, but also seem to have a white dad as they are feathering out mostly white with a few grey spots. Oh well.
I have a much greater understanding now of why our ancestors raised pigeons for food, and also why they are so plentiful in the wild. They breed like nuts. When the current squabs are around 20-30 days old, the pair will start a new nest and brood another set of eggs. They do all the work for you, and you harvest the squabs at 30 days.
I don’t much like the idea of butchering pigeons, as I really have a deep connection with these birds, but it now appears that I have no choice. I simply won’t have room for everyone if they continue to breed like this. To be honest, I’m very interested in trying squab.
I think I may cull some of my blue cocks, as there are too many cocks anyways, and eventually pare down my blue bar/check flock to a couple of pairs. Then I’ll separate them from my white homers and have a flock of whites for my dove release business, as well as some blue homers if I want to do some racing. The whites get picked off too easily by predators for that and I do like the wild-type plumage of the blues.
It’s weird that wild-type pigeons are viewed by so many as disgusting, filthy trash birds; while white pigeons are considered almost (literally) godly, and used at sacred ceremonies such as weddings, funerals, etc. White pigeons are just regular pigeons wearing white feathers. Why do we like white things so much? An interesting consideration.