How to properly maintain and grow domestic pigeons
Domestic pigeons are considered the most common among their relatives. You can get them for keeping on the farm, breeding or just as poultry. Raising a pigeon at home in Russia is not difficult, the main thing is to approach this matter with all responsibility.
It is better to start a pair of domestic pigeons: such birds behave more calmly and do not rush to fly away. Before you purchase birds, you need to familiarize yourself with the information for beginner poultry farmers: where you can keep pigeons, how long they live and how to properly care for them. It is enough to come up with a plan for breeding and keeping birds and only then proceed to the acquisition of pigeons.
Preparation for purchase and maintenance
Anyone who has already fully considered everything and finally decided to become a poultry breeder should follow the list of initial requirements. In fact, anyone can become the owner of a dovecote, the main thing is to properly draw up documents and be aware that at home, the birds need to go out correctly, give them vitamins, balanced feed and regular vaccinations.
First you need to do the following:
- To issue a state permit for the maintenance and breeding of pigeons in a private household, a permit for the construction of a dovecote or private entrepreneur.
- Build and equip a pigeon house.
- Buy pigeons.
- Get a conclusion from a veterinarian.
- Settle animals and domesticate birds.
Permission to keep pigeons costs about 20 thousand rubles. This price is not overpriced, you do not need to save on documents, it is important to get all the necessary permissions. Golubyatnik must be spacious and comfortable, so that birds have the opportunity to breed normally. The basic sanitary and zootechnical standards must be observed: one pair of pigeons corresponds to 1 m² of room space.
It is necessary to provide adequate protection against drafts, excess noise, cold, rainfall, provide moderate lighting with small windows or low-power electric lamps (it is ideal to create twilight), ventilation, a sufficient amount of dishes for food and water. Be sure to carry out disinfection, the fight against mice, rats and parasites. Of their own free will, part of the dovecote can be reserved for weaker or infected birds, so that the disease does not pass to healthy individuals. You can get acquainted with how to build a house and what needs to be done inside, on a photo or video on the Internet.
Types of houses
- The dovecote in the form of a hinged cage is very simple to manufacture, suitable for 1-4 pairs of inexpensive pigeons. It is bad in that it does not provide protection against weather events and predators.
- The enclosure from the area enclosed by a wire fence with a roof is much better than the previous version. You can save pigeons from rain or snow, but you can’t escape from the temperature drops in winter. This can adversely affect the breeding season. You can make a semblance of a barn by replacing the wire walls with wood or stone.
- The housing of a rounded tower structure made of wood or brick, consisting of several floors or sectors, must necessarily be higher than 4 m. It is difficult to build, but this is the best option for breeding pigeons. Good protection and easy disinfection will cover all costs.
- The dovecote in the attic is almost as good, but equipping it is much easier. Any attic of a country house is suitable. It’s worth considering only a place for walking, as well as an unpleasant aspect in the form of the constant smell of pigeon droppings. In more detail each type of house can be seen in the photo.
When a plan is found and a pigeon house is built, you need to run the birds once into the house, and these individuals will build and populate nests for themselves. Pigeons can weave their nests themselves during nesting in the spring, but before that you need to provide something like cells 40 cm wide and 30 cm high, cells 30 x 30 x 60 cm in size or drawers. Branches or their semblance are attached near them, and in the middle of the dovecote you can lay a wire or wire so that the pigeons can sit and coo with their neighbors about their bird affairs. The feeder can be made whole, but with a large number of sections for each individual. Vacuum drinkers in the cold season can freeze, so you can make any others, for example, from cans.
How to care for your house
Dishes for food and water, as well as the entire dovecote with cells, must be cleaned from litter once a day, from bacteria and parasites - once a week. Also, the care of the room depends on what doves are kept in. Be sure to remove the pigeon feather every time in a certain number of days, for example, 2 times a week.
Every six months, it is necessary to organize a general cleaning with complete disinfection and etching of rodents and parasites. The best time is before wintering. If you do not have time, you can in winter and before the appearance of pigeons. When handling chemicals, be careful not to breathe in chemical fumes. During cleaning or disinfection, birds should be removed from the premises so that they do not inhale chemicals. Use organic substances or drugs that are not harmful to health.
With the onset of winter, replaceable straw or hay litter, chipboard, plywood, polystyrene or any other heat-insulating materials can be used for warming.
After the blueberry has become completely suitable for normal living, you can safely buy birds. There are many breeds, and each has its own “work”. Some (decorative) are striking in their beauty at exhibitions, the second (sports) - former postmen - now compete in speed and endurance, the third (flight) are able to captivate with the beauty of flight, and the fourth (meat) are served as a delicacy. You can focus on one breed, or you can diversify the matter into several types. Domestic pigeons are always very calm, these birds will easily find understanding with their brethren. It is difficult to tame pigeons, the main thing is to be patient.
