Well, right after I posted that last update, I decided to catch some pigeons and leg band them so I really knew who was who. They weren’t very happy about being chased down, and my favorite little hen was even shaking with fear, poor thing. They all got treats afterwards and went right back to fighting, so no harm done.
The unfortunate news after banding is that it appears I may have only two or three hens. Two are white and one is my check hen with the white eye stripe.
I also decided to cull two older cocks while I was at it. This was a tough decision, but there are just way too many males, and letting them go is not an option, they’ll just fly back to their old loft where they are no longer welcome. I also wanted to try pigeon meat and see what the dressing process is like. I was surprised by how enthusiastic the dogs were about the leftover carcasses. They pretty much went crazy for them even though they are both usually very hesitant to eat dead birds that I give them unless they are cold or frozen.
The really unfortunate news is that when I decided to band the squabs, the smaller, white one died in my hands. There’s nothing like killing a baby bird just by the stress of taking it out of the nest. It’s not a very good feeling. Not to mention it was my favorite of the two and was probably a female. Oh well. It’s a very good lesson, and maybe I don’t want birds that die when handled in my line anyway. Still sad though.