Pets are one of the most adorable companions for humans. If your pet friend is an avian one, you will never be bored. When it comes to avian pets, pigeons stand out because of their calm and playful nature. Before deciding whether to pet a pigeon or not, consider some factors that we are discussing below.
Do pigeons make good pets?
Pigeons make good pets. Pigeons are now quite popular among middle-aged people worldwide. This bird is peaceful, pleasant, and intelligent; no wonder they are considered a peace symbol!
Pros vs. Cons
Just like everything on earth, pigeons also have bright and dark sides.
the pros are –
Bonding: Pets that socialise and bond with others are the best kind of a pet. Pigeons love to stay in groups and interact with each other.
Amiable: No one wants a pet that is aggressive. Nor do we want a pet that loves to stay isolated. Pigeons get along with owners fast. They express emotions, happiness and sadness in their own cooing manner.
Easygoing: Pigeons are easy to train, tame, and take care of. They require minimal attention.
Not noisy: Pigeons love a calm environment as well as stay calm themselves.
Low-maintenance: Pigeons can live on simplest food like herbs and seeds. These diets are abundant in nature. Therefore you don’t need a big budget to keep their tummy happy.
They return to you: if your pets can return to you, that’s a divine feeling as you can stay somewhat less anxious of their whereabouts. Pigeons can return to home no matter how far they have flown
The cons are-
They are flock-birds: if kept single, they require a lot of your time and attention.
Allergy: Some people can develop allergic reactions to birds because of their dandar, saliva, urine etc.
Rare Supply: there are not many supplementary products and foods, especially for pigeons in most countries.
Vet bills: Avian Vet bills are usually heavy compared to cat and dog vets.
What breed of pigeons is good for petting?
The descendants of Rock pigeons are the best for petting. Fantails, Tumblers, Homers, Florentine, Ice Pigeon, and Barbs make excellent pets. All of them are domestic pigeons, and they can not survive in the wild.
Indoor vs outdoor – Where should your pigeon pet be kept?
Pigeons are great pets for indoors as well as outdoor.
Pigeons as indoor pets
Pigeons are very clean. So, you can keep them inside the house with you. They learn household routines quickly. You can let it fly free (but out of the kitchen). You can keep other birds in the same cage as Pigeons to keep peace with other birds and animals.
Pigeons as outdoor pets
Pigeons love to live in flocks. If you own a group of pigeons, outdoor is the best option. A predator-proof and well-aerated aviary could be an amazing habitat for your pet friends. Pigeons are also quite tolerant of cold. As long as their aviary is waterproof and dry, they are happy outside!
Is it legal to own a pigeon?
Of course, it’s thoroughly legal to own a pigeon as it’s not an exotic bird. As long as you can keep your pets in satisfactory conditions, most countries approve of owning and breeding pigeons.
Fancy pigeons keeping
Fancy pigeons are often referred to as show pigeons. There are different types of fancy such as Jacobins, Fantails, Wort, Hen, Croppers pigeons, etc. The basic keeping rules for all pigeons are the same, with a changed diet plan.
They require high-protein foods and a wide variety of grains, including wheat, rice, millet peas, beans, and maize, for stronger muscle.
They are bigger than usual pigeons, so that they may need a bigger coop. These pigeons also need a little grooming occasionally.
Lost pigeons keeping
Taking care of a lost pigeon requires providing it with food and shelter.
- First, look for wounds or harm. If found any, offer treatment accordingly. Take it to a vet as soon as possible if the situation is sensitive. Offer water and food immediately as they might be hungry and malnutrition.
- If it’s a homing bird, look for the owner. If it’s a wild pigeon, it won’t be petted. Hence, freeing it is the best option.
Are pigeons expensive?
Pigeons are not expensive. Depending on their breed and quality, they cost $30 – $400 per pet pigeon. Pet pigeons are cheaper than racing pigeons, so they are not heavy on your wallet. Currently, the world’s most expensive pigeon is New Kim, a Belgian racing bird worth $1.9m!
The other initial costs are-
- Pets are now often purchased and sold online. Therefore, there may be additional shipping fees and packaging costs.
- Most breeders have a health certificate and vaccination process on the check. If not, further medication fees may apply.
- Depending on size and material, a coop ranges from $100 to $300.
- Food costs $20 to $30/month for 3-4 pairs.
Emotions of Pigeons
Although there is no scientific confirmation that pigeons have feelings, people close to pigeons have noticed certain behaviors. Pigeons do have emotions, though not as strong as humans.
They experience both sadness and happiness to a minimal extent. They are healthy- aware of their surroundings. They can sense temperature, hunger, and danger even when they are asleep. They mate for life, which indicates their strong affection for mates.
They also grieve when their mate or young ones die and are taken away. They show clear signs of distress, such as not eating for days and isolating themselves from everyone. They stay beside the dead body poking, pulling, and cooing it. They do not shed tears but make a grunting sound as a form of cry.
Relation with humans
Compared to older pigeons, younger pigeons are quicker to adjust to people and their homes. Bonding with pigeons requires people to earn their trust first. Not all pigeons take the same time to adjust to people; some may take more than usual time, whereas some take less. Once earned trust, pigeons love to be taken out of their enclosure, held and petted, or even ride on a favorite human’s head and shoulder.
How to know your pet has bonded with you?
As animals and birds can’t talk to us, we can never really know what they think of us. But we can take some hints from their posture and behavior around us. These are the traits your pigeon will show if you finally have a bond with it-
- Do not fly away from you.
- Eat from your hand.
- Flaps wings seeing you without flying (it shows their excitement)
- Sleep on your hand or over your chest.
Give some time to it to develop these reactions. Once they show faith in you, you can start carrying it off anywhere with you, just like this iconic pair.
There’s nothing better than a pet friend with a long life expectancy. Pigeons can be your companion for almost ⅓ of your life. They live up to 15-20 years on average with proper care and support.
Who knows, they might live longer in a loving environment? According to the Guinness book of world records, Peace is the oldest pigeon ever lived. This lovely old bird lived for 24 years and 188 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do pet pigeons poop everywhere?
Yes, pigeons poop whenever they get the urge to. Usually, pigeons eat each hour and poop five times per hour on average. Since they have a fast metabolic rate, they digest food quickly and want to get rid of waste.
Poop training is necessary when your pet is indoors and roams around the house. The average potty number may sound scary, but the good news it’s very easy to potty train them.
You only need to anticipate your birdie’s potty time and take it to the desired place. Gradually your pet will pick up the habit. Watch how well behaved this birdie is!
Do they fly away?
No, pigeons don’t usually fly away unless they forget their way back home. Homing pigeons have been well known for their power of finding home even from 1,100 miles away.
They navigate by measuring the sun for directions and sensing the earth’s magnetic field. They have a sharp memory and return home if given training from the beginning.
Does your pet recognize you?
Yes, they do! Scientific studies prove that pigeons can recognize human faces, even in changed clothes. Hence, your pet would identify you from a crowd of faces.
If you mistreat them, they will most likely stay away from you.
Every pet is amazing in its way. Pigeons make an excellent pet and could be an adorable addition to your family in every aspect. This vulnerable avian needs our home, support, and care. So, let’s make the right decision and pet pigeon today.
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