After choosing a breed, you need to go to the market or to another place where doves are sold. One individual can cost from 2 to 6 thousand rubles. It depends on the breed. During the purchase, you must carefully and reverently inspect the birds. It is advisable to buy only healthy, active, intact birds with a lively sparkle in the eyes, even breathing and accurate plumage.
Pigeons - feathered sociable and social, choosing a partner for life. So that no one gets bored, it is necessary to provide each bird with a pair. After you have bought pigeons, you need to contact the veterinarian for verification and conclusion. For one head, you will have to pay an additional 200 rubles. If the pigeons are meat breeds, then a check is required according to GOST, which requires 5-6 thousand rubles.
Each pigeon needs a separate cell or cage.
Wintering and proper nutrition
Winter is a difficult time for all animals and birds. Pigeons even though they do not fly away anywhere, still suffer a little from the cold weather and the new regime. The body becomes more passive in order to relax and prepare for the arrival of spring. In winter, these birds are subject to vitamin deficiency, so it is very important to maintain the health of the entire livestock and to feed the birds in a variety of ways. Disease prevention and treatment should be carried out on time. At home, reproduction should be carried out in conjunction with proper care and nutrition. Such a rule should be a priority.
Combined feeds with an optimal set of nutrients are sold in stores. These feeds are designed for different types of birds, so you can easily choose the right one. Everyone who wants to independently choose a diet for their pets can fulfill this desire. The main food of birds is cereal feed (millet, wheat, barley, corn).
Sometimes it is necessary to give some industrial crops that have fats in their composition, which make it possible to maintain the necessary heat and better fight diseases. As such an additive, flax, rape or sunflower seeds are suitable. Proteins needed for gaining muscle mass and egg formation can be obtained from legumes by birds. Vegetables, such as carrots, lettuce and potatoes, should be boiled and finely chopped so that food is easily digested. You should add shell rock, ground eggshells and other mineral supplements in order to protect animals from a deficiency of calcium and other minerals needed for a good skeleton and plumage.
If you do not feed the birds with various additives, the pigeons are weakened to such an extent that some individuals are not able to do anything.
Birds should have round-the-clock access to fresh water, because it plays a huge role in the process of food processing. So that pigeons after a good meal do not throw food over the entire area of the pigeon, you need to take away feeders and drinking bowls on time.
The list of products that are not absorbed by the weak digestive system of pigeons:
- meat and fish;
- lemons, oranges, limes and other citrus fruits;
- dairy and lactic acid products;
- sweet products.
If at least something has been consumed by the bird, you should immediately contact your veterinarian. As a prophylaxis, show the birds to the veterinarian at least 1 time in 6 months for examination. Diseases that affect pigeons are many. Each of them can ruin a business, so you need to beware of any symptoms.
Sources of the disease:
- rats, mice and other rodents;
- sick birds.
If during a daily examination of feathered individuals it is evident that someone is behaving inactive and looks weak, you need to put him away from the rest and seek help from a veterinary clinic. Do not save on the health of pigeons, because you can stay with nothing.
For prevention, it is necessary to monitor the purity of the blueberry, and especially the temperature, the value of which should range from 10 ° C to 20 ° C.
Air circulation should occur in the lower part of the room. In turn, the room should be illuminated for at least half a day; in winter, this can not be done without electricity.
The period of reproduction and hatching of eggs
As soon as spring comes, pigeons will have a desire to find a pair. If the business does not require the manual selection of parents to combine the best qualities or to develop a new breed, you can not interfere in their affairs. A “natural” couple will produce offspring faster. But if there is a fear that some very strong pigeon will choose a too bad pigeon (or vice versa), you need to prepare a steam cage. The male himself will reveal himself in large sizes and active behavior associated with the desire to attract all the attention of the dove to himself.
It is necessary to select the desired male and female, then place them overnight in one large cage, separate from the dovecote. This will not bring success if the doves do not converge in character during the night, but otherwise the future father and mother will always walk shoulder to shoulder.
During nesting, the farmer has the opportunity to significantly help the couple, leaving building materials (twigs, hay, leaves) on the dovecote floor. A week after mating, the dove will begin to lay eggs. It is necessary that she hatched only one pair of eggs at a time. Not one, not three, but two eggs, since so many of them are not so easily damaged.
During incubation, you must especially carefully monitor the cleanliness and good level of humidity in the room. Even dust can harm eggs, making them unable to absorb air.
3-4 weeks after laying eggs (each breed has its own incubation period), the long-awaited stage of care for pigeons will begin. The first days of their life, their parents feed them, but then the time comes to teach them how to eat from a feeder and how to drink from a drinking bowl. It is essential that birds have adequate access to food and water. If the water is contaminated during the day, it must be replaced with clean and fresh.
High-quality nutrition and good drinking water are the key to the health of the future livestock of pigeons. You can make a bridge system or just bring water or food with your own hands. Feathers need to be fed regularly (the largest meal should be in the evening), food can not be spared. Such small organisms need surprisingly much food. Optionally, you can enrich the diet with vitamins from an animal pharmacy so that doves do not need anything. You can learn in detail how to properly care for chicks in a photo or video.