Common facts about pigeons
The scientific name for the pigeon is Columba Livia, from the family Columbidae which includes more than 300 species. Pigeons have been domesticated from the time of Egyptian civilization and were used for sending messages. But research has been showing that pigeons are bred for more than 10000 years. Domestic pigeons we see always are descended from rock pigeons, which are very rare nowadays. Several pigeon breeds are raised domestically — for sport, hobby and food.
Different breeds of pigeons
While going through different varieties of pigeons, some are
- Feral pigeons: these are the most commonly found pigeons in blue coloration which stay in the wild, urban and sub urban areas alike and are not domesticated usually.
- Racing and homing pigeons: Homing pigeons can be a variety of colors, but are commonly blue (similar to wild pigeons), or white. These pigeons are raced competitively, used as wedding and event “doves,” or kept as pets. They are muscular and robust flyers with powerful homing instincts, and they are trained to return to their lofts after a race or event.
- King pigeons: these are pure white with pink beaks, mostly bred for food and are larger compared to feel and homing pigeons. They do, however, make excellent pets and aviary residents. They are tame and accustomed to human contact.
- Fancy pigeons: these are mainly used as pets and are expensive compared to others. There are many varieties of fancy pigeons, including breeds like Pouters, Tumblers and Owls.
Things to be aware of before feeding pigeons
Pigeons do best when meal fed, meaning they are given an appropriately sized portion of fresh food in the morning and ideally, all should be eaten by sunset. Fresh food is provided again the next morning. If your birds have lots of food left at sunset, they are being overfed and are likely gorging on their favorite seeds (such as high-in-fat safflower) rather than getting balanced nutrition. Feeding the proper amount also reduces seed-throwing and simplifies clean up.
There are many brands of commercial pigeon seeds available in market, which are more confusing to choose best among them. High quality pigeon feed include safflower, corns, mixed with bird safe grit and crushed oyster shell.
For each bird, we recommend you start with two tablespoons (probably too much) and then adjust the amount down until the amount you provide in the morning is entirely consumed by evening.
When looking pigeons favorite food, the vote goes for bird seeds that are grains. They love to eat grains, including corns, peas, sorghum etc. They like raw grains, not cooked ones. Corn is undeniably one of the best pigeon foods, it is low in crude fibre, easily digestible and one of the fattiest of all the grains. The pigeons love it in all shapes, sizes and colors.
Vegetables can be given 3-4 times per week. For veggies, you can chop/mince up most anything that is bird safe: carrots, broccoli, snap peas, dandelion greens, kale, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach (in small amounts), bell peppers, etc.
Supplementing one tablespoon of Calcium gluconate per a gallon of water twice a week is advisable as it supports healthy egg-laying. If you are already giving Mineral or vitamin supplement then no need of additional calcium gluconate.
Baby pigeon food
For feeding a baby pigeon, while parents pigeon hatches the eggs one type of milk is produced inside their throat which is called pigeon milk or crop milk of male-female both pigeon. The pigeon milk started to produce after 10 days hatching when baby hatches out from eggs parents both feed the babies crop milk.
In case of first parental pairs of pigeons (they sometimes won’t able to produce crop milk) or you have only baby pigeon with you, then commercial baby bird formula can be given, those are available from any pet stores.
High flying/racing pigeon food
The major part of the diet of a racing pigeon consists of carbohydrates. The reason for this is, a pigeon’s digestive system changes the carbohydrates of the maize, wheat and peas into animal proteins, which are then stored in the muscles and the liver of the bird in the form of glycogen. During the race the glycogen has to be changed into energy in the same manner as in the engine of a car the energy to move the vehicle is derived from gasoline.
Also, it would have needed fewer grams of fat because fat has a much higher combustion value than carbohydrates and proteins. So feeding high carb content food also with fat content naturally present are entertained by those bird race lovers. High oil containing seeds like sunflower(28%), linseed(34%), hempseed(32%), and rapeseed (42%) are given to racing pigeons.
What is the best pigeon food?
Corn, wheat and sorghum/millets are the favourite foods of pigeons. Corn comparatively have naturally occurring fat provides energy to them. Safflower and corns come under favourite food for pigeons. Mixing them with crushed oyster shells opens a way of calcium intake.
What type of food pigeon eat?
Raw grains are the types of food pigeons love to eat. But small bird safe grits help them for digestion and getting some nutrients. Hence you can see every birdseed for pigeons contain grits.
Can pigeons live in a small cage?
No. They can’t. Cages for pigeon a must be wide and enough for them to spread their wings and roam around for some time. We recommend a minimum cage size of 42″ wide, 27″ deep, 30″ high for one or two (mated) pigeons.
Where to buy pigeon food?
There are plenty of options to buy pigeon food as they love grains more. Any nearby pet shop will be ready to provide you with any type of pigeons food like with high in carbs or combination of carbs and protein.
Or the easiest way is to buy through online means as they provide better offers and discounts and with hassle-free transactions and all you need to do is waiting for it’s arrival at your door step