Description of meat breeds of pigeons

Meat breeds of pigeons are popular all over the world. Their homeland is considered to be the Mediterranean. Even the ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians raised these birds for subsequent consumption. The meat pigeons went for meat, which is considered a valuable delicacy, and therefore it was cooked in the homes of wealthy residents.

Meat breeds of pigeons

Later information was received about the benefits of pigeon meat. Indeed, the product contains up to 22% protein, which makes it an indispensable source of energy. Due to its low fat content, meat is well absorbed and is considered dietary.

Pigeon meat farming has long been popular in the United States and Europe. In the CIS, the breeding of meat pigeons did not take root. Here, attention was paid to birds appreciated for the beauty of flight and appearance. The meat breeds of pigeons fly very little or do not fly at all.

The content of meat pigeons

Pigeon breeding at home suggests that before you can get meat breeds of pigeons for breeding, you need to carefully consider their future place of residence. Many farmers keep pigeons in the attics of summer houses or build a house specially. The room should have a canopy and protection against temperature extremes. It should be suitable for both summer and winter maintenance. Also, air ventilation and heating should be built.

To get healthy birds, it is recommended to follow all aspects of growing, feeding and quality care. After acquiring pigeons, they must be checked with a veterinarian and only then run into a new house.

Housing Requirements:

  • The temperature inside the dovecote should always be above 0 ° C.
  • It is better if the windows are facing south.
  • Nests need to be made low, since meat pigeons fly a little.
  • It is necessary to constantly monitor the cleanliness of the litter and disinfect the entire room at least 2 times a year.

How and what to feed meat birds

The basis for feeding meat birds should be cereals. Rye, oats and lupins should be excluded from the diet, as they are dangerous to the health of birds. Well suited for the preparation of the feed mixture barley, wheat, sunflower seeds, peas, corn, millet. Also essential components of the diet are protein and minerals. As minerals, lime, river sand, crushed red brick, clay, charcoal or eggshell are added to the feed.

The feed mixture must be periodically enriched with vitamins A, E and fish oil.

Pigeons should always have water. Without life-giving moisture, birds will not live a day. Do not give spoiled or moldy food, because the weak digestive system of birds is not able to properly digest spoiled food. You also need to monitor drinking bowls and feeders. Drinking water should always be clean at room temperature. If feathers or small debris get into the water, you should change it for fresh.

Meat pigeon breeds

In total, about 800 breeds of meat pigeons are known.

With proper care and maintenance, individuals gain about 700 g in 1.5 months. Such pigeons are fed according to a certain technology, in the morning they are given a small amount of food, and in the evening - already a large amount of food. Servings are reduced only when the iris of the eyes of young animals becomes the same color as in adults.

Gigantic breeds

They are also called giant pigeons. Birds of this species are very large, obese, practically losing their ability to fly, even their photos amaze the eye. Giants are appreciated for their mass and meat characteristics.

  • Strasser. The meat of these birds is most often used in cooking. The weight of Strasser pigeons reaches 750 g in males and up to 550 g in females. Birds are highly fertile. On average, the female incubates the chicks 7 times a year. The main disadvantage of the breed is pugnacious. If you keep weak and strong individuals in one pen, conflicts and fights are possible. To prevent this from happening, they should be kept separately.
  • King King breed was bred in the USA in 1890. The result is Kingi, who has long legs, a large body and a raised small tail. The color of the feathers is from red and black to white or yellow. If King's breeding was carried out according to all standards, then the weight of males can reach 850 g, females - up to 650 g. Sometimes individuals weighing more than a kilogram are found. Birds can hatch up to 16 chicks per year, which makes them especially valuable. Pigeons gain more weight when kept in a walking way, and not when grown in a cage. You can see in detail how the Kingi breed looks in the photo.
  • Carnot. The breed was bred during the widespread use of aviary. Until now, this housing option is preferred for these individuals. The mass of birds is not as large as that of similar varieties, but such a breed is actively valued by farmers around the world. The big advantage is the ability to grow rapidly and achieve maximum mass in the shortest possible time. The color of Carnot pigeons can be black, beige or brown.

Chicken pigeon breeds

Outwardly, the structure of the bodies of pigeons resembles chicken. Individuals in this group gain good mass and are highly fertile. Representatives of chicken varieties are:

  • Florentine pigeon. Italy is considered the homeland. Birds have an elongated neck, a short tail, a rounded body and long legs. Their weight reaches 900 g. Florentine individuals are distinguished by a beautiful color. Plumage can have all shades of blue, yellow, red, black. The beauty of this species is not quite able to capture photos or videos, birds must be seen live.
  • Maltese Dove. The birds are of Germanic origin. From other individuals this can be distinguished by a long thin neck, bare legs and growth. Pigeons make a large number of clutches, but often crush their eggs or strangle their own chicks. This breed does not build nests, they have to be done by the owners themselves. The weight of Maltese pigeons is in the range of 500-700 g.
  • Hungarian giants. A feature of Hungarian individuals is the abundant plumage on their feet. Hungarian pigeons can raise up to 10 chicks per year. This is one of the largest breeds. The adult male reaches a mass of 1200 g, the female - up to 900 g.

Meat breeds of pigeons

The body structure of the birds of this group resembles ordinary domestic pigeons, only larger. The weight of birds is mostly more than 700 g. Representatives of this species are:

  • Karburg Lark. The birthplace of birds with such names was the German city of Coburg. These are large pigeons with a wingspan of 80 cm. They fly very well and are caring parents. The breed is sometimes bred as poultry.
  • Moravian Strasser. This is a bird of medium height with a wide torso. She has good flying abilities. The breed is appreciated for the taste of meat. Moravian pigeons are very popular in breeding, despite the fact that their average weight is only 650 g.
  • Prachensky vacation. The breed was bred in the Czech Republic, but now it is bred mainly in the Crimea. The meat of Prachensky vacation is considered the most elite delicacy and is appreciated throughout the world. It is mainly used for the preparation of gourmet dishes by the chefs of famous restaurants.

Breeding

For breeding pigeons, it is necessary that the males and females be equally divided: each individual should be able to find a mate. Under natural conditions, doves do 3 clutches a year for 2-3 eggs. If the birds are provided with adequate lighting and heating, this figure can grow 6–9 times.

Females are allowed for breeding from 8 months. The most prolific birds are those aged 1-1.5 years. Mating can occur naturally when pigeons live together in the same enclosure. The second option is forced mating, which is used when the poultry breeder needs to obtain some specific qualities. Then a couple of pigeons are planted separately for a while.

It is easy to determine when the mating has already occurred and the birds can be returned to the common enclosure. They will constantly sit next to each other and gently touch each other's feathers.

Egg laying occurs in 11-16 days. To make sure that embryos develop in the eggs, you need to carefully lay the egg on a spoon on day 6 and look at the lumen. If a dark spot is seen, offspring will soon appear. Another sign is a discoloration of the shell. Eggs with developing chicks on the 8th day begin to acquire a matte gray tint.

Pigeons hatch eggs in turn for 16-19 days (in some breeds this period lasts up to 29 days). Chicks appear helpless and blind. Only a few hours later they begin to take food from their parents. The first 2 weeks, their diet is exclusively goiter milk, then they switch to goiter gruel, which caring parents soften in goiter. Only a month, the chicks switch to a full-fledged “adult” food.

If you observe all aspects of the care and maintenance of pigeons, then you can grow an excellent meat breed.

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